CLEVELAND — Richard T. Montgomery II said he never expected his days would be spent typing on his laptop, just steps from his bed, learning how to code.
“Never crossed my radar," said Montgomery.
But then again, life rarely goes according to plan.
“God laughs when men plan," said Montgomery.
Montgomery’s dream was to be a college president. It’s a goal he was well on his way to achieving.
He earned his PhD in education and worked as an associate dean on Tri-C’s western campus.
“All of this plan did not include life,” said Montgomery.
After he realized that, he decided to leave higher education to open his own business. But COVID-19 shut that down.
So he had to switch gears again. This time, he enrolled in a coding bootcamp.
“I decided to do something I actually like," he said.
One of the main reasons he made a mid-career transition was so he could spend more time with his 10-year-old son. Richie was born with a rare neuromuscular condition called congenital fiber type disproportion myopathy.
The condition causes muscle weakness and can cause delays in motor development.
Richie needs around the clock care.
“Ultimately what I found myself doing is, you know, Richie's night nurse would call off and, you know, my wife and I would split the shift but, you know, staying up till 4 in the morning, lay down for a couple hours and then go in to work," said Montgomery.
It wasn’t sustainable and the prospect of moving his family away from Cleveland’s world renowned health systems to advance his career wasn’t realistic.
“Pivot from what I spent 20 years working on to something that I can do for the next 20 years and will also enjoy," he said.
Montgomery is excited to graduate and start a new career in software development.
He sees his experiences as a way to set a good example for his son.
“Letting him see me be a student in the same way that he is in virtual class all day I think is important for parents to show their kids that there isn’t a part of life where you got enough education,” said Montgomery.