Earlier this spring, VIF staff member Andrew Rutazamba spent time with high school students at the Emily K Center in Durham, N.C. for its most recent career night. The center is a non-profit that aims to inspire students to act with purpose in order to reach their potential as leaders in their local community. The event brought members of the community to speak with students about their future plans, encouraging them to follow their career aspirations to help the community and world around them.
Rutazamba, a learning management specialist at VIF, shared a bit about his experience and why events like these are important for both students and adults alike.
Can you tell us a little bit about where you grew up? What was your education experience like?
I was born and raised in Tanzania. I moved to the United States as a young adult in pursuit of a higher education. I received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master’s degree in information technology in security and assurance. I have always loved computers, so pursuing this field of work has been very exciting for me. When you do what you love, it doesn’t feel like work.
What was the event you attended?
The event I attended was about helping to advise minority kids in the community. I had an opportunity to have a discussion with a few teenagers, and I helped them to understand what it took for me to get where I am today. I provided them with advice on finding their dream jobs and deciding a major in college.
Why did you decide this event was important for you to participate in?
I decided to attend this event because I wanted to give back to my community. Once this opportunity arose, I thought it would be good to help the kids from the area by providing them with guidance about education and career choices.
What most surprised you about this event?
The students were so well prepared and had some vision of their futures. Most of them already knew what they wanted to be and had achieved a lot from the center, showing how well the kids are prepared to face college.
Why do you think it’s important to get involved in the local community?
It’s important to get involved in the local community because you never know the impact a little help can on someone’s life. When you advise kids and inspire them, it can help them make better decisions in life.
Would you want to go to another event like this one? Would you encourage others to do the same?
Definitely, I would love to go to another event like this in the future. I felt like I made a lot of difference to kids when I was at the Emily K Center. I encourage more people to get involved to participate in the community, especially in education, to ensure we have a better future and world.