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Bowie State Joins UDC in $1 Million Partnership to Support Emerging DC Entrepreneurs

April 18, 2018
Select BSU Students to Participate in Intensive 18-Month Entrepreneurship Training

MEDIA CONTACTS: Damita Chambers (BSU),, 301-832-2628 mobile
John Gordon, Jr. (UDC),, 202-701-8805 mobile

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Identifying and maximizing individual strengths in emerging entrepreneurs and top college achievers is at the heart of a new $1 million program announced today by University of the District of Columbia (UDC) President Ronald Mason, Bowie State University President Aminta H. Breaux, and Morgan State University President David Wilson. The Capital Builders Center at the University of the District of Columbia is an exciting new entrepreneurship-focused student scholarship program and training institute open to all DC residents who are enrolled at UDC, Bowie State University or Morgan State University.

Touted as a public-private partnership with the Clifton Foundation, UDC and the District of Columbia government, the three-year grant is administered by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and supports students and District residents attending UDC, Bowie State or Morgan State, two other historically black public universities within close proximity to UDC. Eligible students are those completing their freshman year in college and all graduating high school seniors from the District of Columbia who are entering their first year at UDC, Bowie State or Morgan State. Current Bowie State freshmen can apply online to participate.

Build Your Dream Day graphic - April 28 from 10am - 12:30pm
The Capital Builders Center supports student success with summer boot camps, second-summer apprenticeships, entrepreneurship course work, life skills training, coaching, mentoring and more. UDC is proud to offer this significant stepping stone along the pathway to the middle class.

“Our focus is really about job creation and helping our students leverage their strengths in the workplace,” said UDC President Mason. “There’s a lot of talent and entrepreneurial energy being generated in the District, and we’re focused on creating great graduates who are self-aware and contributing right out of the gate.”

“This is the entrepreneur’s Julliard for local high potential students that can build organizations of unlimited size,” added Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of the Clifton Foundation, which is the funding partner of the scholarship program.

President Aminta H. Breaux speaking at the news conference“Bowie State University is proud to partner with the University of the District of Columbia on the Clifton Scholars Program to create opportunities for our students to develop and enhance their entrepreneurship skills while in college,” said BSU President Breaux. “Entrepreneurial thinking is a key skill for the workforce of today and tomorrow – through this program, talented Bowie State University students will have access to the deep learning experiences needed to succeed in their future careers and the practical support to contribute to the next-generation workforce.”

The Capital Builders Center enhances student learning through courses and coaching based on strengths-based leadership and assists undergraduate degree programs in management and entrepreneurship. All incoming freshmen take a strengths-based course with individualized coaching. Boot camp participants and full-program scholars will gain valuable life and entrepreneurial skills, real-world work experience, and a pathway to middle class jobs and beyond.

Group shot of participants in the news conference

(front row, left to right) Morgan State President Wilson; high
school students Dashon Ridey, Nkozia Knight, and Ajani
Young; BSU President Breaux; and Clifton Foundation
President Connie Rath
(back row, left to right) Thurgood Marshall College Fund
President & CEO Harry Williams; UDC President Mason; and
Clifton Foundation Chairman & CEO Jim Clifton

“This initiative positions the University of the District of Columbia on the cutting-edge in education, research and outreach focused on identifying and maximizing local talent,” said Interim Deputy Mayor Ahnna Smith. “We are opening doors of opportunity for District residents and getting more Washingtonians on pathways to the middle class. This program ensures more DC residents are prepared to participate in the District’s thriving economy and UDC is helping us do just that.”

“From summer internships to dual enrollment, the Clifton Foundation and UDC are invested in ensuring DCPS students are ready for success in college, career, and life,” said Interim DC Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Amanda Alexander. “Today’s announcement is yet another example of how we are coming together as a city to support DCPS students in innovative ways, and I am grateful for this new partnership with UDC, the Clifton Foundation, and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.”

“We are excited to be a part of this collaborative effort to cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit of local DC students, presenting them with the educational opportunities available at each of our prospective universities,” said Morgan State President Wilson. “Morgan has a long history of attracting students from the District, particularly as result of the DC TAG program. Through our involvement in this new partnership, we look to expose more students to the elite educational programs at Morgan and supporting these promising students as they pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions.”

UDC is building broad corporate and community participation in support of this initiative. Microsoft was eager to join as the Capital Builders Center technology partner.

“Through UDC’s partnership with Microsoft, we are providing 30 Surface Pro devices for students to have an engaging experience supporting the entrepreneurship boot camp this year. Our mission at Microsoft Education “Empowering students of today to create the world of tomorrow,” said Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO.


About Bowie State University
Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high-quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The university places special emphasis on the science, technology, cybersecurity, teacher education, business, and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit