Episode Notes

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On this episode of the Digital Citizen podcast, Hopeworks graduate Kayondra Garrison talks to Fastmail CTO Ricardo Signes, continuing the conversation about Hopeworks by talking about her experience as a program participant.

Episode Notes

Hear about Kayondra’s experience at Hopeworks. Learn about the important skills young people should develop when they are looking for a job in technology, how technology learning to build technology can change your relationship with the technology we use every day, and what it means to have hope and overcome fear to find success.

▶️ Guest Interview - Kayondra Garrison

🗣️ Discussion Points

  • Kayondra describes Hopeworks as a place you come to with hope and make it work. It is a revolutionary organization for its time that is far ahead of what the modern-day workplace should look like. It helps people connect the dots, with motivation and drive and everything else under the sun.
  • Previously, Kayondra was a student at Hopeworks. Now, she works a remote job as a Benefits Outreach Specialist helping clients apply for public benefits.
  • As a student at Hopeworks, one of the most important lessons Kayondra learned was that if at first you don’t succeed, you should try again. She also learned that there are people you can meet in a professional atmosphere who genuinely care for you. She discovered what it means to work hard on a daily basis, and that positivity goes a long way.
  • Kayondra emphasizes that everyone’s journey at Hopeworks looks different because everyone specializes in different things. As a motivational speaker, Kayondra specializes in soft skills and interacting with younger people. Her goal is to help people succeed in whatever way is succeeding for them and to conquer their fears. She shares that fear is only false evidence appearing real, which can be applied to any scenario in life. Success opportunities are everywhere, but we have to overcome the fear of trying new things first.
  • Of all the training offered at Hopeworks, Kayondra believes one of the most valuable skills is learning how to code your own website. She also thinks learning presentation skills, time management, working with different types of people, and networking were key to her success. She shares her hope that people will live in the real world more rather than on social media.


  • Sometimes it’s important to take a step back from social media and live in the moment.
  • Don’t undervalue interpersonal skills. If you want to succeed, even in tech, it’s not just technical skills that lead you to success. Building a strong foundation of interpersonal skills is a huge part of making yourself employable and successful in the current job market.
  • Overcoming the fear that something isn’t going to work out, or that you might not be good at something, is the first step towards making a real change in your life.

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