First Literacy Scholar: Yamileth

Born in Colombia and raised in Venezuela by a single mother, Yamileth was in her fourth year of college in Venezuela when a family tragedy brought her to the United States. Despite not knowing English, she worked hard for years running her late father’s convenience store to support her family. Her dreams of college and an accounting career were put on hold.

In time, Yamileth again set her sights on higher education and completed JVS Boston’s Bridges to College program, where she was introduced to First Literacy. Yamileth applied for and received two consecutive First Literacy scholarships, which enabled her to begin her college career again.


Yamileth (left) at her graduation from UMass with her daughter Nayleth.

“I wanted to get a better education for myself and my family. I know that everything in life doesn’t come easily, but I knew I had to take the risk to change my life. I spent long nights and weekends doing homework, and at the same time, I was showing my daughter the importance of getting a college degree and working hard for what you want. She was in middle school when I started college, and now that I have earned my bachelor’s degree, she will start her own journey in college.”

Yamileth completed her Associate’s Degree in Accounting from Bunker Hill Community College in May 2015 and her Bachelor’s in Management from UMass Boston in December 2018. Yamileth is now a Accountant and Human Resource manager at Electronic Fasteners, Inc. She also serves on the Board of Trustees at Bunker Hill Community College.

Yamileth, standing between her mother and her daughter at her Bunker Hill Community College graduation ceremony in May 2015.

We can’t take credit for Yamileth’s intelligence, hard work, or persistence, but we’re proud to have supported her and  cheered her on as she worked towards fulfilling her dreams.


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