Annemarie’s teenage years were defined by uncertainty. Her home life was unsafe and she was often moved among family members.
Three years ago when Annemarie was in between places to live, she connected with Just in Time for Foster Youth through the Next Step program at Mesa College. JIT was able to provide her with a place to stay while she established stable housing and invited her to join Career Horizons, a service that helps young women grow personally and professionally.
Annemarie is currently studying biotech and hoping to go into bioengineering or materials engineering. Through Career Horizons, she was paired with a coach named Jill who works in the biotech industry and the two quickly connected.
“Her just being an entrepreneur as well as having a background in research was just amazing – but then on top of it all, Jill herself is a former foster youth,” shared Annemarie. “Jill and I had a really great connection from the beginning and have kept in touch. She really welcomed me into her life – it’s awesome!”
In addition to providing Annemarie with support, Jill leveraged her contacts in San Diego women’s science groups and helped Annemarie secure a paid internship with a nonprofit in their HIV research lab, helping set her up for a successful future.
“I got to work with scientists from all different corners of the world and got my feet wet in nonprofit. It felt good; real world. Something that would give me an idea of post grad and what I want to do throughout my career,” said Annemarie. “Career Horizons is a great way to get connected to people who are in a field you really want to explore or are interested in. The connection I’ve made is lifelong and I’ve learned how driven I really am.”