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Betty Sanchez

Data Coordinator, IS 218 Manhattan

A Promotion Leads to Independence

Four years ago Betty arrived from the Dominican Republic speaking no English, though she could read and understand it. She started out organizing supplies for a Children’s Aid Society program to help people of all ages earn GEDs and prepare to go to college. Little by little she found herself working first with 6th graders, then 7th graders, then other students in the IS 218 afterschool program, most of whom speak Spanish. 

When an opportunity arose to attend college courses at Hostos Community College through the Center for After-School Excellence at TASC, and to earn professional certification in afterschool, her supervisors encouraged Betty. She is now about to earn her Associate’s degree. She got a job promotion and a raise. “Due to the promotion,” she says proudly, “I was able to get my own apartment with my sister.”

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Yvonne Williams

Site Director, PS/MS 15 and PS 291 (Bronx)

Ahead of the Rest

One of the reasons Yvonne works in afterschool is because the people in the Bronx program she attended as a child encouraged her to go away to college, and helped her earn a full scholarship by playing basketball.  Now she's been doing youth work for 17 years.  Having the chance to go to training sessions where she can socialize and share experiences with peers who understand her work is essential, she said.

"We can get stale," Yvonne said.  "Trainings add a new flavor to things" and keep her up-to-date on what's happening in her field.

Explaining that "my job is adminstration-heavy," Yvonne said she sometimes misses spending time with kids and keeping up-to-date.  "That's why I go to trainings, so I can be up on the jargon" and bring back something new to her program. 

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Rashida Ladner

Program Officer

ExpandED Schools
A Champion Networker

As a college student, Rashida volunteered and found jobs working with youth organizations near her home in Staten Island. When, as an adult, she gave birth to her daughter and was looking for part-time work, one of those organizations, Police Athletic League, hired her.

As she took on positions of increasing responsibility, Rashida used training opportunities and conferences to build a large network of professional contacts. “I like to share best practices and share solutions, and I’m very vocal. People remember me.”

She was asked to serve on an advisory board and found herself working side-by-side with a leader of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, who later helped her refine her resume. Such opportunities are “about building relationships,” Rashida says. “You never know who you’re going to meet.”

 

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