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Back to School Essentials

August 5, 2014 | By | No Comments

By: India Graden

There are always a few things that come to mind when one thinks of the months August and September — the end of summer and back to school! All over the city, children and young college students gear up for the first days of school while mourning the ends of sleeping in and endless beach days. This back to school season, we want to make sure you are adequately prepared for those first days of school.

For college students the most important thing to remember is to get your schedule back on track! Whether you’re a freshman or a rising senior, time management and regulated sleep schedules are key to success throughout the early days of the fall semester. Gone are the days of sleeping until 4 p.m. and procrastinating on every little task because you have all the time in the world to complete them. At least two weeks before the first week of classes start students should be setting their class schedules and developing the habit of sleeping in the correct pattern. Mapping out a general study schedule for the week is also helpful, although it may not be possible until the first week of school or so when students are more familiar with their course load.

In addition make sure you’re stocking up on school supplies, whether it be ordering a new laptop and printer or going the more traditional route and binge buying notebooks, pencils and highlighter; Dorm supplies are essential as well—I mean what’s life without study snacks?—showing up with a full stash will eliminate last minute trips that only hinder studying productivity. Always remember, preparation is the key to being a successful student so plan ahead and be sure to include plenty of breaks. School is just around the corner! Check out these tips from Collegecandy.com for more back to school shopping must-haves!

#BringBackOurGirls While President Goodluck Jonathan Does….?

August 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

By: Brianna Davis

On April 15, 2014, nearly 300 girls were abducted from their boarding school in Nigeria by militants of a terrorist organization known as Boko Haram, whose focus is the opposition on Western education; “Boko Haram” literally means “western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language. Since their attack on the Chibok Government Secondary School, this incident has become more than “Nigeria’s problem”; the United States has now taken it on as their problem. Currently, there is a website that has been created, www.bringbackourgirls.us, which provides news on the occurrences in Nigeria in response to the kidnapping as well as how we can help bring more attention to the issue.

Upon this tragedy, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, has been heavily criticized due to his lack of responsiveness to the situation, which is directly alluded to in the Washington Post article, “What Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan should have written”; it encompasses a speech that, in my opinion, insults, criticizes, and defames the Nigerian President for the speech that he did provide in response to the criticisms against him. However, despite being all of those things, it is also honest, and its intentions are clear and direct; it demanded accountability. This article spoke volumes about holding those in power accountable; the language clearly depicts the subliminal message that President Goodluck Jonathan is sending via his actions; that finding more than 200 missing girls is not one of his top priorities.  He is, however, now concerned with recovering his image so that he does not also lose his credibility.

Although your leaders may not be neglectful to this magnitude, does this speech reflect any of their actions? I’m sure many of you can say that it does; since you know this, it is your responsibility to hold your own leaders to a higher standard of accountability as well as become an active part of #BringBackOurGirls; its website provides information on how to become a part of the movement by organizing, rallying,spreading the word on social media, and joining other events that are already in place. I encourage everyone to read this article; it will encourage you to not only become more supportive of this growing movement, but to also scrutinize the actions of your own leaders and representatives. Accountability, among other things, is the foundation of leadership.

Importance of Voter Turnout and its correlation to HBCU’s

August 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

By: Jordan King

Voting has always been the best way for constituents to get their voices heard in local, state, and national governments. As a democracy, we reserve the right to choose who we want to represent our needs, and voting directly impacts this process. While the youth voter turnout has always been important in elections, politically-involved youth tend to lean Democratic, which of course would mean more problems for Republican-controlled locations. The youth vote, and more importantly the minority vote, is what helped the nation’s first-elected African American President win two terms in office; this definitely has not gone unnoticed in Republican states.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) helped to eradicate several instances of voter discrimination aimed toward minorities. These practices would range from poll taxes, unfairly administered literacy tests, and a number of absurd methods aimed to dissuade and prevent the minority vote from making an impact. VRA, which helped to break down barriers minorities faced as well as a measure in the 1970’s that lowers the voting age to 18, further allowed both college aged youth and young minorities to become involved in the political process as well make serious differences in election results.

Due to the noted effect of both the youth and minority vote in the last two elections, states with Republican control have taken extreme measures to once again stifle their voice. In North Carolina, the Republican-controlled legislature has passed several measures and initiatives to either take voting precincts off of, or move them further away from, college campuses that tend to lean Democratic.

