Catching up with Summer Program alum Ahmonti Nyzeria Ondo

As many of the learners from our Readiness Institute Summer Program know, our connection doesn’t just end after the summer. We continue to stay in touch with learners when they go back for their senior year, after they graduate high school, and beyond. We recently checked in with some of the young adults who were a part of program and have now graduated high school and are on to their next steps of adulthood. 

Ahmonti Nyzeria OndoAhmonti Headshot

Where are you now? 

I have been with a local corporation for just under a year now.

In that time, I’ve managed to go from being a Starbucks barista, to becoming a certified trainer, to completing a decorating apprenticeship program a few weeks ago. I’ve passed all of my timed tests with flying colors, so I am now an official cake decorator! It’s been an exciting journey of self discovery this past year. I’ve been able to take my time to consider the many different paths life has to offer and various talents I possess. 

What do you enjoy most about where you are now?

I think what I’ve been able to enjoy most is that I’ve expanded my horizons far beyond what I planned while holding a position with this company. Although this isn’t my final career destination, I can at least say I’ve had the opportunity! With the path I am currently pursuing, I truly enjoy being able to travel in any direction I feel drawn to by following my heart every day.

How has your life changed since the Readiness Institute?

I have had so many life experiences since the Readiness Institute in which I’ve had to revert back to what I learned. Then subsequently, I’ve been able to communicate in a more clear, confident manner. The word that will forever resonate with me is adaptation. Besides Covid being a stickler, learning to adapt became a blessing of both opportunity and growth in disguise, and I was all for it.

What is your favorite memory of the Readiness Institute?

I remember being invited to host a podcast by SLB Radio with Zander (who was in my cohort). It was so nerve-wracking and it opened my eyes to a new interest of mine. It taught me how to be comfortable being uncomfortable. I really think my favorite memory was the whole program to be honest. It was an amazing time I had meeting and spending time with not only the other seniors, but instructors too! My cohort really became a family and there’s nothing else to it. 

What’s one thing on your bucket list — personally or professionally — that you would like to have checked off in the next five years?

What I have on my bucket list is definitely both personal and professional. I’m realizing that having the ability to inspire others as well as communicate with them can be a challenge. However, I am more than willing to accept. I’ll need to master this technique as I aspire to have a successful professional career in marketing/sales. 

Down this path, I wish to pursue hosting podcasts about self-discovery and life itself. Nonetheless, although I am forever growing, I want to be mature mentally, emotionally, and financially in the next five or so years.

What advice or message do you have for your fellow Readiness Institute alums?

Be open-minded so that life can teach you its secrets and always expect the unexpected. Never be closed-minded about anything, for you will find yourself stuck in your own mind and unable to grow for the better. The skills I was able to grasp after completing the program are simply life-changing. I am now able to step out into the world with confidence, affirmation, knowledge and a keen sense of self. Remember to always understand that “life isn’t really about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.” — George Bernard Shaw

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