I want to start by saying giving a big “Thank You” to all the staff at YU. When I first enrolled in YU back in 2009, I had been working two jobs, one which paid me $15/hr and I considered my career job. I quickly realized that I was wrong about that. I wanted more for myself.

Although it was hard at first, the whole being on time, infractions, speaking professionally, firm handshake, giving and receiving feedback and dressing up in a suit everyday, it was all worth it. I (and many of my classmates) learned the importance of doing the small things that was required of the job we want to do, rather than the one we were doing. All soft-skills learned at YU now come to me instantly.

Today, I am the Data and Resource Manager for the Family Independence Initiative in Boston. FII a is national organization that believes in the power of low and middle-income families. That rather than creating solutions for families, we should learn from them and let them create their own solutions while we work on creating the resources they need based on the data we collect.

It’s hard to name one single make or break support. I have received tons of support from many people, and I think that without one of these supports, I would not be where I am today. To name a few, my family was very supportive of me making the decision to join YU, Jesus Gerena who for so long and many ways supported me personally and professionally, and the Hyde Square Task Force, a youth organization that instilled in me the importance of community. I would also say a special thanks to my long time Mentor, Ken Tangvick who has always been there for me should I need an advice.

For someone who is starting a similar journey, I would highly suggest for them to find a mentor or boss who really cares for them and who is really willing to support the professional growth. I have found that having someone who is willing to be there for you has been the biggest impact in my life.

Finally, I would say that I am forever thankful to YU for the opportunity to meet my wife who I have a gorgeous three-year-old daughter with.

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