Student credits BCCC entrepreneurship program for getting job

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— When Petra Gonzalez moved to Baltimore with her family from Titusville, Florida, she got a quick start at Baltimore City Community College pursuing her interest in early childhood education. She was also able to find work as a housekeeping staff member in the college facilities department.

Under the guidance of BCCC Assistant Professor Cortez Walker, coordinator of the Business Administration, Management and Marketing programs at BCCC who helps oversee the Passport Student Leadership/Entrepreneurship Development Program, Petra began to grasp how she could someday own and operate her own daycare center.

Petra, who graduates from BCCC in December with an associate degree in Early Childhood Education, says the Passport program’s regular presentations from Small Business Administration speakers and other experts helped solidify her understanding of how to strike out on her own.

“I needed ideas,” she said. “The Passport program connected me to some practical advice on how to turn my interests into a realistic business model.”

Student participants in the Passport Program meet once per month during the school year to discuss a specific topic including learning leadership skills, entrepreneurship success factors, financial literacy and how to create wealth. Speakers have included Victor Clark Jr., director of Small Business Development for the State of Maryland, and several speakers from the Baltimore District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration, who shared perspectives on the agency’s Small Business Assistance programs and other topics.

“This is an extracurricular activity available to all students,” says Professor Walker. “Those who participate in the entire program will receive a Leadership/Entrepreneurship Certificate which can be used when transferring to a four-year college or university, or applying for a job in a business, nonprofit or governmental organization,” he said.

A few weeks ago, Celebree Learning Centers was so impressed with Petra and the level of expertise she acquired at BCCC that they offered her a job, not just as an aide, one of the usual ways you start at Celebree but as a Lead Teacher. Congratulations, Petra!

For more information about how to kick-start your career and build valuable contacts and ideas through the Passport Entrepreneurship at BCCC, email:

Professor Cortez Walker at cwalker@bccc.edu or 410-462-7695.