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After moving to Texas and becoming a stay-at-home mom, Angel Hursey wanted to return to work doing something she loved. She came across advertisements for coding bootcamps and realized coding was something that she did during the MySpace era. She jumped at the opportunity to expand on what she loved doing.
Hursey was accepted into a bootcamp with the price tag of $9,000, but she didn’t have that money and only had three months to pay the amount in full. So she took the itinerary and told herself that if she learned everything in the next three months, she’d save $9,000.
And she did. She later applied and was accepted into Per Scholas’ Application Support Management training, completing her training in 2018. Since then, Hursey has held roles at BIGGBY Coffee and Wayne County, and more recently has founded her own retail business RELUXX and nonprofit i3 Project.
Hursey spoke with Profile magazine about how the Per Scholas program accelerated her career and where she sees herself in five years.
What do you love about coding, and what were some of the challenges of teaching yourself?
Coding is a creative outlet for me. I love innovating new ideas and solving problems while allowing my creative side to show through my work. The biggest challenge of teaching myself how to code was the idea of “you don’t know what you don’t know.” It was difficult knowing where to start and what I should be learning to start my career.
What interested you most in the Per Scholas program?
The Per Scholas program allowed me to have a support group among my cohort. The staff were there to answer questions and prepared me to land my first job at BIGGBY Coffee as the first female developer in their IT department. If it wasn’t for Per Scholas, I wouldn’t have accelerated my career as quickly as I did.
Tell me about the catalyst that pushed you to build RELUXX and tech nonprofit i3 Project.
I started RELUXX while working from home during the pandemic to supplement my income. I was working as a web developer for Wayne County, but as inflation increased, my salary stayed the same. My passion for coding and giving back to the community is what made me establish my tech nonprofit, i3 Project.
In May 2022, Wayne County implemented a hybrid policy, which required me to return to the office. I had to make the difficult decision to resign as a web developer and focus full time on RELUXX and i3 Project. Since making this decision, the business has taken off (quadrupled in sales), and I have more available time to give back to my community.
Who have been your biggest supporters and mentors during your pivot into tech?
My biggest supporters have been my fiancé, Cordell, who has supported me both emotionally and financially during my transition from healthcare to at-home mom and when I reentered the workforce as a developer. My family has rooted me on whenever I felt like giving up (coding is not as easy as it looks).
My mentor throughout my career has been my former supervisor Scott Eatmon of Wayne County. He has shared so much knowledge, helping me develop my coding skills and guiding me throughout my career.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I see myself hiring employees and expanding both RELUXX and i3 Project. I would still be hands-on with the day-to-day operations but will have a team to help alleviate [constraints on] my time. I would like to become an instructor to teach others how to code. Learning how to code has changed my life drastically, and I would love to have the same impact on others by helping them with their journey.