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She was only 16 years old when she became homeless and realized she needed to take on adult responsibilities to survive. How she overcame this adversity and evolved into the young social entrepreneur that she is today was in large part due to the guidance of her mentors.

This is how Carmen Duncan was inspired to establish Mission Accomplished Transition Services, a non-profit organization with a mission “to prepare aspiring young professionals for the global economy by providing access to coaching, job training and professional development” based in Albany, New York.

Passionately Purposeful

“My life experience of living in both suburban and urban communities helped me understand [the need] to support and empower aspiring young professionals from all walks of life,” Carmen elaborated at a meeting I had with her one Thursday afternoon about an upcoming MATS fundraiser. “When an individual recognizes their power, abilities and purpose, they are more likely to live a fulfilling life!”

We had met many times before at networking events all over Albany where she familiarized me with her mission for MATS, but it was that afternoon we met one-on-one for the first time that I learned in details her long-term goals for Mission Accomplished.

It was obvious through her words, body language and even the little glimmer in her eyes that she was passionate about helping change the stereotype many people have of young adults as “lazy and unskilled”. MATS is her way of helping transform youth into young professionals with the proper skills to succeed in the professional world.

“Each One, Teach One”

Millennials represent one third of the U.S. population,” she continued by dropping some stats in order to paint me a better picture. “These individuals are ‘continuous learners, team players, collaborators, diverse, optimistic, achievement-oriented, socially conscious and highly educated’ (Brack, 2013).

“While  young people [are acknowledged] as valuable assets to our communities, research shows American students are failing: U.S. is ranked 9th in world for the number of students enrolled in college, and 16th for young adults obtaining degrees and certificates (U.S. Department of Education, 2012).

“MATS sees the potential [in each of our clients] and provide support as they cultivate their leadership abilities to help the U.S. become a higher-ranking society. We help our clients the same way experienced professionals helped me! Each one, teach one is my motto.”

For more information about Mission Accomplished Transition Services, including ways you can get involved or support their efforts, please visit www.MATransitionServices.org.

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