The inaugural class has graduated from The Fast Track, a Black Professional Leadership Program facilitated by the Kansas Leadership Center through Wichita Urban Professionals, an organization dedicated to empowering the city’s young, diverse and talented ages 18 to 45.
The program was sponsored by Spirit AeroSystems.
There were 29 members in the class, which was the first leadership training offered by Wichita Urban Professionals.
The program was conducted in four evening sessions, held two weeks apart. Each session featured three to five speakers who offered education on different aspects of successful leadership based on the Kansas Leadership Center’s philosophy of leadership as an activity, not a position.
Danielle Johnson, with the Wichita Urban Professional Leadership Squad, said the four-session course was widely praised by the participants.
“They said it was an amazing opportunity to hone their leadership skills and build community,” she said. “They were able to connect with professionals across a range of industries and gain insight from leaders who openly and authentically shared their personal and professional experiences.”
The course is designed to empower the city’s young, diverse and talented professionals, equipping them with the tools needed to achieve both their career and personal goals.
The Young Urban Professionals began their relationship with KLC by applying to be part of “Creating Leadership Together,” a program that offers in-kind leadership development training and program design consulting for each of the Kansas-based organizations selected as partners in the program.
Each partner received $10,000 in seed money for their first programs.
The program and funding were a good match for Wichita Urban Professionals with their mission of “developing a rising network of Black leaders to improve the urban community of Wichita.”
Johnson said the organization hopes to make the training program an annual event, open to a new class of professionals every year.
The program is open to any young professional but is aimed at gaining more participation from young Black professionals. Participants in The Fast Track do not have to be members of ICT UP, but they are offered half-price membership after graduation.
Members of the inaugural class of leadership training are:
Raven Alexander, Ayana Allen, Rose-Susie Amadi, Denisha Atkins, Shashia Beard, McKenzie Boyd, Omarian Brantley, Desmond Bryant, Malcolm Carter, Tamika Dawson, Laurie Fortner, Tasha Hayes, Lindsi Hoy, Sonia Inamugisha, Selena Jackson, Gabrielle Jones, Veronica Kelly, Muriel Love, Candace Malone, Jesse Miller, Roland Mumford, Yusef Presley, Ilaysha Reed, Jazmine Rogers, Kennisha Rolfe, Leslie Springfield, NaTasha Tooley, Monica Wilson, and Paige Williams.