Kevin Smochko’s journey to his new position as Data Analyst and Developer at Achievement House Cyber Charter School has been unique and exciting. Prior to becoming an AHCCS employee, Kevin struggled to stay academically engaged in his last two years of high school. AHCCS mentors and facility members stepped in and created an action plan, steering Kevin on the right course towards graduation. Their strategy included a student internship position in AHCCS IT Department repairing student laptops. Kevin was a perfect fit for this role since he already possessed the necessary computer hardware and software skills.
Kevin said, “The IT Department gave me a handful of laptops to fix, and to their surprise, the equipment was fixed up in a jiffy. The repairs were quick, and I really did not require any assistance.”
Through this internship experience Kevin realized his future career aspirations were in the information technology field.
Kevin said, “The internship made me realize that if I did not concentrate on my education then I would not be able to continue in the position. This fact was a great motivator. I was able to overcome my challenges and receive my diploma.”
After graduation, Kevin accepted a fulltime job offer in Achievement House Cyber Charter School’s IT Department.
He recalls, “The day I got that phone call was amazing. I could not have been any more excited to finally get my first real job in an environment where I am helping people by supporting the technology needs of AHCCS students.”
Kevin was nervous about the transition from student to employee, however he realized the importance of this once in a lifetime opportunity. Kevin hired initially as a Junior Help Desk Technician, and was later promoted to Help Desk Technician, providing remote technical support and troubleshooting student’s laptop issues. Next, Kevin earned a promotion to IT Coordinator, assisting staff with technological difficulties as well as maintaining, updating, and troubleshooting AHCCS system programs. His current role of Data Analyst and Software Developer closely aligns with his IT professional career goals, especially the software development aspect of his position. Also, this position fulfills his professional aspiration to build and develop pertinent and valuable software applications.
He states, “There was a need internally for various applications to be installed or developed for growth. Since I was the IT Coordinator, the opportunity for this role was presented and of course I said yes.”
Kevin loves working at Achievement House Cyber Charter School because his supervisor and coworkers are so supportive. He explained that as a person with ADHD it is sometimes hard to focus however Kevin utilizes coping techniques such as working in sprints and making numerous notes. He sometimes needs to complete his work in unconventional ways, so it is important to be able to collaborate with people who are okay with these methods.
“One of the wonderful things about Achievement House Cyber Charter School is everybody is so open, caring, patient, and are willing to work with you within reason. That is why this is such a phenomenal place to work. I cannot say enough great things about working here.”