Fatima | UK
Alone in a new country
Fatima emigrated to the United Kingdom from Guinea at 15 years old, on her own. She was placed into the foster care system and embarked on learning English and starting her life again from scratch.
Academics were challenging. Given her foreign educational background and language barrier, she was not able to catch up soon enough to take A-levels or apply to a university degree. When a foster care charge turns 18, she explains, “you’re just like, dumped into adult life.” She had to find a place to live, find a job, and figure out life in a new country on her own. She had no one to support her. “I had to rely on myself solely,” she told us.
Fatima always had a strong interest in technology. She applied for a competitive apprenticeship with Accenture and was shocked (given her lack of educational qualifications) when she was accepted.
She stayed with the company for three years, but ultimately wanted a more technical role. She took a big leap of faith and quit her job to commit herself to a fulltime search.
Then COVID happened.
The whole country went into lockdown. “I saw on TV all the people that had been put onto furlough and I thought … that’s it. I’m never going to find any job.”
Without family or a support system of any kind to back her up, Fatima’s situation was urgent.
Fatima described allowing herself moments of despair and loneliness, but she wouldn’t let herself stay there. “You have to stop, and find a solution,” she’d tell herself. Then one day into what seemed like an endless foray online to find work amid the global pandemic and economic free-fall (and without a college degree), she came across an ad for Generation.
Despite her hard-working nature and talent for coding, the program was intense, Fatima told us. Every day there was a new coding challenge to contend with, and new skills to learn. Her persistence got her through it — but so did Generation mentors, who would call her regularly to check in. Their encouragement made a crucial difference in her ability to stay on task, even when the full time program felt difficult or overwhelming.
A new life
Upon graduation, Generation connected her with a few different companies with open positions in software engineering. They were Facebook, The Financial Times and DePop.
Today, Fatima is a software engineer with DePop. While she had worked hard to get here, it still felt like a miracle. “From the day I got a place in the Generation program, to attending the bootcamp, to applying for a job, to now I’m working full time with a great company; I never left my house. Everything was fully online.”
Fatima can now move forward with her life, knowing that she not only has a way of paying all her bills, but is moving in the direction of her chosen career. She now volunteers evenings and weekends with a nonprofit that supports young adults who have aged out of foster care.
“Generation, I would say, has changed my life. I’m working towards achieving everything I ever wanted to. And that’s in large part, due to me being in the program and building up that confidence that I can work in the technology industry.”
Fatima is still employed with DePop as of October 2022.
54% of all Generation graduates are women. We are doing our part to foster inclusion in fields like technology by helping candidates with nontraditional backgrounds access opportunities that would otherwise be inaccessible.
Fatima is one of 25,000 Generation learners to graduate during COVID leading to transformational change in their lives.
Thank you to our coalition partners working with us to promote an inclusive economic recovery during COVID-19: BlackRock, McKinsey & Co., Microsoft, and Verizon.