27 UMES students got treated to an entrepreneurial experience of their lives when they traveled to Georgia on April 17, 2013 with the support of MCE and First Shore Federal Bank. The students spent 3 days and 2 nights at The Allen Entrepreneurial Institute International (AEII) in Lithonia, Georgia learning from prominent African American business owners, attorneys and community leaders. The AEII gave UMES fellowships for the students and MCE was joined by First Shore Federal to help UMES pay for the travel and send three chaperones.
The students made the 13 hour trip to visit and learn from prominent African-American Entrepreneur Lecester Bill Allen, who has dedicated his time, money and resources to found AEII for educating African American students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) around the country, about the possibilities of entrepreneurship and refocusing the mind-set of young people to strategically plan their lives. During their stay, the students experienced leadership lectures from, former COO of Popeye’s Chicken, an Acquisition Attorney, Paschal’s Restaurant Manager and a young African American television producer that has worked with ESPN, the NFL, the NBA and MMA Fighting. Students were also introduced to principles and techniques of fine dining. They were treated to a bus tour of Downtown Atlanta, The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and an upscale luxury African American owned, African American built sub division.
The Allen Entrepreneurial Institute International (AEII) sits on 140 acres of a secure pristine natural resources complimented by lavish and expansive facilities, in Lithonia, Georgia. The unique dormitory setting includes state-of-the art classrooms, indoor swimming pool, outdoor lap pool, movie theatres, walking trails, several lakes, and a Beach house for traditional outdoor camp activities and picnics.
The trip concluded with a business dinner in Miss Rebecca’s House, a 40 room mansion Mr. Allen built in honor of his mother. Miss Rebecca’s House is highlighted with 14-carat gold leaf ceiling, 19 master bedrooms, 28 bathrooms, 5 kitchens, 2 elevators and a 100 seat theater. Miss Rebecca’s House has a Great Room that has hand painted portraits in the ceiling highlighting Mr. Allen hero’s which include, Mary McCloud Bethune, Reginald F. Lewis and Rosa Parks. The students truly enjoyed the experience and have adopted Mr. Allen’s philosophy, “Exposures Expands Expectations”.