Meet Cohort 3 of Careers in Code!

Hack Upstate
11 min readMay 19, 2022


We’re so excited to introduce and welcome the students of cohort 3 to our community. Here are the amazing stories of our motivated, passionate students!

Christi Harlow

I was born and raised in Syracuse and attended parochial and public schools. I received an AAS from Cazenovia College in Business Management and a BS from SUNY Empire in Business Administration. I am currently taking a 200-hour Digital Wellness, SEL & Yoga Teacher training designed to inspire wellness as a vehicle for healing and social change. My most recent employment was as a Team Supervisor for Contact Tracing. I wanted to change careers and the pandemic allowed me to do that. This opportunity with Careers in Code is allowing me to do that again.

Corey Mitchell Jr.

Hi, I’m Corey. Currently, I am a Careers in Code student at Hack Upstate with an interest in Web Development & Design. In the future I see myself working as a Front-End Developer as well as continuing to improve my design skills. Outside of coding I enjoy skateboarding and music.

Danielle Floyd

Danielle is a loving mother of two daughters who she says have inspired her to take a leap into the tech field. Danielle worked in the health insurance, and health administration industry until recently. Now, she is a stay at home mother. Danielle gained an interest in the technical field after helping her mother build a website using a template for her small business. Danielle said that the journey so far has been difficult, and it’s been challenging to start thinking like an engineer. However, she said she is grateful for all of the new concepts she is learning in Careers in Code. As of now, her biggest goal is to complete the program despite the uphill battle. After graduation, she hopes to build upon what she knows; take additional courses, learn new languages, and get additional certifications. She also plans on looking for an entry level technical position. Until then Danielle is focused on practical application, studying, and continuing to build her portfolio.

Larry Goodman

I’m Larry Goodman; age 48; loving father/brother/cousin/uncle/fiancé, and educator; high school dropout; college graduate (Onondaga Community College: Associate’s degree — Magna Cum Laude); overcomer of homelessness, recidivism, and chemical dependency; pandemic superhero; lifelong learner; XR/Technology enthusiast; proud student of YouTube University and future graduate of Careers in Code!

Scotyia Bane

Hello, my name is Scotyia Bain. I am a mother and I have a background in healthcare administration and I have had the desire for a while to learn something different. That desire is what has led me to this point. My journey in Careers in Code has been great so far, I have learned a lot and hope I continue to learn even after the program is over. Some days I feel like I can’t do this, but I know that I can because I have already come so far. My goal for this program is to break into tech and find my passion. I have not yet figured out exactly what direction I would like to go once I graduate, but I am hoping to find something that I absolutely love. I cannot wait until I arrive at that conclusion. I am just happy to be here learning alongside some amazing people and I look forward to seeing where we all end up.

Shantina Perez

I represent many women of various backgrounds. I was born and raised in Syracuse, NY. I attended public schools. I am a graduate of Syracuse University. I am a proud Mom. I wear many hats. I’ve worked as a Software Trainer, Analyst, Substitute Teacher, Mental Health Therapy Aide, Zumba Instructor, worked in call centers and have experienced many years within the customer service and health sectors. No matter what position I’m hired for, I find myself in the roles that help others most. I’ve worked with everyone from a super smart and energetic 4-year-old to a sharp 94-year-old grandma with a social life and wardrobe that rivals any Gen Z’er. I am dedicated to growing and changing. With a little introspection, I decided that it is time to dive back into Tech. After searching for jobs, and may I add some soul searching, I came to terms with the fact that I needed to be more prepared and honestly build more confidence, even at entry level. I have successfully completed online courses and self-paced classes in the past, however in class instruction fits me best at this stage in my life. I searched for coding classes and boot camps, but most were expensive or hours away. A friend, with a very similar background to my own, began posting on social media about her experiences with a program called Careers in Code on Facebook, and now, here I am! I am excited to gain not only the coding experience, but to indulge in the full career package that Careers in Code offers.

No journey is complete without my daughters. They round me out, keep me grounded and have taught me the lessons that cannot be learned within the workforce or classroom. They are super talented, insanely intelligent, beautiful and so much more. I take every opportunity to bring them along on this crazy ride and now, we are literally working to change the trajectory of our lives in the next 6 months to a year. I am so grateful for this opportunity. I am extremely excited! I am extremely humbled! I am extremely blessed!

Stephanie Nuñez

My name is Stephanie Nuñez and I’m a beginner when it comes to programming and tech. I’ve worked at the post office for the last 8 years and prior to that I helped manage a florist and also operated a restaurant for a few years. I’ve also worked as a delivery driver for Grubhub and Instacart as second and third jobs in order to help make ends meet for myself and my family.

I’ve been looking to get a foot in the door with the tech industry for awhile now but wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for. It seemed too vast a field for me to narrow down what I wanted to pursue. Fortunately, I came across Careers in Code because it was the massive opportunity I had been searching for the whole time. I’ve found other bootcamp programs and even considered going back to school, but those were not options I could explore since I’m coming from a financially insecure background. My family is the most important thing to me and I’m struggling to take care of my parents as they get older. Completing Careers in Codes and transitioning into a new career is the best way I can take care of their needs as well as provide me with a field where I can learn and grow.

