Jackie S. Villaseñor

You are lucky to read this. I met Duane close to 2 years ago (January 2018) at my first official job as a makeup artist at MAC Cosmetics. I remember the exact moment he said “hello” to me with his soft voice. I was still getting the hang of where everything was in the store when he walked in. I assumed he was shopping, and kindly asked if I could help him. He told me he wasn’t shopping, just that he usually walked around the mall and noticed I was new. As a MAC artist, we wear all black, and I remember him telling me his name meant “black”. I am not sure how Duane singled me out and figured there was something worth it in me to take me under his wing, but he did, and for that, I am thankful. Duane has been at my full disposition whenever I needed help with anything big or small, from life advice to helping me on my application to Stanford University at midnight on a Friday night. He was more awake than I was. Duane never hesitates to help those who need it. I am very thankful to have met Duane because not only is he helpful, but he is kind and funny.

As a first-generation Mexican in college and going into the field of Medicine, I was in much need of a mentor; however, I did not know that, much less did I know where to find one. Luckily Duane found me, and my life has changed significantly with him in it. I am proud to say that ever since I met Duane, I have learned a lot from how the medical system works, politics themselves, who invented the first dialysis system, and how Duane was a part of this!

Duane always makes time for his students, short notice or not. He has given me valuable information on the interview process for jobs, as well as educating me on the importance of networking and creating a wider network with the people I meet and come across in my life. I have moved on from retail to working at a Center for Autism and Related Disorders. It is no coincidence that I met up with Duane the day before my interview and got the job on the spot. I am starting to believe he has some magical powers to make people’s lives better.

Duane has made a true difference in my life, in how I see things, and how I go about my days. He has taught me to view people differently and learn to see their true intentions. He never fails to remind me that no matter where I end up, he knows I will succeed. I always look forward to our dates, and I know they will come with knowledge, advice, realizations, and, most of all, laughter.