Creating business and industry opportunities for underserved students

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – To get what he wants out of life, Hugo Meza is trying to surround himself with the right people.

“Growing up I didn’t really get to spend time with anyone too successful,” said Meza, a junior at Iowa State University. “I grew up in a poverty stricken environment, so I’m the first in my family to go to college. I didn’t know anyone to go to college prior to me attending college.”

On Friday afternoon, college students from Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas convened at the Federal Reserve Bank St. Louis. They’ve gathered in the Gateway City with an organization called Inroads, which focuses on developing leaders and internships for students nationwide.

“Yeah just a lot of development and training,” said Victoria Onuzuruike, a senior at Williams College. “We’ve met a lot of CEOs and mentors who are giving us a lot of advice about how to be potential corporate leaders in the world.”

“They are such bright students that I feel are the definitely future leaders of America,” said Andrea Johnson-Lee, Inroads Learning Summit.

The learning summit paired up teams for a case study competition. And these students are excited about what they’ve learned so far and what the future holds.

“It doesn’t just help you get from plan A to plan B,” says Meza. “It helps you throughout the rest of your life even after graduate. There’s all these mentors and alumni working with you for the rest of your life.”

“Definitely the program has let me realize that there’s leadership potential in me and I’m ready to use it,” Onuzuruike said.

These students are putting their heads together, to get ahead in life.