The Helena Rubinstein Scholarship Fund for Career AdvancementIn Her Own Words — Career Preparation

In February 2011 I was awarded a CUNY Adult and Continuing Education Scholarship through the Helena Rubinstein Foundation. With that scholarship I was able to take a nursing assistant course at CUNY-York College. I am writing this letter to express my great thanks to the continuing education department at CUNY as well as the Helena Rubinstein Foundation. As a result of being awarded this scholarship, paying for the course at York was less burdensome for my family. I also was able to expose myself to the healthcare field. I recently was employed with North Shore-Long Island Jewish health system. I am sure is I did not take the nursing assitant course at such a rigorous site such as York I would not have been prepared for the NYS Department of Health CNA exam or the interview process at NSLIJ. Thank you once again for considering me and awarding me this scholarship. As a result of it I obtained an entry level health care job and I am continuing my education by taking pre-med course requirements.

– Karyn Haynes

The Helena Rubinstein Scholarship Fund for Career AdvancementIn Her Own Words — Seeking Career Advancement

My journey begins in the fall of 2003. I really had no plans further than my senior year of high school. I felt ashamed that I was one of the few people my age that was not in school getting “the proper education,” but felt a strong sense of intuition telling me that I was somehow on the right path.

A twist of fate brought me to New York, where I worked as a receptionist at a luxury real estate and property management firm. My boss and her husband built a mini-empire. I consider her a large part of my career inspiration.

I have been working in my current position at a real estate development firm for over a year now. One of the best days I had here was just before my one-year anniversary with the company. A handful of people in another department had been laid off, and my boss called me into her office. She told me that the owner of the company had noticed my hard work and liked that I arrived early each day, and that they were going to give me a pay raise. I was so grateful at this moment because, in my small, seemingly insignificant position, someone noticed that I was working hard and dedicated to what I am doing.

Enrolling in the Real Estate Certificate Program at Baruch College is the first step that I am taking towards advancing my current position with the company, and furthering my career. In my New York City boutique firm, I’d love to offer home inspection and property management services to my clients who are seasonal or frequent travelers.

I attend courses at night while working full-time. Living off of a fairly small (but very fair) salary, the cost of these courses could have really set me back. The financial assistance that this scholarship has granted me has helped in a tremendous way that I cannot even begin to describe.

– Emily Smith

In Her Own Words — Seeking a Career Change

Almost 20 years ago, I gave birth to a deaf daughter and two years later a hearing daughter. To communicate with my daughter, I learned sign language and became involved in the Deaf community. This journey has instilled in me a passion for sign language and a unique perspective of living with a Deaf person. Since then, I have raised two successful teens that are now entering college. It is now time for me to focus on myself, a time of renewal.

The drive to use my experiences and strong skills has propelled me to make the commitment to drive over 1½ hours each way to LaGuardia Community College, to practice daily, fine-tuning my signing skills, and increase my knowledge of Deaf culture in an American Sign Language Program.

I am a single woman with two children entering college. My current employment as a teaching assistant in special education at Mahopac High School is rewarding, but it doesn’t pay well. I know my motivation, aptitude and experience will ultimately enable me to be financially independent, following a divorce. I must be solely responsible for myself as well as continue to provide financial assistance for my daughters. The Adult and Continuing Education Scholarship Fund has permitted me to gain new skills with the ultimate goal of a career with the Deaf.

-Janet Lease

In Her Own Words: The Helena Rubinstein Scholarship Plants Seeds in Fertile Soil

You want to hear something funny: the first cosmetic I used in Colombia as a teenager was a Helena Rubinstein!

All I hope is that this continues so that other people benefit, especially women. I’ve been struggling. I am a survivor of domestic abuse. My personal struggles make me want to advocate for women. Wherever I go, there is a great need for women to educate themselves.

My dream was to be an interpreter at the United Nations. At that time, my husband was so controlling. I had to interrupt my studies. There was abuse, a divorce. I went back and the program was not there anymore. I was dreaming to finish this program. So many said to go to NYU. But this was impossible. I was on public assistance. Years passed. I always wanted to finish. I heard of a Translation & Interpretation program at Hunter. The staff was very encouraging. I said, “I don’t have the means. I cannot make a big payment.” They said, “Don’t worry.”

The scholarship was like magic.

I have an A and A+ in translation. This gave me confidence. After domestic abuse for 27 years, you lose yourself.

I finished the program. I graduate in December.

When women hit a certain age, the only tools we have are education and certificates. When you help one woman, you help a huge family. Every member of the family benefits from the certificate. My children didn’t expect me to finish. They expected me to quit. They saw me at 2 in the morning. When they saw me getting A’s, they were encouraged too.

Don’t ever stop helping. Every penny, we are conscious and aware of. We pray for whoever benefits us. In my case, I am willing to do my best. Little seeds will fall into fertile soil.

-Doris Patino