Year Up gives students a leg up in their careers

BY JOSSELYN RUIZ

Professional dress, networking, business etiquette, interviews and elevator pitches — these all are important in the corporate world. And they were also mostly foreign to me when I graduated from high school. At the time, I wasn’t thinking much about my future, let alone my career. Luckily…………. Read more of Josselyn’s article here.

Be sure to visit YEAR UP for more information.

Florida Atlantic University Alumnae Chapter President: Francie Delva

Interview- Florida Atlantic University Alumnae Chapter President:

Francie Delva (Class of 2017)

WOT: What are five pieces of advice that you would give the new graduates of the Women of Tomorrow Mentor and Scholarship Program?

Francie: I want to congratulate all of the new graduates for making it this far in the program. The first piece of advice would be take advantage of all the opportunities Women of Tomorrow has to offer. Second, I would say attend all meetings, be attentive, ask questions, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. I would call the Women of Tomorrow office every week even when there was a lot going on to gain a better understanding on how to apply for the scholarships and the program as well. For my third piece of advice I’m going to use myself as an example. I received an internship opportunity as soon as I got out of high school. I kept in contact with my mentor after graduating. Fourth, don’t lose contact with those who helped you along the way. Once I did the internship it gave me a sense of the real world. Take Women of Tomorrow with you wherever you go. If that means connecting to members from South Florida, forming a chapter, or keeping the lessons that you learned from the program. My current internship is at the School Board of Broward County Public Information Office. I do different things in the office including press release work that has been published on the site, assist in creating a school bond, and participate in community events. This opportunity presented itself by keeping in contact with my mentor.FRANCIEDELVAFrancie Delva on the Florida Atlantic University campus proudly holding up the FAU “Owls” gesture

WOT: What made you decide to run for president for the Florida Atlantic University Alumnae Chapter?

Francie: Initially I was very scared to run for President. When I first heard about Women of Tomorrow launching a college chapter I was scared because I was a freshman; I had very little experience. After networking with other Women of Tomorrow alumnae graduates at my school that drew me more to do it. At first we were a small organization and then we started calling the office every day to form a chapter at Florida Atlantic University. After being persistent we were able to bring the alumnae chapter to Florida Atlantic University. In high school I was the president of the Women of Tomorrow Chapter. In college it’s not a 9-5 job. Even with my schoolwork it’s more of a responsibility. In the past year we have been able to go back into high schools and do guest speeches. We spoke at Nova High School in Broward County and they also have a Women of Tomorrow program there. During the visit we spoke to the girls about college readiness. We had a set agenda of topics to discuss. Through that opportunity we were seeing if they wanted to start a chapter at the schools that they will be attending. Another opportunity that we participated in was HANDY, also known as Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth, a halfway house for foster kids. This experience was different because we talked to boys and girls about college preparation and advice.

WOT: What are your goals and where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Francie: In the next 5 years I see myself graduating at the top of my class. Following that I would like to attend law school at the University of Florida. I also want to continue in Women of Tomorrow and I would like to co-mentor alongside the mentor I had in high school.

WOT:What kind of advice would you give to college freshman?

Francie: One thing I want to say is you attract the right thing when you have a sense of who you are. Jotting down things you want to accomplish. That will help guide you in your steps in college. Another suggestion I have is to create a to do list. Something that I do is carry a planner, put inspirational quotes in it, and make it colorful. My final suggestion is do not compare yourself to anyone else.

WOT:What inspired you to attend college and what inspires you in everyday life?

 Francie: My father inspires me. I’m the first generation Haitian American. My father came to America 30 years ago on a travel visa and he had little education. Through his faith, family, and hard work he was able to go to school and earn his associates and went on to earn his bachelors. Thirty years later he is a successful real estate agent. Through hard work and dedication he was able to bring my family to America. My faith is something that inspires me every day. I am nothing without my faith. Through watching my father’s journey it has allowed me to grow my faith more.

WOT:If you could what advice would you give to your younger self?

Francie: I would say don’t hold yourself back. We have the tendency to put so much pressure on ourselves. My sister was going through things that I didn’t have to go through. Not be so hard on yourself. You’re young and you have so much to accomplish. Smile and enjoy life as it is. When I was 16 I was always so hard on when it came to the SAT’s and ACT’s. Sometimes I would leave family events to study. I didn’t take time to grow myself socially with my friends.

