Joshua Plata – From No Skills to No Limits

Five years ago, Joshua Plata found himself sitting in a Greenville, South Carolina homeless shelter weighing his options. They seemed few and far between. “All I knew was that something had to change,” says Joshua. “I had no skills and without an education, it seemed like I had nothing but fast-food jobs to look forward to.”

Then, Joshua saw an ad for ECPI University. “I had always liked computers, but only knew how to use a PC,” he says. In February 2007, he set out to change the course of his life and enrolled at ECPI to begin studying computer networking. “I had no idea what I was getting into. Right off the bat, I was amazed. It was like there was this whole world that I didn’t know existed…all this knowledge. Up until then, I guess I just didn’t know what I didn’t know!”

Going to school and working full-time, Joshua received his Associate’s degree in 2010, as well as his A+, Network+ and Cisco CCNA certifications. He quickly landed a job at internet service provider Windstream Communications. However, he says there was just one question during the interview that threw him off. “They asked me where I saw myself in five years,” says Joshua. “That was hard to answer, because five years before I was sitting in a homeless shelter and I never would have imagined that I could be where I am now.”

Joshua’s outlook has changed dramatically. He’s back at ECPI working on his Bachelor’s degree and has no doubt that he will finish up very soon because, as he puts it, “the only way you can fail at ECPI is if you stop trying. They believed in me before I was sure I believed in myself. Now I know I can do whatever I put my mind to.”

About David Brandt