On November 16, Cushman & Wakefield’s Marques L. Williams hosted the 3rd Annual Softball Summit Series + Career Day Benefitting The Youth Business Alliance (YBA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that brings critical 21st century business skills and perspectives to top performing high school students from underserved communities around Los Angeles County.
Over 300 attendees and 125 YBA students came out to Penmar Recreation Center in Venice to raise awareness for the organization and to support the event and the community, bringing in $15,000 for YBA.
Marques, a member of Cushman & Wakefield’s Future Leaders Program (CWFL) and the firm’s Emerging Tech Practice Group, who also happens to be a former professional baseball player, has been involved with YBA since 2014 and currently serves as a board member. This is his third year hosting the Softball Summit + Career Day.
“We are building a community at the intersection of LA’s future leaders, the YBA students, and LA’s most innovative and disruptive companies. Our intention is to collectively change the narrative of the value that diversity of thought and experience brings to the workplace, while exposing our students to different industries and curating relationships,” said Marques.
The tournament featured a series of highly competitive co-ed softball games with LA’s top media and technology companies vying for the 2018 title while raising money for the program. Additionally, the career day portion of the event connected the YBA students with professionals from a diverse group of industries, ranging from media and tech to legal, healthcare, and e-commerce. This year’s event highlighted the value of diversity of thought and the value it brings to business, which was emphasized through a series of interactive activities for all attendees.
Marques added, “It’s incumbent upon us as professionals to encourage and celebrate individuals who overcome challenges and strive for growth, regardless of their background. I believe that tenacity, coupled with diversity of thought, is the source of all innovation. The community we are building is an ecosystem meant to foster future growth for our future leaders. Collectively, our community will be a catalyst of growth and of innovation.”
In three years, the event has raised over $30,000 for YBA, benefitting high school youth with exposure to business professionals, field trips in the workplace, and lessons on financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and career development skills.
YBA is currently participating in 20 schools across Los Angeles County and serving over 600 youth. To learn more, visit www.youthbizalliance.com