Student Activities

2019 Thurgood Marshall Leadership Institute (TMLI)

reported by Christopher McDonald

STT- On October 16, 2019, the students of the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) attended Thurgood Marshalls College Fund (TMCF) 19th Annual Leadership Institute. Each student was selected and interviewed from the Albert Sheen and St. Thomas Campus by TMCF representatives. The event was held at Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC.

The 19th Annual Leadership Institute is a global program that develops student leaders and career opportunities. This four-day conference taught UVI students the importance of networking and connecting with employers, stakeholders and more than 400 students from 48 Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the nation (HBCUs). The leadership Institute develops student leaders and provides companies the opportunity to interview students for full-time positions.

Annually, Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) convenes the largest, most exclusive, talent and professional development recruiting conference for students attending the publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). 

Participating companies included Wells Fargo, Boeing, United Airlines, Microsoft, National Basketball Association, Peace Corps, Ally Financial, Walmart, Pfizer, Wendy’s, John Deere, Kellogg’s, Caterpillar and many more. The speakers were Melissa Lee (University of Pennsylvania), Dewey Norwood (Wells Fargo), George A. Parker, Ph.D., and John Blazey (The Boeing Company). Each day had sessions relevant to students and UVI chaperones. They focused on credit management, retirement planning, insurance, and recognizing unwritten and unspoken norms. The conference also included workshops, seminars and a recruitment fair where Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and graduate program representatives offered jobs, internships and continuing education opportunities.

Christopher McDonald, Student Government Association President of UVI, stated, “The Leadership Institute was a great experience. I was able to connect with students from national HBCUs, build character, and create strategies for a successful future. I was also able to receive four job interviews.”

According to the (TMLI) website

The award-winning Leadership Institute is a national program intended to develop students’ leadership skills, create a community of scholars, provide companies access to a talented and diverse student population, and help students make connections that lead to careers.

This power-packed four-day conference prepares carefully selected students from the 47 publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to compete in today’s very competitive global workforce.

Eligibility requirements include the following

  • Minimum 3.0 Cumulative GPA

  • Junior, Senior, Graduate, or Professional Student (strong sophomores considered)

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, Mathematics and Business, Communication Majors

  • Strong Verbal and Written Communication Skills

  • Able to Demonstrate Strong Initiative and Drive

TMLI offers preparatory webinars prior to the actual event and UVI personnel also provided workshops.

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