Paying It Forward as a Social Change Agent

Hands reaching out to represent social change

This blog story is the first in a series we will be featuring on social change agents.

Taiquan is a Master in Public Administration (MPA) student with specializations in Nonprofit Management & Leadership and Homeland Security Policy & Coordination. He is a mentor and youth leader with a relentless commitment to underserved communities. Mentors made a difference in Taiquan’s life as a teenager.  They exposed him to the importance of higher education, time management, and leadership skills. In the same spirit, Taiquan became committed to mentoring, supporting, and leading youth in his community.

While pursuing his bachelor’s degree in political science at North Carolina Central University, Taiquan assumed multiple leadership roles as an empowerment coach, mentor, and peer counselor.  After enrolling in the MPA program at Walden, he embarked on a new job search to continue building his expertise in the nonprofit sector.  He researched and applied for nonprofit and government positions, and he was selected for an interview with AmeriCorps, a government agency committed to preparing youth for the workforce.

How did Taiquan stand out during the interview?

Prior to the interview:  Taiquan used his networking connections to conduct an informational meeting with an AmeriCorps employee. He researched the organization and position to gain a better understanding of potential leadership opportunities. They communicated through email and phone, and Taiquan gained insider knowledge of the organization, their needs, and expectations.  He then used the many resources and techniques he learned during career advising to gear up for his formal interview and build his confidence.

During the interview:  Taiquan asked in-depth questions, engaged the interviewer in conversation, and provided specific examples of his prior successes.  He shared accomplishments from his summer internship with the Children’s Defense Fund where he volunteers as a servant leader and facilitates groups for third and fourth graders through a six-week enrichment program. Taiquan’s interviewer commented that his was “one of the best interviews they ever had.”  Taiquan was offered a position with AmeriCorp where he continues to help students build academic skills, improve self-esteem, and overcome socio-economic barriers.

Taiquan’s long-term goal is to start his own nonprofit providing at-risk teenage males living in urban communities the opportunity to travel overseas.  Training youth to become servant leaders and encouraging them to embrace global perspectives uphold Walden University’s social change mission.  To bring his dream to fruition, Taiquan continues to build his experience and develop his brand as a social change agent.  We are confident that he will make a difference in many lives going forward.

Interested in starting a nonprofit?  Watch the webinar, Building Blocks of Starting a Nonprofit Organization

Targeting nonprofit or government positions?  Browse resources by sector

Seeking to make an impact in your community?  Watch the webinar, Developing Social Entrepreneurs

Written by Dina Bergren, Associate Director of Career Services