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Meet Halleemah Nash of Rosecrans Ventures in Slauson/Crenshaw District

Today we’d like to introduce you to Halleemah Nash.

Halleemah, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a hometown girl, I grew up in Compton, California where I was provided with everything I needed to become who I am today- lack of some things, abundance of others, hustle classes taught in the neighborhood, Black and Brown excellence, grit, vice, and an overwhelming desire to be a leader.

I traveled from Compton to Howard University where I got my undergraduate degree, to Duke University where I attended graduate school to Chicago where I was able to put my learning to work in the social impact space starting at the Chicago Bulls and that evolved into consulting and projects that represented a portfolio that has created opportunities for over 11,000 young people in four continents, seven countries, and nine states in the US.

Two years ago, I returned home to LA where I am now a full-time entrepreneur committing the road traveled to developing Generation Z underrepresented talent in the internships space.

I am a first-gen college graduate and first-gen entrepreneur and internships were my windows to careers that represented what I could accomplish. For the last 13 years, I’ve worked with young people of color from neighborhoods that mirror where I’m from because I am all about being in service to the younger me. From sports philanthropy to securing summer jobs for teens living in public housing to matching students with mentors and helping college students land their ideal internship, the thread has always been connecting diverse talent with resources to lead promising futures. As a Founder, I’m looking to leverage my own distance traveled to connect young people with networks that are hard to reach and make sure that they beast the opportunity once its secured. And I am using all of the tools I learned on Rosecrans, hence the name of my firm Rosecrans Ventures.

Has it been a smooth road?
Not at all smooth. I legit made mistakes at every turn but the great thing about those mistakes was I took note of them and I use them in my coaching of young people so they understand the importance of navigating opportunities successfully.

When you are the first, you are rarely operating with a roadmap. But that should never count you out. That wasn’t something I always embraced as the truth. I was intimidated by being the first to go to college in my family and I made excuses for not being my best. I self-sabotaged because I questioned whether I deserved to be in the high caliber rooms that I found myself in. But I had to figure out how to navigate the college process, how to navigate building a business, and how to navigate the terrain of c-suites where I was oftentimes the only woman and/or the only African American. Standing here today, I am grateful that I had the resilience to not let imposter syndrome get the best of me. I know that I am uniquely qualified to excel in any boardroom, any opportunity, and any space because I am a Black woman who grew up in Compton and was educated at an HBCU as a first gen and had to figure so much out as I went along. These represent the foundation of my superpowers and not weaknesses.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Rosecrans Ventures story. Tell us more about the business.
Rosecrans Ventures provides professional development support for GenZ students of color and consulting supports for CEOs, human resource leaders, and startups looking to develop talent pipelines through internships. We have a dual approach: helping companies source diverse internship talent and ensuring that interns are workforce ready through 1:1 professional coaching. We are looking to become the premier agent for diverse talent sourcing in the internship ecosystem.

You will find many executive search firms that focus on mid-level and c-suite talent but research shows that minority students are grossly underrepresented in paid internships. Rosecrans Ventures exists to close the gap.

We believe that economic mobility can start with paid internship opportunities. Internships are a path to full-time job offers, higher starting salaries, and even the springboard to early entrepreneurship for college students so we are here to operate as talent brokers for the underrepresented population in internship placements.

To date, Rosecrans Ventures has brokered partnerships creating internship placements at Facebook, AT&T, Google, United Airlines, JPMorgan Chase, Vector90, Lurie Children’s Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, Athlita Comics, Heitman, Chicago Public Schools Office of the CEO, and Chicago Sun Times.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Generation Z is 61 million strong and pulling up to the workforce soon as the most diverse generation. We are a talent innovation firm, meaning we are all about thinking about talent development differently with diversity and inclusion in mind and the future of work in focus. We want to change the complexion of summer intern classes, one GenZ placement at a time.

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