Several examples of voter suppression include: gerrymandering (the practice of redrawing precinct lines to favor a particular party), voter ID laws which may bar the use of a college ID as proper qualifications, requiring that out-of-state students use a mail-in ballot due to “not actually being a resident of their college state”, and a slew of other tactics up for consideration. This past year, North Carolina A&T’s Rock the Vote campaign focused on voter registration, awareness about the importance of voting, student turnout, and lackluster enthusiasm toward voting — all of which are major concerns to the university.

This reflects the trend of some HBCU’s in the south to experience lack of excitement on the issue due to the various efforts on behalf of their state to protect Republican interests. Even in Florida, voter disenfranchisement issues have affected their college campuses including their four HBCU’s (Florida A&M, Florida Memorial, Edward Waters, and Bethune-Cookman). Sketchy political processes, purging registered voters, and missing ballots have surfaced in the state’s news headlines and are being targeted as further tactics from Republicans to stifle the voice of many college and minorities.

Despite best efforts to undermine the minority and youth vote, several campaigns and organizations have organized to combat and raise awareness to these issues. North Carolina’s Student Engagement and Empowerment Network (SEEN) has been created by 10 HBCU’s in the state to develop ideas and strategies to empower and mobilize minority and young voters. Also, the American Civil Liberties Union has been effective in calling out these malice practices and posting information on current news relating to developments with voter suppression. Even the Washington, DC-based nonprofit IMPACT’s “#VoteReady” campaign was established to both raise awareness, as well as actively help to register and re-register voters under age 40. Another important aspect of the campaign has been its use of the growing platform of social media to reach the masses and mobilize youth on college campuses as well across the country.

As both minorities and youth, our voice is especially important. As seen before, we have more power and influence than ever before in elections, and it’s imperative that we continue to showcase our presence. We must stay alert and aware to legislation passed to silence our voices and continuously fighting for the preservation of our right to vote. While these practices as well as believing that our voice isn’t actually heard may discourage some, we must never give up in the grand scheme of things. Voting has been and will always be the best way for one to exercise power and influence in the political process.

Message to the Youth – The 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

August 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

By: Zha Marie Hurley

Nearly two centuries after the United States gained its independence, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of the Civil Rights Act on July 2, 1964, granted African Americans their long awaited independence from the harsh brutality brought upon them by other Americans simply because of the color of their skin. The Civil Rights Act, not only protects citizens from racial persecution, but also deems it illegal to discriminate on the basis of color, sex, religion, or national origin. This law solemnly marked the beginning of a new and ever-changing era and catalyzed a glimpse of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Dream.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 opened doors for many other laws that protected the rights and equality of all citizens to follow. Laws such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which made it illegal to use literacy tests for voter registration (many of which made it impossible for African Americans to pass) and allowed federal prosecution to oversee minority voters and to scrutinize the use of poll taxes in state and local elections. The U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission drafted the 1964 law that made it illegal for discrimination in the work place. These along with other laws, such as the Equal Housing Act of 1968 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, worked to continue the fight of American impartiality.

On July 15th, I had the pleasure of attending the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 celebration, which was hosted by the U.S Department of Justice and Howard University. This celebration sought to praise and recognize all of the leaders, activists, students, and civilians, who fought for and contributed to the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. These people held countless sit-ins, marched on Washington, encountered riots along with church and house bombings. Astounding leaders and activists of this movement, such as Ambassador Andrew Young, Julian Bond, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, and Helen Zia spoke of their experiences and roles in the fight for equality. Additionally, there were present-day leaders, such as the first African American U.S Attorney General, Eric H. Holder Jr., Secretary Thomas E. Perez, Secretary Arne Duncan along with many others, who had the chance to speak at the Tuesday celebration.

From the start of the celebration, I could tell that it would be a call for my generation to go out and fight for a cause. This resonated in me at the beginning of Attorney General, Eric H. Holder’s speech, when he stated, “It is a privilege to be among so many distinguished guests including… young people, who will carry on the work that we commemorate and build on the single achievement that we celebrate here today.” Following Attorney General Holder, Ambassador Andrew Young proceeded by giving testimony to only accomplishing two-thirds of Dr. King’s promise, which was to, “Redeem the soul of America from the triple evils of racism, war, and poverty.”

