Natalia | Colombia

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Low Income, High Energy

A single mom, Natalia was already in the professional world — working as a property manager while completing a masters program in business administration. But her salary was “not commensurate with a professional career” and she struggled with basic expenses like the bus fare for her commute to work, rent and utilities, and nutritious meals for her growing son.

Natalia routinely functioned on five or six hours of sleep a night, working her day job, attending classes, and caring for her son. Her greatest struggle was in keeping her son from internalizing her burdens, so that he could thrive in the joyful childhood she worked tirelessly to facilitate.

“Living in a constant state of scarcity is very hard. For example, when it comes to food you have to be very careful about what you buy to conserve your spending as much as possible. Our nutrition was extremely limited,” she shared.

The Pandemic, A Blessing in Disguise

It was in the lonely, home-bound hours of the pandemic that Natalia discovered coding. She was quite surprised to discover both a strong fascination and a knack for it, and she used her boundless energy to participate in various hackathons, as well as to embark on a new quest for self-guided learning.

In the course of her research on programming, Natalia became intrigued with Unity, and as she sought to find out more about the world’s largest gaming platform she encountered an ad for Generation.

“It felt like this was my answer!” she said. She dreamed of being able to do something she felt truly passionate about, have the potential of working from home so she could care for her son, and improve her financial situation.

A Worry-Free Life

A mere three months after graduation, Natalia got a job as a front-end developer with World Office Colombia, leveraging her newfound skills from Generation (including resume and interview skills), and some of her prior coding experience before finding the program.

One of the best things about her job is the chance to work remotely – a rarity in Bogota, saving her up to four hours a day on commuting, and gaining that time back to spend with her son.

She told us, “My job is amazing. My quality of life has massively improved. I can improve my son’s quality of life; for example, I can pay for his school, improve our nutrition. And I still have money left over to be able to help my parents financially and my grandmother.

Generation changed everything. It changed my way of thinking. It changed my whole point of view of what’s possible, and it enabled me to dream much bigger and to be able to fulfill those dreams. It’s been a huge blessing!”