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Job-Seeker Transitions to Student and Teaching Assistant

My name is Queen Ceasar. After I lost my job at a warehouse, I was having difficulty finding employment. I had heard about transition classes* at Holyoke Community College, and I enrolled in the Transition to College and Careers (TCC) program.

There were several phases of the TCC program that we students had to complete. We did a lot of work to learn math, take quizzes, and write essays. I completed the online Introduction to Health Sciences class offered by World Education. As part of the Transition program design, we also had to start planning for our career. I decided that I wanted to work in human services.

When I graduated from the Transition program, I enrolled in credit classes at Holyoke Community College. The staff of the TCC program helped with the process. I'd always wanted to go to college but didn't think I was smart enough. Yet when I got into college classes, I could see that my skills and confidence were higher than other students'. My first college writing assignment was a narrative essay, which I had learned in the Transition program.

Recently, I got a job working with the mentally ill. My TCC instructor also asked me to serve as the Intro to Health Sciences online course teaching assistant this semester. If it was not for the Transition program, I don't think I would ever have had the courage to go to college or to work at a job I really enjoy.

* The Transition to College and Careers program was a collaborative effort of the Community Education Project in Holyoke, MA and Holyoke Community College. World Education's New England Literacy Resource Center designed and provided technical assistance for it and five other Nellie Mae Education Foundation-funded programs.