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By Delight Dzansi

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The Hillman Program is happy to include a number of graduates from the Future Link Program, which helps young adults, age 18-25,  gain the skills and self-knowledge “to identify and pursue a pathway to a successful future.” For more information about this impactful program, visit the Future Link website

Current Hillman student/Future Link graduate Delight Dzansi (right), as well as a Hillman student now at UMD-Shady Grove (Suruchi Dahal, left) attended Future Link’s recent Professional Advisory Board event at the Barking Mad Café in Gaithersburg. October 23, 2017. In the center of the photo is Adrianna David, 2017 Miss Maryland).  Here is Delight’s report.

I went to this event thinking “I have to go in and come out really quick” because I had just picked my mom from work and she was in the car resting. At the same time, when I went inside the café and saw alumina and their mentors, I wanted to hear their stories, and I did. My neighbor’s daughter introduced me to the Future Link Program. She was one of the first Future Link student and she was there as well. I learned about previous alumina before me and how they had to fight to be where they were. One of the stories that intrigued me was a student who is now at Shady Grove, he never though he could make it to college let alone through college, but he passed his classes at MC with flying colors while he was extremely sick. To me this was very inspiring, because if he can do it so can I.

I was able to meet other people in different occupations, some worked in the court, while some travel a lot. I learn that traveling for work is not as fun as it looks in TV, it is very demanding and exhausting. It is demanding because the very moment you wake up, it is work till you return to your hotel to sleep, also others dreams, and livelihood is depending on you, what every choice can make or break them and that can be a very heavy responsibility to bare. At the same time, I am still very much interested in a job that allows me to travel.

Apart from hearing stories and meeting new people, I was able to explain to those who were interested one of the many benefit of being part of Future Link, which is having a mentor for life. Along with my mentor Catherine Galasso-Schwartz, we were able to demonstrate and explain the mentee and mentor relationship and how it was helping to both parties. I am glad I went.”

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