October 6, 2023

The Journey of Esteban

At Covenant House New Jersey, the focus is on nurturing the talents and skills of youth facing homelessness in a supportive environment. This environment includes the Dove Learning Center (DLC). The DLC strengthens skills in education, employment, financial literacy, wellness, and social navigation. During Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate the journey of Esteban. He is a 20-year-old resident of Spanish descent, who has a passion for coding. Through our interview below, learn about his journey of self-taught coding expertise aided by our DLC support. His story exemplifies the power of determination, self-belief, and community support in helping young individuals reach their full potential.

Our Interview with Esteban

Question: Can you share a bit about your family background and heritage? How has it influenced you?

Esteban: “Being of Spanish descent, I take pride in knowing that I can do so much to make people of my heritage proud. There is already a lot to be proud of as someone of Hispanic heritage, so I know I am capable of doing great things in life.”

Question: What’s an accomplishment you’re most proud of in your young life?

Esteban: “One of the things I am most proud of is my skill set in coding. I have been coding since I was 11 years old, self-taught using entirely online materials. I have gotten pretty good at it; I am well-versed in Javascript, HTML, Ruby, and a few others. Being a self-taught coder took a lot of work. I knew if I could do this, I could do a lot of other things too.”

Question: How do you stay motivated?

Esteban: “I’d like to think there are good things in life if you look for them, and you can reap them through hard work.”

Question: What are some milestones and moments you look forward to in the future?

One of our DLC Labs

Esteban: “Every day I am learning more and more. There’s so much to learn in software development, and I have been learning a lot. From JavaScript to algorithms, I’m always trying to study and learn how I can improve as a coder and in web development technology. My goal is to keep learning and studying hard to improve and achieve my goals as a web developer.”

Question: Do you have any role models who have influenced your path?

Esteban: “Yes, some of my role models are Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or really anyone who has achieved great success doing something I love to do.”

Question: What advice would you offer to other young individuals facing challenges similar to yours?

Esteban: “Usually, young people have a lot of time on their hands, and they don’t always realize it, or at least how much of it they don’t use. My advice to them would be to make good use of their time. Do something productive with your time. Do something to help you progress, and as you use your time wisely, don’t forget to set goals for yourself.”

Accenture has been one of our great, long term corporate partners assisting our work in multiple ways.  Mike Bossard from Accenture has been working with Esteban to help him with his next steps in the coding world. Mike says about Esteban, “I have had the privilege to work with Esteban in numerous sessions in a coaching capacity. It became evident very quickly that he belongs in the quirky, technology community where I’ve built my career. He just gets tech. I mean, he taught himself how to code and fixes computers for fun.” 

Mike Bossard, Accenture

The Journey of Esteban

Esteban’s journey is a testament to the power of determination and self-belief. His Hispanic heritage has only added to his strength and resilience, propelling him forward as a self-taught coder and aspiring web developer. We are proud to be a part of Esteban’s journey, and we celebrate his achievements during this Hispanic Heritage Month. His story reminds us that with support of a caring community, there is always an opportunity for young individuals to reach their full potential.

To protect our youth’s identity, we have changed the name of the youth.