Since March 1992, Dennis Swanson has served as Volunteer Mentor and Chairman of the Board for the Emma L. Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media. In this position, Swanson has facilitated the expansion of the Foundation's Undergraduate Training Program and the hiring of recent college graduates into full-time jobs after completion of the Foundation's program.
A group of broadcasters, cable operators and communication educators established the Emma L. Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media to increase access to permanent job opportunities in the media for minority high school students with a desire to attend college. Students are selected based on their academic records, school recommendations and interviews with Foundation executives to participate in the six-year program that includes both course work and job training. During the course of the program, students work for companies during summer breaks until they graduate from college. They receive a salary and additional compensation to pay a portion of their tuition expenses.
Under Swanson's wise tutelage, the Undergraduate Training Program has increased the number of students who participate. In 1992, the number of participants grew from 32 to more than 200 trainees. Since 1994, 75 graduates have completed the program and graduated from college, most of which are working full-time with companies or attending graduate school. In all cases, Swanson continues to be a committed and successful mentor.
In the case of Lizbeth Guzman, a former program participant, Swanson provided support and guidance to this young Latino student. She now is a college graduate and has completed her studies at the Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University. She has also successfully taken a full-time position with her sponsoring company. With Guzman and many others, Swanson has personally urged corporations to provide summer jobs for youth to prepare them for placement in the workforce. He continues to be a committed and successful mentor for the Foundation.