Graduating students comment on AUM Program

Aniya Douglas

I would like to share my fantastic experience with the AUM Pathway to Success to help anyone that will attend this program in the future! I’m going to start from the beginning!

When I found out that I was one of the young ladies chosen to be in the program I knew that at the end I would receive a scholarship! Did I really have an actual understanding of how great it would turn out? No, I did not!

This program has been a big help with me in different aspects of my life good and “bad”! A lot of things and opportunities is handed to you in this program not everyone will be able to have the opportunities that I had in this program from the college tour, the classes, the college essay prep, and the job shadowing!

When I think about everything that was given to me from this program I could just cry tears of joy, because I was blessed to step foot into this program and succeed to the finish line of the program. Because of this program I was able to meet with a life coach, a business owner, and the HR at Madison hospital to take steps forward in my future so that I can be the best version of me!

As I move forward in my future I will not fall backwards, I will fall forward! I will be my authentic self, and no one will come in between that. I was also privileged to have Candace as my mentor to keep me moving forward. I loved how I was able to talk to Candace about anything, and get her honest opinion/advice. Every teenager need someone other than a family member or a friend to talk to about things, and I really appreciated that as well.

Moving forward to graduation I thought that it was just going to be a regular day! No, it wasn’t — my emotions was everywhere at the ceremony! I wanted to cry, scream, and laugh! It was bittersweet, because I realized how much I had actually taken from the program and how much closer I actually was to the people in the program including the head.

I honestly thought that everything was just going to come to an end with all of those people, because that’s what I’ve been used to. I also realized that I was totally wrong about that thought.

While at the graduation Daynise Joseph from Google Fiber just stood out to me! Her message was very powerful, and it really did touch me! She taught me to always be my authentic self, because nobody can take that from you! She also taught me that if someone knew me five years ago then they don’t know me today, because I’m constantly changing. I learned to become self-aware and to figure out who I am first before I can move to trying to figure out other things! If I don’t know who I am as a person, and aware of who I am and what I can do; then how can I continue moving forward! I would love to listen to more of Daynise inspirational speeches, she was completely amazing!

I loved every bit, second, and minute in this program that I was given! I would not change/trade it for anything!!

Kayla Dunlap 

At the AUM graduation, an amazing speaker, Daynise Joseph, gave this wonderful speech about success. When she walked up, she began dancing to the music that was playing. It threw me off guard at first because I was like, “is this for real?” But then, she had us stand up and dance with her. She did that because graduation was a celebration. It was a celebration of our completion of the AUM Pathway 2 Success Program. This was the time to get hyped rather than sitting in our chairs the entire time.

When she began talking, she mentioned quite a few things. But the main point she steadily hammered was that we can achieve success on our own terms. Just off that, I was thinking about everything. I thought back to how everyone “achieves success by going to college right after high school and graduating in four years.” I thought about how we as people are known to race to success, which may relieve us on the front end, but ends up burning us on the back end. I even thought back to how we as women tend to put our success all at the same place. For the most part, we place our ‘end of the line’ where someone else would place theirs. But we have to realize, we are all different. We all have different work paces and different mindsets. And by setting our goals all at the same place is dangerous. We are putting ourselves in situations that we clearly cannot grow in because we are wanting to be like everyone else. We must stop that pattern now. We can all achieve our goals. While it may not be at the same time as everyone else, we will still get there.

This graduation has revealed many little things that should be practiced in my life. For example, we celebrated our completion. Personally, I am not the one to celebrate things. I usually just give myself a ‘pat on the back’ and go on with my day. But with graduation, we were dancing. We had our mentors by our side as they spoke beautiful things about us. The experience overall was so exquisite. I remember watching how much the girls bonded with their mentors. When my friend and I surprised Mrs. Alka with the flowers, she was glowing. The ceremony was nothing but beautiful.

Since graduation, I’ve been thinking of how I can do things on my own terms. I want to build myself at own pace, rather than my friends or family’s influence. Her speech has practically freed me. It feels like I’ve gained more confidence in myself and my future since that day. The entire program was an eye opener, but Daynise’s speech was the topping on the cake.