Catching up with Darren Bean

Digital Harbor Alum Darren Bean won a DHHS Alliance Scholarship in 2010. Since the scholarship is ongoing he used its funds as he moved through community college and a four year degree at the University of Buffalo where he is currently completing graduate coursework in Urban Planning. Check out some highlights of the interview where Darren talks about his studies:

"For my first two years I attended Baltimore City Community College (BCCC). I decided to attend community college because I was unsure in what to major in," Darren said. Later he transferred to University at Buffalo (UB) to major in Environmental Design in 2012.

"Going to Buffalo was definitely a big change for me. I had to get used to being in a different city where I did not know anyone. The campus was much bigger in size compared to BCCC. One thing that helped me in my college career was being involved on campus," he said.

Darren participated in cultural groups to build a community at UB.

Undaunted, Darren jumped straight into campus life. He joined cultural groups and clubs, such as a Latin Dance group, to meet new people and he made friends in his dorm. By his second year he was being offered leadership positions, such as being a resident assistant for an all freshman dorm.

"Being a resident assistant helped me to connect with other students by helping first year students transition to college," he said. "While being involved on campus I also made sure that my classes were a priority. Time management has really helped in creating a balance between classes, friends, work, etc. What really helped me to enjoy my college experience was trying new things and being open minded towards to different people."

In his first year at Buffalo, Darren also took an opportunity to study abroad in Florence, Italy after winning the Granville T. Woods Scholarship. The study abroad program ran for three weeks.

"It was one of the most amazing experience of my college career," he said. "This was my first time leaving the country and being away from home for more than a week. During my trip I was able to explore a completely new city in an environment that I was unfamiliar with. Florence is a beautiful city to explore with it

Darren on a weekend trip to Rome.

Darren will receive his Masters in Urban Planning in May 2017. Upon completing his degree, he hopes to work in neighborhood and community development.

"I waint to mainly work for an organization that works with underdeveloped neighborhoods and work to improve the living conditions for the residents," he said.

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