Graduate of the Year Interview

Nathalie Mora
Left: Jada Rogers (Enrollment Training & Development Vista) Right: Nathalie Mora (Graduate of the Year)

About Our Graduate

Nathalie Mora is the 2015 Women of Tomorrow Graduate of the Year. She is the recipient of the four year Florida Pre-Paid Fairholme Foundation Scholarship. Nathalie is currently enrolled at Miami Dade College. She plans to transfer to Florida International University upon completion of her Associates to pursue a degree in Veterinary Medicine.

Jada: What advice would you give to the new graduates of the Women of Tomorrow Mentor and Scholarship Program?

Nathalie Mora: I will say believe in yourself. Don’t let your flaws hold you back. Be determined because that will allow you to be successful. No matter how hard things get never give up!

Jada: How does it feel to be the graduate of the year for Women of Tomorrow?

Nathalie Mora: It feels surreal. It’s a very humbling experience. I never thought I would get picked. I was so young when I joined Women of Tomorrow. It’s so hazy to get distracted by everyday life, family issues, school, work, etc. I was in a bad place when I joined Women of Tomorrow.

Jada: What are your goals? Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Nathalie Mora: To continue to grow as a person. In five years I see myself being one step closer to my dream, which is being a veterinarian. I know one day I will open my own practice. As a child I wanted to own a farm filled with animals. Having a farm will allow me to give unwanted and unloved animals a second chance and give them a life that they deserve. Originally I wanted to open my practice and farm in Tennessee, but now I’m considering California and Miami.

Jada: What do you suggest to new graduates and current alumnae that are unsure of what they want to do in life?

Nathalie Mora: Well one thing that Women of Tomorrow has taught me is to be confident. You are not alone. Women of Tomorrow is your second family. They will be there to support you and guide you to the right path. They will help you achieve your dreams whatever they may be. Always keep in contact with your mentors because they will help you the most.

Jada: What is the greatest piece of advice that has inspired you?

Nathalie Mora: There is a quote that means the world to me. Mary Manin Morrissey said “Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?” When my friend said this I was going through a traumatic time. When I won the scholarship it gave me home to start a new life. I received a four year scholarship that changed my life.

Jada: What are your top 5 qualities that you think young women should have?

Nathalie Mora: Definitely confidence, determination, kind-hearted, honesty, and hardworking. You need to work hard for what you want.

What Community Leaders Say About Women of Tomorrow

In-their-wordsBecause of the Knight Foundation, Women of Tomorrow was able to start up their mentoring and scholarship program for the inner city girls of Detroit. Many people over the years wanted to do something to help the people of Detroit, and failed or thought the job was just too overwhelming. The foresight of the Knight Foundation sponsoring and encouraging Women of Tomorrow to come into a town broken and in distress on the verge of bankruptcy with hope and a plan for the young women in the city was amazing. In the spring we had our first graduating class where we were able to give out scholarships. When a young woman received a 250 dollar scholarship she cried with joy and when a young woman received a full 4 years scholarship she cried with joy… the whole room was filled with gratitude … Thank you Knight Foundation and Woman of Tomorrow.
Laurie Cunnington

The time spent with our mentees is so important. Being able to show the girls career options, education opportunities and a chance to look outside the existing community into the world is, I believe, life changing for many of them. They are so appreciative of these opportunities, it makes as much of an impact on me as it does on them.
Lori Blaker

My experience with Women of Tomorrow has been very rewarding. The program provides a platform for me to connect with my community and make a difference in the lives of young women.
Ellen Hill Zeringue

It’s an honor to be involved with this organization that does so much for our girls in Detroit.
Florine Mark

Women of Tomorrow has made an incredible impact in the communities in which it exists. This has been proven every year, both anecdotally and empirically. What is not discussed as often is the impact it has on the mentors who are so passionate about the program. It truly changes lives!!!
Jamie Byington

This has been and continues to be a wonderful organization to be affiliated with. The program is professionally run and stays true to its mission at all times. It is a standout amongst its peer not-for-profit organizations.
Laurie Silvers

I love this program and my involvement with the students. The energy, attention, format and organization are just wonderful. It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of this organization.
Elsie Howard