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Capital campaign officially kicks off!

Posted September 21

SER publicly announced its Pathways to Potential capital campaign with a news conference held at the site of its new... Read more...

3 SER Amigos Gala Celebration

Posted August 9

3 SER Amigos Gala Honoring Stephen Fraga, Rick Jaramillo and Armando Perez October 6, 2017 Co-Chairs Paige and Bart... Read more...

Construction Underway on New Workforce Opportunity Center

Posted August 9

Construction Underway on New Workforce Opportunity Center Set to open April 2018 in Houston’s East End, featuring... Read more...

Tyla Adams

Getting an education and her dream job were always part of 21-year old California-native Tyla Adams’ plan, but she needed some guidance to get there.

“In my family, going to school was expected from us,” said Tyla.

After her high school graduation, Tyla knew that she wanted a new scenery and to attend a HBCU (historically black college or university). Sight unseen, Tyla committed to Texas Southern University (TSU) in Houston to major in Business Management.

“I came out here 4 years ago for school,” said Tyla. “I [had] never been to Houston or heard of Texas Southern until my senior year of High School…I knew that I wanted to go to a HBCU, but didn’t want to go too far away from home. I started looking up HBCUs by state and I found Houston.”

When it was time for her to move into her dorm room, Tyla and her mom packed her college essentials and flew to Houston. 

“All my friends stayed in California for school,” said Tyla. “I didn’t want to stay in California. I been there all my life so it’s going to be the same thing when I come back. I just wanted something different, I guess.”

Once Tyla was acclimated at TSU, she joined multiple organizations on campus to keep herself busy, including the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. But without a car, Tyla’s opportunities were largely limited to the area around campus.

“I didn’t have a car and I hardly knew anybody but somehow I made it to Walmart to get groceries and stuff so …that was a culture shock for me.”

Although she worked on campus in the Athletics Department, she really wanted to be able to save enough money to purchase her own car. So she found an off campus job working at an ice cream parlor in the Galleria.

“I caught the metro bus to work every day,” said Tyla. “It took an hour and a half to get to work [every day]. It was ridiculous.”

When Tyla did the math, she realized she was spending more to get to work than she was saving, so the finance major decided to remove herself from that equation.

With the help of a sorority sister, Tyla received information from the Career Services department at TSU about SER’s upcoming summer internship and work experience programs.

During the interview process, Tyla interviewed with Nory Angel, SER’s Executive Director and CEO.

“I interviewed with Nory that day and she was telling me ‘if you’re serious about accounting and you really want to learn stuff in your field, you should email me your resume,’” said Tyla. “As soon as the interviews were over I went home, tweaked my resume, and sent it right back to Nory the very next day. I didn’t want her to forget my face.”

After being accepted into the Bank of America Youth Summer Internship Program, Nory encouraged Tyla to interview with SER’s Chief Financial Officer, Kathy Fountain, for an internship opportunity in SER’s accounting department.

 “I met with Kathy prior to the beginning of the internship and I was nervous,” said Tyla. “This was an actual accounting office and I’m an accounting student…they are going to expect me to know everything.”

 “When I spoke with Kathy she told me ‘we know that you’re a student and you don’t know much right know…we don’t expect you to. We are going to teach you everything you need to know – the programs and the software that we use.’  At that point, I was relieved…I was ready to start. I was learning something new. I was really excited.”

Tyla graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Texas Southern University in May before gaining valuable experience in the Bank of America Youth Summer Internship Program with SER and took on a few extra courses to prepare her for next step in her career: Graduate School.

“I’m glad that I met Nory,” said Tyla. “She gave me hope for Accounting. [Little did she know], I have been looking for an internship in Accounting for a minute now - when I see her in the office, she always checks up on me.”

As an added perk of participating in SER’s summer work experience programs, Tyla won an iPad for participating in the U.S. Council of Mayors’ DollarWi$e financial literacy initiative.

Following her older brother’s footsteps, Tyla plans to graduate with her Masters of Finance with a concentration on Accounting early December 2018 or May 2019. She hopes to then obtain a position in an Accounting firm as an Auditor. In the meantime, Tyla plans on finding more internships that relates to her course of study.

“Everything that I learned in class was by the book,” said Tyla. “Nothing that is [taught in the class] is being done in an office. Once I [started] my internship and working [with the Accounting team at SER] on general ledgers and the [different] software…I was able to make a connection with what I was learning in class.