"A year ago I was here with some steel-toed boots and a hard hat, and now I’m here with a tie,” the Year Up alumnus laughed.
When he graduated high school, Brayan Luna—now an Analytics Solutions Associate at JPMorgan Chase—was the first in his family to do so, and he aspired to go on to college. But he quickly discovered that without a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) permit, attending college wouldn’t be financially feasible.
“I gave up the option of going to college because I didn’t have the citizenship or status here in the United States," he shared.
As he struggled to make ends meet working two jobs—at a lumber yard during the day, and managing a fast-food restaurant at night—Brayan found out that he was going to be a father, and “…knew [he] had to step it up.” When a friend told him about Year Up, Brayan thought, “…you know, I have nothing to lose… so why not? It was just the experience of a lifetime.”
I received a job offer, and once I heard that opportunity presented to me, I was really happy. I knew that I was going to take a leap into something different. This was something that was going to change not only me, but my son.
Analytics Solutions Associate, JPMorgan Chase
At Year Up, Brayan dove in head first and never looked back. He specialized in Business Fundamentals, building skills in business, data analysis and reporting, and project coordination, as well as valuable professional skills.
“The Year Up staff supported me in many ways… and the initial six months were hard. I was learning how to dress professionally, how to speak professionally, how to receive and give feedback, how to get ready for that corporate opportunity.”
Beyond the demands of the classroom, Brayan was also balancing the demands of fatherhood, but his hard work paid off when he earned an internship at JPMorgan Chase.
On his first day of work at JPMorgan Chase, he felt a familiar feeling—and then it clicked. He realized he had actually worked there before, doing drywall work on the building when it was being constructed. He laughed: “A year ago I was here with some steel-toed boots and a hard hat, and now I’m here with a tie.” By the end of his internship, Bryan was hired on full-time as a Business Analyst.
"I received a job offer, and once I heard that opportunity presented to me, I was really happy. I knew that I was going to take a leap into something different. This was something that was going to change not only me, but my son.”
Today, Brayan works implementing data and insights infrastructure that supports JPMorgan Chase's Diversity Equity & Inclusion goals across all seven of the company's Centers of Excellence. While excelling in his work at JPMorgan Chase, Brayan also recently completed his Associate of Science degree, and will soon be attending The University of Texas in Dallas, where he plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering—all while serving as a mentor and supporter to the many Year Up interns who have come after him.
Hear more about Brayan's path to Year Up and his flourishing career at one of the most prominent financial institutions in the world in the video below: