Passion Wins Magazine | 2021 Issue

Page 1

Passion Wins

#518Fashion Happenings

how brands Virtual can make a scholarship social impact series

May 2021 |

FROM THE CHIEF COACH + FOUNDER Hello Mission Accomplished Community, Life is so much easier when navigating it with a genuine community of support. The 2020-2021 year showed us so much about ourselves and our country. The presence of COVID-19 brought sadness, uncertainty, grief, disappointments, opportunities, closeness, anger, pivots, introspection and closeness. Through it all the Mission Accomplished community created space to encourage our network of students, partners and team members to pursue their dreams and aspirations.

Your support helped keep us all going! I encourage you to be fearless as you too pursue your BIGGEST and WILDEST dreams and aspirations while navigating this thing we call life. Tomorrow is not promised! With Love,

Coach Carmen

Carmen Duncan Chief Coach + Founder Editor Mission Accomplished Transition Services


7 | 5 Reasons You Should Add a Scalp Detox to Your Monthly Hair Routine by Darrell Michael 8 | #518FashionHappening 10 | Working With Designers on a Custom Piece by Va’Ceia Payne 12 | Tyler Ki-Re 12 | 5 Tips on Accessorizing with a Harness by Marcus W. Meisel


Construction Apprenticeship Programs in the Capital Region of New York | 19 The Construction Industry Helps Us Live. Promote the Opportunity. by Coach Carmen | 22


24 | Social Economy: Support Capital Region Small Businesses 25 | A Leap of Faith by Shane Kyiretwie 26 | Ten Tips For A Flawless Event by Tarasha Darden-McKoy 28 | How Brands Can Make a (Social) Impact by Na’ilah Amaru 29 | Fundraising Strategies for Start-Up Nonprofits to Stand Out by Jonathan Meagher-Zayas 31 | Coworking: Cost Savings for People Working from Home by Kristen Guastella 32 | The Power Behind Community Benefit Organization Partnerships by Zanetta Graham 33 | From Visionary to Emerging Event Producer and Marketing Specialist by Kat Creator


Using Nature to Refresh and Relax by Anne Marie Vaeth | 37 7 Annual Scholarships to Add to Your Planner | 38 2021 Carolynisms (Words to Live By) by Carolyn McLaughlin | 39 Mission Accomplished Virtual Scholarship Series | 40 Education CARE Packages | 42


46 | The Power and Strategy Behind Virtual Networking by Miranda VonFricken 47 | 10 Tips for Remote Interviews 47 | Work and School From Home Must-Haves 48 | Scholarships Checklist for Studentsn 49 | Career Advice from Local Influencers 52 | The Coaching Pathway Cover Photo Credit: Alexandra Milan


Mission Accomplished Transition Services, Inc. is a community-based organization in NY’s Capital Region, established in 2012 by “Coach” Carmen Duncan to bridge the workforce/career and college transition gaps for rising professionals and social entrepreneurs (aged 13 to 35), including high school, college, and trade school students. Our programs challenge students to train for success, foster leadership skills to launch their careers or businesses, prepare for life transitions, and find their place in the professional world. To date, we have successfully served over 2,500 emerging young professionals and entrepreneurs. Students come from low to middle socioeconomic backgrounds, a variety of ethnicities, and some are involved with the juvenile and criminal justice systems, foster care, or are homeless. We believe that there is no barrier to entry when it comes to pursuing a career you are passionate about, and no level of privilege that removes all challenges of these key life transitions for young people, and so our programs are open to all, no matter their background.

OUR MISSION To prepare rising young professionals and entrepreneurs for the workforce by providing access to industry specific coaching, mentoring, and sponsorship.


5 Reasons You Should Add A Scalp Detox To Your Monthly Hair Routine Darrell Michael

1: Cleans and Removes Scalp Buildup 2: Healthy Scalp Equals Healthier Hair 3: Treat Dry, Itchy, Oily or Dandruff Scalp 4: Prevents Thinning & Hair Loss 5: Promotes Hair Confidence Instagram: @_DarrellMichael Facebook: Darrell Michael

Our hair is our crown giving us confidence to help express ourselves. Your scalp is basically the soil from which your hair grows, and your hair follicles are the roots. When you make sure your scalp is clean and nourished, you promote healthier hair and hair growth. Oftentimes hair loss is a result of clogged follicles and the scalp is simply not able to breathe. The scalp detox process includes head massages that get the blood flowing to your hair follicles. With the proper scalp detox and hair care routine you can improve your hair’s health and quality.


#518Fashion Kat

Event Producer + Marketing Specialist #Untitled IG: @_KatCarter FB: Kat Carter


Apparel Designer Kyiretwie Collection FB: @shane.kyiretwie.7



Event Producer She’s A Boss IG: @shesabossypc

PhotoFASHION Credit: Alexandra | 8 Milan

Outer Apparel Designer + Style Manager IG: @segamw_m

nHappening Va’Ceia

Fashion Designer Va’Ceia Designs IG: @vaceia_designs


Hair Distributor + Stylist IG: @_darrellmichael


Editorial Photographer IG: @Tylerkire

Season 5 (2021) Fashion Edition Institue Class Meet the Students @



Your Fashion Career or Business Through the Fashion Edition Institute. The Fashion Edition Institute helps

fashion professionals enhance their brand and influence while collaborating with peers and industry experts. 518-207-0209 FASHION | 10

working with designers on a custom piece Va’Ceia Payne 1. Only contact a designer if you are serious! It’s ok to shop around for designers and get price quotes, but don’t message a designer sporadically with ideas without action. 2. Never tell an experienced or independent designer that their prices are too high. A designer that is experienced will put more effort, and utilize better supplies/tools to ensure you are receiving a quality piece. Therefore, cost will be more than you would pay for a garment from a national chain. 3. Let your creativity flow. Never think your idea is too big or small when working with a designer. If the designer is unable to achieve your idea, the designer will let you know, but DON’T HOLD BACK! Don’t tell a designer “do what you want”, unless you truly want the designer to do so. Your designer will walk you through every aspect of Instagram @vaceia_designs Facebook: Vaceia Designs

the garment to see exactly how you’d like each part of the garment to look. 4. Communicate effectively. Equal communication by the designer and client is critical to the success of the garment. If you want the designer to hold off on production, communicate as soon as possible! 6. Measurements Always show up to the initial consultation with a form fitting bottom, and top. This ensures accurate measurements for the garment the designer will create for you. 7. Trust and listen to your designer. The fitting processes may be ugly. Trust that your designer will give you exactly what you dreamed of when all is said and done Image above shows orginal designs by Va’Ceia 11

