LaDonna Collins

LaDonna Collins, executive director of the Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth, shares the value of community work with students at Shorter University's Ledbetter College of Business.

Shorter University business students got a piece of advice from the head of a local nonprofit: Roll up your sleeves and get to work now.

LaDonna Collins, executive director of the Rome Floyd Commission on Children and Youth, shared the story of her path from college to career with students at Shorter’s Ledbetter School of Business.

She spoke about moments in her life where she was focused on moving quickly, and her realization that, to be successful, she had to dig in and get serious about her goals.

Collins recalled three binders she used to log all the contacts, calls and community work for her resume. Little did she know, those binders would become an important resource she would need after college.

She suggested that, instead of waiting for a chance to grow educationally and professionally to float by, the students actively pursue opportunity. And to never forget where it came from.

“If you want to make a difference, you have to do the different,” she said, driving home the point with a favorite quote.

She said her three C’s — creativity, commitment, and community — helped her stand out from other job applicants.

Her advice to them was to seek out volunteer opportunities in their community and remember the people they met.

Putting together the valuable experience and a power-packed Rolodex would not only benefit where they live, but also give them a leg up on the competition, she said.

Collins said she was happy to pass along what she’d learned because she was once in their shoes, unsure of where she’d be a few months after graduation. But she’d realized she had resources to draw on.

“Even though I was not sure where I would be, I knew I was prepared because of the experience I gained from working in the community prior to graduation,” Collins said. “One of my college professors, Dr. Paula Walker, encouraged me to “Walk in my Greatness,” and now I get to pay it forward and encourage these students to do the same.”

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