In today’s job market, young people need to begin career preparation sooner than ever. This need is at the heart of Boys Hope Girls Hope’s newest opportunity, the Legacy Leadership Development Summit.
“I chose to attend the Legacy Leadership Development Summit because I want to be a living example to not only the scholars from my affiliate but also to young and upcoming scholars throughout the Network.”
– Me’yani McDonald, Collegian
Boys Hope Girls Hope of Cincinnati
At a Glance: 2023 Legacy Leadership Development Summit
- 18 Boys Hope Girls Hope collegians and alumni
- Fields of study and career paths: Art, Biology, Business Management, Communication, Criminal Justice, Entrepreneurship, Film Production, Finance, Mechanical Engineering, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology
- Post-secondary institutions represented by collegians and alumni: Arizona State University, California State University – Long Beach, California State University San Marcos, DePauw University, Harris Stowe State University, John Carroll University, Kent State University, Louisiana State University, Manhattan College, Marietta College, Michigan State University, Saint Louis University, University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Saint Mary, University of Toledo, Washington University in St. Louis
- Key partners for programming: Edward Jones and World Wide Technology
Held over two days in St. Louis September 22-23, the summit drew 18 collegians and alumni from across the Network – each nominated by their affiliates – to focus on enhancing their skills and knowledge. Experts, thought leaders, and participants from diverse backgrounds came together to share insights, learn from one another, and foster personal and career growth.
“I chose to attend the Legacy Leadership Development Summit because I want to be a living example to not only the scholars from my affiliate but also to young and upcoming scholars throughout the Network,” said Me’yani McDonald, a collegian from Boys Hope Girls Hope of Cincinnati. “I want them to see that when you use Boys Hope Girls Hope as a resource, they can help you gain access to opportunities and success.”
Adds Josh Abzun, a collegian from Boys Hope Girls Hope of Southern California, “The conference sounded like a terrific opportunity, and I was excited to go to St. Louis, a place I’ve never been before!”
With deepest thanks for the support of Aja and Pat Stokes and the energy and planning partnership of remarkable volunteers from Edward Jones and World Wide Technology that made the event possible, here’s a snapshot of the impact and excitement generated by the people at our first Legacy Leadership Development Summit.
DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS
The summit started with an interactive session on resume-building and interviewing techniques led by Richard Hearn, Jessica Bryant, and Tommie Thomas of Edward Jones. The presenters shared their perspectives on what they seek in candidates as human resource professionals.
After lunch, the group came together to discuss their strengths and passions. The participants spoke about things that have contributed to their person, such as their past and how others perceive them. The session was based on the book “How to Navigate Life: The New Science of Finding Your Way in School, Career, and Beyond” by Dr. Belle Liang and Tim Klein.
Ryan Griffin and Prentice Ivy of World Wide Technology led the day’s final session about making a good first impression.
“One key thing I’ve learned is that most job applicants only have six or seven seconds before someone looks further into a resume,” said Abzun.
Both Edward Jones and World Wide Technology team members also shared internship and entry-level job opportunities.
“I knew that coming to the summit would be a great opportunity for me to network and to also gain career preparation to help me in my future,” said McDonald.
The group capped the evening with dinner and socializing at Top Golf.
Collegians and alumni listen to résumé and interviewing tips from HR professionals from Edward Jones, a corporate partner of Boys Hope Girls Hope.
“Participants left the summit equipped with new skills, a broader network, and a renewed sense of purpose in their personal and professional journeys.”
– James Williams, Boys Hope Girls Hope Director of Post-Secondary Success and Strategic Partnerships
“[Boys Hope Girls Hope] really cares about everyone that comes through the program, and I’m very excited to be a part of it and to give back.”
– Pelarr Edwards, Collegian
Boys Hope Girls Hope of New Orleans
DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS
The morning began with a session led by Bottomline Marketing on our exploration of a new name for our organization that aligns with our strategic vision and mission that focuses on adolescents, teenagers, and young adults. The participants were split into groups and tasked with developing several possible new name ideas. It was great to get the input of those who went through the program.
After lunch, Network team members led a discussion on how to better support scholars and collegians, and ways to keep alumni engaged and our bonds with them strong after graduation.
That evening, the group were guests at the 80th birthday celebration of Fr. Paul Sheridan, who founded Boys Hope Girls Hope in 1977. It was a special time to learn more about the history of Boys Hope Girls Hope and connect with fellow alumni, team members past and present, and donors who have deeply embraced this mission for many years.
“I’ve gotten to learn more about Boys Hope Girls Hope as an organization,” said Pelarr Edwards, a collegian from Boys Hope Girls Hope of New Orleans. “They really care about everyone that comes through the program, and I’m very excited to be a part of it and to give back.”
“The Summit was a resounding success, providing alums and collegians with the resources, knowledge, and inspiration to excel in their careers and navigate the challenges of today’s rapidly changing professional landscape,” said James Williams, Boys Hope Girls Hope’s Director of Post-Secondary Success and Strategic Partnerships. “Participants left the summit equipped with new skills, a broader network, and a renewed sense of purpose in their personal and professional journeys.”
Noel Schiber is the Grants and Stewardship Manager for Boys Hope Girls Hope.
McDonald agrees. “At the summit, I’ve learned to never choose a career over comfort. Just because a company offers me a lot of money does not mean I have to feel pressure to take it. When a company offers you money, it does not equate to happiness or longevity. I want to make sure I’m taking a career where I can feel comfortable being part of the organization for years ahead.”
“We hope the Legacy Leadership Development Summit helps these young people become well-equipped leaders in communities and the workforce as they pursue the next steps in their careers,” said Kristin Ostby, President & CEO of Boys Hope Girls Hope. “Our goal is to ensure they leave feeling more prepared to succeed in their chosen career path and even more confident that they have a supportive, lifelong community of people in Boys Hope Girls Hope who care about them.”
Ostby adds, “We’re so thankful to the Stokes, Edward Jones, and World Wide Technology for helping us make this opportunity possible.”
“When I chose to attend the Legacy Leadership Summit, I wanted a chance to meet my fellow collegians from around the country,” said Edwards. “Plus, I always enjoy getting to come to St. Louis and Network Headquarters. I just love connecting and getting to meet everyone. It’s a great opportunity.”