Loyola University New Orleans Hosted Straight Business Scholars Program

Industry: Business

Exposing First-Generation, College-Bound Students to Business School

New Orleans, LA (PRUnderground) November 7th, 2019

Students from Orleans, Jefferson, and Plaquemines Parish high schools spent the weekend (Oct. 19-20) at Loyola University New Orleans for a crash-course in business through the Straight Business Scholars program. In order to meet the growing amount of first-generation students attending college, Straight Business Scholars was created to expose these students to the opportunities they will receive by pursuing a degree in business. 

Organizer of Straight Business Scholars, Christine Alexis named the program after the Straight Business School that her grandparents and great-grandparents operated for African American students in New Orleans. “The amount of first-generation college students are growing at an exponential rate, and it is my goal to reach the students in my community while they are in high school to better show them the different paths that they can take with a business degree,” said Alexis. She added, “Aside from the business classes the students took, they also met with industry professionals to learn more about goal-setting, decision making, career planning, college applications, and scholarships.”

The 2019 cohort arrived bright and early on Saturday morning, and for some, this was their first time on a college campus. They learned about accounting, marketing, international business, and other areas in the traditional business curriculum. All of the speakers used real-life examples when presenting. For example, attorney Jasmine Brown had the students dissect Drake’s label contract in her business law course.  For the students, representation was key, and one of them even commented on how surprised they were by the different career paths a person of color could take. 

Speakers included:

  • Dr. Kathy Barnett; Associate Dean, Loyola University College of Business

  • Jasmine Brown, Esq.

  • Courtney Jones; Stylist, NCIS New Orleans

  • Fran McManus; Travel Marketing Consultant, Miles Partnership (Former student at Straight Business School)

  • Sasha Poché, Esq.; Contract Attorney

  • Judge Kern Reese; Orleans Parish Civil District Court

  • Anthony Sedlak, CPA; Manager of Financial Analysis, LLOG Exploration

The students also sat down with Loyola University New Orleans’ Director of Financial Aid, Anna Daigle, to learn more about the financial aid process. In efforts to get the students to learn more financial responsibility, the students met with Certified Financial Planner Daniel Toro, Jr. of Edward Jones to get a better understanding of credit scores, loans, and savings.

After the program, all of the students were given a complimentary ACT preparatory course by test preparation company Magoosh. In addition to the support given by Loyola University New Orleans, Straight Business Scholars received donations from restaurants Panera, Reginelli’s, and Café Beignet.

An alumni of Loyola University New Orleans, Alexis said, “It’s only natural that this program would be held at Loyola. As students, we are taught the importance of giving back and the university has always been instrumental in helping us achieve our goals of bettering our community.”

About Straight Business Scholars

The Straight Business Scholars program is a free preparatory program specifically designed for future business leaders in a bid to assist low-resources, first-generation college-bound high school students in the successful completion of secondary education. They prepare students both academically and socially for their enrolment in a higher education business degree program. The program also helps build an atmosphere that enhances positive self-esteem while fostering unity and collaboration.

For more detailed information about Straight Business Scholars, please visit www.straightbusinessscholars.com

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