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Oakland Scholar Gets a Second Chance at a Rare Opportunity

OAKLAND (KPIX) -- One moment can change a person's life. For Oakland student Dymond Allen, that moment almost didn't happen.

The 21-year-old Oakland native had applied for an internship at Kiva, a San Francisco-based non-profit that provides access to crowd-funded loans for individuals in underserved communities.

Kiva selected Allen for one of its five summer internship slots, calling Allen to let her know she had the job. But Allen did not pick up those calls.

"I kept receiving a call from a number I didn't know," said Allen. "So I wasn't answering. I was like, 'Who keeps calling from San Francisco?'"

When Allen finally called Kiva back, she got bad news: the job was no longer available.

"I contacted them and they were like, 'We already got the position, I'm sorry,'" said Allen. "So I was a little down because I had an opportunity that I clearly missed out on."

Then came a twist of fate. The job became open again and Allen accepted. Kiva's Manager of Talent Programs Helen Van hired Allen and is very happy with her work.

"Jumping into a lot of new technologies and processes where she is demonstrating her ability to learn quickly and provide value to the broader team," said Van of Allen's commitment to work

Her success comes with some irony. Growing up, Allen says she had no interest in technology. She liked and excelled at dance and cheerleading.

But a transfer to Oakland High School her sophomore year changed her career plans. The school assigned Allen to its college-track program, Project Lead The Way Engineering. It had open slots at the time and is focused on engineering and technology studies.

"I went there my tenth grade year. So since I didn't get to go the process of actually picking my major, they kind of gave me what was left over," recalled Allen. "I never considered engineering. I was really upset once I received the news that I had to be in engineering. But it was a great experience and I am glad that I received that opportunity to become in that program."

That educational opportunity has opened many doors for Allen. She is currently a student at Clark Atlanta University pursuing computer engineering.

It's a five-year program that will also lead her to North Carolina A&T. Allen will graduate in two years. Her dream job is to work for Apple as a software engineer doing IOS support.

She's also very grateful for her job opportunity at Kiva. And she has embraced engineering as her future career.

"I'm like, at this point I think God is telling me like, 'Girl, this is what you are supposed to do and you keep ignoring the signs.' So I'm like, maybe I just need to go with the signs and see where this leads me," said Allen. "{So] if you feel like that it's right in your heart, take the chance as much as you can."

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