Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, my name is Dawdu Mahama Amantanah, I was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts and living here you quickly learn they are two sides to this city. Those on one side of the opportunity gap and the affluent on the other. I grew up in the inner city where opportunity is slim and peer pressure to go down the wrong path is always available for the taking. Paying for college was difficult, I had attended five different schools before completing my two-year degree. Being a first-generation college graduate of immigrant parents I worked hard to change the trajectory of my life for the better but still faced many obstacles. Tech is a great way to prove the stereotypes wrong about young diverse adults coming from Boston’s lower-income communities on what success looks like.
What was your journey like to get to where you are today?
After working in the finance sector for seven years, I was laid off from my job shortly after gaining my associate’s degree. I always found technology interesting due to its ability to solve complex problems and the reach it could create in bettering my community. I was denied acceptance into the first coding Bootcamp I applied too. It didn’t allow the voices in my head to quit or tell me you’re too old to get into STEM. I saw the advertisement for Worcester State University Bootcamp on Instagram. I read what the core skills the course was offering and signed up immediately with my fingers crossed. I spoke to Rich DiTieri, the Co-Founder and COO of Stack Education on the phone for thirty minutes. We talked about everything ranging from technical training, craft beer, and entrepreneurship. We instantly clicked straight away. Rich accepted me into the WSU Coding Program and made me feel confident about learning how to code. It would ensure that I could adapt to the gentrification and automation that is taking place across inner cities and workplaces in America.
What advice do you have for the STEAM Boston community?
Never give up on your tech dreams. Remain someone that looks at learning throughout life like a marathon, not a sprint. STEM/STEAM is a big field where everyone has the opportunity to fit, so go for it.
What’s one of your favorite places in the Boston area?
My favorite spot in the Boston area would be Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum, a place called Peter’s Hill in Rosindale. It’s a great place to hike and escape city life, and you get great scenic views of Boston’s city skyline.
What is your favorite quote, and what are some apps, software, or tools you cannot live without?
One of my favorite quotes is by playwright George Bernard Shaw. “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. … One man that has a mind and knows it can always beat ten men who haven’t and don’t.” Some of my favorite apps/software are Mimo, Instagram, REACT, Node.js, Grammarly, and Acorns.
Any links/websites/contact info/social media accounts you’d like to share?
WSU Bootcamp- https://wsucode.com
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