He elucidated that we could not redeem the war on poverty because we do not understand economics. He continued his speech by explaining that our textbooks are outdated and what we are learning in school about economics has no relevance to the actual economics of our new technological world. To me, his message to the youth was to gain a sufficient understanding of global economics and to take on the war on poverty. The advice from the Impact of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Panel was remarkably motivational as well. One of the panelists, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland’s advice represented the overall message of the entire celebration, “Find your cause and do something. You don’t know where it’ll lead.”

Hearing Ambassador Young and Julian Bond speak about high school and college students playing a crucial role in the movement, hit home for me. I began to compare the amount of students who were active in fighting against the injustices in America in the 1960s to the amount of students active in fighting against present-day injustices. Being a student at a Historically Black University, that played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement, I expect to see more students dedicated to changing the America that we live in. What many of us fail to realize is that the Civil Rights Movement is still present today. We are living it.

There are countless injustices that Americans are still facing. I believe that a critical problem in my generation is the absence of action. We know about the Trayvon Martin case and the overwhelming amount of police brutality placed upon African Americans, but what are we doing to change such wrongdoings? It starts with exercising our right to vote. We vote to elect the people that we feel best represent our needs and wants into office, so that we can be equally represented in regards to governmental affairs and legislation. Assuring that we participate in both state and local elections can further ensure that minorities will move closer to attaining social agency in the United States.

The overall message to my generation from the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is that we, as the youth, must take on the war on poverty, get involved, and exercise our right to vote. Without action, we will not only lose sight on the importance of the Civil Rights Act, but will also renounce the rights that our ancestors fought so unremittingly for us to exercise.

Our Votes Still Count – The Voting Rights Amendment Act (Shelby County v. Holder Decision) Rally

August 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

By: Zha Marie Hurley

The one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court Shelby County v. Holder decision was on June 25, 2014. The decision has caused uproar throughout the country considering that the Court ruled Section 4(b) unconstitutional. Section 4(b) contains the coverage formula for Section 5, which calls for “certain states and local governments to obtain federal preclearance before implementing any changes to their laws and practices.”

Shelby County, Alabama, a county located in a state that played a major role in civil and social injustices during the Civil Rights movement, petitioned that the preclearance for Section 5 deemed unconstitutional and argued that America’s current conditions no longer legitimize the preclearance. Attorney General, Eric H. Holder argued that the restrictions in Section 4(b) are vital to protecting the voting rights of citizens in states that previously abused them. Since this court decision, sure enough, states such as Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia and many others proceeded with actions that they were previously incapable of, such as the passing of voter ID laws, eliminating same-day voter registration, seizing early voting, and adding more than needed regulations to their voter ID laws. Many citizens, organizations, activists, and elected officials were appalled by this decision because of how it affects such a large number of citizens, who are now restricted by these newfound laws and are furthermore unable to cast in their votes for elections.

On the date of the one year anniversary, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA). The objective of the hearing was to provide awareness and solutions to the current challenges that citizens now face due to the Shelby County v. Holder decision. Postliminary to the hearing, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) hosted the VRAA rally on U.S Capitol Grounds.

I had the pleasure of attending this rally and was intrigued by the atmosphere and by the amount people in attendance. People of all races were united in fighting and advocating for the rights of all citizens. It was such an uplifting and insightful experience and I am honored to have had the opportunity to stand along with many other young activists to protest for equal voting opportunities for all Americans. The rally consisted of powerful and highly respected elected officials, who did the crowd and viewers a service by speaking and educating the public about an injustice in our country. Speakers consisted of members of Congress, members of regional NAACP officials, including the State President of the Georgia NAACP, Reverend Dr. Francys Johnson and the National Interim President and CEO of the NAACP, Lorraine C. Miller.

Reflecting on this experience and the Shelby County v. Holder decision, I find it ignominious that a critical section in the Voting Rights Amendment, which was created to ensure the equal rights of all American citizens, could so easily be declared unconstitutional because it is was created merely 40 years ago. This court decision should be a wake-up call to all Americans that the fight for equality is not quite over. Surely, because of this, I have decided to work interminably hard with the Howard University NAACP College Chapter and the surrounding NAACP College Chapters of Washington, DC to increase the number of voters and to implement the importance of understanding advocacy and how taking a stand for the equality of all American citizens is still vital in a country of presumed impartiality.

