Gladys Juca '10
Queensborough Community College ASAP ’10
City College ’15, Computer Engineering major
Sales and graphic design intern, Oxium Copy & Print Corp.
I was born in Ecuador and my parents brought me to this country when I was 11 years old. They had always said that they came here so I could have a better future and more opportunities in any career I chose. When I was a senior in high school it was difficult for me to apply to college because I thought my parents were not able to afford it and I was not eligible for financial aid, but my parents said that my education came first and they would help me because it was an investment that was worth it.
I applied to Queensborough and I heard about the ASAP program. I made an appointment and Ms. Danielle Izzo told me how ASAP would help me by providing academic and financial support, and how it also offers workshops and internships which would help me to know more about my career choices. I was very excited when I applied to ASAP and my parents were happy, too, because I would have a guide and I would get help buying books for my classes. When I became an ASAP student I expected that my advisor, Ms. Melissa Schwartz, would help me through any obstacle that I had in my major, and that’s what happened— she helped me and every other of her advisees and she guided us and even planned trips to companies and museums that were related to what we were studying. The ASAP program helped me a lot to achieve my goals and gave me a lot confidence, leadership skills and good study habits. Because of the workshops and events that the ASAP program had for the students I became aware of all of the clubs and activities at Queensborough. I joined the IEEE club, the Robotics Club, became a member of Tau Alpha Pi (Honors Society), and I was able to work on a project called “Solar Power” for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Department, which I presented with my team at the Pipeline Honors Conference and in the Honors Conference at QCC. Also, along with some other students in the ASAP program, I worked on a service learning project in which we organized activities associated with electronic engineering for children in middle school. In my last year in QCC I was elected President of the Student Government and I got to work with the New York State Youth Leadership Council (NYSYLC), an organization that helps undocumented students by providing scholarships and guidance, by bringing them to campus and letting students know what the DREAM ACT is and how we can support it.
The ASAP program opened a door to opportunities, which I took advantage of. It helped me through my years at QCC by giving me confidence, leadership skills and motivation. I learned how to deal with the challenges and difficulties that life will bring and I will always be grateful to my advisors and professors that helped me accomplish my goals.
When I graduated from ASAP I started a family. I transferred to City College, where I am studying Computer Engineering. Right now I am doing an internship at a company at which I work with computer programs and customer service. I am also learning about graphic design and how it works in the market. My goal is to finish my degree and get a job related to my career and which will allow me to work on research and projects about new technology and programs.
I think I took full advantage of what the ASAP program had to offer to its students. I really hope that ASAP will continue because there are also other students that are in my same situation and need guidance and financial support. Because of the ASAP program I learned a lot about my career, I made very good friends, and I got to know better my professors and what the school had to offer.