Arodi Grullon Fernandez

I started at Craven Community College after I finished serving 12 years of service in the Marine Corps. My time at the college has been very high tempo, but also very rewarding. There have been many things I have done and accomplished, that I never saw coming. I never thought I would join a club, volunteer for a school event, or compete at a national level.  I just wanted to complete my classes and get out in the workforce. But the great faculty and instructors at the college encouraged me to explore new opportunities and experiences.

The instructors directed me to the SkillsUSA local chapter, with which I had a great experience. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA helps each student excel.  It provides educational programs, events and competitions that support career and technical education (CTE) in the nation’s classrooms.  I was introduced to some of the other amazing and caring faculty at the college. It was because of the SkillsUSA local chapter, that I have made some great friends, and got my first vendor-neutral certification for my field during a national event. During this time I was also part of the Craven Cyber Collective, in which I was able to greatly expand and discuss my interest in Cyber Security, along with having an outlet to foster team collaboration and healthy competition.

A year later, thanks to the faculty and instructor who vouched for me, I was recommended for a job in the college’s IT Department as a Help Desk Technician. Which was an amazing opportunity for me to get the hands-on experience and mentoring I wanted. Craven has made an impact in my life, by building and preparing me for the future. Thanks to the Marine Corps and Craven, I have the confidence, knowledge, and determination to tackle a Bachelor’s Degree or any other curve ball life throws at me.