“Now I want to go to college”

After Kevin got his GED at the Isaacs Center, he realized he was just getting started 

A young man's head is seen from behind as he holds a phone to his ear while looking at a computer screen

Kevin Sampayo wasn’t a big fan of high school. He felt lost in the crowd and never graduated. Then, sometime last year, he signed up to get his equivalency degree at the Isaacs Center. 

“At first that’s all I wanted,” he said. “But, you know, I started to want more. I wanted this internship that I’m in now so I could build my resume and get better jobs. Now I want to go to college.” 

Sampayo spoke from his usual spot behind the front desk at the Isaacs Youth Center, where he interns answering the phone and directing visitors. It’s work that requires organization and professionalism. According to his mentors on the Education and Workforce team, he does it well. They speak of him with pride. He says being seen in that way has inspired him to be more ambitious. 

“People over here gave me attention. They really talked to me and helped me with what I needed to do. And then when they noticed I wasn’t focusing, they reminded me to keep going.” 

Over the last few months, Community Engagement Specialist Jianee Carrasco worked with Sampayo to figure out what colleges were a good fit for him. She helped him fill out financial aid forms. Now he’s set to begin classes at Borough of Manhattan Community College.  

Applying for college can be intimidating. But Sampayo said it wasn’t bad. “It isn’t really that hard when someone helps you.”