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Prepared for Greatness

Written by Ruben Rivera, Class of 2012. Graduated from Culinary Program.

“Many of you may think that attending school at East Tech is hard, and I would say it just might be.”

Many of you may say that teachers give you so many presentation assignments, and I would say they probably do. But what you don’t know is all of the work you are putting in at East Tech is definitely going to help you thrive in your future.

I guess I’ll start off with saying that I miss attending East Career and Technical Academy. It has been some of the best years of my life, but what I truly appreciate about this school, is how prepared it made me for the world after high school.

After ECTA

After high school, I went on to college at The College of Southern Nevada. I was accepted into UNLV, but I didn’t have the money to pay for schooling. I also, at the time, did not qualify for FAFSA. So I continued on to do a payment plan at CSN. I enrolled and majored in Business. My first  semester was great, but I felt like business wasn’t quite the major for me. I ended up switching my major to Criminal Justice. I went through my second semester and I still didn’t feel like that was the major for me. For my third semester, my major was Marketing & Merchandising. You probably know where this is going, because this still wasn’t the major for me. What I ended up doing was taking a break from school and focused on my work life. At the time I was working at PacSun and Starbucks to help pay my way through college.

While I was taking my break from school, I focused a lot of my time into both jobs. I was working so hard that the month after my 18th birthday I was promoted to Assistant Manager at PacSun. I started to gain a lot of experience in management and soon after was also promoted to supervisor at Starbucks. Things were going great, but I decided that it was time for me to continue on back to school.

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Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset
Learning Who I Am

In 2014, I have finally figured out what I wanted to do, I wanted to study about my culture and learn my language. So applied to The University of Hawaii and was accepted. I enrolled in the major of Hawaiian Studies with an emphasis in Hawaiian Language. I was able to transfer both job to Hawaii. So now I am finally learning about something that I love and have so much passion for. I may have very slim options as far as jobs, but I love it. Once I moved to Hawaii I finally qualified for FAFSA.

Living In Hawaii

Soon after I move to Hawaii my higher ups at my jobs love my work ethic. I end up getting promoted to Assistant Manager at Starbucks. I am now working 2 full time jobs and going to school as a full time student. It was rough, but I pushed through it and made sure my schedule was to my need for school. The only reason I needed to keep both jobs is because the price of living in Hawaii is so high that you need it to survive.

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I attended school at the University of Hawaii for 2 semesters, Fall 2014 and Spring 2015. I ended up taking a semester off because I am currently living in Los Angeles working and helping to support my family. I am working at Nike as a Floor Supervisor and Trainer and I am also a Nike Run Club Pacer. I am in the works of going back to the University of Hawaii. It is now January 2016 and in April I have an interview to become a Flight Attendant for Hawaiian Airlines. Not only has this been my dream job for travel and benefits, but I will also be able to be based back in Hawaii and continue going to school for Hawaiian Language.

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Reflecting Back

So the whole moral of the story is, East Tech has really prepared me for the real world. It gave me an amazing work ethic, great presentation skills (in my case great interviewing skills), networking skills, and the willpower to exceed all expectations. My tips for you coming out of high school is to never settle for less, and always go for your passion in life.

Mahalo Nui Loa, or thank you, for taking the time out to read my story. I can’t wait to one day read yours.

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