Tyler Ki-Re

Fashion and Editorial Photographer and Creative-Director

Tyler offers a variety of packages and services for designers, brands, and models. Visit for booking and contact information. Facebook: Tyler Ki-Re LinkedIn: Tyler Ki-Re Instagram: Tylerkire


4 reasons to Accessorize with a Harness Marcus W. Meisel

Outerwear Designer, Style Manager, Creative

1. Harnesses stand out and are functional. 2. Harnesses bring a bit of edge to your wardrobe. 3. Harnesses with hardware and sleek finishes have the power to compliment any look. 4. Harnesses show strength and confidence.

Instagram: @Segamw_m Facebook: Marcus W. Meisel

☑ SUSTAINABLE. ☑ AFFORDABLE. ☑ FASHIONABLE. Schedule a private shopping party with our talented wardrobe stylists. Discover hundreds of like-new styles of business attire from your favorite brands while creating unique looks that fit your brand! FASHION | 14

The Impact of the Fashion Edition Institue, a career and business development program for emerging fashion professionals and entrepreneurs produced by Mission Accomplished Transition Services.

19 Students have completed the institue 13 Students continue working in the local fashion industy 10 Fashion businesses grew with clients or revenue



WDI fills gaps not covered by other organizations and this is accomplished through partnerships and collaborations with businesses, unions, other nonprofits, educational institutions, and government. Our true focus is on growing and keeping good jobs in the Capital Region. Although the types of projects we facilitate and support vary, they must all have a positive and measurable impact to the workforce.

WDI is a statewide non-profit that works to grow and keep good jobs in NYS. We use a range of tools — including “boots on the ground” information, workforce expertise, and funding — to facilitate projects that build workforce skills and strengthen employers’ ability to hire, promote, and retain workers. For more information contact:

Crickett Thomas-O'Dell |


Your Construction Career or Business Through the Construction + Design Institute. The Construction + Design Institute helps emerging construction, interior design and architecture professionals enhance their brand and influence while collaborating with peers and industry experts. 518-207-0209

Construction Apprenticeship Programs in the Capital Region of New York Construction does NOT have a gender! We encourage ALL people to consider construction as a career choice. Boilermakers Northeastern JAC LU 5 Zone 197 Type of Work: Fabricate, install, erect, dismantle and maintain the components and structures from the light commercial through the heavy industrial sector (tanks, process towers, smokestacks, etc). Phone: 518-459-2720 Email: Website:

Northeast Carpenters Apprenticeship Type of Work: Manipulating wood based andmetal materials, installing cabinets and roofs, etc. Phone: 518-438-0901 Website:

Sisters in the Brotherhood Pre-Apprenticeship Carpentry Program for Women Type of Work: Manipulating wood based andmetal materials, installing cabinets and roofs, scaffolding, etc. Phone: 732-215-5341 Website:

Email: Website:

Finishing Trades Institute of New York Type of Work: Painting, taping, drywall, glazing, glass work, etc. Eastern New York Laborers Training Center Phone: 518-355-4840 Type of Work: Clean and prepare construction sites, loading Website: or unloading materials, and removing hazards, etc. Tri-City Electricians JATC LU #236 Phone: 518-374-6704 Type of Work: Electricsl Website: Phone: 518-785-5167

Washington Irving Adult & Continuing Education Center Type of Work: Basic construction including drywall, sheetrock, taping, painting. Phone: 518-227-2450 Email: Website:



The Construction Industry Helps Us Live. Promote the Opportunity.

Coach Carmen Duncan, Chief Coach + Founder, Mission Accomplished Transition Services The construction industry is often forgotten when emerging young professionals and entrepreneurs are exploring the myriad of career options and business ideas. However, the truth is, it’s because of skilled tradesmen and women we are able to function within our homes and apartments, walk safely through neighborhoods on sidewalks, access some of our favorite stores and travel from one part of the country to another by driving over bridges. My team and I believe strongly that we, in the education and workforce development field, need to do a better job at uplifting the opportunity within this sector. Because we believe so strongly in the power of this career choice, in 2018 my team (James Mitchell and Jennifer Danaher) and I developed the Construction + Design Institute (formerly known as Construction Initiative). The purpose behind this career and business development program is to expose to and assist individuals with advancing their careers in construction, architecture and interior design and help those building a construction business with scaling up.

Between May 2018 and Feburary 2020, we exposed 315 people to various career opportunities from carpentry to electrical work to masonry. Of the 315, 125 people connected with various construction trade unions within the Capital Region. Of the 125, 38, a combined total of people of color and women, enrolled in a trade union and secured employment. Our methods to increase the community’s awareness about this sector included 4 construction and informational career fairs; we held 2 Minority and Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) information sessions to educate business owners about the M/WBE certification process within New York State, and provided coaching services for four business owners to assist them with navigating the overwhelming certification process. It is with motivation in my voice, that I encourage you to promote trades as a viable and meaningful career choice to the emerging young professionals in your life who enjoy building things. It is with continued motivation in my voice, that I encourage you to consider a career in construction if you are unsure of your next big step. There is money to be made and debt will not be incurred as a result of your desire for advanced education and a liveable wage.

