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Teen finds dream thanks to Step-Up Omaha

Posted: 10:29 PM, Jul 31, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-01 04:39:16Z

It's all in a days work for Carl McCullough. This Step-Up Omaha coach has been helping young adults get an advantage in the workforce through this program for four years. On a Tuesday afternoon, his group is touring the Omaha fire department downtown.

"It's all just about seeing what opportunities are out there that they normally wouldn't know about," McCullough said. "Or going straight into the workforce, we just want them prepared, which helps the city and the community all the way around."

As McCullough's group of first and second year participants toured the fire station, 17 year-old Michelle Esquivel is working at American National Bank in Bellevue. She has about a week left in the Step-Up program working as a teller, which is something she didn't consider doing for a long time.

"I think I would have not been able to be working at a bank if it would have not been because of Step-Up," Esquivel said. "And I'm very thankful because I'll be working here part-time during college."

This is Esquivel's one and only summer in the program, and she says it's been worth her while.

"It'll help you grow as a person," she said. "I've grown--seriously in this program--I've grown so much and I've met amazing people here at the branch that recognize me already with a couple months working here."

But Esquivel doesn't plan to spend the rest of her life working at banks.

"I'm probably not staying in banking all my life, but I want to open my own dental clinic, so this will help me know how to manage my money," she said. "I want to probably bank here when I have my clinic."

Esquivel's little sister plans to sign up for Step-Up Omaha next summer. She hopes to be a doctor in the future.