Fernando Echeverri – Next Steps Transitional English Graduate


Fernando gives a speech at the Next Steps Transitional English Program Graduation

Before coming to the United States, Fernando worked as a mechanical engineer in charge of maintenance and liability for many years. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Graduate Certificate in Industrial Maintenance from Colombia. He moved to Boston to join his family in March, 2012. He began studying at AACA’s Next STEP Program in January, 2013.

His initial goal was to get an industry certificate here and look for job. However, looking for a job in the United States was not as easy as he had anticipated. While improving his English in Next STEP Program, he applied for jobs without much success.

He wanted to keep himself busy, so he began volunteering at Dudley Literacy Library teaching basic computer skills and Spanish literacy. He later got a part-time job offer to teach a software program to help ESOL students through workshops at several branches of the Boston Public Library.

While studying at AACA’s Next STEP Program, he realized he needed further training and experience in order to get a job in Boston. He became interested in the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT)’s Biomedical Engineering Technology Program because it builds on his background and meets the labor market needs in Boston. He was attracted to the program as an internship was part of the degree requirement.

Fernando’s ultimate goal is to become a biomedical engineering technician. With his background in maintenance and liability, he feels he could transfer some of the essential skills such as equipment maintenance, inspection and testing into the medical field.

Fernando started his first semester at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in January, 2014. In addition to two grants, Fernando received the president’s merit scholarship at BFIT which is given to students with significant employment history and community work. The two grants and the scholarship add up to a total of $2,875 towards his spring 2014 tuition fees!

This post is also available in: Chinese (Traditional)

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