Gateway to Leadership Internship Program Enters Its 5th Year

End of last month,  Nicole Kenney,  Economic Program Specialist and Yehwroe Sinyan, Economic Education Coordinator, presented at the 2012 Gateway to Leadership Orientation. Gateway to Leadership (GTL) is a workplace diversity initiative that seeks to bridge the minority representation gap in the field of Finance. Dawn Chase, Manager of Diversity & Inclusion, manages the program which began in the summer of 2007.  GTL has connected approximately 120 students with resources and job placements necessary to build solid foundations in their chosen field. The GTL program is also proud to announce that 31 of its graduates have accepted full time positions in the firms where they interned.

Applicants representing a plethora of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, endured a rigorous selection process, for the opportunity to be placed in entry level positions at the nation’s leading firms.  GTL finalists will be interning at a number of respected investment firms, such as Legg Mason, ING Investments and the like.  In addition to the wonderful placement opportunities, the GTL interns will receive professional development guidance by the dedicated GTL staff that avail themselves to the needs of the students before, during and after their internships.

This year, one of the primary goals for the GTL orientation, was to provide the interns with a holistic view of their respective positions in the finance industry; and to arm them with the knowledge and tools necessary to become advocates in their workplaces. Nicole Kenney and Yehwroe Sinyan’s presentation provided an introduction to the impacts of racial economic inequality on communities of color, and a few general tips on how to make more informed personal finance decisions.  While many of the students admitted to having little to no previous exposure to the information presented, they all were receptive to it.  Small group work was incorporated into the presentation to help the students understand that there is work to be done at the intersection of advocacy and finance.

At the conclusion of the presentation, one participant stated on the evaluation form that she/he planned “…to look at myself as an advocate for change from this day forward”.

To capture the Gateway to Leadership experience, we are launching a new bi-weekly blog series titled, “The Intern Chronicles: A Day in the Life of A GTL Intern”. The series will document the experiences of two GTL interns, Corissa Deadwyler and Michael Childress, from the first day to the last day of their internships. Corissa and Michael will reflect on their respective experiences and provide insights on the successes and challenges they encounter throughout their internship. Also, they will share opportunities they seized to be advocates against racial economic inequality . The first blog will be available on our website at wwwn.naacp.org/econ and on our Facebook and Twitter pages beginning Monday, June 25th!

For more information on the Gateway to Leadership program, contact Dawn Chase, Manager of Diversity and Inclusion at dchase@naacpnet.org or at (410)580-5683.