My experience with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund has been an amazing one! It started with the 17th Annual Leadership Institute in 2017, where I was exposed to various professional development opportunities, interview preparation, and career landing techniques, branding sessions with Fortune 500 companies, and a plethora of internship opportunities in my field. I also learned how to leverage the skills and experience I have across various industries and disciplines.
The TMCF team takes an active role in your success as an individual; they were aware of my financial circumstances of paying for college and while assisting my family, which led to me working two part-time jobs. Fortunately, I was awarded a $15,000 TMCF scholarship from USDA-NRCS, which enabled me to continue my education during a period of financial uncertainty. This not only brought me out of the red and off the purge list, but also allowed me the luxury of focusing strictly on my academics, and not working part-time to pay for college.
Being able to focus on my coursework has enabled me to maintain a 3.9 cumulative GPA. The Leadership Institute’s preparation sessions and career fair also led to two paid internships during my 2018 Summer, which not only provided me with money for the following semester but also allowed me to gain experience and skills that make me more marketable. As if all these opportunities were not enough, TMCF also selected me to participate in their OFC I&E program/hackathon during the same summer, which truly changed my life. The concepts that were taught, such as how to quickly develop a business plan, budget, MVP, and the theory of the Cupcake vs. the Birthday Cake vs. a Wedding cake can be applied throughout multiple facets of your life and career when setting goals; in intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship. The skills, resources and network OFC I&E provided my team and I, allowed me to raise $50,000 for an idea that is a pivot from the original app we pitched.
The trajectory of my entire life has substantially changed because of TMCF; I have forged new friendships and mentorships for a lifetime. I’m eternally grateful for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and all it has done for me; I look forward to paying it forward by supporting TMCF, Central State University, and other TMCF students financially, professionally, through my experience and network just as TMCF has encouraged me!