Francesca Ulysse '14

At just 17 years old, Francesca Ulysse ‘14 made one of the biggest decisions of her early life. After four years at Martin Van Buren High School, she decided that she would continue her post-secondary education at QCC. For her it was a no brainer.

“I decided on coming to QCC because of the quality of education, affordability, and travel convenience that the college offered,” she says. “I figured this was the right school to begin my college career because it has the program that interested me; the dual joint program in Early Childhood & Elementary Education.”

And yet as appealing as it was that the college offered her intended major, being close to home didn’t hurt either. Ulysee describes the ease of her 30-minute bus ride to campus in one word, “fantastic.” But make no mistake; education was definitely her main focus.

She became interested in the field when she started tutoring in high school. “I started to like teaching because I felt that I connected with the kids and understood what they needed to improve and succeed,” she reflects. “It was no doubt a great experience for me and I loved every bit of it.” And so she pursued it further.

When she attended the 2013 Internship Forum presented by the Office of Career Services, Ulysee had the opportunity to meet with and submit her résumé to a host of employers and reputable organizations. But despite the number of companies represented at the Forum, she had her mind set on just one.

“I was particularly interested in doing an internship with the YMCA because I wanted the opportunity to work in an environment related to my major in order to gain useful experience,” she explains. Determined and prepared for the opportunity that presented itself, Ulysse would soon join the Ridgewood YMCA as an Intern.

“Some of my duties included completing classroom observations and lesson plans, interviews of staff members, and other such required tasks of the YMCA Learning Enrichment Afterschool Program (LEAP).” She also assisted with developing and administering small group activities involving music, games, art, science, literacy and physical education.

It was her first internship but Ulysse plans to seek out others. She wants to gain as much relevant experience as possible in order to develop certifiable leadership skills and enhance her knowledge of child development. Her career goal is to become a Licensed New York State teacher.

“I definitely plan on doing other internships,” she says. “This internship experience was great and I hope to continue to gain more experience, take on the challenges that come with it and continue to form relationships with fellow persons like myself that share similar career interests and goals, and expand my network with those persons.”

While she continues a commendable pursuit of her personal endeavors, Ulysse also performs her due diligence as an alumnus.

“I would advise fellow students to better utilize the Office of Career Services as I did while I was a student at QCC because everyone in the office is extremely helpful and they’re always ready to help. My encounters there have been a great and overall positive experience. I have no regrets.”

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