AWCheney’s Forum On Immigration

Steven Cheney

I was born and raised in Michigan by an education professional and a professional secretary. Needless to say it was a very controlled upbringing which led me to rebel in my teen years.

After graduating from High School in 1970 I attended one semester of college and decided that it wasn’t for me. When no one would hire me in other than a temporary position due to my being elegible for the draft, I investigated the different armed forces opportunites and settled on the U.S. Army.

When it turned out that all of the positions in computer related skills (my first choice for a military occupation) were being given to people with some college education, the army recommended, due to my test results, that I enter the intelligence field. This turned out to be a good choice for me as I wasn’t really combat oriented but did have a good grasp of analytical skills. I spent the first twelve and a half years as an intelligence analyst. Because a lot of my work involved working with computers I was recuited by the computer programming section at one of my assignments to become a computer programmer. Apparently my analytical capabilities were something that was missing in the programmers that they currently had. I was eventually one of the best programmer/analysts at the site, having learned to program in COBOL while on the job.

In 1993 I was forced into retirement due to the “up or out” policy in effect at the time and have since worked almost exclusively for government contractors on contracts for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

I finally completed my college degree after 34 years, earning my associates degree in 2003 and in 2004 earning a BS in Computer Information Systems Magna Cum Laude from Strayer University by attending night school. This was just in time as my two youngest children graduated from high school in 2005.

I met my current wife shortly after retiring and, while it took me a while to realize it, this is probably one of the best things that has happened to me in this life. She is very supportive and has encouraged me to become more forceful and confident in my relationships with employers and other employees.