[MUSIC] I was born and raised in a pretty small town.
Technology-based jobs, it's not many.
>> It's mostly based off agriculture.
>> Achieving the American dream, that's the big thing for us.
>> Since we do come from like small towns, there's not really much opportunities there.
>> My dream career would be something in tech.
I just find it very difficult to find something here.
[MUSIC] >> My name is Ericka Mayer, I'm 18 years old, and I grew up in San Louis, Arizona.
>> My name's Anthony Brock, I'm 19 years old, I was born and raised in Yuma, Arizona.
>> My name is Jocey, I am 20 years old, and I come from a town named Sanders, Arizona.
For the next two weeks, we're gonna interview leaders in tech, go on a trip on a big >> What is it, a 36 foot?
>> Green RV.
>> With two complete strangers.
>> Heading to LA, San Francisco, then back to Yuma.
>> I'm really excited just to see like all the opportunities in tech.
>> I don't do too much traveling.
So a lot of it's gonna be new.
A lot of it's gonna be a learning experience.
Plus I get to learn about technology, which is like what I'm about.
>> So I think it's just gonna be like a learning experience for all of us, and I'm really excited for it.
[MUSIC] >> What's up guys?
>> Home sweet home.
It's a lot bigger, [LAUGH] than I thought it would.
>> I normally just don't go on a trip with two random people.
[LAUGH] >> Who's Ericka and who's Jocey?
[MUSIC] >> Erica?
>> [LAUGH] >> It's only 50/50 so, awesome.
It's definitely been one of those leaps of faith, just jumping into something that you don't necessarily feel comfortable with.
>> My name's Anthony Brock, born and raised in Yuma, Arizona.
Yuma High, our mascot's the Criminal.
I've got a lot of pride for being a Criminal.
My brother and my sister actually went to the school too, but they never graduated.
My sister ended up having a kid junior year.
My brother, unfortunately, he fell into gang life.
I saw that, and I was like, I can't just fall into the same route.
I was the first person in my family to graduate high school.
So I did it, and it was a relief, and it was also, like, what do I do now?
I got accepted into college, but it became expensive really quick.
So I struggled for a little while to try and afford it.
And that's when I was working odd jobs.
I worked at Home Depot, Walmart, a couple of other grocery stores.
I would go in and stock their shelves.
I worked at the Fun Factory for a little while.
I was a mascot there.
I was in a fishery.
I I just dealt with frozen fish, but unfortunately I took a leave from college.
I just couldn't do it financially.
It's just one of those things where you when you get into a rut, you stay in it.
And that's what a lot of people fall into here.
I see that and I don't want anything to do with it.
I just have a deep love for computers, like working on computers, building them.
I feel like I'm meant to be near these machines.
But I'm at a point where I can't really get any more knowledge being self-taught, and that's when I decided to look into the military service.
Joining the military, you can go to college for free, but is it really right for you to do this?
Is there other options?
I don't know where to go, what to do, how to do it.
[MUSIC] I never had anyone to show me.
So it's a lot of me paving my own path.
That's the biggest thing I wish to take out of this road trip, just finding my next step.
And that's the biggest problem I have, I just don't know where to go from now.
[MUSIC] >> We started heading out to Southern California.
[MUSIC] This experience was like my first step to growing up, I mean, it's the first time I've been away from my family.
My family, it starts with like, what are you doing, with who, how, where?
[LAUGH] >> The most important thing for me right now currently is my family.
And the need of my community.
[MUSIC] I definitely didn't expect this year to go as it has.
I thought I was going to be in university at Tucson by this time.
But my mom was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
Sometimes there's days when she can't get up or help my siblings get ready for school.
It was just like the ultimate, okay, maybe I should stay, I could try out community college.
Currently I'm helping my mom, and then I stay at night till like 1, 2, just trying to advance as much homework as I can.
I was kind of bummed out, okay all my friends are leaving.
They're gonna go off.
I'm gonna stay here with family.
But I'm still indecisive of what I want to be.
My main interests are the medical field and cybersecurity.
The medical field, because of my mom.
I correlated the need of a doctor in the family with the need of my community itself.
My law enforcement cybersecurity background comes from my dad's side.
He is a US border patrol agent under the Department of Homeland Security.
Him having such an important role in the safety of my town and the nation itself, is just, it just holds a special place in my heart.
And I think it's a field where I would want to dedicate my life.
I can't decide between two things I love.
It's impossible for me to just pick one.
I know that this year I'm gonna have to choose one.
But right now I'm in a point of life where I'm focusing on learning about myself.
[MUSIC] I'm gonna meet lots of important leaders in the industry, and I think just exposing myself to the technology field, that's my purpose going to the trip.
>> [LAUGH] >> You see?
[LAUGH] [MUSIC] After talking with Jocey, I learned that she hung out with lots of my friends in high school.
>> Ericka and I were pretty much like neighbors, and we had no idea we were living like two blocks away.
[MUSIC] My name is Jocelyn.
I'm really interested in all types of tech.
When I was in high school, I had a really big interest in gaming.
After doing homework or I was putting off homework to go straight to gaming.
[MUSIC] My dad would go as far as disconnecting the Internet.
[LAUGH] Cuz I would stay up just playing video games.
Little does he know even if he disconnects, then you can still play, [LAUGH] [MUSIC] I love problem solving.
I like the challenge.
It got me into thinking, like what does it take to develop a video game?
So this is a video game I have been developing with a few friends of mine.
And we're still definitely coding out the whole project.
But it's been pretty fun like just playing around with the computer.
So, I decided to choose computer science as my major.
That's when I realized like the class was like about 30 students.
And most of them were just guys, three girls out of the whole class and I was one of the three girls in there.
When the teacher call on me, all the guys would just turn.
I noticed that they wouldn't do that when another guy was called.
You're a woman, so let's see how well you do in technology.
I just felt over pressured by just being in a male dominated area.
Started experiencing symptoms of severe anxiety, and so I noticed like, yeah, I'm pretty much falling behind here.
So, I decided to drop the course load, and move back home for a while, do online classes.
Yes, it's a bummer because there's not much opportunities here for any programmers, or coders, or developers.
I was thinking where do I go from here.
[MUSIC] I'm really excited just to see all the opportunities of tech.
Maybe I might enjoy something that I didn't know I liked.
I think I got a [LAUGH].
So this was just my favorite game.
That was playing with the Sims and making a version of this road trip first.
I didn't know what they'd look like, so- >> That's something I learned, yeah, dressing like Safari.
>> Are you?
[LAUGH] >> Anthony doesn't look like that.
>> Why am I in a hot dog costume?
>> How can I get the whole beard just right?
Now here's a better view.
[LAUGH] [MUSIC] Today, we're gonna head up to LA, and we're really excited because we're gonna interview someone in Spotify.
>> Pretty excited, I'm ready to go.
This is what the trip's about, I'm ready to do it.
[MUSIC] >> We're doing our first interview.
We're meeting Catalina Laverde.
She's a backend engineer for Spotify.
I'm pretty excited, I feel like we're gonna have a really good conversation.
>> Nice to meet you.
>> Catalina >> So I was born in Bogata It's the capital of Columbia, and I moved here, I was 18 years old.
I have no family, and no one, and I didn't know how to say a word of English.
Nothing, like you will be like what's your name?
I'll just stare at you blankly.
I had no idea how to speak English.
And it's the same thing with coding, cuz I didn't know how to code.
Coding is a language it is a skill and every skill can be acquired.
[MUSIC] >> So how did you decide computer science was gonna be your major?
>> I used to say that, what I wanna do when I grow up, I want to be a journalist, and I want to be on TV, and I want to be presenting the news.
So I started looking at all the different programs to see what the universities were offering.
And I realized that a lot of the journalism/communication major was a lot about writing.
And that's something that I had been doing since I was very little.
So in my head I was, I want something different, I want something difficult, something new.
And I'm like, I'm just gonna go to school for engineering.
>> [LAUGH] >> And then, I remembered so vividly when I went to my mom like, mom, so I wanna do engineering.
She's like, what are you talking about?
You don't even like math.
>> [LAUGH] >> I'm like it doesn't matter.
I'll learn, I'll figure it out.
And she's like, okay, what kind of engineering do you wanna do?
I'm like I'll get back to you on that.
>> [LAUGH] >> She's like whatever it is you pick, you have to finish because we don't have the money for you to be changing schools and majors.
Whatever you pick, you have to finish, that was the deal.
And literally, to pay for my four years of school, my mom sold the house that we grew up in.
We literally sold our house.
So, I started looking at all of the different types of engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, like no.
Then I was like systems engineering I can do that.
And I went to my first semester, and that's when I took my first programming class.
But in my classes of computer science were 3 girls and 90 something guys, and I was my god.
>> [LAUGH] >> What did I get myself into?
>> You said you just decided to switch to engineering, a pretty jump from journalism to engineering.
What was your thought process on that?
>> Little in my thought process was I want something challenging.
And engineering sounded something difficult, I actually felt my failed my first calculus class miserably.
>> [LAUGH] >> And then, I had to get this private tutor and then I passed calculus one.
I'm okay, great, that's it, I got this thing, and then I failed calculus two.
My god, I made a mistake.
How am I gonna tell my mom that I'm not gonna be able to graduate from engineering?
She's gonna kill me.
And there was nothing worse for me than disappointing my mother.
