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What It Was Like To Attend The Forbes Under 30 Summit

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Jopwell Forbes Under 30 scholars

On October 1, more than 8,000 young leaders from across the country came together for the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Boston. To say that this conference brought together some of our country’s best and brightest would be an understatement. Each day of the Summit was packed with insightful conversations, both in the form of formal workshops and networking events with fellow Under 30 attendees. Here’s what the experience meant to me and some of the other Jopwell x Forbes Scholars – students from across the country selected to receive scholarships – in attendance.

Lydia Oscar

Lydia Anglin, Cornell University
"As the first person in my family to successfully close the “access gap,” I felt immense gratitude. Many first- and second-generation students are expected to get an education and secure employment in this “new country,” but often feel like they can’t reach their full potential because they’re unable to break into “old boys’ networks” or connect with influential mentors and sponsors who can change the trajectory of their careers. This summit represented something that many students of color fail to tap into: Access. Access to ideas, access to networking, access to resources. In just a few days, we in many ways crafted a blueprint to change the direction of our country. It’s empowering to know that I have a seat at the table during these discussions, and to know that there are other young leaders out there who feel the same."

Oscar Arredondo, Indiana University
"During lunch with Kendrick Lamar, the moderator asked him what it feels like to be a kid from Compton who has visited the White House. Kendrick answered in a completely unexpected way, suggesting that Barack Obama should be honored for inviting him, because he was one of the first presidents to welcome urban people from low-income backgrounds to the White House. I thought this was an amazing response, because it shows Lamar’s humility and reminds us the value of someone in power lending a hand and bringing more people up with him.”


Vanessa Gutierrez, Fordham University
"Making connections with the other attendees from all kinds of backgrounds and learning what other people are doing and are passionate about was eye-opening. It was truly inspiring to see very motivated people from diverse backgrounds."

Kylan Kester, Morehouse College
"Meeting Ray Dalio and getting a signed copy of his book, Principles, was a highlight for me. The book takes a deep dive into Dalio’s success as a hedge fund investment manager (worth $17 billion, y’all). So far, chapter three, “Be Radically Open-Minded,” stands out because it maps perfectly to my given statement: Sincerely believe that you might not know the best possible path and recognize that your ability to deal with not knowing is more important than whatever it is you do know.” Agility and mastering presence have proven to be such impactful skills for me."


Wunmi Duyile, Cornell University
“Attending the Forbes Under 30 Summit as an Under 30 Scholar was the most motivating and humbling experience. Meeting so many forward-thinking individuals was magical. But there is still so much more work to be done."

Akintunde Ahmad from Yale University
"Being around so many like-minded and driven individuals was inspiring. Iron sharpens iron, and this conference brought together people not only with bright ideas, but also plans to execute them. You could feel the collective energy and ambition to succeed."


Andre' Brown, Prairie View A&M University
"The highlight was how the hackathon brought together the scholars to come up with a solution to help people prepare and recover from hurricanes. The theme was brilliant and relevant."

Kady Cox, Michigan State University
"It was an honor to be able to attend this summit. I had the opportunity to surround myself with intelligent and successful individuals and to create an amazing network of people who immediately treated me like family. Although it has not been very long since the summit ended, I can confidently say I have met some of my closest friends! Thank you to Jopwell and Forbes for allowing a little girl from Detroit to take part. This was an experience I will never forget."


Kevin Barbosa, Bard College
"The most critical takeaway from the Summit was the importance of being authentic and uncompromising in one's sense of self."

Nadir Pearson, Brown University
"Sometimes I wonder, ‘Why am I working so hard?’ But being at the Forbes Under 30 Summit gave me the feeling of assurance that all my hard work has not been in vain. Connecting with other motivated Under 30 Scholars really showed me how many different people from so many different walks of life are working to make our world a better place."

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