Kearney's vision actualized with Minority Mentorship Symposium
April 5, 2011
The Minority Mentorship Symposium -- the brainchild of Texas Women's Track and Field Head Coach Beverly Kearney -- was created five years ago as a forum for teaching, inspiring and mentoring student-athletes, but it has grown to an event that reaches the entire community.
Kearney’s unique lesson, which applies to people of all walks of life, is that persistence can help you reach goals.
"It inspires, it motivates and it energize,” Kearney said. “I think it really has a lasting effect because that's what this interacting, networking conference is all about."
Initially an intimate gathering of pupils and mentors, the symposium is now a focal point of the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays weekend, drawing and attracting professional athletes, high-profile minority executives and stars from the sports, music, political and corporate industries.
"I've never been this inspired," entertainer Eve said after attending her first symposium. "I've never been this inspired by so many different kinds of people. People said it did feel like church but in a way it's like church for the rest of your life."
The event began as a platform to provide insight for student-athletes, as they transition into the corporate world.
"It started as a simple plan to create greater visibility for the aspirations of the student-athletes," Kearney said. "It's a challenge for women in corporate America. It's a challenge for minorities. So, imagine being both. I was really passionate about them understanding that what they're facing, and what they're going through, is normal."
While the weekend is centered around the Thursday night dinner, symposium and awards ceremony, Kearney has expanded the program with a variety of community service events to enrich area youth. On Friday afternoon, Kearney will host the "Pursuit of Excellence Youth Rally" on the Gregory Gym Plaza. Area students, including many from the Neighborhood Longhorns Program, will be on hand to hear from Kearney and her noteworthy guests.
"This event helps you realize that all of these people have gone through or endured struggles and have been persistent and found a way to be successful in what they wanted to do and not necessarily what the world was telling them to do,” Women’s Track senior Betzy Jimenez said.
And that was exactly Kearney’s vision five years ago.
"It's about access and providing access is providing connections and this is what we hope to do," Kearney said. "We hope to provide and reconnect our generations together, our community together in terms of diversity and success. I want to connect people who are successful with people who want to be successful."
Minority Mentorship Symposium – Divine Divas Dinner
Divine Divas’ “Legacy” Award Recipients:
Divine Divas’ “Special Legacy” Award Recipient:
Words of Wisdom: Dr. Jo-An Mitchell
Minority Mentorship Symposium – Gents of Distinction Dinner
The 5th Annual Minority Mentorship Symposium
Divine Divas Honorees
Gents of Distinction Honorees