When A’nysha Fortenberry joined the Fearless Leadership Institute, she set out to make some new friends and expand her network. Yet she soon realized that the program offered so much more than professional development.
“By my first meeting I was hooked,” says Fortenberry, a junior in the Moody College of Communication. “I loved the welcoming feel of FLI. It just felt like a family.
With support from both mentors and community leaders—all inspiring women of color—she has learned how to lead a successful, well-balanced life. Now she feels more prepared than ever to pursue a challenging career in advertising at a New York firm.
“Professionally, FLI has provided me with a wide network of accomplished well rounded women of all ages from all backgrounds,” says Fortenberry, who served as a FLI intern and executive board member. “I been paired with several professional mentors through FLI, and have received continuous guidance from other FLI members as well.”
Another benefit of the program, Fortenberry says, is learning how to be resourceful—a skill that will serve her well into the professional world.
“FLI has given me an extensive amount of resources for academic success through peer mentorship,” says Fortenberry, who is also a member of the University Leadership Network and the Subiendo Academy, Longhorn Chapter. “By speaking to other FLI ladies I was able to discover the best professors to take, and the best study spots on campus.
She encourages all incoming Longhorns to find a supportive community on campus that feels like home.
“The best piece of advice I could give to a new student of color at UT is, to find a space that they thrive in and hustle there,” she adds.