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COVID-19 has taken its toll on the U.S. economy. Every industry has been impacted by this unforeseen pandemic, leaving more than 2 million Americans unemployed. Some college students, who had already accepted job and internship offers, have had their offers rescinded. In crises like this, we need more people like Yasmin Salina and her team at The Hustlers Guild who are helping high school and college students build professional connections, network, and secure internships and jobs within the entertainment industry.

Founded in 2017, The Hustler’s Guild has stood by its motto of “Innovate. Hustle. Lead.” The D.C. based non-profit uses hip hop, innovation, and technology to increase professional opportunities for the disenfranchised youth coming from Washington D.C. They focus heavily on college readiness and professional development by creating a pipeline to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) careers. 

Founded in 2017, The Hustler’s Guild has stood by its motto of “Innovate. Hustle. Lead.” The D.C. based non-profit uses hip hop, innovation, and technology to increase professional opportunities for the disenfranchised youth coming from Washington D.C. They focus heavily on college readiness and professional development by creating a pipeline to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) careers. 

The global pandemic and stay at home restrictions across the country have not stopped Yasmin or her team from achieving their mission. The Hustlers Guild created Hustlers Hangouts; a five-week e-learning program dedicated to empowering high school and college students and equipping them with the tools to continue learning and developing their professional skills and connections.

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“It’s critical that students still receive support and guidance during these difficult and uncertain times,” said Yasmine Salina, Executive Director, and Co-Founder The Hustlers Guild. “The Hangout series was a pivot into the virtual space where we are able to provide access and resources to those who live in areas heavily impacted by COVID-19, and we are prepared to continue this programming as long as there is a need. I truly believe this is what it means to be for the culture, the youth depend on us, now more than ever.”

Discussions range from time management, mental health, to improving communications and leadership skills. Many of the students attending the Hangout sessions are interested in careers in entertainment, and over the course of five weeks, students have been able to engage, via Zoom, with celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Rickey Smiley, Jess Hilarious, and others about their journey in the industry.

The Hangout sessions are more than just a way to pick the brain of a celebrity. They are a way to network, and for many people, a way to build connections within the industry and get valuable feedback that will help students in their personal and professional lives. Services such as resume and portfolio building are offered, as well as the chance to receive a mentor who can assist them in their career.  Many college students get internships and jobs in the entertainment industry.

The five-week-long program is set to conclude with special guest, Actor, and one of the stars of Black-ish, Anthony Anderson. Anthony will close out the series with a discussion on leadership, specifically about how students can become better leaders in their personal and professional lives.