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|TMCF Student Testimonials
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|TMCF Staff Testimonials
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|TMCF Partner Testimonials
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In August 2009, I was selected by the U.S. State Department to participate in the Near East South Asia Exchange Program and I left my homeland in the Gaza Strip, Palestine. I ended up attending Jackson State University (JSU). I was tasked to serve as an ambassador for my country and help build bridges of mutual understanding between Americans and Palestinians. The time spent during my internship lead to a change in fortune. What was meant to be a short stay turned into a rare opportunity to continue my studies in the United States. I was offered a full scholarship to the school of Engineering at JSU. I finished my undergraduate studies in less than 3 years and I will graduate in May of 2014 with my graduate degree in Electrical Engineering.
One of the most challenging parts of my journey was leaving behind family, friends and a society where circumstances were difficult. There were also challenges that came from trying to adapt to a new culture and figure out how to manage living in the absence of family. JSU and Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) have been instrumental in helping to alleviate many of the stresses that could have otherwise hindered me from being able to fully realize the chances I was given. TMCF facilitated awareness about resources that were available for my education, personal and professional development. I was selected twice to attend the Leadership Institutes in Washington D.C. and New York, NY. While attending these events not only did I learn things that contributed to my personal and professional development and networks, but I also made friendships that will last a lifetime. Additionally, through TMCF I received the Wells Fargo scholarship twice and mentored students through the Wal-Mart First Generation Mentorship Program. The Wells Fargo scholarship allowed me to purchase books and pay for other education related expenses. The Wal-Mart First Generation Mentorship Program allowed me the opportunity to serve as a mentor to a first year students at JSU.
Without the support I have received I could not have been able to provide support to other students. Being a TMCF scholar means being part of an extensive network of professional and personal support that guarantees success. I will forever be grateful to TMCF, JSU and my adopted home state of Mississippi. I am not sure what the future has in store for me but it is my greatest hope that I will be able to give back so that others like me may continue to benefit from such a rich experience. Thank you to TMCF for all of your generosity and support. I truly could not have made it without you!
- Anas Alfarra
I am a graduate of TMCF member-school Medgar Evers College where I was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science degree. Currently I am a Masters candidate at The Johns Hopkins University majoring in Environmental Science & Policy. I have so much to thank the Thurgood Marshall College Fund for. First, for the TMCF/Costco academic scholarship I received for 2011-2012 and most importantly for the opportunity to intern with the USDA-APHIS-PHP-PPQ. Upon completion of the internship my supervisor at the USDA-APHIS-PHP-PPQ felt that because I did such a great job with my project involving creating a policy database, my internship has been extended for an additional 14 weeks. I am truly thankful for all of the opportunities TMCF has provided me.
- Omar Gardner, TMCF Scholar, Medgar Evers College Alumni
Attending the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Leadership Institute has impacted my life in many ways. The Leadership Institute has shown me leadership qualities in myself that I never knew I had. Being able to see hundreds of successful minority students in one place was inspiring, especially minority women. The numerous development sessions gave attendees knowledge on various aspects of being a leader in school, as well as when you start your career. I have held leadership positions around campus and this experience truly proved to make me a better leader.
Attending Leadership Institute has also made an enormous impact on my professional development. I had numerous interviews with top companies, and was offered three different internships after my interviews, two positions with Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation and one with Wal-Mart Aviation. I accepted an internship with Ball Aerospace, which I am currently completing. This has been my best internship experience, an experience I would not have had if it wasn’t for attending TMCF Leadership Institute. I also made many connects with colleges and employers who I am still in contact with, who share career advice and information on future career opportunities.
The fact that the Leadership Institute is held in NYC was inspiring and it and made us feel like there was nothing that we could not accomplish. Attending TMCF Leadership Institute has already paid off. It has opened so many doors for me and helped shape my career. I am so thankful for this opportunity and I hope that more students from TSU can continue to represent our school in a positive light at the Leadership Institute for years to come.
- Kamisha White, Senior Mechanical Engineering Student, Tennessee State University
|Jazmine A. Garner
Fall 2010 and Fall 2011, I was selected to attend the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Leadership Institute in New York City. This was a mind-blowing experience. I was granted the opportunity to rub shoulders with the best of the best entrepreneurs, leaders, authors, and students.
