10. (10) Marquette King – FVSU

Marquette King is an American football punter for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Fort Valley State. King is the only current African American punter in the NFL and has been since the beginning of his career.

King attended Fort Valley State University, and in his senior year was an All-First Team Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference member and the 2011 FVSU Wildcats Most Valuable Player. During the 2011 season King punted 80 yards against Bethune-Cookman University. During the 2011 season, King led the Conference in punting with a 43 yards per punt average, with 21 punts landing inside his opponents’ 20-yard-line. Sixteen of his punts were for 50 yards or more.

After the 2012 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders signed King to a three-year deal to compete with and eventually replace veteran Shane Lechler. In training camp, King took most of the punting snaps due to an earlier injury to Lechler. King impressed the coaches enough to be kept on the roster but was placed on injured reserve for the entire 2012 NFL season. With Lechler signing a free-agent contract with the Houston Texans, King competed for the Oakland Raiders punting job during the 2013 preseason with experienced veteran Chris Kluwe. The regular season job was left to King after the Raiders cut Kluwe at the conclusion of the preseason. On February 29, 2016, King signed a five-year, $16.5 million contract extension with the Raiders.

9. (9) Itisha S. Jefferson – Spelman College

Itisha Jefferson is a native of Brooklyn, New York and a daughter to Jamaican immigrant parents. As a first generation college student, Itisha first attended SUNY College at Old Westbury, but transferred to Spelman College in 2008 because she wanted a school that challenged her to exceed her own highest personal and intellectual expectations and goals. To Itisha, Spelman has a legacy of educating, nurturing, and empowering women citizens of the world, specifically women of color, who have a passion to focus on global change, leadership, and service. She wanted to continue this distinguished legacy and build strong sisterly bonds with women who shared the same desire as her, “To Make a Choice to Change the World.”

At Spelman, Itisha was very involved on campus and in the Atlanta community. She was a participant in the Spelman College Ethel Wadell Githii Honors Program and was selected as a participant in the Health Careers Opportunity Pipeline Professions Program (HCOPP), a program that enhanced her exposure to medicine and also improved her leadership skills in a professional setting. She held several leadership positions on campus as was the President of Beta Kappa Chi National Scientific Honor Society, interim President of the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS), Treasurer of the Health Careers Club, 2009 1st Attendant of Morehouse College Health Careers Club, and held various positions in the Student National Medical Association such as the Pre-Medical Liaison of SNMA International Committee, Writer of SNMA Publications Committee, where she published an article on HIV Prevention and and Awareness in JSNMA in 2010, and a member-at-large of SNMA Pre-Medical Advisory Committee. When she was not on campus, she was very involved in the community as a Big Brothers and Big Sisters Program mentor which lasted for three years.

Itisha, not only has the passion for medicine, but also research and community and global health. She has researched at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, University of Cape Coast in Cape Coast, Ghana as a Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT), Merck and Co., Inc and Spelman College. Her abroad experiences consisted of volunteering at the University of Cape Coast Hospital in Cape Coast, Ghana where she promoted health education and community health outreach in the villages, and volunteering at the Helping Hands Community Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal where she witnessed how gender inequalities influenced women’s autonomy in decision making on healthcare. Because of her work she was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award for her commitment and dedication to service.

Additional honors and awards Itisha received while at Spelman were: the competitive United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Merck Undergraduate Research Scholarship, which provided research opportunities at Merck and Co., Inc for two summers and additionally a $30,000 tuition grant, the UNCF Anheuser-Busch Better World Leadership Scholarship because of her commitment to the community, UNCF Medtronic Foundation scholarship because of her academic excellence and commitment to pursing a health-related field, UNCF Amtrak Travel Scholarship, UNCF Jack H. Skirball Leadership Scholarship program, a year-long program through Morehouse College, where she addressed significant issues and challenges confronting emerging leaders who must negotiate the difficult matters of tolerance, respect and appreciation. She was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Research Fellow, and Facilitating Academic Careers in Engineering and Science (FACES) Undergraduate Research Scholar, and was awarded 1st Place for her research project on the potential environmental impact of arsanilate and arsacetin on human intestinal Caco-2 cell lines at Spelman College Research Day in 2010. She was also inducted into several honor societies such as the Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) Health Pre-Professional Honor Society, Sigma XI: Scientific Research Honor Society, National Society of Leadership and Success Honor Society (NSLS) Presidential Status and Beta Kappa Chi National Scientific Honor Society.

