On February 26th, Alcorn State University (ASU), in partnership with Cargill’s, the Thrive Program presented a dinner extravaganza entitled Dare To Thrive at ASU’s Ecology building from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm. This event was held to honor and recognize student scholars who are recipients of a Cargill scholarship. Cargill is an American-owned global food corporation, who has hired numerous Alcorn students to intern with, as well as providing careers for Alcorn alumni.
Providing advancement opportunities is part of Cargill’s commitment to its employees. Jabreel Walker, Director for the Cargill Thrive Program at ASU, explained that, “Having a partnership with Cargill has been rewarding. Cargill is the company where they really value people and morals. It’s a company that our students, especially in today’s climate, can work for and feel proud that they work for them.” The event had numerous attendees who currently work for Cargill along with other student scholars.
Sheri Kelly Leath and Lauren Schroeder, Cargill Recruiting, gave several remarks. They discussed the purpose of Cargill, which is to nourish the world in a safe, responsible, and sustainable way. Cargill’s products are used in many of the foods that we consume every day. The two also discussed how HBCUs and institutions with Spanish-speaking communities have been contacted to ensure inclusion within the program.
Ernest Dixon III, a Senior Agriculture Business Management major, was selected to give some remarks about his time with the company. A former intern of Cargill, Dixon expressed satisfaction with his experience. He stated, “I have been able to speak with different colleagues about what I have done with Cargill during this past Summer. With this internship it has really shown me you have to have exposure and experience. You must also make sure you are connecting with people by introducing yourself and conversing intelligently. This can take you a long way and without the Cargill Program I’m not sure where I would be today.”
The event ended with a blazer presentation where scholars not only received an Alcorn Cargill blazer, but also Cargill gifts and a certificate. The company has donated over $1 million to Alcorn as a contribution in part of its program. Aside from scholarships, one of Cargill’s initiatives is to provide better career counseling to students in order to assist them in transforming their degree into a successful job.