Janelle Viruet

Say hello to Janelle!


Hello, my name is Janelle! I’m a proud, native New Yorker. I was born and raised in Brooklyn where I attended public school. I have always had an undying passion and commitment to giving back to my community and helping others find their way. Growing up in a working-class family taught me the importance of having a strong work ethic and following my dreams.

During the early stages of my career I worked and attended college full-time earning a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Long Island University and a master’s degree in counseling from Pace University. Having the opportunity to jumpstart my career in the human resources field at a hospital allowed me to realize the importance of understanding others and being resourceful.

Motivated to find more meaningful work, I landed a job at a nonprofit called Year Up, where I helped low-income young adults develop the personal and professional skills necessary to launch careers in the corporate world. It was very fulfilling work!

Through my experience in the human resources industry and work at Year Up, I discovered that I love helping people figure out their personal and professional pursuits. Since then, I’ve earned certification in professional career coaching and have started a small coaching business where I support professionals in transition, help high school students identify college majors, and help young professionals create career plans. You can see why I jumped at the opportunity to be part of the ReUp Education team – I get to love what I do while helping students return to college and pursue their dreams for a degree.

Q: What’s your college-journey story?

I’m the first person in my family to graduate with a 4-year degree. I’m the youngest of two siblings. My Dad has an associate degree. My Mom completed her high school degree.

My family was emotionally supportive throughout the college application process, but I was pretty much on my own. As a first-generation college student, I didn’t have anyone in my immediate family who understood the process. I’m fortunate for the great guidance counselors who believed in my potential and navigated me through it all.

My college journey wasn’t easy. I worked full-time and studied full-time, paying my way through college. I needed money for textbooks and transportation since I didn’t want to financially burden my parents. At one point, I had to transition to working full-time to be able to afford tuition and related expenses.

Graduating with my bachelor’s degree took me 5 years. It’s one of the biggest accomplishments of my life. I’m proud of the challenges I overcame and the internal motivation that pushed me to stick to my commitment.

Q: What inspires you about college re-enrollment?

A degree is an investment that just keeps on giving: it increases your salary potential, opens wide doors of opportunity, leads to a better life for you and your family. I’m inspired by individuals who are ready to return to college and take the challenge head-on.

Q: What advice do you have for students considering re-enrollment?

One thing I’ve certainly learned in my life: If you want something, you have to work for it. I’m a strong believer that anything is possible. Obstacles are part of the challenge – they’re necessary road bumps that require grit, determination, and motivation.

In partnership with ReUp, you’ll have a Success Coach like me by your side – every step of the way. We are committed to your success. You’re not alone! All it takes is that first step.