After she graduated from Spelman College in 2011 with a B.S. in Chemistry, cum laude, she was honored to be a recipient of the prestigious J. William Fulbright fellowship. As a cultural ambassador, Itisha realized education is valued not only for simply bestowing knowledge, but because education provides opportunities throughout life. For two years, she taught English to elementary students in South Korea. Outside her teaching duties, she engaged in the Korean culture and community by living with a homestay family, taking Hanji art classes, being inducted into the community service organization, The Lion’s International Leo’s Club, and tutored North Korean Defectors, where she received an award from the Korean-American Educational Commission for her commitment to service.

When she returned to the United States in 2013, she worked at Bedford Stuyvesant Family Heath Center as a Patient Navigator for the Affordable Care Act in Brooklyn, New York. She received a scholarship from the Harold P. Freeman Institute where she attended an intensive training program to learn how to provide access to healthcare to vulnerable populations in her community. As a Patient Navigator, Itisha worked in addressing the health disparities that were in her community, and increased the access to healthcare by enrolling uninsured clients into a healthcare plan and educated them on the value of having a primary care physician.

During the end of 2014, she transitioned to her new role as a Clinical Research Study Coordinator in the Melanoma and Immunotherapeutics Service Department at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, New York. At MSKCC, she worked on protocols that have a positive impact on BRAF and NRAS mutated patients. She managed several therapeutic and biospecimen protocols, helped patients and families work through the complexity of clinical trials, collected data on trials seamlessly, ensured that good clinical practice was followed. Working at MSKCC exposed her to the perils of melanoma and how deeply it can affect one’s family. She has gained a better understanding of melanoma, and their various treatment options such as immunotherapy and target therapies.

Itisha envisions herself as frontline community-centered provider, who will work with vulnerable populations that are often underserved and overlooked; and to be involved in community health care initiatives. Her goal is to work toward incremental, sustainable change that can reduce the health risks of underserved communities, such as her own, and to improve their quality of care.

Recently, Itisha was accepted to several medical schools and will attend the Loyola University: Stritch School of Medicine in Maywood, Illinois, but deferred her enrollment to August 2017 because she has been selected as the only recipient and first African-American winner of the American Medical Student Association Mabelle Arole Fellowship in Jamkhed, India. As a newly selected fellow, she will live in rural India for ten months and work with the non-profit organization, The Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP), as she implements programs that can reduce and eliminate health disparities in rural India, in addition to, learning more about rural health care, community and global health and India’s community and culture.

Outside her free time, Itisha is very involve in SNMA as was the past Membership Liaison of MAPS for two years, where she helped spearhead an online program to support high school and college students who are interested in medicine called So You Want to be a Doctor webinar series. She also attends opera shows, plays tennis and is a mentor to a Junior High School student through the iMentor program for two years and is a committed volunteer of Project Sunshine, where she spends time and bring sunshine into the lives of children who are facing medical challenges by restoring a crucial sense of normalcy in a medical environment.

In 2012, Itisha was nominated for two HBCU Buzz Awards: HBCU Buzz Scholar of the Year and HBCU Arts and Science Buzz Merit Award. She was awarded the HBCU Arts and Science Buzz Merit Award.

8. Joe W. Dillard Jr. – Virginia State University

Joe W. Dillard Jr. was born in Richmond, Virginia to Joe Dillard. Sr. and Teresa Dillard. At the age 6, Joe’s parents moved to Norfolk, Virginia, where he attended Tanners Creek Elementary; Camp Allen Elementary; Northside Middle and Granby High Schools.

Mr. Dillard began his undergraduate studies at Virginia State University where he pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management. He then transferred to Norfolk State University where he completed his Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science. He is currently enrolled in Norfolk State University’s Graduate Program with the concentration in Urban Affairs.

