Akari | Mexico

Supporting Her Family During the Pandemic

Akari’s dream of obtaining an Earth Science degree was interrupted in 2020 when her mother (the sole breadwinner in the family) lost her job due to the pandemic, leading to a financial spiral for the whole family. They lived with her two younger siblings and her grandparents, none of whom worked. As the eldest, Akari felt she needed to be part of the solution, but barely knew where to start.  

At first, Akari did what she could to assist her mother in starting a small vending business and finding other ad-hoc work but none of it was remotely sufficient. There was  deep uncertainty for the family, and never enough to eat. “Sometimes we would have lunch and then at dinner time, maybe have a couple of crackers or a piece of bread.” Akari felt especially sad for her younger siblings, whose childhoods were dramatically disrupted not just by COVID but now also by extreme poverty. 

Akari wanted to secure a stable job, but had come to realize that it was not easy to launch a career in the sciences in Mexico. She needed a faster solution to help her family. But while she researched options and courses, her mental health took a hit. She felt increasingly depressed as she watched her family suffer without yet having a clear plan for how to come to their aid.

Finding Her Path with Generation 

A pandemic, widespread unemployment, hunger, and the effects of depression and anxiety turned out to be no match for Akari’s perseverance.  

She had taken a course related to programming in the Earth Sciences program and really enjoyed it. She began exploring opportunities in the tech field, realizing that bootcamp-style courses were available and that these were well-paying jobs. It felt like her best bet. 

In her research, she stumbled upon an ad for Generation Mexico. “Generation offered so much and it was free!” she exclaimed. 

“I loved the learning process,” said Akari, “because they never let me feel alone. The Generation team was always there making sure we were progressing through our work and in our learning, and even that we were OK mentally and physically.” That was a big deal during a very difficult time in her life. Through her relationships with instructors, mentors, and the online community that Generation classes foster, Akari wasn’t just on the road to a new career: she was on a path to reconnection with the world in a time of widespread disconnection. She no longer felt alone and her mental health improved as she went through the program. 

One of the reasons mindset and behavioral skills are woven into every Generation curriculum is because while our learners are resilient, they’ve usually already been through a lot by the time they come through our doors. They may need an extra boost, and a reminder of their strengths as they begin to come up for air from a deep (and often generational) economic struggle. 

New Beginnings

Through Generation, Akari received multiple job offers and accepted a position with Accenture as a Cobol developer. “When they paid me the first time, it was emotional. The salary was more than I expected,” Akari told us. 

“One of the first things we did was go to buy groceries and food to fill the pantry, which was something we hadn’t done in a long time.” Not only could Akari’s family support their day-to-day lives, but they were also able to go out to eat and even go on vacation. She sees brighter prospects for her siblings, who she can now support as well as serve as a role model for.

After a year in her position, she’s settling into a new life with a stable income and growth opportunities. She can support her family and plan her own future as a young adult.

“I feel stronger,” she said, “now that I can move forward. I’m so grateful for Generation.”