High school dropout returns to RCBC and lands manager position
Monday, Mar 25, 2024

Kristen Abriola dropped out of high school at 17 during the COVID-19 pandemic to help her family during tough times. Four years later, she returned to school, enrolling in Rowan College at Burlington County’s Adult Basic Education program to earn her high school equivalency degree. 

The program also provides career preparation skills, such as resume review and interview practice and recently added a Career Closet, which provides free professional attire to students thanks to the partnership with OSHE and HESAA through the Community College Opportunity Grant and a generous gift from WSFS Foundation.

Abriola’s class was the first to benefit from the Career Closet, and she will go down as its first success story. Abriola had an entry-level position but was able to switch companies and land a managerial position, which she attributes to the college’s Career Preparation and Experiential Learning. 

“After talking with Career Prep, they helped me get prepared for this interview and took the time to review and edit my resume. Within two days, I received a job offer, and the rest is history,” she said.

The Career Closet, operated by the Office of Career Preparation and Experiential Learning. Students may select up to four items per semester by scheduling appointments on Handshake. The best part is all these items are FREE! 

Abriola plans to graduate with her GED in 2024 and looks forward to enrolling at RCBC to study Business Administration. Eventually, her dream would be to open a wedding/event planning business to use her creative skills and help others achieve their dreams. 

She encourages others to put themselves first and realize that “you can achieve and do more than you think; you just have to try.”

For more information about RCBC’s Adult Basic Education program, visit rcbc.edu/abe.