“My family and I moved here from the Dominican Republic when I was 16. While I didn’t know any English at the time, I managed to pick it up, graduate high school, and attend Salem State. I was the first in my family to go to college. (My mom really wanted to go herself, but she had to work to support us.)
Unfortunately, it turns out I wasn’t ready. The language barrier was still there and I had to work the whole time I attended, which led to me getting frustrated that I wasn’t doing well. I was about to drop out when a friend told me about Year Up. I figured I could start over again.
“The staff at NSCC helped me do what I wanted and was full of great communication and easy access.”
Attending Year Up was the best idea for me. I learned how to speak in public, tie a tie, give and take feedback in a professional way, and manage my time. I came from Salem to Boston every day and I was only late once. Year Up showed me what a real career would be like and it was better than being book smart but unemployed. So many people I work with now have a college degree, but have no idea how to succeed at work. They show up late, quit without calling, and worse.
During my Year Up internship, I had to learn something completely new almost every day. I became an expert at SharePoint, which allows companies to build an Intranet for files, and I worked with so many users on that application that they ended up hiring me. The job made me excited to keep learning, so I decided to go back to college, this time at North Shore Community College.
I loved NSCC. I was still working full-time so I took online and night classes. The staff at NSCC helped me do what I wanted and was full of great communication and easy access. Everyone was always there to help. This time, college was a great experience. I was focused and I graduated — with honors.
I’m not scared to learn new skills and now I work on different projects with different companies on different computer applications. I just finished a contract with a Japanese company, which hired me to help with their new HR system. I figured it out and helped all of these people from Japan learn how to use it. I even learned some Japanese. It’s a great feeling to do something that I like every day.”