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Unstoppable: College and Career Ahead

November 1, 2020
Community Voices
A young Latina woman smiles widely. Has straight, black hair. Green, unfocused park in background.

My twin brother David and I were born prematurely at about 6 months. My family didn’t think that we would survive, but we did. In the beginning, school was hard for me. I had trouble learning, especially in math. It was difficult to pay attention. 

With the help of teachers throughout the years, I started taking advanced classes and I set out to achieve an almost impossible goal–to be the first woman in my family to attend college. However, I needed extra support in the classroom and despite their best efforts, my parents didn’t understand the college application process. My family is from Mexico and they are more comfortable speaking Spanish. 

I found INCLUDEnyc. Without the accommodations I needed, my classes were challenging. The educator at INCLUDEnyc helped me request that support. Also, although I was taking some courses for college credit, I really didn’t know how to apply to college.

With my youth educator, I selected college options based on my interests and reviewed the requirements for each application. It was hard to start my personal statement, but my INCLUDEnyc youth educator and I discussed it and went through several drafts together. Financial aid was even more complicated, but she  helped me collect documents and contacted the school to resolve issues. I proudly graduated high school with enough credits for an Associate’s degree. This fall, I started Hunter College.

While I’m studying, I also have the opportunity to work. INCLUDEnyc recommended a great internship with the NYC Department of Environmental Protection. I serve as an assistant and keep the records organized. The summer internship was extended to a permanent position. INCLUDEnyc helped me find my first real job! I really like my team at INCLUDEnyc. and I’m now so hopeful for the future.

INCLUDEnyc’s Project Possibility program provides intensive support for youth who are transitioning into adult life. This program is made possible with lead funding from The Taft Foundation, Con Edison, and the J.E. & Z.B. Butler Foundation, among other funders.