About Our Student Training Initiative

Our Mission

The mission of the B.E.S.T. program is to share learning and experience across generations, cultivate new leaders, and inspire achievements “beyond the possible” through committed involvement and operational excellence by placing Black volunteers on the campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Making Connections

While the primary focus of the B.E.S.T. program is to support the development and employed success of students, an ancillary benefit of the work includes the networking connections developed between professionals. Executives get to meet and know each other via student-based programming and are able to share best practices and access to information to drive successes and partnerships in their sponsoring companies. The relationships are further reinforced at annual conference events and activities.

Leadership Team

Tracy Tramel - Boleware

Tracy Tramel - Boleware

read Tracy's Bio

Tracy Tramel-Boleware brings more than 25 years of experience in diversity marketing, community affairs and public relations to her role as executive director of The B.E.S.T. Program. Tracy is quite simply a partnership specialist. She has managed complex national diversity marketing campaigns that have included coordinating strategic philanthropy, signature programs, special events, and the acquisition of high-profile corporate board seats for the fulfillment of client and organizational goals.

Prior to joining The B.E.S.T. Program, Tracy was with AT&T and served as Senior Marketing Manager for the Mid-Atlantic for Cricket Wireless. She was responsible for the development and implementation of targeted, local marketing and diversity projects to drive customer acquisition, retention and revenue growth for Cricket Wireless. Her role includes Identifying and engaging community programs, boards and sponsorship opportunities to leverage brand, products & services.

Prior to joining AT&T, Tracy served as vice president and client services lead on the Cricket Wireless account with CAA Sports, providing grassroots marketing, national sponsorships and experiential activation services for the client. 

Tracy also served as the director of communications, public relations and marketing for Tuskegee University. In this role she was responsible for developing sound communications and marketing strategies to promote the University to potential students, alumni and partners. I had direct oversight for media relations, advertising, publication and design, photography and videography and the university website and social media presence.

Prior to joining Tuskegee University Tracy served as vice president of the Black Executive Exchange Program (BEEP) and Volunteer Programs with the National Urban League (NUL). In this position, she was responsible for implementing all national HBCU college campus program activities, increasing strategic partnerships and student numbers, and maintaining existing relationships with partners in colleges/universities, corporations and government agencies. In addition, she served as the national liaison for the League's Young Professional and Guild auxiliaries, ensuring effective coordination of the work of these groups with the League’s strategic goals and initiatives.   Tracy currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her twin sons, Koda and Kodi.

William Dawson

William Dawson

read William's Bio

Born in Harlem, raised in Queens, William I. Dawson has honed his skills as a journalist over the past three decades, with his words featured across several multimedia platforms including brands such as McDonald’s, Wells Fargo, Scion, and Southern Company. He has served as a contributing writer for The Recording Academy, as a senior writer for the National Urban League publication Opportunity Journal, and has written long-form cover stories for Heart & Soul magazine, UPTOWN magazine, POSE magazine, and FOCUS, a magazine under the umbrella of The Amsterdam News.

His tenure at the National Urban League also saw him managing the organization's then-signature program, the Black Executive Exchange Program (BEEP), where his team connected Black executives from Fortune 100 companies with students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for the purpose of internships, job opportunities, and overall mentorship. He was responsible for coordinating school visits, convening the program's annual conference, overseeing partnerships and sponsorships, curating a corporation-sponsored student case competition, and managing the essay process for the Jerome E. Bartow Scholarship, which was awarded to two eligible student leaders each year.

Dawson also served as managing editor for the Lexus digital imprint SEE.Lexus.com, curating pieces for the lifestyle brand hub that focuses on design, athletics, cuisine, cinema and culture. In addition to his editor responsibilities, Dawson was the official writer/interviewer for the NAACP Image Award-nominated Lexus Verses and Flow, a variety show featuring spoken word and R&B artists. He brought his knowledge from BEEP to the luxury brand, providing the blueprint for the creation of the Lexus Verses and Flow HBCU Scholarship, which awarded a total of $100,000 yearly to select HBCU students that excelled in service to their communities.

Dawson's digital imprint also includes contributing to SoulBounce, an online magazine that celebrates the past, present, and future of soul music, creating The High Five Project, an online interview series promoting self-esteem, and serving as creator and host of Dawson Eats America: The Podcast, which celebrates the food history and culture of Black chefs and cuisine experts across the country.

This past year Dawson authored his first book, “An Introvert’s Guide to Surviving a Global Pandemic,” and is working on several writing projects, including an anthology spotlighting the relationships between Black fathers and their sons, and a memoir.

Organizational Structure

The B.E.S.T. Program is governed accordingly to ensure delivery of quality programming and reporting of program results to all key stakeholders.

Our core team includes:

  • Board of Trustees/Advisory Council
  • Experienced Programming Staff

    • External Relations
    • Program Management Team
  • Vendors/Consultants

You Too Can Help

Would you like to become a part of our student training initiative? Contact our team to learn more about available opportunities.

Join Us Today