Me: How did you hear about Project Rise and what made you sign up?
Natalie: My mother. She saw the Project Rise advertisement in the Kingsborough Community College Brochure. My family is run on tough-love so she basically threw the brochure at me and told me I needed to get my G.E.D (I swear she is a very kind and funny woman). But I did like how they offered a paid internship and work readiness. Heaven knows I had no job experience.
Me: You just graduated. Congratulations! What did you like most about the program?
Natalie: Generally I liked the whole package. The fact that I was going to be able to study and take the G.E.D. for free and have a paid internship along with obtaining college credits not to forget we had the chance to work on the Urban Farm, it was great…still is.
Me: That’s quite a lot to do in just one year! Was there anything unexpected?
Natalie: Just when I thought they couldn’t offer the cohort anything else we were offered extra tutoring which was great for some of the students who needed extra help. There was also free pizza involved and I LOVE PIZZA!
Me: Were staff members helpful iwhen you reached out to them?
Natalie: ALWAYS! I remember once I walked into the office just to thank them all for what they do for me and also my peers.
Me: They must have really liked that! Tell us about your internship/employment experiences.
Natalie: Before this program I never had a real job, so working in a nursing home for 5 months and then working in an office environment gave me two completely different perspectives of how to improve work skills. In the nursing home I needed to be very social and interact a lot with others. In the office I needed the same thing along with computer and customer service skills. All of it was new to me but I took in all these experiences knowing that months or even years from now, they would benefit me. And they already have!
Me: Now that you’ve graduated (congratulations, again!) what are your plans?
Natalie: Currently I am working with the Center for Economic and Workforce Development as an Operations Assistant which I was offered after completing my internship with the Northeast Resiliency Consortium. I have enrolled for classes at Kingsborough in the spring and I will be pursuing Theatre Arts.