Surrounded by mountains and lakes instead of tall buildings and pavement, EVkids campers are challenged to try new things. Nick DeJesus, an alum of both Tutoring and Camp, remembers EVkids camp inspiring him in this way.  

“The whole time when you’re around Boston, your options are either … play video games, basketball, or do really random stuff with friends. What I loved so much about that camp is that I was doing archery, ping pong, volleyball, and soccer.”

But to Nick, it isn’t simply the contrast of pavement vs. grass, or basketball vs. hiking that he remembers. It is how these new challenges showed him who he really was, and how those experiences still inspire him today. 

Nick at the 2015 Expanding Horizons Gala. Nick’s mother, Lauren Ravello (second from right), is the EVkids Program Director.

“I developed a taste for diversity in my activities. It was more than just trying things out. Each activity I tried at camp I wanted to be really good at.”

This desire to try new things, and to be the best at them, is something that followed Nick from camp to Boston. Back home, Nick wanted to play games that could only be accessed online, so he set up the whole system in his house by himself. Through this process, he realized the passion he had for information technology work, specifically coding and web development. He started teaching himself the basics, and worked hard to learn everything he could.

“Two years after practicing and doing coding from when I got home from work until I fell asleep, I ended up becoming a web developer.”

At this point, Nick was ready take the next step in his career as a web developer. His first job took him all the way to Scotland, where for three months, his team was assigned to a bank to digitize information for their staff and customers. This experience helped to hone Nick’s coding skills, while also pushing him further in regards to his personal goals of teaching and developing his own software.

“I want to help people learn, especially to bring some diversity into tech. How you know you know your stuff is if you can teach it to someone else.”

Nick also wants to become an entrepreneur, which he knows takes a lot of skill and persistence.

“I want to be skilled enough to completely build things by myself. I want to say, ‘Look I have this idea, let’s see where this goes.’ I’ve got a very do-it-yourself attitude. If I really need something I’m going to do it myself.”

Through it all, Nick attributes his fearless and confident approach to challenges to the ways EVkids Camp pushed him to learn and grow when he was a child.

“At camp, I learned how to swim too. There was this deck that floated in the middle of the lake and they were like ‘You’re not allowed to go on that unless you can fully swim.’ And I was like ‘Screw this, I’m learning how to swim!’”

This determination to grow and overcome obstacles was instilled in Nick at a young age through camp, and will stay with him for the rest of his life. EVkids is proud to see where his passions will take him and are so happy to have been a part of his story!