Career Development Winter Workshop!

To end a great year at Students Rising Above for 2019, the SRA Career Development team hosted an incredible Career Development Winter Workshop. This CD Workshop focused on interviewing skills. This last CD Workshop of 2019 highlighted the impact that we continue to have on students together as a community. Thank you to Wells Fargo for being an event sponsor by having SRA host the CD Workshop in the incredible Wells Fargo Learning Center. 

We are thankful for the 50 corporate and individual volunteers, 4 SRA alumni, SRA staff, and advisors for giving the gift of time to support the students’ college to career journey as they developed their interviewing skills and increased their professional network. 112 students, 4 of whom are SOAR (Students Online Achieving Results) students, were in attendance.

The workshop began with a self-preparation and motivation mindfulness exercise led by SRA Advisor Dee Dee. Students Rising Above focuses on both physical and mental health thanks to our partners at Anthem Blue Cross Foundation who support SRA’s Healthy Lifestyle Literacy and Health Care Navigation program (HLLHN). The program increases SRA students’ knowledge of healthy lifestyle topics included but not limited to mindfulness. The mindfulness session started with a moment to let students and attendees close their eyes and check in with themselves, the room all stood up and placed their hand on their heart getting in tune with their breathing and mental clarity. Dee Dee led the meditation by encouraging students to embrace their positive and negative feelings, reflect on their goals, and set intentions for the workshop. Dee Dee included her own intentions for the day to use as a group saying “I am ready to overcome any challenges that may arise,” a common sense of feeling for many of our SRA students who have risen above their challenges to be the first in their families to attend college.  

Next, Students Rising Above CEO, Elizabeth Jordan Devaney, introduced herself to the crowd of students and advisors. She explained the value of the workshop and how all the students have incredible value to offer to any company.

Following, the Career Workshop hosted an SRA Alumni Panel with SRA Alumni David, Michelle, Harun, and Haley who work at the City of Richmond, Genentech, Oracle, and CBSI. The alumni shared their experiences as Students Rising Above students and how they transitioned into the workforce. They recounted their own personal stories and challenges that led them to their career choices. They also provided current SRA students with advice on interviewing and internship/job hunting. 


  • “For interviewing, it’s just as much as you interviewing the organization as much as them interviewing you.” -David
  • “Be confident. Be genuine. Show that you want to learn!” -Michelle
  • “Use internships for an opportunity to see what the day to day looks like for a career in your major.” -Harun
  • “You’re also finding out what you don’t like! An internship is a trial run.” -Haley



While students gathered for interview prep workshops led by members of the amazing Career Development Team, Kaitlyn Endo and Denisse Velázquez, 50 corporate and individual volunteers gathered to be trained for the day of mock interviews. SRA CEO, Elizabeth, welcomed the volunteers to explain “what you’re doing today is invaluable!” Kendall Jamarillo and Veli Waller went through the day outline with the volunteers and explained the importance of the SRA mission. Amazing volunteers from companies such as Rakuten, Apple, Google, Gilead, Symba, and more. Our volunteers represented a powerful community of diverse leaders and entrepreneurs in the fields of Technology, Business, Education, Healthcare, Law, Policy, Non-Profit, and more. 








After lunch, all the students and volunteers gathered together in groups and pairs to practice mock interview skills! The students and volunteers made meaningful connections bonding over colleges, career goals, and interests. 









Thank you to the Career Development Team for all the amazing work putting together such an impactful event and for the hundreds of students in attendance who learned new skills that they can directly apply to their internship and career search. Finally, thank you to all our partners and volunteers! Here’s to more fantastic Career Development Workshops in 2020!