Lynton Scotland is co-chair of the Executive Leadership Council’s (ELC) Community Impact initiative. He is the former Chairman of the Board of UrbanPromise of Wilmington, Delaware (urbanpromise.org), an organization focused on youth education and leadership development. As a Trustee of the University of Dayton, he has been influential in sending engineering students on humanitarian projects in the Caribbean.
What is your greatest impact on the University of Dayton?
Something I’ve been very passionate about is increasing diversity on campus in five areas: student, faculty, staff, board and spend, encouraging the University to do more and create the environment and opportunities for all students, faculty and staff to benefit from a diverse and inclusive campus. I am also very passionate about cultural immersion through the University’s ETHOS (Engineers in Technical Humanitarian Opportunities of Service-Learning) program. We send engineering students to Africa, Costa Rica, India, etc. to help in projects, such as bringing water or solar light to a village or community.
How has the program impacted these engineering students?
This program enables students to live and work in a different culture and learn as an engineer, not only to make money, but really contributing to humanity. Four years ago, we launched the ETHOS program in the Caribbean Island of Dominica, where I was born. For one project, the students used their engineering skills to help a community Co-op improve the yield of coconut oil by 30%. With the recent hurricanes, which significantly impacted Dominica, families of the engineering students were calling me to ask what they could do to help the families who hosted their children. That was nice to see the impact of the relationships they developed with the community.
What is your vision for moving the ELC forward via the Community Impact initiative?
The ELC is an organization of senior-level African-Americans who have the capacity and responsibility to do a lot to help our community. I view it as our responsibility because “to whom much is given, much is required.” It’s about what we can do to help the less fortunate, to lift up the community, to identify academically gifted, economically disadvantaged students who would not have such opportunities. That’s what Community Impact is all about – making a difference in our community. In order to grow the number of African-Americans in corporate America, we have to increase the pipeline. So, we partner with organizations like LEAD (leadprogram.org), ABC (abetterchance.org), INROADS (inroads. org), NSBE (nsbe.org) and HBCUs and help fund programs to expand the pipeline.
How did you get involved with Urban- Promise?
When I was working at Hercules, I met Rob Prestowitz, a white male business leader. While living in Brazil, he was struck by the aspect of poverty and came back with a burning passion to help inner-city youth. With a highly promising career, a wife and three kids, he left his corporate life to start UrbanPromise Wilmington. People thought he was crazy. Reflecting on the success of UrbanPromise Wilmington the past 20 years, he had it right all along. UrbanPromise partners with churches and volunteers to build safe places for kids to go after school. Interns (mostly white) from around the world come to work in this program and must live in the community in the “intern house” so they see firsthand what life is like there. High schoolers, called “StreetLeaders”, serve as role models for the younger kids. This cadre of leaders can tell the next generation, “I know what you’re going through, but I made it. So, you can too.”
Can you share a success story?
Ronald Jones was one of the “StreetLeaders” in UrbanPromise whom I had the privilege of tutoring and mentoring. He was not only smart, but also very respectful. An only child being raised by a single mother and grandmother, he came from one of the toughest neighborhoods in Wilmington, Delaware. Through the ELC grant to LEAD, he got the opportunity to attend the University of Pennsylvania Wharton summer program during his junior year. Ronald earned a full scholarship to the University of Delaware and interned at DuPont and Morgan Stanley. He graduated with honors last year and currently works in New York for Morgan Stanley. The mission of the ELC Community Impact initiative is to quadruple the number of “Ronald Joneses” in the pipeline. When you see a Ronald Jones, the return on that investment is priceless.
More about Lynton Scotland
During his career, Scotland has held several senior positions with major US corporations, including Hercules, DuPont and NRG Energy Incorporated, and was co-founder of Sustainable Star, an energy company. As the Procurement and Logistics Leader at W.L. Gore, he is responsible for Sourcing strategy and execution of the company’s global spend. Scotland holds a BSCHE in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton, MS in Statistics from Rutgers University and MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. Lynton was born in the Commonwealth of Dominica and grew up in St. Croix, USVI.