photo: bernise hall
Bernise Hall graduated from high school in June 2009. She had a summer job that year but when that ended she had no prospects. She had thought about going to college and had even applied but as the second of seven children in a single parent household that option was not financially viable.

"I was looking for a job and I wanted a career," says Hall who is now 20. "But I couldn't afford to go to college."

Hall went to a career resource center and they directed her to Boston ABCD's Early Childhood Education course. The course was funded by stimulus grants and prepares students for careers in early childhood education and provides college credits to help students earn their Associate's degrees.

Hall went for an intake interview and learned that not only is the course free but she also would be placed in a paid internship as part of the course. Hall's internship is at Dorchester Head Start and the money she is earning is helping her mother pay the rent.

Hall says that ABCD provided her with workshops on how to conduct herself at job interviews and also helped her learn about job prospects. She currently has two job possibilities pending.

She is also taking additional courses at ABCD through Urban College and working

her way to a college degree.

"Without getting this opportunity I wouldn't have anything to do," says Hall. "I would be at home with no work."

On the day before her graduation from her first course at ABCD, Hall got the opportunity to tell Governor Patrick about her experiences with the Stimulus-funded program. "It was fantastic meeting the Governor," she says. "I graduated from high school with no job and nothing to do and now this program gave me an opportunity."