Essay for Entrance into the CCNA Specialization Scholarship
When I was a young child, I took apart light switches and doorbells because I wanted to know how they worked. At age 9, I tried to build an airplane (out of wood, PVC pipes, tomato cages, and sheets painted with paper glue) because I thought it would help me be free. Free to explore and discover things in a new and different way. As a teenager, several years ago, I began to work with computers because they represented an exciting way to communicate and solve problems.
One day when I was 15, A Dell computer technician told me how to start down the path of becoming an IT Professional: “Start studying A+. Diligently apply yourself and you will go places.” I realized that in order to be free, you have to take responsibility for yourself and diligently work toward worthy goals. I took the technician’s advice, and at 16, I became A+ certified. Some months later, I observed a friend typing commands to a flat, black box. The elegance of the IOS command line and the ability to facilitate communication fascinated me. I began studying the CCNA certification.
Doing high school, taking college courses, working in our family house cleaning business that helps to support us, and studying CCNA was somewhat of a juggling act. However, I found creative ways to practice and study. And practice I did. My friends and I put in hours working on our 25 and 26 hundred series routers. Typing away at my terminal, I worked to create monstrous topologies that looked like they were some sort of simplified diagram from chaos theory. After months of study, primarily using Odom’s books, and many scores of hours of practice, I felt I was ready.
Several months later, I had already passed ICND1 and was now staring at the Pearson VUE testing center screen and about to click to end the ICND2 exam. It had been a challenging test, but I was confident my best had been done. After a deep breath, I clicked end, and saw that I had passed! The thorough work, hard studying, and much practice had been worth it. Though the CCNA certification is not the hardest or even one of the harder tasks necessary in the path to become an IT professional, it isn’t easy either. I felt happy that I was able to set a goal, work diligently and creatively toward it, and then meet it. Completing my CCNA had been a challenge that helped me to grow.
Immediately, I found ways to apply the knowledge that I had learned. Soon I was setting up networks for small businesses and learning how to run my own business. Recently, more and more of my work has related to security. When I saw Steve’s announcement, I knew it was time for another challenge.
My name is David Aguilar. I am applying for the CCNA specialization scholarship because it is my goal to one day become an IT professional. Someone who excels at what he does. Ultimately, I would like to help others and change things for good. I see opportunities like this as open doors, paths to take that will help you grow. Thank you, Steve, and everyone else for this opportunity.
Notes: I am 17 years old and live in the state of South Carolina with my Mother and five siblings.
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