The Division of Multicultural Affairs at Youngstown State University in Ohio has established the Navarro Executive Fellows program on campus this fall. The program is named for Shorty and Elba Navarro who donated $1 million to the university earlier this year. Shorty Navarro owns car dealerships in the Youngstown area and Elba Navarro is a university alumna.
Seventeen first-year students will be the first cohort of Navarro Executive Fellows. They will be paired with a mentor from the university’s leadership team. Students must be a member of an underrepresented group and have at least a 2.5 grade point average in high school.
Sylvia J. Imler, chief diversity officer at Youngstown State, notes that “the growth and development of diverse students is important to YSU. The Navarro Executive Fellows program was developed to mentor, motivate through employment, enhance academic success and personal growth, encourage campus engagement, assist with career development, integrate work experience with classroom learning, foster leadership and increase retention and diversity on campus.”
Black students make up about 12 percent of the undergraduate student body at the university, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Education.