Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Joi Ridley


Top HBCU Students Trade Leadership & Success Practices with Top Executives

WASHINGTON (May 27, 2014) - UNCF (the United Negro College Fund) - the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization - will bring 50 of the nation's future leaders to its annual Student Leadership Conference (SLC), to be held May 28 - May 30, 2014 at the Pryzbyla Conference Center of Catholic University of America.

The UNCF Student Leadership Conference addresses a critical need. As the country becomes majority-minority, it's critical that students of color are prepared to lead. SLC aims to provide a framework and forum for equipping, students with the skill sets that they need to be successful as interns and early-career professionals. Students will enhance critical thinking and project management skills, improve communications and networking skills, increase workplace productivity and develop a better understanding of their leadership style.

"The Student Leadership Conference is a two-way street: These young people will profit from the experience and insight of the executives and experts they will meet at the conference, and those leaders need to hear what the next generation of executives has to say," said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF.  "The world and the country are changing, and these HBCU students have to prepare not only to adjust to change, but to make change, and for the better."

Conference attendees are among UNCF's top scholarship recipients in its Walton/UNCF Education Reform  Fellowship and Gateway to Leadership, United Health and United Water programs, which are key UNCF pipelines for developing highly qualified college graduates. Students attending the conference will attend intense training sessions hosted by high-level business and non-profit executives. This year's keynote speaker will be international motivational speaker, Dr. Willie Jolley on Thursday, May 29th, followed by a special address on Friday, May 30th from the Honorable Alphonso Jackson, former secretary of HUD and Vice Chairman at J.P. Morgan Chase...

"These extraordinary students are the leaders and activists of the next generation.  From education reform to finance, they will soon face challenges we haven't even imagined, and it's imperative that they are prepared to step up and lead us into the 21st century," Lomax said.

This year's conference is hosted by a number of foundations and corporations. In 2009, the Walton/UNCF Education Reform Fellowship Program emerged to build a pipeline of talented African American college graduates equipped to enter careers that apply business and entrepreneurial principles to reforming elementary and secondary education. This is accomplished through summer internships with leading education policy, advocacy, and direct service organizations as well as continued professional development for alumni cohorts.

The Gateway to Leadership Program, a partnership between UNCF and the Money Management Institute (MMI), places African American college students in paid summer internships at leading financial firms with goals to increase the number of African Americans entering careers in the financial services industry where African Americans comprise less than 6 percent of industry executives, managers, and administrators.
The United Health Foundation Diverse Scholars Initiative began during the 2009-10 academic year.  The Initiative has as its purpose to support, through scholarship assistance, students at UNCF member colleges or universities, who plan to pursue a degree that will lead to a career in primary health care.  United Health Foundation support for this Initiative has grown annually and the program now includes professional development in addition to scholarship assistance.
United Water is one of the nation's leading environmental companies, providing water and wastewater services to over 5.3 million people in the United States. United Water's employee culture is built on the strategic business drivers of providing excellence in operations and growing our business and employees to engage all in creating a stronger organization, with a strong commitment to ethics, safety, diversity and environmental stewardship. In partnership with UNCF, United Water provides selected candidates a paid internship at a United Water facility and a college scholarship. The goal of the program is to place students, after two consecutive summer internships, into full time entry level positions within United Water.


About UNCF
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students' education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 private member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of college readiness and minority education. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 21 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."® Learn more at

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