Blackstone LaunchPad hubs at colleges and universities focus skill-building and internship opportunities for students

February 21, 2024, Houston – Blackstone today announced that the Blackstone Charitable Foundation has reached $10 million in funding in Texas through its signature program, LaunchPad. The program seeks to close the opportunity gap by equipping students with entrepreneurial skills and internship opportunities to help them build lasting careers.

LaunchPad has supported students at 12 schools across Texas, including Texas A&M University, University of Texas at Austin, UT Dallas, UT San Antonio, UT Rio Grande Valley, and UT El Paso. Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) is the latest campus joining the program. With continued migration of Fortune 500 companies to Texas, initiatives like LaunchPad will continue to help prepare Texas students to compete and thrive in a dynamic job market.

LaunchPad and its partners seek to empower college students to secure sustainable, fulfilling careers and close the employment gap. Programming complements the academic curriculum with workshops, speaker sessions and networking opportunities. All participants gain experience at identifying opportunities, developing solutions, thinking critically and leading teams. In addition to campus-based programs, LaunchPad and its partners offer internship opportunities at Blackstone, the firm’s portfolio companies, partner organizations and select startups – meeting a continuous demand for high-quality talent pipelines.

The new LaunchPad center at PVAMU was unveiled on February 12 during an official ribbon cutting with Dr. Tomikia LeGrande, President of Prairie View A&M University, Dr. Michael McFrazier, Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Maura Pally, Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, and Prairie View’s LaunchPad leadership.

“What the Blackstone Charitable Foundation is providing to our next generation of community and business leaders is truly remarkable,” said President LeGrande. “With the LaunchPad program at Prairie View A&M University, our talented students can develop an entrepreneurial mindset and access key resources that will improve their career outcomes.”

“Every student should have access to a place to cultivate ideas, develop skills and access job opportunities,” said Maura Pally. “Our goal is for all students who engage with Blackstone LaunchPad to be able to access quality job opportunities, expand their network and develop skills that will set them up for success in any career they pursue. We’re thrilled to have reached this $10 million commitment in Texas – programs like LaunchPad that train and develop all students will help keep Texas talent local and Texas companies strong.”

LaunchPad was formed with a focus on entrepreneurship and helping students become the job creators of tomorrow. Starting in 2021, the program’s new offerings aim to drive career skills and mobility for students. It provides tools for experiential learning where students can gain key skills that employers want to see.

About Blackstone LaunchPad
Blackstone LaunchPad works with colleges across the United States to help students launch successful careers through entrepreneurial skills-building programs and opportunities to intern at organizations in our network, including Blackstone, our portfolio companies and select startups. Since 2010, Blackstone LaunchPad has supported students on more than 75 college and university campuses, including Minority Serving Institutions and community colleges. In 2022, LaunchPad engaged more than 35,000 students.

About Prairie View A&M University
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M UNIVERSITY (PVAMU), founded in 1876, is the second oldest public institution of higher education in the state of Texas and the third largest Historically Black College/University in the nation. Designated as an “institution of the first class” in the Texas Constitution, enrollment exceeds 9,000 students and over 80,000 graduates. PVAMU offers academic programs through its ten colleges and schools, boasting degree options leading to bachelor’s to doctoral-level degrees. A Carnegie-classified high-research (R2) University and a member of The Texas A&M University System, PVAMU is dedicated to fulfilling its land-grant mission of achieving excellence in teaching, research and service. For more information, visit

Emilie Stanton

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