janaethompsonDespite having to support myself from a very young age, I have always been a determined and motivated person. As a teenager, I started working in the field of cosmetology. After high school, I enrolled in college but was forced to withdraw due to financial difficulties. I continued to support myself by maintaining regular clientele and attending a work readiness course until I was introduced to Year Up by a former graduate. I decided to apply when I learned about all of the great opportunities the program offered.

My greatest challenges during my time in Year Up were getting used to the schedule and staying motived after the loss of my grandmother. It weighed heavy on my heart but I knew that giving up was not an option. By completing the program I could make my grandmother watching over me very proud. I gained the will to stay focused and pushed through with the support of my family, friends, staff and associates at Year Up. My mentor at Year Up helped me to understand things more clearly and was always there whenever I needed him.

For my internship, I earned the opportunity to work at Anybill Financial Services where I was responsible for processing checks, data entry, account management, following up with clients and more. My favorite part of my job as an intern was attending client-training meetings with my manager because I gained one-on-one experience with our clients. Learning the company’s culture and mission helped me to adapt to the environment and meet expectations. I now work for Anybill full time as an Operations Clerk.

My biggest goal has been to become the independent individual that I am today. I was able to reach this goal through hard work and the skills I learned from Year Up. Graduating from the program felt like the greatest achievement I had accomplished in my life, aside from graduating high school. I am just as excited about the opportunity at Anybill. To go from being a Year Up intern, to graduating, to becoming a full-time employee is something I’m very proud of. My plans for the future are to continue to exceed expectations at Anybill and further my education in Business Administration to help my career.

Year Up afforded me the opportunity to better my life. I would like people to know that urban young adults are not a lost cause. What we need is guidance, direction, and support. I am just filled with happiness knowing that this is only the beginning and I have a lot more to offer my community.