But it really just required discipline.
I needed to go home, and take the textbook, and read, and read again, and I passed my class.
And then, I was able to take calculus three, I struggled but I passed.
And then, that's when I got the hang of it.
And with coding was literally just a lot of dedication.
>> Right now hearing that you struggled and you failed many times, what was that like?
I mean that- >> I cried all the time.
>> [LAUGH] >> [LAUGH] I was such a crier.
The difficult part is that first step is getting to a school, going to a first class.
But one of the best lessons that I've learned and it has served me extremely well, is that you fake it until you make it.
>> [LAUGH] >> Even if you're doubting yourself inside, and you don't think you're good enough, and you don't think you know enough.
And you don't think that you deserve that position, that job, that whatever it is you're applying for It doesn't matter, you don't show it.
You fake it until you make it.
>> Did you ever feel alone in your journey?
Or did you ever really doubt at yourself and thought- >> All the time, all the time.
Accomplishing when you want is not supposed to be easy.
nothing that is worth in life comes easy, it's supposed to be hard.
And unfortunately, the only way to grow is to do things that you are literally not comfortable doing.
Doing things that are terrifying and seem difficult.
That sometime you don't even see yourself doing.
For example, Spotify is my first job out of college.
Most of the engineers that have joined the company are like at least five years of experience.
I then when I went to an interview at Spotify, I was thinking in my head I'm not gonna get it.
There's no way I'm gonna get into this company then I walked in, and I saw all these engineers and everything looked.
This amazing tech startup, like I'm not gonna get it.
So these are little things that you tell to yourself, and it's not healthy because it sets you back.
This is identifying that and be like, no.
I can make it, I can do it, I'm gonna fake it until I make it if I don't feel ready, but I can do it.
So be your own advocate, be your number one fan.
Sharing my story and telling you listen I was all the way in Colombia I had no family in The US, I didn't know how to speak the language, we didn't have the money to pay for education.
If I was all the way there and I was able to come here and somehow like work super hard.
And find a way to go to school and sold my house in Colombia to pay for my school and learned the language.
If I was able to all of that, You can do it too.
I love it.
>> [LAUGH] >> [LAUGH] >> We have no obstacles compared to what she had, and she jumped through them.
We all needed that slap in the face.
>> Like I need a home for real.
>> Fake it til you make it.
That's just really powerful.
And just hearing her whole story and how she got to where she is.
>> Doesn't matter who you are, where you're from, your religion, your skin color, or language, you have the talent and ability required to do everything you set your mind to.
You are Enough, you do enough, you can make it.
>> We had a wonderful experience for our first interview, I mean, it was just amazing.
And I think we couldn't have had a better first interview than this one.
[MUSIC] I really hope like that's for the next interviews that we have ahead.
[MUSIC] >> We're gonna interview Gabe Middleton from Human IT.
He does recycling and restoring of technology and gives it low income or people who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford it.
>> Yeah, like they get all kinds of pieces of technology to refurbish and redistribute everything.
>> I think it's really cool how he's making a really big impact in the environment.
>> Good morning.
>> This is where all the receiving happens, so when a donor makes a donation of technology, as you can see here, it comes in on palates.
So this is basically all the staff we need to inventory.
So we have a lot of tech to go through.
>> So I've had this dream for a really long time that I wanted to setup like a tech shop and just be the guy that everyone comes to and I fix their computers.
That's like, park dream, just open up my own shop and then bring people in, teach them what I know.
[MUSIC] [LAUGH] I wanna grab everything, but I can't.
[LAUGH] >> If you think about how much technology one person has, right, in their home, it out numbers people.
But unfortunately, how we're treating technology when we're done with it, we're treating it like plastic bottles and aluminum cans and scrap metal.
Often times, you just maybe need to replace one component, and it's working again.
It's a huge environmental problem that we need to do a better job addressing as a country.
[MUSIC] When you think about what we do as a country when we're done with maybe the shirt we're wearing right now, or a jacket that we no longer want anymore, what do you to do with those clothes?
A lot of people say well I donated it to Good Will or Salvation Army and it's a really quick answer a no brainer.
That's what I want Human IT to be, except with technology.
So at Human IT we take in all different types of technology, not just computers.
So we like to say anything with a cord that includes cell phones, printers, anything that needs power.
Does it work, does it not work, don't worry about it.
That's why Human IT is here to help you with.
>> What was your first step, in creating this company?
>> So yeah, Human IT is a true grass root story, n the fact that we didn't have any major capital investments to help us get into a warehouse like this and start operating on a large scale.
And so, we had to work for it.
The first couple years it was a struggle.
[LAUGH] One of the things that we did to start raising money for Human IT is we actually convinced the owner of a cell phone repair shop, to let us work out of his tiny little lobby, maybe about 50 square feet, for free.
