My Bond with Pursuit

by Jose Vila, Pursuit 3.0 Graduate

Before joining Pursuit, I was barely making above minimum wage. I was 36, living with eight roommates, and had thousands of dollars in debt. My salary wasn’t on par with my experience or where I wanted to be in my career.

I wanted something more — a job that would engage my love of STEM and offer the financial stability I always wanted.

I started searching for programs where I could learn to become a software developer. When I found out about Pursuit and its goal of creating opportunity in New York City, I thought, “This is exactly what I’m looking for.”

The program was hard. But that hard work paid off: in just 10 months, my life changed forever. I landed a job as a mobile SDK engineer at Moat, one of the best ad-tech startups in the country.

I went from being in the working class to the upper middle class. And I was able to accomplish this goal without paying anything upfront or taking out any loans. All I needed was grit, perseverance, and the desire to succeed.

My training was made possible with Pursuit Bond. Through this innovative funding model, Pursuit receives impact investments to fund its training program; Pursuit graduates like myself then contribute a percentage of their salary to Pursuit so that they can pay back that investment. But we only pay if we get a job making more than $60,000.

Pursuit is taking on a big risk because if their programs don’t work — if their graduates don’t get jobs — the organization is on the line for paying back that investment. So, it’s their job to make sure we get jobs.

In helping me land my position at Moat, Pursuit fulfilled a promise to help me transform my life and career. And so now, I’m fulfilling my promise to them by paying back the Bond. I know that Pursuit will continue to provide Fellows with the same opportunity I had: to turn their hopes and dreams into something real and life-changing.

Jose is a man that wears many hats. He works 2–3 jobs, 7 days a week and is constantly raising the bar for excellence. During the few hours he has away from work, Jose is always tinkering with different languages and libraries to stay ahead of the curve. Did I mention that Jose is also the kindest and gentlest soul? Jose has brought so much light and positivity during my time at Pursuit. My experience at Pursuit would have been completely different without him.
— Joanne S., Pursuit Graduate and Jose’s Student

I’m also giving back to Pursuit by making a better life for people in my community. After working during the day as a mobile SDK engineer, I go to Pursuit at night to teach Android development to the organization’s newest cohort. Pursuit has had such a big impact on me and now, I want to help the organization by training future generations of developers.

My time at Pursuit was invaluable: I made lifelong friends, learned programming languages and frameworks, and strengthened the job skills I needed to succeed at one of the most innovative companies in the tech world.


Applications are open now for the Pursuit 6.0 Fellowship. Learn more about Pursuit and how to apply.