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Career Beginnings Hosts Its 29th Graduation Ceremony Celebrating Hartford, Bloomfield and East Hartford Scholars

Mike Mallery - Career BeginningsCarla Hawkins - Career BeginningsZakiya Edens - Career Beginnings
Hartford, Conn. - May 26, 2015 -
Career Beginnings, a program of the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education (HCHE), hosted its 29th Graduation Ceremony last Wednesday, May 20th, at Trinity College.

Sixty-five excited students along with their parents, families and friends celebrated the evening. Executive Director of HCHE Dr. Martin Estey opened the festivities expressing his pride and pleasure seeing the graduates reaching this milestone, confident they were all on the road to even more triumphs.

Keynote speaker Michael Mallery, founder and CEO of “I’m So Educated,” said, “I know as Career Beginnings graduates you have the passion, the hunger and the drive to overcome any and all obstacles as you continue your journey, making Hartford proud.” Mallery added, “Don’t let anyone tell you, 'you can’t.'” 

Graduates Triesha Thomas of Hartford Public High School’s nursing academy and Bulkeley High School’s Shakira Padilla read their college essays. They not only underlined the adversity some students experience but also accentuated the resilience and perseverance of Hartford youth. 

Dean Andrews, Senior Vice President, Bank of America and Pete Rosa, Senior Program Manager, The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, along with the students’ Career Beginnings mentors, attended and expressed admiration and respect, seeing these brave young men and ladies - many with seemingly insurmountable challenges - complete another important phase of their lives, impassioned for the next. 

The Hartford Consortium for Higher Education is the Bank of America 2014 Neighborhood Builder awardee and has long been supported by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving as well as many other private and corporate foundations.
Since 1986, Career Beginnings has been connecting Hartford-area high schools, businesses, volunteers/mentors and parents in a coordinated effort to increase the percentage of Hartford teenagers who graduate from high school, pursue higher education and fulfill career goals. The program’s college advisors provide one-on-one student support services, including assessing and addressing their academic needs. Program participants are matched with a professional mentor during their senior year.
At the program’s inception, on average, 92% of our graduates enrolled in college directly out of high school. Since 2012, the average has increased to 97%. Career Beginnings support students at eight Hartford high schools, East Hartford High and Bloomfield High.

For more information about the program or to mentor a student, visit