Waterbury, Conn. – NVCC student Jasmine Floyd received first-hand experience in her field on June 21, when she spent the day with NVCC alumna and Ragtime Boutique owner, Natalie Testa.
Floyd is graduating with an associate degree in business management, with plans to manage a locally-owned retail store.When Testa volunteered to provide mentorship at her 30 year-old shop, Floyd jumped at the chance. Located at 689 Main Street in Watertown, Ragtime is a full-service dress shop offering women's formal wear.
“It was great to be able to get good advice and guidance from someone with so much experience,” Floyd said. “Natalie explained how she got into business and helped me understand the options out there in terms of managing or owning a business someday.”
The experience was mutually rewarding, said Testa, who enjoys ‘giving back’ to younger women aiming towards a successful career. Aside from mentoring novice businesswomen, Testa volunteers for the ‘Perfect Prom Project’ program, collecting prom dresses for high school girls in need. Her passion is helping women feel good about themselves.
“Meeting with Jasmine felt like a passing of the torch in a way, giving my knowledge to someone just starting out, it was great,” Testa said. “I like helping women in small business advance, and encouraging them to never give up, and remain true to themselves.”
Testa’s connection with NVCC came full circle when she purchased Ragtime decades ago. Testa completed her internship at Ragtime under its former ownership while she earned her associate degree in marketing from NVCC’s predecessor, Mattatuck Community College.
For Floyd, NVCC has been a true engine of change. She said she might never have completed her degree and pursued her dreams if it weren’t for the NVCC staff.
“There have been times when I wanted to give up, but the staff and teachers always encouraged me to keep going,” Floyd said. “I’m excited to get a good job, and see where it takes me.”
This spring, NVCC graduated its largest cohort of students in the college’s history, granting 1,231 awards and certificates, remaining the only community college in Connecticut to exceed 1,000 awards.
# # #
Naugatuck Valley Community College serves Beacon Falls, Bethel, Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Cheshire, Danbury, Middlebury, Naugatuck, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Oxford, Prospect, Roxbury, Sherman, Southbury, Thomaston, Washington, Waterbury, Watertown and Woodbury. The College is located on a 110-acre campus at 750 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, Conn., and in Danbury at 183 Main Street. The College is one of 17 institutions governed by the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education. Visit nv.edu for more information.