Please click here for regular updates about Just-A-Start’s programs and services in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

News

Posts Tagged Biomedical Careers Program Graduate

JAS Biomed Grads Celebrate Success

CHARLESTOWN – With big bright smiles and an air of confidence that comes with earning a degree, newly-minted graduates of the JAS Biomedical Careers program celebrated on Tuesday morning the first step toward a successful life.

“With job offers, internships, and interviews lining up for you, doors are beginning to open for you,” said Deborah Ruhe, executive director of the Just-A-Start, the Cambridge-based community development corporation that in conjunction with Bunker Hill Community College, administers the 9-month certificate program.Bio_2014_Grads_ForWebsite

Since its inception in 1993, the JAS Biomedical Careers program has produced more than 500 graduates and placed many in the biotech and biomedical industry in Cambridge and Boston.

The JAS Biomed Careers Program is to provide comprehensive biotechnology skills training to adults who do not have access to higher educational programs due to financial constraints, and provide well-trained entry-level technicians and lab support members for biotechnical, research, and medical industries.

Ms. Ruhe reminded the audience that the mission of JAS is to create opportunity and help people improve their lives, and realize the unique pathways provided by the American dream.

“You are an amazing group, expanding your options and opportunities through dedication and hard work,” Ms. Ruhe said. “I wish you well as you continue your life’s journey.”

State Senator Sal DiDomenico lauded the graduates for their dedication to themselves and each other, and noting that his first official act as a state senator was to secure funding for JAS, a program he said he values very much.

Other featured speakers included Mark Wigfall, Associate Director of Workforce Development for Bunker Hill Community College, Stephen Meunier, Associate Director of Public Affairs for Genzyme, and Dr. Pam Y. Eddinger, president of Bunker Hill Community College.

Dr. Eddinger told the graduates she wished the JAS Biomedical Careers Program existed when her family came to America from Hong Kong when she was a child. She said her father worked as a waiter and her mother as a seamstress so she could have a professional career.

“It is a joy for me to work in a place like this that partners with an organization such as Just-A-Start,” she said. “It is an honor. Congratulations.”

Van Spanos, director of education and training for JAS presented the Warren P. MacEachern Memorial Award to Manoj Acharya for his contributions to the JAS Biomedical Careers Program, and Teachers James Kim and Kari Jensen introduced co-valedictorians Brian Jewell and Indrani Nandi.

John Witt, program director for JAS, encouraged the graduates to use the network of fellow JAS Biomed alumni and not to forget about the instructors and others rooting for them at JAS. “Our program is all about you,” he said.

The 2014 JAS Biomed Careers Program graduates are: Manoj Acharya, Nasima Akter, Maryam Aqchour, Kenny Beauzille Marcellus, Stanley Bernard, Romuald Cabrol, Misgun Ghebreselasse, Woubshet Hailu, Hussein Hare, Andre Henriques, Mark Hines , Brian Jewell, Shamima Khahan, Rachel Marshall, Indrani Nandi, Angella Pottinger, Brentha Sathyuendra, and Sarah Thomas.

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Kayla Troche, 2016 Biomedical Careers Program Graduate

Kayla Troche, 2016 Biomedical Careers Program Graduate

Kayla’s passion is science, and she’s also good at math – which made the Just-A-Start Biomedical Careers Program a perfect fit for her.

She had started her college education at Framingham State College as a biology major, with the hope of becoming a wildlife biologist. She transferred to Bunker Hill Community College but had to stop attending because her financial aid did not cover enough of her educational expenses. When she learned about the Biomedical Careers Program, she knew this was the right program for her.
Kayla’s hope is to get a job as a lab technician or an animal care technician, and then pursue opportunities to grow professionally at the company that hires her and, hopefully, go back to college to finish her degree.
Kayla graduated from the Biomedical Careers Program on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 and is actively job hunting.

Posted in: Our Voices

Leave a Comment (0) →

Shawn Fitzpatrick, Associate Director of Manufacturing at Shire Pharmaceuticals, Just-A-Start Board Member, and Biomedical Careers Program Graduate

Shawn Fitzpatrick, Associate Director of Manufacturing at Shire Pharmaceuticals, Just-A-Start Board Member, and Biomedical Careers Program Graduate

My hunger started, and eventually I got my first job, and then I haven’t really looked back.

Shawn Fitzpatrick wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted to do with his life after high school. He started working, but didn’t found anything that seemed right for him right away. When he was in his early 20s, Shawn’s mother gave him an ad for the Just-A-Start Biomedical Careers Program and it had a huge impact on the direction of his life. As Shawn says, once he got into the program “my hunger started, and eventually I got my first job, and then I haven’t really looked back.” While he was going through the program, Shawn worked full-time, which was a challenge, but he urges others to push themselves the way he did: “Go for it! Tackle that change! You are going to fall down, you will make mistakes, but it is what you learn from those mistakes and how well you get up and dust yourself off that makes you successful. By tackling that change myself, I couldn’t be any happier.” Shawn graduated from the Biomedical Careers program in 1997 and has now been working at Shire Pharmaceuticals for 17 years. In 2015, Shawn decided to join Just-A-Start’s Board of Directors, because of the positive impact that he sees the organization having on community members. Shawn thinks the Biomedical Careers Program represents something good for the community by giving people who don’t necessarily have the financial means to change their career track or find a career track an opportunity to learn a new skill and very quickly apply it to the workforce. Shawn’s sister also graduated from the Biomedical Careers Program in 2016!

Posted in: Our Voices

Leave a Comment (0) →