Jennifer Bonilla – Paying it Forward

Jennifer Bonilla connected with the PIC when she was a sophomore at East Boston High School. An English Language Learner (ELL), Jennifer was looking for opportunities to apply the new skills she was learning in school. She sought out the PIC career specialist at her school who helped her secure a summer job at the YMCA.

After graduating high school, Jennifer enrolled at Bunker Hill Community College. Coincidentally, her career specialist had just taken a new position as a PIC postsecondary coach within the Success Boston initiative. Jennifer was happy to turn to her former career specialist who helped her through the process of completing financial aid documents and registering for classes. Her PIC coach helped Jennifer qualify for both Mayor Walsh’s Tuition Free Community College plan and Bunker Hill’s GPA Pilot Program. Thanks to this guidance, Jennifer was able to enroll in college credit courses based on her high school grade point average without taking Accuplacer, the placement test that sends so many students into developmental courses that do not count toward graduation.

Jennifer is currently in her first year of the General Studies program at BHCC and making good progress. She aspires to a career in education with the goal of becoming a high school ELL teacher, working with students who will follow a path similar to her own.

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