By CBS Detroit
With over a half million people working in advertising, marketing and public relations across the nation, just 10-percent were Hispanic, 7 percent African American and 5.7-percent Asian.
The statistics are startling which is why Kim Hunter, Founder & CEO of The LAGRANT Foundation, formed to help encourage more young people to consider the communications field.
They’re looking for candidates to apply for their college scholarships which are given out each spring.
Hunter appeared on “Michigan Matters” along with Tony Cervone, Senior Vice President of Global Communications and Johnny Ricks, an Air Force veteran, who is now a Wayne State University graduate student, to discuss The LAGRANT program, Hunter, who lives in Los Angeles, worked for a Fortune 500 firm. After seeing the dearth of minorities, struck out on his own with LAGRANT to help increase opportunities for young people of color. He has partnered with companies and executives from GM, Weber Shandwick and others.
Since 1998, the LAGRANT Foundation has awarded $2.13 million and 411 scholarships to college students. The organization also has provided mentoring, career and professional development, internships and entry-level jobs.
The LAGRANT Foundation recently awarded 50 more scholarships in celebration of its 19th anniversary on May 22 in Detroit. Cervone served as co-host of the event. Twenty graduate students were awarded $3,750 scholarships and 30 undergrads received scholarships of $2,500.
Encouraging diversity isn’t about altruism. It makes good sense.
“Kim (Hunter) has been involved with this issue for years,” said Cervone. “He’s got an incredible personal network that drives advocacy and awareness. And he’s inspiring the profession and the LAGRANT alumni network to give back and make a difference.”
Ricks, who is from Detroit, is now learning from Cervone and other executives he’s met through the LAGRANT Foundation. He was one of 50 students to receive a scholarship in May.
“My goal is to become a high-level communications executive,” said Ricks, who is the first in his family to attend college. “I am particularly interested in corporate communications. I aspire to rise to the top of a Fortune 100 company.”
Also appearing on the show was Albert Scaglione, founder and CEO of Park West Gallery, who talked about a contest being held for artists in Metro Detroit. He is putting on the regional contest along with Oakland County.
And Karen Delhey sits with Cain to talk about the upcoming Ann Arbor Art Fair which opens July 20-23 and changes for the epic annual summertime event which attracts hundreds of thousands.
You can hear the conversation by watching “Michigan Matters” 11:30 Sunday on CBS 62.