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, Virginia State University Class of 2012, Emerging Leaders Program Alumna Class of 2012