Ms. Laura Duran Velazquez – Coding and community.
College Graduation Series
Laura Duran Velazquez is graduating from Durham Tech with a degree in computer science. She is from the Student U Class of 2017 and is also a Golden Door Scholar. She is passionate about learning and enjoys challenging herself and her skills as a programmer. She dreams of one day being able to use her skills in coding to help her community.
What do you want to be true in the world? Or what is your vision for Durham?
I hope Durham continues to grow and become more diverse and supports minorities in advancing their educations and careers.
What is your role in that vision? Who do you want to be?
To inspire other immigrants or people of low-income backgrounds to believe they are capable of achieving their dreams and to know anything is possible.
What challenges or obstacles have you or must you overcome to continue your journey to realize your dream/vision?
After college I want to become a software developer and develop an app to help the Hispanic community. Challenges I will face will be to learn how to do this in the best way by understanding the users and the skills I need to make it happen.
In the grand scheme of things why do you believe it is important you succeed?
Success for me is happiness and doing what I love in order to live fully and help others to the best of my ability. I hope to serve as a role model or inspiration for younger generations and bring a new perspective to a male dominated field.
Who has/is helping you on your journey? Do you have a mentor? How has Student U been part of your journey?
Student U helped emphasis how important education was and made it easier to understand how to achieve my goals. Even though there were challenges, Student U was always there to find alternative paths to reaching my dream. My family and sister Brenda, who was also in Student U, are a huge support system.
What is your plan to achieve your dream/vision? What steps have you already taken? What steps are next?
Continue to intern at Code the Dream and develop my skills and grow my network in the area.
What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger peers? How do you hope to help them succeed?
Always to remember your why and its ok to fail sometimes. There is not one path to success and you should never compare yours to others. As you grow older you take on more responsibilities and there is more pressure, so it’s important to remember to take care of yourself and take a break every once in a while.