Cristian S. Finds Purpose…
Tags: academics | Faces of Job Corps | Success Stories

Cristian S. Finds Purpose…

I was doing some research to find a vocational school and came across an institute that would change my life forever.   It was Job Corps, a federally funded program that helps young adults to further educate themselves and find jobs. This was just the opportunity that I was looking for.  I immediately signed myself up and began my second chance in life.  I  was enrolled into the Pine Ridge Job Corp Center in Chadron, Nebraska. At first, I was wondering what I had gotten myself into. But the setting was all too familiar. I felt as if I was in such a place before, and I was. Job Corps had an essential military style of living that I had already experienced before. The ranks amongst the students, the leaders, the dorm living, etc… Living through the Job Corps experience helped me become who I am now, a more serious, mature young adult who is determined to succeed in life.  While at Pine Ridge Job Corps, I completed the Health Occupations training program. My instructors, Mr. and Mrs. Blunt, really helped bring out my potential. No one before had ever told me that I was capable of doing something with my life until I met them. Since my parents were far away in Guatemala, I looked up to the Blunts as my parents. They really took an interest in helping students succeed and helped me find my purpose in life. They were the first ones to encourage me to go on to college and so I did.

Job Corps was very helpful with my transition to college. I could never thank enough a particular counselor, Mrs. Calamari, for helping me with my admission to Chadron State College (CSC). She helped me fill out applications, apply for financial aid, and register for other programs offered by the college that would be beneficial to me.  I can clearly remember the day that I was accepted and was granted federal aid to attend CSC. I felt as if I had won the lottery. I could not stop smiling from ear-to-ear that entire day. When I told the magnificent news to my parents, they told me that their prayers were finally listened to and that they knew that someday I would make them proud.

I am currently a sophomore at CSC conquering a pre-med curriculum with a minor in psychology. I also work at a local assisted living home for seniors in Chadron, tutor math and chemistry for the college, and spend my free time studying. Someday I wish to be able to serve those people that are in desperate need of medical attention. I want to become a surgeon, but I am still not sure in what specialty.  For now, I find cardiovascular surgery to be an interest and perhaps will pursue that field.  Also, I am in an Army program called Reserved Officer Training Program (ROTC), which is teaching me how to be a leader in the army. Upon completion of this program, I will become a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. But for now, I must concentrate on taking baby steps to get closer to my dream life. College is not easy when you have to work full time, part time, and have to get through a military program. Someday I will see the fruit of my hard efforts and sacrifices that I have made in my young adult life. I could of not have made it this far if it were not for the help that I found at the Job Corps. I can not overemphasize how much the Job Corps program has impacted my life.

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