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The second annual Masterminds, Millionaires and Moguls™ event returns to JCSU on September 22 at 7 p.m. Five of the city’s most enterprising executives and entrepreneurs will speak to aspiring students during the event in Biddle Auditorium at Johnson C. Smith University.

YOUniversity Drive, LLC is a Charlotte-based national organization that caters to first generation college students. Its programs inspire first generation students to dream bigger than their humble beginnings to see themselves as successful businessmen and women. YOUniversity Drive gives these students access to community business leaders and professionals who can help these young adults set and achieve their goals. YOUniversity Drive also offers hands-on mentoring to give students the tangible skills necessary to be successful.

“We have to expose our students, especially African Americans, to more positive images that will encourage and ignite dreams,” said YOUniversity Drive founder Michelle R. Horton. “We have to show them successful individuals who aren’t athletes or entertainers.”

The Masterminds, Millionaires and Moguls™ format is one of YOUniversity Drive’s signature events. The goal is to make students aware of the numerous successful business leaders in the Charlotte region. This year’s participants are Greg Johnson, BooneOakley; Kym Walker, Mary Kay; Carol Lilly, Lil Associates II; John Hicks, The Namaste Network; and Sonya Barnes, Harris & Barnes.

The first Masterminds, Millionaires and Moguls™ event drew more than 200 students and nearly 100 community guests to JCSU’s Biddle Auditorium last year. The event was so successful panelist Max Siegel offered five internships to students. Local businessman and panelist Herb Gray hired one student to work for his company Life Enhancement Services full-time. Cy Kennedy, president of American Product Distributors, offered to sponsor this year’s panel after he attended last year.

“We jumped at the chance to have a positive influence on the education of our next generation of business leaders,” Kennedy said. “I was struck by how inspiring the event was last year for the students and the business community at-large.”

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