Updates

New Board of Advisor: Derrick Lesnau

We are elated to announce an addition to our Board of Advisors, with the introduction of Derrick Lesnau. Derrick brings experience in the nonprofit sector, serving many years with the Ronald McDonald House of Central Texas as the Chief Operations Officer. We are excited and happy to have Derrick’s insight and guidance in our Foundation’s program development.

Derrick Lesnau's Bio

Derrick Lesnau is the Chief Operating Officer of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas (RMHC CTX) and moved to Austin in 1999 to attend The University of Texas.  RMHC CTX provides lodging & support services to families of pediatric patients receiving treatment at Austin area medical centers.

With over 12 years of experience in the Austin non-profit community, Derrick has served organizations such as Young Men’s Business League, Austin Young Chamber, March of Dimes, Young Texans Against Cancer and others.  Derrick holds a BS in Social Work and is a community advocate who strives to help those who find themselves in unfortunate circumstances.  Derrick is a graduate of the 2017 Essentials Class of Leadership Austin and currently serves on the Resource Management Commission for the City of Austin, representing District 1.

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Finalist for the Austin Mosaic Awards

The Austin Mosaic Awards organizers announced the 20 finalists who have excelled in diversity and inclusion, with BLF Foundation being listed as a finalist!

The 20 companies were chosen from a pool of 37 and will be recognized for their efforts to make Austin’s business space more inclusive. Companies will be recognized in categories such as “Best Tech Company” and “Best Inclusive Workspace.”

Judges chose the finalists based on the work the companies do, their culture and business practices. Judges also considered the company’s internal and external support of diversity and inclusion, and the impact of their actions within the space.

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New Board of Advisor: Dr. Carolyn Lightfoot

With much excitement and pleasure, we are announcing a new Board of Advisor, Dr. Carolyn Lightfoot. With an extensive background in Education, we look forward to having Dr. Lightfoot help guide our Foundation to make further impacts for countless college students.

Dr. Carolyn Lightfoot's Bio

Mentor, visionary and native Houstonian, Dr. Carolyn Lightfoot most impressive quality is her personal passion for her work and desire to both meet and exceed a high standard for service to students and the community. Gary McCormack, Vice President, Planning and Technology and Special Assistant to the President at the University of St. Thomas said “that Dr. Lightfoot’s intelligence, personality and experience enable her to establish genuine connections with constituents and that she is a rare individual whose honesty and personal integrity are evident in all situations.”  Dr. Lightfoot presently serves as Chief Information Officer for Lee College.  She oversees an annual budget of more than $5 million for the operation of Information Technology. As Chief Information Officer, Dr. Lightfoot is responsible for working with faculty, students and staff in development and implementation of the technology strategic vision at Lee College.  Dr. Lightfoot is also a University Lecturer having taught Database Design and Logistics Operations in the College of Technology at the University of Houston Main Campus.  Dr. Lightfoot previously worked for Computer Sciences Corporation as a Computer Scientist and Oracle Database Administration (DBA) for NASA Johnson Space Center Houston.  She performed duties as the database administrator for various projects at Computer Sciences Corporation and for the Research Institute for Computing and Information Systems (RICIS) in collaboration with NASA Johnson Space Center and the University of Houston-Clear Lake. RICIS addressed research areas in software support systems, medical imaging and mission and safety critical systems.

Dr. Lightfoot is a recipient of the EDUCAUSE Jane N. Ryland Fellowship.  Dr. Lightfoot and Lee College Information Technology Division were awarded the Association for College and University Telecommunications Administrators (ACUTA) Institutional Excellence in Information Technology award, ACUTA’s most prestigious award for excellence and professionalism in Information Technology for the Chambers County Community Network (CCCnet).  She received the 2014 Distinguished Alumni award from the University of Houston Clear Lake.  She is a recipient of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Group Achievement Award for Ground Systems/Software Production Facility Support for Space Station Freedom-Johnson Space Center.  She was an honoree for the 2015 Educators’ Ball from the Ivy League Foundation of Houston.  Also in 2015, she was invited to speak at the College of the Mainland Distinguished Women in STEM fields.  She was highlighted in 2012 by the President of Lee College in the Lee College Report to the Community as one of top ten employees that go “above and beyond to motivate students to excel.”  She is the Founder and Conference Chair of the Lee College Innovation in Teaching and Learning Technology Conference that provides a forum for educators to share effective and innovative teaching and learning models.  The annual Innovations conference showcases and awards excellence and innovation in instructional technology that positively impacts student academic success.  She is a member of the governing body for the annual Texas Technology Summit in Houston at NRG Reliant Center.  She completed her Bachelor’s degree at the Texas A&M University-Central Texas (formerly University of Central Texas), Master’s degree at the University of Houston – Clear Lake, and Doctoral degree from the University of Houston – Main Campus.

