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Empowering Stories: Inspiring Cisco Networking Academy Instructors Share Their Journeys


Empowering Stories: Inspiring Cisco Networking Academy Instructors Share Their Journeys
January 24 marks the International Day of Education, a global observance championing education as an essential human right and the cornerstone of societal and economic advancement for all individuals.
The mission of Cisco Networking Academy is to empower individuals with diverse career opportunities, enabling them to unlock their full potential. Currently, 3.7 million individuals across 190 countries are engaged in learning through Cisco Networking Academy.
Within our 11,700 Academies, a dedicated community of 29,700 instructors is committed to igniting learners' passion for IT and digital skills education. Many of these instructors were inspired by their own mentors and are now passing on that inspiration to others, recognizing the significant impact teacher enthusiasm can have on student achievement.
On this International Day of Education, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our dedicated instructors, and we are honored to share some of their uplifting stories.
We express our appreciation for your collaboration and support.
Johannes Pule Khutsoane, hailing from South Africa, overcame financial challenges to complete his studies at Cisco Networking Academy. Guided by his instructor's mentorship, he was deeply impressed by the program and eventually became an instructor himself, paying forward the support he received.

“I underwent training to become a certified instructor  which allowed me to give back to my community. I have been training Networking Academy programs for the past five years,” he says.

“Seeing the positive impact on their lives and witnessing their growth and success in the tech industry is incredibly inspiring,” he says. “It motivates me to continue my efforts and find new ways to contribute to my community’s development.”

Dr. Gabriella Arellano, based in the United States, serves as the Cybersecurity Faculty and Continuing Education Coordinator at Sitting Bull College on Standing Rock Reservation. Despite already holding a master’s degree in education, curriculum, assessment, and instruction, Gabriella decided to pursue a career in instruction. She expresses gratitude for Cisco's support, highlighting the seamless transition into teaching various courses. According to her, students at Sitting Bull College exhibit high levels of engagement, eagerly seeking feedback on their midterms, finals, and assignments, particularly the Cisco Packet Tracer tasks.
Neil Hines, residing in Australia, faced challenges after experiencing a 35% loss of vision. However, after completing a course in Cisco Networking Academy's IT Essentials, his instructor approached him with an opportunity to join the Cisco Academy for the Vision Impaired (CAVI) in Perth. Reflecting on his journey, Neil emphasizes the transformative impact of CAVI, providing him with a clear career path that seemed elusive before his vision loss.
Arnaud Burlion, from France, acknowledges his unconventional academic journey, describing himself as a less conventional student who lacked motivation in traditional schooling. Dropping out of high school, he served in the army for five years before realizing his passion for learning. Guided by an instructor at Paris-Saclay University, Arnaud found his calling in networking, thanks to Cisco Networking Academy.

Transitioning into an instructor role, he discovered a newfound joy in teaching, regretting not recognizing his potential earlier. Arnaud now finds fulfillment in imparting knowledge to his students, particularly through the Cisco Networking Academy program, offering them the educational experience he wished he had received during his own schooling.

Jim Elkins, located in the United States and affiliated with North Tech Missouri, stumbled into the realm of IT education and later emerged as a fervent advocate. His teaching prowess is evident from the multitude of students who praise his methods. Reflecting on his journey, Jim credits his own Cisco Networking Academy instructor for igniting his interest in the field.

He vividly recalls the instructor's profound impact, which broadened his perspective and kindled his passion for the subject—a revelation he had never experienced in college. Jim's dedication to his students is reciprocated in their engagement, evident even after they graduate and enter the workforce. Many return to share their experiences with current students, fostering a cycle of inspiration and success.
Gloria Castro, hailing from Chile, navigated economic challenges and the constraints of rural life to achieve her dream of becoming an Electronic Engineer—a path typically unconventional for women at the time. Despite societal barriers, Gloria remained steadfast in her pursuit of education, buoyed by the encouragement of her teachers. Her journey led her to a role as a laboratory instructor at the University of Tarapacá, where she seized the opportunity to further her expertise by training as a Cisco Networking Academy instructor in the United States. Becoming Chile's first female instructor in the program marked a significant milestone in Gloria's life, allowing her to empower and inspire students to unlock new opportunities in their professional journeys.
These narratives represent just a glimpse of the remarkable stories within the Cisco Networking Academy instructor community.

To know more, click here.