It was Tinisha Bookhart’s personal experiences as a first-generation college graduate that helped shape Primary Talent Partners’ diversity programs. She wanted to give back and pave the way for those who might face similar obstacles. So, Bookhart, a founding partner of Primary Talent Partners, worked alongside her friend, business partner and fellow DE&I Influencer Chad Douglas to create a number of programs within the organization designed to foster interest and provide opportunities for Black students in STEM fields.
“It helps them see that it’s possible to be successful even though there are challenges along the way,” she says. Along with the flagship diversIT Scholars program, PTP also offers diversIT Recruitment, geared toward graduates in a professional setting. The initiative pairs talent with PTP’s corporate partners, providing minority talent in STEM fields to the organization’s clientele.
The newest program, diversIT Enrichment, promotes awareness of and interest in STEM fields to children from kindergarten through 12th grade. “A student’s interest in college is influenced by their experiences in elementary through high school,” Bookhart explains. DiversIT Enrichment aims to foster that interest early. “If we start with K-12 and get them into college, eventually they can become diversIT Scholars, and then part of our recruitment program, and eventually they can mentor future students. It creates an ecosystem of Black talent.”
One of the things she is trying to move the needle on is having others who look like her in boardrooms and executive positions. “The world is way too big to be singular in any aspect,” she says. “With our differences, we are able to create more ideas and help build unity. Success in diversity and inclusion takes stepping out of our comfort zone, but it’s work that is truly needed in order for us to advance change.”
2021 DE&I Influencers List