Working in the cell phone shop, that's when the doubts were getting heavy and that's when the fear was heavy.
Cuz you're like, what am I doing?
Am I actually able to achieve all this?
Soon enough we started developing customers who relied on us for basic tech support.
As I was fixing their computers and they were standing there I'd be like by the way I'm trying to start a company and what we're trying to do is we're trying to shrink the digital divide by taking in your computers once you upgrade.
Come back once you're done with this computer and sure enough they did.
And all of the sudden it started to snowball.
And then that's when I learned that if you block out the fear and replace it with determination and tenacity, you can do anything you want.
Something that's really important especially when you are starting a company that doesn't have a lot of capital to work with, how do you do something so large and take on this large project.
And it was important for us when we started to not think of it like that.
If you were to look at a tall building and say okay, you need to get to the top of that building, it's not really a good strategy in my opinion to think about all the steps at once, right?
Think about how you gonna take the first step towards going up to that top floor.
And then you think about the next one, and the next one, and the next one, all the sudden you realize you're halfway up the building, because you were just thinking about the next step.
If you're tenacious, determined, and you get people to help you out, there's nothing that you guys can't do.
[MUSIC] >> He's essentially an older me.
He's doing what I wanna do later on in life now.
It's really one of those things where you're like, well how do I do this?
How do I start?
[MUSIC] If you don't have money, he started his tech company real small, using the same ladder that you can.
You just need to start climbing.
>> It had been quite some time that I had some time to myself, and I was just thinking about everything.
>> We are getting a lot of stuff out of this trip throughout this whole past week,at first, we were complete strangers.
But they're not strangers to me no more.
>> We're heading over to San Francisco.
I've never been there, so I'm ready to go.
[LAUGH] [MUSIC] >> It's about 400 miles, up to San Francisco which is one experience we're all have in common.
We've never been there.
So I think it's really gonna be a good bonding experience for all three of us.
[MUSIC] Playing Basa.
Basa is a Mexican game.
You pick a letter from the alphabet and everybody has to pick something that starts with that letter.
So it just who is most creative.
Okay name Edgar Enrique.
>> Food, [FOREIGN] >> Eggplant.
>> I couldn't get anything.
>> Earl gray.
[LAUGH] It's pretty fun, like I have enjoyed the past few days, I'm just really excited to see San Francisco for the first time, and interview all the leaders in tech.
[MUSIC] >> So we're probably the envy of all the people on our Snapchat right now.
>> We've got three cool interviews coming up.
Big companies like YouTube, Google, and Niantic.
[MUSIC] >> So we're about to interview.
Adriana Sameniego >> It's also a part of diversity for Google.
Adriana comes from a really small border town.
I think she's gonna give us the most advice because she comes from the same background I was surprised.
>> So do you guys play games in the RV?
>> We've been playing Basta.
[LAUGH] [MUSIC] I got so excited about talking to you all today cuz I feel like we could trade places and it would be completely normal.
I'm also originally from Arizona.
From Douglas, Arizona, also a border town, very small, definitely lacked opportunities.
If I was sitting in your shoes, and you're graduating from high school, and somebody says, are you gonna go work in tech?
I don't think I would have been like, yes.
You either go into law enforcement, or into education, those were really the only two options.
The other path was the wrong side.
People are pushed into crime in a larger sense cuz there's no jobs, there's nothing else going on and it's like.
Well, I need to provide for my family and here's some easy money, and here's the hard path.
And I think that that, I saw that all too common.
>> So, we're from the same environment.
You're from the same environment.
How did you go about going after a company like Google?
>> I didn't have a vision board.
I didn't have a plan.
It's an industry that I had no clue about.
But when I was growing up, I was predominantly raised by my mother.
She's a single mom.
>> She had me when she was 16 and so I was always helping my grandparents with their construction and plumbing company.
That got my interest piqued in business and then I went that route and then from there it was really organic how I came into tech it was just my curiousity on products and trying to understand how we could use these things in our towns.
And then I had a friend interning at Google.
They painted this picture, like this sounds like Disneyland compared to what I'm doing.
And then my mom said, Mija, find a place that is gonna make you happy.
And that's when I decided, this was a better fit.
How do you feel like your role has changed since when you first started working at Google till where you are now?
>> It changed completely.
Like you I'm first generation, to go to college and I have no family members in corporate America so I had no idea what that was or how to be.
How to get there, how to navigate it and a was learning a ton but on the side I was always doing something on the side.
I was always doing something related to the Latino community, always doing something and I said, you know what?
I'm gonna take a risk and just write a job description and pitch it to one of the leaders that I was working with.
Making sure that Latino-owned businesses had websites.
