Bedford Public Schools Black Excellence Series: Carina Montrond-Silveira, BHS ’12

This is a portion of the weekly Superintendent’s Update by Cliff Chuang mailed to Bedford Public School community on Friday, Feb. 16. Please find this week’s full issue of Superintendent’s Update and back issues at bedfordps.org.

Note: This is part of an ongoing series of features sharing the stories of BPS alums, taking us into and out of Black History Month in February, highlighted on this BPS Black Excellence Site put together by Lisa Morrison, JGMS STEM teacher.

Carina Montrond-Silveira, Class of 2012

My name is Carina Montrond-Silveira. I was born and raised in Roxbury. My parents are both immigrants from Cape Verde. As a first-generation African-American, my mom wanted the best education for me. I started in the METCO Program at Bedford Public Schools in Kindergarten and continued through 12th grade for my high school graduation.

I always tried to make the best of my experience at school. As an African-American female in a predominantly white school system, some days were tougher than others. Every day was a struggle getting up early to be on the bus for almost an hour. I was on one of the earlier stops on the route before school even started.

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Having grown up playing soccer almost all of my life and wanting to build new friendships, I signed up to play sports as soon as I could, which happened to be in 7th grade. I knew it was a great way to manage my time, be social, but also learn discipline. This is when my days got even longer. Besides getting up early, I was now getting home late and still had to manage finishing my homework and studying for any tests/quizzes. I continued playing varsity soccer through my senior year. I also did varsity basketball cheerleading during my junior and senior years.

I was never the best student academically. Although I had the smarts, I did not apply myself like I should have, looking back.

I graduated from Bedford High School in the spring of 2012 with a 2.5 GPA. In the fall that year, I began my undergraduate studies at Suffolk University in Downtown Boston. My major was Sociology with a concentration in Criminal Justice and I minored in Business Law.

College was a completely new world for me. I was now responsible for all of my academia with no guidance. Mom knew nothing about college. I failed two of my four courses in my first semester, leaving me with a 1.2 GPA. During the next two semesters, I was placed on academic probation, only taking three classes each semester. I fell behind an entire semester and spent the rest of my college career making it up with summer/winter classes all while working full-time in retail.

I can proudly say I graduated within four years in the spring of 2016 with a 3.0 GPA. It was tough, but I pushed myself.

After graduating, it was not easy for me to find a job in my field with no experience. Going to school full-time, making up for failed classes, and working full-time did not allow me to have time for an internship.

In the summer of 2016, I was informed of a great program at Boston Children’s Hospital that allowed new employees to get three weeks of extensive soft and hard skills training and then three months of floating to different departments, wherever needed at the front desk. I started this program in September 2016. The program was under the hospital’s Epic team and that is when I knew what I wanted to do – to work on the Epic team.

Three months later, I applied for a permanent position in the Dental Department working at the front desk. After six months, I transitioned to a Treatment Coordinator role, still within Dental. I stayed in that role for a year before joining the Epic team as an Analyst.

Since then, I have received four Epic Certifications, Cadence, Welcome, MyChart, and Prelude. Seven years being at Boston Children’s Hospital, the top children’s hospital eight years in a row, I absolutely love what I do. Although I went to school for Sociology and did not go into that field at all, I am now in Information Technology (IT). I have transitioned out of this role and joined our Implementation Team as the lead Welcome Analyst, helping make hospital-wide decisions for the new electronic health record system.

I can honestly say that being in the METCO program and having attended Bedford Public Schools has helped me to be where I am today. I learned so much, not only academically, but I learned important life skills that I continue to use to this day. I may not be able to say that I still have a best or close friend from Bedford, but I have many memories I can look back on.

Remember, this is only the beginning of your life. Enjoy it, love it, learn from it, and do the best you can do! The sky’s the limit!

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