THURGOOD MARSHALL COLLEGE FUND SOUTH AFRICA DELEGATION RETURNS LEAVING LASTING IMPRESSIONS AND INSPIRATION ON YOUTH

Media - Newsroom/Press

Washington, DC (July 2, 2013) – The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), in collaboration with Valiant Innovative Creations, launched its newest program, iLEAD – South Africa on June 10, 2013 in Johannesburg. After a seven day tour, the delegation returns to the U.S. leaving lasting impressions and inspiration on the youth there.

iLEAD - South Africa had an amazing local and international group of well known celebrities that volunteered their time to provide first hand testimonies to young people. The lineup included MC Lyte, Lamman Rucker, Lil Mama, Jeff Johnson, Lynn Richardson, Thami Ngubeni, Bokang Montjane and many more amazing personalities.

On June 10th, TMCF President and CEO, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. and Valiant Innovative Creations Chairman, Peace Mthethwa kicked-off the official program with a press conference held in a sky-room, airlifting attendees hundreds of feet into the sky with panoramic views of the city. All shared why iLEAD was important as a sustainable and impactful program and why they have committed to serve as an iLEAD Ambassador.

“You have to understand certain things about life in order to serve as a mentor to young people", commented Lamman Rucker. “I was honored to have participated in such a remarkable program as iLEAD – South Africa and it was the perfect way to visit the Mother Continent for the first time! The experience of uplifting young people in South Africa will forever be etched in my mind and heart.”

At no cost to attendees, over 1,000 student (grades 7-12), teachers, parents, and the local community participated in forums, panel discussions, and celebrity meet and greets during the seven-day Tour. Throughout the week, the delegation met with students and encouraged them to continue in a positive direction that will help them to grow. The youth were mesmerized by being in the same room with many known entertainers and community leaders including Miss South Africa, who told the young people that ‘the road will be long and hard to get to where you want to go’.

The iLEAD – South Africa program is the newest component of the TMCF Payne Global Initiative, a program named after TMCF Founder, Dr. N. Joyce Payne. This international platform is designed to empower young people through a series of panel discussions and supporting events surrounding five core attributes required for success: Inspiration, Leadership, Education, Aspiration, and Determination. The team of diverse, multi-talented professionals provided first-hand testimonies to young people that inspired and motivated them to be the next generation of global leaders.

“This iLEAD program gives us the opportunity to plant our flag in South Africa as TMCF has made international outreach one of its main priorities’” said Taylor as he closed the week-long Tour. “This program is a critical part of our newly created Payne Global Initiative as we find ways to expand the footprint of our member-schools and bring students from abroad so they can enjoy the experience of an Historically Black College and University (HBCU).”

For more information or to visit our photo gallery of the iLEAD – South Africa Tour, visit us at www.ThurgoodMarshallCollegeFund.org.

About the Thurgood Marshall College Fund

Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), named for the U.S. Supreme Court's first African-American Justice supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending its 47 member-schools that include public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), medical schools and law schools. TMCF helps students with a clear intention and the motivation to succeed and acquire a high-quality college education at an affordable cost. Through its scholarships and programs, TMCF plays a key role in preparing the leaders of tomorrow. TMCF is a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt, charitable organization and for more information about TMCF and its initiatives, visit www.ThurgoodMarshallCollegeFund.org.