The UNCF Fort Wayne Leadership Council held its Second Annual Mayor’s Breakfast on June 27 at Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast. Hosted by Mayor Tom Henry, the event welcomed over 120 business, civic and education leaders in support of UNCF’s work to provide Fort Wayne students with resources to get them to and through college.
This year’s breakfast celebrated some dynamic local students who have benefited from the UNCF Fort Wayne Scholarship program in addition to the inaugural cohort of the Parkview Health Corporate Scholars Program. The UNCF/Parkview Corporate Scholars Program is a workforce initiative that creates unique diversity programs tailored to meet their individual workforce needs while offering career opportunities for minority students. The inaugural cohort consists of Jordan Bridges, Nyla Hill-Brown, Jordan Gorman, Lauryn Jones, and Noah Kilby.
“The Parkview Health Corporate Scholars Program supports the development of minority students in professional fields like human resources or accounting, with a focus on healthcare, all while strengthening our workforce pipeline with interns who will be seeking employment upon graduation,” said Dena Jacquay, chief human resources officer, Parkview Health. “We look forward to working with students to provide hands-on experience and meaningful mentorships with industry leaders.” “This event was a great example of the momentum and excitement we’re experiencing in Fort Wayne,” said Mayor Henry. “I was honored to meet with young people who are committed to making a positive difference. We’re fortunate to live in a community that understands and appreciates the value of education and opportunities.”
The keynote speaker at this year’s event was Sherrod Woods, Senior Research Engineer, Front End Research & Development at DePuy Synthes, a Johnson & Johnson company. Mr. Woods holds bachelors’ degrees in physics and electrical engineering from Xavier University of Louisiana and Howard University, respectively, as well as a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University. During his keynote address, Woods provided an inspirational and personal story about his undergraduate and graduate experience. His speech was an affirmation of the relevance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the work of the UNCF in the lives of students like Woods, as he was able to realize his dreams of becoming an engineer.