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The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) has announced a $600,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to help build future leaders and assist with
scholarships for students attending publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), announced TMCF President & CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. The grant will support TMCF’s Annual Leadership Institute, strengths-based coaching and mentorship for low-income students and first-generation scholarships for freshman college students at TMCF’s 47 member-schools.
“The Leadership Institute, in particular, gives talented future leaders a one-of-a-kind intensive, professional and career development experience,” says Taylor. “This is a great opportunity for these hand-picked students to network and interview with some of the nation’s top executives and elite graduate school recruiters.”
For the last 14 years, TMCF has hosted its annual Leadership Institute, the premier recruitment conference for publicly-supported HBCU students. This four-day conference gives talented future leaders a unique professional development experience. A highly selected group of 500 students have the opportunity to network and participate in sessions with some of the nation’s top executives on leadership development, career management, life skills, financial literacy and global competiveness. One of the main components of the conference is the Recruitment Fair, where students meet and interview with over 60 companies and government agencies for job and internship opportunities, in addition to some graduate program opportunities from some of the best in the country.
“The Walmart Foundation has been a loyal supporter of TMCF for years and continued partnership shows their commitment to education, but more importantly creating the workforce of tomorrow,” continued Taylor.
Desmond Barnes is a recent HBCU graduate and Leadership Institute participant who landed a job with Walmart. Since graduating from Winston-Salem State University with honors, he remains grateful for having an opportunity to continue to serve others, and help them save money, through his new job.
“In today’s world it’s really tough for young professionals to obtain a good job in their field,” said Barnes. “TMCF provided me with the tools necessary to become an effective leader, but more importantly access to job opportunities. I am forever grateful to TMCF and Walmart for this great career opportunity.”
In addition to leadership development, this partnership with the Walmart Foundation has a mentorship component for all recipients of the first generation scholarship. The mentorship program helps students learn the key attributes and necessary skills that will give them a competitive advantage in the global market place. Mentors help guide the students to keep their grades up and assist with college life. More than 335 first generation scholars and 56 mentors have participated in the mentorship program – giving mentors the fulfillment of helping their fellow classmates be successful.
“Being a Walmart First-Generation Scholar mentor gave me the power to make a change in another fellow student’s life and to ensure she had a successful and promising collegiate experience,” said Shomari Brooks, a student at Morgan State University. “This role meant everything to me and I am forever thankful to TMCF for the opportunity to pay-it-forward and help someone else.”
“We are proud to work with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to help more African American students advance in their education and unlock job opportunities that will help them live better,” said Tony Waller, senior director, corporate affairs constituent relations, Walmart. “By empowering students today, we are helping build a more powerful and diverse workforce for tomorrow.”
This year’s Leadership Institute will be held in Washington, DC, November 9-13, 2014 at the Washington Hilton. The Walmart Foundation has been a long-time partner of TMCF and its mission. Their commitment to higher education and growing future leaders of tomorrow is paying off every day as students graduate and land jobs in their field. For more information on the 2014 Leadership Institute, visit our website at www.thurgoodmarshallcollegefund.org.