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The Impact, and Where They Are Now

Tahjae Barrett

Tahjae Barrett
AOBF Alumna, Class of 2017
Owner of Set On Fire Marketing | UHART Alumna
NBHS Academies Advisory Board Secretary
My entire high school career wouldn't have been the same without the impact of programs like the Academy of Business & Finance. I learned so much valuable information as far as the field I would later enter, and skills in the areas of personal finance, career professionalism, and LIFE that put me ahead once I got to college and entered the workforce.

All of the coursework, amazing guest speakers, internship opportunities, and dedicated teachers and WBL staff are what made me realize I could do anything I set my mind to. That included maintaining good credit and keeping finances in order - extremely important skills that I learned in Personal Finance and Accounting classes in which even adults twice my age still feel undereducated on. It also included having the courage to start my own Websites & Marketing business after being inspired by the constant exposure to professionals at Academy events, who started where I was and managed to find a great amount of success. I’m thankful for the relationships I was able to build with Academy staff who still pour into me to this day, and I'm honored to have been trusted with creating this site and to have received all of the other benefits of being an Academy Alum.

The Academy of Finance provided me with some of my greatest high school memories. By simply being in this academy, I was able to shake the hands of CEO’s from Fortune 500 companies, intern at a local non-profit program, tour the finest business facilities in Connecticut, and make lifelong friendships. Lessons through some of these many experiences are what help me manage a book of my own Fortune 500 companies today.


Today, I am 23 years old and I help companies big and small with their advertising prescence. I currently manage about $300,000 of ad spend every month between 40 clients. I truly believe that without AOF, I wouldn’t have known where to start.

Michael Glasper

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AOBF Alumna, Class of 2017
Account Executive at Logical Position

Tori Habuda

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AOBF Alumna, Class of 2018
Travelers Insurance - Financial Leadership Development Program Participant 
CCSU, B.S. in Finance & Management 

The Academy of Finance made a huge impact on my academic and professional development. The AOF and my NAFTrack certification provided me with the foundation for future opportunities. Taking business and finance related classes allowed me to verify my future career choice prior to college. In addition, having an internship experience to put on your resume as early as High School is pivotal for future career opportunities. Furthermore, the AOF provided me with the opportunity to apply for the Travelers EDGE program, which was monumental for my current academic and professional success. I would not be where I am today without the encouraging teachers, classes, internship opportunities and overall support from everyone in the AOF. Thank you so much!

I am now continuing my education with a third B.S. degree in Accounting at CCSU in order to attain my CPA. I am also getting my MBA at Quinnipiac, while working full-time at Travelers in the FLDP. 

As the high school years went by, I never knew what I wanted to do in the future and whether I wanted to go to college. As I grew older and gained experience through doing what I love- being part of the academy, being allowed to work with preschool and elementary schools, and being surrounded by people with similar goals and interests- made me realized my love for teaching and how to make a difference in students' lives. The academy offered multiple college credits classes which helped my transition from high school to college. From an immigrant student being scared to speak up or read a kid's book in front of preschoolers and classmates to a public speaker who attended a national competition. Thanks to the academy and excellent teachers like Ms. Moffett, Ms. Marquez, and Mrs. Miano, who sent me single handedly to college, helped me realize my worth, and my passion, and find my voice. I am incredibly grateful for all the opportunities given to me at an early age. I am proud to say to be a product of New Britain High School and their Public Service Academy, without a doubt, I would not be where I am today. 
I am a first-generation and first-year student attending Central Connecticut State University. I am currently working on all the requirements to get into the teaching program. Last summer, I passed the Paraprofessional Assessment and would love to go back and work for New Britain High School which will result in me gaining experience outside the major I am working on. Thanks to the management skills I learned through high school, I find it easier to balance college, a part-time job, and time for family and friends. My advice for whoever finds this reading, try new things! Get outside of your comfort zone. It is more rewarding to fail but try instead to regret not doing it. It was a pleasure to attend New Britain High School and I hope more students can share similar experiences to mine. 

