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Spelman College Student Among Inaugural MEPE Program Cohort to Increase Minority Entrepreneurs From HBCUs Share a Spelman College Press Release

For Immediate Release

Joyce Davis
Spelman College

Destinee Filmore Spelman MEPE FellowATLANTA (February 18, 2019) – A Spelman College student is part of an inaugural cohort of fellows in a program that aims to increase minority entrepreneurs from historically Black colleges and universities.

Destinee Filmore, C’2021, is among the 25-member cohort of the Mary Ellen Pleasant Entrepreneur Fellowship program. The MEPE Fellowship, an outgrowth of a partnership between The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions and minority-owned recruiting marketing platform, Mentor Spaces ( formerly "The Whether" ), is part of a $775,000 Innovations in Career Advising grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“These types of learning opportunities contribute to the transformational experiences that shape the lives of Spelman students,” said Darryl Holloman, Ph.D., vice president for student affairs.  “Destinee’s selection aligns with Spelman’s efforts to train innovative change agents who, in turn, have a positive impact on the world. We are proud of Destinee for this accomplishment.”

The 10-week virtual fellowship will allow fellows the opportunity to build a peer advising startup during the spring 2019 semester with the help of Mentor Spaces virtual business and marketing-focused curriculum and their scientifically-validated Clarity Assessment. The fellows will be responsible for introducing the assessment on campus to professors, student organizations and individuals. Fellows can earn up to $2,500 based on the metrics and feedback from their campus community.

Filmore, who hopes to one day own and operate her own gallery or art-consulting firm, said that the recognition of her entrepreneurial spirit is gratifying.

“My aspirations have been acknowledged and stimulated within this fellowship and I give many thanks to our coordinators for their persistent support,” said the International Studies major. “Being a Bonner Scholar, Social Justice Associate, and an executive board member of a few student organizations has equipped me with an extensive network of people committed to improving the lives of young people within at Spelman and in the surrounding community. The advice, curriculum, and goals of the MEPE fellowship will further equip me with the tools to be a dynamic entrepreneur, aware of the social implications of my work.”

The fellows were selected from over 300 applicants. The students were then assessed by a diverse set of criteria that went beyond major and GPA to include on-campus engagement and social leadership engagement.

“This fellowship is distinct because it has been developed particularly for HBCU students to serve HBCU students,” said Marybeth Gasman, the Judy and Howard Berkowitz Professor of Education at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Center for Minority Serving Institutions. “We are so excited to offer this opportunity and to work alongside Mentor Spaces ( formerly "The Whether" )”

About The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions
The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions brings together researchers and practitioners from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. The Center’s goals include: elevating the educational contributions of MSIs; ensuring that they are a part of national conversations; bringing awareness to the vital role MSIs play in the nation’s economic development; increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs; connecting MSIs’ academic and administrative leadership to promote reform initiatives; and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged communities. For further information about the Center, please visit

About Mentor Spaces ( formerly "The Whether" )
Mentor Spaces is a recruitment marketing platform that helps university recruiters build and nurture diverse talent pipelines. It recommends diverse candidates to employers through employer-generated career content that is targeted to students based on their soft-skills, strengths, and values. Our values-based approach and automated content marketing engine saves companies 75% of recruiting spend while personalizing the candidate experience at scale. Based in St. Louis, we’re on a mission to scale career education for all college students and make recruiting them easier. For further information about Mentor Spaces, please visit

About Spelman College 
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by U.S. News and World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 51 among all liberal arts colleges and No. 1 among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman, Starbucks Group President and COO Rosalind Brewer, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones. For more information, visit


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