Strategy

To share Point B’s deep belief and expertise in the power of leadership through a new internship program that helps Portland’s African-American high school students build their leadership skills and discover the career opportunities and impact they can have in their own communities.

What it takes

The passion to help the Urban League develop Portland’s future leadership began over a cup of coffee with a Point B client, and quickly moved into full gear when we volunteered to structure a summer internship program. Drawing on our own perspective in identifying leadership ability, we helped develop the program, recruited the first year’s two interns and funded their stipends as a corporate sponsor.

“Point B made the internship program happen,” said Marcus Mundy, President and CEO of the Urban League of Portland. “They brought us Marshawna Williams and Chelsea Overton, two sharp, highly skilled and creative young women whose enthusiasm was contagious. The quality of their work was so high that we could use them on important projects that made a real contribution—from redesigning our newsletter and doing research to joining in our meetings. They shared observations we wouldn’t have gained if everyone in the room had been over 30.”

The entire community benefits from internships like this, said Isaac Dixon, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Urban League of Portland. “The interns get real-world experience. The community gets young leaders in training who come to understand its issues and problems and may come back to solve them after college. Students of color often have a hard time finding internships. If they don’t see that opportunities exist here for them, they leave for college and don’t come back. We want the best and brightest here in Portland. Point B helped open doors that they didn’t know existed.”

Reality

Now in its second year, the Urban League of Portland’s internship program is a positive force for young African-American leadership—and the business community. “Point B laid the foundation for the program and brought us ideas to make it thrive for future internships,” said Mundy. “By having a great ‘homegrown’ experience before they leave for college, bright young African Americans will realize they can come back to Portland and have exciting opportunities right here in their hometown.”