As the teens and families from The State of SMASH began to eagerly fill into the Valley Business and Technology lobby for delicious treats, a few asked about our experience as college students; I couldn't help but feel a wave of nostalgia come over me. I still have the faint memory as a high school student lost in the sea information regarding college. For me It was the college outreach programs, similar to SMASH, that I still feel indebted to. It reminded me of the importance of collaborating with organizations supporting the underrepresented to pursue higher education is key to bridging gaps, improving lives, and fueling our community's future, As I drifted back into the present, I let the visitors know that as college students, the most important thing is to take initiative and seek out opportunities!
-Hadia Amani. Professional Development Area Leader