Before coming to Year Up I was trying to become an independent adult but was struggling to get over a number of obstacles. I had just finished my nursing assistant program, but I was getting turned down for jobs because I lacked experience. In order to live on my own in San Francisco, minimum wage was not going to cut it! I had very little faith, and after I lost some loved ones I felt depressed and fearful. I wanted to be successful, but I didn’t have the confidence I needed to succeed.
During that time, some of my friends who were about to graduate from Year Up got offered full-time positions at the companies where they were interning. Witnessing their success from afar encouraged me to apply for the program. I was excited for the opportunity to learn professional and technical skills. The hardest part for me was receiving feedback, but I learned how to apply it to my professional and personal life in a positive way and it helped me grow.
I earned an internship at Sutter Health Information Services and was hesitant to start there, but I quickly learned that you get back what you put in; it is all about how much you are willing to put yourself out there. I was amazed at what I was able to learn from my co-workers, and on my own. I even got to work with one of the hottest applications in the IT Healthcare industry – the Electronic Health Record. I always thought I wanted to be a nurse but that completely blew me away. I was beginning to realize this path was the right one for me.
When I graduated from Year Up I was very proud of what I’d accomplished. I enrolled at City College of San Francisco where I now study Project Management for Healthcare IT full time. I also work at Sutter full time as a Clinical Application Analyst II. I support the staff that supports our patients and I’ve been promoted three times. I can finally afford to have my own place and travel without being limited because of my expenses. I don’t like to talk about the “what if’s”, but if I hadn’t found Year Up I would probably be working three jobs just to survive and wouldn’t have time for school. I plan to continue with my education so that I will have options. In the future, I would love to work for Sutter Health as a Project Manager.
At work I make a point to encourage the new Year Up interns to find out what they want and challenge themselves to work for it. I was once in their shoes and I feel it’s my obligation to help them the way others helped me. Everyone has a dream; some struggle more to make their dreams happen. I know because I am living proof of what “bridging the gap” looks like. My dreams have become my reality.