At the young age of 16, life circumstances forced me to drop out of high school. What followed were difficult years that lead to the destruction of my self-confidence and a defeated outlook on life. Eight years later (age 24), I was hungry for a change in my life and pushed myself to enroll in a high school program, graduate high school, and do the unthinkable… enroll in HCC. I initially thought I had made an incredible mistake, as I thought to myself “I'm not smart enough to be in college”. To my surprise, this seemingly terrible mistake quickly turned into a true life journey filled with self-discovery and support to once again find self-confidence. HCC became the place of personal unravelling and provided the mental reconditioning and tools needed for me to build a new life. HCC did more than provide an education, it provided opportunities to become immersed in a community of people that were also pushing to overcome and succeed. I finally felt like someone was rooting for me. I encountered inspiring professors like Dr. Keith Berry and Dr. Dustin Lemke that taught me things like “the future is in the hands of those that can Learn, Unlearn, and Re-Learn” and “if you’re the smartest person in your group, you’re in the wrong group”. I also met with counselors and mental health professionals at HCC that helped me work through moments that I felt overwhelmed; which made me feel that turning my life around was truly possible. As I continued my academic career, I became involved in the Student Government and Hope Scholars Program. Each of these programs served to shape me into a better person. The Hope Program paired me with mentorship and exposure to secure professional internship opportunities. This gave me the competitive edge when I had completed my studies and entered the corporate workforce. While at HCC I earned an Associate of Science degree in Business and moved on to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Management at the University of South Florida (USF). I now work for a top tier global management consulting firm and have used what I learned to help teams of people all around the world in the finance operations space, and now, most recently, as an Operations and External Workforce Expert in People Operations. I also currently stand as a Master’s Program candidate in the study of Change Management and Organization design in some very competitive universities and I am in pursuit of some entrepreneurial opportunities.
Belief is power….it takes a village to make your dreams come true, choose wisely.