Professor shares passion for personal development

By Jennifer DiDomenico

“I have life experiences to share, as well as book knowledge,” said Professor Adrain Manley, a University of Florida graduate, who has two degrees under the topics of family, marriage, and relationship counseling.Manley was the main speaker at “What does your relationship say about you?,” a workshop for students put on by Valencia, on Tuesday Nov. 2 at the East Campus.

“Who are you?” Manley asked to start the session. Students opened up by stating their names, and sharing the role they play in their families. One student explained the hardships she has had to overcome being a “second mom” in her household.
Manley continued his presentation by describing different relationships, and what young people should give and take in their own relationships.

“I demand respect,” said Manley, “just as you demand different things from your friends and colleagues.”
As Manley explored several different characteristics, the presentation went on with a personal analysis. Before explaining the effects these elements can have on individual relationships, he asked students to raise their hands for a tally, while he read a list of characteristics to be evaluated. This allowed the students to know that their peers are also facing some of the same difficulties.

“I liked hearing the description of who I am during the self-evaluation,” said student Aileen Urdanivia. “These workshops are helpful because you can get more of a professional opinion, instead of your friends telling you, ‘Oh yeah, everything will be okay.’ You can talk about anything without being judged.”

Though this particular workshop was focused on the topic of relationships, several workshops are presented for Valencia students each week at every campus. Students are welcome to join those that are not at their own campus, as well as those that are. Some workshops are categorized under academic enhancement, educational planning, career and personal development, along with several other topics.

“It’s good to go to these workshops whether you need the help or not,” said student John Rosado. “It’s good to build knowledge in every area.”

East Campus event coordinator Jocelyn Morales schedules these events primarily by what Valencia students ask for. “We ask that the students fill out a survey with recommendations and feedback at the end of each skill shop,” she said. “Then we create new topics, and different professors volunteer to present them.”

Although only eight students attended, Manley has always been satisfied with the turnout he receives for his personal development sessions.

“I like the satisfaction of knowing that I’m sharing my passion and expertise with these young people,” he said. “I like to really give the students something to think about.”

For more information, visit www.valenciacollege.edu/skillshops and download the brochure of scheduled sessions.