Natalia Karas 

AOPS Alumna, Class of 2022
Future Paraprofessional
CCSU student, Elementary Education-History 

Ryan Lipinski

AOBF Alumnus, Class of 2021
Campus Sports Announcer 
UConn, B.S in Sport Management

The impact that the academy had on me was that it gave me great opportunities to be successful while I was in high school and it set me up for a great future in college and beyond with all the scholarship opportunities and introductions into different fields that I may be in.


I am currently still attending UConn as a sophomore and announcing for the highschool for baseball, basketball, and football.

AOF helped me to believe in apart of myself in which I probably would’ve never discovered had I not taken the risk on such an amazing program that is designed to prepare you for a world that traditional education curriculums just don’t teach!
It’s beyond the numbers or pages. Being an AOF alumni means seeing the world for a different perspective and being ready and confident enough to navigate it, regardless of your journey.

Tyrese Love

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AOBF Alumnus, Class of 2015
NBHS Academies Advisory Board Vice-President

Michelle Roman

Michelle Roman
AOBF Alumna, Class of 2018
Financial Consultant at Travelers Insurance
Travelers EDGE Alum, Class of 2022
University of Connecticut, B.A Economics, Minor in Business
I didn’t have a typical high school journey and I didn’t know what I was doing; each year trying something new. It wasn’t until junior year when I joined the Academy of Finance that my educational career took a 180. A student is as great as their teacher,
and I had some of the best mentors and support who pushed me to achieve great things. The AOF opened doors for me such as interview preparations, internships, business acumen and the Travelers EDGE Program.

After graduating from UConn and finishing the EDGE program, I pursued a full time job at Travelers as a Financial Consultant with the National Accounts Finance Team. My future endeavors consist of studying and passing the CFP certification, and have the opportunity of becoming a Wealth Management Advisor.

The Public Service Academy changed my whole life. Starting from the moment I walked into the Little Cane's Academy in 8th grade when we were visiting the high school, I felt like I was meant to be there. I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher and help many students, but I didn't know exactly what grade I wanted to teach or what subject. My senior year of high school, I had the opportunity to take the Kindergarten Assistant class (which is also a paid internship) where I was a Teacher Assistant at Jefferson Elementary School. That opportunity made me love teaching even more. I had the opportunity to work with an excellent teacher who guided me on how to work with the kids and gave me many opportunities to teach in her classroom. I built great relationships with the kids and the parents that will always be with me. I changed a little kid’s life by just being there with him in the classroom everyday and helping him communicate with all the students in class. To this day, with me now being in college, I am still in contact with his parents to see how he is doing, and I get to see him whenever I can. Things like this are what made me want to teach and it's all thanks to NBHS and the Public Service Academy.
Today, I am studying to become an Elementary teacher. I take five classes a week and I currently have two jobs, working at the LALCC at CCSU where I’m getting a lot of experience working with other people from different countries. I also work at JumpStart as a team leader. At 18, I am in such a great position working with kids from 3 to 5 years old and with other college students, doing great in college and I also came to college with credits. This is all thanks to my Academy where I got to take college courses and learned all that I know today. 

Anasofia Rodriguez Vazquez 

AOPS Alumna, Class of 2022
Central Connecticut State University, Elementary Education with a concentration in History

Jaminah Walker

Jaminah Walker
AOBF Alumna, Class of 2017
Amazon Area Manager 
CCSU Alumna, B.S. in Accounting & Finance
I had no idea what I wanted to do after high school until one of my classmates suggested the finance academy. I hoped it would have an impact or at the very least teach me something applicable to the real world. During my time in the academy, I learned about accounting, business management, entrepreneurship, and even took a simulated class based on real-life scenarios. I had the opportunity to travel to New York for a NAF convention and meet the foundation's president and MasterCard's CEO. I learned how to do taxes and did community service through the HRA/VITA program, I was a junior achievement member, a YMCA honoree ,women in leadership, and the treasurer of FBLA.  After graduating NAF track, I attended Central Connecticut State University where I received my B.S. in accounting & finance.

I will be going back to school to receive my MBA in supply chain management. I currently work for Amazon as an Area Manager in Michigan. I couldn’t have imagined I’d be here without the academy and the assistance from all the teachers that helped prepare us for our futures!

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