He’s Now a Successful Administrator with the Department of Labor Thanks to Edison Job Corps

Meet Aaron Brown, IT Administrator/Specialist for the Department of Labor in New York City. He’s a busy man, making sure everything is running smoothly.

“Aaron is great,” says his supervisor, Laurence Vasile. “He’s probably one of the best employees that I’ve ever worked with.”

Laurence can’t say enough about how valuable Aaron is to the Department and how many times Aaron’s received an award.

“Best employee of the year award, customer service award, several of them.”

But not long ago, Aaron’s life wasn’t so on track.

“Well,” says Aaron, “I was living with my mother and my family in Harlem, New York. And, you know, we were growing up poor.”

And Aaron didn’t always follow the rules.

“I was a bit rebellious.”

In fact, he butted heads a lot with his mother, who wanted Aaron to get a good education.

“And we would always go back and forth with that and argue.”

Then a family member suggested Job Corps.

“It was quiet an adjustment for me being at Job Corps, in all honesty,” says Aaron.

He enrolled at the Edison center in New Jersey, but it got so tough, he just about quit.

“And I remember going home on a train,” he recalls. “And it felt like a long train right. And I was thinking to myself, ‘Gee, I hope I don’t run into my mother. I hope I don’t run into my mother.’”

He eventually did, at home.

“And I said, ‘Ma, I can’t do it.’”

Well, his mother didn’t let him give up. She told him no excuses and encouraged him to go back. He did, completing the business technology and office administration programs and earning a college degree in computer science.

“There were a lot of people, staff that were very supportive of me, that would say things and see things in me that I couldn’t possible see at the time in myself; giving me those words of encouragement to galvanize me to be successful.”

Today, Aaron has a great job. He’s a public speaker and mentor. He credits his mother and Job Corps.

“Up until this point, it’s the best decision that I’ve ever made.”

And as for Aaron’s mother…

“Oh, she’s very proud, sometimes almost overly so, to the point where I’m embarrassed.”