I hope to absorb as much knowledge as I can throughout these 6 months and use it as a jumping-off point into my new career. I’m not quite sure what options are out there for me, but the team at Careers in Code have been incredibly welcoming, thorough, and supportive. As much as it pains me to admit, I’m not used to that kind of environment. I’m going to use this opportunity not only to further my education and career opportunities, but also to grow personally. It’s not easy for me to ask for help, but for once I feel like it’s okay to do so. The future is bright and I’m looking forward to making my mark in Syracuse.

Tiffany Williams

Hello all! My name is Tiffany and I am an aspiring full-stack developer. I applied for this boot camp at the suggestion of a friend/cohort 2 graduate. I have always been interested in technology and computers, so Careers in Code was right up my alley. Thus far, I have had moments of feeling overwhelmed when a code doesn’t work or I don’t understand the language, but I also feel pure bliss when I actually get it! My goals are to graduate from Careers in Code, begin an apprenticeship working in coding, and eventually make this my full time career. It may be tough now, but every single tear shed and frustrating moment is building toward triumph!

Wayne Boyd

Hi I’m Wayne Boyd. I am 32 years old and I’m originally from Jamaica. I work at a hospital that wasn’t challenging me enough, so I came across Careers in Code, which has changed my life in so many ways I might miss a few. Learning a new language is never easy. I’m now getting familiar with HTML and CSS, but I still have a long way to go in terms of being comfortable. I really appreciate Max, his teaching skills are genuine and true. I know I have many more challenges to face going forward, but my goal is to graduate with the skills and knowledge necessary to become a full stack developer. I would like to design apps eventually, but for now there’s so many different avenues to pursue. I think as I progress within this bootcamp I’ll find exactly where my focus will be.

Zachary Hafner

My name is Zachary Hafner. Beyond a networking class I took in high school, I have had no real experience with computer systems technology. I had a national certification as a pharmacy technician for several years, but have generally worked in warehouse jobs or jobs paying around minimum wage since graduating college.

My sister and her husband both work in programming and recommended I learn programming languages to try to get a foothold in the tech industry. I was also part of the Syracuse Surge initiative where we learned about the steps Syracuse is taking to become a tech hub; I’m definitely excited for an opportunity to start a new career while also contributing to a larger effort to improve Syracuse as a whole.

I’m excited to learn as much as possible over the course of this program so I can explore all the different types of jobs that will be available once I graduate. I’m hopeful that, if I find a job where I can work remotely, I can focus more on my personal wellbeing and will be in a better position to help other people as well.

Nicole Broadnax

Nicole hopes she can grow and develop her skills in the tech industry with the hope of eventually becoming a software developer. In her most recent job she works as a project manager, which she said helps her to work through complex problems, take leadership roles, and work under pressure. Nicole said that she plans to go back to school after completion of the Careers in Code program. Though she has no prior experience with coding and software development, Nicole said she is excited by a career in the tech industry because it is always changing and she enjoys that challenge and learning new things.

Markell Osborne

Markell said that he learned about Careers in Code from his mother. He remembers a time where he took apart his grandmother’s computer and put it back together. This is evident of both his knack for hands-on problem solving as well as his interest in computers. Markell said that he enjoys the excitement of learning how computers work, and that learning how to code and influence a computer’s behavior is really exciting. He hopes to find a path into computer engineering and get a related job upon graduating Careers in Code.

Chaz Dickerson

Chaz is a cohort 3 student who found out about Careers in Code through a friend. He said that his extensive background in studio engineering has taught him how to approach problem solving in a creative way, and that he has always been quick to learn various different types of software. His goal upon graduating from Careers in Code is to get a job as a developer. He said that watching his uncle’s journey in network infrastructure was one reason he became interested in the software industry, and that it coincided well with the software he uses every day in his studio engineering work.

Strange Maeweather

Strange found out about Careers in Code via Facebook. She worked for a Microsoft entity for over four years where she learned tech related troubleshooting, tech support, and had to be familiar with Microsoft products. Having some experience with a number of coding languages such as HTML, CSS, SQL, and CRM dynamics, she said she was excited to get involved in the program and learn more. Strange knows that coding is the future, and hopes to eventually become a full-stack developer or start her own business in the tech industry.

Doug Roussin

After working at a design agency in New York, then as a teacher in Brooklyn, I embarked on a freelance career that evolved into building browser games with Flash. In my Flash days, I discovered I had a great affinity for programming. I found the creative problem solving aspect very satisfying. After Flash, the freelance work became odd jobs, some design, some illustration, some animation, some Wordpress site building and content creation.

I enrolled in Careers in Code to expand my understanding of web development, to fill in gaps, and to acquire a more comprehensive skill set. In my ideal job, I would get to apply the full-stack web development skills I’m learning in Careers in Code alongside my artistic endeavors.



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