Because of TMCF, I have made lifelong connections with powerful people in high places, people that I may not have had an opportunity to meet on my own. That's just the surface. The TMCF conference shaped and groomed me for corporate America. My professional etiquette greatly improved from the various workshops that TMCF provided during the conference. My fondest memory was when Dr. Randal Pinkett shared his story with us. He gave us simple, yet powerful words of advice, "Redefine the game."
The TMCF team is amazing, they truly care about their students and are genuinely interested in our professional development and I admire that. I have and will continue to remain in contact with TMCF along my journey. If I could give prospective TMCF students advice it would be to seize every opportunity, (it could be the only one you have) and ALWAYS have your thirty-second elevator speech ready so you can leave a powerful and lasting impression.
- Jazmine A. Garner, TMCF Student Alumus, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
During my Fall 2011 semester I was selected to attend the Thurgood Marshall Leadership Institute in New York. While there I was granted the opportunity to learn about financial literacy, personal branding, and building leadership qualities. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) staff has been in constant contact with me, and I greatly appreciate their interest in my plans after graduate school. The TMCF staff assisted me with getting a paid internship with the United States Department of Agriculture this summer. During my internship I was able to travel the country, work on various projects, and learn to intimately work with a professional staff in the Federal Government. The experience was nothing short of amazing, and I am so appreciative. Not only did the internship put funds in my pocket and build up my resume, it also contributed to giving me much needed working experience in my field of study.
I am currently on an academic scholarship, completing my first year as a graduate student at Morgan State University with a 3.83 G.P.A. I am currently earning my MBA (Masters in Business Administration) with a concentration in Finance. My scholarly achievements have placed me on the Morgan State University’s Dean List for two consecutive academic semesters. I am a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., and was recently recognized for my outstanding academic performance in my Master’s program after being inducted to the Beta Gama Sigma Honors Society (Business Honor Society) in May 2012. Thank you Thurgood Marshall College Fund!
- Caleif Brooks, MBA Student, Morgan State University
Every time I think about my experience at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Leadership Institute a sense of joy overcomes me. I gained so much knowledge and a new outlook on my future and life in general. When I arrived at the airport and saw my colleagues in their business attire, it hit me; this opportunity was bigger than us. We were headed to NYC, the city of dreams, and a city that I can see myself living in after college.
At the conference I had the pleasure of introducing the keynote speaker, George C. Fraser. I also met Stanley Fleming of State Farm, who has friends that work for and with CNN, a station I’m very interested in working for. Each day was filled with unique experiences. So many articulate and intelligent HBCU students from all over the country and the networking opportunities seemed endless. I was also able to meet with several representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture regarding future internship opportunities. I cannot express how this experience has enhanced me. I have a new appreciation for life and how endless the possibilities really are. I will encourage anyone I know to get connected with the TMCF so they can have the experience I had.
- Myah Lipscomb – Tennessee State University
The blessing of a more than memorable moment, but a useful growing experience as an intern at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) headquarters, and selection to attend the 2012 Leadership Institute in New York, NY is one that I will truly paid forward. It is the opportunity given by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund that allows me to say I have learned a variety of new skills that will help me as I further my career, and accomplish set goals. Not only have I obtained information for self-growth, but information of which I can pass on to others of whom I interact with on the daily basis. This experience has allowed gained knowledge from many of whom I am honored to now call “mentors”, friends, and supporters of my future. The motto I live by is that of Nikki Giovanni, “I really don't think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don't mind the failure, but I can't imagine that I'd forgive myself if I didn't try.”
- Trakela Wright, 2012 TMCF Intern, Southern University & A.M. College Alumni
I have the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) to thank for my growth academically and professionally. My involvement with TMCF began when I was selected to attend the Civic Responsibility Conference in Washington, D.C. in February 2011. During the conference, students from TMCF member-schools discussed the relevance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) on Capitol Hill with representatives from our respective states. I also had the opportunity to attend the Leadership Institute and Recruitment Fair that same year. Through various workshops and networking I learned a lot that helped me enhance my leadership skills. From my prior participation in TMCF programs and events I was selected to serve as a TMCF Student Ambassador for Virginia State University for the 2011-2012 school year. This position allowed me to get in tune with my campus, work closely with other fellow ambassadors and gave me the opportunity to share my TMCF experiences with students and faculty on campus.
