20 Students from 11 HBCUs Selected for Inaugural Cohort

ATLANTA, GA (AUGUST 17, 2021) — In preparation for the launch for the Apple- and Southern Company–backed Propel Center, INROADS has been selected to lead a cohort of emerging leaders through a leadership intensive, using a pilot version of the Propel curriculum. The intensive is called EPIC (Experience Propel Internship Cohort) and provides a vaunted leadership development experience exclusively for HBCU talent.

“We have made a commitment to partnering with HBCUs to prepare the next generation of civic-

minded leaders and innovators. With INROADS as our partner, EPIC is the first step to installing at Propel Center a sustained approach for elevating opportunities for HBCU talent and creating an opportunity for HBCU students to contribute to the development of the Propel” said Waymond Jackson, Ed Farm.

“Changing lives, and impacting the career journeys of our youth, takes great collaboration. Having Apple, Southern Company and Ed Farm/Propel as partners has set the stage for us to make a real difference in the lives of our students,” said Forest T. Harper, Jr., president and CEO, INROADS, Inc.

The inaugural EPIC cohort was selected after an intense national search. The result was a cohort of students that represented 11 HBCUs — including the University of the Virgin Islands. This unique leadership experience provided the 2021 EPIC cohort with the following internship rotations:

  • Propel Justice:In their first-week rotation, students were tasked with creating a rollout plan on how to engage HBCU students in social justice issues.
  • Propel Arts:Propel Arts rotation consisted of students developing a business plan for a Music-Tech incubator, in partnership with Vydia. They were tasked with allocating $50,000 of funds to create a successful model that would support artists in music production and distribution.
  • Propel Ag Tech: Interns were tasked with creating innovative supply chain solutions to solve food insecurity/food deserts.
  • Propel Health:Interns researched and identified access to healthy food within the communities surrounding their HBCU. Through this weeklong rotation, the EPIC interns produced a comprehensive study supported by data and visualization of landscape, storytelling, etc., including location map of these entities surrounding neighborhoods around AUC and ways to engage and improve healthy living and standards.
  • App Design Series:Our signature Intro to App Design Series taught the basics of app ideating, prototyping, and pitching. Interns learned from experts in Entrepreneurship and UX Design on how to create and design a real mobile app. Not only did they work on teams to build a clickable prototype of an app, but their team pitched it live on the last day of the series.

“My INROADS experience was nothing short of exhilarating and innovative. Through my advisor’s support, I took advantage of the opportunity to be amongst the first to create a foundation for a phenomenal project. Thanks to Ed Farm/Propel Center and founding partners like Apple and Southern Company, for their support of HBCU students,” said Nadege Barber, EPIC participant, and student at University of the Virgin Islands — Kingshill, U.S. Virgin Islands.