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How a New Tuition Assistance Program Helped This Student Start a Different Career

Ashton Regensberg was able to attend a Deep Dive Coding Bootcamp for free and now runs a successful freelance tech business
How a New Tuition Assistance Program Helped This Student Start a Different Career
Ashton Regensberg, right, with her family.

Feb 09, 2021

Ashton Regensberg had 12 years with Verizon when the company closed the center where she worked back in 2019. It was scary to lose her job—especially with a new baby at home—but she also took it as an opportunity. 

During the closing, Verizon told her about a new tuition assistance opportunity offered by Workforce Connection of Central New Mexico that helps unemployed or recently laid-off workers who want to enroll in a training program for in-demand occupations in fields such as IT or healthcare. Ashton applied, was accepted, and used the tuition assistance to pay for the entire cost of a CNM Ingenuity Deep Dive Coding Fullstack Web Development Bootcamp.  

“I knew this was a good opportunity and I wanted to seize the moment,” Ashton says. “It was a chance for me to find something I was passionate about instead of just working a job to work a job.”

Ashton didn’t have a tech background so there was a learning curve when she first enrolled in the bootcamp, but she also received lots of support.

“It was definitely a challenge in the beginning, but I had a lot of people including my instructors and my classmates who were able to give me that extra push,” she says. “That and I realized I wasn’t going to learn everything right away so I pushed up my sleeves, got to work, and ended up really enjoying it.”

Cristina Magallanes, the Workforce Connection Career Development Specialist who enrolled Ashton in the tuition assistance program, says she was a perfect candidate for the funding and bootcamp. 

“Ashton was very organized and a great communicator, and it’s been really rewarding to see her take advantage of the opportunity and work towards her new career,” Cristina says.

Ashton graduated from the bootcamp in April 2020 and today she runs a freelance business with a host of clients. She regularly builds WordPress websites for companies and currently has a contract with a geospatial firm to build an admin application.

Ashton chose to freelance instead of joining a local or national tech company because she wanted the freedom to build her own business. She sometimes misses the company atmosphere because she can’t lean over to a co-worker and ask a question, but there are still plenty of resources. For example, if a tech question comes up she needs some input on, she can jump on the Deep Dive Alumni and Rubber Ducks NM Slack channels and get immediate help. 

Going forward, the plan is to continue growing her business and learning new skills while also ensuring she has the right work/life balance and has plenty of time to spend with her family.

“I’m still facing a learning curve, and I still have plenty of hard days, but I really love that I’m in control,” Ashton says. 

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For those interested, visit our New Mexico Workforce Connection: Choose CNM page for accelerated training programs offered by CNM and CNM Ingenuity, including those that are eligible for WCCNM funding. Students already enrolled in any of the programs can also apply for funding for upcoming expenses (the funding cannot, however, be applied retroactively). 

We have a dedicated team to help you take advantage of this opportunity. To contact us, either fill out the form on the New Mexico Workforce Connection: Choose CNM page, or contact Madeleine Daugherty (Maddy) at maddy@cnm.edu, (505) 224-4716.

To contact the WCCNM program directly, please email WIOA@wccnm.org or call the New Mexico Workforce Connection at (505) 843-1900. The New Mexico Workforce Connection centers in the Central Region can provide access for up to $9,000 in tuition assistance. There is also up to $15,000 available in tuition assistance to those individuals who pursue “stackable credentials.” Stackable credentials can be a combination of many things but can include a bootcamp coupled with an industry-recognized certification.