Hi, I'm Jamie! I'm here to crowdfund a loan for a more efficient and ergonomic home office and other expenses so I can continue to progress in the data science industry. You'll get 10% interest per year for the next 3 years on however much you chose to pledge, and I get to work again, without the risk of damaging my wrists any further.
About $3000 will go into an ergonomic workstation - I have tendonitis and it is the biggest obstacle in my ability to work right now - my doctor has prescribed braces and other therapies, however, given the time I spend working on it, a better workstation is necessary to heal and prevent damage. Another $3000 will be used to refinance existing, high-interest debts (credit card, etc), some funds will go towards the construction of a virtualized lab server (approx $1500), and the remainder will be used for various home office and moving expenses. The eight-month deferral represents the six-month rigorous curriculum and projects I have for myself, followed by two months to reach out to my network and find a job or consulting opportunities, and you will earn interest on this period.
I'm a self-taught techie and prospective data scientist - my earliest accomplishment was in sixth grade when I configured a proxy server so I could access YouTube at school. When the IT guy found out, he laughed and asked if I could set it up for him too (I did), and I spent most of my childhood devouring the local library. After high school, I studied for 2 years at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where I studied Computer Science and Sociology and worked on a research project that analyzed data from Twitter to help provide insights into the nature of online social networks. Unfortunately, the cost of living in Hawaii is extremely high, so I had to drop out and move in with some friends in Kansas and am now moving to Lawrence.
For living expenses, I currently work on small business websites and make house calls for computer repairs - it is sustainable, covers my expenses, and builds a professional network that would be interested in larger projects once I'm ready. Many people that I've helped can attest to my technical ability, quantitative aptitude, fast learning, determination and problem-solving capabilities.
Meanwhile, in order to develop experience, a portfolio, and the local community, I have been working on projects to help various marginalized groups. For instance, one project would be a low-latency, natural sounding voice changer for transgender people who stream videos or make VoIP calls. Another project is an analytics tool for an advocacy group to match community needs with organizational resources. I've also been teaching myself data science and have a curriculum planned out for the next six months. I believe in the importance of interdisciplinary study, and have plans to study other technical fields such as radio, web development, security, and even an overview of non-technical fields such as sociology or medicine to put business insights into context.
Additionally, I am working with several local social advocacy groups. In all of these organizations, I ensure that I'm down on the ground with (or as) the people I serve, along with providing social media and technical support. They have also helped provide me with a strong network of contacts and support.
I am confident that given the growth in the data science industry, that I will be able to pay back this loan quickly, given the average starting salary of around $90,000 a year and high demand. In the unlikely event that this does not pan out, my focus on having knowledge of other disciplines will provide several lucrative backup options. I also have preparations for other contingencies to ensure that I will be able to work and pay off this loan - for instance, the purchase of an ergonomic desk and chair significantly reduces the risk of repetitive strain injury putting me out of work.
I've been paying off my student loans consistently for the past year, and to my knowledge, have never been late on a payment for those or my credit card, which I've had since I turned 18. The only payment I've ever missed (for PayPal credit) was paid back the next day.
Finally, I have a strong support network from my family, friends, and the local community, and they can attest to my reliability and trustworthiness. Plus, the existence of a support network further mitigates risk.
As a note, I'm in the middle of a name change, and the contract will be out to my current legal name (last name Dabu). The campaign has my future legal, and effective current name (what everyone in my network calls me).