In 2017, Dr. Lightfoot received the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) award that promotes and celebrate excellence in teaching, learning and leadership at community and technical colleges.  In her NISOD statement she said, “her passion is to create and sustain engaging learning spaces, where students and faculty can easily communicate, collaborate and celebrate their amazing success!  Empowering students for lifelong learning beyond the classroom requires team excellence, smart innovations, and analytical agility to drive forward mission-critical student success initiatives.”  Also in 2017, Lee College Information Technology received the Cloud Leadership Award from E&I Cooperative Services. Dr. Lightfoot currently serves as an Advisor for the Monica Boyd Literacy Foundation whose mission is to improve the writing and math skills of elementary school children who are struggling in those disciplines.  Dr. Lightfoot worked with the Urban League and Barrett Station Riley Chambers Community Center in Crosby Texas several years ago to develop computer training curriculum for individuals on welfare so they could be integrated into the work force.  She has served as Chairperson of the Houston Space Center Oracle Users Group (HSC-OUG), selected as a Honorary Member of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, served on several church committees at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church and worked as a Sunday School youth teacher, Co-Founder Thespians, Career Day Founder/Chairperson, Chair of the Mt. Zion’s Women’s Day Conference in 2012 and currently serves as a board member of the Mount Zion Community Foundation.  For the past several years, she has taught teen girls each summer during Vacation Bible School (VBS).

She was elected University of Houston Clear Lake Alumni President in 1996 and served in various capacities including Membership Chair and Chairperson of UHCL Art Festival that recognized exceptional Art faculty.  During her time as UHCL Alumni President organization funds went over $100,000.  Dr. Lightfoot is a Lifetime Member of University of Houston Clear Lake Alumni Association. In the community, she currently serves on the Community Crime Watch Committee, Community Women’s group and has previously served as a board member of Bay Area Women’s Shelter in Clear Lake and Baytown. In her spare time, Dr. Lightfoot interests are art, jazz, interior design, TEDTalks, gardening and architectural and nature photography.

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Congratulations Davionne Needom on her acceptance to the Integrated Master’s of Public Accounting Program at UT

Congratulations to Davionne Needom, 2018 Susan Moore-Fontenot Honorary Scholarship Winner and Class of 2018 Developing Future Leaders Mentorship Program, on her recent acceptance into the iMPA program at UT. We are excited that she will be able to graduate with both her bachelors and masters degree across as 5 year time span while attending UT!

About The Integrated MPA Program

The integrated MPA (iMPA) is a 5-year program designed for current McCombs undergraduates. iMPA students earn a BBA degree in accounting and a Master in Professional Accounting degree. Students save both time and money by taking several graduate courses at undergraduate tuition rates.

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BLF Foundation Awarded as a 2018 AKELF Foundation “Faces in the Crowd” Community Service Award Winner

Thanks to the Austin Kappa Education Leadership Foundation for recognizing the BLF Foundation as a “Faces in the Crowd” Community Service Award Winner.

Each year the Austin Kappa Education and Leadership Foundation along with the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Austin Alumni Chapter host a Black and White Scholarship Ball and Awards Dinner.

This is an opportunity to award scholarships to high school students in the Central Texas area, as well as, present community service and leadership awards to groups and individuals in our community.

This year’s theme was “Celebrating Community Leaders – Past, Present, and Future”. It’s truly an honor to see the impact that BLF Foundation is having for countless college students but it wouldn’t be possible without our amazing partnerships and mentors! Thank you everyone who has helped support the BLF Foundation!

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Spring Graduations for 2018: Where are our students going?

Congratulations to our 2018 Spring Graduates! We are excited about the next chapter for you beyond college. We are grateful for the opportunities to be able to mentor and support your growth and development.

Post-Undergrad Plans

 

Kastina Fishback – working at KPMG in Dallas, TX

Rakiya Cunningham – working at Shell Oil in Houston, TX

Kory Davison – working at Phillips 66 in Houston, TX

Kyle Davison – working at Phillips 66 in Houston, TX

Bianca Uzoma – attending Medical School

K’Ashley Collins – attending Medical School

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Congratulations to 2017 Richard Fontenot Honorary Scholarship Winners Kory and Kyle Davison on the 2018 Herman Sweatt Legacy Awards

Congratulations to both Kory Davison and Kyle Davison on their recent Sweatt Student Legacy Awards. Both Kory and Kyle are graduating seniors who are being awarded at 32nd Annual Heman Sweatt Symposium Evening of Honors. They are also our 2017 Richard Fontenot Honorary Scholarship Winners and Class of 2017 Developing Future Leaders Mentorship Program.

