Girl Develop It Student Highlight: Courtney Buras

I teach to learn and learn to teach. That is my passion when I am able to share something I learned with someone else. When the other person is just as excited to learn too, it is beyond any emotion I can truly express.

To make our classes in Chicago different from any other and also give our students a reason to keep learning via Trailhead, I created a GDI Trailhead Challenge.

I am constantly reminded of my primary school years where I would get so excited to have a star sticker placed next to my name on the wall of our classroom. Seeing a row of stars made me feel like I had won the world and I wanted to imbue that into our GDI class.

To re-create this feeling, I created the GDI Trailhead Challenge. The rules to our challenge are in the post I created here and generally take place after a class. I have included all GDI Chicago students no matter what class because you never know who you may motivate into making a positive change. One split second decision can be a moment that spurs someone to change their life.

Courtney Buras took a shine to Salesforce. She asked a lot of questions, she pursued the challenge with a vigor and she won the challenge. Maintaining engagement is very hard, but I try. I always encourage my students to give back by coming back and helping out. Even if they feel they are not fully experienced, it is a really great chance to learn. Brings me back to I teach to learn and I learn to teach.

Courtney & I June 2017 GDI Class

Courtney came back and she received a hoodie for winning the challenge. She stayed in touch via the success community and when she expressed wanting to attend MidWest Dreamin’, we made it happen thanks to a wonderful man named Stuart Edeal. An opportunity that led to her interview with a very popular podcast team at Salesforce, found here.

Now Courtney is employed using Salesforce and she attended Dreamforce 2017 as a guest speaker in a theater session titled GDI Delivers Community-Powered Inspiration We spoke in the Developer Theater with Bindu Jallabah the Director of Operations at Girl Develop It and the amazing Mary Scotton. Read more about our session at the Dreamforce 2017 main website:

Bindu was a Dreamforce 2017 guest Admin Keynote speaker with Salesforce co-founder Parker Harris. All I can say is she nailed the keynote with powerful grace and inspiration. I was so excited to hear her interview on the Salesforce Admins podcast here.

Our Chicago GDI chapter devoted less than a month to planning and teaching two classes this year that helped to support getting at least one student to Dreamforce. We never knew this would happen, but it did and now the sky is the limit for next year.

Courtney was not working in tech when I met her, but now she is in the tech industry. Her curiosity and drive to learn is infectious, so when she came back to participate as a teaching assistant in our June class it brought our class full circle.

Imagine what will happen when more people do the same. Imagine what you could do with one day of teaching or helping out others? To learn more about GDI Chicago, please check out the GDI Chicago chapter here.

Thank you Courtney for coming to our class and thank you for being a motivation for us to continue.

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