In 2012, Mr. Dillard was appointed Chairman of Housing and Community Planning for Norfolk State University NAACP Chapter where he advocated to guarantee the rights of students and staff to live in any campus controlled housing without regard to race or color. He demanded the enforcement of community housing for both students and staff. When necessary, with approval of the Association, he sponsored direct action programs as a means of publicizing and correcting intolerable housing conditions. He sought to eliminate segregation and discrimination and to improve the general housing conditions for Blacks and other minorities in the community at large.

In April of 2013, Mr. Dillard was appointed Chairman of the Economic Development Committee of the Norfolk Branch NAACP where he promoted the growth of entrepreneurship among African-Americans and was charged to increase employment opportunities with private and public entities.

In September of 2013, Mr. Dillard was appointed 2nd Vice President of the Norfolk NAACP with the core responsibilities of providing support to the President, Branch and community and to ensure and maintain communication with the Executive Committee, sharing relevant information for branch meetings.

In October of 2013, Mr. Dillard assumed the title of was appointed Interim President and served the remaining term of the outgoing President. On November 10, 2014, he was elected President of the Norfolk Branch NAACP, becoming the youngest president in the United States. He continues to serve with the vision of uniting the community as one.

He serves as a prominent and active member of Mount Gilead Missionary Baptist Church in Norfolk, Virginia located in the Norview area.

He serves as a board member on the following boards:
• Mayors Commission on Poverty Reduction
• Elizabeth River Tunnel Crossing
• Community Advisory Board Norfolk Public Schools
• Eastside Community Development Corporation
• Co Chairman for the Virginia NAACP Resolutions Committee
• Region 7 National NAACP Credential Committee Member
• Outreach Chair- Norfolk Democratic Committee
• Political Director- Hampton Roads Young Democrats
• Global Shaper – Norfolk Hub

7. Chase B – Howard University

Houston, Texas native Chase B found himself in his college apartment watching countless YouTube videos of Kid Capri when he finally decided that he not only wanted to become a DJ, but a legend in the craft.

He began his journey by playing local clubs in the Washington D.C. area and then packed his bags and headed North to New York City. Upon his arrival in the Big Apple he got his start in the DJ community by playing opening sets at a number groundbreaking concerts at venues such as Terminal 5, Webster Hall, Santos Party Haus and more.

With his reputation growing at such an amazing pace, Chase got a phone call to spin a set at the world renowned 1OAK NYC. After his first set, the flood gates opened. Since then he has become a regular at both 1OAK NYC and Up & Down NYC, headlining these prestigious venues sometimes as often as three times a week. As a result of his undeniable taste in so many different genres of music, he’s often been the maestro at parties for celebrities such as Rihanna,

Kanye West, Naomi Campbell, Leonardo Dicaprio, Madonna, and so many more. With such an outstanding resume in New York City, Chase began to receive bookings all over the country and beyond, often playing in Miami, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Toronto. On top of all of this in his schedule, when Chase isn’t traveling and playing clubs, he’s probably on tour with his childhood friend and platinum-selling recording artist, Travis Scott. The two grew up together and Missouri City, Texas and have been performing at shows together from the beginning of both of their careers.

This lifestyle mixed with the passion that Chase has for his craft make him one of the most versatile and talented DJs in the world.

6. Vincent Le’Carl Berry II – Morehouse College

Vincent Le’Carl Berry II (born August 1, 1985) is an American singer-songwriter, composer and record producer who has written/produced for: Canadian Pop Sensation, Kreesha Turner, Shana Wilson, Grammy-award winning Karen Clark Sheard, Kierra Sheard, Tim Bowman Jr, JDS, Gayle Brannan, Mitchell Jones of legendary gospel group Commissioned. He was born and raised on the eastside of Detroit, Michigan. He currently resides in Atlanta, where he is pursuing is B.A. in Business Administration, with a concentration in finance at the Morehouse College.

