Miguel Guerra, a STEM talk speaker for Lumity’s college and career readiness program, was named the Daily Point of Light for Volunteer Pro Bono Week. Points of Light is the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service.
Miguel graduated from Roger C. Sullivan High School in Rogers Park, Chicago and now works as a wireless consulting engineer at CDW. He is raising three children with his wife and still finds significant time to volunteer with the youth of Chicago.
Miguel began working with Lumity in 2013 to share his story with students with the hopes of providing guidance and inspiration. Miguel brings real world experience to youth between the ages of 14 and 24 (both in and out of high school) in diverse, underserved neighborhoods of Chicago. He gives students a view into the possibilities for their own lives, because they can see themselves in his story of growing up poor, being drawn into a gang and his successful effort to leave gang life behind and build an IT career that allows him to provide for a life he never dreamed possible when he was in high school. His efforts can help students see the value of breaking the cycle of drugs and violence.
“This has been something I’ve wanted to do for years and I’m glad I’m finally able to. Not because I want to speak, but because I want show those out there who feel hopeless, stepped on, laughed at, that it’s still possible to succeed,” Miguel said when he learned he would be receiving this award.
And he doesn’t just speak with students, he gets involved in other ways. With co-workers at CDW, Miguel leveraged his IT knowledge to help provide Wi-Fi mapping and designed and implemented improved computer labs for an under-resourced school, providing better technology to students. He draws these students into the actual work, having them work side-by-side with the CDW professionals, giving students a taste of what it means to be a technology professional.
Miguel focuses his efforts on empowering and inspiring youth to set and attain goals, dream bigger and find a more positive perspective on life. He also has advice for his fellow professionals in Chicago:
“Find the time. If you’ve succeeded despite personal struggles, share your stories to inspire. Think of your most vulnerable moment and the people that were there for you. Not everyone has that support. None of us made it on our own. Someone has given us that helpful nudge at some point. It’s important that you reach back and do the same for someone else. And, if you’re great at your job, but don’t care for speaking or mentoring, then offer your skills as services.”
Read more about Points of Light and Miguel’s award here.
Learn more about Points of Light and their partner A Billion + Change.
Find opportunities to use your skills at The Community Corps.