Recipient of Norwalk Housing Foundation College Scholarship Program will be speaking at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation annual Professional Advisors breakfast on November 4. Jayro Ovalle was raised in what is considered the poorest neighborhood in Norwalk housing but that hasn’t stopped him from accomplishing his dreams.
Graduated: Rochester Institute of Technology, May, 2014
Degree: Bachelor of Science Cum Laude
Major: Information Technology
Jayro Ovalle is a Roodner Court resident, who graduated Cum Laude from Rochester Institute of Technology in Information Technology. Jay is interested in programming and learned Java programming in his first year at college. He is a first generation college student whose parents never graduated high school. As a child, Jay’s father recognized his son’s extraordinary gift for computers and allowed him to take apart the family computer to see how it worked and rebuild it. Though Jay achieved high grades in high school at the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering and impressed everyone in his Junior Achievement Program at GE, he was worried about being able to afford a college that would offer him the challenging classes he wanted to take in technology.
“In my senior year I was afraid of not being able to attend RIT due to a lack of funds,” recalls Jay. “But thanks to the Norwalk Housing Foundation College Scholarship Program, I was able to go and expand my knowledge at the college I believed would provide me with the most positive challenges and pave a pathway to a successful and interesting career.”
Jay spent his summer three-month internship between junior and senior years interning for J. P. Morgan Chase working with data bases in infrastructure engineering in Manhattan and was offered a job when he graduated. The previous summer, Jay interned for CISCO in “problem solving” with a focus on malware security systems, a field that counters unauthorized “spy” systems that may enter computer systems. While at CISCO, he designed an application that is being used. Jay’s goal was to take the most challenging technology classes at RIT and eventually work in New York. Jay still keeps in touch with members of the NHF Scholarship Committee, who are delighted by his success.
As a present to celebrate his college graduation, Jay presented his father with a trip back to the Central American town he immigrated from.