All the skills I have acquired through TMCF conferences and programs, I have applied to my own life and work ethic. I have truly benefited from being a part of this excellent organization.
- Lauren Merritt, TMCF Alumni, Virginia State University
Being selected as a participant for the Teacher Quality and Retention Program-HBCU Male Institute, held at Prairie View A&M University in Texas, was a captivating experience from our instructors to the student body. I aspire to someday facilitate learning that includes students at all levels and from different walks of life, contributing to rich dialogue that informs everyone. The facilities provided a wonderful learning experience and arguably one of the best I've experienced in a college setting. This opportunity would not have been possible without the dedication, sacrifice and diligence of the TMCF staff that was paramount to the success of the HBCU Male Institute. I look forward to working with the TMCF family in the future as we continue this journey of life.
- Raymond D. Roy-Pace, TQRP Fellow, Cheyney University
In the two years I was involved in the TMCF Student Ambassador program, I was given the opportunity to represent my Alma Mater of Kentucky State University on a national level, something I never dreamed I would be chosen, or able, to do. I can't say it enough, but being involved with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund was one of the best things about my college career. From being able to travel across the country, networking with like minded peers, and creating lifelong friendships, I will remain forever grateful for each opportunity presented to me because of the organization. Although I have graduated, I will continue to spread the word about TMCF and the outstanding services offered to the deserving students of each member school.
- Bianca Phillips, TMCF Student Ambassador, Kentucky State University 2010-2012
The winter of 2011 I was selected to attend the Thurgood Marshall Leadership Institute in New York. While there I was afforded the opportunity to network with an array of government agencies. I am most impressed with the TMCF faculty. They kept in contact with me after the conference, and were genuinely interested in my plans after college. I really appreciate their continual support. I am a graduating senior in the Political Science Department at Morgan State University. My cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) is a 3.6 on a 4.0 scale. My scholarly achievements have placed me on the Morgan State University’s Dean List for seven consecutive academic semesters. I am a member of the Morgan State University’s Honors Program, Vice President of the Zeta Psi Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honor Society), Political Science Association, International Student Association, and an employee of the Office of Residence Life at Morgan State University.
- Jannica Saunders, TMCF Alumni
It is with great pleasure that I share my truly career-defining experiences from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Leadership Institute and Career Fair in New York, NY. As an education, graduate student, I initially encountered difficulties finding professional development opportunities that would connect me to post-graduation employment opportunities and admittance into a doctoral program. However, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Leadership Institute and Career Fair proved to be the experience that would launch me into my professional career and allow me to leave an impact at the University as a graduate student. From the conference, I walked away with a rich network of professionals and potential employers including the President and CEO of Thurgood Marshall College Fund Mr. Johnny C. Taylor Jr., Denver Public Schools, Teach for America, and the Gallup Organization just to name a few.
More importantly, my attendance at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Leadership Institute and Career Fair led to two truly career-defining moments: an internship with the AARP for the 2012 summer and admittance into my current doctoral program. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund Leadership Institute and Career Fair played a tremendous role in the aforementioned achievements. The Institute is an experience that more graduate students should be supported in attending, for it connects students directly to their dreams in a transformative way.
- Melvin L. Williams, M. Ed., TMCF Alumni
After I attended the 2011 Leadership Institute I felt that I was ready to face corporate America as a minority coming from an HBCU in West Virginia. Little did I know that because of me attending the 2011 Leadership Institute I would receive a Lowes scholarship that made it possible for me to graduate and complete my late parents wishes of all of their children graduating college. By January 2012 I received a job offer and today I am a researcher in Washington, DC. All of this way truly not possible if it was not for Thurgood Marshall College Fund and their mission! I will do all that I can to further TMCF's mission for they gave me a chance!