About the Heman Sweatt Legacy Awards

The Heman Marion Sweatt Legacy Award honors University of Texas at Austin alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends who embody the life and legacy of Heman Marion Sweatt by breaking down barriers and challenging the status quo.

Honorees were selected through a nomination process that was juried by the Heman Sweatt Symposium planning committee, a group of staff, faculty and students in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement that organizes the annual event. The symposium is named after Heman Marion Sweatt, the first African American student admitted to The University of Texas School of Law, and commemorates the ruling in Sweatt v. Painter that brought an end to segregation at public colleges and universities.

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Beyond the label: How one student is breaking down misconceptions

We are proud of our 2017 Susan Moore-Fontenot Honorary Scholarship Winner and Class of 2017 Developing Future Leaders Mentorship Program Student Amie Jean for sharing her experiences in breaking misconceptions. She was recently interviewed by the Daily Texan magazine, covering her unique experiences and how she is breaking barriers. Read more at the link below.

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Congratulations to Brandon Oke for Acceptance into the LSU-Health Sciences Center-New Orleans, Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Public Health Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)

Congratulations to Class of 2018 Developing Future Leaders Mentorship Program student, Brandon Oke. Brandon has been recently accepted into the LSU-Health Sciences Center-New Orleans, Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Public Health Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP).

About the Public Health Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)

The LSUHSC-New Orleans, Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Public Health Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) is a free, academic summer enrichment program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The program is designed to improve access to information and resources for college students attending either four-year or community college institutions, who are interested in the health professions. The goal of SHPEP is to support the academic and career development of underrepresented/underserved, and/or rural, and/or disadvantaged students in the health professions, thereby preparing them for a successful application and matriculation to health professions schools. Students of focus include, but are not limited to, individuals who identify as African American/Black, Native American/American Indian, Alaska Native, and Hispanic/Latino, and/or who are from communities of socioeconomic and educational disadvantage. Formerly known as the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP), the SHPEP was expanded in 2016 to include a broader scope of health professions.

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Congratulations to Jordan Suber for authoring his first book, Perfectly Perfect: How to Live Your Dream Life

Congratulations to Jordan for publishing his first book, Perfectly Perfect: How To Live Your Dream Life. Jordan is a 2018 Developing Future Leaders Mentorship Program student.

About Jordan

Jordan Suber is from Lawrence, KS and has moved to Austin a little of a year ago now to further his education and his entrepreneurial pursuits. Currently going to school at ACC for psychology and business while participating in Toastmasters among other leaderships groups and spends whatever time he can help his clients through business consulting, life coaching and exercise/diet coaching. When he isn’t buried in school work, side businesses and writing his next book you can find him volunteering for things around ATX like SXSW and many other events. He has a huge passion for helping and being involved in his community as well as trying to make a difference in the world.

About Perfectly Perfect: How to Live Your Dream Life

Much more than a personal development book. This book will help you take control of your life and live it the way that you want to.

With walkthroughs, exercises, and a journal section for you to record your thoughts, growth, and goals.

Your life is perfectly, perfect!It all begins with a positive outlook on life and a lifestyle that matches! Have you been tired of things not going your way? Want more than you have now? Better yet, who do you want to be? Who do you see yourself as? Sick of tired of being sick and tired? Hate working the same job everyday 9-5? Now the real question, Who was you before they told you who you were?

Now that we are thinking about our lives and what it should be.
Do you want to work where ever you want to in the world?Want to learn to love yourself again? Trying to overcome hardships? Set your own schedule and live a happy free life? Be able to help everyone that you want to? But above all, do you want more time for your friends and family?

We will be going to find our life’s passions and “purpose” together. It all begins with you.

This is more than a book, this is a growing experience, a reminder of what you already know. As Tony Robbins would say, “you are your own guru”. I am a firm believer of that, as well as having help along the way.

You are more powerful than you have ever imagined, you just need to be open-minded & reminded.

You will go through, old & new teachings of some the wisest and greatest philosophers, seers, engineers, authors, musician, inspirational speakers and much more people that have helped shape my and your life’s but also the entire world!

We are all in this together, so let’s learn from as many people that we can to not repeat history but change it for the better. If you want to know the future you must create it yourself.

This book is only a reminder of what you already know. You are the ultimate judge on what you choose to take from this.

Much like life, I decided to make this book the same way.

We don’t really have “chapters” in our life but phases we go through. I wanted this to be a book that you could open to any page and gain from it. A book that you can keep and work with your whole life if need be.

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