100% in the beginning was like can I actually do this?
It's an industry that I had no clue about.
But I was just learning as I was going and I thought to myself, just learn as much as possible and you know give it everything I got and it'll work.
The lesson there is just, you're internal voice of like can you do this?
You just have to quiet there and then push through [LAUGH] and go from there.
>> Going back a little, the steps you took to get to where you are now, what would you say is the most selfish thing that you've done?
>> Anthony gets the prize for the hardest question.
>> [LAUGH] >> The most selfish thing I've done.
What made you ask that?
>> Because I'm gonna have to come up to that point soon to where I make a choice where I have to leave my mom and my family.
I'm the only one that really has like a chance to do anything so.
>> A little emotional.
I'm not [COUGH] I'm not near my family.
There's so much opportunity though?
So, I'm not in Arizona, but ultimately I know that they want me to be happy, so I think that they would laugh, they would like are you kidding?
They're happy and they're grateful and they love where I'm at.
But on the flip side it's also going to be one of the best things that I've done for my family.
>> Biggest risk?
>> Yeah, because I'm going to continue to put us in a different position and so I always try to keep that as my north star and then everything else seem to come together.
If I think of two pillars It's like family and giving back, and I've tried to blend that with my career.
>> Hearing that she came from like the same place we did and her being what she is now, was a really cool realization.
Wow, someone from our area got to be a big head in Google.
>> Yeah, I fell in love with her as soon as she started talking.
She's giving back to her community and I can too.
And I mean, I look up to her.
>> Since we do come from small towns there's really not much opportunities there.
Just talking about leaving my whole family behind, I feel like it has just come down to that at some point.
[MUSIC] My heart's like [LAUGH] Yeah, I'm just, I just get really emotional.
Just because leaving my family it's just, how can I explain it?
It sucks having to leave just to pursue my own career.
In the end it will be what's best for all of us.
[MUSIC] >> Yeah, they probably have some good WiFi here.
>> [LAUGH] >> I love YouTube as a platform in general.
I don't really watch TV, but I watch a lot of YouTube.
>> What was the first step you took to get to where you are?
>> So I'm from San Jose, which makes it sound like I grew up surrounded by technology, which is absoultely false.
I didn't even know that San Jose was the Silicon Valley, or what that meant until college.
And I really lived within 15 miles of some of this stuff, I had no clue what was going on.
And it's easy because, depending on where you're at, you can easily get skipped over.
And I was right here.
Yes, so no computer science or anything like that, no understanding of it.
I went to college and attended film major.
But I was super passionate about math.
So I didn't think I could just let that go.
And so when I went to college, anything that I was interested in I just tried it.
So I tried, gosh, psychology, math, architecture, religious studies, Spanish, all by the end of my freshman year on top of film, of course.
And then I took CS randomly.
We started doing these little graphic projects, so I was really interested in them.
And then I was like, wow, there's so much I can do with this, and there's so many intersections between film and film world, and technology and just there's too many things that I don't know.
>> Yeah, I can relate like everything, I'm scared to declare something and then have it change constantly.
Even that idea that like, your general ed classes, they're just like, general, and they're just something that you don't really care about, but you just have to get out of the way.
I didn't think like that at all.
So I made sure that each of those categories was in a space that I could be excited about, and potentially maybe figure out if that was something I wanted.
Because I didn't know what I wanted.
But I was also figuring out what I didn't want and I couldn't figure that out unless I tried it all.
My senior year of college is when I actually declared CS, and then two years after graduation, here at YouTube doing printer engineering.
I definitely encourage you to just try things that even if they just spark a tiny bit of interest, I think it's worth trying.
>> She declared on her senior year, and she's still successful.
I just felt the need to be reassured that I wasn't alone in this journey.
Changing my major, I mean my mind has been constantly been nonstop twirling.
But it was just that little [NOISE], like, maybe I should go back home and there's some basic coding maybe that's something I need.
I don't know what I'm gonna do yet but I wanna do something big.
[MUSIC] >> Right there [LAUGH], it's right there.
>> I used to play all the old Pokemon games like red, blue, sapphire, ruby, I just go crazy for them.
We literally cut them off.
>> I ended up here by mixing in equal parts perseverance and hard work and luck.
You need all three working in your favor to put the correct amount of wind in your sails and so that got me here and hopefully, that will keep pushing me forward as well.
[MUSIC] It is wind, luck is wind.
You can't just depend entirely on the luck to move you.
If you've got no sail, the wind is just gonna blow right past your ship.
But if you've invested the time and energy to just build the best possible set of sails, then when the wind comes, you can really make the most out of it.
[MUSIC] When the good luck came, I feel like I leveraged it.
I was optimized for that moment.
I met the right person, I took on the right job.
