Lissandra – A Match Beyond Student

Lissandra was born in Bonaire and came to the United States at age two.  She graduated from high school in 2011.  Lissandra was unable to enroll in college at that time because she was still waiting for her green card. Fortunately, she has now obtained it and is on to bigger and better things.

Since 2011, Lissandra has held part-time jobs in cell phone stores and various restaurants.  In October of 2013, while working as a cashier in a pizza shop, Lissandra spoke to Bob Hill and learned of Match Beyond.  Lissandra was able to earn her Associate’s degree six months later.  Lissandra is now working toward her Bachelor’s.

What appealed to you about College for America?

I liked that it was something I could do online at my own pace.  Because transportation was very challenging for me, I very much needed to continue working while also going to school.  This program gave me this opportunity.

What has it been like to have a coach?

Since I had not been in school for more than two years, I worried at first that I wouldn’t be able to do it.  My coach, Mr. Hill, provided me a lot of motivation.  Anytime I wrote a sentence, he gave me great feedback, told me how amazing my writing was, and encouraged me to write another one.  Mr. Hill was and continues to be such a grand inspiration.  During times when I couldn’t find motivation in myself, he was always around to help me.

How have you grown as a student?

I feel like I have grown in every way that a student can grow. I believe my writing has become much better, I am more articulate, both my vocabulary and my mind have been expanded, and I definitely take feedback easily now.  Because of my growth, I am now in a position where I can support other College for America and Match Beyond students as they work to improve their writing and further their education.

Why is it important to you to obtain a college degree?

I need this for my future career.  Even if it was my last option, I wouldn’t even be able to get a job at McDonalds or Dunkin Donuts without a degree.  It used to be that you could always count on getting a job at these locations, with a simple high school diploma or GED, but not anymore.  I was shocked when I discovered that even these jobs wouldn’t accept anyone without the minimum of an Associate’s degree.  They say they don’t want to invest resources in training an employee who won’t be able to both independently progress in the company and also help the company itself progress.  When I realized that I was stuck without a job if I didn’t further my education, I got serious about school.

What would you tell students who are considering Match Beyond?

I would say: If you’re disciplined, up for a challenge, willing to grow, and willing to learn in a different environment, this program is a terrific option for you.  I believe that it’s the easiest, fastest, and most inexpensive way to get your education.  This is especially true because of the collaboration of Match Beyond and College for America.  Within this community, always remember that support is with you every step of the way.