Mykelsy Charles at Bunker Hill Community College. (Credit: Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, Boston)

After graduating from West Roxbury High School in Boston, Mykelsy Charles began taking college classes while working to support herself and her mother. Mykelsy was determined to earn a degree but could only take a class or two each semester. After several years, the grind began to wear her down.

She worked wherever she could find a job that would fit her schedule, including positions at several fast food chains. She applied to work at several hotels, but was rejected due to lack of relevant experience. Then, while working as a university dining hall supervisor earlier this year, the 23-year-old heard about the Greater Boston American Apprenticeship Initiative (GBAAI) from her boyfriend’s mother.

GBAAI helps people like Mykelsy connect with careers through three stages: pre-apprenticeship training, apprenticeship, and higher education. First, Mykelsy was able to participate in a 6-week pre-apprenticeship program through the BEST Hospitality Training Center in May. The crash course in housekeeping skills and customer service also provides nine college credits at Bunker Hill Community College.

Staff helped Myksely apply to relevant positions for which she was now qualified. “They’re there to guide you to the right path,” she said.About a week after I graduated, I found a job.”

A hotel employer made her an offer for a union apprenticeship in housekeeping that paid $3.00 more per hour than her previous job and included benefits. “It’s a physical job, it’s really hard. But I really like the fact that you manage your time,” Mykelsy said.

Apprentices receive another three credits and are eligible to receive financial support from GBAAI to finish their degrees, so she is taking classes and hopes to graduate in spring 2018 with an associate degree in hospitality and restaurant management.

The hotel environment is a natural fit for Mykelsy. Armed with both practical experience and a degree, she has her sights on a management position. “I’ve always wanted to be in a place where I enjoy what I’m doing, and look classy and sharp, and meet people from all over the world,” she said.

Programs like GBAAI that let people earn while they learn benefit those who can’t afford to take out student loans but seek an education for in-demand careers.

“It’s a great program to help kids like me or older people who want to start going to the right path,” said Mykelsy. “I’d recommend it to everyone.”

Learn more about apprenticeship opportunities at

Editor’s note: Mykelsy’s story is one example of an effective workforce program in action. View more success stories here.

Tiffany Koebel is a public affairs specialist for the U.S. Department of Labor.

Blog Featured Image: 
Mykelsy Charles stands in front of Bunker Hill Community College

Law Offices of Ainbinder & Pratt

Find Out If You Have a Case

For a Free In-Depth Consultation to Explore Your Options, Call Our Office at: (562) 498-4600, Text Us HERE or Email Us.

Your Details

Let us know how to get back to you.

How can we help?

Feel free to ask a question or simply leave a comment.

About Ainbinder & Pratt

We dedicate our practice to injured individual and their families, and we have done so for over a combined 60 years. We pride ourselves on providing quality representation with personal attention to every client and case. We understand what it takes to go up against an insurance company and you should not do it alone! Let our experienced lawyers fight your battle for you.

The Practice

Our practice covers all cities and counties in California for workers’ compensation & personal injury cases. We have dedicated attorneys and a knowledgeable staff that will keep you informed throughout the process.

Warning: Making a false or fraudulent workers’ compensation claim is a felony subject to 5 years in prison or a fine up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

English English Español Español