“I was born in Boston, grew up in Colombia, and then came back to graduate from Revere High. Not a lot of people realize there’s a strong Colombian community in Revere — everyone there knows everyone else.

In high school, I was an average student with mostly B’s, which I think was because I just didn’t feel passionate about anything. I still didn’t know what I wanted to do when I went to NSCC in 2008, but I eventually decided to study liberal arts. Unfortunately, I also needed to work

“NSCC became my second home.”

full-time so I stopped going to school. Then my friend Katherine, who I’ve known since we were little, convinced me to try Year Up.

It took me a little while to figure it out, but Year Up came at the perfect time. When I started, I was afraid of the language barrier. What if I couldn’t understand what people were saying? Not to mention I was already married and wasn’t really interested in becoming friends with everyone in my learning community. I didn’t think I needed it. Year Up was a reality check. It taught me how people should be treated, how to be on time, and how to be professional. By the end of the year, my learning community felt like one big family. I loved Year Up and I’d do it all over again if I could.

After Year Up, my internship at State Street Corporation became a full-time job, which I left after three years when my son was born. I had such a great team and manager there and I was even taking classes in the evening at NSCC. NSCC became my second home because I spent so many years there! I finally graduated in business administration in 2017, almost 10 years later — but still, I finished. I knew I needed the degree to grow in the professional world and when I finished, I felt much more secure about myself. It may take a while to get my Bachelor’s, but I’m patient. I’ll get there.

To be honest, I’m not done with NSCC just yet. I’m about to take a noncredit class focused on software that will help me with our company. My husband is a plumber, and I manage all of the finances and paperwork. I like taking non-credit classes because they help keep my skills up. My long term goal is to get my degree in human resources and do Human Resources for a company. I like people a lot, and I think it’s a good fit for me.”

“By the end of the year, my learning community felt like one big family. I loved Year Up and I’d do it all over again if I could.”

Karen is just one of the thousands of Year Up graduates ready to grow their professional careers. Tap into top talent today.