Ordinary people helping ordinary people do extraordinary things
Do you believe in the capacity of a small group of ordinary individuals to lead the effort for transformative, global change, as has happened time and again throughout history? And do you believe in your own capacity to accomplish extraordinary things with audacious, passionate, relentless effort?
Barely a few months after he exited his final teenage year, Devonta embarked on a bold and life-changing journey—by enrolling in a new programming academy, Bov Academy of Programming—to study frontend engineering. Prior to that, he had spent barely a few months learning bits of coding here and there, but he needed a rigorous and challenging program to push him to advance his programming skills so that he could acquire the sought-after skills to land a high-paying programming job. He really wanted to succeed so that he could lift himself and his family out of poverty as quickly as he could.
Although his studies at Bov Academy took longer than he had planned and even though he endured many financial and other hardships on his path to becoming a hirable programmer, he managed to persevere in his studies at the academy, where he outlasted scores of other students and rose to prominence in his cohort—eventually being recognized for his perseverance and work ethic, which subsequently led to his invitation to join AI Humanity. He wasted no time impressing his AI Humanity colleagues, with his passion for pushing himself to a high standard and by taking on any and every task he could, no matter its complexity.
Devonta exemplifies meritocratic accomplishment, hard work, and determination. When he graduated from high school in 2014, he had no connections or qualifications to help him land a proper job; he had no money whatsoever to pay for his programming education; and he had every reason to complain about his poverty-stricken circumstances. But he never gave up or complained. Instead, he took the chance to apply for a scholarship with Bov Academy of Programming, an online software engineering school, and he was granted a full scholarship with the program, which he took full advantage of, considering it was his a great opportunity to escape poverty.
His drive to succeed to help his family (particularly his mother, who has sacrificed much for Devonta and his brother) escape commonplace poverty in the American South pushed him to persevere. And his success so far has proven to himself and others what he always knew: he has the capacity to accomplish whatever he sets himself to accomplish, even when the barriers to success seem impossible to overcome.
With a deep passion for evolving and learning new things—whether it's learning how to solve complex programming problems, learning how to build and design complex applications, or meeting and getting to sincerely know new people—he embraces the journey to become a better person than he was yesterday. He notes:
Life is fun, exciting, full of twists and turns, and filled with unique people; and it is a constant learning experience full of opportunities to become the person you want to be and to help those along the way. Life can be short and unexpected, so I want to make an honest attempt at making a difference in the world and to leave behind a positive change, forever.
Beyond programming and striving for economic success, Devonta’s passion extends in other areas of his life, including bodybuilding (or as he likes to call it, "Aesthetic Training"). As a young teenager, he pushed himself to get into physical shape, having been overweight for many years. He eventually lost over 70 pounds at the age of 15 and, since then, he has maintained an aesthetic physique he is proud of. Today, nine years after realizing the success with his weight loss and physical fitness, he continually finds ways to improve his health. Working out in the gym has taught him to tackle problems head on and to never give up, even on challenges many would call “impossible". He shares more on his philosophy on this subject:
Aesthetic Training has taught me to be patient, to be helpful to those in need, to break out of my shell, and to see things through until the end. The gym has enabled me to meet people and become friends with people of many walks of life. And through all this, the gym and the experiences I have gained from it shows me that even though we all have different problems we must face, we're all the same with a common goal of living the best life we can.
Now free of the simple struggle just to get a good education, Devonta aspires to much more, including traveling. On his interest in traveling, he notes:
One of my goals is to travel and explore the world and learn more about it. From the people to the different cultures, I feel everyone has a story to tell and I want to hear all of them.
Actually, I think Mark Twain sums this up perfectly: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”"
His other hobbies and interests include learning the guitar, creating music (Alternative Pop Rock, Acoustic, Pop, Pop Rock, Soft Rock, Alternative, Acoustic Pop), and listening to music (Rock, Hip-Hop/Trap, Alternative, Pop Rock, Pop Punk, Post-Hardcore, Metalcore, Pop Punk, and everything else in between!), acting, vlogging, pro-wrestling (training and watching), and reading (psychology, sociology, and self-help genres are among his favorites).
Role at AI Humanity
Devonta builds user interfaces and web applications for some of AI Humanity's most important applications—including AllAid and ProsperityScore—that service the unprosperous. Although his expertise is in frontend engineering, he also uses his impressive communication skills and people skills to help advance AI Humanity's mission by working directly with the unprosperous, something he looks forward to doing.
On the Matter of Solving Poverty
Devonta gives his perspective on poverty, in his own words:
Being from a small central Georgia town, I've seen both the negatives of poverty and positives of prosperity, even in my very own family. This drives my relentless passion to take part in trying to solve the matter of poverty with AI Humanity for more than just my family.
I believe AI Humanity has the tools and the team to impact the world in very big ways. Never before have I seen such a detailed and realistic road map in tackling this issue, and I'm very fortunate to be a part of something bigger than myself and to help in any way that I can.
Poverty in America (and the world) is a multifaceted problem that won’t be solved in a simple way. To really solve poverty, I believe we all need to have honest conversations, come up with realistic plans, and show compassion, love, and understanding. It won’t be easy and there's a long road ahead, but it’ll be worth it.