To address the prevalent opportunity and racial wealth gaps in our community, the Thunder Fellows Program – developed by the Oklahoma City Thunder and Creative Arts Agency (CAA) – aims to unlock new opportunities in sports, entertainment, and technology for Black high school and college students in the Tulsa area.
Located in the historic Greenwood District, Thunder Fellows will apply data & analytics curriculum uniquely tailored to industries’ standards to gain proficiency in essential skillsets and hands-on experiences highly sought after by recruiters and talent acquisition teams. The 30-week program will also leverage a strategic pipeline of local & national corporations to provide exclusive access to mentors, professional coaching, and meaningful employment opportunities.
Gaining deep understanding of high demand technical job functions and life skills
Strengthening problem solving & critical thinking skills
Demonstrating competency with in-demand coding languages
Receiving professional coaching from industry leaders nationwide
Growing personal and professional network
Thunder Fellows applications & recommendations due for 2021-22 program
Student selection process with review committee September 13-17.
The week of September 20–24: Student & Parent orientation
Inaugural Thunder Fellows cohort!
Students submit projects and deliver end-of-program presentations
Executive Director, Thunder Fellows
Ikpo brings more than a decade of experience working in corporate social responsibility in professional sports. He comes to the Thunder Fellows Program from the National Basketball Association (NBA), where he worked on numerous corporate social responsibility initiatives, collaborating across NBA, WNBA and G League team markets.
Programs Manager, Thunder Fellows
Whitley has nearly two decades of teaching experience. She led KIPP Tulsa’s Computer Science and STEM programming, created KIPP Tulsa College Preparatory’s robotics program, and was a driving force behind their AP Computer Science and Computer Science Discovery programs.
Operations Coordinator, Thunder Fellows
Graham spent several years facilitating peer-to-peer programming between college students and inner-city youth while at Sports Crusaders. He also led a team in assembling school buses for students across the country at Navistar International.
For the 2021-22 school year, the Thunder Fellows program is open to Black high school 9th and 10th graders on a space-available basis. In order to be considered for the program, students must meet the following requirements: