•  

    YULKENDY

    VALDEZ

    SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR. STORYTELLER.
    GLOBAL CITIZEN.

     

  • A story is always worth sharing

    My grandma used to say to me when I would go back home to the Dominican Republic. “You are now a collection of patches, a quilt of sorts. That is a beautiful thing but never forget who you are at the core”. I really took that to heart while in college, and decided that in order to be happy the best thing I can do for myself and others is to be unapologetically myself.

     

    I am indeed a patch strengthened by my truth: Dominican native, St. Louis raised, Afro-Latina with a vision to shape the world in which those like me (and unlike me) can feel included and dignified.

     

    Check out my latest blog!

     

  • Selected Adventures

    Using my voice for what is right, just, and fair is my everyday prerogative"

    Photo with Spelling Bee Friends from USA Today article

    National Spelling Bee

    2009

    At the age of 14, I represented the state of Missouri in the National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. I have been one of the only few Latinx feautured in the ESPN stage. For a deeper dive into my experience, take a look at my NPR interview: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103889839

    Babson College- #1 in Entrepreneurship

    Class of 2017

    I am a recent graduate of Babson College with honors in cum laude. Throughout my college years, I have gotten the opportunity to travel over 20+ countries, including a semester in the emerging economies of Russia, China, and India and entrepreneurship leadership programs in Rwanda and Uganda. I have led and collaborated across many clubs and organizations on and off campus from getting accepted to attend the Harvard Kennedy School Public Policy Leadership Conference as a freshman (PPLC) to acting as the co-chair to both the 11th National Dominican Student Conference (NDSC) convening 500+ students from all over the country and the Babson Social Innovation Summit (BASIS) hosting over 150+ students from various colleges in the Northeast.

     

    I am a CWEL scholar at Babson which stands for the Center of Women Entrepreneurial Leadership and a recipient of the Heather Maloy Award and Glavin Global Leadership Award. I have also received numerous scholarships from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Adelante Fund, the National Black MBA Association and many more. One of my most memorable experiences was to be recognized in the St. Louis Busch Stadium by Cardinals player, Carlos Beltran, as one of 5 students that received scholarships in partnership with the Hispanic Arts Council.

    Co-founded Project 99

    2014

    Project 99 develops collaborative spaces for individuals and organizations to create innovative solutions to diversity and inclusion challenges. To get to our current mission, we have made a lot of pivots over the last two years. Before Project 99, I was focused on building a women's empowerment program in the Dominican Republic. Soon after that, I learned that if I wanted to make real change I would need to figure out how to bring different stakeholders together to talk and listen to each other in way that positive outcomes can be generated. In 2014, I met my co-founder, Josuel Plasencia, who also was working on a really cool international development project, and the rest is history. Project 99 is expanding its operations in 2017. For more information, please check out: http://www.project99.co

     

  •                                    

     

      

                                                                                                                                                                                                        

  • Partnerships

    I have diverse experience in the entrepreneurial space and have received support and professional development from numerous companies, nonprofits. grassroots organizations including the following:

    Resolution Project

    Fellow

    "Resolution Project has been one of the main investors of Project 99. I now feel part of a community of fellows from across 6 continents working on various issues from education to the environment"

    Young People For

    Fellow

    "YP4 is a yearlong leadership development program for young people committed to creating positive social change in their communities. It includes regional and national trainings"

    Transformative Action Institute

    TIA Education Summit

    "Their model for change is called “transformative action," which is based on tried and true scientific research and has been widely recognized. In the 2016 summit in Los Angeles, I got the opportunity to learn effective facilitation skills to better create change in the communities that I work in"

    StartingBloc

    Fellow

    "Part of an ecosystem made up of 2,500 fellows from all over the world building a society that works for all beings"

    Bank of America

    Student Leader

    "Through this program, I got the opportunity to intern for 8-weeks at the International Institute in St. Louis where I worked directly with immigrants and refugees from all over the world. I also got to connect with executives across Bank of America in a week-long intensive program in Washington D.C. "

    EY

    Launch Intern

    "Interned at the New York Office for 8-weeks across all business lines"

    Innosight Consulting

    Summer Analyst

    "Interned at Innosight Consulting for 10-weeks and used innovation frameworks to solve complex business challenges"

    Puma

    Management Consulting Field Experience

    "Babson semester-long experiential course where I got the opportunity to do consulting for Puma along a small team"

    Up to Us-Net Impact

    Campus Campaign Leader

    "Coordinated a campaign on campus to bring awareness to the federal debt; received top 10 placement in the competition"

    Harvard Intercollegiate Business Conference

    Campus Ambassador

    "Convened amazing women to attend the IBC annual conference held at Harvard Business School"

    NCCWSL

    NCCWSL Scholar

    "Received invitation to attend the NCCWSL conference in the University of Maryland that has been bringing together 1000+ women leaders from across the nation since 1885"

    Opportunity Nation

    Opportunity Nation Leader

    "Opportunity Nation is a bipartisan, cross-sector,
    national campaign to expand economic mobility and
    restore the American Dream. As a leader representing Opportunity Nation, I get to learn more about current business and government policies and implement solutions that bridge social and economic divides"

    CGIU

    Commitment Maker

    "Have received invitation to attend CGIU three years in a row in the University of Arizona, University of Miami, and UC Berkeley respectively to represent the commitment we made with Project 99"

    Forte Foundation

    Forte College Leadership Conference Scholar

    "Connected with a network of highly accomplished business professionals from elite business schools and top Fortune 500 companies"

    Generation Progress

    Make Progress National Summit Scholar

    "Engaged in conversations with young leaders in our nation's capital about ways we can create social impact in our communities and was in the same room with Vice President, Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez"

    Indiana University

    PPIA Moving the World Conference

    "I was accepted to attend the PPIA Moving the World Conference in Indiana University in partnership with the School of Public and Environmental Affairs"

  • Find Me Here

    Take a look and enjoy!

    The Haiti Tech Summit

    Côte des Arcadins, Haiti

    The Haiti Tech Summit is the largest gathering of entrepreneurs, innovators, and influencers leveraging tech to impact the future of humanity.

    Boston Tech Jam

    Boston, MA

    Boston TechJam is a collaboration between local tech companies, leading industry groups, the City of Boston, and interested individuals from the community.

    STLinSTL

    Saint Louis, MO

    Learn from the best, most sought-after experts in education at the 3rd Annual Summit for Transformative Learning. 

    Collision

    New Orleans, LA

    #CollisionConf2017 where thousands of tech industry leaders, as well as a select group of early stage startups, hundreds of investors, media and key tech influencers convene.

    Tech inclusion

    New York, NY

    Tech Inclusion takes an ecosystem approach to improving diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. Check out their events all over the country: https://changecatalyst.co/.

    Hubweek 2017

    Boston, MA

    Founded in December 2014 by The Boston Globe, Harvard University, MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital, HUBweek is a first-of-its-kind civic collaboration and weeklong festival that brings together the most creative and inventive minds making an impact in art, science and technology.

    CGi U Northeastern

    Boston, MA

    CGI U is an annual conference convening 100+ global young leaders from all over the world. This year, Project 99 was feautured on stage by President Clinton.

    MIt LEgatum Center

    Boston, MA

    As part of a fall speaker series at MIT Legatum Center, Yulkendy was invited to "Skills of the Future: Entrepreneurs creating Good Jobs in Emerging Markets" which is an action oriented conversation on how entrepreneurs are equipping talent all over the world.