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  • 09/06/2018 7:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our September Member of the Month, Tamaria Kelly!!!

    Tamaria Kelly is a Buffalo, New York native. She earned her B.A. from University of Buffalo, The State University of New York (SUNY). Tamaria majored in Sociology and minored in African-American Studies. She also earned a Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from SUNY Binghamton University.

    Tamaria is a Management and Program Analyst for the Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Inspector General (OIG), conducting performance audits related to aviation. At DOT OIG, she has served as a Mentor for an intern, Reading Mentor for Everybody Wins! DC, a Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Keyworker, and Coordinator for DOT’s Community Service Coalition. Tamaria has actively participated in community service activities since her high school years. She has been acknowledged for her exceptional community service by several organizations such as the International Child Advancement, Inc., Uncrowned Queens Institute for Research & Education on Women, Inc. and the Buffalo Urban League, where she received a college scholarship and later became a member of the organization’s Young Professionals network. Tamaria officially joined Thursday Network in March 2017. In her free time, she listens to comedy podcasts and attends concerts.

  • 08/17/2018 2:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our August Member of the Month, Tianna Cook!!!

    Tianna Cook is a senior construction safety specialist for the Department of Defense, providing safety oversight for contractors during construction activities at the Pentagon. Born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, Tianna moved to Detroit Michigan to attend undergraduate and graduate school. She graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy with a Bachelor of Science in architecture and a Masters in Civil Engineering from Wayne State University.

    Ms. Cook is a member of the American Society of Safety Professionals and in her spare time she enjoys reading, watching and participating in sporting events. Her belief in the importance of giving back brings about her love to volunteer for local organizations that strengthen communities. Her passion for molding the next generation of engineers translated into her currently serving as the Pre-College Initiative (PCI) Chairperson for the National Society of Black Engineers (DC Chapter) which allows her to establish programs to empower student she mentors to reach their educational goals.

  • 08/15/2018 11:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Sara Harris, MPH Co-founder, Watson Edwards

    How do you envision yourself at 65? Are you going to be Donna who can still chase after her grandkids, walk up a flight of steps, and break into the cupid shuffle? Preparing to be Donna requires healthy habits in the interim to boost your happiness and likelihood of free mobility and good heart health. What we do now accumulates and manifests in our future selves. Similar to a retirement savings plan, what we consume and do with our bodies every day is a small down payment for our later health. I encourage you to take a minute and envision who you want to be in 20, 30, or even 40 years.

    Name your post-retirement self, visualize the kind of life you want at that age, and imagine what you’ll be doing with your free time. Once you become familiar with your future self, keep him or her in mind as you go through your daily activities. Make wellness decisions that will make that vision of yourself possible in your golden years.

    Adopting a wellness lifestyle is essential for sustained good health. You probably already know many people who are chronically stressed, have high blood pressure, are overweight, or are diabetic. Young African Americans are at increased risk for these and other serious health conditions. African Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than white and Asian Americans, over two-thirds of African American adults are overweight or obese, and more than 40 percent of African Americans have high blood pressure. These health conditions not only increase our risk of heart disease and stroke, but are also expensive to treat. Medical costs are 2.3 times higher for people living with diabetes than non-diabetics and the average additional medical cost for people who are overweight or obese was $266 and $1723 in 2008, respectively. The good news is that we can reverse, delay, or even prevent these conditions. Eating a heart- healthy diet, exercising at least 150 minutes a week, and monitoring stress are all shown to lower the risk of heart-related disease.

    Easier said than done, right? Sure, we’ve heard that eating well, exercising, and meditating are the right things to do, but how do we actually do these things on a daily basis? Start with one lifestyle change. Modifying, tracking and automating one small behavior will put you on the right path to reclaiming your future health.

    Sara Harris is a Thursday Network Member.

  • 08/14/2018 9:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thursday Network is pleased to announce the slate of candidates for the 2018-2019 Executive Leadership Council Elections. The following members have met the eligibility requirements outlined in Thursday Network's Bylaws to vie for the votes of the membership in this year's elections. 

    Official Candidate Slate
        President: Kristin Shymoniak
        Secretary: Melissa Gomes
        Treasurer: Joseph Kitchen
        Parliamentarian: Courtney Coffey
        Civic Engagement: Vince Evans
        Community Service Events: Chalon Jones
        Fund Development: Angeline Jefferson
        Personal and Professional Development: Genaro Stewart
        Public Relations Marketing: Brittany Cummings
        Social and Cultural: Chyna Grant
    Click HERE to learn more about each candidate and their respective platforms.

    The Thursday Network Executive Leadership Council Elections will take place at the August General Body Meeting on August 23.

    Have questions about elections? Contact the Elections Committee at

  • 07/11/2018 9:27 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our July Member of the Month, Monique Toussaint!!!

