Written By: Marilyn Romero
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Michael Jordan’s quote explains the beginning of my journey so clearly. Day in and day out, I experienced failure. I grew up in a broken household where I was always the odd one out. I felt alone, and it was difficult for me to accept change and rely on other people for guidance. What’s worse is that I constantly felt as if I was fighting harder than anyone around me to become successful, and it was never good enough.
For nearly half of my life, I had the mindset that everything I did needed improvement. I knew I had to make my mom proud, but I had no idea where to begin. She was tired and worked two jobs to provide food and shelter for me and my three young siblings. At age 14, I was too young to work, too old to do nothing and I knew giving up was not an option. I had to be strong for my mom, so I looked for different ways to help support her and our family. I used to help my aunt clean houses after school just so I could bring a couple of dollars home. I even made sure I was on my best behavior in school so my mom would have one less thing to worry about. But I still knew what I was doing just wasn’t good enough.
At 17, I landed a job that was going to help me and my family. I now had money for gas, food and bills. It felt good; a major weight was taken off my shoulders. In time, I got promoted to a team lead, which made my job role even better than before. This was the moment I thought I was waiting for. As my money and faith kept growing, I didn’t want anything to hold me back.
A couple of months later, Jose Perez – my cousin and a former graduate of the Code to Hire program – recommended that I apply to the Road to Hire Sales Academy. My immediate reaction was “no.” How could I risk the job that’s helping me succeed? How could I just leave? My head was spinning with questions. There’s no question that I wanted to grow my career, but this new opportunity seemed unreal.
Later that night, I searched for the program my cousin was so excited to tell me about. When I typed in “Road to Hire” I found everything I had already heard about the program, which made me a little skeptical. It was way too good to be true. For two months, the program pays for students to learn everything they need to know to succeed in a professional environment. And if I were to graduate, I’d be making nearly double my current income. I had doubts, but my cousin insisted I give the program a chance. He took me to tour the facility and meet his colleagues, and that’s when I realized Road to Hire is real. Although my mindset began to change, deep down I still felt those doubts from my younger self: fear, failure and disappointment.
I decided to take a leap of faith in hopes that I’d finally making my winning shot. I applied for the program, and got in a week later. I still had so much on the line when it came to my career, my family and my home, so I continued to work at my old job while I was enrolled in Road to Hire. It wasn’t easy, and I wanted to quit. I was getting four hours of sleep a day and I still felt hesitant about the program. My Road to Hire mentor helped keep me focused and determined despite my doubts. She motivated me to become just as successful as she is, and opened my eyes to trusting myself and realizing I’m not alone. Being a part of Road to Hire has brought me everything I could ask for. I was given a chance to succeed, improve my life and trust others to help grow my future. The restless nights and stressful days were worth every sacrifice I had to make.
Now a year after my graduation, I’m a senior sales agent, a Road to Hire alum and a mentor for the program’s incoming students. This is just the beginning to the path I’ve decided to take. My career has just started, but after all the failure I’ve endured in the past, I can truly say Road to Hire is the winning shot to my successful future and career.