Natalie Ortiz – Becoming a Better Me!

Hi, my name is Natalie Ortiz, and I was referred to HopeWorks by a friend. Before Hopeworks, I didn’t know what I wanted to do in the future. I originally wanted to be a Cosmetologist and gave it a try, but the school was so expensive, I had no other choice but to drop out. After that, I gave a thought to college but never really put my focus there. So I ended up working part-time jobs here and there. Over the years, my mom and family always found that I was good with tech and they constantly told me to find a career in technology. Before Hopeworks, I was thinking of going to college so that I could get work in technology, but then I was told about this unique opportunity that Hopeworks provides for all youths. They told me it was a safe and incredible place to be. My friend helped me enroll and helped me throughout the beginning of the training. Since I started, I was constantly receiving good feedback from staff and other trainees and that motivated me to do better and work harder. One thing that motivated me, for sure, was my boyfriend who is in the army. Seeing him doing bigger and better for him and his family helped me realize I wanted to be a better me for the future. 

Throughout my time in Hopeworks, I’ve gained a lot of different skills; skills that I am very excited to show in the future. I have learned to code and I really enjoyed it. Once I got to the GIS (Geographic Information Systems) module, I found it completely fascinating and interesting. I found working my way around the maps and finding data very interesting. I believe that module was one I finished the fastest. It was so easy, yet so interesting to me. I was able to get an internship with the GIS department, which I was extremely excited to start. Since I started, I’ve learned a lot about maps and the data in a lot of different maps. I feel that because of Hopeworks, I will develop a lot of different skills before I go out and get the future I am working so hard for and that’s why I will always be grateful for Hopeworks and all of the amazing staff in the office. Because of Hopeworks, I believe my future will be bright and filled with happiness. I gained hope here that I will always be able to support myself and help my family before, during, and after Hopeworks.