From hundreds of applications, the Institute selects some of the nation’s best and brightest African American male college students to participate in its Washington Program. It includes:
We have organized Collegiate Institutes in five cities throughout the country: Atlanta, Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro, and New York. Each is comprised of some of the most talented African American male college students in their respective city.
For 20 years, the Institute has supported some of the best and brightest African American male college students in the country. They’ve become Rhodes Scholars, Fulbright Scholars, PhDs, MDs, JDs, and most importantly, have continued to be the thoughtful, caring men they were in college.
On July 9, 2022, we brought together alumni, scholars, supporters, and friends to celebrate them and reflect on our 20-year history. We created this video as a recap of the evening.
University of Delaware
Ebenezer Antwi is a University of Delaware Provost Scholarship recipient majoring in Operations Management with a focus on supply chain management. Born in Ghana and raised in Smyrna, Delaware, he is most motivated by the values instilled through his parents’ journey to the United States. At Delaware, he interned at the Biden Institute and mentors peers and high school students as a Student Advisor for Delaware College Scholars. A leader of multiple organizations on campus, Ebenezer contributes to the Lerner Student Advisory Board, organizes events with the Cultural Programming Advisory Board, and directs Community Service and Outreach for Men of Distinction.
Jene Baquet is a Posse Scholar at Villanova University, where he is studying Business Administration. Last year, he managed his team in the Global Firms Accounting Case Competition, representing KPMG. Born and raised in New Orleans, Jene’s dedication is deeply rooted in his family values, notably influenced by his great-grandfather’s legacy at the family-owned Lil Dizzy’s Cafe. Active in his New Orleans hometown, he helped prepare 5,000 bags of goods every Sunday, including holidays, to feed more than 1,000 families. Jene’s passion extends to basketball, where he plays for Villanova’s club team, manages the women’s team, and aspires to become an NBA General Manager.
Evan Cole is an Economics and Government double major at Georgetown University. He earned the distinction of a Georgia Scholar while serving as his high school’s senior class president in Marietta, Georgia and also earned the University of Georgia Certificate of Merit. However, he decided to pursue his dreams in Washington, DC. He is a Georgetown Scholar. Last summer, Evan interned at Lafayette Square Capital Investments, where he developed a passion for impact investing. He is a Fellow in the Management Leadership for Tomorrow’s financial services program and a participant in the Sponsors for Education EDGE program.
University of Miami
Branden Damus, a sophomore at the University of Miami, is carving a unique path at the intersection of science and policy. Majoring in Microbiology & Immunology and Political Science, with minors in Chemistry and Meteorology, he is a recipient of the Isaac Bashevis Singer Scholarship, a full-tuition award, and a scholar in the Foote Fellow Honors Program, which recognizes top incoming students. Raised in Miami by a Haitian family, Branden is deeply involved in his local community, often volunteering at the Lennar Foundation Medical Center. His scientific research at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute focuses on pioneering techniques for plant growth and the potential of natural oils in combating fungal growth. He is pursuing a career as a physician.
University of Southern California
Myles Davis, a Business Administration major at the University of Southern California is channeling his passion for sports and community unity into his professional pursuits. Hailing from Wayne, PA, his roots have deeply influenced his commitment to bringing people together through sports. Myles has actively engaged in the field already, as an operations intern with a Major League Soccer team, the Philadelphia Union, last summer. Currently, he is a Student Manager for the USC football team. Eager to bridge his academic foundation with his operational expertise, Myles is poised to make a significant impact in the sports business sector.
Arizona State University
Donovan Drummer is a Sports Business major at Arizona State University. He was recognized as one of the top students in ASU’s incoming class and was chosen for the Sports Business Scholars program from a competitive pool of over 1,500 students. In his capacity as Vice President of Events for the program, Donovan organizes impactful experiences that foster professional growth among students, alumni, and industry leaders. He is also active on campus as a tour guide and President of African American Men. Mentorship is important to Donovan and he dedicates his time to supporting first-year students through the Sankofa Leadership Institute on campus and middle school students back home in Atlanta at his alma mater, the Ron Clark Academy. He aspires to pursue a career in brand management for a professional sports franchise.
