2019 Against the Odds Award Recipient

Johanna Cook was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and immigrated to the United States with her mother and younger sister as a 7-year-old child who spoke only her native Spanish language. She helped attend to her sister while her mother worked long hours as a seamstress. At age 15, Johanna began helping support her family while finishing high school. In 1991, Johanna graduated high school and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. After serving four years in the U.S. Air Force as a Financial Specialist, she graduated with her associate and bachelor’s degree. Following graduation, she was hired as a Software Engineer with IBM and over the years has been promoted to several positions, to now being the Availability Manager for IBM Watson and Cloud Platform. She has filed five U.S. patents for her technical applications work.

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