Making an Impact: The Future Business Leaders Program

Impacting high school students from underserved communities is no easy task. It requires planning, coordination, and an organized execution. Delroy Waugh II MBAS, president of the Crummer Multicultural Management Association (CMMA) and co-organizer of the Future Business Leaders Program, would agree. The program is the collaborative brainchild of the CMMA and the Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) and is tailored to offer an enriching blend of practical business skills, exploring entrepreneurship, and crucial financial literacy lessons to disadvantaged high school students. “We want to spark something in them now and give them the exposure to opportunities and different fields,” Delroy said. 

delroy waughBeginning on January 20, 2024, twenty students from Evans High School had an orientation and then three subsequent learning sessions going through March. In these sessions, they focus on strategic thinking, execution skills, and financial skills. The students begin each lesson with a guest lecture from one of four speakers: Tadar Muhammad ‘17MBA, COO of CareerSource Central Florida, Wendy Roundtree ’16MBA, founder and lead strategist for Jarel Communications, Dr. Keenan Yoho, vice president of Global SOF Foundation and Crummer professor, and Dr. Kyle Meyer ‘00MBA, an executive in residence at Rollins College.  

After the guest lecture, the students then apply what they learned with mentors who guide the student groups through activities to deepen their learning and share ideas. Mentors include Samuel Slater, CEO of A-List Education, Dmitri and Dwight Thompson, co-founders and presidents of Rise League, and Ana Carolina Salazar, CEO and founder of BOLD Digital + Hispanic Marketing Agency. Finally, the students coordinate with their groups to present their project to the class and get a chance for feedback.  

karlye MartorelliWorking with Delroy are Leon Ashby, director of TECHquity with HFUW, and Karlye Martorelli ‘22MBA (pictured left), business engagement manager for HFUW, as well as Dr. Kyle Meyer. “I think about the mission at Crummer of being a responsible, global leader and with technology today, the local community truly is global,” said Karlye. “What appeals to me is giving exposure at a younger age to courses and technology we use in classes in populations where they don’t get that exposure in schools. We want these youths to know that this education is accessible and attainable to them.” 

“This exposure will make it so stem and entrepreneurship opportunities won’t be so overwhelming for them to get into,” added Leon.  

When asked about the biggest challenge he faced during the planning process, Delroy discussed the difficulties of trying to start something new and working to keep his eye on the end goal so he can get over all the little things that pop up along the way. He would remind himself that as long as you put something together with the right heart and intention, it will all come together. For Delroy, it’s all a labor of love. And he’s looking toward the future: he’s hoping this is something scalable, something that can be repeated. 

Delroy and his colleagues “will have a big impact on these kids lives,” said Dr. Meyer. This program is an excellent example of how Crummer students, alums, and faculty work to add value to the community, embrace diversity, and excel in ethical practices.  

 If you’d like to become part of the Crummer community and make an impact, set up an appointment with an admissions specialist to get your journey started: click here.