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Several members of the University High School community were honored at the Center for Leadership Development’s (CLD) 43rd Annual Minority Achievers Awards and Scholarship Gala on Thursday, March 23. 

This year’s nominees and winners from the UHS community were:

43rd Annual Minority Achievers Awards Nominees and Winners

  • Lade Akande: Director of Wellness
  • Robert Gray: Senior Director of Corporate Relations, Firefly Children and Family Alliance; University High School Board Member and parent 
  • Lisa Seay: Executive VP and Chief Talent Officer, Project Lead the Way; University High School parent 

CLD Scholars

  • Steven Scott (’23): Franklin College Scholarship Recipient 
  • Payton Seay (’23): Franklin College Scholarship Recipient 

The Center for Leadership Development is an organization with a vision to “empower Central Indiana African American students to achieve [their] highest personal, postsecondary, and professional success through comprehensive character, academic, and career development.”

The Minority Achievers Awards and Scholarship Gala is CLD’s annual event featuring education, business, corporate, and community leaders to recognize the accomplishments of talented minority professionals, community leaders, and CLD scholars who demonstrate excellence in their profession or community. 

Lisa Seay, one of this year’s Minority Achievers Award winners and parent to Trailblazers Payton (’23) and Taylor Seay (’25), was nominated for her “leadership, commitment and passion for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging” in her role as Executive VP and Chief Talent Officer for Project Lead the Way.

Lisa had the opportunity to share the stage with her daughter, Payton, who was recognized for receiving a scholarship to Franklin College and as one of the CLD students “who has achieved distinction by reaching their intellectual and academic potential.”  

“Having the opportunity to be recognized and celebrated alongside my amazing daughter, Payton, was one of the most memorable, happiest moments of my life,” said Lisa.

University nominated Director of Wellness Lade Akande and Board Member and UHS parent Robert Gray for this year’s Minority Achievers Awards for their contributions to the UHS community.

Lade, who has been involved with CLD since 2009 and helped develop the partnership between UHS and CLD, says she was “honored” to be considered alongside this year’s nominees.

“CLD is a gem in our community and a one-of-a-kind organization that fosters the advancement of [African American] youth. It’s inspiring to see the reach and impact this organization has made in Indianapolis over the past +40 years, and to be nominated amongst a group of inspiring change-makers in our city was a true honor!”

In addition to current University community members, eleven 8th grade students were recognized as CLD Scholars and were awarded scholarships to University for the 2023-24 school year.

“When I started at UHS in 2015, we developed our high school partnership with CLD to provide numerous scholarships to incoming 8th graders, as well as to facilitate the college scholarship process for our CLD seniors,” said Akande.

Great job to all our Trailblazer nominees and winners!