Inspiring underrepresented youth

Kevin Beckford and colleagues have started an organisation to encourage underrepresented groups into innovative careers.

A Gates Cambridge Scholar who worked in the Obama Administration has co-founded an organisation which aims to help young people from underrepresented groups to develop innovative career paths.

Kevin Beckford and two colleagues from the Obama Administration, Jason Spear and Yasmin Salina have founded the Hustlers Guild. They came together through their shared experiences as young black professionals under 30 working at the White House.

During his time with the Obama administration, Kevin was the Domestic Policy Portfolio Lead and Casework Analyst from 2014 to 2016 in the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence and a Special Adviser in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

The Hustlers Guild’s mission is to focus on the development of underrepresented youth aged 10 -19 and push them towards innovative career paths. The hip hop themed organisation runs workshops and seminars built around four key values - developing young people’s skills, integrity, empowerment and teamwork.

The Guild has three main programmes: one aimed at those pursuing careers in performing arts and mass communications; one aimed at those specialising in Science Technology Engineering Arts Math (STEAM) studies; and another focused on mentoring and role models. The latter, called Hustler’s Ambition, pulls in a wide range of minority professionals working in organisations such as Facebook, Google and federal agencies who will speak to students about their different career paths.

Kevin [2011] did an MPhil in African Studies at Cambridge, specialising in hip hop culture especially in an East African context.