At Schools That Can, we’re passionate about young people building real-world connections and relationships with professionals across industries, helping students gain exposure to different career paths, develop the skills needed to ace a job interview, and imagine themselves in the world of work. Watching volunteers from a variety of fields connect with students is a highlight of our work…and we’re excited to highlight those volunteers with our Volunteer Spotlight Series! We’ll be talking to STC volunteers about their own education to employment journeys, best advice they’ve ever received, and more.
Interested in volunteering? Fill out our interest form here!
VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: Bianca DeJesus, Ed.D.
In a few sentences, tell us about your education to employment pathway.
I studied sociology and education for my Undergraduate degrees. I love studying how people exist in society and I believe in what education could be with significant change and intention. I went to get my Master’s degree and Doctorate degree in higher education administration to focus on work with college students who are often underserved (low-income, Black/Latino, etc.). I started my career in higher education in residence life and have since evolved to now work with first year students at Pitt to assist in their academic transition to the university.
What’s been a career highlight for you so far?
Recently, my proposal to present my research at an international conference on education was accepted. This is surely a career highlight. I’m excited to share my research with other scholars and educators from across the world and to be able to learn from them.
In just a sentence, what’s the best career or work tip you’ve ever gotten?
The best tip I’ve received: “If you never ask/apply, the answer is always no.”
What was your favorite part of volunteering with students?
My favorite part about volunteering is being able to connect with younger students in an organic way. The students can truly guide the conversation and interaction in a manner that serves them. I’m just there as a resource and I love that.
What advice would you give a young person building their future or finding their path?
As you build your future, align yourself with some great mentors and sponsors. A great deal of the professional world is your network and that’s how many people learn about career opportunities. Your network is also great to bounce ideas off once you get new jobs/roles. . I have been fortunate to have great mentors throughout the years that have encouraged me to take the risks in pursuit of professional happiness and stability.