Getting to know Ja Nelle Pleasure

Women in Technology is proud to highlight Ja Nelle Pleasure in this month’s member profile.

What do you do?

I am an Associate IT Specialist. What that entails at present is assisting our users with day-to-day issues involving networks, hardware, and even software issues. Sometimes it just being a listening ear for those who need it at the time.

What led you to this career?

A Stroke, followed by Divorce, and then Covid. Talk about a triple whammy. I needed to find a way to support my family. I was a stay-a-home mom while married so my life consisted of my children and my husband. I taught dance, I also made clothing as a side thing to make spending money. But the stroke took my ability to do those things and I needed something that did not require a lot of physical input but that could still allow me to support myself and my children. I investigated the SWFT program at Parkland College, and they offered the Google IT program. I took that course and got my certificate. Which led to a job at the help desk at Parkland and that turned into an internship here at the U of I. which allowed me to get picked up at the College of ACES as an Associate IT Specialist.

What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why? 

Stubbornness Lol! I think that my inability to give up when life gives me lemons is my greatest attribute. It allows me to push myself past my comfort zone and try things that in essence led me to a lot of successes. A trait that scared me at first, but I am grateful for it.

What’s a song or type of music you listen to puts you in the best mood and why?

Celia Cruz song La Negra Tiene Tumbao. Whenever I get down on myself or need a pick me up I melt into Celia’s words. This song empowers me to look at the beautiful black woman that I see in the mirror everyday and tell myself that despite all I am great, I am loved, I am smart, and nothing can stop me from achieving my goals.

What is something interesting that you enjoy doing outside of work that may surprise your colleagues?

Besides writing, running, singing, painting, cooking, I love learning to play the bass even though it is hard to do. But I like a challenge.

If you had a whole day to do anything you wanted, what would you do?

I would go to the ocean and dance for the whole day.

If you could have two wishes, what would they be?

That is a great question, my first wish would be to own some land that I can build my dream school on and my home. Second, to travel more.

What makes someone a good leader?

I strongly believe that what makes a good leader is someone that can see both the strengths and weaknesses in their people and strives to find ways for all to win as a unit by playing to those strengths and leading assistance when they are weak. Never leaving anyone behind and being able to teach as well as to learn. This trait to me is extremely important and something I see missing a lot from our society.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment so far?

Besides my children, not giving up after facing adversity.

Where do you have the most impact?

To be honest I am not sure where I have the most impact. I would love to say I have a good impact on my family and home life but also in my community. I strive to see the best in folks and help where I can.