Florida Career College Graduate Finds Opportunity in Orlando
Chicago has been plagued with skyrocketing crime and violence the past few years, worrying Yliana Sanchez and her husband Ramon. They wanted a better life for their two children, so they made a cross-country move from the “Windy City” to Orlando in 2018. At the Florida Career College (FCC) graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020, Yliana was among the proud graduates celebrating not only her diploma, but also a rewarding new job. She was just hired at FCC Orlando as a Customer Service Coordinator.
“It’s been difficult sometimes because I don’t have my family out here,” Yliana said. “But at Florida Career College I found the type of support you’d get from family. That’s made all the difference. The opportunities and doors that have opened for us in Orlando make us feel really blessed.”
Those blessings have come from hard work and determination.
Yliana says she knew that education was going to be key to her family’s future, so she decided to check out the Florida Career College campus in Orlando. The Business Office Administration Program (BOA) was a good fit for what she needed.
“Ultimately I chose FCC because I wanted to do a program that interested me, but not something that I would have to put my life on hold for. I didn’t want college to take too much time away from my kids,” she said “My son is nine-years-old and my daughter is six. Our kids are a big motivation for both me and my husband.”
She knew college would not be easy because she had attended other schools in the past, but was not able to finish those programs. Sometimes, challenges in life get in the way. But at FCC, she persevered. Yliana started the BOA program in September of 2019 and completed the program in July this year.
“It’s a huge achievement for me. It took me 10 years from the time I graduated high school, but I finally finished college and it feels great,” she said. “Not even the pandemic could stop me.”
In March, as the coronavirus wreaked havoc across the country, FCC transitioned all of her remaining classes to its new distance learning platform. While she missed the in-person interaction she enjoyed on campus, Yliana says the online classes were just as effective.
“It didn’t bother me to do classes online because I’ve always been willing and ready to adapt to whatever situations might come up in life,” she said. “The last few months of my program were virtual, and I am happy to return to campus as a graduate, and now an employee.”
“Yliana was a delight in the classroom and as well as virtually when we went to distance learning. She was attentive and adoptable on a weekly basis. I am extremely proud of her and all of her accomplishments,” said John Dickey, Associate Director of Education at FCC Orlando.
“Yliana graduated with honors. She maximizes her potential and does not let off the gas. They say attitude is everything – and that’s Yliana,” said Michael Re, Senior Director of Admissions at FCC Orlando. “She has no problem jumping in and very quickly learning what is needed to help get the job done.”
Yliana says the support she received at FCC made all of the difference.
“From the minute I walked into the Orlando campus, I felt at home at FCC. I felt at ease. I felt welcomed,” she said. “Every step of the way, there was somebody to assist whenever I needed anything. The instructors here go above and beyond, and it’s reflected in the students. I am a product of that.”
Now Yliana gets to be one of those people supporting students on their educational journey at FCC – an aspect of her job that she says she enjoys the most.
“I love my job and I am so thrilled to be here. Being able to help students, colleagues and instructors. I am learning every aspect of FCC, from financial aid, education, career services, and compliance. It’s great.”
“Yliana was a stellar student and now she is one of the most professional and dependable employees that I have on my team. She always has a positive attitude, works hard to accomplish the mission, and always asks what else she can help with,” Michael said. “She is absolutely an inspiration to our students, and our staff. She gives her best effort each day to accelerate her continued growth.”
“This is just the start of my career at FCC. I want to work my way up to either admissions or financial aid,” she said. “Your education never stops. You should always push forward and keep learning. I tell my kids that the only limitation to success is yourself, and I am determined to keep growing and be a good role model for them.”
“To be able to provide them with a life that, in our eyes is better, is helping us raise our kids in a way we couldn’t have done in Chicago,” Yliana said.
“From all of us at FCC, congratulations to Yliana for this milestone achievement. We are proud of the work that we do to help students succeed, and it is a pleasure to have her join us a colleague at the Orlando campus,” said Dr. Fardad Fateri, President and CEO.
Life has come full circle for Yliana and her family in Orlando. Her experience at FCC inspired husband Ramon to finish his high school diploma and enroll in the HVAC program. It would seem Orlando’s motto “the city beautiful” holds a special meaning for Sanchez family.