CRANFORD – When David Molinaro of New Providence entered Union County College (UCC) in the fall of 2005, he intended to go to college and begin working full-time. He did just that, getting a position as a manager of a local Radio Shack store. His fall semester went well, but quickly work became more demanding. He registered for the spring and found, as many young people do, that the demands of the job were increasing and that he enjoyed making money. As a result, he didn’t have a great second, third, or fourth term at UCC and decided to work full-time instead.
As he continued to work at Radio Shack, he found that his outgoing personality led him to successful sales and he decided in 2008, to enter into the mortgage industry, securing leads and closing contracts with ease. It was lucrative and the more money he made, the harder and faster he worked. However, both companies that he worked for were short-lived because of the recession. Molinaro quickly found himself out of work. This led him to draw one decisive conclusion, that having a college degree was the only way he was going to be able to attain job security. So in the fall of 2008, Molinaro enrolled at UCC as a full-time student, determined to learn all he could about becoming a successful businessman and potentially a business owner.
Molinaro’s determination transformed his failing semesters into straight consecutive A terms. His GPA also qualified him to become a member of the honor society, Psi Beta. His academic success at UCC opened the doors for Molinaro to work at the College’s Academic Learning Center (ALC) as a peer tutor in computer technology. This part-time paid position not only provided Molinaro with a source of employment on campus but also opened doors to another part-time position that has helped him determine his career path.
Molinaro also works as a teacher’s assistant in the “Yes We Can” program at UCC. This program is held on Saturday mornings on the College’s Elizabeth campus and is a college preparation program for high school students from the city of Elizabeth. In this position, Molinaro tutors the high school students in computer technology and in doing so, has found his passion in teaching and attributes this experience in motivating him to become a teacher. He has also observed that to be a successful teacher, one must have control of their classroom, because having this control will allow, “…teaching to occur and the learning process to follow.”
Molinaro will be transferring to Fairleigh Dickinson University in September to pursue a BA/MA program in which he will be participating in the QUEST program. This program allows students to choose to major in history, science, or math and he has chosen history. In just three years, he will graduate with his MA in History and his NJ teacher certification. This will allow him to teach history in high school, or with his MA in hand, he could teach at a two-year community college, an option he is also interested in, as he has found that he enjoys working with the older students.
Molinaro attributes his success at Union County College to the fact that he took time off to work which allowed him to mature, so when he returned to college, he was more serious about pursuing the degree, doing well, and learning all he could as a student. He knew upon his return that he would get involved in as many ways as he could and has done exactly that. Although he will be attending Fairleigh in the fall, Molinaro has been promoted to the position of para-professional tutor in the ALC and hence, will continue to be on UCC’s campus, making a difference and gaining more teaching experience, which coincides with his career goals.
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