Landmark Wall Street Internship Program Caps Successful Debut with Series of New York Events

“Gateway to Leadership” Placed Outstanding African American Students
At Leading Financial Services Firms
Year Two Expected to See Program Grow in Size, Reach

Gateway to Leadership, the ground-breaking internship program that places  outstanding African American students in summer intern positions at some of the nation’s premier financial services firms, graduated its inaugural student class in a two-day series of events in New York City recently. 

The 19 interns gathered with the program’s organizers, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and The Money Management Institute (MMI), in addition to executives from sponsoring companies, including Brinker Capital, Goldman Sachs, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., and Lockwood Advisors, Inc.

The closing evening events included a student panel discussion on lessons learned from the internship experiences, a presentation to the winners of a student case study competition, and keynote speeches by Former NAACP General Counsel Dennis Courtland Hayes, MMI President Christopher Davis and Brinker Capital founder Charles Widger.

“The Gateway to Leadership program has opened doors for me that I didn’t even know existed,” said Tiffani Davis, a senior majoring in accounting and Finance at Florida A & M University, who interned for the summer at Morgan Stanley. “Not only have I gained a better understanding of the inner workings of the financial services industry, but I’ve also made lifelong connections through my program sponsors.  I hope to become an active member of the Gateway alumni association,
helping students like me have the same opportunities to learn from and network with leaders in financial services.”

Day two of the closing events saw the interns tour key Wall Street locations, including The Bank of New York, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, and New York Stock Exchange, where they were addressed by Prudential Investments President, Judy Rice.

“African Americans continue to be under-represented in America’s financial institutions,” said the NAACP’s Dennis Hayes.  “It is our hope that these young men and women will not only be better prepared to compete in the financial services industry, but will also take their experiences and their enthusiasm back to their schools, communities and their peers.”

Gateway to Leadership officially launched its first intern class June 4, preparing students–many from historically black colleges and universities–for leadership roles in the financial services industry.  Conceived by Brinker Capital founder Chuck Widger, who is a member of MMI’s Board of Governors, the program places students in the financial services field.

“The program was successful beyond even my anticipation,” noted Widger.  “The interns came from many different backgrounds and schools, but they all shared an unbridled enthusiasm for their summer jobs and learning opportunities at their host firms.   We’re already planning next year’s curriculum, which promises to offer even more host firms, participating schools and opportunities.”

“One of the aims of the program is for Gateway to become a prestigious and powerful alumni organization, with an ever-growing number of schools and financial services institutions signing on to the program,” said MMI President Christopher Davis. “Our inaugural intern class is a group of intelligent, dynamic and resourceful students that will serve as invaluable mentors for classes to come.  We’re honored they chose to spend their summer with us”

The program worked with a select group of historically black colleges and universities, including young men and women from Bennett College, Florida A&M University, Hampton University, Howard University, Grambling State University, and Southern University.

Host firms include: A.G. Edwards, Bank of America, Brinker Capital, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., Goldman Sachs, IXIS Asset Management Global Associates, Legg Mason, Lockwood Advisors, Inc., an affiliate of Pershing LLC and The Bank of New York, New York Life Investment Management LLC, Morgan Stanley and Prudential Financial.

An opportunity to view excerpts of the closing session activities as well as reflections from Gateway leadership, students and sponsoring executives is available at:

About Gateway to Leadership
Gateway to Leadership is a joint initiative of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and The Money Management Institute (MMI) to provide summer internships for undergraduate students attending America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) at leading financial services firms. It is the only program of its kind that promotes workplace diversity focused exclusively on the financial services industry, in partnership with the NAACP and offering career long guidance and counseling to its student participants,

About the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors. Visit the NAACP online at

About The Money Management Institute
The Money Management Institute (MMI) is the national organization for the managed account solutions industry, representing portfolio manager firms and sponsors of investment consulting programs. Organized in 1997, MMI serves as a forum for industry leaders to address common concerns, discuss industry issues and work together to better serve investors. The Institute is the leading advocate for the industry on regulatory and legislative issues. MMI’s membership comprises firms that offer comprehensive financial consulting services to individual investors, foundations, retirement plans and trusts as well as related professional portfolio management firms.

< View All Press Releases