Larry is the Director of Programs at Maryland Foster Youth Resource Center, which provides clients transitioning out of care with important mental health and educational resources, among others. The center also has a trasitional housing program. Larry graduated from Morgan State University with a degree in political science. After college he worked for a decade in IT/telecom, but found he needed something more stable and so applied to work at Legal Aide. Larry was passionate about the work there and liked working with people, but his experiences did not fit with the type of work the position required. "I interviewed before a panel of 12 attorneys and paralegals who were like, why are you here," Larry said. He was nervous, but then he relaxed and spoke about his passion for working with people and youth. He got the job and worked as a child advocate/paralegal for 4 years before transitioning to Maryland Foster Youth Resource Center as an Outreach Coordinator. When he is not at work, Larry plays the saxophone and has even put out an album. He told clients, "do what you are passionate about in addition to your job and sometimes you can even meld the two." Most importantly, he told clients to reinvent themselves in order to be competitive in today's job market.
Twig is a children's book author and currently works part-time as a school librarian. Twig thought she would go into art therapy after graduating from college with degrees in psychology and art, but she ended up working in schools and museums instead. She was always into science and education, however. Twig and her husband moved to Baltimore and her husband worked for the National Aquarium. After spending time at the aquarium, Twig came up with a great idea for a book. She wrote a story about a mother dolphin and her calf and got it published. She later wrote another about sharks and a third about jellyfish which won an award. She is currently in the process of looking for a pubsliher for another book about ice. Twig told clients stories about the difficulties of getting a book published; She had one story rejected by 13 editors. "It's a tough business, but a good lesson is just keep trying," Twig said. She now works as a part-time librarian and stresses the importance of being enthusiastic and flexible on the job.
David worked at the National Aquarium in Baltimore for 30 years, 15 of which as Executive Director. As a kid, David was lucky to have mentor, who took him around and helped foster his interest in nature. After college, David worked at a natural history museum, as a park ranger in the Everglades, and even as a cook and chef's apprentice. His advice for clients was to be or find a mentor and to always find time to do what you love, even if it's through volunteering. He reminded clients of a popular adage, "A lot of success is just showing up." Now that he is no longer working at the Aquarium and is job-seeking, David has experienced a lot of what MND clients are going through. "It's a humbling experience," he says.
Dave owns a company that leases and manages real estate in downtown Baltimore. He has worked at his current job for 23 years and feels very lucky to be where he is and to have a trusting, positive relationship with the investors he works for. Dave is responsible for getting tenants into the building he manages and treating them right. He enjoys dealing with people every day, but also faces many challenges in his role, especially when unexpected situations come up. However, he succeeds in his job by knowing how to communicate well, and keeping a positive attitude.
Dave grew up in the midwest and came to Baltimore in 1985. One of his first jobs in his teens was being a caddy, which was very physically demanding but taught him many great lessons. He also worked at McDonald's with one of the busiest positions, which was also challenging and humbling. Dave told clients that it is important to get up each day with a purpose. He also urged clients to challenge themselves and put themselves out there, as well as to walk into a room with confidence and a presence. It can be helpful to create a timeline for yourself as well, and to look back at what accomplishments you have made and what goals you had 6 months ago as well as forward to what you want to do in the next 6 months. Dave stays positive by saying, "If the sun is shining and I'm walking, it's a good day."