New York University
Adonis Garcia, a Bronx native, is pursuing a major in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics at the New York University and maintains a 4.0 GPA in the Tandon School of Engineering. He is a member of the Global Leaders and Scholars in STEM Honors Program and actively mentors fellow students through the NYU Academic Achievement Program. Recognized for his valuable impact on his community, he was unanimously honored as the Sophomore of the Year at the AAP’s ceremony last fall. He is a Career Prep Fellow with Management Leadership for Tomorrow and serves as a teaching assistant and a peer tutor. Adonis is honing his skills in machine learning and artificial intelligence and hopes to help merge technology and positive societal impact. He is studying this semester at NYU Abu Dhabi.
University of Iowa
James McCurtis III, is a Journalism and Mass Communications sophomore at the University of Iowa. He writes for the Nuru African American Newspaper and is a DJ/Host for KRUI Radio Station. He serves as the state of Iowa’s Assistant District Director for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, organizing activities for college and alumni chapters throughout the state. A native of Okemos, Michigan, James served as President of the Lansing NAACP Youth chapter. He was especially engaged with serving elderly people in his community. As a Hawkeye, he mentors high school students in Iowa City. He also serves as Vice Chairman of the Student Advisory Board for the School of Journalism and Communications. In recognition of his leadership and dedication, he was honored with an Emerging Leader Award in 2023.
University of Michigan
Eric Veal Jr. is a sophomore at the University of Michigan studying Political Science and Secondary Education. He has a deep desire to foster equitable and culturally reflective classrooms. Before enrolling at Michigan, he was selected as one of only 150 recipients of the 2022 Coca-Cola Scholarship from a pool of over 68,000 applicants. In high school, Eric was elected president of the Student State Board for the Illinois State Board of Education and was appointed by the Governor of Illinois as the first student Co-chair of the Illinois Educational Equity Committee. Additionally, he serves as a member of the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes Youth. Last summer he interned with XQ Institute, an organization dedicated to rethinking the high school experience. He hails from Chicago, IL.
Seth Vieira is a sophomore leader at Cornell University majoring in History, Philosophy, and Africana Studies. Seth’s Christian faith guides his desire to leave an impact on his community. The aspiring minister founded Black Men 4 Christ to foster a nurturing space for black students to explore and deepen their faith. His commitment to social change and community engagement shines through his role last summer as a High Road Fellow for the “Say Yes to Education: Boys and Young Men of Color Initiative” in Buffalo, NY. In this capacity, Seth reshaped narratives about young men of color by organizing service events and mentoring a cohort of about 20 boys. On campus, he also serves as the Director of External Relations for the Caribbean Student Association. He hails from New Windsor, New York.
Johnson C. Smith
Stanley St. Vilus II is a Business Finance major at Johnson C. Smith University. With aspirations of a career in wealth management, Stanley is dedicated to empowering individuals to build wealth, leveraging the values and virtues of investing that he grew up learning about. He spent the last two summers interning at Brighthouse Financial, a leading annuities and life insurance provider in the United States. He is a member of JCSU’s football team and is his university’s student treasurer. Stanley tutors high school students on business courses and organizes clothing drives in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, and in Belize.
Washington University in St. Louis
Da’Juantay Wynter is an outstanding student at Washington University in St. Louis. He is majoring in Education & American Culture Studies with a minor in the Business of Social Impact. Da’Juantay is the recipient of the John B. Ervin Scholarship and an array of academic honors, including the Alexander Hamilton Scholarship, Annexstad Scholarship and Chancellor Career Fellowship. As a 2023 Stanford Law Scholars Institute participant, he delved into the intricacies of the American legal system and policy-making. His articles on societal challenges have been published in the Washington University Political Review. In his role on the Undergraduate Student Affairs Advisory Committee, Da’Juantay contributes to enhancing student life, and through a fellowship with SKIP DesignEd, he championed community-based solutions to improve educational access and quality for children in poverty.