2013 Kingsborough ASAP Leadership Team Member
My ASAP story is in many ways as ordinary as anyone else’s story, but the difference between my story and many others is that I had no interest in trying hard when I became a part of ASAP. My motivation was different from a majority of the students that are a part of the program. I was just coming to school, getting my books paid for, and getting access to free transportation. I never had an interest in really meeting my advisor or speaking to anyone in the ASAP office. I just wanted to come in and get out.
My career advisor had a major impact on me and where I’m at now. Before ASAP I was lost in college because of summer classes. My whole intention was to finish up with my remedial classes and move on. To me, ASAP was just about receiving special benefits and that was all. Three months into the program I realized that even though I was getting all of these benefits, I wasn’t seeking out any of the program’s other opportunities. By then it was time to see my career advisor, Heidi Yu. It was my first time meeting Heidi and the first thing she told me was that she will never forget my name—and it set something off in me.
I began to get comfortable enough to let Heidi know the real reason why I came to see her. I started to break down because for some reason I felt like I wasn’t fitting in because of my attitude towards school. I told her that it was a little hard for me and I was seeking a job to help me out along the way, but I didn’t want it to be hard for me because I wanted to still focus on school. Heidi called me within two days to let me know that there was an on-campus job with ASAP available, so she scheduled me for an interview and as soon as I went in for it I was hired on the spot.
After getting hired for the job my motivation went up. I started seeing Heidi more and more and started involving myself with events that came up at school; I even started applying for scholarships and internships. I wasn’t accepted for them but with Heidi’s energy and support I never gave up. She has made me understand that there’s always something else out there for you if one thing doesn’t seem to work for you. With this being my first job, when ASAP was going through budget cuts I was going to lose my job, but my boss fought to allow me to stay because of my attitude and the energy that I have in the office.
Heidi is the reason why I am where I’m at today. If I hadn’t gone for the one-on-one meeting with her at that specific stage of my life when I had it a little rough, I don’t think I would be taking school seriously today. ASAP has shown me that you can have support and motivation by just never giving up. ASAP has been a great family for me. Even though I’m graduating, it’s going to have a huge impact on me that I was a part of this program. Whenever I enter the ASAP office I feel love and happiness and success—just by stepping foot into the office. ASAP has really had a great impact on my education and work success, and me just being able to find myself and understand the type of person that I am. Not only Heidi, but every ASAP participant has had a great impact on me, and I am thankful for that every day because I now wake up wanting to face new challenges without questioning my abilities.