Mission District Neighbor Catalyzes Career Growth with the Mission Techies IT Program

Jhovani Manzanares, Mission Techies IT Instructor. Photo by Juan Mesa

Persevering through life’s challenges while nurturing aspirations for a prosperous future, a Mission technology expert found a renewed perspective on his professional journey.

Mission-born Jhovani Manzanares is a computer enthusiast who currently instructs and connects other community members seeking to transition into a career in IT support through Mission Techies IT, a free training program coordinated by MEDA’s Workforce Development team.

“I think I’ve been interested in technology and computers for as long as I can remember,” says Jhovani. “I made my first website when I was 10 years old; I’ve had a passion for dismantling things and putting them back together.”

Self-taught for most of his career, 38-year-old Jhovani emerged as an entrepreneur in the Mission district in the past decade, providing IT services and creating websites for small businesses. He did this with dedication and growth until the COVID-19 pandemic struck. His business, like many others in our community, was affected by the closures ordered to protect the population. In that same year, 2020, Jhovani underwent a double transplant, which placed him in the high-risk population. Consequently, visiting clients became impossible for him for nearly two years.

These setbacks never dampened his ingenuity or desire to move forward. As normalcy returned to San Francisco, Jhovani and his family resumed their dreams, including the acquisition of their first home. This was how Jhovani got in touch with MEDA.

“We simply wanted to learn about the home buying process and the options available to us,” says Jhovani. “I saw the Techies flyer when I came to the workshop and registered that same night. I had experience, but I knew that a Google certification would put me in a better position to offer my services.”

Jhovani remarked that the course infused him with renewed confidence and enthusiasm, reinforcing his commitment to advancing in the IT field.

Expanding the IT Field for the Community

Motivated and in good health, Jhovani expanded his resume by joining Mission Techies as an instructor in 2023, contributing yet another success story to the program.

“This is the first time I’m teaching adults; previously, I had done it with children at the Mission Science Workshop and school activities for my daughter,” says Jhovani.

His vision in Mission Techies IT focuses on teamwork. “I like students to work in pairs, to get to know each other, to have conversations because that’s how it is in IT, always talking with clients. This training is the first network for students; it starts from day one.”

Mission Techies IT has certain requirements to participate, such as an intermediate level of English and a high school diploma, but Jhovani makes it clear that the doors are open to anyone who wants to enter the IT field.

“We have diverse groups throughout the year, with people who have never even opened a computer, but with other skills, and now they are taking their first steps in this career,” concludes Jhovani.

The next Mission Techies course begins on May 28, 2024. You can register for orientations here. For more information, please contact Marcela Trujano at mtrujano@medasf.org.

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