Nina Imani Leadership Institute

No Greater Time


Presented by


We’re Ready for YOU

Our priority is our students! As the #1 Institute for adolescent girls in Ohio, we understand that the value of The Nina Imani experience is amazing. We are excited and proud of the resources and mentors we partner with to ensure student success.

The Nina Imani Leadership Institute is an educational, leadership, and workforce development program established through a partnership between The State of Ohio Collective, The NAACP, The Taskforce for Best Academic Practices for African American Students of The Ohio Department of Education, Ohio State University, Columbus City Schools, Akron Public Schools, and Youngstown State University.

The main objective of the Institute is to offer rising middle and high school African American young ladies an intensive hybrid year long experience. The program is designed to immerse students in an environment that will enhance their academic, workforce and leadership skills.  They will develop problem-solving, critical thinking,  character through project based learning, hands-on experiences, entrepreneurship and ideation modeling, and service to others. 

The Nina Imani Leadership Institute provides educational and social transformative opportunities for students and their families with the opportunity for them to focus on comprehensive student development.

The Proposal

The main objective of the Institute is to offer middle school and high school American young ladies from throughout central Ohio with an intensive hybrid residential and virtual/ online-based summer experience. The Nina Imani program is designed to immerse the students in an environment that will enhance their leadership skills, character development, problem-solving, critical thinking, and service to others.

Many of our young ladies have been enculturated into a lifestyle that produces negative life outcomes and are therefore unprepared and lack the skills, motivation, and determination to meet the basic expectations and rigors of today’s workforce and education.

The program educates students through transformational experiences related to historic and cultural influences in order to awaken their understanding of the world outside of their day-to-day realities. By increasing the students’ education, safety, workforce development skills, and cultivating their awareness, it expands and increases their capacity to function as effective citizens and become assets within their communities, regions, and nation.

About The Nina Imani Institute

The Nina Imani Leadership Institute, A Research Project of The Collective Institutes

Our programs and partners unleash student entrepreneurial spirits! Our Institute provides student exposure to successful people, programs, and helps to refine their leadership skills. NI students catalyze and leverage their talents. Students learn how to be innovative, creative, and strategic so that they can use critical and analytical reasoning needed to take an idea from startup idea to execution then impactful solution.

This program is fun, intense, and worth it.  Students will learn leadership development skills, attend a college campus for a week, and obtain sound fundamentals for entrepreneurship.

The Nina Imani Institute hybrid experience provides quality program access and community, including  interactive classes, real world life simulations, and world class speakers. Amazing mentors and progress tracking is just part of the program. Every day, students will work with NAACP game changers and pillars to understand the need for civil rights and empowering strategies to ensure innovative, inclusive, success.

Program goals are for students to start real companies. As leaders, entrepreneurs and educators, success metrics is the creation of entrepreneurs. We will help cultivate and nurture entrepreneurial mindsets.

Activities include:

  • Identified a problem they are solving
  • Identify and understand their ideal client and target customer
  • Test their offerings
  • Work through the feedback process from clients and customers
  • Create and develop a marketing and sales strategy and understand the need for marketing materials
  • Pitch their business and be able to respond to questions

We know the excellence that resides inside of our youth!

Innovative Formats


The curriculum is innovative and involves workshops, gap closure programs, and cultural competent programming. The Nina Imani Institute is a journey of self reflection and innovation through interactive classroom sessions, workshops, simulations and  activities. Students stretch and learn how to apply the workshops, experiential learning, and session lessons directly to the startup.

Guest Speakers

Real work experience will be gained with real world leaders who are changing our world every day. Students will receive direct and timely feedback.

Instructor meetings

Students will have a check-in with team members to ensure high performance through strategic collaboration efforts.

Discussion groups

Spend time discussing social, business, and societal issues and address solutions within and outside the institute.

Community and social events

We know how important the community is to The Nina Imani Institute  experience.

Process Overview

Entrepreneurship is a fantastic to engage and integration innovation with commercialization. We simply the steps in the process to ensure that we are identifying the opportunity, validating it,, and bring it to market successfully. No wonder so many startups fail. We’ve developed a robust process, though,with the support of top universities to increase your odds of success. Here is an overview of the entrepreneurial process that you can expect throughout the program. Note: This schedule is not exact—some sessions may change in topic and timing, but the overall flow will be the same.

How You Will Learn

Learning Through The Blueprint 2.0 & Black Studies Club

Learn from the business executives and entrepreneurs who have been successful and have hands on knowledge!

Our students are getting started with  product development, process mapping, customer and stakeholder engagement, IT, STEM initiatives, academic performance  , and professional and personal branding. Our  instructors are experts in their fields, including  guests from the entrepreneurial ecosystems and universities. The workshops and  simulations are interactive—students engage during the sessions and apply  the lessons directly to their school work and business endeavors.

Learning from Experienced Professional

Entrepreneurs are resilient—

  • Able to learn from their own failures and those of others.
  • The Nina Imani Institute  brings in seasoned entrepreneurs to share their insights and answer  your questions on
    • Learn about market research
    • Gaining business and customer traction
    • Learn to scale your company
    •  Through founder talks and weekly mock board mentorship, you’ll learn from the  experiences of people who have been there.

Personalized Support for Your Business 

Your team will have weekly check-ins with staff to ensure your company’s high performance through effective communication and collaboration strategies.

In the meantime, mock board meetings with guest mentors will provide you with  individualized and honest feedback. Whether challenging your business hypotheses,  urging you out and into the marketplace to collect more customer data, or helping  you to refine your pitch, these professionals will push you at every stage to help your  company grow.


IN THE GAP FOR YOUNG BLACK GIRLS & FAMILIES because we know investing in them today will provide their freedom for a bright tomorrow.


Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.



Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations. 

-Dr. Mae Jemison


Use your skills, your knowledge, your instincts to serve – to go change the world in the way that only you can.

– Robert F. Smith


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