    Prior to joining the federal government, Monique held positions in the Leadership Development Division at the Institute of International Education; Sallie Mae’s Kids2College DC; American University’s Career Center; conducted her practicum at the Institute of College Preparation at Georgetown University’s Center for Multicultural Equity and Access; and participated in a two week Delegation on Business in China with the International Scholar Laureate Program.

    A brilliant but humble individual, Monique holds a M.A. in Education and Human Development from George Washington University and a B.S. in Business Administration from the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington, DC. She is also certified as a Global Career Development Facilitator by the Center for Credentialing and Education. A true servant leader, Monique loves helping others help themselves, served as a tutor with Horton’s Kids, is a Past President of the Rotary Club of Dupont Circle, and was an inaugural member and Professional Development Co-Chair of the YWCA’s newly established Young Women’s Leadership Council. Passionate about empowering others, she is an Adjunct Instructor for the Adult Basic Education program at Prince George’s Community College, received the 2013 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Service President’s Volunteer Service Award, and was recognized for Leadership in the 2017 Who’s Who Among Young Professionals by the National Urban League Young Professionals.

    Monique grew up in St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands with a family heritage from Trinidad and Tobago. She enjoys reading, travelling, playing volleyball, and serving on the Nurses Ministry, Women of Virtue Scholarship Ministry and the Silent Witnesses Mime Ministry at Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Church in Washington, DC.

  • 07/10/2018 7:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The first episode of the Almost Friday podcast is here! We’re talking to Free Minds DC about their initiative to increase literacy among those affected by the criminal justice system. You’ll also learn about DC Black history and how to treat yourself to a staycation on a budget. ⠀ Check to out here:
  • 07/05/2018 7:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s time to elect the next members of Thursday Network’s Executive Leadership Council (ELC)! Are you ready to take the next step in your leadership journey with Thursday Network? Are you an active committee member motivated by shaping and driving the direction of projects and initiatives?

    Who can run for positions?

    Positions are open to members in good standing and meeting the following criteria:
    •  Attended New Member Orientation
    • Attended at least 3 community service events over a 1 year membership tenure

    Who oversees the elections process?

    The Elections Committee, led by the Parliamentarian, is comprised of at least five Thursday Network members in good standing. Members of the Elections Committee are not permitted to campaign for any ELC candidates.  

    How are nominations submitted?

    Nominations can be submitted to the Elections Committee via email at The deadline to submit electronic nominations is Thursday, July 26, 2018 at 12:00pmIn-person nominations will be held on the floor of the July general body meeting, Thursday July 26, 2018.  


    • July 2 – Candidate Interest Meeting 
    • July 2 – Electronic nominations begin (self-nominations accepted)
    • July 26 – Election nominations end (12pm cutoff)
    • July 26 – July General Body Meeting: in-person nominations included on the agenda (no nominations accepted after this date)
    • July 27 – Deadline for candidates to pay dues to meet election eligibility requirements
    • July 29 – Candidate Application deadline
    • July 30 –  Mandatory Candidates Meeting with GWUL CEO
    • August 6 – Mandatory Candidates Meeting for all current Executive Board members and candidates. Rules are distributed and discussed with all candidates.
    • August 11 – New Member Orientation (last orientation to meet election eligibility requirements)
    • August 23 – August General Body Meeting – Elections held
    • September 6 – Joint Executive Board Meeting (attended by outgoing and newly elected board members) 
      For more information about the 2018-2019 Elections Process, view the elections webinar archived recording or email Interested candidates can also view the 2018 Elections Document for more details.
  • 06/15/2018 12:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our June Member of the Month, Melissa Pearson!!

    Melissa Pearson serves as a Human Geography Analyst for the Department of Defense, providing integrated geographic data, products, and services on issues related to human geography and soci-cultural analysis in support of the warfighter and the national security objectives of the U.S. government. She graduated from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology. While working full-time, she completed her Master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from UMBC.

    Born and raised in Seat Pleasant, Maryland, Ms. Pearson is dedicated to transforming her community by providing leadership training, mentorship, and career exploration opportunities to at-risk young women. She believes that leadership can be cultivated; providing at-risk youth with adequate training, exposure, and most importantly a strong support system, will enable them to evolve into their full potential and become a poised leader. In her spare time, Ms. Pearson enjoys weightlifting and cooking nutritious meals. She is an avid fitness and health lover. She instills the same confidence she gained by lifting weights in the gym into young women – teaching them to be confident and strong in who they are.

  • 05/21/2018 2:10 PM | Deleted user

    Data science. Visualization. Analytics. What does it all mean?

    Data analytics has drastically changed the landscape for business operations in recent years and it is no secret that businesses have an abundance of data available to measure. However, many organizations are challenged with understanding the data that they have available to them and how best to strategically put it to use. Effective implementation of an analytics strategy has a number of benefits from understanding customer buying preferences for targeted marketing campaigns to tracking how quickly materials are used for buying optimization. The use of analytics helps professionals to make more informed decisions and can reduce the number of resources – financial and material – needed to execute on business objectives.

