Gateway Grads: Jose - Madison Area Technical College

Thursday, May 12, 2016

During high school, Jose made some poor choices and dealt with a lot of peer pressure. Reflecting on those days, Jose states, “I used to hang out with the wrong crowd. I knew they weren’t a good influence, but I guess I just wanted to fit in.” He dropped out of high school during his junior year and earned no credit his last semester due to his attendance. He spent three years out of school before he applied to Gateway to College at Madison Area Technical College.
Shortly after dropping out of high school, he began working at an Italian restaurant in Madison’s downtown area and was hired as a dishwasher. Working in the kitchen, he began to take notice of the head chef and fell in love with cooking. He has now worked at the same restaurant for over 4 years and notes how supportive his employer was when he decided to go back to school.

In his application essay, he wrote, “thinking about what I can become once I set all of my goals and accomplish them is a very good feeling. With this second chance I can finally say ‘I did it, I got my diploma.’  That’s something I would like to do and make my parents proud of what I have accomplished here and what I yet have to accomplish further on.” His perseverance is testimony that hard work really does pay off. He worked tirelessly to complete assignments, even during spring break week, to ensure that he didn’t fall behind while holding his job in the food service industry.

Jose was one of the five graduates who participated in the college’s first Gateway to College graduation celebration. His family cheered him on as he walked the stage and received his high school diploma. He has been accepted to Madison College’s Culinary Arts program and will begin in the fall to fulfill his dream of becoming a chef.

Length of time out of school: 3 years
Number of high school credits needed at entry: 10
Number of college credits earned: 8
Current college GPA: 3.33
Estimated time working in food service: 4+ yrs
Admitted to the Culinary Arts Program

This spring, celebrate student success with a gift to the Gateway to Graduation campaign! Help more off-track and out-of-school youth reach their graduation stage. 

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