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The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) has received a $600,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation yesterday to aid with scholarships and develop future leaders for students attending publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), said TMCF President & CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.

“We are proud to work with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to help more African American students advance in their education and unlock job opportunities that will help them live better,” said Tony Waller, senior director, corporate affairs constituent relations, Walmart. “By empowering students today, we are helping build a more powerful and diverse workforce for tomorrow.”

The grant will support TMCF’s Annual Leadership Institute; a program that has been providing coaching and mentorship for low-income students and first-generation scholarships for freshman across the TMCF’s 47 member-schools for the last 14 years.

Each year, 500 students have the opportunity to network and participate in training sessions that teaches them about financial literacy, career management, and life skills with some of the nation’s top executives. Then, students attend a recruitment fair to meet and interview with over 60 companies and government agencies for jobs and internships, and graduate program opportunities.

“The Leadership Institute, in particular, gives talented future leaders a one-of-a-kind intensive, professional and career development experience,” says Taylor. “This is a great opportunity for these hand-picked students to network and interview with some of the nation’s top executives and elite graduate school recruiters.”

Desmond Barnes, a recent HBCU graduate and Leadership Institute participant, landed a job with Walmart. Since graduating from Winston-Salem State University with honors, he remains grateful for having an opportunity to continue to serve others, and help them save money, through his new job.

“In today’s world it’s really tough for young professionals to obtain a good job in their field,” said Barnes. “TMCF provided me with the tools necessary to become an effective leader, but more importantly access to job opportunities. I am forever grateful to TMCF and Walmart for this great career opportunity.”

This year’s Leadership Institute will be held in Washington, DC, November 9-13, 2014 at the Washington Hilton.

Walmart Gives $600,000 To The Thurgood Marshall College Fund  was originally published on