The National Association of Black Accountants and YOUniversity Drive Partner to Bring Masterminds, Millionaires and Moguls® to Regional Conference

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Successful Business Executives and Entrepreneurs Offer Students Candid Perspectives and Practical Advice to Prepare Them for the Work Force

The National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. (NABA) and YOUniversity Drive, LLC are teaming up to bring successful business executives and entrepreneurs to the Southern Region Student Conference. The Masterminds, Millionaires and Moguls® event features panelists from a range of industries sharing their experiences and practical advice with students. NABA’s regional leadership partnered with YOUniversity Drive as a part of their continued commitment to offer relevant programs that support students’ professional development.

“The national crisis we face in education is both an academic and workforce readiness issue. I started YOUniversity Drive and programs like Masterminds, Millionaires and Moguls® to expose students to business people who are successful in their field and are not an athlete or entertainer,” says Michelle R. Horton, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of YOUniversity Drive.

Several recent headlines including Thomas Friedman’s New York Times column and Terry Connelly’s Huffington Post article highlight that there is a skills gap in the U.S. and a range of possible solutions to address it. In addition to core technical skills however, Horton believes there is a need to increase the emphasis on what are traditionally viewed as softer skills but skills that nevertheless can result in a tangible difference in earning higher wages and building a sustainable net worth. This is especially true for first-generation students, the majority who are minorities.

“We have to ensure students are getting the best education in the classroom and learning the skills to do the jobs America needs. Beyond academics, students need exposure to the people and skills that will equip them to not only work in a global economy but lead in creating jobs as well,” says Horton.

In an article outlining specific ways higher education can help to close the skills gap, Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, Vice President and Managing Director of Apollo Research Institute, says according to Life in the 21st Century, a research study conducted by her company, “…65 percent to 75 percent of employers in major U.S. cities reported difficulty identifying employees with essential critical thinking and collaborative skills.” Wilen-Daugenti’s article highlights greater collaboration with business and industry as one way higher education can help to close the skills gap.

The Masterminds, Millionaires and Moguls® program is the result of such collaboration. The format is designed to give collegiate students candid insight into the real life challenges and triumphs of business people. The panelists share everything from the stories of their personal journeys to practical advice about the reality of working in an organization, starting a company and balancing work and family. The program has secured financial support with sponsorships from both The Coca-Cola Company and General Electric.

Joshua Smith, a Livingstone College graduate, attended a Masterminds, Millionaires and Moguls® event at The University of North Carolina, Charlotte. "It inspired me to jump out and not be turned down," said Smith, who described himself as a struggling young black man. "Seeing three black men like that really touched my heart."

The panelists for the NABA sponsored Masterminds, Millionaires and Moguls® event are Nigel Long, Trade Street Advisors, LLC; Shanti Dias, Press Reset Entertainment; George Forrest, McDonald’s Corporation; Nekeidra S. Frederick, Gunner Marketing Group; and Shannon A. Brown, FedEx Express.

The event will be held September 28th at NABA’s Southern Region Student Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. For more details on Masterminds, Millionaires and Moguls® or information about YOUniversity Drive, visit or contact Shay Mustafa at 704-998-5535.

About YOUniversity Drive, LLC

YOUniversity Drive, LLC is a national organization that caters to students in secondary and collegiate level schools. Founded by educator and business executive Michelle R. Horton, YOUniversity Drive was created out of the need to address challenges that are preventing students from excelling in the classroom and in life. YOUniversity Drive serves as a bridge between industry and academia by advocating for the highest quality education AND work force readiness programs for students. The company’s mission is to provide exposure and access to: people, programs, resources, and tools that motivate, educate and inspire. YOUniversity Drive is committed to preparing the leaders of tomorrow by helping them to understand and develop their potential today!

"YOUniversity Drive" and "Masterminds, Moguls and Millionaires" are trademarks of YOUniversity Drive, LLC.

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Shay Mustafa
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