Alumni's UNITE Conference Helps HBCUs

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ASU Alumni’s UNITE Conference Promotes HBCU Attendance and Student Success

By Kenneth Mullinax/ASU
UNITE, Inc., a national nonprofit organization that was founded at Alabama State University by two alumni, met at the end of June with more than one thousand students registered for the conference, titled "Leadership Unfiltered." 
UNITE's executive director, Dr. Travis C. Smith,  and the organization’s director of Strategic Initiatives, Shenice Smith, (both members of the Class of 2012), first founded the 501-C3 nonprofit organization in August 2011 with a goal of encouraging potential students from across the nation to attend and thrive at Historically Black Colleges  and Universities (HBCUs). Since 2013, UNITE has evolved into  a nationwide force, serving both high school and HBCU students from across the country. 
"We strive to connect high school students to HBCUs and HBCU students to opportunities through innovative initiatives such as college preparation workshops, HBCU college tours, student leadership training, career exposure, and professional development opportunities," said Dr. Smith.
"Just over the past three years, our annual HBCU Student Leadership Conference has hosted 115 sessions for over 2,400 student registrants representing 65-plus HBCUs nationwide." 
Shenice Smith explained that UNITE's student engagement efforts have led to students’ securing internships and jobs, grant opportunities for student-led organizations, acceptances into higher education programs, and much more. 
"Student leadership training and development has become critical to the enhancement, sustainability, and expansion of our Historically Black Colleges and Universities and has enhanced the recruitment and retention of diverse talent for both businesses and institutions of higher education," shared Shenice Smith. "In 2020, we had  identified a need to provide students with access to free leadership training with the goal of the conference to provide students with resources on self-empowerment, student leadership, and life after college, which has helped to make UNITE an even more important and energetic program."
News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.