The High Cost of Student Debt

July 30, 2014 | By | No Comments

By: Khalil Boggs

Many young adults dream about going to college. They imagine the class lectures and great parties, amazing friends they will meet, and enjoying the independence of having free time. However, they do not stop to think about how much debt they will have once they graduate. According to statistics released by the White House about the student loan debate, most college students end up in debt–71 percent of students graduate from college with about $29,000 of debt. What’s driving students into debt? Congress? Banks? Colleges?

In the early 1990s, the average tuition for a public and private four-year institution was roughly $5,243 or $13,237 per year. By 2011, the prices became $15,918 or $32,617 a year. That is a major jump in the span of 20 years. With these prices, students are taking out extremely large loans just to stay in school, which has motivated President Barack Obama to try and enact his loan forgiveness initiative.

A Twitter user had a conversation with President Obama. Her name was Caitlin. She responded to the initiative: “Seems to me like an attempt to put a band-aid on a broken leg.” She asks,”What are we doing to actually lower the cost, so these loans will no longer be necessary.” She makes an excellent point. Yes, student loan forgiveness is a great idea and could potentially help millions of people, but what are we doing to stop this vicious cycle? Students go to school, take out a loan, graduate, their loan gains interest, and yet they still cannot get a job and are still stuck with the burden of these payments.

Why are students in so much debt? Banks lend money and collect payments. If colleges were still relatively low, would we even need loans? Colleges aren’t charging students an “arm and a leg” they are charging an arm, leg, kidney, liver, and your brain.

Colleges are facing more pressures to raise tuition due to larger pension, higher healthcare and technology costs. But the administration’s plan to lower education costs could change the face of education. Obama’s plan for lowering costs has been the use of competency based degrees. Instead of awarding credit based on how many credit hours a student has it would be based on how much a student can prove they know. If they pass a test with a certain score they can get credit for the course. There is an initiative called Pay as you Earn, and as you earn the credits, you pay them off. Congress is standing in the way of these proposals. They have not passed the bills necessary to make these things happen.

In fact, Congress is looking to double the interest rate on student loans, making them more than seven percent. In addition, banks(Bank Rate) are making subtle changes to policies that would put students in more debt.

While larger banks are more reluctant to lend to students, credit unions and community banks are more than willing. Sometimes they will approve a student for a personal loan and not a private student loan because the personal loan does not offer the same payback protection. The idea of a student loan is to prevent students from taking out more than necessary, a personal loan can be approved for any amount. Allowing students to rack up debt. So another question is brought to the forefront, are banks doing this on purpose to get more money out of us, the students. So with Congress not approving bills to lower college tuition, and looking to double interest rates, what are students to do? Students have no control over what happens.

In a country where a college education is almost mandatory to get a good job and make a decent living, it sure is getting harder to afford. While we continue the student loan debate, ask yourself, who is to blame? Colleges for these price hikes, or big banks, which are shelling out cash for education? I say it is a strong combination of both. Colleges are getting to highly unaffordable rates, and banks are over lending purposely to unsuspecting naive students.

Possible Immigration Reform in the Near Future?

July 3, 2014 | By | No Comments

By: Uri-Biia Si-Asar

About a year ago on June 27th, 2013, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act was voted upon by the Senate. The Senate voted 68-32 and the immigration reform bill was passed. Some of the key components of the Act included a 13-year path to citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the country and tougher security measures put in place before immigrants gained legal status. This includes a maximum of 200,000 guest visas annually and $40 billion put towards border enforcement measures for the next decade. Unfortunately, however, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act did not pass in the House of Representatives and since then no more bills have been pushed through legislation.

Well at this point you may be wondering why that matters now almost a year later…

Recently there have been whisperings of another attempt at immigration reform in Congress. This is happening at a very interesting time as well because it may be one of the last windows of opportunity for any immigration reform to take place. Since the deadline to file for primary candidacy has passed Democrats are now hoping that some Republicans will now feel comfortable enough to vote for immigration reform.

