The Ciresi Walburn Foundation for Children Scholarship is a two-year leadership development program for African-American men that involves career experiences, financial support and mentoring that will help the selected young men graduate ready to launch their post-baccalaureate careers. Men enrolled at Augsburg University and University of St. Thomas are Ciresi Walburn Scholars during their junior and senior years.

  • 12 men participated from the summer of 2018 until they graduated in 2020
  • 6 men participated from the summer of 2019 until they graduated in 2021
  • 16 men are participating from the summer of 2020 until they graduate in 2022
  • 14 men are participating from the summer of 2021 until they graduate in 2023

Managed by the Minnesota Private College Fund, the program starts off with a 12-week leadership class that concludes with presentations of research findings for nonprofit clients they supported. Over the next two years their experiences include a paid summer internship, a retreat, a trip to a national leadership conference, regular cohort meetings, a writing course and networking sessions with prominent African-American businessmen. The program is facilitated by Dr. Abdul Omari, a local consultant and expert in leadership and mentoring, and Jamil Lott, a licensed social worker who is skilled at helping people seeing a better version of themselves

“Our board feels strongly that a highly educated and inclusive workforce is essential to ensure Minnesota remains competitive globally,” said Michael V. Ciresi, president and chairman of the Ciresi Walburn Foundation for Children. “We were impressed by the Fund’s approach and decided to invest in their efforts to ensure African-American men build relationships, thrive on campus and have access to academic and career resources.”

The program is managed by the Minnesota Private College Fund. For more information contact Inika Raikar at [email protected].

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