Participant Success Stories 2012

Iman, Groundwork for Success


As a senior at the High School for Legal Studies in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Iman was sure of one thing -going away for college. A long-time resident of East New York, Brooklyn, she was eager to explore a different atmosphere and figure out what it meant to be on her own.


A bright student, Iman always knew that she would go to college but was uncertain about the process. She considered colleges from upstate New York to Florida and worked with her coach at Groundwork for Success (GWS), our four-year college preparation, youth employment, and leadership development program, to submit 12 applications. From advice on her college choices and  peer groups focused on the college transition and coping skills, to help with mailing materials on-time and having staff to talk to even on the weekend, she credits GWS with helping her be well-prepared.


"You learn so much in college, especially how to balance your academics, social and private life," says Iman. "But I'm glad that before getting to school I learned about the importance of time management and advocating for myself."


This fall, Iman will begin her senior year at Spelman College in Atlanta. In her three years at Spelman, Iman has been sure to take advantage of many opportunities to grow. She helps to produce fashion shows, has been a member of the debate club, and volunteered with Atlanta-area Boys & Girls Clubs. Her most cherished activity has been working with an after-school program that selects some of the city's lowest achieving students to receive mentoring from Spelman students.


"It's important to me that the program works with the students that need the most help," she says.


This summer, Iman joined the staff of Good Shepherd Services as an intern in our human resources department at the agency's administrative offices in Manhattan.  Interested in learning more about the social service sector, she has focused on how the department's operations support program quality.  Her internship has been a great learning experience, as she's had the opportunity to familiarize herself with the many programs of Good Shepherd Services as well as the various facets of HR.


Iman's time at Spelman has not been without its challenges. Since her freshman year, several close family members passed away: tragedies that led her to seek professional support. "I had to learn the importance of seeking out counseling and not being ashamed of doing so," says Iman. "I received help which allowed me to release anger and frustration."


Iman will graduate next May with a degree in psychology and plans to become a pediatric psychologist. Her experiences both at GWS and at Spelman have helped her understand the significance of talking through problems and developing positive coping skills. Becoming a pediatric psychologist, she believes, will allow her to help children meet their full potential. During her senior year, she plans to assist an Atlanta-area psychologist to gain first-hand experience in the field.   


We are so proud of Iman's many successes and wish her the best of luck in her senior year!


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