My name is Michael Ashford. I grew up in the metro-east region of Illinois. I attended the Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville (SIUE), where I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Business Administrations with a specialization in entrepreneurship. I am happily married to my wife for 5 years now. We have two dogs together, Smokey and Bandit. I have worked in various positions ranging from cashier to most recently production planning before coming to Centriq.
I started on a traditional route to a state university, where I accumulated a small house worth of debt. I decided to join the Army rather than continue to accumulate debt. I enjoyed my time in the Army and it was not an easy decision to separate, although I can’t say I miss all the running. I spent about three years working at a help desk and found that I enjoyed solving technical problems.
Jacob and Nicholas brokaw
For the first time at Centriq, we have a set of twins that have both been chosen to be our featured student! Though they may be similar in appearance, both Jacob and Nicholas have their own unique sets of skills, and both decided to come to Centriq for their own reasons. Congratulations to you both!
Jacob: In short, I’m a recent high school graduate, tech enthusiast who loves trying new things, and a business-minded person. I became interested in technology ever since I got a PlayStation 2, but that interest grew when I read a biography of Steve Jobs. In the coming years I made friends who shared similar interests, that led to the founding of a tiny tech company. During my high school years, I dove into the world of software and web development, mainly focusing on fun user experiences.
Nicholas: I am a recent high school graduate who is excited by the opportunity to learn more about technology. My interest in technology as a whole grew exponentially when my high school offered a class for repairing Chromebooks, and in that class, I learned even more about business and project management. These topics are my favorites to learn and apply throughout my everyday life, and in doing so, I started a small software company.
I’ve spent majority of my working life in the restaurant business while having a little over five years in the middle of that in Law Enforcement. I enjoy playing in sand volleyball leagues with my son, and doing whatever my little girl wants to do. I also play on the computer at home— a lot— doing various things.
I’m Jimmy, a carpenter of 10 years. I have been interested in technology since I can remember. From my first RC car, to the first time I ever dialed-up the internet on a 56k connection, to the first time I played NES with my sister. I’m a hands-on type person who likes to build things whether it be a house, a custom computer, or a hovercraft made from a vacuum cleaner, plywood, and a couple rolls of duct-tape.
I grew up on a farm in a small town called Montrose, MO where I helped with farm chores. In 2016 I enrolled in the IT Systems and Security Administration track through Centriq where I graduated and obtained my CompTIA A+, Security+, and MTA; Networking Fundamentals. With this training, I moved to TX where I performed many different IT roles including Helpdesk, IOC, & NOC. I then moved back to KC June 2019 and decided to pursue Centriq’s Full Stack Web Development Program.
When I was 8 or 9 years old my dad brought home our first family computer, an IBM 186. I had to learn DOS just to play Everquest which at the time was a glorified paper game. Ever since I’ve been in love with technology. It didn’t help that my family were and still are big SciFi nerds. I took that love of tech to the Navy with me becoming an Aircraft Electrician, I was really into planes at the time. I spent 13 years in the Navy learning and working on a plethora of aircraft and electronics, rather rapidly I was put in charge of ever-increasing levels of responsibility. After an injury I left the Navy and started my journey into more interesting technologies.
For the past 5 years I have been working in the service industry as a bartender and server. Out of high school I went to Missouri State University for 1 year and continued my education at Maple Woods Community College the next year. Although I enjoy my current profession, I feel that I am ready to start a career in a field that I have passion for. I have always had an interest in IT and finally decided to pursue that interest here at Centriq.
For the last five and a half years I worked as an Integrated Health Specialist, which is like a social worker. Back at the end of January, I found a coding book at Aldi that used Berkeley’s drag and drop coding system SNAP! I enjoyed learning to use that program and wanted to learn how to write the actual code, not just drag and drop code.
I am a Marine Corps combat veteran originally from Kansas City. I moved to St Louis almost 9 years ago and it has slowly, but surely, felt like home. I spent the past 10+ years in various roles in the foodservice and hospitality industry, most recently as General Manager of an iconic St. Louis pub.