Hello, my name is Kyle. I’m nineteen and I love science and technology.
For the past four years I’ve worked as a computer service technician in North Hawaii.
I love to fix problems, plain and simple. If you’re plagued by a technical issue, or something isn’t running optimally, it’s going to bother me. And it’s not going to stop bothering me until it’s no longer bothering you.
I’ve always been fascinated by anything technical. When I was a toddler, I was obsessed with construction equipment, and when I visited the aquarium, discovering how the water got into the tank was of the utmost importance. Perhaps it was predestined, since my dad was an electrical engineer, but I all I could dream of at an early age was becoming an “inventor.”
A Tinkerer’s Heaven
At age twelve I got my first real computer. I was enthralled. I’d spend hours staring at that screen, tweaking every setting I could find. I broke stuff. I fixed stuff. Life was good.
Learning the Trade
When I was fourteen, my family began moving around a lot. My computer was my portable laboratory. I spent nearly every waking hour tinkering with something on it. I tried replacing the Windows operating system with Linux, designed a basic logo and website for my dad’s one-man company, and found a free ebook online on coding. I had the time and, with my computer and an Internet connection, I had the resources.
I Find Work (Or It Finds Me)
By the time I was 15 ½ my family had pretty much settled. I started collecting old computers, fixing them up, and selling them on Craigslist. My name got out to the community as someone who knew how to fix computers, and soon a local business owner approached me with a website problem.
Now I’d done some tinkering for my dad’s company, but I was by no means a competent Web designer. Yet after some negotiation and assurance that she’d get her money’s worth, I picked up my first gig. I went home and had the problem fixed in 45 minutes. “OK, I can do this,” I thought, feeling somewhat confident.
As time went on, my name spread. I helped individuals here and there, and soon another local businesswoman hired me. I built her one website, then another, and before I knew it, I was her go-to technical advisor and technician. After that came a local gallery owner in search of a website and technical helper.
Paid to Program
In a totally unexpected turn of events, a family friend connected me with the co-founder of a local software company – the only local software company. I walked in one day thinking I was getting a tour, but after a quick interview, I found myself hired as an intern. Strange things can happen in North Kohala…
Yet after a year of interning, I realized what I enjoyed most was helping those in the community with their technical problems.
Back to Tech Support
I took on my biggest client yet, someone with more money than I could even comprehend, and I learned the importance of clear communication when working with very busy clients. I also continued working with my previous clients, at least until an enormous school workload suddenly appeared.
With my high school years began to come to a close, I found myself facing a hectic season of standardized tests and college applications. When the dust finally settled, I had in hand a ticket to one of the best schools I could ever dream of getting into: the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, a tiny engineering college founded in 1997 whose faculty and students are “leading the revolution in engineering education.”
But it wasn’t a first-class ticket; it was a place on the waiting list. Yet if a spot didn’t open up for me that year, I had the option to take a year off and defer to the class of 2020. The class filled, but I was so in love with the school that I decided to take the gap year.
And so here I am today. In my year off, I’m expanding my computer services business and enjoying a bit of a breather. I’m also a member of Waimea Toastmasters and secretary for the Waikoloa Canoe Club, which I’ve been involved with for the past three years. On top of that, you can find me pretty much every other weekend at Teen Tech Tutors in Waimea, where my friends and I assist older members of the North Hawaii community with their technology.
When I finally do go off to college, I plan on studying computer science. However, my goal for many years now has been to discover novel ways to solve the environmental issues plaguing our world today, so biochemistry and alternative fuels have also recently struck my fancy. But I like to learn about everything related to science and technology, so I don’t see restricting myself to just one field any time soon.
The great thing about computers though is that you can do things from anywhere. So even when I do head off to college, I’ll still be able to continue running my business and helping people remotely. Plus, I’d imagine there are people with computer troubles in Massachusetts as well. 🙂