SUCCESS SPOTLIGHT: MICHELLE JORIE MILLBEN
MISS BLACK OKLAHOMA 2005
2017 COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER * OKLAHOMA CITY UNIVERSITY
40 UNDER 40 ALEXANDRIA LEADERSHIP AWARD HONOREE
* The Clara Luper Foundation has received the IRS Designation of a 501c3-tax exempt organization.
Foundation in 2015.
No stranger to service, Chelle has served on boards of large and small non-profit and charitable organizations for more than twenty-five years. As Executive Director of the Kevin Mathis Foundation, she successfully secured one of the largest program grants at the time ever awarded by NFL Charities. Other professional experience includes working in management capacities in the fields of Marketing, Advertising and Sales for such companies as Allstate Insurance, Sally Beauty Company and Pro-Line Corporation and she has enjoyed entrepreneurial success as the owner of Power Moves Communications and Pink Saige Boutique. Sheis also a renowned public speaker with a focus on African-American and Women's History, Personal Growth and Development. Chelle followed her mother and sister's lead and became a third generation graduate of Langston University. The wife and mother of four is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Multicultural Women's & Gender Studies at Texas Woman's University.
In line with Mrs. Luper’s belief in educational achievement, her legacy lives on as 100% of Miss Black Oklahoma Participants enroll in college with a graduation rate of over 90%. Addtionally, 70% of our participants have gone on to pursue post-graduate degrees. Visit missblackoklahoma.com for updates and more information.
As Mrs. Luper believed everyone could be successful given proper support, a gentle nudge, and the chance; The Clara Luper Legacy Foundation* provides scholarships for higher education, as well as educational, cultural and social programming designed to provide specific and necessary tools, resources, and mentorships, to help increase opportunities for success, primarily within underserved and communities of color.
It is our goal, that from recipients of urgent financial support for continued education to those engaged in transformational programming, all participants we encounter will be better positioned to achieve success, make a positive impact in their households and communities, and "pay it forward" through participation in community and/or public service; thereby ensuring the legacy of Clara Luper will live on in perpetuity. Examples of our programming include:
Michelle Jorie Millben, a native of Oklahoma City, received her B.A. Degree in Music Performnce from Oklahoma City University (OCU) in 2005. While an undergraduate student at OCU, Millben served as an advocate for arts education, students in underserved communities and incarcerated students and founder of an after-school program for teens that provided academic tutoring, sports and performing arts programs. She also served as an academic advisor for OCU's Clara Luper Scholars.
Millben became the first woman from OCU to win the Miss Black Oklahoma pageant, in 2005, and she used the platform to continue her advocacy. She recognized by the Oklahoma State Legislature in 2006 for her dedication to bettering youth in the state.
Millben was awarded her Juris Doctoracte (J.D.) from the University of Oklahoma, School of Law, in 2009. That same year, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she served as a staffer in the U.S. Congress in the House Judiciary Committee. After almost five years in Congress, she was recruited to the executive branch of the U.S. government, where she served as an official in the Department of Justice and as an advisor to President Obama on matters related to the U.S. Congress.
Millben has continued her service to youth and families since moving to Washington. She has served as a commissioner in the Commonwealth of Virginia for the City of Alexandria’s Redevelopment and Housing Authority, and on the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, D.C. area. She has also remained a committed member of the clergy by serving as an associate minister at the historic Alfred Street Baptist Church in Virginia.
A 2016 graduate of President Obama’s Leadership Workshop, and 2014 graduate of the Political Leaders Program at the bipartisan Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia, Millben was awarded the Dawn Lawson Leadership Development Award from the Virginia Leadership Institute, and was the Oliver Hill Award for Social Activism by the National Black Law Students Association for her efforts in battling against social injustices.
Millben has taken her musical talents across the country, providing background vocals for Bruce Springsteen’s Super Bowl halftime show in 2009 and HBO’s concert on the National Mall for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. In addition, Millben has appeared as a singer in TNT’s ‘‘Christmas in Washington’’ and has provided background vocals alongside music legends such as Sting, Beyonce, James Taylor, Mavis Staples, Steven Tyler, Carrie Underwood, Heart, Garth Brooks and fellow OCU alumna Kelli O’Hara in the annual Kennedy Center Honors.
Join us in congratulating the fabulous Michelle Millben on the 40 Under 40 Alexandria Leadership Award that she will receive in July at the United Way Worldwide Building.
"I have never doubted my abilities. I was always sure I could do anything with proper advice, study and hard work." Clara Luper
One of the Clara Luper Legacy Foundation programs is the Miss Black Oklahoma Scholarship Pageant. Outside of educational institutions, it is one of the largest providers of scholarships for minority women in the state with more than $500,000 in scholarships, cash and awards presented since inception.
Copyright 2015 Clara Luper Legacy Foundation.
All Rights Reserved.
Chelle Luper Wilson, the youngest child, of Mrs. Clara Luper is the Founder and President of the Clara Luper Legacy Foundation. Her mother's words, "Knowledge not shared, is knowledge lost," served as a call to action for Chelle. She realized that the work her mother dedicated her life to, was much too important not to continue. With the goal of keeping the rich legacy of civic engagement, service, education, social justice and love for all, she founded the Clara Luper Legacy Found