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Young Presidents Visit Honors

YPOThe Honors College produces leaders in many fields, including the arts, academia, law, and business. So, it’s fitting that the Honors College welcomed the Gulf States Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) for their educational meeting last November 3rd.

That morning, over 40 Houston business leaders enjoyed a lunch, an introduction to the Honors College, and an independent educational presentation in the Honors Commons. For many, the day was their first encounter with the space, students, and staff of the Honors College—and one that left them impressed.

“From the Honors Commons to the student ambassadors, the Honors College was a wonderful setting for our meeting,” said Todd Reppert, Education Chairman of the Gulf States Chapter of YPO and President of Main Street Capital Corporation. “We believe the University of Houston and the Honors College are under-utilized assets within the Houston business community and are therefore trying to raise awareness among our local business leaders.”

The Honors College and YPO have quite a bit in common. Like the Honors College, YPO is an organization that promotes lifelong leadership and education through exchange of ideas. Like the Honors College, YPO insists on admitting only the best. And like the Honors College, YPO provides opportunities for its members to engage with additional sectors of the Houston community.

Results are already in. Several Gulf States’ YPO Chapter members who attended the November event are working with the Honors College to create internship opportunities for Honors College students within their local businesses.

And Honors College senior Erica Fletcher—named one of Glamour magazine’s Top College Women of 2010—recently spoke about her documentary on Latinas with HIV/AIDS at YPO’s 2011 Global Leadership Summit in Denver (see below).

Hosting the Gulf States Chapter of YPO is yet another way that the Honors College is engaging with Houston leaders, expanding opportunities for our students. This partnership highlights the importance of the Houston community’s support of the College, and of the College as an incubator of Houston’s future leaders.

Erica Fletcher at YPO's Global Leadership Summit

Erica Fletcher participated in a panel discussion with young humanitarians at YPO’s 2011 Global Leadership Summit in February.

“Our panel discussion focused on our inspirations and motivations for doing humanitarian work, and my favorite part about the trip was speaking about my research on HIV/AIDS and sex trafficking,” Fletcher said. “I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to talk about issues that are very meaningful to me, like the importance of sex education and women’s empowerment.”