Using technology to make a difference in the lives of the vulnerable
A childhood that spans California, Mexico, and Omaha, Jorge Grimaldo’s childhood was anything but typical. At the tender age of five, Jorge witnessed the shooting of his parents—an event that took his father’s life and injured his mother. Five years later, his mother would also pass, leading him to develop an incredible work ethic while being self-reliant.
The power of community
When Jorge arrived in Omaha, NE, he began fixing laptops and selling them online. He had never taken a computer or programming course until he attended university. But once he did, he was hooked on technology and its myriad of possibilities.
While getting his Masters in IT Innovation, Jorge had the opportunity to attend F8, Facebook’s annual developer conference, where he encountered people from different walks of life. To his surprise, he discovered that many of them already knew each other because of Developer Circles and its communities around the world.
Back home in Nebraska, Jorge found that the closest Developer Circle was nearly 60 miles away in Lincoln, so he applied to launch one in Omaha in an effort to help people, give back to the local community, and share knowledge with other like-minded people.
"I want to shape the technology I use instead of being shaped by it."
Be an example that inspires hope
Despite being self-reliant, Jorge is acutely aware of the influence people can have on each other, in both positive and negative ways, and he wants to be a positive force in peoples’ lives. “At every turn, I’ve had support from my local community. Every time I’ve wanted to do something, there’s always been someone to help me and guide me along the way. That’s why I have such a strong desire to help other people, and introduce them to the power of technology,” said Jorge.
Leveraging the power of technology for the greater good is exactly what Jorge did at Siena Francis House, Nebraska’s largest shelter and recovery program. Tasked with tracking physical donations, Jorge soon realized Siena Francis House could benefit from much more than a log. Working with other agencies, they came up with a better software to keep track of people receiving shelter and services.
For Jorge, the motivation to help people at Siena Francis had a lot to do with his own life experiences. “I am living proof that circumstances can change and that technology can be an agent for change,” he said.
An example of what can be
As the Omaha lead for Developer Circles, Jorge created a welcoming environment for developers to learn and challenge themselves. True to his nature in supporting others, he shared his passion and enthusiasm for technology with another community, those less fortunate. In doing so, he aspired to introduce possibilities for resilience to the residents of Siena Francis House, hoping some will view technology in a new light and be inspired to start creating projects of their own.