CREATING LASTING CHANGE
He has a quiet confidence and a shy demeanor, but don’t let that fool you. Julio is a young man on a mission, and the Y played a part in helping him find his path.
When Julio was a junior in high school, his counselor told him about the Y Achievers program and how it could help him prepare for college and learn about different career possibilities. “I thought it sounded interesting, so I took a chance,” Julio explains.
During his senior year at Santa Fe South High School, Julio built friendships with the other Y Achievers participants as they visited the Oklahoma City Thunder corporate offices, Kimray, the Oklahoma State Capitol and other businesses around the metro area.
“The visits gave me an open mind about job opportunities. We learned about how the Thunder business runs and how the government works.”
The Y Achievers program also takes high school seniors on college visits. “We visited classrooms, toured the campus, and met with students who told us about their experience and gave us tips on transitioning into college life.”
Having these experiences sparked something in Julio, making him want to do more and be more. Following graduation, he attended the University of Oklahoma, where he graduated with two BAs, one in Criminology and one in Spanish, in five years nonetheless. Before graduation, Julio enlisted in the Army, completed basic training and became a member of the military police.
These choices were calculated. You see, Julio’s participation in Y Achievers helped him learn to set goals and create a path to reach them. He studied Criminology and Spanish and enlisted in the Army because he wants a career in law enforcement and to use his native language to assist those who don’t speak English. But his goals don’t end there.
He says all of his choices coincided with each other because, “at the top of my list is to be a lawyer before I’m 30.”
Julio, who is 25, is currently in the Army Reserves and recently started classes to obtain his Masters in Criminal Justice. “My next career goal is to be a police officer with the Oklahoma City Police Department.”
In true Julio fashion, he reached his goal and was accepted into the OKC Police Academy this past summer.