…A Wonderful Thing To Invest In: Meet Your Dividends

Everybody knows UNCF’s iconic motto: “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® But what return do UNCF supporters—the people who attend UNCF Los Angeles’s glittering annual Masked Ball, who turn out every year for the Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday Breakfast Celebration, who volunteer to work at these and other UNCF Los Angeles events, who donate to UNCF where they work, or who contribute to UNCF Los Angeles’s annual campaign—what return do they realize from their investments of time, dollars and other resources?

The return on these investments is measured in students whose education is supported by UNCF. The almost 2,000 California students who attend one of the 37 HBCUs that receive financial support from UNCF. The more than 400 Los Angeles-area students to whom UNCF awards scholarships. And the $5.7 million in educational support for students in Southern California and surrounding states.

But numbers can tell only part of the story. To get the whole story, it’s necessary to drill down to the individual graduates who have built successful careers on the foundation of the degrees they earned from UNCF HBCUs.

HBCU graduates like Marquis Thorpe, a UNCF scholarship recipient and graduate of UNCF HBCU Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, FL.  He works in Washington, DC, at the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security service, where he has led projects in Afghanistan, New York City and Los Angeles.

Rashaun Williams
Rashaun Williams

And HBCU graduates like Rashaun Williams, a graduate of UNCF HBCU Morehouse College, where he majored in economics. Seventeen years after graduation, Williams is an investor, advisor and entrepreneur focused on consumer products, tech, media and entertainment companies. (Find out more about Rashaun in this Forbes Magazine profile.) He is currently a general partner in the MVP All-Star Fund, a tech investment fund. He also founded the Kemet Institute in 2001, a non-profit focused on providing free financial literacy, entrepreneurship and life-skills classes to underserved communities and schools. And he gives back by serving as a member of UNCF Los Angeles’s Leadership Council. “UNCF was the angel investor in my life,” he says.

Two thousand Californians attending UNCF HBCUs. $5.7 million in educational support for students in the Greater Los Angeles area. UNCF HBCU success-story alumni like Marquis Thorpe and Rashaun Williams. That’s the return on investing in UNCF. Those are your dividends.