Plinio Ayala

Plinio Ayala

CEO & President

Per Scholas

Newark, NJ USA

Don’t forget where you came from, but more importantly, don’t let your yesterdays drive your tomorrows.


By Roadtrip Nation

Plinio Ayala


My road in life has taken me all over.
I grew up in a rough neighborhood in the South Bronx and realized early on that careers create opportunities because I saw people leave those neighborhoods when their parents got a job.
One of my teachers saw potential in me and put extra effort into helping me grow that potential—this resulted in a scholarship to a school in Manhattan.
After graduating high school and college, I decided to take my credit card with a $1000 limit and go to Puerto Rico to start a business in refrigeration and air conditioning.
After a couple of years, I sold that business and moved back to the Bronx and was set on using the money I had produced to find a career that would help other people.
I ended up finding a job helping others write their job resumes, but I still wanted to help people on a much larger scale.
I started working with Per Scholas, which originally refurbished used computers for much lower than the market cost and taught the technology to others.
Half the original class we hired left after a few months because they now had the skills needed to succeed elsewhere—we realized this was our opportunity to train people in IT for career success.
We shifted the objective at Per Scholas to focus on workforce development and I eventually moved into the CEO position—we currently train about 10,000 people and hope to keep growing rapidly!
Keep following my journey


CEO & President

I lead a workforce development program that gives people the skillsets to succeed in a career.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Helping People

Day to Day

I wake up early in the morning to go to the gym and think about previous and upcoming tasks while I work out. I get to the office before other employees start coming in so that I can answer emails, read reports, and analyze data. I then spend the rest of the day planning what the next iteration of the organization will look like. These are ideas like what city we should expand to next and what new training program should we launch. I also spend time traveling as president of the organization.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Don't be afraid to say no to the things that aren't going to work for you. We need to realize when something—an educational program, a rule, an opportunity, anything!—doesn't work for everyone, say no to it, and come up with better solutions.


Challenges I Overcame

Socio-Economic Origin