5. Jason Crain – Howard University

Jason is currently living in NYC and is the Sr. Account Manager at Shazam, the world’s leading media engagement company. He is from Kansas City, Mo, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Morehouse in 2009. Post college he spent 3 years at Google doing digital consulting for CPG firms like L’Oreal, Clorox, and LVMH. He also managed Google’s community outreach in certain arenas of the advertising and entrepreneurial industries.

In early 2013 Jason became the co-founder of Partpic, a mobile application that uses visual recognition to identify, match, compare and facilitate the purchase of industrial supplies. Jason Crain leads daily operations and marketing strategy for Partpic. Bringing a firm understanding of consumer operations and specializing in sales, marketing and business development, Jason has helped in production ideation, business structure, customer and talent acquisitions.

4. Amber Hughes – Tennessee State University

Amber Hughes is a Tennessee State University standout and former Frederick Douglass High School star. She’s ranked fourth in the nation in indoor track and made the national outdoor team.

Hughes believed she’d be a cheerleader, but following a growth spurt, she then met a track coach, and her life changed forever. Hughes is a Tennessee State Tiger, and made it to the 2016 Olympic trials.

3. Leland Tyler Wayne (Metro Boomin) – Morehouse College

Leland Tyler Wayne was born on September 16, 1993, in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended Parkway North High School. After a brief stint playing bass guitar in his middle school band, Metro first started making beats in the seventh grade at age 13, when his mother bought him a laptop and he got a copy of the music production software FruityLoops. In high school, Metro churned out five beats a day. Initially, Metro wanted to rap, and started making beats so that he could have music to rap over, but after deciding that he liked making beats more than rapping, he put his full attention into production. As he continued to develop his production sound, while still in high school, Metro began to utilize social media properties, like Twitter, to network with bigger artists and submit beats.

During high school, his mother would often drive him for over eight hours from St. Louis to Atlanta to collaborate with artists he met online. One of the first artists he worked with was a rapper named Tay Don which then led him to collaborate with rapper OJ Da Juiceman, Alley Boy, Gucci Mane, and eventually Future, an artist that he continues to associate with to this day.

Metro first started traveling to Atlanta in the 11th grade to pursue a career in music, and, in an interview with XXL, Metro says that Atlanta rapper OJ Da Juiceman was the first popular artist to rap on his beats, a string of collaborations that ultimately led to Metro meeting and working with Gucci Mane during the summer between his junior and senior years of high school. Upon graduating high school, Metro moved to Atlanta to attend Morehouse College, studying Business Management, but he ultimately chose to take a hiatus from school after a semester, because the schedule demands of a full-time music career became too much to balance. Since, Metro has collaborated with artists including Gucci Mane, Nicki Minaj, Ludacris, Future, Yo Gotti, Wiz Khalifa, Chief Keef, The Weeknd, YG, Young Jeezy, Meek Mill, Travi$ Scott, Ace Hood, S.A.M., Young Scooter, Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan, Trinidad James, Migos, and more. Metro also regularly collaborates with other producers, including Sonny Digital, TM88, Southside, Zaytoven, Young Chop, and DJ Spinz.

Metro has also worked extensively with popular rapper Future. The two first worked together on a song called “Hard”, included on DJ Esco’s Welcome 2 Mollyworld mixtape, and have collaborated on numerous songs since, including two singles from Future’s sophomore album, Honest, the album’s lead single, “Karate Chop”, and title track, “Honest,” co-produced by DJ Spinz.

2. Jeff Henderson – Hinds Community College, Florida Memorial University AND Stillman College

Henderson was raised in McAlmont, Arkansas. While attending Sylvan Hills High School, he won the long jump at the 2007 Arkansas Activities Association Class 6A state high school track and field championships with a 7.293 m (23 ft 11 in) jump, followed by a 7.32 m (24 ft 0 in) jump at the 2007 Arkansas Meet of Champions (MOC) high school meet. Since 2007, he maintains the state high school decathlon record in the 100 meter dash with his 10.84 second run. He previously held the Arkansas MOC record in the triple jump with a 14.403 m (47 ft 3 in) leap.

