future black leaders at the University of Utah

More than 80 student participants attended “Invent You at the U,” the collaborative event between the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute and The V(i)llage to inspire future black business leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators.

“These students are our future doctors, educators, business leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs … The purpose of these events is to create diverse and meaningful pathways to college for students who need the support and to make them aware this support exists,” said Anne Bastien, program manager at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute.

After an exciting innovation tournament hosted at the end of the event, all of the students’ ideas were voted on, and 17-year-old Donald Sligh was the winner with his idea named “The SLIGH Innovation Program,” which consisted of a balanced curriculum of CTE courses and scholarly experiences that would help students learn new ways to innovate and maximize their preparation when entering the workforce.

“I learned from today that we have a lot of opportunities and resources available to us that most people don’t know about,” Sligh said. “A lot of us are at the bottom and are just students, but just because we aren’t school presidents or team captains doesn’t mean we can’t be leaders. These programs help make us into leaders.”

What Eccles experience has helped shape you into a leader?