Previously, some Republicans who were on the fence about their support of immigration reform may not have felt comfortable supporting the reform out of fear of losing their party’s support for elections. Now that the deadline has passed they have had time to gauge if their support on immigration reform will be reacted to negatively within their party.
We, as young people, are the generation of doers. We not only ask for change, we affect change. So, if you would like to voice your opinion or you would like to encourage Congress on making progress with immigration reform you should contact your representative in the Senate and House and let them know what you think should happen with immigration reform. We can make a difference.

 

#IMPACTYourState: Know Your Candidates

July 3, 2014 | By | No Comments

By: Brianna Owens

It’s that time again — it’s primary election season, and midterm election time (November 4, 2014) is fast approaching. Do you see the signs in the front yards, the supporters at the street lights? Now is the time for you to think about the prevalent issues in your community and support the candidate(s) you think will work to provide solutions to those issues.

According to FairVote.org, only about 40 percent of registered voters in the United States participate in midterm elections; many believe that it doesn’t have the “hype” factor or the competitiveness that presidential elections have. If this is your opinion, I still want to encourage you to educate yourself and your community on the candidates that want to represent you in elected office. Just as your voice matters, your vote matters.

With that in mind, IMPACT launched the #VoteReady campaign on August 15, 2012, in an effort to not only highlight the importance of voting, but also inform minority and youth populations about the current Voter ID laws and how they can register to vote.

Over the last two years, IMPACT’s goal has been to register eligible voters 40 and under; re-register members of the 40 and under community to vote; encourage those who are able to vote early (where applicable); encourage those who are unable to physically go to the polls to submit an absentee ballot; inform voters about Voter ID laws (where applicable); and utilize social media and other avenues to build awareness and educate voters.

During this pivotal time, it is important to note that whichever political party controls the Senate or House will support policies that will affect their constituents; as my former government teacher told me, “If ever in doubt about which candidate to support, GO WITH YOUR POLITICAL PARTY.” If you really can’t choose a candidate after having done your research on where they stand on certain issues, I suggest going with this advice; in all cases, JUST VOTE.

Are you keeping up with national election news? If not, here are some of the relevant issues:

● Democrats are fighting to maintain control of the Senate while the GOP is fighting to take it.
● Majority leader of the House, Eric Cantor, loses to challenger, Dave Brat. According to the Washington Examiner, “many Republicans believe it was because he played both sides of the street on the issue of immigration.”
● Now, the new Majority Leader is Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
● Charles and David Koch spearheaded a “super” PAC called Freedom Partners Action Fund, which is meant to “support candidates who share our vision of free markets and a free society and oppose candidates who support intrusive government policies that push the American Dream out of reach for the American people”, says Marc Short.
● Mayoral candidates David Catania and Muriel Bowser are battling it out when it comes to D.C.’s public schools.
● Currently, Maryland is experiencing a major shift in their status quo; one of their candidates, Heather Mizeur is running and, if elected would be the “first female governor and the first openly gay person elected governor of any state.”
● “Black voters in the South could be key to victories for incumbent senators trying to hold on to their seats in Mississippi and Louisiana, political experts say.”

What is your stance on these issues? Is education a major problem in your state? How do you feel about immigration? These are all things you need to think about when voting for candidates to represent you; see how closely their opinions on certain issues align with yours.

For more information about the #Voteready campaign, please take a look at our voter toolkit at GetVoteReady.org.

Getting Past the Gibberish – ObamaCare Updates Translated

July 3, 2014 | By | No Comments

By India Graden

In the context of healthcare and the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as “ObamaCare”), there are certain terms that make the average person’s eyes glaze over and focus immediately wane. Words like “risk corridor” and “reinsurance.” What do they actually mean? With the constant bickering between Democrats and Republicans over the overall efficacy of the program and how to best implement the scheduled changes, it’s hard to read through the language and understand what the government actually wants our citizens to do.
Risk corridors, risk adjustment, and reinsurance are all just words used to describe the government’s plan of lowering the economic impact of insuring the nation. Reinsurance offers funding to insurance companies that deal with high costs for certain enrollees (those who may be considered “higher risk), while risk corridors limit the amount of losses and gains that insurance providers can experience and transfers funds from low risk plans to high risk plans (to even the playing field).
The latest news in the ObamaCare arguments is that House Republicans are saying the often debated risk corridor system is not a big deal – but only because of the overall risk of ObamaCare as a whole. The risk corridor system is set to expire in 2016, however the conversation brings up a much more troubling conversation of what is significant to the national healthcare budget. Why is such a large amount (literally billions of dollars) being spent on a temporary system not deemed as significant?
The answer is because the overall program is so large. The mindset of many House majority members is that the risk corridor payout budget (2 trillion dollars over the next 10 years) is not a problem because the overall ObamaCare strain on tax dollars is already so huge. This mentality is a problem because anything that puts a larger strain on the taxpayer places even more animosity amongst those citizens opposed to ObamaCare in the first place. This loops into a larger discussion on lack of understanding and opposition to public insurance amongst the nation. The first step toward fixing the clear problems with the Affordable Care Act is to make sure the risk corridors and reinsurance programs are actually budget neutral.

