Youth Counselor and Operations Coordinator, CareerPoint; Age 25; Education: BSW, Westfield State University
Caban grew up in a tough section of Holyoke, and early on knew he wanted to be a role model for at-risk youth and others like himself. He is passionate about service and excited to be back working in the Youth Department at CareerPoint, where he continues to deliver intensive counseling to young people in his community, helping them gain awareness of their skills and interests and guiding them on a path to success in the workforce and beyond. The second youngest of six siblings in a first-generation family, Caban was the first to graduate high school, the first to graduate from college, and the first to be admitted to graduate school. He is now working on the completion of an MPA in nonprofit management at Westfield State University.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Growing up, I wanted to be a lawyer, but now I’m still working on my plan to pursue a leadership career in higher education and/or workforce development.
How do you define success? To me, success is when I am performing well and satisfied with my position. It is knowing that my work and efforts are adding value to my company, but also to my overall life and the lives of other people.
What three words best describe you? Outgoing, witty, efficient.
What do you like most about Western Massachusetts? I love the people.
Who has been your best mentor, and why? I’ve had several amazing mentors come into my life, including my current supervisor, Gladys Lebron-Martinez (pictured); Steve Leiblum, former director of the NEARI Jump Start after-school program; and Holyoke legend Steve Dubilo, who left his legacy behind, and I’m proud to have been his ‘son’ for many years before his death. These three have introduced me to amazing people and the resources that I need to be successful in an ever-evolving world.
What goal do you set for yourself at the start of each day? To bring out the best in someone, so that they, in turn, bring out the best in the next person.
What will work colleagues say at your funeral? Saul brought a lot of energy and positive spirit, and he could always be counted on.
What person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why? My mom. Because I don’t get to see her as much as I want to.