Our commitment to OBT graduates extends beyond academic and work readiness programs; we support young people along their pathways to achieving their goals. OBT’s advocacy is in program and beyond, amplifying the message that career pathways are not linear.
Melanie Jean-Louis, a 2020 graduate of OBT’s Cloud Support Engineering program, is currently working as an Associate Cloud Engineer at Medidata. She interned there before being hired full-time. Melanie hopes this position will lead her to achieving her goal of becoming a Senior Cloud Engineer within five years. Before she joined OBT’s Cloud Support Engineering Program, Melanie was working in the social work field after graduating from SUNY Buffalo. She wanted a change and to go back to school. OBT’s Cloud Support Engineer Program ticked all her boxes – and it was free! She gained a solid background in the fundamentals and exposure to what was new in the tech field. She learned to network professionally, landed an internship, showcased her skills, and made connections with colleagues that helped her earn a permanent position on the team.
Meet Maia Torruella, a 20-year-old from the Bronx who recently graduated from OBT’s Digital Marketing Program. Maia has been interested in how to build a brand, make websites, and market a business for several years, after setting up her own website to sell crystals and other witchy wares. After being furloughed from an internship with Investors Bank due to COVID-19, Maia sought opportunities to explore this interest further. A google search brought her to OBT, where she was able to deepen her knowledge of marketing, digital advertising, and measuring the success of campaigns. Maia is very motivated to understand the connection between people and technology, and digital marketing enables her to explore that. After graduating, Maia landed a job at New York City’s Department of Education, building technology to support student enrollment. The fluency with digital platforms that she learned through OBT’s program helped her get where she is today.
A Sunset Park resident and mother of two, Guadalupe wanted to provide a better life for herself and her children. After working her way through various jobs, she realized that in order to have stability she needed additional training and access to different types of jobs – ones that would offer growth and opportunity. Upon completing training, OBT helped her to land a full-time position at MTM, a medical logistics company in the heart of Sunset Park. Today, Guadalupe is a Program Associate at OBT and is enrolled at Kingsborough Community College and on the Dean’s List.
Yesenia is a 23 year old young woman from Queen, NY. She joined OBT in September of 2020 as a Pre-HSE student. She became acclimated to the program quickly- attending all her classes every week, submitting assignments, and building connections with her peers and staff members. For the 20 weeks of the program, Yesenia was eager to learn and determined to get closer to attaining her High School Equivalency. She advanced to the HSE level of programming and is thriving. Yesenia earned three industry recognized credentials and is currently interning remotely for a small black owned business, Sweet Suga Mama’s. Yesenia is finding enjoyment working in an environment that fuels her passion for the culinary arts and creativity.
Hector Rentas joined OBT in September 2020 as a Pre-HSE participant. Although he faced many obstacles as he balanced school and work, he worked extremely hard and advocated to take the TABE test and be moved to HSE. During mid-cycle TABE test, Hector was able to reach a 9th grade reading level and was approved to be enrolled in HSE. Although he struggled with attendance due to work, he would come back with the intention of working harder every time. He re-enrolled in programming for cohort 3, knowing this would be his last cohort in A&E as he turns 25 during the cycle. On February 22, 2021, Hector was sent for the TASC exam and passed the subjects needed and is now waiting for his HSE diploma!
Anthony came to OBT hoping to earn his High School diploma and get a good paying job to support his family. Anthony quickly blossomed in the non-traditional environment and within a year he passed his TASC exam. He was captain of the Debate Team at OBT’s Annual Public Speaking Celebration. When OBT opened its new Sunset Park office, Anthony gave brief remarks to the crowd of funders, employer partners, and staff. Anthony’s journey is just starting, but he’s a great example of what an OBT student can achieve during their time in the program.
With forty students in her Bronx classrooms, Kiana had struggled to get the attention of her teachers. At OBT she found a more supportive environment than at her old High School or local HSE programs. Her OBT classes were small – generally no more than fifteen students. She established friendships with her classmates and her teachers showed an interest in her success, both in and outside of class. She quickly got involved with extra-curricular activities and achieved certifications in Retail and Microsoft Office. She passed her TASC exam and earned her High School Equivalency diploma.
