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Introducing our very first AO graduate, Asiyah!

We asked Asiyah, now officially the first graduate of our program, a few questions after her college graduation in the fall of 2020. Six months later, we checked in with her to see how things were going in her new professional life.

“Take risks. Be open-minded. Explore. Don’t compare your path to others. Listen to people but most importantly listen to your “grounded” self to guide you. Have faith. Celebrate the small accomplishments but don’t let the setbacks or mistakes discourage you. Be patient. Dream and plan big but don’t forget to act upon them consistently!”


What will you be doing after graduation?

I'm currently employed full-time in the Education/Non-Profit/Social Services sector at Savio House, as a Savio Transition Plan Worker. I'm also continuing my education at Grand Canyon University getting my Masters in Health Psychology.


How did you find your internship(s), if you had any? What was AO’s role, if any?

AO, as well as the academic advisors in the Psychology department, helped me find my internship.


How did you find your job? What was AO’s role, if any?

I found my job from a school email sent out about the position and also saw the position hiring on Indeed.com. AO encouraged me to apply for this job and they supported with the formalities/etiquette for applying for jobs and interviewing.


How would you describe the impact of your participation in Access Opportunity?

It has motivated me to reach my highest potential. My participation has inspired me to give back because it ultimately led me to accomplishing goals that I consider will make me successful!


What advice do you have for the AO students who come after you?

Take risks. Be open-minded. Explore. Don’t compare your path to others. Listen to people but most importantly listen to your “grounded” self to guide you. Have faith. Celebrate the small accomplishments but don’t let the setbacks or mistakes discourage you. Be patient. Dream and plan big but don’t forget to act upon them consistently!


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Now that you have been in your current position for a bit of time, what is something you did not know, but wish you could have known, when you originally began the role?

In working as a transition worker, or a caseworker, I quickly realized that it was centered around community care, making self-care so much more important. I realized how important it is for your role and work environment to complement your long-term goals. I learned that titles at work can never amount to the knowledge, experience, or work effort that you have- it's not an academic grade.


What has been the biggest adjustment for you in this transition from student to young professional?

In the beginning there were a lot of moving pieces. It was different having to set things up for myself to be successful at work. Like having to secure independent living or reliable transportation, in college I didn't have to worry as much about these things because they were included in my cost of attendance.


How have your professional goals evolved now that you have more experience in the industry?

My professional goals have expanded. I think that my main goal is to just get experience in related fields that I am passionate about, not even necessary if it aligns with my degree obtained. I am still exploring this currently.