Daley College helped me achieve my American dream.

I arrived in the United States from Haiti in December 2016. I didn’t speak English or understand it well, so I decided to enroll in free English as a Second Language (ESL) courses at Malcolm X College.

In Haiti, I worked in manufacturing. I knew that once I improved my English, I could return to that work and go even further in the U.S. I also developed an interest in learning electricity. After completing the ESL program at Malcolm X, I took the next step to make my dreams a reality. I became a part-time student at Daley.

In the beginning, it was really hard. I could only take one or two classes at a time because I was working nights full-time six days a week. I would leave work and head straight to class. The material we were learning was challenging, and I was still getting used to the language.

But I stuck with it, and I’m glad I did because Daley College changed my life. It allowed me to find good jobs, continue to increase my salary, and go to school for free. I had no money to go to college, but because of financial aid and the PepsiCo Foundation Uplift Scholarship, I didn’t pay anything which was a dream come true for me. The PepsiCo Foundation Uplift Scholarship is a partnership between City Colleges and PepsiCo. It empowers City Colleges Black and Latino students like me and connects us with resources like tutoring and work-place learning opportunities.

In the future, I plan to return to school to obtain my bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Eventually, I want to work as a maintenance manager.

Daley has given me everything I need to achieve those goals. It has great equipment and everything students need to be successful in manufacturing. The equipment is very similar to what I’m working on at my job as a technician at Nestle. My employers respect the fact I went to Daley and what I’ve learned in my classes has given me the confidence to excel in my career.

-Jude Philizaire, Associate of Applied Science, Manufacturing Technology, class of 2023