America’s 107 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) make up 3% of the nation’s colleges and universities, enrolling over 228,000 students every year. They produce almost 20% of all African American graduates and 25% of African American graduates in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. More than 50% of the nation’s African American public-school teachers and 70% of African American dentists and physicians earned degrees at HBCUs. Over half of all African American professionals are graduates of HBCUs. In addition to granting thousands of degrees in these critical industries of the future, HBCUs also boast illustrious alumni like Martin Luther King, Jr., Oprah Winfrey, and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Despite continuing to benefit thousands of African-American students thanks to strong educational foundations, supportive learning environments, lower tuition rates, and a thriving on-campus community, this community spirit often does not extend beyond graduation even though this connection is needed now more than ever. HBCU MADE was created with this in mind. HBCU MADE is a digital and social platform for alumni and students to engage and build community by bridging the opportunity gap that is created upon graduation. It aims to create an eco-system across all Historically Black Institutions by utilizing innovation and leveraging technology and the metaverse in order to connect the best minds of alumni and students to make a collective impact.
HBCU MADE is a 3 in 1 platform; it includes a social media platform, the Alumni Management SaaS (Software as a Service) platform and the Talent Management Solution SaaS platform. HBCU social media platform, currently available on iOS, provides students and alumni with a centralized location for engaging and communicating with each other. It assists them in identifying career and mentorship connections. The Alumni Management Platform offers universities and non-profit organizations access to statistics related to alumni engagement and university fundraising opportunities. The Talent Management platform is a tool for corporations to provide career advancement opportunities by allowing them to bride the opportunity gap and promote diversity in the workplace.
HBCU Made was established by founder and CEO Skania Florestal with the goal to create a centralized space where HBCU students and alumni can build community and create new opportunities. Already available via iOS App Store, through their Kickstarter they are looking to expand to users on all devices and add key new features for optimum software quality and engagement. While the design elements are complete, the crowdfunding will also allow for cutting edge software developments within the Alumni Engagement and Talent Management platforms. Please check out their Kickstarter campaign page for more info at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hbcumade/hbcu-made
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No PARAGON CHRONICLE journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.