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Beck joins SLI board of directors

The college-access nonprofit Shenandoah Valley Scholars Latino Initiative (SLI) has welcomed Stephanie Beck to its board of directors. 

SLI’s mission is to support Latino/a/x high school students with college access through rigorous academic challenge, leadership development, scholarships, and supportive mentorships. Through collaborations with university and high school staff, faculty, and students, SLI provides college access opportunities throughout high school. It also provides financial support for college success.

“As a mother of two, a veteran, a proud Latina, and a first-generation American, Beck brings with her a deep passion for creating inclusive and equitable work environments for all,” said SLI board chair Fawn-Amber Montoya, Ph.D., associate dean of the Honors College at James Madison University. “I look forward to seeing how Stephanie will impact the students we serve.”

The diversity and inclusion program manager for CarMax, Beck has been a connecting point for SLI through her previous positions as senior human resources specialist for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Dominion Energy and diversity and inclusion specialist at Genworth Financial, where she first learned about SLI. 

In January 2021 Beck and three other Genworth employees met virtually with SLI scholars in Richmond to share about their experiences pursuing college degrees and careers. 

“We felt so inspired,” she reflected afterward. “I hope we can continue to help the students in a way that motivates them to keep striving for success.”

Beck earned her master’s degree in human resource management from the University of Richmond and bachelor of arts degree in communication studies with a concentration in organizational communication and minor in journalism from Montclair State University. She received her Diversity and Inclusion for HR credential from Cornell University, and is certified by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) as an inclusive workplace culture specialist. She served in the United States Air Force, specifically the Air National Guard, as a personnel specialist and unit training manager, and is on the Richmond SHRM Board of Directors position as the Director of Collaborative and E-Learning.

Since 2012 SLI has served 180 scholars (67 current and 113 alumni) and awarded more than $542,000 in financial support for students  in college scholarship awards, computer awards, and dual enrollment tuition assistance. Its alumni have attended 24 colleges and universities, including Beck’s alma mater the University of Richmond, where SLI founder Peter Iver Kaufman leads SLI efforts for students such as Huguenot High School alumna Irais.

“When I was in Mexico, I always wanted to go to college, that was one of my dreams,” Irais recalled in a recent interview ( “But when I came to the US, that dream changed […and] I didn’t see a future for it until I knew about SLI.” She attended a SLI meeting and met Kaufman, who asked if she wanted to be part of SL – “and that’s when my dream came into life again, because I knew that there was hope.”