Hired with Blast Trans, Inc. Apprentice with North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters


SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP Photo Credit: Jayana LaFotos 23

Social Economy

Support Capital Region small businesses and invest in local sustainable growth. Capital Region Vendor Fairs + Markets South End Night Market April 29, 2021 - November 18, 2021 Every Thursday 5 pm - 8 pm Learn more on Facebook: @SouthEndNightMarket Ujamaa Market Most Saturdays 2 pm - 6 pm Learn more on Facebook: @UJAMAA.CAPREGION Mind, Body and Soul Expo This group hosts several events throughout the year. Learn more on Facebook: @MINDBODYSOULEXPO

Tri-City Farmer’s Markets Troy Waterfront Farmer’s Market Troy Riverfront Saturdays 9 am - 2 pm Washington Park Farmer’s Market Washington Park, Albany Saturdays, July thru October, 10 am - 2 pm Schenectady Green Market Schenectady City Hall Sundays, 10 am - 2 pm

Health + Wellness Root3d We are here to center the liberation, healing, + power of BIPOC by rooting within the 3 dimensions: the mind, body, and spirit. 165 S Pearl St., Albany, NY Impeccable Beatz & Spa Strives to be a spa where empowerment is our second language 1853 Western Avenue, Albany, NY


Hair + Skin Care Whip My Butta Organics Natural and organic skin care products. Facebook: @whipmybuttaorganics Instagram: @whipmybuttaorganics Phre Restore your natural state with PHREssentials’ Luxere Hair & Body Care Products! Facebook: @stayPHRE Instagram: @stayphre Black Kettle Soap Company Hand crafted products for the bath, body and home. Facebook: @blackkettlesoapcompany Instagram: @blackkettlesoapcompany Rad Soap World’s best bar soap for all skin, handmade in the USA. We use only nutrient dense ingredients. Facebook: @RadSoapCo Instagram: @radsoapco Grounded Matters All natural, homemade skincare products for your body, mind and soul. Packaged in upcycled containers. Facebook: @groundedmatters Instagram: @groundedmatters

A Leap of faith Shane Kyiretwie

95 Westerlo Drive, 2006. I’m sitting on the floor in our small apartment in Albany’s South End, sketching gameplay maps of Mario next to my younger brother. I never thought to imagine that fashion and designing would ever be my focus or be in arms reach. Somehow, through trial and tribulation I made it past high school. I made it past expectations. I made it to the season 5 class of the Fashion Edition Institute, produced by Mission Accomplished Transition Services. My journey included starting too early on ventures that involve my vision and figure out what I want out of a clothing line. I believe no one would know these learning experiences unless they have gone through it themselves. Now, family and close friends who have an entrepreneurial spirit, including my girlfriend who deals with herbs and fragrances, have asked how to start a small business. I have been honored to help them and show them the steps. This journey of mine, this leap of faith, is a will of mine. Take a chance to follow your dreams and do what you believe in.


Tarasha’s work for the Metropolitan New Testament Mission Baptist Church 75th Gala


Ten Tips For A Flawless Event Tarasha Darden-McKoy

Event Planner | Facebook: Tarasha Original Events

1: Write It Down.

Create An Event Folder for Every Event. This can be done on paper or computer. Each event folder should include the following information: • Event type • Location • Guest list • Menu • Decor • Activities • Checklist of tasks with a timeline Be sure to include important notes alongside each of the above items.

2: Stick to Your Budget.

Creating and sticking to a budget will help you not overspend. You want all of your events to be profitable, sticking to your budget will let you know if your event was fiscally profitable.

3: Supply List is Key.

Create a list of everything you need with specific details as to where each item is located. Having a list of all necessary supplies will prevent headaches and last minute trips to pick up forgotten items.

4: Walkthrough the Event Space.

Every space is different, and now due to COVID-19 restrictions, it’s very important to physically go see the space. Be sure to bring a measuring tape and sketch book to draw a diagram of the space and where everything will be located the day of the event. A walkthrough prior to your event can make or break your event being successful.

5: Know your Limitations.

Everyone wants to provide memorable events that everyone talks about. Know what you and your team are capable of accomplishing. Hire additional vendors to your team if you find you are stretching your capabilities.

6: Learn How to Speak the Language.

During any event you will need to interact with different people from waitstaff to the DJ to the host to theguests.. Each conversation will be different regarding the task at hand. Remember to treat everyone you’re speaking with respect and courtesy.

7: Do A Run Through.

Gather your team and do a run through of the event to prepare for any hiccups. This practice will help you establish a back up plan. Even if you don’t have a formal program you should create one with a timeline so everyone is aware of their duties and on the same page for the day’s event.

8: Have An End Of Event Plan.

The tear down of an event is just as important as the set-up. Have a breakdown plan so everyone on the team is aware of their duties and tasks. This can also alleviate items being left at the event or not being stored properly for the next time.

9: Document, Document, Document.

If you don’t document it with photos and videos it didn’t happen. Utilize these images to tell your before and after story. These pictures can assist with marketing and gaining future clients. Use them to show your skills and talents. If you can afford it, hire a professional photographer and/or videographer to document each event you provide; this will help build your portfolio of work.

10: Save the Day.

Remember it’s your job to make the vision of the day come to life. Things may go wrong but it’s your job to keep cool and make it look flawless without any hiccups. It’s your responsibility to keep any hiccups away from the clients knowledge. Remember your tool kit and have all necessary supplies in it. You NEED to remember and have everything the client may forget.


