HBCU IMPACT® was first conceived at Morehouse College in Fall 2018. The Atlanta Association of Insurance Professionals (“AAIP”) presented a career panel to attract and engage students in the School of Business to career opportunities in the insurance industry. Their message that day was simple: insurance is recession-proof and insurance touches EVERYTHING. Despite hearing the sounds from the concert across the street, Three students invested in themselves by delaying their participation in the Homecoming activities and decided to participate in the program.
As our industry colleagues took turns introducing themselves, it was apparent that those in attendance represented a broad spectrum of career professionals from across disciplines. AAIP Charter Member, Ron Thomas, was there to support and unbeknownst to him, he was about to be a significant part of AAIP history… again. After the insurance professionals introduced themselves, AAIP President Rebekah Ratliff talked about immediate opportunities that the students might consider. Among them, catastrophe duty and adjuster licensing. Courtlynd Mallory, Class of 2019, expressed an interest in licensing and the die was cast. He was eager to leverage the spontaneous offer to complete a licensing class during the 2018 Christmas break.
AAIP members provided the funds for the licensing class through RS Thomas and Associates insurance licensing and training facility in Atlanta. Courtlynd passed the test and in addition to earning his P & C adjuster’s license, went further to earn a life agent’s license. Rebekah Ratliff called NAAIA Greater Hartford President Ngozi Nnagi and NAAIA Florida President Sha’Ron James, Esq. who enlisted NAAIA Florida leader Yumeko Motley, Esq. and the organization soon took form.
With NAAIA implementing student membership in 2019, the mission of professional development has evolved to include college students interested in careers in the insurance and risk management industry. In Fall 2019, IMPACT launched 4 inaugural campus “Institute” programs at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Bethune-Cookman University, Savannah State University and North Carolina Central University. HBCU IMPACT Initiative, Inc.® continues to build relationships to enable the recruitment of HBCU students for internships and careers in the insurance industry. Our partnership with Ako Insurance Consulting is a mechanism for retention and support inside the employment experience, along with the #1000BlackInterns Initiative. Our goal… RECRUIT.RETAIN.REPRESENT.
HBCU IMPACT® was forced to respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 by pivoting to online platforms. Today the organization is focused on establishing new relationships and strengthening current ones with HBCUs, as well as employers within the insurance industry. We are focused on growth and will continue working to increase student engagement, corporate sponsorships and industry employment opportunities.