Adrian DeJesus, Class of '12
Master of Science in Airport Management
Bachelor of Science, Aviation Maintenance
Associate in Applied Science, Aviation Maintenance
Bronx, New York
Dreams alone guarantee little. As a child, Adrian DeJesus knew hard work was the key to a better life.
Raised in an orphanage in Guyana, in South America, he dreamed of maintaining aircraft. Of course, to do that he would need the proper training.
Enter Vaughn College.
"When I came here I was so fascinated to see all the aircraft," DeJesus says. "The first thought I had was that I would be doing hands-on work on the same planes I used to see flying over my house."
A veteran of the Guyanese Defense Forces, DeJesus came to the United States in 2004 at age 21. Sponsored for a visa by his aunt, he settled in the Bronx with nothing more than a work ethic and a vision to work on aircraft.
He enrolled in Vaughn College's associate program in aviation maintenance, then continued for a bachelor's degree. At one point, DeJesus says, he was working three jobs while taking 22 credits worth of classes.
Among those jobs was a part-time position in the College's admissions office. Through a career fair at the College, DeJesus also secured a position as a trainee maintenance technician with Delta Air Lines.
"If not for my foundation and training at Vaughn, it would have been difficult for me to be selected for the position at Delta," DeJesus says. "Life would have been very hard for me without Vaughn College."
Ultimately, DeJesus hopes to work as a safety inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration.
He became a United States citizen in January 2010, and earned his master's degree in airport management in 2012.
"I really want the skies to be safe," DeJesus says. "That's why I want to work for the FAA. I want to make sure the planes you fly are safe from point A to point B, and that the people who work on them are properly qualified."