    What does data analytics mean?

    The term data analytics encompasses a large bucket of types of analysis that can be performed across an organization to collect valuable insights. The purpose of completing an analytical project is to take disparate pieces of information and tying them together to create a shared understanding of performance, opportunities to improve, and strategies to implement.

    There are four main types of analytics:

    1. Descriptive – What happened?
    2. Diagnostic – Why did it happen?
    3. Predictive – What will happen?
    4. Prescriptive – What actions should be taken?

    Descriptive analytics take assess what has happened in the past and for the purpose of providing metrics on past performance. These types of metrics can be as simple as stating the number of employees that completed a required training program and how many are still outstanding.

    Diagnostic analytics dive deeper into data to understand why specific events took place. In this case, an analyst supporting a sales team may be asked to determine why a sales goal was not met and the analysis may uncover that a large client did not purchase their usual order amount.

    Predictive analytical models are a higher tier level in terms of complexity and incorporate statistical modeling to suggest events that are likely to occur in the future. Statistical models require larger data sets as the model needs to be able to effectively identify trends in historical data and account for any anomalies in the data set. An example of a predictive model is identifying customers that are likely to complete a repeat purchase based on the satisfaction scores of previous store visits and historical buying patterns.

    Prescriptive analytics communicate specific actions to take based on statistical modeling and often advanced analytics capabilities such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. The purpose of a prescriptive model is to prevent a problem from occurring in the future or to capitalize on a current opportunity. For example, a company may be considering acquisitions to execute on a growth strategy and may leverage a prescriptive model to identify target companies based on specified criteria.

    Tying Together Analytics and Strategy

    The key to effectively integrating analytics into business strategy is understanding the meaning behind the insights that are gathered by analyst team. This is where storytelling comes into play. For professionals that are involved in strategy development, the story behind the data is crucial as this is the information that serves as a foundation for the business strategy. Data points that are actionable can be transformed into specific activities to drive strategy. Additionally, building a data-driven strategy facilitates tests various hypothesis to see if they hold true as the strategy is executed.

    Skills to Focus On

    An effective data analyst has a balanced combination of quantitative and qualitative skills. While being able to collect, manipulate, and analyze data are important skills for any analyst, the ability to tell a clear, concise, and actionable story with the insights gathered is of equal importance. This ability to tell a story involves possessing a deep understanding of the data sets and how each piece of information relates back to one or more business objectives.

    If you are interested in transitioning into an analytics looking to build your resume for analytics positions, my top three recommendations for technical skills to develop are:

    • Structured Querying Language (SQL)
    • R
    • Tableau

    SQL and R are both technical programming languages that allow you to retrieve data from the databases behind applications and further manipulate it for reporting and analysis purposes. The primary advantage of learning programming languages is being able to connect data from multiple sources and draw insights that would not otherwise be available by looking at the sources separately. By combining multiple data sources, analysts are able to tell more complete the stories that represent the big picture view of the analysis. There are a number of courses online that teach the syntax and commands used in both of these languages and require no prior experience to get started. Udemy is a great resource for online training courses in SQL and R that are self-paced and economically priced.

    Tableau is a data visualization tool that is extremely flexible and allows users to create rich, custom visualizations using a variety of data sources. Visualizations created in Tableau are easy to create but extremely powerful to present many data points in a manner that is concise and visually appealing. Tableau offers a number of free training courses on their website and certifications are available to demonstrate proficiency in utilizing this tool.

    In addition to the courses mentioned above, General Assembly offers boot camps and immersive courses in data science topics that dive deeper into in-demand skills in this field.


    Adding analytics capabilities to your professional toolkit is beneficial in nearly every industry from political affairs to marketing. The complexity of the analysis that is relevant to your field will determine the skillsets that are beneficial, but having an understanding of how you can incorporate analytics into your everyday work is beneficial as the professional landscape increasingly becomes more data-driven. Think of any business question as a puzzle that needs to be solved and identify opportunities to incorporate data into your answer for a more powerful response.

  • 05/17/2018 8:00 AM | Deleted user

    From a recent college graduate and dedicated Thursday Network member, Brandon Briscoe, here are the the top 5 employment tips for graduating college seniors.

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Thursday Network

Greater Washington Urban League Building

2901 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
General Body Meetings occur on the 4th Thursdays of the month at 6:30p.

About Us

Founded in 1992, Thursday Network is comprised of over 200 young professionals committed to serving the Washington Metropolitan area through community programs and partnership that address the Empowerment Goals of the National Urban League. The mission of TN is to provide a forum for young adults, ages 21 – 40, to focus their energies on community service, professional development, and political involvement.


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