How Brands Can Make a (Social) Impact NA’ILAH AMARU

Historically, taking a position on social issues was not considered good business because controversy could affect the bottom line. Now it’s a lack of responsiveness to critical issues that can impact the success of a brand. Consumers know they can demand change through choosing what they consume, and want to support the causes that bring meaning to their lives. Last summer, there was a flurry of frivolous support from brands in response to another wave of police violence: poetic re-worded mission statements, newly created equity working groups, and diverse staff hires. Yet few brands go beyond empty words, statistics, or a superficial alliance with social justice. To talk about an issue without taking action is a reflection of white supremacy. Not promoting equity and justice or activating meaningful change perpetuates systems of oppression that cause deep harm in society. Brands cannot serve the cause of social justice from the sidelines. Business leaders must use their power, platforms, and resources to help their employees and communities overcome social injustice and build a better world.


This is why brand activism matters. When a brand takes a stand to drive social change based on its beliefs, purpose, and values, it moves from performative allyship to substantive impact. The result is a more sustainable and just economy. Here are the first steps to make your brand a change agent for social justice: Define (or redefine) your purpose and values. Stand for something before taking a stand. How are your brand’s values reflected in your response to social issues? Are your guiding values a solid platform for social justice initiatives, or is it time to re-evaluate? Show, don’t tell. It’s not about what you say; it’s about what you do. Be prepared to be held accountable if your brand doesn’t live its proclaimed values. Develop a plan of action that produces quantifiable results from meaningful action. What happens after your tweets and Instagram posts? Your business carries power in your community. Use your power for good: be a purpose-driven brand in the fight for social justice.

Fundraising Strategies for Start-Up Nonprofits to Stand Out

Jonathan Meagher-Zayas, MSW, MPA Director of Agency Advancement, Villa of Hope Community Engagement Associate, Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region Immediate Past Chair, Mission Accomplished Transition Services Board of Directors

As a professional fundraiser for nearly ten years and a staff member at a funding organization, I have personally done a lot of fundraising and seen many ways to fundraise. It can be overwhelming, time-intensive, and constantly changing based on the environment. These can be a lot for a founder, staff, or volunteer at a startup nonprofit. After reflecting on my experience, I wanted to share several successful strategies nonprofits just getting started can implement and see results. Demonstrate How Your Organization is Meeting Community Needs: The first thing you need to think about is how your organization meets the needs of the community. This may seem simple, but I have seen organizations forgot to focus on the impact they are going to have. Listen to your community and communicate how your organization is going to help them. Use Data to Your Advantage to Gain Support: A great way to demonstrate community needs is to use data.

Data is collecting any information about the community you serve and figuring out how your organization supports them. You can collect your own data by conducting interviews, holding focus groups, or collecting surveys. You can also get data from government agencies, regional organizations, consulting firms, or advocacy organizations and use it to your advantage. Build a Strong Case Statement: Create a document that communicates everything about your organization, including history, community needs, impact, organization services, and what you need to continue and grow. Introduce Yourself and Ask for Connections: Relationships drive change and impact, and the more people you know, the more likely you will create change and get the resources you need. Don’t be afraid to reach out directly to potential funders. They have staff whose job it is to connect with the community. Review their website and any grant criteria if they have listed. If you

think you match with them, inquire if you can have a meeting to discuss opportunities. If you are having a hard time connecting with them, asking a colleague for an introduction is a great way to get a meeting. Share Your Success: A big tip every organization should be thinking about is to share your success. Your organization is doing incredible work for the community, so don’t forget to set up a communications plan on how you will brag about it. It is a great way to restate the great work you are doing and easily convince more people you’re impacting the community. I hope these strategies are helpful for you and your organization. It can be hard at times, and sometimes there are many factors you cannot control, but I hope you focus on the impact you are trying to have because the hard work will be worth it.



Your Community Through Business.

The Social Entrepreneurship Institute will help you advance your career as a social justice professional or scale your existing social enterprise that is addressing a social justice issue in your own backyard.

Photo Credit: Jayana LaFotos


Coworking: Cost Savings for People Working from Home Kristen Guastella

General Manager, Urban Co-Works

Coworking is an up-and-coming trend that has taken over the Capital Region in recent years. These entrepreneur-driven spaces are equipped with a variety of amenities that their members, such as freelancers, start-ups, consultants, and more, may need to have a productive and successful workday, every day. One such place is Urban Co-Works, a premier coworking space based in Schenectady, NY. The amenities and services Urban Co-Works provides helps small and large businesses alike. All flexible coworking memberships and private offices are on monthto-month terms. Amenities include high speed internet, support staff, conference room time, 24/7 access, bottomless coffee and tea, ridiculously comfortable

seating, business mailing address, printing, and more. The space is cleaned every day, and COVID-19 protocols are in place to keep the community safe. Coworking gives any professional or business an opportunity to save money while being a part of an inspiring community and highend workspace. A company of four full-time people can save thousands of dollars per year at Urban CoWorks, versus renting a traditional office.

to work with others, get valuable advice, and get connected to what you need. Urban Co-Works has a talented group of members and in a recent survey, 64% of them said they have conducted business with other UCW members to reach their business goals. Visit our website at to learn more or book a tour! Instagram: @urban_co_works Facebook: @urbancoworks Linked In: Urban Co-Works

Not only can coworking save you money, but it can also help small businesses grow. When a professional immerses themselves into a community driven space full of Is your computer businesses and notnetwork at risk? for-profits, there are countless opportunities

