Volunteering: Technology officer teaches computer programming to Goleman high school students

Education By David Snelling, Reporter Thursday, March 18, 2021

Antonio Llanos grew up as a computer whiz kid.
So it was natural for him to pursue a career in computer science, which has lasted 25 years and counting.

And Llanos, 47, of Miami Lakes, is sharing his knowledge with those hungry for computer skills in his hometown: Students and staff at Barbara Goleman Senior High School.

Llanos said he volunteers on his own time because he’s always in a mood to give back to his community.

“The course is the top computer science class in high school,” Llanos said. “It’s essentially a college credits course. I’m glad to be able to be local and a participant.”

Llanos is a chief technology officer for the LaCalle Group, the parent company for Continued and Simucase, which offers online learning platforms with high-quality education to thousands of licensed and certified professionals and students nationwide.

The company’s headquarters is in Houston, and Llanos works remotely.

Last year Llanos was offered the opportunity to mentor students in computer science and he chose his hometown high school.

This school year, Llanos -- who earned his computer science degree from Georgia Institute of Technology -- has virtually volunteered his service to dozens of students who are seeking careers in com- puter science. Lately he teaches two mornings each week.

Llanos teamed up with Microsoft Philanthropies’ Technology Education and Literacy in Schools program, which connects classroom teachers with tech industry volunteers to create computer science and technology courses, according to Continued’s website.

Llanos said he shares teaching duties at Goleman with a Google computer expert in Pittsburgh and an- other technology executive from a New York start-up.

Ajayi Johnson, a management information system teacher at Goleman for the past 14 years, said Llanos is not only tutoring students but that he’s picking up a few pointers from him as well.

Johnson said they are learning programs that create computer applications using Microsoft software, which is in high demand for different job markets.

Johnson, 43, said Llanos is teaching them how to use Java, a popular software which develops desktop, web and android applications.

“He’s very efficient and always willing to help, even on a one-on-one basis,” Johnson said of Llanos. “He’s a great influence on the students who look up to him because of his skills in computer science.”
Johnson said Llanos also makes sure students aren’t left behind.

“When the kids need more help, he’s there to assist them,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he hopes Llanos will continue to volunteer his time during the next school year, “because he’s great working with the kids.”

Goleman senior Jon Rodriguez said Llanos’ pointers will help him pursue a career in cyber security.

He said he was accepted to Rochester Institute of Technology and will attend the school in the fall.

Learning Java is the first step to creating programs to use in his future career.

“The program helps you with critical thinking when something goes wrong and you quickly write a program to solve the problem,” said Rodriguez. “The program can help you become creative in your field and be very effective.”

Rodriguez said Llanos is definitely a pro in computer science.

“He really understands and knows what he’s teaching,” he said. “What we are learning from him is priceless.”

Llanos said he also volunteers for Georgia Institute of Technology, and interviews applicants living in South Florida who are seeking college scholarships to his alma mater.

“I have been doing that for many, many years,” he said.

Llanos said he was born in New York and moved to Miami with his parents when he was four years old.

He grew up in Kendall and graduated from Miami Killian Senior High School.

Following college, he landed a computer science job at Florida Power & Light Company and later worked for Blackhawk Network Holdings, which distributed gift cards for companies, including supermarket chains and department stores.

During the 2009 housing crisis, Llanos said he worked for Bayview Asset Management in Coral Gables, which helped homeowners hold on to their homes during the struggling economy.

“That was one of my biggest career projects,” he said.

Llanos is married to Alexandra Font, director of internal operations for The Graham Companies.

They have two children, Elisa, 8, and Samuel, 3.

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