04 Feb 2022

RISE Fellow: Jerome Fulton Jr. (MBA 2023)


by Shona Simkin

This fall, as part of the Harvard Business School (HBS) Action Plan for Advancing Racial Equity, 20 MBA students were selected as the inaugural recipients of the Recognizing Individuals Seeking Equity (RISE) Fellowship. The fellows were chosen for their demonstrated commitment to serving Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, and other marginalized communities of color within the US prior to enrolling at HBS.

The 2021 RISE fellows are MBA Class of 2023’s Adan Acevedo, Jerome Fulton Jr, Amari Griffin, Tarebi John, Zoe Matthew, Alejandro Molina, Ted Obi, Chidalu Onyenso, Lanita Patton, Nashae Roundtree, David Velasquez, Mireille Verdonk; and MBA Class of 2022’s Siham Adous, Aaron Hancock, Brian Hollins, Diego Salas, Devon Sandford, Lucas Santos, Xonana Scrubb, and Tracey Thompson.

Jerome Fulton Jr. (MBA 2023)

By the time Jerome Fulton Jr. (MBA 2023) was five years old, he had lost both of his parents to gun violence. After putting himself through school, he vowed to help others with similar life stories.

In his first consulting role, Fulton joined an in-house program to advance Black executives, where he spearheaded recruiting efforts, increased outreach to HBCUs, raised a record $24,000 for a scholarship fund, and signed on to mentor and train underrepresented minority students for full-time job opportunities. Impressed by diversity efforts at an accounting workshop–less than one percent of accountants are Black–he became an inclusion champion for the American Institution of CPAs and traveled around the country to share his CPA journey. Two years ago, Fulton founded the Angel B. Wilson Foundation to help Miami youth affected by gun violence.

“I believe in using my story to empower others, especially Black students who come from lower socioeconomic areas,” says Fulton. “I came from the public school system, I didn't grow up with parents, I experienced many tragic woes, but if I can do it, you can do it. I want everyone to feel like they have a resource–and while I can't be there for everybody, it's seldom that I don't respond to LinkedIn requests because I want to be that person for others. I'm very transparent about my journey.”

At HBS, Fulton is creating space for marginalized students on campus and leading difficult conversations as the diversity, equity, and inclusion representative for his section, working with aspiring MBA students through Management Leadership for Tomorrow, and aiming for a career in venture capital.

“One of my goals is to help provide access and funding to Black founders so they can have the capital needed to scale and grow their businesses,” says Fulton. “The VC ecosystem is a great tool for wealth creation, especially in Black and brown communities. I want a career where I can have impact, where it's not taboo to say that I want to hire more Black people or invest in initiatives that are specifically for people of color, women, or people from the LGBTQ+ community.”

Read the profiles of all eight RISE fellows.

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