Gloria Ahn, who goes by Glo, has an active life full of new adventures. 

“I’ve been incredibly lucky,” she said. “For one thing, I grew up with Disneyland in my backyard.”

She was attending community college, studying Arts and Human Expression, when a friend who worked for Disney suggested that she should attend an audition. “You’d be really great here!” She auditioned and was hired. It led to a 13 year career at the company.

“It just opened up so many doors for me,” Glo said. “In high school, my first taste of the Happiest Place on Earth was in food and beverage, and then I returned as a Cast Member in college to be an entertainment performer. When I look back, I got to work in all different sectors, including education, casting & recruiting, and social media marketing. I traveled the world through Disney, so truly I’ve been able to take full advantage of all the opportunities.”

After getting her associate degree, Glo got her bachelors in Global Cultures at UC Irvine, and then was pursuing a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from an online program at the University of Denver. But a car accident forced her to take a pause and re-evaluate the next chapter of her life.  

“I had to take a break,” she said. “I took the time to reground myself, reflect on my life and my decisions, where I am and where I want to go.”

She thought about the next decade of her life, and what inspired her, and “I just found myself aligning a lot with the tech industry and how much creativity there is in tech.”

She started going to tech bootcamps as she recovered. In one of those bootcamps, a friend told her “you should try Calbright College.”  

“Many of my classmates at Calbright have a joke that when we first heard about it, we thought it was a scam because it just seems too good to be true,” she said. “I got to skip that step, because I knew my friends wouldn’t lead me astray. So I had a head start knowing that when they said ‘Calbright is free,’ and ‘you can study at your own pace,’ it really is true.”

She jumped in, intending to grab all of the opportunities in her education, just the way she had in her career at Disney.

“I trusted the process and took full advantage of everything Calbright College has to offer. That includes free laptops, free wi-fi hotspot, and then engaging in the Slack communities,” she said. “If you are the type of person who doesn’t mind putting in a little extra effort, you will find support everywhere you look.” She joined the Data Analysis program, and intends to use it as a springboard to her career goal of becoming a tech worker for an entertainment company. 

She also joined the Calbright’s student government, the Student Body Organization, and was elected to be its president.

Glo says one thing that distinguishes Calbright most from the tech boot camps she’s been in is its model: Calbright is free and flexible and self-paced. Another thing is the diversity of the people who study here.

“We have parents, we have late bloomers, we have students who are fresh out of high school who couldn’t afford college or a traditional degree. We have 20-somethings and we have 60-somethings and beyond. There is such a wide-range of people that Calbright attracts!” she said. “This isn’t a parent saying ‘you have to go to college,’ this is a place where each individual student has chosen to be here. To pursue the future that they want to create, wherever they are in their life now.”

That, Glo says, is a new adventure worth taking.

Gloria Ahn