Young’s grandfather — who went to Howard University and the University of Pennsylvania — was the first Black school principal in Delaware. His father, William Young, received a scholarship to Harvard University and became the head of human resources at Wilmington Trust Bank. Young’s mother spent nearly four decades in education, primarily working as a vocational-technical school career counselor.
“I always think of my family as the ultimate Delaware success story,” says Young, whose great-grandfather was a foreman on the Pennsylvania Railroad.
The Concord High School graduate, who played varsity football and ran indoor track, was accepted at both the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Delaware. He ultimately chose to attend UD on a full scholarship.
Because Young admired his marketing professor, Stewart Shapiro, Young remained at UD for his master’s degree and worked alongside Shapiro. Five years later, when he was a financial planner, he went to Temple University for a Ph.D. in social and behavioral marketing.
“I like to be busy,” he says.
Over the years, Young has taught at Wilmington University and in the Horn Program of Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware. He’s held his TEDxDover events at Delaware State University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), and he has colleagues at Delaware Technical Community College.
“And we have incredible access to our lawmakers, CEOs and the media,” he says. “We can make incredible inroads in terms of communicating between all the stakeholders in business and the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
“It’s incredibly easy to work with all of them because of the close proximity of those colleges and universities,” he says, noting the schools’ missions and demographics form a talent pool of diversity.
Goldey-Beacom has a reputation as a premier accounting and finance business school. Delaware’s location near major cities makes it easy for the students to visit companies in the Greater Philadelphia area, review best practices and come back to campus.
Part of the students’ mission is to market their “clients” to potential investors. The region also boasts a remarkable number of angel investors, Young notes.
From a personal standpoint, Delaware allows him to pursue his passions easily. Technical.ly Delaware named him their Culture Builder of the Year for 2020 and Delaware Business Times chose him as a Finalist for its 2020 Small Business Advocate of the Year. His personal goal is to recruit, train, mentor and place 100 new Black business professors in Delaware colleges and universities by 2025.
Young, who feels blessed for his opportunities, is not about to slow down. The Delaware success story is fond of quoting the Biblical passage from Luke 12:48: “To whom much is given, much will be required.”