CA: New Memphis Institute says attendance highest ever for its Summer Experience
Every year, Kirbi Tucker brings a family member to the Summer Experience kick off. Last year she brought her younger sister. On Monday, she brought a cousin, a freshman at Emory University.
“Once you go through the program or you start going to these kickoffs, you see the difference they make in the community by keeping local Memphians in the city or bringing people from other cities to Memphis,” Tucker said.
Summer Experience gives students and recent college graduates who are working or interning in Memphis over the summer a chance to meet peers from different schools, network with city leaders and experience social and civic sides of the city overlooked by many students. It is put on by the New Memphis Institute, an organization that grooms people for civic leadership roles and encourages men and women in their 20s and 30s to launch their careers in Memphis.
“The Summer Experience is all about captivating the attention of these collegians who have choices all over the country, all over the world, and really helping them understand that Memphis is the place that can help them make their mark,” said New Memphis Institute chief executive Nancy Coffee. “In Memphis they matter.”
On Monday, more than 450 collegians from 110 cities and 97 colleges attended the New Memphis Institute’s Summer Experience kick-off party sponsored by Nike Inc. at Felicia Suzanne’s, a Downtown restaurant, compared to 250 that registered for the kickoff last year.
The program, designed to showcase Memphis, has more people registered this year than any year before. Now in its eighth year, 665 people that represent more than 160 different employers, 190 hometowns, and 150 colleges have registered for the entire Summer Experience program compared to 610 last year. Scheduled events include Instant Memphian, which provides details and insights into the city, and School Spruce Up Service Day, which includes volunteer work in schools.
AutoZone Inc., the Memphis retail chain, has 50 interns, the highest number registered for the Summer Experience. FedEx Corp., ALSAC, ServiceMaster Global Holdings Inc. and International Paper Co. also have large numbers registered.
“You never know who might be there to better the city,” said Joshua Johnson, a junior at Morehouse College and one of the founders of Good Vibes Only, an initiative to bring positive vibes to the city of Memphis through music and events.
On July 20 at “Conversations with the Mayor” sponsored by Data Facts Inc., Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland will speak to participants of the program about where Memphis is heading and how they can be a part of it.
The next Summer Experience event is Memphis Trivia Night scheduled 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the National Civil Right Museum.