An HBCU education is truly a privilege. It provides a priceless atmosphere for students of color to receive a solid education while instilling unapologetic confidence.  In the current national climate of heightened racial tensions, a volatile political environment, and an impression that most are only out to help themselves, we are thrilled to celebrate how 30 passionate young minds took their HBCU foundation and made history.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) produce more than a quarter of all African-American graduates in the country and are responsible for producing many of the nation’s black leaders. Iconic civil rights leaders, doctors, religious leaders, bankers, writers, Olympians, lawyers, musicians, engineers, actors, humanitarians, professional athletes, educators, scientists, and politicians have been educated at HBCUs.

Every year, the HBCU Top 30 Under 30 honors talented young men and women who are making remarkable strides in a variety of industries including sports, STEM, entertainment, media, business, public service and fashion. Among this year’s nominees are a star female rapper, an agile NFL quarterback, a community activist bringing fresh produce to the inner city, and a viral YouTube influencer. Check out the former classes here.

This year, with a record-breaking amount of nominations, we are exceptionally proud to present the 5th HBCU Top 30 Under 30 class. Congratulations to the young leaders who have been recognized, and congratulations to the esteemed HBCUs that have indisputably provided a strong and lasting foundation for the leaders of today and tomorrow.

1Jayla Koriyan Watson | University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Jayla Koriyan Watson

Jayla Koriyan is a successful YouTuber who started out with a desire to document her college experience.  Now, she’s a businesswoman who has endeavors in beauty, hair, and even a book. Jayla is best known for her YouTube page Life with Jayla.  She has amassed over 300,000 avid subscribers.  Her videos span from beauty and clothes hauls to lifestyle discussions.  

Koriyan starting out at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and decided she should chronicle her life in a vlog series. During the summer of her junior year she flew to New York and attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, a dream of hers.  By the time she was in her senior year, Jayla launched launched her virgin hair company called GlamTextures.

Pretty & Educated is a book Koriyan wrote to chronicle her journey of going from college student to content creator. It features lessons she has learned the hard way.  She also shares how it’s possible to make $10,000 a month creating content on YouTube. That book has since been succeeded by her new book Pretty & Paid. Follow Jayla Koriyan on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.

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