- Chenai Rusike, TMCF Alumni
|Sharon Smith Banks
“West Virginia State University has been fortunate to have had two students to attend the Teacher Quality and Retention Program. Both students benefitted greatly from the in-depth information given. The faculty in our Education Department was amazed as to the knowledge the students brought back. I believe the participation in this program has made them better students as they begin student teaching. Thank you Thurgood Marshall College Fund for providing this opportunity for our students.”
- Sharon Smith Banks, Director New Student Programs, West Virginia State University
The Thurgood Marshall College Fund has truly afforded me the building blocks I need to succeed. I can't wait to give back to an organization that has given so much to me. I also want to personally thank TMCF as I feel like I can take over the world. Being part of the organization truly inspires me to do great things.
- Desmond Barnes, Senior/TMCF Student Ambassador, Winston-Salem State University
In the past two years, I have had the privilege of receiving invaluable leadership development through the Student Ambassador Program, building a strong network through the many people associated with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and accumulated over $10,000 in scholarship funds. Looking back in hindsight, as they say with 20/20 vision, it is clear to me that I am a product of nonprofit organization such as the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. I can confidently say that I will leave college a much more driven and purposeful person than I came in. If there were any specific takeaway that I have learned from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund it would have to be that working on purpose, as oppose to working for a profit, is the defining characteristic of a great leader.
- Corban Bell, TMCF Student Ambassador, Grambling State University
|Kina L. Brown
“TMCF’s Teacher Quality and Retention Program (TQRP) and summer institute(s) is a tremendous opportunity for growth and development in many areas of life, specifically academically and socially. I am forever grateful to the institute and its leaders for their profound impact on my life.”
- Kina L. Brown, Graduate Student, Chicago State University
|Beverly A. Cook
“TQRP is extremely beneficial to the participants. Often, new teachers feel isolated because they are new to the school and trying to find their way. This program reduces that isolation because they can communicate with the person who is mentoring them and also have opportunities to get together with other new teachers to have meaningful conversations with one another.”
- Beverly A. Cook, Special Education Teacher, Brady Elementary School
" I truly have a testimony to give about TMCF. If it wasn't for TMCF I would be homeless and fighting with malnutrition right now. It is a victorious fight against struggling everyday. Receiving a BU Collection suit is just a small image in the big picture of contributions TMCF has and continues to have on my life. I am ineffably grateful for TMCF."
- Tanue David, Student, Chicago State University
“TQRP gives students a broader perspective of the requirements, strategies and expectations of the teaching profession. Moreover, TQRP grooms participants, making them better prepared for a career in education. Even if the participants are already teaching, the program refines their practice, thereby enhancing their classroom skills and their students' performance.”
- Shirley Ferguson, Literacy Coach & English Department Chair, McClellan High School
|Vincent T. Harris
“Interning for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) has enhanced my view of Higher Education and how essential it is to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities throughout our nation.”
As a current graduate student at Ohio University working toward a Masters Degree in College Student Personnel, the TMCF internship was more than just a course requirement. I worked in a professional environment where my existing talents were utilized to the fullest and my responsibilities were critical to the success of the organization.
A quote from Justice Marshall indicates the abundance of knowledge, support, and values that I have gained as a graduate intern for TMCF. Justice Marshall stated,
“None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody - a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns - bent down and helped us pick up our boots.”
In the summer of 2011 my somebody that Justice Marshall referred to in his quote, was the professional staff of TMCF. They helped me to pick up my boots and enter my 2nd year of graduate school with additional experience and knowledge, which will benefit me in my future career as student affairs professional.
- Vincent T. Harris, 2011 TMCF Summer Graduate Intern, Ohio University
“An educator is as strong as those whom he surrounds himself with. As a TQRP fellow, I have been granted the unfathomable opportunity to surround myself with other young, driven and excited educators, who have one common goal: advancing student achievement. The bonds created through the TQRP transcend summer and fall institutes, and as far as I am concerned, will be a stitched pattern in my fabric of teaching and learning.”
- Dallas Lee, M.Ed., Second Year ELA Educator, Langston University Alumnus