If you have built a great sail and then the wind comes, you're ready for it and then that wind will carry you.
[SOUND] [MUSIC] >> Our next interview is Isis Anchalee.
She's a full psych engineer for Hustle.
>> Girls, we're really rare in the whole field of technology.
So when someone would just look at me and judge me for being in that field, I felt that pressure.
>> Creating the hashtag #ILookLikeAnEngineer, I think that's really important for girls in the field right now.
[MUSIC] Can you tell us a little bit about I look like an engineer?
>> I was a platform engineer for a startup called OneLogin and we did a recruiting ad that was targeted at other engineers.
When the ads went up, people had a lot of really sexist things to say about mine in particular.
And people were taking pictures of the ads and expressing disbelief that I could be a software engineer.
>> Saying things like quote, I highly doubt people with brains believe that this is what a female engineer looks like.
So that led me to write a blog post that I just shared a few experiences of sexism that I had experienced since going into the industry.
There wa a number of them.
Then the blog post apparently resonated with a lot of people because the experiences that I shared were very common, unfortunately.
People reached online to support the message and so I started the I look like an engineer hash tag and then that went viral.
I've had numerous women come up to me with tears in their eyes after I would do a talk.
So that is the most personally fulfilling thing for me that could come out of any of this is empowering other people who feel like they aren't necessarily in a position to where they feel comfortable raising these types of issues.
It took me starting a movement to get myself to that point, so I can completely empathize with people that might not feel like they're there yet.
Being able to put yourself out there and to find a community of people that you can resonate with, it makes going through the challenging parts a lot nicer.
[MUSIC] >> I feel like we kinds went through similar stuff.
She just felt that she didn't belong.
I feel like you should speak out and do something about it.
[MUSIC] >> We all have a voice, and it's just a matter of how loud you use it.
That's really cool.
[MUSIC] >> From San Francisco, we went to the Sequoias.
It was like nothing I had ever seen before.
[MUSIC] >> This trip itself has made me be vulnerable to everything that's gonna happen.
>> It really puts in perspective like, at this time next week, I'm gonna be at my house.
And it's really like one of those things where I'm thinking, what now?
>> We came through LA, and San Francisco, but we're gonna go home.
>> There's almost no tech out there.
[MUSIC] >> That a porcupine?
>> Isn't that called porcupine?
>> Porcupine is an animal.
>> [LAUGH] >> That's true, that's true.
What's it- >> These are called acorns.
>> No way, I thoughts acorn looks different.
>> Porcupines move and breath.
>> Yeah, pinecones >> What?
And what's the difference between- >> [CROSSTALK] Acorns are nuts!
>> I knew it started with a p, but I'm like porcupine, no.
>> [LAUGH] You guys are funny.
>> You were laughing too, cuz I said acorns.
>> I was laughing at you both.
>> Throughout the whole camping trip, I was wondering who we're gonna interview in Yuma.
[MUSIC] >> We're heading back down to Yuma to interview some people which is actually gonna be really interesting for me cuz I honestly don't know what's out in my area.
>> I know we've been saying we don't really have much opportunities there but we'll actually get to see some stuff we might not even know about.
[MUSIC] We're about to go interview Mel.
All the water that farmers get depends on his software that he's invented.
>> He's a pretty important person when it comes to the farming around here.
They all rely really heavily on that water.
Your work pretty much is the lifeblood of Yuma.
How does that make you feel?
>> It's extremely rewarding.
The most important thing that we have going on is the water coming through our canals, getting out to the farms when they need it.
When you have the summer, it can hit 115, 120 degrees, those crops need the water.
A lot of engineering went into how these canals were built.
There's a lot of food that won't be growing if we weren't here.
[MUSIC] When I was growing up, one of my favorite hobbies was astronomy.
There was no software out at that time, so I' wrote my own to calculate the positions of planets.
The stars, when eclipses will be.
But that showed me, wow, if I can do this for astronomy, what else can I do with it.
I've always known I wanted to be a programmer after that point, and nothing was gonna stop me.
Even though I didn't have the support of my family, I wanted to program.
It didn't matter what it took.
You said you didn't have the support of your family.
Can you elaborate on that a little bit?
>> I had problems with math.
I absolutely sucked at math.
I wasn't always given the encouragement that I should have been given and I can understand.
My mom is single, my father passed away when I was seven.
So she raised me as a single mom.
But my mother was always, you need to get a job,, I don't care what you get, just get a job.
Burger King, just get something.
But I want to do this, I want to program.
Well, you don't have anything.
Just get a job.
But I know what I want to do.
So, all my computer background, I've been self taught on.
I had to learn all the algorithms on my own, I had to learn a lot of stuff on my own.
I didn't have the structure that the college teaches you.