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The power behind Community Benefit Organization Partnerships Zanetta Graham VP for Education, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood Working with Mission Accomplished Transition Services over the past 5 years has been such an experience for learning and growth. I have personally worked with young people for over a decade mostly around sexual health topics, however I think by nature I found myself assisting them with what we call some adult preparation activities. I reviewed job opportunities, edited resumes and supported them in their professional endeavors. Working with Mission Accomplished has really opened my eyes into what a comprehensive and high-quality career preparation program looks like. It motivated me to learn more about how career education and family planning education were connected but from a least obvious perspective. I have always known and always taught about the consequences of things like unplanned pregnancy especially for teens or anyone who is not prepared or equipped. However, what I have learned over the past 5 years is that there are two sides on the coin, and

it is not just enough that people have information to prevent pregnancy, but they also need resources on guidance around their career plans as this is also its own form of contraception in a way. If our young people are exposed to diverse career opportunities and supported in pursuing their dreams they are as a positive consequence less likely to engage in those risk behaviors that lead to things like pregnancy and STI’s. As community benefit organizations (CBOs) we are powerful because on our own, we are doing great work and effecting change in our own corners of world. When CBO’s partner together the change and potential community impact is magnified. Organizations have access to resources beyond the scope of their work or capacity and can provide fuller and richer services which lead to real societal transformation.

specifically told that Mission Accomplished programming is what made our component two section stand out and we were 7 of over 70 grantees who were funded. Beyond that I think our impact has been on the individual level of the many students we have been able to engage over the past 5 years. One major mantra I have embraced is “we try, and we learn”, over the years we have mastered and remastered our partnership and it has only improved. TikTok: @uhppyhp Instagram: @omgpp Snapchat: @uhppyhp Facebook: @uhppyhp Instagram: @yhpuhpp

Outcome #1 was an award from NYSDOH CAPP grant we were

Students participate in the Social Entrepenuership Institue


Photo Credit: Jayana LaFotos

From Visionary to Emerging Event Producer and Marketing Specialist Kat Creator

Event Producer + Brand Development Specialist

One of my greatest experiences as an Event Producer was working with #Untitled. I helped the team produce the hard launch of their company at Albany Barn, located in Albany, NY. It was such a learning experience; from programming, catering, artist showcasing, to minor technical difficulties and everything in between This event was the perfect display of my passion for bringing people together, and highlighting creators. We had l live music and performances along with live painting. Creators sold their merchandise and products and discussed the potential for collaborations. Overall the whole vibe was comfortable and authentic. It was exhilarating to sit back for short moments and watch everyone connect with like minded individuals. Everyone had their own chance to shine. The event was unique, genuine, and vibrant; one of my greatest projects I’ve ever been part of. Very thankful for the #Untitled team, my mom for catering, my career coach (Coach Carmen), my mentor Maureen Sager, and for ALL the continuous support that has never left since that event on.

Instagram: @_KatCarter Facebook: Kat Carter


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I hike a lot. Most weekends I drive north to the Adirondack Mountains, or occasionally south to the Catskills. When the weather is questionable I stay closer to Albany and wander around a local park. Like everyone else, the pandemic messed up my routine. I kept hiking, but not further than 30 minutes from my house, per the CDC and NY State Department of Environmental Conversation’s guidelines of “recreate local.” However, by mid-July 2020, I decided to drive up to the central Adirondacks for the first time sine February, and hike a mountain. A small mountain, only half a mile and 570 ft of elevation gain from trailhead to summit. When I made it to the top I set down my bag, chugged some water, sat down, and cried. Not because of any physical pain, not because the sun was burning, and not because the hike was particularly challenging. I looked out towards all the other mountains, and felt the weight of the last handful of months slide right off my shoulders. Every ounce of stress and tension washed away. I felt genuinely relaxed for the first time since mid-March. I have always known that nature has incredible benefits to mental health, but that moment removed any doubt that the outdoors are a source of relaxation. It’s no question that the past year has been, and continues to be, incredibly stressful. Everyone found various ways to cope with our new reality; zoom happy hours with friends, virtual yoga classes, baking sourdough bread (or any other type of baked good),

reading all the books on your “too-read” list, or binging everything on Netflix. I spend more time outdoors. After work, whether in the office or working from home, I go for a walk. The more stressful the day, the longer the walk. On the weekends I hike, or kayak when it’s warm enough out. Research shows that spending time outdoors and in nature reduces stress and anxiety, elevates your mood, rests your mind, as well as improves your physical health and even increases self-esteem. This concept of “ecotherapy,” or nature therapy, can be brought indoors too; natural light and nature sounds can have similar positive effects to being outdoors. Spending just 2-30 minutes a day in nature can significantly improve overall well-being. You don’t even have to go to the mountains, you can simply walk around the block, maybe with some nature sounds playing in your headphones. Whatever you decide to do, you’ll feel a lot better afterwards. How to Get Outside: ► Hike a nature trail! Check out Parks.NY.Gov or browse, just be sure to do your research and be prepared ► Walk the neighborhood ► Have a picnic in a park ► Play catch in the backyard Sources: nature-and-mental-health/how-nature-benefits-mental-health/


7 Annual Scholarships to Add to Your Planner Shawn Carter Foundation Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund Due Date: April annually Amount: $2,500 SCSF plays a vital role in increasing college access and success for many motivated yet underserved youth and young adults.

Against The Grain Productions LiveLikeLyly Memorial Scholarship Due Date: June each year Amount: $1,000 To provide financial assistance and promotion of Asian American college students pursuing a major in fashion and/or graphic design.

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Congressional Black Caucus Spouses Performing and Visual Arts Scholarships Due Date: April annually Amount: Varies African American and Black graduating high school seniors; scholars pursuing an undergraduate, graduate or doctoral degree in specific fields.

International Facility Management Association IFMA Scholarship Due Date: April annually Amount: $2,500-$10,000 The IFMA Foundation scholarship program changes lives and is a principal strategy in creating the next generation of FM professionals. scholarships

Fashion Scholarship Fund Due Date: October annually Amount: $5,000 to $35,000 Awards over $1.2 million each year to help students succeed in all sectors of the industry: design, merchandising, analytics, marketing and supply chain, among others.

