UDC: “We Are Black History” Selvon M. Waldron
UDC: “We Are Black History”
Selvon M. Waldron
UDC Alum – College and Career Coach, Mentoring Business Owner
Few who know him are surprised that Selvon M. Waldron has dedicated his life to helping others like himself gain access to an education and a better life. He is currently the director of Student Transition Services at Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School, where he heads the program to support students bound for college and vocational education programs.
In his new role, Waldron mentors and coaches immigrant students who are where he once was when he came to the U.S. hoping to use education as a tool to achieve his dreams. Waldron helps students build college completion plans and provides career guidance.
His desire to help as many students as possible led him to launch Mentor Post, an organization in which he provides high school and college-age coaching, support for early and mid-career minority professionals to cultivate a strong leadership brand, and provides team-bulding workshops and retreats geared toward student leaders. In addition, his organization hosts young executive mixers to bring together minority executives for shared discussion and networking.
Waldron is an active member of the United Nations Association and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. He was a member of the 2013 cohort of Leadership Greater Washington’s Effective Leadership Institute and the 2014 cohort of Leadership Sanctuary. He currently sits on the Advisory Board of the University of the District of Columbia School of Business and Public Administration.
In 2015, he was awarded the Honorable Ron H. Brown Distinguished Leadership award, and the following year, he received the Amtrak/Monumental Pioneer Award for community and youth activism. In 2016, he was also awarded a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for outstanding and invaluable service to the community.
Waldron is the former executive director of the nonprofit mentoring agency Life Pieces To Masterpieces (LPTM). Founded in 1996, it is an arts-based mentoring program serving African-American males from some of Washington’s most underserved communities.
During the three years that he served as the agency’s director of development, its annual budget grew from $890,000 to $1.3 million. Waldron also managed a staff of 37, quickly working his way up to lead the organization.
The University of the District of Columbia graduate credits his alma mater for his success and desire to give back.
When Waldron was ready to apply to college, there was only one university to serve the 1.3 million people on the small islands of Trinidad & Tobago where he grew up. He looked to America, specifically Washington, D.C., where two of his brothers already lived.
Waldron applied to Howard University, Towson University, Bowie State University, the University of Maryland and the University of the District of Columbia. He was accepted at all five.
He felt drawn to UDC from the moment he saw an ad on a UDC television channel that aired in the Caribbean. He recognized the young woman featured in the ad as one of his classmates from Tobago. “There she was speaking in an accent that was familiar to me, mentioning my country by name,” says Waldron. UDC’s small class sizes were also appealing.
Waldron had worked a full year at a bank in Tobago to get the money he needed to attend UDC. But he had earned enough to cover only one semester. He had no idea what he would do afterwards.
On Dec. 14, 2003, Waldron’s older brother picked him up from Dulles International Airport. Waldron had never been to D.C., and he remembers the excitement he felt when they passed the U.S. Capitol building on the way to the apartment on Benning Road. He had $800 in his pocket; the money would have to last him the entire year. He moved into the efficiency that his two brothers shared, sleeping on a box spring and mattress that he found discarded outside the apartment.
“There were a lot of months of surviving on cereal, Kool Aid and Ramen noodles,” says Waldron. But there were no disappointments when it came to his experience at UDC. It felt like home.
Waldron was an active member of the UDC student government association, and, in his junior year, he was elected the student government representative to the UDC Board of Trustees. That put him in the position to be invited, as part of a UDC six-member team, to participate in a 2006 international human rights conference in Hiroshima, Japan.
Waldron served on a panel and presented a paper that he had written on human rights and genocide for his globalization class. He was a great academic student, making the honor roll and Dean’s list every semester. He graduated summa cum laude from UDC in 2008, with a 3.8 GPA and a bachelor’s degree in business administration management. He also earned an MBA from UDC in 2011.
Mentoring and community activism come naturally to Waldron, and his new mentoring organization helps to support students from high school through mid-career professionals who all find inspiration through his deep compassion and drive to see others succeed.
Read more about Selvon Waldron, on the links below: www.mentor-post.org