This past September, I attended my second Annual Leaders of Tomorrow Conference. We heard presentations from a myriad of professionals. Valorie Burton, founder of the Coaching and Positive Psychology Institute, spoke exclusively to the young women on how living a happy life can be a consistent reality by embracing our creativity and being confident. David Nelson, Founder and CEO of the Efficacy Institute, gave us the tools on how to deal with difficult people from co-workers to superiors in a professional setting. The list goes on. It was also because of the National Black MBA Association that I was chosen, out of hundreds of leaders, to conduct and interview with Robert Johnson, the first African-American billionaire at the 2013 Annual Conference Luncheon in front of thousands. But there is one thing that made the 2013 Annual Leaders of Tomorrow Conference unforgettable. After a competitive series of speeches, I was elected National President and CEO of the Leaders of Tomorrow. I am so humbled by my peers’ selecting me to lead them during the 2013-2014 LOT Year.
So far, I’ve created the “Leaders of Tomorrow Council of Chapter Leadership” Facebook page which has been an unprecedented, efficient medium of inter-chapter communication. This year we plan to see six chapters unite in pairs and hold joint workshops and/or community service projects. Seeing this is my final year in LOT, I plan on making it the best yet on the chapter and national level. Looking back, LOT has truly changed my life. It has allowed me to develop many meaningful relationships all over the world. My fellow LOT brothers and sisters reject the word “underrepresented” and embrace the word “powerful,” because we stand together to defy negative social stigmas. LOT has also given me direction, and I now know that I am pursuing a career in business. I owe my whole high school experience to LOT.
The National Black MBA Leaders of Tomorrow program is more than a partnership between minority high school students and African-American business professionals. It espouses upon the idea of supporting the next generation of change agents and world leaders in all of our future endeavors by teaching us essential skills needed in order to excel as young adults and create a positive brand for ourselves.
As a four year Leader, not only have I witnessed growth in myself, but others around me due to my ability to lead and pass on what I have acquired to my peers. While apart of the Columbus Chapter I have served as Chief Operations Officer (2012-2013), Vice President (2013-2014), attended the National Black MBA Conference, and participated in National Case Competitions. The epitome of personal development is not read in a textbook or listened to in a lecture or meeting, it is obtained by stepping outside of your comfort zone and using the skills and resources you have gained to continuously position yourself to where you aspire to be. By taking full advantage of all the opportunities the program has to offer, I am no longer afraid to speak in front of large crowds or network. Without the National Black Leaders of Tomorrow program I would not be the person I am today, but most importantly, I would not have the vast connections of support and encouragement to achieve all my aspirations. On behalf of the entire Harrison family, thank you LOT!
My membership in the National Black MBA Association Leaders of Tomorrow program, has had an amazing impact on my high school career. Through this organization I have competed in business case competitions at Emory and Bentley University and attended its national business conference at Indiana University. Aside from the national events, the Columbus chapter has exposed me to different avenues of business and professionalism. Through the LOT program, I have made many contacts with business professionals and colleges. Next year, I will be studying accounting and information systems at the Kelley School of Business, and because of my preparation through the National Black MBA Association, I am confident I am well equipped to succeed.