Associated Builders and Contractors Building your Future Due Date: July 1, 2021 Amount: $2,000 The Trimmer Construction Education Fund (TCEF) is a national committee of Associated Builders and Contractors that funds efforts to train and retain the construction industry workforce.

International Association of Exhibitions and Events IAEE) Helen Brett Scholarship Due Date: June annually Amount: Up to $5,000 Scholarships are awarded to individuals who are exploring the study of exhibition management with the end goal of advancing their careers in this field.

Each spring we announce scholarships offered from local and national companies. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for notificatoions about our Virtual Scholarship Information Series.


LIFE | 38

2021 Carolynisms (Words to Live By) CAROLYN MCLAUGHLIN Albany County Legislator, 1st District If you have been blessed with broad shoulders, carry the load. When the responsibility falls in your lap, accept it and do your best. When preparation meets opportunity, take your seat. When you walk in the room, own it! Whatever table has been set for you know you have a right to be there, and you are prepared to participate and make a valuable contribution. Bring the wealth of who you are, your authentic self, to the dance. Come as you are. It’s more than enough. Only then will you operate at your highest level. No one has the time or the inclination to tell you regularly how naturally beautiful and capable you are, so tell yourself. If you don’t believe it, speak it until you do! Look and Live. Let the observations of your surroundings and the people who enter your life inspire you to live. Leadership lesson: leading does not always happen from the front. Strive never to develop reverence for systems that do not work. Don’t go along just to get along. If its not right, speak up. As you climb, use your career as a platform for social justice. It can’t always be about you. Be willing to champion other people’s ideas. You too, will value such support as you progress and life and business.


Mission Accomplished Virtual Scholarship Series

Highlighting Organizations That Help Students Pay For Higher Education Tanique Williams

Cost can be a significant barrier to higher education. Prospective students can access a variety of resources – from grants to student loans – to help cover tuition, books, housing, and other related expenses. As lawmakers in Washington decide what to do about student debt, which now sits at about $1.7 trillion owed, college affordability remains a crisis. The price tag for higher education will vary by intuition and program, but help is available. Mission Accomplished Transition Services held its Virtual Scholarship Information Series on February 16 on Airmeet to showcase higher education scholarship opportunities available through local organizations in the community. On February 16, 2021, representatives from Cap Com Federal Credit Union, The Junior League of Albany, Tru Heart, The Community Foundation of the Greater Capital Region, Sponsor-A-Scholar, Girls Inc. and the one and only Mizz P. of On Track with Mizz P. will dove into all that their organizations are doing to support students across the Capital Region through mentoring opportunities and monetary supports. Scholarships are a perfect way for students and families to mitigate the economic impact experienced when transitioning into advanced education. Megan Cooper, Education Care Package Coordinator at Mission Accomplished and senior at the College of St. Rose, served as the event’s host. “I know personally how important it is to find LIFE | 40

scholarships that will decrease the cost of our tuition and allow us to attend the colleges we’re passionate about attending. This is a personal motivation for me to really highlight the organizations that work tirelessly around the Capital Region to provide students the opportunities they need, the monetary scholarships they need,” she said. Amber Peters, who goes by Mizz P, presented “The College Money Talk,” which focused on the reasons why students need financial assistance, and different ways to fund their education for free. “When I was in high school, I knew I was going to college, but I didn’t know how,” she said. “My mom did her best to help me, she did what she could to support [me]. She helped me figure out the FAFSA stuff and things of that nature, but for the most part it was like, oh my god, how do we figure this out. There’s so many steps, so many schools out there, and I could not put my brain around how we were going to do it all.” Mizz P said that college is “ridiculously expensive,” and while some people would call it a scam, she thinks people just need to plan better. She said people should be aware of pre-application and post acceptance costs. Pre-application costs include things like college application, SAT and ACT fees. Post-acceptance costs include things like commitment and housing deposits, and money for clothes and transportation, which will vary. “You need to really think about strategy when it comes to your money.”

The first step is to determine your need, said Mizz P. This is where you determine what you’re able to financially contribute to your education. Next, you should create a portfolio, which is essentially how you sell yourself to potential supporters­­. Talk about your goals and include your resume, certificates and awards. Finally, get support and execute! “A lot of people leave money on the table every year, because they are not doing the work,” said Miss p. She also highlighted different types of aid that is available to New York students, including PELL, TAP and student loans. Understanding that loans are a least favorable option, Mizz P suggested that students only take out what they can afford to pay back. “We want you to diversify what you have going on so that you’re not just looking at these loans and taking out really large ones. We want you to look at other things,” she said.

Attendees also heard from Paige Rueckert, Community Impact Manager at Cap Com Federal Credit Union. Paige said since Cap Com is owed by its members, the credit union strives to accommodate their needs and noticed that one of the top needs is assistance with higher education. “One of the programs we offer for free for members is our college bound program. We really provide that guidance and assistance. We want to make sure you create a financial plan that is individual to you. We don’t want you to take out a loan that you can’t afford, and we want you to do your research and we talk you through that process,” she said. For more tips and scholarship opportunities, you can watch a recording of the Virtual Scholarship Information Series here. Make sure to visit www. for more information on opportunities and support to help rising stars transition to advance their education.

Next, virtual attendees heard from Jenna Cuilla, Senior Philanthropic Officer at the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, who spoke about the scholarship opportunities the foundation offers.

Learn more about:

“[Mizz P] is right. There are so many unclaimed dollars left on the table every year. We have scholarships, some are three and four thousand dollars and we might get two or three applications. I think there is a misconception that the local scholarships are much more competitive than they are,” Jenna said. Awards from the foundation can range up to $25,000, and can help cover costs outside of tuition.

Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region:

“We can be really flexible with how we spend the money and it’s really important to us to make sure that we work with each student recipient individual to make sure the scholarship works for them,” Jenna said. She said students have used money from the foundation to purchase things like bus passes and computers. Scholarships are available for high school students and current college students and are done fully online.

Mizz P: CAP COM Cares Foundation:

The Junior League of Albany: rockwell-scholarship Tru Heart: Sponsor-A-Scholar: Girls Inc: scholarship-awards

Follow Mission Accomplished Transition Services on Facebook and Instagram @missacc12 to receive updates about their annual Virtual Scholarship Series.




The education care packages are provided to high school seniors and alumni of Mission Accomplished Transition Services to help emerging young professionals and entrepreneurs secure essential school supplies and equipment. Care packages are complete with a variety of school supplies, bedding and toiletries.


Alumni of Mission Accomplished Transition Services who have been accepted into college, gap year or a vocational program for the fall term. Students must have some level of economic need.


The application is released on our website and social media in the month of May every year. Visit us at to apply.

WHAT IS INCLUDED? ► Bedding Essentials: pillow, comforter and sheets, bedside organizer, storage bin, mattress pad, topper, bed risers, and more. ► Toiletries: disposable razors, shaving cream, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner ► Bath Essentials: shower caddy, towel and wash cloths ► School Supplies: planner, notebooks, pens, mechanical pencils, binders, highlighters and pocket folders ► Miscellaneous: cutlery set, blanket, and laundry bag

“This care package will aid me tremendously as it will allow me to save money that I can allocate to help pay off tuition costs.” - Aidan

“The Higher Education Series definitely impacted me, specifically with the networking series. I learned how important it is to make/ build a brand for yourself. Networking is not being cocky, but its about bragging about yourself so that you can build your future. So thank you so much for this opportunity.” - Kieannan Learn more at Call 518-207-0209 to invest or donate supplies

More Information on the 2023 Dance-A-Thon Coming Soon

Food + Raffles. Performances. Awards Ceremony. Games. All dancers welcome.




The Power and Strategy Behind Virtual Networking Miranda VonFricken

We often hear, it’s “who you know,” but what happens when you don’t know many people in your particular industry and regular networking options are no longer happening?

this new way of networking is how it favors the introvert, which is rare! I often tell networkers the magic happens after an event and it’s also where the real opportunity begins.

Welcome to Virtual Networking!

Once you have the names of everyone in attendance you can reach out to each person with a personal message, using the virtual event as your “in.” Aside from the many benefits, virtual networking can be a powerful way to maintain newly created relationships. Instagram: @MastermindCoachMiranda Connecting with people on LinkedIn and engaging with their content will give you a consistent way to interact and stay in contact. This is also a wonderful way to share your voice and

Although hosted in a completely different style, virtual networking is full of benefits the old (in-person) way could not provide; like meeting everyone in attendance versus meeting the few at your table. This new way provides the opportunity to introduce yourself to everyone, which you may not have had the chance to do at inperson events. My favorite benefit of


brand with all you’re connected with. To find virtual networking opportunities in your area check out sites like or Meetup. com, then make sure to hop on LinkedIn and search for those in your industry; connect and start building that relationship… virtually!

10 Tips for Remote Interviews 1. Test Your Technology. Check to see if you need to donwload any programs or software prior to the interview. 2. Utilize a Virtual Background. 3. Have Proper Lightening 4. Try to Avoid Noise in the Background. 5. Silence Your Notifications on Your Computer and Your Cell Phone. 6. Neaten, Fix, or Brush Your Hair 7. Moisturize Your Face and Lips 8. Use a Straw When Drinking Beverages 9. Try Not to Slouch and Watch Your Body Langauge. 10. Don’t Sit too Close to the Camera.

Work and School From Home Must-Haves 1. Lightening for Virtual Calls (a ring light or an LED light) 2. Mobile Adjustable Desk 3. Comfortable Chair 4. Virtual backgrounds to use during video meetings 5. Noise Cancelling Headphones with a Microphone


Scholarships Checklist for Students Streamline Communication.

Create a specific email (Gmail Account) for all things scholarship allowing you to stay extremely organized as you interact with multiple organizations and individuals through the preparation process.


Research degree and industry specific or general scholarships one (1) year prior to the needed semester. It is important to organize deadlines, essay, task and document requirements and completion and submission dates. You can use a spreadsheet document to track all specifics, checking off each item as you complete it.

Utilize Google Suite Apps.

The calendar app will allow you to schedule reminders for all important submission dates. The spreadsheet app will provide the platform for your scholarship tracking document + the documents app will give you the space to draft your essay requirement. All apps are accessible at any time by just signing in to your email.

Increase Organization.

Some documents will take longer to arrive than others, give yourself enough time to account for holds or barriers. Prepare to collect up to date transcripts, financial aid information, your resume + CV form, letters of recommendations and any portfolios correlated to the programs mission ahead of time by utilizing the calendar app and scheduling yourself reminders.

Create a Weekly To-Do List.

Create a weekly todo list aligned with your google calendar. On the todo list, break down each assignment with the action steps you will need to complete to align yourself with the submission dates. Remember, give yourself time to review and edit your written assignments. Utilize the S.M.A.R.T Goals framework to work smarter and not harder!

Develop a Resume Form.

Highlight all the amazing work you have done and skills you have developed. This can include school, work, volunteer, research or intramural experiences you have participated in along with any certifications, special training or courses you have taken or any unique opportunities you have participated in. You will use this resource as a building block as you further your educational and professional journey.

Utilize Your Growing Educational + Professional Network.

We all have a network, use them! Determine who you will reach out to for letters of recommendation then reach out to them to schedule a meeting. During this meeting, provide a copy of your most recent resume (!), discuss your educational and professional aspirations with them and explain how this scholarship will impact you. Providing this information will give them the tools to write an authentic and intentional Letter of Recommendation for you.

