I’ve always said my favorite part of storytelling is that I get to meet extraordinary people who often describe themselves and their actions as ordinary.

Earlier this spring, a few colleagues and I traveled to New York for an event the Institute sponsored with HBCUvc which is a non-profit organization that provides fellowships to students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) in venture capital and technology entrepreneurship.

The HBCUvc Fellowship gives those students the opportunity to build professional relationships with seasoned investors and entrepreneurs, but if we’re being honest, anyone who’s met these young people will selfishly feel they’re the ones benefitting from the conversation more than the students.

“This is a community that encourages you to be your best self,” said Shondace Thomas, who’s a computer science major at Howard University. She’s also interning at Google. “I’m interested in making an impact (at work) because impact means a lot to me. I don’t want to work at something that will only used in the company. I want to work at something that will change people’s lives.”

We asked Shondace and a number of other HBCUvc Fellows to share their dreams and the impact they want to have on the world. We’ve posted a couple of those here and you can find the rest at our YouTube page, but what struck me was that, to a person, none of the Fellows spoke about impact in terms of becoming rich and powerful. They all talked of positively uses venture capital and entrepreneurship to help the communities where they grew up, to use the skills they’re learning to better the neighborhoods where they live.

As I left the event, I wondered if ten years from now or even sooner, I’ll see these young people wildly successful and say, “I remember meeting them in New York.”

Like I wrote earlier, extraordinary people who I hope will inspire you through these videos.

For more information on the wonderful program of HBCUvc, you can go here: http://www.hbcu.vc/

Lyndon Bowen Jr.

Elijah Porter

Shondace Thomas