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Alumni Spotlight, Khari Arnold

April’s 21CL Alumni Spotlight is Khari Arnold, a graduate of Westlake High School and Howard University, who currently works at Turner as a Senior Producer of Khari recently reengaged with 21CL by giving back as a volunteer by helping read and review our recent student applications. The same application he went through just a few years ago. Khari shares how enduring connections made with mentors through 21st Century Leaders lead to a career at Turner.

Khari got involved with 21CL in 2010 by attending 21CL’s summer leadership institute, Leadership Unplugged  in 2010 (now known as Turner Voices Youth Leadership Institute) and continued through the program during his senior year landing him an internship that following summer.

How did participating in 21CL change you and/or lead you to where you are now?

The media industry was something I had interest in as early as middle school. When I got to high school, I got involved with the yearbook staff and joined a local teen newspaper. These were great opportunities, but I found 21st Century Leaders to be the most enjoyable and satisfying experience. Here, I received great principles that allowed me to build the foundation of where I am today. The program allowed me to witness a professional setting in my desired field, while garnering vital information that would help me get there (and not just get there, but succeed while there as a leader). I was fortunate to learn what it was like to work on a team and pitch an idea to a panel of executives, something I still do in my current career.

What was your most memorable moment in 21CL?
To be quite honest, my most memorable moment was building a fantastic bond with the other 21CL members. We got so close that one week — I remember everyone saying it felt like we knew each other for a year. Meeting like-minded individuals with similar goals as me was extremely beneficial. We all want to network with people that are already established in their careers, but building relationships with your peers is just as critical. I still keep in contact with a few members of my class and if there’s anything I could do to help a fellow 21CL, I would do it in a heartbeat.
How did 21CL prepare you for your next steps?
It prepared me for my next step by leading to an internship at Turner the very next summer through their Turner Voices Internship Program. During my interview process, I explained the qualities I received as a 21CL and how I learned more about the company and business as a whole through the ‘Turner Voices’ program. Before I knew it, I was serving as a Communications Intern at CNN. That same summer my manager introduced me to a high executive at Turner Sports. I kept in contact with him throughout my four years in college, and now he’s my boss.
What’s something you’ve recently learned about leadership?
I recently learned that a leader must understand the various personalities of who he is guiding, and adapting to it when applicable. Especially the ones you interact with. Also, making an effort to be sure everyone feels like they have a voice — even though you’re the leader — is essential.

Are you an alumni of 21st Century Leaders and want to be featured in the next Alumni Spotlight? Update us on where you are now.