After I graduated from Austin College in 2016, each line on my resume came from a direct connection made by an Austin College professor. These experiences jump-started my career in nonprofit work, as I took my classroom lessons to provide community work in the Grayson County region. It did not take long for me to consider graduate school so that I could gain more credentials and be a part of decision-making processes in my community, so I sought the assistance of my Austin College professors who guided me through the pain-staking applications and offered to write encouraging letters of recommendation to each institution I applied. I remember vividly my last interaction with Professor Donald Rodgers as I asked him if he would be able to write letters of recommendation for me. A couple weeks later, he passed away. Professors Nate Bigelow, Brian Watkins, Audrey Flemming, Terry Hoops, and more stood by my side to help me through the process of grief as well as continuing my path towards a graduate degree. The professors at Austin College are the heart of the institution, and the heart of my career development. They shaped my college experience from the moment I stepped foot on campus to years past saying good-bye on graduation day. It has never been and never will be a genuine good-bye, as they continue to shape my career development and personal growth. In 2019, I graduated with a Master’s of Public Affairs from the #1 graduate school for Public Affairs, Indiana University Bloomington O’Neill School; I began work at the City of Austin as a Grants Coordinator for the Public Health department, overseeing contracts that specialize in homeless prevention, domestic violence, or intellectual and developmental disabilities services.
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