Meet Jason Moye, a 21 year old from Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. After graduating from high school, Jason wasn’t sure where life would take him. He took a plumbing course and a carpentry course to see if those vocations interested him. Jason realized that kind of work was not what he wanted to do; he was much more interested in working in an office environment. When Jason found OBT’s Career Readiness program, it seemed like the perfect fit. Through the program, Jason was able to earn Microsoft Office Suite Credential and gain experience through two paid internships – the first at the Tiger Foundation and the second at URI. In addition to building his resume, Jason developed incredible self-confidence with the support of OBT staff. Before coming to OBT, Jason was very shy; by the end of the program, he was presenting to large groups with ease. All of these new skills led him to where he is currently – in a short-term training program with American Stock Trade to become a Call Representative.
“Remember everyone has an expiration date in life. So in the meantime, live your life to the fullest, have fun, and make mistakes. That’s okay, life is full of mistakes. At the same time, learn from those mistakes and be yourself. Be who you WANT TO BE. Don’t let anybody change who you are because they can’t live your life for you. Enjoy the moment and be grateful because it’s your life!” – Jason Moye
Ceara Emmanuel-Dixon is an outstanding graduate of OBT’s Masonry Program. At 23, Ceara was working at Target but was ready for her next step. She wanted to create a career path for herself, which brought her to OBT. Though there were times that were challenging while in program, Ceara found support with her cohort of fellow students and OBT staff that helped her earn her certifications and graduate from the Masonry Program. Since graduating, Ceara has had a number of incredible professional opportunities – from construction and restoration work on Trinity Church to the United Nations Building. Ceara’s OBT experience has enabled her to not only support herself and her family financially, but also to feel the excitement of possibility and the freedom that having strong, transferable skills brings you. She also loves that her work allows her to put her stamp on the world; restoring buildings makes you a part of history. Due to the pandemic, Ceara and her partner moved to Delaware. Because of her excellent resume and vetted qualifications, she’s had no trouble securing employment at a local Power Washing company. Ceara maintains that the best part of the Masonry Program – apart from gaining skills that help you break into a well-paying and fulfilling sector – is the lifelong friends and professional connections you meet along the way. She keeps up with her cohort, instructors, and other OBT staff to this day.
Meet Natalia Hernandez, a current MAA student interning at Community Counseling and Mediation. Natalia is also a graduate of OBT’s Career Readiness Program, during which she interned at a hospital. Natalia, a 23 year old from Brooklyn, joined OBT to explore her career options. She was previously enrolled in college, but dropped out because she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her degree and didn’t feel like college was for her. OBT was a good opportunity for her – she could gain marketable skills and try out different career paths. Natalia loved her internship at the hospital. She wants a career where she can help people, and healthcare provided the perfect path. After graduating from Career Readiness, Natalia joined OBT’s Medical Administrative Assistant Program to earn her certification and gain even more experience in the field. Even through the pandemic, Natalia attended class every day. She’s thriving in her internship and hopes to find employment in a medical office after graduation.
“When I first stumbled upon Generation/OBT’s Cloud Support Engineering program I thought it would be an awesome opportunity to jump start my career. However, the pressures to have money now and personal anxiety, made me succumb to getting a job instead. The deadline for the application passed and I thought that that opportunity was dead and gone. A few months later though, I got an email about the program accepting new applications and dissatisfied with the direction my life was going, I resolved to take advantage of this chance, determined to not let anything deter me this time. I expected the program to be straightforward and mostly technical training but as the days and weeks went by, the workshops and personal conversations began to make sense in Generation/OBT’s overall mission, which is to prepare their applicants to be career ready, not just job or skill ready. I’ve had some challenges throughout the program and at times doubted if I could successfully finish it. Through the collective help of the staff, by means of therapeutic help, encouragement, guidance, and reminders I was able to persevere up to this point. I’ve taken lot of things from this program from IT knowledge to life advice. The information and lessons learned are invaluable for anyone in any line of work.”
Welcome to the Brooklyn classroom of 14 aspiring masonry workers: A 19th century mausoleum inside the serene expanse of Green-Wood Cemetery. The Bridge to Crafts Careers program offers its students a unique hands-on experience [...]
BY REBECCA GREENBERG BROOKLYN PUBLISHED 6:00 AM ET APR. 21, 2022Your Content Goes Here Perched up on a wooden scaffold in Green-Wood Cemetery, Paul Deceglie is hard at work. “You really need to pack [...]