Achieving the Dream and the seven colleges in the Northeast Resiliency Consortium (NRC) have developed a resiliency competency model important to the success of students as they exit college, get their first job or change to a new job. Enjoy reading this story about one NRC student.
Student Name: Breno Silva
Location: Housatonic Community College, Bridgeport, CT
Degree: Associate’s Degree in Computer Information Systems (With a focus on web development)
Breno Silva grew up with a passion for computers. As a seven-year-old elementary school student, he began to take computer classes to cultivate his interest in emerging technology. As he grew older, he knew that he wanted to pursue a career that integrated his passion for computer programming with his desire to secure a position that provided sustainable income and job security. In 2015, Breno found himself at a crossroads in his educational journey and decided to take the first step towards earning his Associate’s Degree by enrolling in Computer Information Systems courses at Housatonic Community College.
The NRC Experience
In 2015, Breno enrolled in the FORWARD program at Housatonic Community College. FORWARD is funded by the United States Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program and is a part of the Northeast Resiliency Consortium (NRC). The FORWARD program works toward NRC’S mission to create a highly skilled and resilient workforce prepared to enter regional, high-demand jobs in healthcare and information technology occupations. The program utilizes innovative curriculum, student supports, employer partnerships and work-based learning to ensure that students are prepared both academically and vocationally for the next steps in their careers.
While Breno was completing coursework for a Java Programming class, one of the final requirements for the Associate’s Degree in Computer Information Systems, his professor saw how invested he was in excelling academically and finding a job when he graduated. After two months of observing Breno, the professor helped Breno secure an internship at the local People’s United Bank. During his internship, Breno worked on-site with the software engineering team and worked hard to go above and beyond what was asked of him. Two months into the four month internship, he was offered a full-time position with a benefits package as a Junior Software Engineer.
In March 2016, Breno received an exceptional annual review and was promoted to the mid-level Software Engineer position.
“My classroom experiences as a student in the FORWARD program, along with the support of a professor who truly believed in me, has helped me to find a job that I love. It truly does not feel like work to me. It feels like a hobby, a true passion,” said Breno.
Breno continues to work full time at People’s United Bank and has completed his Associate’s Degree at Housatonic. He is now working towards his Bachelor’s degree as a student at the University of Bridgeport.
Breno is excited to further cultivate his career at People’s United Bank and plans to pursue his Master’s Degree in the near future.
“I think that my degree in Information Systems and the training I have in software development is so crucial in this day in age. In the face of natural or manmade disasters, I have the ability to manage and maintain computer infrastructures, and as a result, truly make an impact on my community. The FORWARD curriculum ensured that I have the skills needed to contribute towards a safer, healthier and more prosperous future for those living in my region,” said Breno.