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School Of Communications

Two Comms Students Named American Advertising Federation’s (AAF) Most Promising Multicultural Students

Advertising Students Gabe Bori and Eli Wright Spent One Week in NYC Participating in the Most Promising Multicultural Student Program

Since 1997, the American Advertising Federation (AAF) has hosted the annual Most Promising Multicultural Student program, welcoming multicultural advertising students from across the country to participate in a week-long, immersive learning experience in New York City. This year, out of thousands of applicants the AAF selected only 50 students, two of which are BYU School of Communications students Gabe Bori and Eli Wright.

To be selected as a participant in this program, multicultural students are required to submit an application consisting of a resume, a letter of recommendation, several written essays, a short written and recorded self-introduction video, a portfolio and their academic standing.

“It was a bit nerve-racking,” said Bori. “You began your application with the notion that you are applying with thousands of other students across the country. So of course, you have the feeling of ‘Am I good enough?’ An important thing I learned is how to be genuine and vulnerable. I think that is what this whole program is about.”

Students selected for the program have the opportunity to meet with professionals from top advertisers, media companies and advertising agencies allowing for a rare networking opportunity. Wright said, “As a graduating senior, I have been stressed about finding a job after graduation. Once I learned I had been selected, I felt super excited. The program provides an opportunity to network and receive feedback from professionals. It’s a great way to make connections.”

Both Bori and Wright expressed their excitement to make connections with other multicultural students and be recognized for their cultural diversity. “It's amazing to be part of a program of multicultural students,” said Wright. “I think the advertising industry values diversity and recognizes the importance of representation not just in front of the camera, but in every part of the process. I feel like an essential part of building bridges is to consider different voices and bring our own experiences and cultures into the light.”

Advertising creates platforms and opportunities for voices to be amplified. The AAF asks student applicants how they plan to incorporate and represent diverse voices and communities in their work. “Sometimes it's hard to know what tangible things we can do to represent diverse voices,” said Wright. “My focus in answering that question was the importance of talking to people that no one else talks to. I reflected on experiences I had on my mission, talking to people on the streets and getting to know them and their stories. It helped me recognize the importance of connecting with others. I want to bring that into advertising.”

Bori noted that he was grateful for the immense support he received as he prepared for the program. He said, “During the application process, I realized my greatest superpower comes from everyone who supports me. I am extremely blessed to have family, friends, faculty, professors, peers and alumni who are willing to help me and see value in me. Not everyone has that. I see the value in that and it makes me want to offer the same to other people.”

“Sometimes it feels like you can get drowned out a little bit,” said Bori. “I think this is a great opportunity for me and for others to know there is space to express your perspective and your voice on a national level.”