RCCS Success Stories
Candalee M. Alicea
Class of 2011 graduate Candalee M. Alicea is a grateful RCCS graduate who would like to share these words, “RCCS did a great job encouraging seniors to go to college as well as assisting with the FASFA application. Huge thank you to RCCS for this.”
Candalee was a great student during her time at RCCS. She ended each school year with a GPA of a 3.0 or higher. According to Candalee, 99% of the Class of 2011 were accepted to college, and of course her hard work placed her amongst the 99%. Candalee began her studies at Moravian College in the Fall of 2011 and in 2015 she graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Business and a minor in Ethics.
Like many students, Candalee was not sure which field she wanted to pursue. Fortunately, that uncertainty disappeared once she entered her Junior year of college. Candalee was afforded the opportunity to intern within the Human Resources Department at Dorney Park. She immediately discovered her passion for the Human Resource field due to her internship opportunity. Candalee’s first job after graduating from Moravian College was an entry-level HR position at Lineage Logistics where she gained most of her HR experience. Three years later, she applied for an HR management position at Dorney Park, the place where she discovered her passion. She is now the HR Manager of Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, Pennsylvania. In addition to working full-time, Candalee is pursuing her master’s degree in Human Resources and is committed to giving back to RCCS. She is willing to advise and share her journey with current and former RCCS students.
Class of 2014 graduate Kevin Rizzo is an RCCS superstar. He is a talented young man who graduated from Wilkes University in 2018 with his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theater. While attending RCCS, Kevin was a stellar student who graduated with a 3.5 GPA. He excelled in his Science and Psychology classes and was advised by those close to him to enter either field. However, Kevin knew that although he enjoyed both subjects, he was passionate about the performing arts. During his time at RCCS, Kevin participated in the theater club, took a theater elective, and learned to knit.
Kevin incorporated what he learned at RCCS into his studies at Wilkes University. He utilized the techniques he learned from his knitting class and incorporated them into costume designing. Doing so led Kevin to become the second in command for the Costume Department at Wilkes University. During his undergraduate studies he also learned how to build sets for productions and became a well-known student amongst his professors. Most notably, Kevin is the first Hispanic male student to graduate from Wilkes University’s Musical Theater program. Since obtaining his degree, Kevin has immersed himself in his field and he has accomplished many great things. He was recently contracted for a Summer Theater program at Northampton Community College’s Summer Theater Company and he will be preparing for an upcoming short film in Philadelphia. He also recently lost 60 pounds and believes good health and a successful life go hand and hand.
Class of 2017 graduate Nicolle Fernandez is a recent RCCS success story. Nicolle is currently enrolled in the BUSCA program at La Salle University. She is one semester away from completing her Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts. Nicolle was an exceptional RCCS student who obtained a 3.5 GPA during her senior year. Her studious nature followed her into her higher education career as she continues to be a high achieving student. She is actively involved in the RCCS community and was recently granted an RCCS Alumni Scholarship in February of 2019.
Nicolle has a list of goals in mind and she has the blueprints needed to accomplish those goals. After receiving her associate degree, Nicolle plans on continuing her education at La Salle University in pursuit of her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Nicolle’s goal is to become a Speech and Language Pathologist and she has already begun immersing herself in her field. She is currently a Teacher’s Aide at a local Daycare Center. In her role, she has begun familiarizing herself with working with children who have Speech Disorders. She looks forward to acquiring the tools and education needed to provide services to children and adults with Speech Disorders.
Class of 2011 graduate Luis Ayala-Rivera is a local RCCS success story who will soon be an international one. Like many high school graduates, Luis was unsure of which career path he wanted to pursue. He knew he liked business, so he decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Accounting in hopes of determining if business was his true calling. After a year into his program, Luis realized he found his calling and discovered his passion for both accounting and financing. He decided to double major in both subjects and in 2015, he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Financing from DeSales University.
Immediately after graduating, Luis started an internship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) in their Private Company Service (PCS) Assurance practice. Luis took full advantage of his internship opportunity and in the Summer of 2016, he was offered a full-time position at PwC. In 2018, Luis received his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license and he is now a Senior Associate in the PCS Assurance practice at PwC. This Spring, Luis will be going on a 3-month international assignment to Argentina. He will work with his company’s service delivery unit, facilitate trainings, implement new tools and technologies, and MORE! Luis’ has more adventures ahead of him as he plans on returning to school in the near future to obtain his Master of Business Administration.
Class of 2012 graduate Natalie Flores is an RCCS success story as well as a success story in the Allentown community. Natalie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation & Human Services from the Pennsylvania State University in 2016. She continued her studies at the Pennsylvania State University, and in 2018 she received her Master of Education degree in Higher Education. Natalie’s education equipped her with the tools needed to enter her desired career. She currently works as a Career Counselor and Workforce Coordinator at The Literacy Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The population she serves is adults from the Allentown community who are unemployed or looking for a career change.
Natalie was a stellar student when she attended RCCS. Her hard-work was evident in her 4.0 GPA. That same hard-work and dedication continues in her professional life as she was recently offered an opportunity to work for the Administrative Professional Training Program which is a new program within her organization. With her new role, Natalie will be assisting individuals with developing their resumes and cover letters, searching for employment opportunities within the administration field, interview preparation and more.
Class of 2013 graduate Christian Ayala’s success story resulted from his hard-work and the influence of another RCCS graduate. That graduate is Christian’s brother Luis Ayala-Rivera. Christian’s love for numbers, desire to be financially responsible, and influence from his brother led him to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Financing at DeSales University. During Christian’s junior and senior year at DeSales University, he worked as a Tax Coordinator in the tax department of Olympus Corporation of the Americas in Center Valley, Pennsylvania. Christian’s work experience and education prepared him for the next phase of his life and during his senior year of college, he began applying for jobs that would help him enter that next phase.
The year 2017 was a significant year for Christian. In 2017, he graduated from DeSales University and in October of 2017 he started a full-time position at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC). Christian is currently an experienced Associate in PwC's Consumer Industrial Products and Services (CIPS) group in the Assurance practice. He is currently working towards obtaining his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license. His goal is to have his license by the end of 2019. Christian is determined to increase his knowledge of his field and he plans on returning to school in the near future to obtain his Master of Business Administration.