My mom was very much a networker, someone who realized in order to be successful in business she needed to engage wherever possible to meet people that could support building her network of potential customers. She was in the real estate market and belonged to a number of women's organizations as well as the chamber of commerce. She modeled for me the value of building networks and that being successful meant you needed to get as much help as possible to support your goals. As I struggled to build my career she played a role in her network to introduce me to a business owner who ran a small business equipment supply store who then hired me. That introduction was key to where I am today. It was a stepping stone that helped lead me to my next opportunity and build a foundation of skills for me that allowed me to move to bigger opportunities.
Not everyone is as lucky as I was to have a parent who is connected in business. What about the students who do not have that connection? How do they find connections? As a key part of We Connect The Dots vision to build the organization we established a community that students participate in to make those connections a community that is online and that every speaker, industry expert, teacher, and student participate in as a part of our programs. It is a fun community where students are taught how to use it, respect its value and leverage it for their future.
This next story you will hear from a young man who is a natural entrepreneur with a vision he is now bringing to life. The following is a story in which he shared his experience of getting uncomfortable to get comfortable and how he stretched himself to develop his vision through the support of WCTD.
We Connect the Dots has helped change me into the person I am today. When I was about 10 years old, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. I had learned how to use a computer from a family friend and had interest but no one to guide me. About a year later I discovered web development and loved to build these websites with interesting facts and ideas but I had no one to guide me. I thought to myself what if I developed my idea into my own business, but after almost a year I gave up because I lacked the knowledge and resources to follow what I wanted to do and I was too shy to express my ideas to others.
During the summer of 2014 I attended the first CreatingSTEAM conference which was hosted at Microsoft. I signed up through my school but the truth was I was very eager to attend because it was at Microsoft and I didn’t really have much of an idea of what to expect. That week would be one of the greatest weeks of my life. Not only was everything they taught what I had been previously trying to find, but it was fun and in the process of learning how to use these amazing tools I had made some equally amazing friends that I still talk to today. After the program I wanted to take this further and continue this path.
This would lead me to apply to be a Student Ambassador. I was nervous at first because I had never really worked with other people but I quickly adapted. Through this I have had the opportunity to attend special events at High Schools, companies, and I’ve also met some incredible people such as the CEO of Microsoft "Satya Nadella" and was invited to the grand opening of Microsoft’s Flagship Store in NYC.
I’ve also overcome public speaking as a Student Ambassador. One of the opportunities you get is to teach during programs and lead teams of students. At Discovery Day in 2015, I was asked to teach an event on App Studio, a program that we use to make apps, I ended up spending an hour in the front of room teaching over 120 students from across Long Island and New York City. After that I’ve developed a better sense of public speaking. Today, I’ve been a student ambassador for a little bit over a year and hope to work with WCTD for many years to come. Also, with the knowledge I’ve acquired, resources I’ve been introduced to, and new friends I’ve made, I’ve been developing the framework for my own company. It just goes to show you that effort and hard work pay off. And that is how WCTD has helped change me into the person I am today.
I hope you enjoyed hearing how our organization is impacting students and will support our efforts to do more. Keep watching as we continue to share how We Connect The Dots is creating positive outcomes for students around the world.
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Giving Tuesday is December 1st we hope you will help us reach our goal.