Cohort Stories: Meet Reynerio
vol. 3, no. 21 — guest post by Reynerio Sarmiento
My name is Reynerio Sarmiento. I am a first generation college student majoring in computer science at UMass Boston with a minor in mathematics. I became interested in technology when I was little. I have always been the one in my house fixing small technical problems, such as fixing the cable, setting up a computer or phone, fixing the television, etc. Most of my family members would come to me for help with their problems because they knew I had the most familiarity with technology. As a result, I decided to take a computer science class in high school, which I really enjoyed because I learned to make apps by using MIT App Inventor. I loved the idea of making my own application by using my own creativity, while also using some logic and problem solving skills, which is why I chose to major in computer science.
In my first year at UMass Boston, I was exposed to new languages, such as HTML and CSS, in one my classes. Since then, I have aspired to become a web developer. I like the idea of being able to see my work presented online within seconds. Adding new features, creating new layouts, placing pictures and videos exactly where you want, and making a website mobile friendly, were all cool things that intrigued me about the career path. As a result, I decided to make my own website where I get to add features that represent me, and create a website that is uniquely mine. Throughout my years at UMass Boston, I usually spend my free time on my website trying to make it nicer and more professional.
My motivation comes from my family. I am astonished on how much my parents had to struggle to get to where we are standing now. My parents came to the United States from El Salvador around the 1990s. When they came to this country, they did not have the help of their parents to make the transition, and had to work multiple jobs from day to night to be able to support me.
My parents’ stories and the barriers they had to face gave me the motivation to become someone great. I don’t want their struggles to come to a waste, but rather an opportunity where I can make them proud.
When I heard about Hack.Diversity, I was really excited about applying. I felt like it was the perfect program that I was looking for; a program where I would be able to meet people revolved around my career interests and culture and having a mentor with me on every step of the way. Not only that, but a place where I would be able to learn about computer science and the industry. I have not had much exposure to the industry because I do not have many connections within it, so it’s been very difficult for me to grasp computer science at a comfortable level. However, with Hack.Diversity, I look forward on becoming more confident with my skills, while also having a general sense of knowledge on how the industry works.