Job Amaro: “The One Who Liked to Figure Out How and Why Things Happened”

18 Apr

In my last post I talked about the financial challenges that many Eduventurists face. I’m always amazed by and admire those who continue to pursue their interests and passions, even when life brings on one challenge after another. In February I met Job Amaro at the Ashoka U conference, and saw him again when I sat down with him for a conversation over lunch in DC (he lives in Virginia) two weeks ago. Job is an IT consultant for Ashoka, he’s 21 years old, and I can honestly say that he is one of the most amazing and resilient people I have met on my journey thus far. Job is a perfect example of a talented autodidact who is facing challenges in the higher education system, but has still managed to foster his love of learning.

Job grew up in an immigrant household with very traditional and hardworking parents. He had to mature pretty quickly while facing various difficulties such as his parents divorce, the loss of his father’s job, and limited financial resources. However, this early independence is one of the contributing factors to his ability to learn on his own. From a young age he would take things apart in order to learn about how they worked. “My aunt would get frustrated whenever I went over to her house, because I would always take my cousin’s toys apart” he laughs. He also would do the same thing to computers, which taught him more about tech and computer systems. When he graduated from high school, he began attending a local community college, but was forced to drop out after one semester when his father became unemployed.

Job showed me around DC after our interview!

Even so, through a series of serendipitous connections, Job became connected to Ashoka through his IT company.  “I replaced a coworker there because I told my boss I was bored at work,” he tells me. He moved to an onsite role as an IT consultant for the organization and has become more interested in social entrepreneurship, as Ashoka is one of the most prominent networks for social entrepreneurs in the world. He also spends time attending hackathons and other networking and learning events in DC and the surrounding area. What does he hope for the future? He finds it hard to say, but aspires to work on his own start-up in the future. He definitely has the talent and drive for it if you ask me!

At the end of our conversation, Job tells me, “I’m taking the lessons that I’ve learned, throughout my life, and trying to apply them to other people who would be in similar circumstances.” His love of learning comes along with a thirst to help others, which I continue to see as a shared trait among various Eduventurists 🙂

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