You Belong in Tech Scholarship Winner
February 16, 2021
We are very excited to announce Del Yarisantos as the winner of the You Belong in Tech full-ride scholarship!
We are inspired by your journey so far and can't wait to see all the new things you accomplish after V School.
"I grew up as a first-generation Asian immigrant and fortunately my family was naturalized as US citizens when my dad was recruited to join the Navy. With that being said, we moved around a lot until I was 15. I was able to live in Guam, Philippines, all over California and when my dad retired we moved to Utah. I finished my high school here and got my bachelor’s at the University of Utah. I was the kid that was in the honors class, but also tried a lot of things. I played volleyball, joined debate, in a breakdance group, learned spanish and tried web design class my junior year. I actually did pretty well and was asked to join the web design club, but I declined because I was heavily involved in JROTC and I wasn’t a fan of the guys who were in it.
I can vividly remember my first website – it was strictly a txt file with a file system linking to other files. All html and css.
I remember working a lot on designing my grape buttons cause my website was based on grapes and I weirdly had a fascination with just making the best interactive grape button. I never really saw myself in technology because I had assumed the click was in it wouldn’t have gotten along with me because I wasn’t “nerdy” enough to be in the website design club and there was a good chance I’ll be the only girl in that club.
After high school, I got recruited for the Army ROTC program at the University of Utah and had set my sights on getting my bachelor’s in international studies with a minor in Russian. Shortly thereafter, there was an opening for the Utah National Guard Military intelligence unit for an officer in training, so I transitioned and worked for them while I went to school. After that, I got married and unfortunately my birth control didn’t work so I had to adjust. My ex at the time was active duty, so I decided to get out when I got pregnant. After the baby, the marriage didn’t work out and I went back to school, added some nutrition classes, remarried and I found myself working in manufacturing for food and supplements after I had graduated. My work career had really revolved around account management, sales, customer success and interestingly with ERP systems because it was the central repository for customer data and sales or operation can’t move without information.
As I started to move up and network in my industry, I felt like I was stuck because I didn’t really fit well in the competitive bro-frat environment that had started to become more prevalent to me.
I started to see income disparities between male and females. When I was married to my second ex-husband we had discussion about male to female income disparities and he had encouraged me to look into tech only because there was movement of getting more women into the workforce into tech and the pay is better. He bought a Comptia A+ book and challenged me to read it and if I like it, take the test. I finished half way and unfortunately our lives as a married couple also ended – as infidelity has a way of destroying a sustainable relationship. From there, drastic changes had happened and there was a lot of emotional and mental pain that came with the process. After that experience, I had plenty of support and love to recover in the comfort of my parents basement. I was fortunate to have a great job and awesome boss, but I needed a new environment. There’s just something about living back again in your childhood bedroom with your kids that just fires you up to want a better future.
V School provided me a full-ride scholarship and it has allowed me to lengthen my time in my home so I can finish the program around my schedule and not lose my skills right after I graduate. They are truly helping me launch my career into tech.
COVID-19 has put me on the unemployment market, but it made me realize that I had the capacity and capability to learn more so I can do more. I had to broaden my network, adjust to work at home and home school situations and prepare for the worst case scenario. It also unintentionally lit a fire inside me to create bigger goals and to really go after something that I didn’t believe I could do – code!"
Women in Tech Scholarships Now Available!
Tech Needs the Creativity and Innovation of Women
The first scholarship is available for V School's web development or UX/UI design online programs. The second scholarship is for TechMoms technology programs.
It's your turn to launch a career in tech. Begin your scholarship application here.