Tomorrow's Leaders Learn from Today's Executives at Annual UNCF Student Leadership Conference

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Top Students from HBCUs Trade Ideas on Leadership, Success, With Top Executives

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The goal of the UNCF Student Leadership Conference is to provide a framework and forum for equipping, junior and students with the skill sets that they need to be successful as interns and early-career professionals.

UNCF (the United Negro College Fund) – the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization – is bringing 40 of tomorrow’s leaders to Washington, DC, May 22-25 for its Annual Student Leadership Conference. Attendees are among UNCF's top scholarship recipients in its UNCF/Walton K-12 Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship and Gateway to Leadership programs, both key UNCF pipelines for developing highly qualified African American college graduates.

"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," said Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “The Student leadership Conference is a two-way street. These young people will profit by 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. 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."

The goal of the UNCF Student Leadership Conference is to provide a framework and forum for equipping, junior and 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.

Sponsored by the Walton Foundation and launched in 2009, the UNCF/Walton K-12 Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship Program builds a pipeline of talented African American college graduates equipped to enter careers that apply business and entrepreneurial principles to reforming elementary and secondary education. The Gateway To Leadership Program, a partnership UNCF began in October of 2010 with the Money Management Institute (MMI), is a diversity initiative that places minority college students in paid summer internships at leading financial firms.

The Student Leadership Conference addresses a critical need. African Americans make up less than 6 percent of the financial industry's executives, managers and administrators and only 4 percent of the total number of executives, managers and administrators in all business services. As the country becomes minority-minority, it’s critical that African American and other students of color are prepared to lead.

Students attending the conference will attend intense training sessions hosted by high-level business and non-profit executives. Ken Webb, vice president, Investment Product Management and Marketing, AXA Advisors, LLC, will speak on “The Value of Diverse Leadership in the Financial Services Sector.” Kevin Chavous, the Chavous Group, will address “Building and Sustaining a Movement: Education Reform Advocacy and the Role of College Students in Learning Grassroots Advocacy Efforts.”

Don Harvey, market president, KForce, Inc.; and Chastity Lord, chief external officer from Achievement First are scheduled to engage students in a lively discussion about their own professional and personal experiences and what the students can expect as they prepare to take their place in the world. This interactive session will allow future social entrepreneurs and business leaders the opportunity to ask questions, engage and gain knowledge of how to become effective leaders and change agents.

This year’s conference is sponsored by the Walton Foundation and the Money Management Institute. Ann Stoehr, program officer, the Walton Foundation, and Chris Davis, president, the Money Management Institute are scheduled to attend the conference and meet the students.

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 38 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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