Dr. Leah Mitchell Solomon

TGI helped me build soft skills necessary to interview for professional school and residency positions as well as writing skills. The network I gained and the appreciation for the history of Holly Knoll were by far the most valuable assets I gained from my time at the Gloucester Institute. I still vividly remember my first Sunday Dinner and the opportunity to sit down and converse with people from different walks of life

Dr. Leah Mitchell Solomon, Emerging Leaders Programs Alumna Class of 2012

Quenton Jordon

From day one at Gloucester, we were challenged by Mrs. James and the rest of the faculty to dare to be solutionists – to go beyond identifying issues by developing solutions. I’ve carried this challenge with me through all aspects of my life. Moving to Washington DC after graduation forced me to become more engaged in the political scene. Being the solutionist that the program developed me into, I began applying my ideas and personal values to many of the most pressing issues that our nation was faced with and determined that, although I was a lifelong Democrat based on how I was raised, my views more closely aligned with that of conservative values. This was a realization that I do not believe I would have come to had it not been for the simple challenge that was placed on me from day one and the critical thinking and leadership skills that I was taught as a student in the Emerging Leaders Program.

Quenton Jordan, Emerging Leaders Programs Alumnus Class of 2014

Kevin Mwangi

Looking back on my experiences and all the things I accomplished, I can genuinely say TGI was worth the while. I met friends and mentors who were encouraging and inspiring and built skills that made a difference in my personal and professional life. Most of all, I was introduced to a network of high-quality individuals that influenced my mindset and future pathways for the better.

Kevin Mwangi, Moton Fellow Alumnus Summer 2020, Cheney University, Class of 2022

Lauren Merritt-Taylor

The Gloucester Institute’s Emerging Leaders Program provided me with the opportunity to truly develop personal and professional relationships while discovering the history of Holly Knoll in the process. During my first visit to the Moton Campus, Mrs. James told us that this is our [second] home and emphasized the importance of supporting and returning to The Gloucester Institute. So, I took advantage of collaborating and bonding with my cohort, polishing my writing and speaking abilities, and absorbing the wisdom and life experiences of seasoned professionals via networking. I needed all of those experiences as I prepared for my post-graduate life. The impact of TGI was so immense, that I have returned several times as an alumna to serve and motivate the next generation of leaders when asked (and to simply visit). I believe that is my responsibility to “pay it forward” based on all that I was taught here.

Lauren Merritt-Taylor, Emerging Leaders Program Alumna Class of 2012, Virginia State University Class of 2012

Tyra Beaman

One of the most challenging realities young leaders face today is how to effectively combine their abilities, local and global interests, and spiritual purpose in order to be an agent of change in our evolving world. Entering the summer of my First Year at Spelman College, I was at the intersection of this challenge. However, with the guidance and mentorship graciously provided to me as a Moton Fellow with The Gloucester Institute (TGI) under the leadership of Mrs. Kay Coles James, I quickly learned the most important lesson for a young leader – how to be a solutionist.  TGI was a launching pad for my professional career – teaching me how to seek solutions, how to transfer my morals and principles to my career goals, and how to effectively utilize my herstory, identity, and background as an incredible asset to the community that surrounds me. Our nation critically needs programs like TGI – programs that are producing not only leaders for today but future generations of leaders who are prepared, empowered, and excited about being solutionists.

Tyra Beaman, Moton Fellow Alumna Summer 2013, Spelman College Class of 2016

Diamonique Anderson

Program Director, Clarence “CJ” Sailor, often challenges me during our Questions of The Day (QOTD) to see perspectives that I may not have otherwise considered. The QOTD examines current policies or politics, and we are encouraged to propose a democratic solution. The Moton
Fellowship offers a unique opportunity to network with future world leaders and challenge oneself and his or her presuppositions.

Diamonique Anderson, University of Mary Baldwin, Moton Fellow Summer 2018

Adaya Sturkey

It was my expectation that the Emerging Leaders Program would be a replica of many of the programs I had previously participated in. But, to my surprise and delight ELP was so much more. This was one of the first times I had been in a room with other intellectuals who looked like I did, but also had different ideas and beliefs. My ideas were challenged which led me to either defend or reconsider my ideologies. Because of Mrs. James and her vision, I believe ELP created a level of exposure I had not yet seen, and I truly believe the experience was an unknown preparatory step for my current endeavors. ELP’s monthly programs are so skillfully and thoughtfully planned. The dedication of the staff is undeniable. I am forever indebted and forever grateful to have been given this opportunity.

Adaya Sturkey, Hampton University, Emerging Leaders Class of 2018

Jamon JK Phenix

The Gloucester Institute has a way of cultivating the intersection of our past and present while subsequently empowering the future leaders of our nation. As an alumnus of this amazing program, I am a testament to its commitment and life-changing opportunities. Due to these transformative experiences, I stand well equipped to take on the unique challenges of the day as a policy and advocacy professional.

Mrs. Kay Coles James has taught each of us, how to use your life’s circumstances to contribute meaningful and positive solutions to the world. By giving to the Gloucester Institute, you will be helping to build a launching pad for future leaders of America.

Jamon JK Phenix, Virginia Union University, Emerging Leaders Class of 2018

Jordyn Hawkins-Rippie

The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) provided me with the knowledge and skill training components that are often overlooked in many leadership programs but emphasized with great importance here at TGI. ELP helped me realize that academic knowledge alone was not sufficient enough to be a great leader, but rather academic knowledge coupled with specific small behaviors and skills that would elevate and propel us to that level of leadership.

Jordyn Hawkins-Rippie, Hampton University Class, Emerging Leaders Class of 2017

Javier Penzallna

The Emerging Leaders Program has helped me become a better-informed citizen and made me realize the importance of a common purpose and the bigger picture. Since being accepted to the program, I have become more confident and driven in my personal and professional life. I am gaining the tools and resources I need to be a leader in my community and country.

Javier Penzellna, University of Mary Washington, Emerging Leaders Class of 2017

Student Testimonials