Stephen A. Smith, Brittni Brown to speak at YMTF

PINE BLUFF, Ark. – The Thirty-Ninth Annual Youth Motivation Task Force (YMTF) Program will be held February 26-29, 2012. The theme this year is “Power Up! Your Response-Ability”. Special emphasis will be placed on helping students realize what their role is as they move forward with making decisions about their careers. They should be able to determine if they are proactive or reactive, an asset or liability, a leader or follower, ambitious or content, a dreamer or doer, and if they are preparing to thrive or just survive.

 Forty consultants representing the private sector, government agencies, and educational institutions will spend two and a half days on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. The consultants will speak to students in classrooms, present panel discussions, conduct a “rap” and one-on-one sessions to help prepare students for success in the classroom as well as in the workplace. More than sixty students were selected to serve as student liaisons, program participants and ushers.

VeLois Bowers, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for CHRISTUS Health; Kevin Blakely, Senior Technical Architect with AT&T; and Felecia Collins-Wylie, Regional Human Resources Director for Sam’s Club, are this year’s corporate chairpersons and Earnestine McLaughlin and Shirley Cherry, Office of Career Services, are the campus coordinators.

The opening banquet is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 26 where Brittini Brown will be the guest speaker. Brittini is a native of Augusta, Arkansas. She received her Master of Science degree in Industrial and Agricultural Technology from Iowa State University in 2007.  She is also a proud Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.   After graduation from Iowa State University, she began her career with the USDA, Food Safety and Inspection Service as a Program Analyst.   In July of 2010, she joined the Office of Advocacy and Outreach where she currently serves as the Interim Lead for the USDA/1890 Program.   The opening banquet is by invitation only.

The YMTF Assembly will be held Wednesday, February 29, at 11:00 a.m. in the Clemmons Arena of the Kenneth L. Johnson, Sr. HPER Complex. Stephen A. Smith, ESPN Sports Journalist will be the keynote speaker. The community is invited to attend.

Stephen A. Smith is one of the preeminent voices in the African American community. A graduate of Winston-Salem State University, Smith’s journalism career began as a high school sportswriter at the New York Daily News in the summer of 1993. Just fourteen months later, he departed to cover college basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer. After four years as a beat writer on the Philadelphia 76ers, he became an NBA columnist in 2001. By March 2003, Smith was promoted to General Sports Columnist, becoming one of only 21 African Americans in the nation to hold such a title at that time.

Smith’s career at ESPN as an analyst/insider on NBA Shootaround began just seven months after n he was hired away from Fox SportsNet’s, “Best Damn Sports Show, Period”! Smith’s demonstrative, informative; in-your-face style has invaded the airwaves on NBA Shootaround, SportsCenter, ESPNews, and his own talk show, Quite Frankly, which aired from August 2005 to January 2007. Smith also hosted his own weekday radio show on 1050 ESPN in New York which was picked up for national syndication.

In December 2009, Smith joined the FOX Sports Radio Network as a regular contributor and took on the network’s east coast morning drive show on January 4, 2010. Smith also served as a network commentator on various topics, and regular fill-in host for “The Steve Harvey Morning Show.”

Smith has become a regular guest on the MSNBC’s Morning Joe, the Ed Show, Hardball and Fox News’ Hannity. In 2010, Smith was also a guest on CNN’s Larry King Live and Your Money. Smith co-hosted The View twice.

In early February 2011, Smith returned to ESPN as a weeknight radio show host on 1050 ESPN Radio New York (WEPN-AM) as well as 710 ESPN Radio Los Angeles (KSPN-AM), and is also a columnist for

Other highlights of YMTF include the following:

  • Selected Classroom Visits – Monday, February 27 and Tuesday, February 28, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
  • “Rap” Session – Monday, February 27, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., L. A. Davis Student Center

    An open forum discussion that allows students to dialogue with professionals about a range of situations that they might encounter in the workforce.

  • High School Visitations – Tuesday, February 28

    YMTF Consultants will visit First Ward, Jack Robey, Dollarway and Pine Bluff High Schools to share information on what students need to do to prepare for transition from high school to higher education.

  • Case Study Presentation – Tuesday, February 28, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Hathaway Fine Arts Auditorium

    Travis Adams, Political Science ’12; Mariam Kaleem, Biology ’12; Marion Muhammad, Business Management ’13; and Joseph Robinson, Psychology ’12, will present their championship case study recruiting plan which was developed for United Parcel Service (UPS) in order to increase their standing as an employer of choice for UAPB students.

  • Sister-to-Sister Panel, “What Your Peers Don’t Know and What Your Boss Won’t Tell You” The “W” Factor, Am I My Sister’s Keeper?
    Tuesday, February 28, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Henderson Young Hall, Sylvester Early Auditorium

    In light of today’s top reality shows where women are typically divided and incapable of getting along, Sister-to-Sister panelists will discuss the significance of women and how to establish lasting and productive relationships both in and outside the workplace. The panelist are: VeLois Bowers, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for CHRISTUS Health; Attorney Sheila McDonald, Counsel for Mail Contractors of America, Incorporated; Veronica Sabatier, Biomedical Flight Controller for Wylie Integrated Science and Engineering; and Tracy Troutman, Program Analyst for U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

  • Brother-to-Brother Panel, “Am I My Brother’s Keeper II?” Keep On Keepin’ On… – Tuesday, February 28, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., L. A. Davis Student Center Lounge.

    Panelists will discuss with students how to set their standards to obtain, sustain, and retain themselves as an intricate part of the dominant society while remaining true to their own character and belief systems. The panelists are: Lee Allen, CEO for Diversified Business Network; Lt. Bennie Bowers, Michigan State Police; Excell LaFayette, Jr., Director of Supplier Development for Walmart Stores, Incorporated; and Danny Massey, District Manager, Social Security Administration.

Corporate partners underwrite the finances needed to produce YMTF. The sponsors this year are: Platinum Level – The Kellogg Company and CHRISTUS Health; Gold Level – AT&T, Eaton Corporation, USDA-ARS, MSA and ODEO, and Walmart Stores/Sam’s Club; Silver Level – Tyson Foods; and Bronze Level –Monsanto, Verizon Wireless and Walgreens.

According to Mary M. Jones, Director of Career Services and Admissions, the momentum of the participants increases each year. In addition to the professionals who volunteer their time each year to participate, the cooperation of administrators, faculty, staff and students is a tribute to the longevity and success of YMTF.

The Office of Career Services at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff sponsors YMTF annually. For additional information, visit us in Caldwell Hall Suite 202 or contact Earnestine McLaughlin or Shirley Cherry at (870) 575-8461.


One thought on “Stephen A. Smith, Brittni Brown to speak at YMTF

  1. I am a police officer who teaches the DARE program in Miami, fl. I would like to invite Mr. Stephen Smith to be an Honorary speaker at the graduation of over 500 youth on Friday, May 11, 2012, at 11 am. My name is PauleVillard Villard.

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