I didnt have that.
If I had to do it all over again I would go right back to college.
I needed to relearn algebra, and I did, figured out all the formulas, computerized all those formulas, and now we have a whole new system that's working really nice now.
>> [LAUGH] >> I have to show you.
>> It's all about tech for him.
Programming is his main niche, and he's done it to perfection in his job.
>> Now over here you can see on the right side, that's the siphon drop.
That's where the water goes underneath the Colorado River.
>> I feel like just computer science in general can give a person so much power to do something.
With Mel, you can really see that.
So what kind of advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue a career in programming?
>> My path was desktops and servers.
Your path is gonna be different.
They didn't need a programmer before I started, now they do.
You don't have to live in a high tech town.
The technology you can do at home.
It's just as good.
Where you do it doesn't matter.
It's just doing it that matters.
[MUSIC] Never give up on your dreams.
Fight for what you want.
[MUSIC] >> When we talk about computer science we just envision people behind the computer.
But I think we never fully understand how it's so applicable to many things.
How computer science and agriculture, that's just a little sector of all the fields that there is to offer it.
[MUSIC] But I don't want to just go into cybersecurity and then always have in the back of my head there's not enough doctors.
There's not as much specialty here in Yuma.
To go to different doctors I would have to do the four-hour drive to Phoenix or something.
But, there's such different interests that there's no way I could find a setting ground between them.
I know that this year I'm gonna have to choose one.
I don't to go into a field and ten years down the road just regret being there or not liking it.
>> I'm Sarah Kramer and I am the Chief Medical Information Officer for Yuma Regional.
I sometimes feel like medicine and technology is kind of where astronomy was in the 1930s.
>> [LAUGH] >> Right, well they had telescopes, they had really good telescopes and they even had early weather balloons and stuff like that.
But there's almost no such thing as perfect health, right?
So as we kind of solve some of the basic problems in medicine, there is other frontiers.
[MUSIC] >> Going back a little to your childhood and all, was there a specific moment you knew that your call was medicine or how did you know that that was your passion?
>> [LAUGH] That's a funny question.
The funny thing is I tell people that I stumbled into medicine accidentally.
I know that it sounds really odd, but I was applying to be an engineer.
I was applying to a bunch of engineering schools and I was quite sure I wanted to be an engineer.
I didn't really know why I wanted to be an engineer, but I knew that engineers built stuff and they analyzed problems and they tried to fix things.
So I sometimes feel like I kind of have come full circle.
I did practice medicine for 30 years and over a period of time I found that although I could touch a lot of lives.
I deliver babies and I had that experience of being that family doctor.
I found that I could touch a lot more lives if I helped the systems of medicine run better.
We could use technology to make it easier to get healthcare out to more people and make it less expensive.
So of course, if you come from rural areas, we cannot use telemedicine, for example, to kind of work across time and distance to make sure that in a county you can get the same quality of healthcare as the population of Phoenix or LA.
>> Is there any sort of ultimate goal that you like want to do with your job?
>> This is the ultimate of what I do.
I tell people sometimes that I feel like I have the best job in the world and, I didn't know what I wanted to do in life.
And I kept just doing different things.
So, I could say this that I am in my ultimate goal, but for me it was getting to use my doctor brain but also kinda my engineering brain kinda together.
I think that there's a lot that's still coming with robotics.
I'm gonna tell you maybe a story.
It's a little bit gruesome.
Pretty much in my last year of clinical practice I was taking care of a patient.
He had some worrisome symptoms, and he had been a smoker.
And we diagnosed him with a cancer that was deep, deep in his throat, and it was a really difficult place to get to.
And if you were to do the traditional surgery that was done, because you couldn't get to it it was essentially you had to split the face open to get to it.
Yeah, I'm sorry this is gruesome.
And you can imagine how the recovery from that would be and how he would have to miss all this work and stuff.
We had literally only in the past year gotten a robot that could do this kind of oral surgery.
And they went in and because the robot can reach in this little tiny space, they did the surgery robotically.
They were able to get probably better margins and he went home the same day.
He saw me in the office two days later, he was just taking Tylenol for pain.
It was the surgery that was technically impossible five years earlier.
So that's why I use sometimes the sort of astronomy of the 1930s.
It's like with the technology we can't even envision where we're gonna be.
You'll be sort of sitting where I am today.
And you'll say, back in my day, this job didn't even exist.
[LAUGH] [MUSIC] >> Her engineering brain helps so much with the medical fields.
And I was thinking that computer science is gonna help me build upon those skills.
I can actually combine these two things.
[MUSIC] >> This is our last day.
>> I didn't think it was gonna come to this day so quick.
When we were driving down to Yuma, it was like home again.
And just knowing that we're in our last interview day.
