Today, as I sit in my living room with the TV on DayStar, I will tell you what has happened since May 2016.
On March 1st (orientation week)/13th (first day of class) 2016 I became a student of the nationwide program Year Up. Year Up is a year long program that prepares its students for the working world. The first 6 months are Learning and Development, where students are offered classes in the various tracks that are offered (initially just IT, Finance, Customer Service and Sales was in the testing phase; now Sales, a full time course, and Quality Assurance are now are part of the choices). The last 6 months of the program are for an internship that is chosen by the track you are on, grades from assignments done during the L&D period and personality.
I learned about Year Up in October 2015 when I had returned to the States after being on a break back home in SVG. I was still in the process of applying to the art school of my dreams (which i'll talk about another time) and I honestly thought I would've have a gotten in. Mind you, I didn't know how I was going to afford it nor the full extent to how tedious applying to colleges would be.
By the time I had already done my SATs (which I wasn't truly happy with) and was slowly beginning to think of applying to more places for part-time work (never worked before). However, the Lord had other plans in store. The place where i had taken GED classes contacted me first about my current situation and how I wanted to proceed from then on.
Before I continue, I want to describe and somewhat explain to you how this act of care and kindness surprised and baffled me. The culture I grew up in wasn't necessarily bad nor evil per say; it was just........basically businesses and organizations (government and private alike) didn't (to me) go out of their way to see how things were going with you as a person. Once you graduated from high school and/college you were on your own and if you didn't have connections.....Hah! Good luck to you.
With that mindset I was pretty skeptical, however that quickly disappeared as I started to rekindle the memories of my time with them (I took the classes for about 3 months at the end of 2014 after which I went straight into SAT classes). First, they helped me sort out my plans for the near future. I honestly hadn't truly sat down to explicitly state or jot down my plans. I had an idea and that was to go to school to get a degree in my dream career but nothing else. I'm truly grateful for that sit down because I normally got my advice from my mom but she wasn't there with me physically. So having someone be on the lookout for me was very heartwarming and touching.
Now once that was sorted and done they started the job search with me (part time was the most likely). I met with 2 people but wasn't hired. These 2 encounters allowed me to see how much I lacked in the experience department. That is when my life started to turn in the direction I least expected and what I can see now is that The Lord was guiding me to the 'right place at the right time'.
I was encouraged by a staff member, the one who took me on the 2 previous semi-job interview, to go to a job fair that was happening in a week or so. I went. I was extremely nervous but 'M' (staff member who contacted me when I came back) was there so that was a source of comfort. At the job fair, I applied for 2-3 job offers and that is where I met Year Up Boston representatives. Curious I went by their booth. I was given their recruitment speech and I was impressed. Skeptical but impressed none the less. I put my name now on the 'interest' form and I was given a business card with the reps info and I was done. 'M' told me that they were legit and I should give them a call. Honestly, after I had contacted the rep and gave more detailed info I completely moved on to finding a job because there was limited space and I didn't believe that I would get in.
But I did.
Like seriously, I was so shocked.
I cried and thanked God.
He was giving me the chance to finally get a hold of my life.
Fast forwarding through the document stuff, a few group meetings and a couple interviews to orientation day. Like hell i was nervous. I knew no one there and that terrified me, but I knew that my mom and aunt were praying for my success and that they believed in my ability to be someone. So I decided to finally begin to believe in myself and the abilities that I was blessed with.
As described earlier, the first 6 months is for Learning and Development which were basically your classes and the course I chose to do was Information Technology. My time there was a literal and figurative roller coaster. It was scary. It was emotionally draining. It was uplifting. It was challenging. There are so many words that come to mind but in the end I don't regret it.
You might think this is annoying but I cannot NOT thank God. He knows my past, present and future. He knows what is to come my way and He has the paths He needs for me to walk on to prepare myself for whats to come all in place. Year Up is but one along the way. I have met many people who I never thought I would've gotten along with. Being so open and honest with said people, standing and presenting in front of my class and other classes as well. I can go on and on about the changes that have occurred and continue to learn but I'll stop here for now.
I am currently one month away from finishing my internship part and I have been even more out of my comfort zone than ever before as I have to work directly with people. I am a desktop support intern for the trading department of a prominent investment company. I'm having a blast and have come out of my shell with every new month here. I am constantly working to challenge myself and interact with others.
That was a lot.
I'll definitely do 2 or 3 more updates on my internship progress, if you're interested that is.
If you have any similar stores and experiences share them with me. It'll be cool to read other people's stories.
If not, that's cool. This is just a journal for me and part of my growth to be an engaging and functioning adult.
[Originally drafted on 15th October,2016. Post is slightly updated to suit current situation]