November 22, 2019

NuPaths Alum Receives Outstanding Pre-Apprentice Award

NuPaths alum, Justina Vargas, recently received the 2019 Outstanding Pre-Apprentice award at the 2019 Pennsylvania Apprenticeship Summit!

Justina is a June graduate of our Security Operations Center (SOC) Analyst program and now works for Harrisburg University as a Registration Assistant in Records and Registration.

Read the Q&A below to learn more about her experience with the NuPaths program, her current role, and how it felt to win the Outstanding Pre-Apprentice Award.

Tell us why you entered the NuPaths program?

I entered the NuPaths program through my service with an Americorps pre-apprenticeship program, JEVS Tech Serv Scholars, with JEVS Human Services. The goal of the service was to provide additional support to increase the STEM impact within the public-school system and the community.

How soon after completion of the program did you find a job in your field?

I began researching, preparing and interviewing for positions, a couple weeks prior to my completion of the program. I was fortunate enough to receive an offer for a position with Harrisburg University (HU) upon immediate completion of the program.

What was it like to stay within the HU community?

It was a great feeling to stay within the HU community. From my start in the NuPaths program, I knew HU was a great place to be. The atmosphere was very friendly, positive and uplifting. Ultimately, being a student within one of their co-founded programs, greatly influenced my decision to stay within the HU community. I also saw it as a great opportunity to continue furthering my education. I am happy to be a part of HU and all the positivity the university brings to Harrisburg!

Tell us what you do in your job now? How did NuPaths prepare you for this role?

In my role now, I work in Records and Registration as a Registration Assistant with HU. NuPaths has helped me remain knowledgeable in my day-to-day work, as we navigate the ever-changing world of technology.

Tell us about the Outstanding Pre-Apprentice Award– what is it and how do they select the winner?

The 2019 State Apprenticeship Awards, hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Apprenticeship and Training office, recognized participants in registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs including apprentices, pre-apprentices, and mentors, who have excelled in their programs.  I am blessed, grateful, and proud to be able to say I was selected as the 2019 Pennsylvania Outstanding Pre-Apprentice award recipient. 

How did it feel to win the award?

It was an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and joy to learn I was selected for the award. It was great to receive recognition for my hard work and time invested in the NuPaths program.

Is there anything else you would like to say about the experience with NuPaths?

I would recommend the NuPaths program to other young adults like myself, or anyone looking for an alternative career path. I completed some college after high school, but I became a parent at a young age, which shifted my responsibilities. Furthering my education always remained important to me, but I knew finding a balance would be hard. Then, I was introduced to NuPaths, which was a great alternative to a traditional four-year college. It is an amazing way to get your start in the IT field or become more knowledgeable in skills you might already possess. I invested six months to complete the program, which included job opportunities and in-demand certifications. Since completing the NuPaths program, I feel the possibilities are endless. Not only did I gain new skills, start a new job, earn IT certificates and I also gained a new level of confidence to know I can achieve anything I put my mind to.

Congratulations, Justina!

Be sure to check out our SOC Analyst program, which begins 12/11 in Philadelphia.

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