Craft Your Personal Essays.

Make sure you have read the question multiple times, frame your essay around your main points and have explored creative and expressive language to include for your reader. Finally, and most importantly, PROOFREAD! Give yourself enough time to draft and revise your personal essay with the support of a mentor, teacher or other educational resource.



Career Advice from Local Influencers Commit to learn something new every day. Pursue a career that interests and inspires you, and this momentum will lead you to success. Betty Wall President and Founder TechEdge Consulting LLC

Always be authentic and true to you, and you can’t go wrong. Don’t try to change or “mold” yourself to fit someone else’s standards; you will regret it in the long run. Authenticity is key! Jené Luciani Sena Bestselling Author, TV Personality, Brand Ambassador, Intimate Apparel & Lifestyle Influencer

Network, follow up, send thank you notes and give everything your best work ethic! Mayleen Rivera Social Entrepreneur


Own your craft and Walk in Your light. Everyday is an opportunity for You to choose the direction of your life, be intentional with purpose. Dr. Veneilya A. Harden Racial and Social Justice Advocate

For me, the most difficult challenge of entrepreneurship is weathering the downs and remaining calm in the highs. This is a crazy journey we are all on, it zigs when we expect a zag, and drops just as we reach the top. Stay focused. Remain confident. Embrace humility. And know it’s all going to be okay. Jeffrey Buell Principal Redburn Development Partners

Black and Brown people built this nation, and we still are. In the construction industry the only requirement is that you come in willing to work hard. James Mitchell Workforce Development Specialist, Construction Mission Accomplished Transition Services Founder, Young Futures


While building your business, or starting out your career, think about diversifying your income streams. My businesses were able to survive the pandemic because I wasn’t relying on one product or service to pay my bills. If you can diversify your income streams through offering products/services through multiple platforms, investing in things like real estate, stocks, etc. and committing to continuing education to stay relevant and adaptable, you will be much more financially sound and able to take more business risks. Gabby Fisher Serial Entrepreneur

Break down long term goals into manageable daily tasks. Peter Montesano Founder & CEO Vocasio Ventures

In all that you do remain teachable. There is ALWAYS room for growth and new opportunities Jayana LaFountaine Program + Event Specialist Mission Accomplished Transition Services Photographer, Jayana LaFotos Doula, LaDoula Birthing Services


The Coaching Pathway is the formula of all Mission Accomplished coaching programs. Transition coaching and group coaching all follow the coaching pathway. The basic steps of the pathway show how students will succeed with our guidance. Each program begins with trust and ends with a transformation. Mission Accomplished Coaches empower students to transform into who they want to become and accomplish what they aim to achieve.



The Coaching Pathway begins with the formation of a positive relationship between the student and coach. The students’ vision is defined and goals are laid out. Through exploring opportunities, creating a strategic plan and putting that plan to action, students accomplish their goals and achieve their personal success.


Create a trusting relationship with your coach, define your personal life purpose and establish academic and career goals in order to foster the relationship

Explore Explore careers, college, vocational training and leadership development opportunities

Strategize Create a game plan to gain access to the people places and opportunities that will help you accomplish your goals



Put your goals into action, stay motivated and stand out from the competition

Transition from the coaching process, fully launch your career and education path then begin to teach others


n Pre-Qualificatio vs. Pre-APPROVAL

the difference?

What is

Getting pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage loan benefits all parties. The buyer knows from the beginning what they can afford, which helps narrow their search parameters. The seller of the home will see them as a serious buyer, and in a competitive market, this edge could better their chances of obtaining a home. Pre-Qualification: • Getting pre-qualified is fairly simple. It can happen over the phone, online, or in person. • The buyer connects with a 1st Priority Mortgage Consultant to understand their eligibility and overall financial picture. They review the basics such as income, assets and debts. A credit report may also be reviewed. • The MC provides the buyer with an idea about the amount of mortgage the borrower will qualify for. The buyer will receive a pre-qualification letter. Pre-Approval: • Becoming pre-approved is a much more involved process for the buyer. • The buyer’s income, assets, and employment history will be more closely scrutinized by the Mortgage Consultant. A credit report will be pulled and analyzed - this includes the amount of debt, monthly payments, and credit score. • Upon completion of the process, the buyer will receive a pre-approval letter will be provided to the buyer.

Brandon Ford Equal Housing Opportunity

Sales Team Leader, MLO# 1140474

C: (518) 881-8830 O: (518) 348-6900 Email:

Terms and conditions of programs, products and services are subject to change. All loans are subject to credit and property approval. Certain restrictions apply. Refinancing may increase the number of monthly payments and/or the total amount paid when compared to the current situation. This is not a commitment to lend. Howard Hanna Real Estate is not a mortgage lender.

Howard Hanna Delmar Your

One-Stop Shopping Experience

Interested in a career in real estate with unlimited income potential? Contact Jessica Becker to find out how you can grow your real estate business with the most advanced market differentiators and support to help you, offered only at Howard Hanna. 231 Delaware Ave. Delmar, NY 12054

Call or stop by our office to connect with one of our agents to assist in your home buying or selling needs! 518.439.2888

Jessica Becker

Lic. Assoc. R.E. Broker | Delmar Branch Manager


Cell: 518.470.0397


...with help from you

People in the Capital Region are changing their lives

Annual Impact

Trinity Alliance’s integrated, collaborative, place-based, whole family approach promotes micro and macro level change. Our programs & services support the strategic and equitable investment in building neighborhood vitality, family stability and individual resilience.

Our Mission

We Listen. We Act. We Care.

To provide services to the community that will support and promote healthy families, adults and children. Our agency is dedicated to improving the neighborhood as a setting for family life, contributing to health and well-being, and promoting education and employment as a means of self-development.



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