Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

SLLM Highlights

Success Looks Like Me®: STEM Trip to GM Headquarters 2015


As part of the CGLI’s Success Looks Like Me® Role Model Project, a group of high school girls from Buffalo Public Schools participated in another transformative trip to Detroit, Michigan to explore opportunities in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields while touring the General Motors (GM) Headquarters.

With generous support from the GM Foundation, GM Tonawanda Engine Plant, and partnership with the Buffalo Public School District, this trip was specifically aimed at opening opportunities for young women to get involved and consider STEM careers. The young women explored everything from the GM headquarters and design center, to the OnStar Command Center, as well as local cultural sites, while meeting everyone from automotive executives to astronauts. They also met with the president and other leaders of the GM Women affinity group and attended a Women of Color in STEM conference, exposing them to other successful women of color.

This was the second trip to Detroit for the program, which sent a group of young men to explore STEM careers last October. We hope this experience will broaden their thoughts about careers in engineering.

2015 Success Looks Like Me® STEM trip in the News:

2015 Success Looks Like Me® STEM trip photos:

  • Click here to view photos from our 2015 STEM trip to the GM Headquarters.

Success Looks Like Me®: GM Headquarters 2014



Under the CGLI’s umbrella of Success Looks Like Me®, one of several experiences offered in 2014 was a transformative Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematical (STEM) career exploration trip to the General Motors (GM) Headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. A group of hand-selected Buffalo Public School students met with top GM executives of color to learn about career opportunities in the automotive and advanced manufacturing fields, sharing the importance of having a dream and making it a reality.

The visit to GM’s headquarters from October 29, 2014 – October 30, 2014 was all-expenses paid and covered by grants from GM and First Niagara Foundation Mentoring Matters. The itinerary included tours of the OnStar Command Center, the GM Wintergarden Flint Assembly Center and the GM Design Center.

“The ones who doubt you and say you won’t make it are the key motivators for you to continue to prove them wrong,” said Salvador Saez, a student at Hutch-Tech High School who attended the Detroit trip. After the experience, Salvador says he plans to attend Syracuse University in the fall to study Mechanical Engineering. There’s no doubt that Salvador and hundreds of other students’ lives will be changed thanks to the volunteers and generous donors who make this work possible.

  • Click here to read Program Helps City Students to Dream Big, by Buffalo News Business Reporter, Emma Sapong.

Success Looks Like Me®: Youth Leadership Buffalo 2013

Each year, the CGLI sponsors one local high school student for participation in Leadership Buffalo’s Youth Leadership of Erie County program. The CGLI selected Nadierah Sanders (pictured above), a senior at Oracle Charter School who in interested in the Culinary Arts, for their 2013 class.

Once a month for over 9 months, Nadierah attended professional development workshops, engaged with nonprofit organizations, and participated in community service projects. The year culminated with a beautiful graduation ceremony at Pearl @ The Webb. It was a beautiful sight to see Nadierah, who also attended the CGLI’s Close Up Washington DC trip in 2011, standing with her classmates. Amid the excitement, we were able to ask her a few questions about her experience.

She told us how her class was divided into four groups according to the values of Leadership Buffalo; Community Impact, Diversity, Inclusion, Openness to Change, and Service. Her team, Openness to Change, was charged with creating a community service project. They decided to perform a graffiti cleanup at LaSalle Park. This was a very impactful experience for her. She enjoyed time with her mentors and classmates. In her own words:

"They taught me that you have to open up to the world and give back. You have to give back to more than just your friends and family.”

We are proud of Nadierah and wish her the best of luck in her endeavors. She is an important member of the CGLI family.

  • Click here to view photos from the Youth Leadership Buffalo graduation ceremony at Pearl @ The Webb.

Success Looks Like Me®: Role Model Talk with Alphonso O'Neil-White

On August 6, 2012, the CGLI signature program Success Looks Like Me®, made it possible for Buffalo school students to visit with and learn from Alphonso O'Neil-White, then President and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.

Students toured BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York Corporate Headquarters with then CEO Alphonso O'Neil-White and fellow CGLI Council Members.

This event, part of the Success Looks Like Me® Role Model Project, allowed students to tour the corporate headquarters of BlueCross BlueShield of WNY in downtown Buffalo where Mr. O'Neil-White (also a member of the CGLI Council) discussed his journey and path to success.

“Students can read about success in newspapers or in books, but until they see it up close and personal – I think it has much better impact on them.” ~Alphonso O’Neil-White

The Success Looks Like Me® Role Model Project connects CGLI Council members to groups of students on-site at their place of employment, where the students learn from successful professionals of color about their paths to success.

  • Click here to view an article with coverage of this event from The Buffalo News.
  • Click here to view photos of this Role Model event.

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