A love of computers at a young age is what has led Jake Kirkbride to pursue a career in computer technology. Jake, who is a Programmer/Analyst at RJ Technologies, is currently attending Kent State University to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer technology with application development.

Growing up, the North Bloomfield native was heavily influenced by his parents – his father has worked for a power company for more than 30 years and his mother works at the high school Jake attended.

Jake especially admires his mother, who fought cancer when he was a child. Now cancer free, his mother battled melanoma in her leg for many years and has had multiple surgeries and therapies. He said her strength is an inspiration to him and he looks up to her for all that she has been through and been able to do. He said she calls her leg her “million dollar leg.”

Jake also grew up with an older sister, who is fluent in six languages and has taught Jake some of what she knows.

While in high school, Jake’s interests included sports, music and computers. Jake played basketball for a few years then focused mainly on soccer, which he played varsity through high school.

Besides working full time at RJ Technologies and going to college, Jake also performs in a band as the lead guitarist. He joined his first band when he was 14 and started his own band at 16. Now an adult, his band will be performing in Akron on a regular basis. He said he even plans to
build a website soon to promote guitar lessons online.

In the future, he wants to get more into software development, finish college, get married, have kids and “live the dream.”