When Jennifer Ortega came to OBT, she was a financially strapped and frustrated college drop-out, ready to enter the workforce – but in need of the skills and support to start earning her way to self-sufficiency.
After high school, Ms. Ortega took the next step that many graduating seniors believe is the best and only option for a career: college. Thus, Ortega enrolled at an expensive for-profit college in NY. Although she received financial aid and took out a loan for over $9,000, she could only afford the first semester.
Not wanting to dig herself deeper and deeper into debt, Ms. Ortega was ready to work – and decided to take a different route to gainful employment – enrolling in a job training program that leads to industry-recognized certifications.
With the goal of gaining new skills and credentials, Ms. Ortega enrolled in OBT’s Youth Education and Job Training Program. She earned both the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and National Retail Federation Customer Service Certifications, and she became captain of her OBT Debate Team. After a stunning performance at Debate Day, she caught the eye of a recruiter at Bond Street Group staffing agency. Ms. Ortega received a temporary position at Bond Street Group, where she made an impression on Executive Recruiter Alisa Sohn, who said of Jennifer, “She is an extremely hard and diligent worker, probably one of the most detailed people. Her skills are what set her apart.”
Jennifer eventually found a permanent position as an administrative assistant at Guidepost Solutions, an investigation firm. Ms. Ortega worked at Guidepost for two and a half years, during which time she has worked on a variety of projects – including a temporary assignment in New Orleans for the BP oil spill. She is now working as an administrator at Joy Construction, one of the most respected general contracting and development firms in New York City.
With an income and security of steady employment, Ms. Ortega decided to try college again. She recently received her Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Borough of Manhattan Community College as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and is now enrolled in Baruch College where she will graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism with a Minor in Communications in 2016.
Regarding her experience at OBT Jennifer said, “As a proud alumna, I am aware that all of my accomplishments are also a reflection of the various skills and experiences I obtained at OBT.”