Purdue focuses on growing global leaders at 2012 Indiana Black Expo

July 16, 2012  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Encouraging youth to develop academic and community service skills as well as preparing to be global leaders are the themes Purdue University is supporting at the 42nd annual Summer Celebration of the Indiana Black Expo.

The Expo started July 12 and concludes on July 22 in Indianapolis. Purdue is sponsoring the Youth Leadership Summit July 20-22, which is themed "Growing Global Leaders." The three-day event encourages youth, ages 11-18, to focus on their academic, personal and community service goals and develop leadership skills.

"We are excited to partner with Indiana Black Expo to help young people in the state of Indiana acquire critical life skills as well as understand themselves as global citizens and leaders," said G. Christine Taylor, vice provost for diversity and chief diversity officer at Purdue. "We also want them to think seriously about preparing for college, and we want them to be aware of all the excellent opportunities that are available at Purdue."

Purdue will again host the Super Friday initiative on Friday (July 20). Taylor said the program, open to all youth ages 11-18, is expected to draw up to 300 students from around Indiana. Students from Michigan also attended last year, she said.

As part of the Friday event, representatives from several colleges and departments will have display tables with interactive activities for students designed to increase awareness about academic programs and related initiatives at Purdue.

Workshop topics for the rest of the youth summit will include preparing for college, developing strong leadership skills and effective event planning.

"Through the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), which was founded here at Purdue, one of the highlights will be a real-time conversation, through Skype, with students in Ghana," Taylor said. "Virginia Booth-Gleghorn, director of the Minority Engineering Program at Purdue, is working on an EPICS project in Ghana with a group of Purdue students, and there is a NSBE chapter in Ghana. We are excited to connect Indiana students to Ghanaian students to discuss global leadership in the 21st century."

Purdue also will sponsor an exhibition booth where visitors can learn more about the university through several hands-on activities.

Taylor said many people support Purdue’s efforts at the Summer Celebration. "This is a collaborative initiative with many partners throughout the university," she said. "We will have a very strong and engaged institutional presence at this year's event through our participation in the youth empowerment summit and the Exhibition Hall. We invite people to stop by to see Purdue's booth."

The Expo's Summer Celebration is the largest ethnic and cultural event of its kind in the nation and attracts more than 350,000 attendees annually. It provides networking, educational, career and cultural opportunities for participants. Through events such as the celebration, the Expo generates resources to support its key initiatives, including education. Since 1984, the Expo has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to 2,000 Indiana students. 

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, gmcclure@purdue.edu

Source: G. Christine Taylor, 765-494-6969, taylorgc@purdue.edu

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