A senior at Pittsford Sutherland High School, Lucia Ricos-Garcia was on a completely different career path before a teacher encouraged her to consider pursuing computer-related studies.
“I used to want to be a midwife, nothing related to computers. One of my tech teachers said ‘you’re really good at coding. You should check it out.’ And I thought, ‘it doesn’t hurt to try it out.’ And I just kind of fell in love with it,” share Lucia.
That conversation led her to discover EMCC’s CISCO Networking Academy, a one-year course that teaches students skills in basic network cabling, network security, wireless implementation, and advanced routing and design. Students become CISCO certified before even graduating high school.
“I get to do this, which is what I like,” shared Lucia as she referenced the part of her school day where she gets to dive into computer work at EMCC.
She started coding when she was six years old as a shared hobby with her dad. That passion has grown into a number of hobbies, including being part of her high school’s robotics team.
“It definitely brings more opportunities when it comes to picking colleges and stuff because they notice that, they know if you join and it just generally brings a lot of friendships, [people] who like what you like,” she said.
She’s paring that passion with purpose; planning to major in Software Engineering with a minor of Robotics and Mechanical Engineering.
Her experience with EMCC will give her a jumpstart in those areas, providing her the chance to become a CISCO Certified Entry Networking Technician before graduating in the spring.
To learn more about the CISCO Networking Academy, visit Program Information / CISCO Networking Academy (monroe.edu)