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The Road Ahead, Part 4

Redefining Success  

 

What does it mean to be a success? I don’t know. Well, I didn’t know until I was part of Road to Hire. In high school, I was always one of those kids that always did their homework, that participated in a bunch of clubs, that worked intensely so that they could earn a college scholarship.

 

I graduated 5th in my class of 135, with a 4.56 GPA and I didn’t have a scholarship or a penny for school. Of course, I saved up and had something for college; but it was not nearly enough for NC State.

 

All this time, I thought I was a success. I thought I was on my way to achieving my goals and it was only one acceptance letter away. I thought I had a solid plan. I thought my parents were kidding when they said they didn’t have a college fund for me. I thought, I thought, I thought. Nothing turned out the way I thought; and this leads me to my first lesson post-high school: life doesn’t care about what you thought, or what your plans are. Life will push you in whatever direction whether you like it or not, and whether you’re ready or not.

 

So there I was, a high school graduate with a new plan: work two jobs, pay for community college and stay there until I can make a university at least semi affordable. And that was okay. At least I had a plan. But it wasn’t my plan. So I looked for other opportunities. I asked old high school connections for apprenticeships or internships I could apply for and then I stumbled upon a Code2Hire business card. I was told to visit the website, to check it out, that it was right up my alley. To be honest, the card looked really sketchy. It literally only had {Code2Hire} on the front and Code2Hire.com on the back. That was it. However, this leads me to my next lesson post-high school: be open minded.

 

Be open minded because you never know what will happen if you never try. I applied to Road to Hire, which was Code2Hire, before they added the sales academy. Thank God I got accepted.

 

To people who are only aware of Road to Hire, but have not actually gone through the program, see it as just a job training and placement program. But to me, it was so much more. This program is life changing in ways I couldn’t believe and I am forever grateful.

 

To give you some perspective, one day I was flipping through my journal because I had just finished it. I was reading my entries and I kept reading statements that were along the lines of “What am I going to do?”. Then in that moment, I realized that I don’t ask myself that anymore. Instead, I ask myself “What am I going to do next?”

 

I went from struggling to start my goals to living it every single day. I went from a lost high school grad to a business developer in less than one year. Every day I learn something new and I grow in new ways.  I learned so much about myself and the world around me. I learned how to understand the people in my life. I became a version of myself who’s able to help other people become a better version of themselves.

 

Looking back, I always focused on wanting to be successful, but I didn’t fully understand what that meant, or what it looked like. I didn’t know what that felt like.

 

This leads me to my third big lesson post-high school: Success and value are two different things.

 

 One of my favorite quotes is by Albert Einstein and it reads: “Strive not to be a person of success, but rather a person of value.”

 

You can be super good at your job, but do people like working with you? You can finish a task or a piece of homework and feel like you have accomplished something, but did you really change anything? Did you leave something better than you found it? These are the questions that made me look at myself and life differently.

 

Road to Hire gave me a career, but it also gave me a direction with a purpose. Thanks to Road to Hire, I learned what it truly means to be a success and to be a person of value.