Lake Barnett | March 2019 Graduate of the CompTIA A+ Plus Help Desk Program
Published by Alliance Career Training Solutions | March 27, 2019
“Going back to school was a life-saving experience. I was finally able to get back some stability and a certain type of routine back in my life that I didn’t have when I was homeless.”
Lake Barnett’s journey hasn’t always been smooth sailing – from losing his wife to becoming unemployed, to running out of money and then having to live out of his car – he was beginning to feel hopeless. However, Lake wasn’t going to let his hardships stop him from following his passion for working with and fixing computers.
From 1999 – 2014, Lake had been working in Information Technology (IT) at a desktop administration position. In addition to providing desktop services and more, he was working as a sound engineer (and still is to this day) for various up-and-coming local bands. With a background in electrical technician work and certifications from Microsoft System Engineering School, one could say that he’s has a lot of experience in the information technology industry.
“When my wife has passed away in 2012, I just became depressed. I was starting to feel somber and pessimistic. I ended up running out of funds, couldn’t pay for housing and had to live in my vehicle for a while,” said Lake.
“But I knew that this wasn’t the life that I wanted for myself, and I knew that I needed to continue my education in IT, so I went and found help.”
After qualifying for government funding by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Lake came to Alliance in hopes of turning his life around and to continue learning and pursuing his passion for information technology.
“Once I heard about Alliance and the programs that they offered, I knew right away that Alliance was where I needed to be,” said Lake.
He also found out about a Rapid Rehousing Program that provided him with housing while he attended school.
On October 29, 2018, Lake became a student in the 19-week CompTIA A+ Plus Help Desk Skills Program to complete a CompTIA A+ Certification and develop various job skills that could make him more qualified when finding new employment.
“I wasn’t nervous about going back to school,” said Lake. “Going back for me was a life-saving experience. I was finally able to get back to some type of stability and routine in my life, which helped me to overcome my depression, loneliness, and self-doubt.”
“I knew that this program was something I was going to excel in because it’s been something that I’ve loved and have a passion in for many years. Plus, I was really looking forward to freshening up on my skills so I could get back into the workforce.”
According to one of Lake’s classmates, Lake always came early to class, stayed later than usual, read up on his assignments ahead of time, and just “truly shined.”
Lake graduated from the CompTIA A+ Plus Help Desk Skills Program on March 26, 2019, and passed the CompTIA A+ Certification test on his first attempt.
“I am truly so lucky to have been a student here at Alliance and more importantly, to have learned so much from Bill Koresko (CompTIA A+ Plus Help Desk Skills Instructor). He is super knowledgeable, and you could tell that he really does care about his students – it’s so clear through his teaching.”
“Now the next step is trying to find a job,” Lake chuckled. “I know now after being at this school for a few months that I had made the right decision. I feel more prepared than I did before and I feel like I’ve increased my chances of finding employment drastically.”
Lake noted that as a person, he feels much more confident about himself and that throughout the whole experience, he tried his best to keep reminding himself to do one thing: remain positive.
“Being as old as I am and going back to school wasn’t always easy, but thanks to the support and encouragement I received from my peers, instructors, and staff, I was able successfully to push through it all and graduate.”