CLD Alumni Association

Hello CLD Alumni,

Happy Holiday season! I hope that you and your family are doing well and that you’ll take some time to enjoy each other soon. The CLD Alumni Association has recently changed leadership, and it is with great pride that I have accepted the honor of serving as your new CLDAA President. I am a proud CLD Alum, class of 1982, and I have since been a proud supporter.

“It was exciting to meet students from other schools, learn the Principles for Success.”

My days at CLD started at the Stutz Building on North Capital, under facilitators Holbrook Hankerson and Helen Baker. It was exciting to meet students from other schools, learn the Principles for Success, and get occasional visits from the late Henry Bundles. Back then, there was just one program, but it made a life-long impression on me, as I’m sure it did on many of you as well.

The skills I learned then were continuously polished as I moved through my education and career. I am so excited to have come full circle and now have the opportunity to support CLD and its multiple programs to positively impact the lives of our youth, our community, and all those we touch.

“As alums, we can support CLD in many ways.”

I did not take this job with blinders on, and I was immediately concerned with transparency, camaraderie, and trust issues. In establishing those, you have to start with providing any missing information and then watch the reactions, listen to the responses, and move forward accordingly.

As alums, we can support CLD in many ways: attending alumni meetings and events; referring families and students to our programs; volunteering for events; facilitating for a program(s); supporting events such as the Annual Minority Achievers Awards and Scholarship Gala, the Golf Outing, the Alumni Holiday Event, etc.; and financial support like Giving Tuesday, and so on.

Not everything is about money, but it’s no secret that CLD as a nonprofit needs money to operate. CLD’s mission is sustained through its year-round fundraising efforts. Although it costs CLD $500 per student to provide exceptional programs–students pay only $25. The difference is provided through generous donations from CLD Alumni, family, friends, and funders.

“What is CLD doing with all that money from the Lilly Grant?”

Let’s address the elephant in the room. I’ve heard it asked, “What is CLD doing with all that money from the Lilly Grant?”

The grant received from Lilly Endowment in 2019 supports the RISE Campaign. These restricted dollars go toward outreach into high crime, low-income neighborhoods, the building expansion and adding 20,000 sq. ft. to the current campus, supporting the retention of college students through post-secondary completion, hiring new staff to support with the growth of serving more youth, and building an endowment fund for long-term self-sustainability. While Lilly’s support is a significant part of the $33M campaign, we seek funds from others interested in supporting our Black youth. Once the grant funds expire, CLD will be solely responsible for sustaining the growth through fundraising efforts.

These grant dollars are limited to the projects listed above and not for daily operations like the electric bill, water and sewer, maintenance, depreciation, accounting fees, marketing and recruitment, and salaries not covered under the grant, to name a few. Therefore, we seek donations to cover the costs of conducting business, and to stay open.

“Please join me in keeping CLD a beacon of love, leadership, and longevity in our community.”

As CLD Alumni, you have had first-hand knowledge of our exceptional programs and services. We invite you to help support the RISE Campaign and our annual operations through your time, talent, and treasure. Your financial support is a necessity that is always needed and is appreciated on a colossal level.

For more information about the RISE Campaign, please get in touch with CLD’s Director of Development Melanie Frazier at [email protected]. To support annual operations, visit us online at or mail a check to the address below.

Please join me in keeping CLD a beacon of love, leadership, and longevity in our community.

Best Wishes,

Marva Hunt, MSM

Alumni Spotlight