He went on to study at Hinds Community College, Florida Memorial University and Stillman College and competed for the Hinds CC Eagles, Florida Memorial Lions and Stillman Tigers track teams. At Hinds CC, Henderson became the NJCAA Division 1 2008 indoor national champion (long jump), 2008 outdoor national champion (long jump, 100 meters), and 2009 outdoor national champion (long jump and 4×100 meter relay team). After finishing second in the long jump 7.94 m (26 ft 01⁄2 in) at the 2010 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships, Henderson competed at the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships, where he finished in 20th place with a 7.64 m (25 ft 03⁄4 in) jump.

In his junior year at Stillman College, he earned All-America honors at the 2013 NCAA Division II Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships by winning the 100 meter dash and long jump titles.
At the 2013 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Henderson won the silver medal in the long jump with a 8.22 m (26 ft 111⁄2 in) jump and represented the United States in the 2013 World Championships in Athletics in Moscow, Russia. Henderson competed in the long jump at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships.

At the 2014 adidas Grand Prix, Henderson set a new meet record in the men’s long jump, leaping 8.33 m (27 ft 33⁄4 in).[4] Henderson set a stadium long jump and personal record of 8.43 m (27 ft 73⁄4 in) at the 2014 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the Hornet Stadium in Sacramento, California, taking first place in the event. He also jumped 8.52 m (27 ft 111⁄4 in), however it was wind-aided at +3.5 m/s. After winning the Glasgow Grand Prix, Henderson is a 3-time 2014 IAAF Diamond League winner in the men’s long jump.

At the 2015 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Jeff jumped 8.44 m (27 ft 81⁄4 in) to earn a silver medal. At the 2015 Pan Am Games on July 22, 2015, Henderson won with a leap of 8.52 m (27 ft 111⁄4 in). He had previously jumped 8.54m, but the jump was not counted as it was wind-aided (+4.1 m/s) (28 feet, ¼ inch).[5] At the 2015 World Championships in Athletics – Men’s long jump, Jeff jumped 8.36 m (27 ft 5 in) in the prelim to advance to the final, and jumped 7.95 m (26 ft 03⁄4 in) in the final to place 8th.
Henderson took first place in the long jump in 8.58 m (28 ft 13⁄4 in) at 2016 United States Olympic Trials (track and field) and took first place with a 8.38 m (27 ft 53⁄4 in) leap in the long jump at the 2016 Summer Olympics. He dedicated his victory to his mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease

1. Deshauna Barber – Virginia State University

On Sunday, June 5, 2016 Deshauna Barber became Miss USA 2016 and the first woman actively serving in the United States Army Reserve to win the title. Deshauna is 26 years old and was born in Columbus, Georgia. The daughter of an Army Master Sergeant who served in the United States Special Forces (now retired), she relocated multiple times growing up to states including North Carolina, Nebraska, Minnesota, Virginia and Washington, D.C. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Virginia State University, Deshauna went on to complete her Masters of Science in Computer Information Systems at the University of Maryland.

Following her studies, Deshauna returned to live in Washington, D.C. where she was most recently working as an IT Analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce. In 2011, Deshauna commissioned as a Quartermaster Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and is currently a Logistics Commander for the 988th Quartermaster Detachment Unit at Rockville, Maryland. Deshauna is passionate about serving the men and women in the U.S. military, and as Miss USA, will specifically focus her efforts on PTSD treatment for soldiers returning from deployments and suicide prevention in the Armed Forces.

The 2016 HBCU Top 30 Under 30 list is a decorated group of talent. This year’s class is comprised of Olympic medalists, entrepreneurs, award-winning healthcare professionals, poets, professional dancers, grammy-nominated artists, and the list goes on. These leaders represent all of the historically black colleges and universities over across the country. Their success, and the variance of industries underscores the immense value of HBCUs.  Hundreds of names were submitted and several leaders completed the application themselves. This years class has much to celebrate, congratulations.


  1. This was great. Proud to see these guys excel and represent the best that we are.
    Could we place all of these on one page next time, to have to click on new pages 30 times…!?! Anyway, great job.

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