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Advisor Offers a ‘Hand Up’ to Change Lives

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Chauncy Walker’s “school mom,” Dessie Hall, has inspired many in over 10 years as a student life coordinator. At Atlanta Technical College, she’s responsible for SkillsUSA and all other student organizations.

In high school, Hall, now 44, was passionate about SkillsUSA (then VICA). It’s still “a big deal” for her students, who are often 25 or older, she says. “It gives them a sense of belonging, and I have seen how it’s changed their lives.

“On our campus, we have dislocated workers. We have veterans. We have single parents, those who are economically disadvantaged, and not everybody wants a handout. They want a hand up. And so, that’s my thing. That’s what I always try to do is to give them that hand up.”

In 2017, Hall’s life was threatened by idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), “in which you have increased pressure in your skull,” she explains.

“I ended up starting a business in which I advocate for people who suffer with the condition. So, I get people who reach out to me often, before surgery or trying to figure out what they should do. And I tell them what signs to look for, how to communicate with their physicians.”

She offers details on her website, dessiehall.com, and now expands on the topic in her work as a motivational speaker.

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