New Brunswick, NJ

Growing through Every Experience

Dina Vazquez

For Dina, Bridge to Employment has been influential in her life both in and outside of school. Through her mentor, Oscar, her career aspirations and time at the ABTS Conference, Dina has had a multitude of different experiences that have begun to shape her well roundedness and confidence.

She explains that Oscar “has shown me that my future goes beyond applications and high grades; that I need to be a well-rounded individual.” He has encouraged Dina to apply for schools that she had thought were out of her reach, and he has introduced her to occupations in the healthcare field, while ensuring her that grades and career goals are not the only significant aspects of life. Dina encourages other students who enter the program to “create a strong relationship with their mentors because they will be extremely important” to their time both in and outside of the program.

Dina had heard about the ABTS conference from the previous student ambassadors, who told her stories of how much they learned from the conference. Their accounts from ABTS inspired Dina to apply, as she too wanted a chance to grow as a student and interact with others from different cultures and backgrounds. She especially was looking forward to working with the other students in order to “discuss ideas and develop great solutions.” Through the conference, Dina felt as though she was able to come out of her shell – she explained how she “used to be very shy, especially with adults, but now can carry on a conversation.”

Dina’s enthusiasm and determination to learn and grow as a student has made her time with BTE an invaluable experience. She has taken full advantage of the resources given to her, which have aided her confidence and ability to be well-rounded.