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Mentee Testimonials:

  • "The Leadership Initiative (TLI) is by far one of the best youth leadership programs that I have come across in a long time.  Being a mother of a now young adult and a teen, I have had my experience with many programs.  The mentors and curriculum are second to none with true compassion and understanding for the youth.  My son a TLI Ambassador, recently graduating from the program, but consistently refers to the skills obtained during his time with the program.  The program does require a time commitment, but I believe is the first step in being responsible and exercising ones’ commitment to growth.  If you are looking for a disciplined program that will help your youth develop leadership as well as life skills and an atmosphere conducive to learning and growth; by far I would recommend The Leadership Initiative." - A. Burrell-Butler (Parent) 

  • “The mentoring program has provided me with knowledge that I will hold on to for the rest of my life.” “I am a more confident, intelligent, and strong black woman because of my mentors and fellow mentees who have always pushed me to be the best version of myself.” - Kaitlyn S. (Program Graduate)


  • “This mentoring program was the foundation I needed to better myself and those around me.” - Andreas N. (Program Graduate)


  • “It has impacted the woman I am today and my college experience, especially those topics which addressed the importance of the Personal Brand, Public Speaking, and Dining Etiquette.” – Briana D. (Program Graduate)


  • “Each of the Mentoring Sessions unlocked something inside of me that helped me realize my professional potential; they provided me an immense amount of tools that I still utilize today.” – Breanna J. (Program Graduate)


  • “I have witnessed the benefits the mentoring sessions have bestowed upon my child’s abilities to succeed.” - B. Smith (Parent & Mentor)


  • “After being a part of this wonderful Mentoring Program, it still amazes me how this awesome group of Mentors are so committed to the youth in our community.”  - N. Nelson (Parent)


  • “The Mentoring Program has benefited our three sons.  They were exposed to countless educational opportunities, and given advice that will serve as a guiding light throughout their lives.  The Program has truly been a blessing to our family.” – K.  & V. Fuller (Parents)


  • “The creative leadership, along with the committed cadre of supportive female and male mentors, and other consistent, exceptional professional volunteers, has created a ‘rare, transformative’ model of mentoring.  This model could serve to set the example and heighten the ‘relevancy of co-ed mentoring’ for many others to follow.” - Dr. A. Albright (Mentoring Partner)

  • "The Leadership Initiative was a great program for younger students just to be able to learn and build a community with people that look like me. I’ve learned so much from the program and made so many lifelong friends that I know I will stay in communication with. Now that I’m in college I take basically everything that I’ve learned from there and use in my daily life especially when it comes to time management and managing my money. It is a great program that I think that every African-American student should definitely be in because it is an experience that will last a lifetime." - Sloane J. (Program Graduate)

  • "I can easily say that the Leadership Initiative Program is one the best programs my son was involved in during high school. Because of this program, my son was able to flourish both in and outside of school and become an outstanding high school student. Every Saturday, after the program, I would always ask my son what he learned from the program, and he would always give a well explained answer. Not only did my son try to understand what he learned from the program but he also tried to figure out how to apply it to his daily life. For example, after the handshake seminar, at every event we went to, my son would always try to shake everyone’s hands with the correct handshake. I believe that the Leadership Initiative Program has taught my son to become a great scholar and goal-oriented student who always seeks opportunity. Now that my son is in college, I know that he will continue to apply what he learned from this program to his college life and continue to excel both in academics and extracurriculars." - A. Brown (Parent)


  • "On my first day of The Leadership Initiative Program, I was not very excited about waking up at 9:00am on a Saturday morning to attend the meeting. So much so, I tried to convince my mother that I was sick. Unfortunately, she didn’t believe me and she drove me to the program anyway. Before the meeting started, I doubted that this program would teach me new things. However, after the first day, I realized that I was mistaken. For two years, I gained so much knowledge being part of The Leadership Initiative program. I believe that the program has prepared me to become successful not only in college, but also in the workplace. During each meeting, I would learn something new and everyday, I would try to apply what I learn to my daily life. By doing this, I believe that I have become a well-rounded person who doesn’t shy away from opportunity. Because of the Leadership Initiative, during interviews or important meetings, I make sure that I give the correct handshake to everyone in the room with a firm grip and a slight angle of the hand, making sure that I maintain eye contact with the other person. Along with performing correct handshakes, The Leadership Initiative has also taught me how to have conversations about controversial topics among a group of people. By learning how to shake hands and take part in tough conversations, along with many other life skills, I believe that the Leadership Initiative has prepared me for the real world and helped me in achieving my high goals. Now that I am in college, I will continue to apply what I learned from the Leadership Initiative Program to my daily life. I will not shy away from challenges, and I will seize any opportunities that come my way. Whether it's doing internships, research or study abroad, I want to make the most of my college experience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and use every resource I have to further my college experience" - Craig B. (Program Graduate)

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