This semester has opened many doors for me because of my decision to take the¬†philanthropy and grant making class with Dr. Simmons. I have realized that I am getting better at networking within the Central Valley. I was the team lead for the board and staff development, which we had to reach out to many different organizations. One of the reasons why I found out about the community benefit organization Reading and Beyond was because my parents are friends of the executive director Luis Santana. Reading and Beyond is community benefit organization that’s mission is “To empower children and families to achieve productive, self-reliant lives.” Their goal is to help not just children, but their family as well to be prepared for college and other important life skills. I reached out to him during the beginning of the semester, so he would know about the board and staff development grant that the Fresno State Humanics program was offering. After some consideration he politely declined, but in return he invited¬†a guest and I to attend a gala that was held at the Fort Washing Golf and Country Club. I told my team about the event, so they were informed about the invitation to this gala. Evelyn was the only person who was available to attend this event. We were both very excited because we knew this was a great opportunity to network. The both of us had a great experience because we had amazing conversations with people around our table. Evelyn and I engaged in many different conversations with other distinguished guests, who were happy that we were from Fresno State and able to support this event. The others around the table were impressed about our attitudes and our commitment to supporting the Central Valley. I learned many things about a successful organization such as Reading and Beyond like how important it is to have a team mentality and be open to hear other people’s advice from a thriving organization. After this event, I would definitely support Reading and Beyond to help further their success and impact.