Three years ago, if you’d asked Bonito what he wanted to be when he grew up, he’d have said professional soccer player.

When he wasn't at school, the 10th-grader was playing soccer and hanging out with his friends. If soccer didn't work out by the time they graduated high school, their families' would likely encourage them to find a job and get married. 

AK8B9214Then Nancy Mwirotsi convinced one of Bonito’s friends to bring a group to Pi515, a United Way-funded education program. On a Saturday morning, in the basement of a church, they learned how to create a basic command that made their computers say 'hello." It wasn't the most exciting lesson, but it was enough to make Bonito return. 

“I was just excited because I saw people who looked like me who were doing programming things,” Bonito says. “I never really saw people before who were doing that, so I was like, ‘Huh, if they’re doing it, I can do it.’”

TAGS: Education

About The Author: Sarah Welch

Sarah Welch is the former Strategic Communications Officer at United Way of Central Iowa.