Francheska Salazar graduated from Anne Arundel Community College in 2018 with degrees in law and jurisprudence, and paralegal studies. At AACC, she participated in the Aspiring Leadership Academy, which provides mentoring, activities and meaningful interaction among students and faculty for students in the Homeland Security and Criminal Justice Institute. She went on to George Washington University, where she is studying history and international affairs. Below she talks about her experience in the Aspiring Leadership Academy.
As an Aspiring Leadership Academy (ALA) alumna, I continue to utilize the methodology and skills learned while participating in the program. For example, the term networking frequently appears in professional development advice. However, the ALA program encourages building a community that provides a symbiotic relationship. The ALA program focuses on contributing as a mentor as well as asking for mentorship.
Secondly, the program broadened my viewpoint of options. Often, we inadvertently wear blinders while researching professions. The ALA program held events allowing students to listen and ask questions of those in various fields. These honest discussions allowed students to consider options they may have overlooked. This saves time and provides practical guidance with resources while job searching.
Finally, the Aspiring Leadership Academy program does not end once a student graduates from Anne Arundel Community College. I graduated in 2018 and still remain active as an alumnus. Thanks to my continuing professional connection to Dr. Senn-Carter, I served on the ALA Alumni Panel for several years to help other students in their career development. I attribute much of my success in my academic and professional journey to the program. I highly recommend participating and engaging in the Aspiring Leadership Academy.