Project Analyst at JPMorgan Chase

Year Up New York

Class of July 2013

For a long time, I was stuck in what felt like a maze with no exit. I worked in retail for JPMorganChase_PartnerPhotoshoot_081314_817five years, making $8/hour. I wanted to increase my chances of having a better future, so I attended college, studying Biology/Pre-Med, but my college experience only lasted two semesters because I couldn’t afford tuition. I knew I had what it takes to be successful, but despite my eagerness to learn, I didn’t have the professional experience to pursue a career outside of retail.

Then, I learned that I was pregnant. I moved into a maternity home for homeless women and was receiving public assistance. As a survivor of domestic abuse and now a single mother, I was devastated. However, I was determined to overcome these struggles and be a positive influence for my daughter. I heard about Year Up from my prenatal doctor and decided to invest in this opportunity to gain experience within a corporate environment. I was determined to break away from being a stereotype. I knew where I wanted to be and was ready to commit to getting there.

At Year Up, I was motivated by the determined individuals who surrounded me and encouraged by the most supportive staff. It helped me understand that I was not alone. I wasn’t used to having people genuinely care about my goals. Despite all of the support I received, it was intimidating to know I’d be interning at JPMorgan Chase as a Business Management Consultant. I was expecting placement at a Branch, but after reflecting, I realized that with Year Up’s training, I was equipped with the project management skills I needed to be successful as an intern.

At JPMC, I worked closely with the CIO to map monthly headcounts within the company, create presentations for firm-wide use, and assist with weekly meetings. JPMorgan Chase invests in young adults. My manager was also a Year Up graduate and helped pave the way for others like me.

Two days before my internship ended, my manager offered me a position continuing as a Project and Business Management Consultant. Now, I’m a Project Analyst, training to become a Project Manager. I’m also involved in shaping company culture. I established the Buddy System, which matches Year Up alumni mentors with incoming Year Up interns.

Outside of JPMorgan Chase, I’m an aspiring entrepreneur. I’ve invented a product that will allow working parents to make the most out of little moments they have with their children. I can’t wait to see how far I can take my business, Kelly’s Connectable.

A lot has changed since I started Year Up. I used the little ounce of strength I had left to keep on pushing, and today, I’m a strong and independent mother of two who is pursuing her dreams. I knew I could persevere and Year Up was the once in a lifetime opportunity to make it happen.

If you’re interested in sharing your story or recommending an alum, complete the student story nomination form.