I don't want it to end.
I want it to continue.
>> We met with Savannah from YPG.
>> And we're proving ground.
>> So, I love computers.
Man, do I love guns.
[SOUND] >> I am very proud to call myself a systems engineer.
We test different platforms of what the soldier who says, hey this is what I need.
And so what I test is vehicles that have wheels and tracks.
And sometimes as a test officer, I get to go out there in the vehicles, and I get to drive it.
There's times I go to work and we're about to go out and fire a weapons program at a target some distance away.
I tell you what, as soon as we pull that trigger for that first round and you hear this boom, there's a smile that just plasters across my face.
I can't tell you how exciting it makes me feel.
I love my job.
>> It sounds very cool, yeah.
>> Yeah, yeah.
[MUSIC] I'm actually from Oklahoma, a small town of about 7,500 people it's really, really small.
Where we were expected just to be married after high school, have kids, not really much of a future.
But my dad actually moved us out to Yuma, Arizona.
But that point in time, my, what is Yuma have to offer?
I kinda had the same questions you guys did.
But I knew exactly that I wanted to go into some type of field that dealt with engineering and math and science.
And I wanted something challenging, right?
Moving to Yuma kinda opened up that opportunity.
They have a medical center up there.
They have different types of testing.
They have different electronic jobs to come out here and to build circuits and to build cables that we need to be able to transport data securely across certain lines.
And I got to be around so many different platforms, so many different things, that I was like, you know what, there's a lot to offer here in Yuma.
I really love the fact that I can come into my job and have some exciting moments.
And like, I got to do this today, this was awesome.
No matter what the field you guys decide or the path you guys decide to take, there's so many opportunities.
But don't forget about the small towns wherever you come from, they have a lot to offer.
They're those gems in the rough.
Now, if you guys don't mind, you've talked to these people and you've really gotten a feel for some of the advice that they have done, what is kind of the path you see yourself taking more so now?
Let's put it into perspective, what are you gonna do?
[LAUGH] >> Well, at first I was lost and I was thinking about the whole medical field and cyber security.
That first moment I thought about actually studying computer science, I was just like, okay, you can't decide from two and you wanna add a third one.
But my heart is telling me, do it.
My brain is craving that challenge.
My brain is craving that knowledge, that skill, that investment into my education.
>> It's gonna be hard, but the fact that you'll be positioning yourself beyond what you can do now is what's gonna matter.
>> Don't be afraid, definitely don't be afraid.
What about yourself?
>> I've realized that I can look for people that are willing to help me, and there's a lot of them.
A lot of people are willing to help you, you just have to go out there and be willing to learn.
We're not that different.
If it really comes down to it, we're here to help each other.
>> What about you Jossie?
>> It was kinda like a wake up call for me to get an internship soon, and actually try it and then see what I like best.
>> We have backend engineering interns, from then you wanna do mobile, you wanna be a data engineer, machine learning engineer.
So there's so many different kinds, just try.
>> Sounds like you have some great inspiration that's coming out of this.
You talk about cyber security, you talk about medical.
You talk about just different aspects of your careers of what you wanna do.
You just have to go out there and look for it.
Cuz I'm like wait a minute, all this is here, this is awesome.
And that's what the thing is, you've gotta do your homework.
You are the designer, and really the enforcer of your own success.
>> Cuz I'm actually excited towards challenging myself.
>> [LAUGH] This is awesome.
This is so cool.
Just realizing how big computer science is and engineering and coding.
And how important it's gonna be in the future generation.
I had to make a very quick switch and just start learning the most I can with tech.
>> I have more of a goal now.
I was stuck in the motion of this is all I have left.
I can't afford any other way, but I have a lot more options than what I thought I did before.
We got to see IT, front end engineer, back end engineer, even full stuck engineer.
I got to see just what kind of areas I go into and what I can specialize in, that has opened so many doors to me.
>> We are often blinded in this tunnel vision of all the opportunities are in big metropolitan cities.
But we don't see how much of a vital world we are to the whole state.
It just made me want to give more to my community.
>> Before, I really didn't have a purpose in going to college.
But now I have a really want and a need to go to college because I have a place I wanna be.
I wanna be the best and brightest of whatever I'm trying to be.
I believe I can go and be successful.
>> I'm pretty excited for the future, I don't feel as anxious now.
I feel being vulnerable, opening up to people has helped me and my anxiety.
But now I feel I've grown more confident.
>> As long as I try and keep striving for what I want, I'll accomplish it.
>> If you know you wanted to be something, but you don't know how to get there, you can talk to people and you could make the opportunities for you.
Don't let the fact that you're in a small town stop you.
[MUSIC] >> To learn more about how to get involved or to watch interviews from the road, visit roadtripnation.com.