BTE Student Stories

Roberta Savarese

Roberta had three more years of high school left when she joined the Bridge to Employment (BTE) Naples program. From the beginning, she knew the program was an opportunity to grow and learn, but little did she know what opportunities ahead of her.

Roberta says BTE has helped her develop and improve her social skills and ability to work in a team. She reports that “Thanks to BTE I have improved my self-confidence; I can better control my feelings now, and respect others.” In addition to gaining soft skills, Roberta also learned about first aid through a session provided by the Italian Red Cross. She says this is her favorite BTE activity to date.

In her final year in BTE Roberta was selected to be a 2015 Alliance Building and Training Session (ABTS) Student Ambassador. She had heard stories from the previous year’s ambassadors and was anxious to meet new people from around the world and learn about other BTE programs. In October 2015, Roberta traveled to Washington, DC to participate in ABTS. Like so many student ambassadors, she learned student ambassadors come from very different schools, communities, and countries, but all BTE students share a similar experience. While touring the famous monuments of Washington, DC, Roberta chatted away in Italian with a Spanish-speaking student ambassador. They talked enthusiastically as the toured the sites and learned that they could connect and communicate, even if they spoke two different languages!

Roberta is well aware of the gift of BTE. She states, “I am very grateful to be part of (the) BTE program. I understand that it’s an opportunity which has been given to me to discover new possibilities, to meet new people, and to know new stories.”