Berkeley Today Stories

Tomasina Salcedo Berkeley College graduate

Berkeley College Alumnus Aims to Inspire Others through Social Services

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After taking courses at Berkeley College in Midtown Manhattan, Tomasina Salcedo graduated in 1999 with an A.A.S. in Business Administration – Management. For Ms. Salcedo, who came from the Dominican Republic to the United States at the age of eight, being the first member of her family to earn a college degree was an enormous honor. “It felt like I was accomplishing the biggest dream of my life,” Ms. Salcedo said. “I made my mother the proudest, but to see that I inspired my family and friends to pursue a College degree makes me even prouder in myself.”

Ms. Salcedo held roles at Citibank and delivery company Affinity Direct in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, after graduating from Berkeley College. She began working as an Executive Administrative Assistant at Exodus Transitional Community in 2008, and was promoted to Director of Administration in 2016. The civic and social organization provides supportive services to formerly incarcerated men and women to help them improve their well-being. She also obtained a certificate in Nonprofit Management from CUNY Hostos Community College, and received Billing & Coding Specialist certification from the Cochran School of Nursing at St. John’s Riverside Hospital in 2013. She also received her license in cosmetology and hair styling from the Parisian Beauty Academy in Hackensack, NJ, in 2009.

Working out of East Harlem, NY, Ms. Salcedo balances responsibilities to managing financial and human resources-related matters, while actively networking and collaborating with others to help further Exodus Transitional Community’s mission. “I apply the same techniques I learned while at Berkeley on how to use the resources at hand to develop a network that helps create awareness for the work Exodus Transitional Community does, who we serve and how we can assist those we serve in their transition,” Ms. Salcedo said.

Up Close with Tomasina Salcedo

What does success mean to you?
I define success as being able to make a difference each day in my life and in the lives of others through love, support and communication. This way we all get to a better place in life.

What initially inspired you to enroll in Berkeley College?
Unfortunately, I come from a family background where my brother and sisters didn't make it through college in our foreign country for many reasons. And so, I decided I wanted to be a successful woman and allow myself the many opportunities that life has to offer. I learned about Berkeley College and the more I learned, the more I wanted to enroll. So I did and I loved every day of it.

How did Berkeley College prepare you for success?
Berkeley prepared me with the tools and the educational background that I needed in order to be where I am today. It made the difference I was looking for in my life and that I now share with others as a form of inspiration and mentorship. Family and friends are now enrolled in college. Others already have degrees and great jobs. Sharing the knowledge that I acquired at Berkeley has allowed me to pass on my success, and that is a blessing.

How do you see yourself being successful in the future?
I see myself being successful in many ways. As a humanitarian, I love helping others reach their potential and their goals. As a businesswoman and a parent, there will always be ways to enhance my talents and my knowledge. To be successful, I will take advantage of the opportunity to continue to learn and embrace change as I move forward.

What advice would you offer today’s college-bound students?
I would advise them to stay focused on their studies without taking semesters off, because once you disengage, it is very likely that you will not return as you may have planned. College defines your future and it is best to keep it a priority to ensure that you get your degree. Focus at all times. That’s what will keep you going.

What is your most memorable moment at Berkeley College?
My most memorable moment was in the Public Speaking class. It helped me overcome fear when speaking in public. I will never forget my first presentation and how my heart beat incredibly fast. However, practice makes perfect. The instructor and fellow students helped me conquer my fears and, subsequently, I was able to do many presentations successfully. Because of this, today I speak without anxiety and my message gets across.

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