• Team Workshop in St. Paul
    We believe in
    Black youth

America's Work Crisis

We have a global work crisis that’s twofold. Professional jobs are increasing faster than we can fill them, and most of us — from college interns to senior executives — feel undervalued and overworked.

This deficit in skills and morale is driven by the adoption of new technology, socioeconomic inequality, and our outdated approach to education & training.

We address America's work crisis by bringing together our most resilient community (Black youth) and our most resourced community (industry leaders) to modernize our nation's approach to student development.

Who We Are

HBCU First is a student-led community advancing the economic participation and well-being of America's Black youth.

As the nation's leading HBCU internship and mentoring academy, we empower elite students — from over 70 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) — with in-demand, college-to-career skills.

We believe Black colleges — due to their track record of graduating thriving professionals — should be the first choice of college-bound Black youth and diverse-talent-seeking organizations.

We are proud earners of the Guidestar® 2023 Platinum Seal of Transparency.

Our Values & Principles

The HBCU First guiding principles of Feedback, Accountably, Community, Transparency, and Service (FACTS) shape our work and who we work with.

Feedback: We believe the goals, priorities, and views of everyone matters.


Accountability: We believe everything we do and don't do impacts others.


Community: We believe we're all in this together as Americans and young people.


Transparency: We believe honest & direct communication is key to progress.


Service: We believe leadership is about helping others move forward.

HBCU First is a student-led community advancing the economic participation and well-being of America’s Black youth.

Increase college and career success for Black youth.