Whitney Cobb Jones, native of Greensboro, recently founded Up Next Initiative, Inc. – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization centered on mentorships for minority students. Up Next Initiative’s mission is to create, develop and nurture the next generation of minority professionals to provide a solution for the lack of diversity in the professional arena.
Founded this past summer, the organization offers students free resources like one-to-one mentor pairing with minority professionals in the career field of the student’s interest. After Jones’ experience as a first-generation college student, she realized the value of having mentors who could serve as a resource and source of motivation for her during her career path.
“I was dissuaded from my goal of becoming a physician assistant during college,” said Jones. “I want to make sure students like me can see and remember what they can achieve no matter the challenges and doubt they may face.”
In addition to mentorship opportunities, Up Next Initiative offers webinars on professional development, as well as college tours and networking opportunities to high school and college students at no cost. Although the organization is available to students across Georgia, 80 percent of Up Next Initiative’s registered students are local to Greene County.
“I wanted to offer the students of my community an opportunity as I was confident that this could influence the trajectory of their future careers. We appreciate the partnerships we’ve developed in the community with other organizations in Greensboro to help in our mission,” said Jones.
Jones is a 2005 graduate of Greene County High School and the daughter of Raymond and Velicia Cobb. To learn more about Up Next Initiative, Inc. or to make a donation, visit www.upnextinitiative.org.