June 11, 2014 | By | 2 Comments

 

By: Brianna Owens, IMPACT Intern

An African Proverb states, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.” This is the motive behind networking, which I believe to be the key to advancing oneself in your given profession. It involves building professional relationships with others that may not have had the opportunity to connect with otherwise. The goal for most networkers is to connect with people who have achieved the what they are trying to achieve in their respective careers.

Recently, IMPACT hosted its annual IMPACT Interns of Color Networking Reception, which allowed interns from various offices and organizations to encounter many people with different occupations and interests. Attendees had the opportunity to network and pursue relationships with a plethora of young professionals in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.

Keep in mind that networking is a skill, and, like any skill, it comes easier to some than others. If this, or any other, networking opportunity did not go so well for you, no worries! I am here to help. Here is a checklist that will help guide you and ensure that you make connections before the networking event is over:

1. Are you dressed accordingly? Dress the part. Do not arrive in jeans if the invitation says the attire is “business casual.”
2. Do you have any goals in mind? In order for networking to aid you in reaching your goals, you must know what they are so you can convey that to others.
3. Do you have common work-related questions to spark conversation? The questions can be random; you would be surprised at how simple questions can launch a conversation. However, you should always start with an introduction followed by the question “What is your name?”
4. Are you prepared for any and every question? Rehearse your elevator pitch. You need to be able to sell yourself. Your pitch need not be long-winded; it needs to be an attention-grabber.
5. Have you planned to arrive on time? It is hard to convince someone of your work ethic when you come into an event 15 minutes late. That is a no-no.
6. Are you showing those beautiful teeth? Most of us are naturally friendly and have friendly faces, but for those of us on the more nonchalant side, SMILE. No one wants to approach someone who does not look approachable.
7. Are you on the playing field? Networking guru, Dr. Ivan Misner said, “Be visible. Networking is a contact sport! You have to get out and connect with people.” The Interns of Color Reception had many people in attendance; most of them were standing, walking around, and actively conversing with others. In situations like this one, you need to put yourself in the mix; do not sit on the sideline tweeting, texting, or posting videos on Instagram while networks are right in front of you!
8. Have you thought about how you can help another person as opposed to what others can do for you? Networking is not all about what you want. When establishing a relationship, think of what the other person wants. Any good relationship is a two-way street; do not just ask, but also offer.
9. Are you being genuine? DO NOT pretend to listen to what the other person is saying, say you are going to do something and not deliver, or pretend to be someone you are not. If you know you cannot commit to something, do not say otherwise. You might think it makes you look bad to tell someone “No” for whatever reason, but it makes you look worse to say, “Yes” and not deliver.
10. Did you get the digits (or letters if it’s an email)? Get contact information. Ask that person for an email or phone number; you want to be able to get in contact with them after that night. Let them know that you will be in contact with them in the near future. DO NOT WAIT A YEAR BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY DO IT!

If you have followed all the tips, I’m sure your night was successful. Congratulations on your new connections! Now, here’s how to keep them:

● Follow-up. This is the age of technology, so you can do this by email or social network if you must, but do not underestimate the power of a phone call. Remind the person of who you are, briefly recap what was talked about, and let the conversation flow from there.

● Maintain the connection. Networking is useless if you allow the people you connect with to forget who you are.

● Attend more networking events. Networking requires consistency; you never stop working toward establishing connections.

● Practice. The more you do something, the better you get at it. Networking is a skill that you have to constantly work at before it becomes second nature to you. Keep in mind, however, that you can never be too good at something, so your work is never done.