Dodit Tshibamba Buabua was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2011, he moved to the United States and settled in Chicago. He spent three years in the city, and then it was time for a change. “I was looking for somewhere else, because there, life was so fast and busy,” he says. “Vermont was an adventure.” After relocating to Burlington, Dodit quickly decided that he wanted to be in school. He says he learned that community college would be a cost-effective, flexible way to get an education. He started studying network administration at CCV-Winooski.
Moving to Vermont from Chicago was a major transition, but not as big, Dodit says, as leaving his home country. “You have to restart your life, change everything, start learning to speak English,” he says. “I speak five languages, and I started learning English when I moved here.”
Today, Dodit lives in the heart of Winooski, an easy walk to the city’s CCV campus—a good thing, as he is an active member of the College community: in addition to taking classes here, he’s an IT intern, he works in the Learning Center, and he’s one of the College’s Job Hunt Helpers.
CCV directly engages with communities throughout the state by working to develop information literacy. In partnership with the Vermont Department of Libraries, the College has launched Job Hunt Helpers, a program through which CCV students assist library patrons with using online resources to find employment, training, and continued education.
The program falls under CCV’s broader career development initiatives, which offer comprehensive services to assist students with career and job needs. From creating and implementing an academic plan to utilizing tools for job searches, students can work with faculty, staff, and our four dedicated career consultants to outline and reach career goals.
Job Hunt Helpers places Dodit and five other students in local libraries, where they are available as a public resource to aid in career development. Dodit spends six hours a week at the Winooski Memorial Library helping users assess skills, write resumes, and search for and apply to jobs. He is an important resource not only for assistance with job searches and applications, but also for those who are looking to continue their education or find skill-specific training opportunities.
Dodit says he enjoys his work at the library not only because information technology and literacy are his areas of expertise, but also because it’s an opportunity to interact with members of the greater community. “[The] library is where everyone is coming. You meet different people [with] different backgrounds,” he says. “I think it’s a great program.” Dodit shares that many of the people he works with didn’t go to college. “But they are looking for a job,” he says. “When you help somebody like that, to write a resume, or apply for and get a job, you don’t know how many thanks you get from them.”
It’s clear that he finds this involvement with the library meaningful; he speaks quietly and deliberately when he shares that “every time you help somebody apply for a job, write a resume, fix a computer program—it’s amazing to see the way those people are happy.”
This is a big deal for Dodit, who began working toward a law degree before moving to America. He takes his role as community member—and mentor—seriously. After CCV, he says he’d like to pursue a bachelor’s degree and eventually resume his study of law, potentially to work for an international organization.
There’s no doubt that Dodit’s ambition and work ethic will lead him to great things. For now, Dodit plays an important role in his adopted community. He’s found a niche at the College, and in Vermont. “I like CCV,” he says. “It’s not like school, it’s like a family.”