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Kenia Navarrete
I’ve always been mesmerized by the construction industry.
From plastic blocks to bricks and mortar: How Kenia is turning a hobby into a career at HCC

As a child, Kenia Navarrete surrounded herself with puzzles and building toys like Lego blocks.

“The more difficult the puzzles and the Legos became, the more fun it would get for me,” she said.

After graduating from high school, she enrolled in Howard Community College’s construction management program to turn her hobby into a career.

“I’ve always been mesmerized by the construction industry,” she said. “I like the hands-on skills it requires. And being able to manage something that will stand for a very long time, that’s an accomplishment.”

Navarrete chose HCC’s program because of its affordability and opportunities for hands-on learning. While all of her first-year classes have been online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she has still learned valuable documentation and communication skills to prepare her for a career, including how to create requests for proposals and project presentations.

Gazan Bozai, associate professor of construction management, has been especially helpful.

“Even when the semester is done, he checks up on his students, which is really comforting,” she said.

Navarrete plans to graduate in spring 2022 with her A.A.S. Degree in Construction Management and then transfer to Morgan State University to earn a bachelor’s degree in the field. In the future, she hopes to become a construction manager for a large construction company.

“I came to the United States when I was three years old and am the first generation to pass middle school,” she said. “My family is from Mexico, and they really didn’t have the resources or environment there to (easily) attend school… Pursuing this career, I want to make my parents proud.”

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