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Rising Stars: Meet Adrian McClanahan of Prince George’s County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Adrian McClanahan.

Hi Adrian, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I started my journey into IT 15 years ago. I often tell people it was by accident because I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I stumbled into it while taking general studies. But it excited me and kept my interest, so I went ahead and got my Bachelor’s in Network Information Systems. I’ve held roles as a Personal Computer analyst, transitioned to a Network Center Engineer, and currently work as an Information Systems Security Analyst. When I say that I love IT, I mean it, leading me to start my tech blog, ChicDivaGeek, where I shared my thoughts, tips, and news about tech, which grew into a Web design company where I provide website services to other businesses. www.chicdivageek.com. I love to share my love of tech to help people in any way I can.

An extension of that love and something close to my heart is seeing other people who look like me (Black and Women IT professionals) in this space. Still, to dig into it, I wanted to start encouraging our children to learn more about tech and start them earlier. So I founded the Flash Tech Summit, an accessible technology conference for kids to learn about various technology fields. Happy to say we just completed our fifth one this past April!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been fairly smooth?
The road hasn’t been without challenges. I had my son while pursuing my degree, so being pregnant then raising a small child on my own while trying to work full time and going to classes, whew! And getting into IT post-graduation with no experience is hard too. They want you to have experience, but how am I supposed to get it?? Not to mention once you’re in, there aren’t many that look like me, but I want to change that for anyone coming behind me.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I didn’t know that working in tech was an option for me when I was younger, so I wanted to share that with black and brown children early on. I’ve been in IT for almost 15 years, and as I navigate the spaces and see the lack of diversity, I wanted to do something about it, something beyond mentoring. I founded the Flash Tech Summit (www.flashtechsummit.com), an accessible technology conference for kids where they get exposure and learn about different areas of technology they could work in, workshops centered around tech and learning new skills. We also have a group of IT professionals come in and speak to the kids. I want it always to be free, as I don’t want cost to be a barrier for anyone.

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
I think my ability or desire to continue learning is not stagnant with where I am in my career. I always want to keep learning.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Photos by Amber Iris Photo https://www.amberirisphoto.com/

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