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An educational journey

Two women smile at the camera, with one holding a certificate

Prior to social distancing and quarantine, we had 11 students earn their certifications in Guest Room Attendant through our curriculum at our Jefferson Career Exploration Center. One of the students shared her experience:

My name is Octavia. I am a student at The Service Collaborative of WNY Inc. (TSC), and have earned three certifications in the hospitality courses at Community Services. I would like to tell you a little bit about my educational path.

I first started off my 9th grade year at Riverside High School. I got in a lot of trouble there, skipping classes, missing school, etc. Then I just stopped going altogether. It took me a year to realize that I needed to go back to school and continue my education. I wasn’t planning on starting at TSC, but it was the best choice I have ever made in my life.

The teachers and staff are so loving and caring to me. It was nothing like regular high school. There are so many benefits, such as being offered the hospitality trainings at Community Services. It is one of my favorite things about continuing my education.

I have learned so many new skills through the hospitality trainings. So far I have received my Restaurant Server Certification and banquet training, Guestroom Attendant Certification, and Front Desk Certification. Being able to finish my certification during the quarantine was challenging but also helpful. It kept me busy and helped me to continue achieving my goals.

I am now working on my Guest Services Certification. These certificates may not seem like a lot to some people, but for me it has proved that I can do a lot more than I thought I could. There were so many times I wanted to give up but I realized that in the long run it was all going to be worth it.

My experience at Community Services has been the best I could ask for. Not only do I love my teacher, Ms. Joelle, but I love everyone there and the warm environment. When I first met Ms. Joelle I could tell she was going to be a great teacher. The way she taught us everything, it wasn’t only educational but also fun in her own ways. I am sad that the Guest Services Certification will be my last course with her.

My overall dream job goal would be to be a registered nurse. I really think that the courses with Ms. Joelle will help me achieve this goal by learning the soft skills needed to work in a professional field, teamwork, and learning what hard work can help me achieve. I know that these skills will help me become better at what I do.

I really would like to thank TSC and Community Services for always helping me and continuing to be there for me when I need them.


– Octavia