Young Black Men Excel: In the Peace Corps

Young Black Men Excel: In the Peace Corps

(Noah Morton. Image: LinkedIn)

On Labor Day weekend Black Enterprise will be holding its first ever Black Men XCEL Summit, a “combination of empowerment, inspiration, networking, and entertainment” that celebrates the leadership and excellence of black men.

Leading up to the event we’re profiling young black men who excel by doing what’s out of the ordinary.

Our third Q&A (see the first one here, the second, here, and the last one, here) is with Noah Morton, an alum of both Amherst College and the renowned Fellowship Initiative developed by JPMorgan Chase. Morton grew up in Harlem and has done quite a bit of international travel. He is now serving in the Peace Corps in Japan but will soon be heading to Morocco.

(Noah Morton. Image: LinkedIn)


How did you learn about The Fellowship Initiative?

Mr. Barretto, my high school guidance counselor, told me and several other students that the school had selected us to apply.

How did TFI make a difference in your life? 

This program provides young men of color with tools and access to resources that would otherwise be unavailable to them. TFI partners with exceptional nonprofit organizations to create a “village” that helps us reach our potential. For example, in high school, TFI staff helped us write scholarship essays. The TFI team helped us reach our potential and realize our dreams by creating an environment of support.

What college did you go to, and how did it prepare you for the Peace Corps?

I graduated from Amherst College in May. In the fall of 2015, I journeyed to Varanasi, India, where I completed a home stay and took a variety of classes. In the spring of 2016, I traveled to Ahmedabad, India; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Cape Town, South Africa. I lived with host families and conducted research.

With help from TFI, I applied to intern with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation in Athens, Greece, to learn about philanthropy. During the previous summer, I had an internship at JPMorgan Chase, where I learned about investment banking. So philanthropy was a new direction for me. At the foundation I conducted site visits to a refugee camp, hospitals, museums, and schools.

Where is your family from?

My mother, Barbara Morton, raised me and my older brothers in Harlem. She credits her faith with helping her to raise her children.

Tell me about your Peace Corps experience so far.

NM: Currently, I am in Yokohama, Japan, facilitating workshops in English on empowerment, education, and positive thinking while living with new host families each week for four weeks. We also move to different parts of Japan each week! All to say, I thank God for the unique experiences of growth.

Register now for the Black Men XCEL Summit and join us for a celebration of black men!