Making Dreams a Tangible Reality
Earning a Bachelor's degree consistently remains the ultimate vehicle to improve one's life through receiving a well-rounded education and increasing earning potential. Approximately 36% of Americans obtain a Bachelor's degree. According to the NY Times “Americans with four-year college degrees made 98 percent more an hour on average in 2013 than people without a degree. That’s up from 89 percent five years earlier, 85 percent a decade earlier and 64 percent in the early 1980s.”
As *first generation college graduates, we experienced first-hand the difficulties of navigating the educational and professional waters, such as selecting a major, financing tuition, and pursuing a career. Initially, we did not have guidance or direction on which steps to take in order to elect the right majors and careers for us. Fortunately, through mentors and organizations, such as INROADS, we persevered and graduated from our respective colleges and became professionals in our fields.
We value what we have been able to accomplish with a college degree and are passionate on paying it forward. We want to help high potential students achieve college success and guide them in selecting a major and preliminary career path. We look forward to meeting the 2019 recipient of the Betancourt Scholarship Fund.
- Jefferson & Melanie Betancourt
*Neither parent has obtained a college degree
Who We Are
Jefferson Betancourt, born in Lawrence, Massachusetts and raised in Orlando, Florida graduated from Colonial High School in 2007. He then pursued a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida (UF), where he majored in Finance and minored in Real Estate. While attending UF, Jefferson was an actively contributing member of INROADS and Alpha Kappa Psi.
Over the past eight years, Jefferson has gained experience in all aspects of Banking and has worked for major financial institutions such as BB&T, TD Bank, and Bank of America. He began his banking career as a credit risk analyst, and now is a Vice President for Bank of America's Global Commercial Middle Market Banking division. Jefferson graduated with a Masters in Accounting Degree from the University of Connecticut in 2018. Outside of his academics and professional career, he enjoys spending his time volunteering for organizations, such as INROADS, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement, and The Posse Foundation.
In 2019 Jefferson will be matriculating at Cornell University as a Full-Time MBA student. While attending Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management, Jefferson intends to pursue a career in Investment Banking. Jefferson will graduate from the program in May 2021.
Melanie Tarabay Betancourt moved to the United States in 2006 from Berlin, Germany, where she was born, and raised by her Lebanese father and German mother. After graduating from South Florida's Western High School in 2008, she received her Bachelors Degree in Neuroscience & Behavior from Florida Atlantic University (FAU), where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2013. During her undergraduate years, Melanie spent her time doing scientific research, and volunteering/shadowing in various healthcare settings to gain first-hand experience for her future medical career.
After completing her bachelor's degree, Melanie graduated with Honors from Nova Southeastern University with a Masters in Medical Sciences to become a Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C). She currently works in Miami Beach as a PA-C in Dermatology. Melanie is an active volunteer at INROADS and provides interview feedback for INROADS applicants throughout the nation.
In 2019 Melanie will be matriculating at Cornell University as a Full-Time MBA student. While attending Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management, Melanie intends to pursue a career in Healthcare Consulting. Melanie will graduate from the program in May 2021.