“He is a steadfast workhorse who is absolutely the best to work with!“ Well, that is high praise sent from Kelly Persons, executive director of the NOVA Foundation. Who deserves such praise? Carlo Solano, software developer in NOVA’s Information Technology Division, that’s who.
In continuing our Hispanic Heritage Month profiles, we wanted to introduce you to one of NOVA’s “unsung heroes,” another phrase used to describe Carlo.
Born in a small town in the north of Peru, Carlo moved to Virginia when he finished high school with the desire to pursue his college education. He came to NOVA in 2008, working as a tutor at the Manassas Campus, and he has continued his upward trajectory from there.
“I’ve been with NOVA for most of my professional career. I have been a tutor, campus IT student hire, help desk agent and now a software developer. I graduated from NOVA with an A.S. in computer science and then transferred to George Mason for my bachelor’s in computer science,” he said. Since he’s been at NOVA, he has worked on all things automation.
“I’ve worked on the software used to control and display content on all TVs, electronic forms, mobile apps, dental hygiene grading software, contracts automation, classified evaluations and more,” he said. “It is likely that most employees have used software I have written at some point.“
When asked why he chose to devote his career to NOVA, he says that, initially, it was just convenient to work here where his classes were. Now, he says, he likes the impact he can make with his work.
The issue most important to him, he says, is providing equal opportunities to everyone. “I believe everyone has the potential to do great things. They just need to have the opportunity to pursue their goals.”
When asked what advice he would give to a young person who may be the first in their family to attend college, he said, “It’s okay to not have all the answers. Use the resources available to you. It will make your life a lot easier.”
Fun Fact: “I was the first person to create an iPhone app for George Mason University and then NOVA.”
Another fun fact: Kelly says that Carlo just lights up when talking about his baby girls. She says, “His daughters make his heart sing.”
Carlo agrees. He says he has a wonderful wife, and their twin girls just turned one year old. And they are his greatest creation yet!
Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.