Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s South Florida Distinguished Young Leader Awards Raises $85,000 and Shines Light on Area Role Models

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Washington, DC (June 12, 2013) – Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), an organization that assists students with access to higher education, job opportunities, and leadership development, raised $85,000 as it honored area role models.

On June 6 at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale, 150 guests, including Sigma Phi Pi Fraternity members and the Central State Alumni Everglades Chapter, gathered to honor five community leaders for their service locally and being role models for students. Distinguished Young Leader honorees included Jaret L. Davis, Esq., Co-Managing Shareholder of the Miami office of Greenberg Traurig LLP; Shane Graber, Vice President Brand Managing Director House of Grey Goose; Christie Grays, Director Community Relations, Baptist Health South Florida; and Jose Hernandez-Solaun, Senior Vice President, GE Capital. Receiving the inaugural Legacy Award was James O. Cole, Esq., former Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary at AutoNation, Inc., and President-Elect of the national Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity.

“It is always exciting when we can honor those in the community who are willing to give back and mentor the next generation of leaders,” said TMCF President & CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. “TMCF extends sincere appreciation to its South Florida supporters and sponsors of the 3rd Annual Distinguished Young Leader Awards.”

The Distinguished Young Leader Awards, awarded to individuals under 45, is part of a nationwide effort to inform the broader community about the mission of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and raise funds to support the nearly 300,000 students who attend TMCF member-schools. Honorees are exemplary local individuals chosen based on their proven leadership, community involvement, professional and civic excellence, as well as their contributions to education and diversity in a regional area.

Bacardi USA was the presenting sponsor, with PepsiCo as benefactor and Praxair as VIP. Proceeds from the event will increase funds available for scholarships to students from the State of Florida.

About the Thurgood Marshall College Fund
Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is named for the U.S. Supreme Court's first African-American Justice. Established in 1987, TMCF 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. TMCF also efficiently connects high performing, world-ready students with top tier employment opportunities — access that students or employers might not have on their own. 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