It's My 5th Googleversary!
Five years ago, I joined Google. I left my job as an IT Director to join a team within Google Diversity looking to create and launch an initiative that would cultivate the next generation of Black and Latinx tech leaders. Our initial goal for this program now called #CodeNext was to build with communities of color, provide unparalleled access to tech and the Googleverse, and expand the tech social capital of youth. As of today, we've reached over 5000 students of color in Oakland, CA, and NYC, and this year our inaugural pilot cohort is graduating high school and heading off to college. Plus, over 90% of these incredible kiddos are majoring in computer science or a STEM-related field.
Folks always ask me what it's like to work at #Google. For me, Google has been a complex, sometimes intimidating, but oftentimes an enlightening place to work. Intimidating because at Google, change is inevitable and constant. Enlightening because at Google, I get to work among and meet some of the most talented, courageous, and unapologetic people in the world. A few years ago, I recall, my uncle, during one of our many moments of banter, once said in his heavy Jamaican accent, "I saw that movie. You guys don't do any work at that Google. All you guys do is play games, eat, poop, and sleep." Ha! Now, don't get it twisted; we play hard, but we damn sure work hard, and we're expected to work smart.
These last five years have been a journey filled with trials and triumphs. As a Black woman in tech, a 1st generation immigrant born to Jamaican parents, having grown up in South Jamaica, Queens -- there have been many days when I felt defeated, and mentally and physically depleted. Then, there are those days when I am overwhelmed with joy, grace, and gratitude by all I have been able to accomplish.
These days, especially today, I am counting ALL my blessings.