From the president

Naya Welcher, is a second-year student at Spelman College, Naya is a student leader active in examining the relationship between incarceration and economic and financial status, as a cause and outcome of the disproportionate imprisonment of Blacks. For the last two years she has used her talents to address these complex social issues that reflect long-term racial disparities requiring a multi-prong approach and solutions. Her love of mathematics has guided her efforts, and she has spent the last few years engaged in activities designed to increase financial literacy in communities with the greatest need. In addition to working with seventh grade students to educate them on the tools, strategies of budgeting and the value of saving, Naya is currently collaborating with student organizations in the Atlanta University Center (AUC) to host workshops on work culture and financial literacy. She is invested in serving as a conduit for sharing meaningful information that can lead to long-term change while inspiring others to expand their own knowledge to deploy in communities that do not have access to the resources at their disposal.

Helene Gayle


Spelman College


Personal Statement

Growing up the daughter of a pastor I learned early the responsibility to fight injustice. I first became involved in addressing issues of economic inequality after I toured my county’s jail as high school junior. I started volunteering with organizations that provided food and clothing to families in need. I examined the connection between income, access to capital, and life outcomes. I learned that residents of low-income communities had access to fewer resources like quality grocery stores and college scholarships. Distributing clothing and food was helpful, but I wanted people to not need this kind of help. During my freshman summer I had an internship at Bessemer Trust where I deepened my understanding of financial processes, explored nonprofit management, and examined the tool of philanthropy. Through this experience I enhanced my skills and knowledge and began to serve as a conduit for sharing meaningful information that can lead to long-term change. On campus I’m active with Gifted Girls of Grace, a mentoring organization and facilitated March Madne$$, featuring Historically Black College and University alumni speaking on funding secondary education and maximizing summer internship money. I’m also involved in providing financial literacy workshops to seventh graders at a local middle school.

Naya Welcher


Spelman College