In Pursuit of a New Life and a Better Future

Before attending ORT, Izabela Dominik was unemployed and spoke little English. In 2008 she came to Los Angeles with a student visa, hoping to carve out a better future for herself. Immediately, Izabela enrolled in the ESL program (English as a Second Language). The ESL program at ORT College is geared towards teaching students to survive in the job market, as well as help them with their immigration status. Being in a new city, with a new language can be overwhelming, but Izabela was able to find support on campus. She remembers her instructors’ patience as she states, “They answered all my questions and helped me to understand everything.” In under a year, Izabela graduated from the program and was ready to conquer her next challenge.

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Izabela continued her education at ORT, earning a diploma in Computer Graphics & Desktop Publishing in 2010, and a Medical Office Management degree in 2012. With assistance from ORT, Izabela was placed in an externship and weeks later found herself employed; running the front and back of a medical office, a position she is thrilled to have. “I like helping other people and using all my knowledge,” Izabela explains. This job did not come without hard work though. In addition to the course itself and the externship, there was also extensive preparation for the interviews, often the most nerve-racking part of the job process. Luckily, ORT was there to help, “Teachers from my Employment Prep class prepared me very well. They told me how I should dress and how to answer questions. It helped me a lot.”

Izabela credits Los Angeles ORT to leading her towards a better future and a better job. In addition to a higher education, ORT helped her navigate student visas and work permits, a task that can sometimes be intimidating for an individual. Izabela’s story is inspiring to anyone hoping to make a change for the better. She wisely states, “Don’t be afraid of a new life and a better future.”

LA ORT is a group of nonprofit junior colleges in Los Angeles and Van Nuys provide career training in short term courses.