Monday was the last day of the conference. It was really fun. Our first thing on the agenda was panel for freshman about social media etiquette from a man who made his company by always being nice. At the end of the panel, he gave us books from a man who turned his family’s small winery into a multi-million dollar company! These books are not even out yet!
After the session, we went to Jack Talks, a session that allows scholars to present on topics that they feel passionate about. We had 4 students present, one of them being a Bruin! I did miss out on two presentations due to being sick. I went back to my room and stayed there for a bit, only to come down for the plenary session and mock election results at the end of the Jack Talks.
After all that, we went on our sponsor luncheons. These luncheons are designed to have scholars eat with their sponsors, such as GE, Northrop-Grumman, BNY Mellon (the one I went to), etc. Many programs or schools would be able to get representatives or even employees, but the JRF is able to get CEOs, presidents, and top executives to get a chance to eat and educate scholars for three hours.
I went to BNY Mellon (Bank of New York) to eat with Derek Penn, Daisy Flores, and Regina Watts. Derek Penn is Managing Director and Head of Equity Sales and Trading Operation, Daisy Flores is the Assistant Investment Officer, and Regina Watts is the Vice-president of BNY Mellon. Every one of these people were POC with humble beginnings that worked hard and became powerhouses in their fields. Learning from Derek Penn was a worthwhile experience. I did shatter his plans a bit when he was expecting to talk to some scholars that were undeclared and get them into finance. I realized that the foundation does not know that I declared psychobiology, and owned up to declaring a week prior to going to MLC. When I told him my major, he did not know what it meant, but I expect from most people I meet.
After the luncheon we had to take Freshmen head shots then a break to get ready for the Rewards Gala! This is the best time of MLC and the best way to end it off! We all got dressed in our best outfits and dresses and such. We went to the pre-reception where I had too many drinks (ginger ale and Shirley Temples) then went downstairs to the ballroom to the Awards Gala. This is the first year the gala was held in the same hotel as all the panels. Usually, we all get bused to the Waldorf, but it is being renovated so we had to keep it in the Marquis.
The gala was amazing. We had the actor that played Jackie Robinson in the movie “42” as the MC. We had a surprise performance by Angie Stone and her band. And the awards went out to three people that day. One of them was Ambassador Dan Rooney, owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, ambassador for Ireland, and the creator of the Rooney Rule which required teams to interview minority coaches for head coaching positions for professional teams. He even told us that the rule is being extended to woman in due time. This man has accomplished more than most in his lifetime, which is why he was awarded the Jackie Robinson Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. Next was, Bobbi Brown, the found and CCO of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. To my knowledge, she was awarded the Humanitarian award for her work in helping young women get ready for the professional world and releasing limited edition makeup each year to provide 100% of the profits to go to helping those young women. The last award I was not entirely sure about who won it and why because I went to the bathroom, but I am pretty sure he was deserving of it if he was awarded by the JRF. At the end of the gala, the dance floor was open and so was the line to meet and take a picture with Rachel Robinson, our matriarch. I did not get in the line because we had to take class photos right after the gala, but one of my friends had an early start and got a chance to take an almost once in a lifetime chance (more if you are affiliated with JRF) photo with Rachel Robinson. The class photo went by pretty quickly and at the end, they all gave us Nike Elite backpacks with JRF logo on the front and Terrible Towels (a necessary item for any Steelers fan) in each bag.
This is when the Scholar After Party began. Some people changed and others stayed in their gala clothing, but as scholars who worked so hard in school and the last 4 days, this after party was a way to release all of that pent up energy. Although we find any chance to release it, this was our chance to get the last bit of it out! After a while I went back to my room and changed to grab my laptop and make an update on a few things before going back upstairs to get ready to leave in 4 hours…
The post after this one will highlight all of my mistakes and mishaps during the conference and on the way home!
This ends the series of posts about the JRF MLC! If anyone has any questions, reach me here in the comments section or message me any other way you know. Thank you so much for following me on this blog and being patient about each update! I love when I hear that people read it every now and then! Please enjoy and I hope to be with you all for years to come!