The Black Men’s Success Initiative offers unique support for groups of Black men attending private colleges through a unique leadership program that combines scholarships with a set of leadership and personal development opportunities focused on helping them graduate ready to launch their post-baccalaureate careers. More than 50 students from seven private colleges have taken part to-date.

Programming starts over the summer before their junior years, when the men complete an extensive leadership course, for which they earn credit. During the next two years, their experiences include working with mentors, a paid summer internship, a retreat, a trip to a national leadership conference, regular cohort meetings, a writing course and networking sessions with prominent Black businessmen.

Organized by the Minnesota Private College Fund, the Black Men’s Success Initiative was first created in partnership with the Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota because of the opportunity that exists here and nationally to find new ways to support Black men and increase the odds they will earn college degrees. The Ciresi Walburn Foundation for Children came on as a second partner funder.