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Image of smiling Latina woman holding certificate

Joesette Haddad enrolled in Starbridge’s Project ESTEEM in July 2017 after graduating from a non-traditional high school. Her career goal was to be a Dental Assistant.

Her Project ESTEEM Navigator, Barb Maryniak, assisted Joesette in preparing to go to Monroe Community College: registering for classes, filling out financial aid forms, and connecting to MCC’s disability services.

So that Joesette could travel on her own to school and back, Barb organized a bus training through RTS for her and a few other young adults.

Barb says, “Joesette is a whiz at it now and happy to help others learn the same!”

To support Joesette academically, Barb connected her with tutors and a college coach. While Joesette was not ultimately accepted into the college’s highly-competitive Dental Assistant Program, she was determined to keep reaching for her career goal.

Joesette’s next step was preparing for workforce training at the Center for Workforce Development (CWD). Transportation was a major barrier. The Center was far from Joesette’s home and made the commute costly. Riding the bus would mean more than a half-mile walk – in every kind of weather – from her drop-off point to her classroom.

Barb was able to connect the family with a program offering gas cards. Also, Joesette was supported in reaching out to others who could carpool. Joesette ended up with near-perfect attendance and achieved her career certificate.

Joesette is now working at a paid internship at Rochester Regional Health’s Dental Facility, arranged by and supported by her navigator.

What’s next? Joesette is not sure, but Barb says, “She is living her dream!”


Do you know someone who is looking to get on track with school or a job?

Starbridge's Project ESTEEM is a free service for youth ages 18-24 who want an education or career and need help with –

  • Exploring career options
  • Preparing for TASC, college, or occupational training
  • Preparing your resume, practicing interview skills, and searching for jobs
  • Paid work experience
  • Transportation assistance
  • Managing money

For more information, call Barbara Maryniak at 585-224-7255 or email bmaryniak@starbridgeinc.org.