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Meet Henry Bolden: Simantel’s Diverse Minds Scholarship Recipient

Meet Henry

Simantel is proud to announce Henry Bolden as the winner of our Diverse Minds Scholarship for both the 2021-2022 and upcoming 2022-2023 school year! Henry is a rising sophomore at Illinois Central College (ICC) with an interest in business, a can-do attitude and an impressive plan for his future.

Entering his senior year of high school, Henry – a Richwoods High School graduate – wasn’t sure of his next steps. Through the encouragement of his mother, Henry applied to ICC and learned of the Diverse Minds Scholarship that can be used to help cover the cost of tuition, books and supplies and other academic-related expenses. Upon receiving notice that he won the Diverse Minds Scholarship in 2021, Henry explained that he felt both shock and relief. Henry’s collegiate success is his alone, but the support of the Diverse Minds Scholarship helped to make this possible!

Despite the difficulties that come with starting college during the COVID-19 pandemic, Henry exceeded his own expectations during his first semesters. When asked about his achievements, he shared that he received better-than-expected grades on his writing assignments and maintained a strong GPA. Additionally, Henry found his stride in taking online and hybrid courses from ICC. Hybrid and online classes require additional discipline from students, but Henry prefers these classes. Aside from his coursework, Henry is also involved in the business and English honor clubs on campus.


Simantel Job Shadow

In addition to the scholarship’s financial support, Henry was offered the opportunity to visit the Simantel office and complete a job shadow. Henry jumped at this chance, and on June 1, he was able to meet with Simantel employees and learn more about the work we do across the agency.

We were thrilled to host Henry for a tour of the office, followed by meetings with Simantelites across service lines. In a jam-packed day, Henry learned about brand, content strategy, creative, account and project planning, media, marketing automation/dev and CX strategy.

Speaking of his time at Simantel, Henry expressed great respect for the work that we do at the agency. He explained, “I do like what’s Simantel is doing, though, like what Jim Simantel did. He started small and then he ended up building the empire, basically.”


Future Plans

Henry plans to attend a four-year college after graduating from ICC in Fall 2023. He’s looking into a few Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBUs), as well as some local universities. Henry’s plan is to major in business and pursue a minor in marketing. He expressed an interest in starting his own business or working in the marketing field. During his Simantel job shadow, he shared that he thinks education is important because it provides a background for a range of different opportunities after graduation. We certainly agree!

In moving toward his future goals, Henry shared that our support provided a lift to the financial burden of mounting college costs so he could focus on immersing himself in all the learning opportunities at ICC. His stellar GPA and extracurricular involvement will certainly make his application shine as he applies to universities to further his education. Henry intends to pay it forward, too: “I hope one day I will be able to help students achieve their goals just as you have helped me.”

Exceeding his own expectations, extending a helping hand and putting in the hard work to succeed! Sounds like a future Simantelite, huh?


DEI at Simantel

Simantel’s Diverse Minds Scholarship was developed by the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which was formed last year. The committee focuses on providing education and support for Simantel employees to be more just and socially conscious co-workers and community members. Although most of our focus is internal, we developed the Diverse Minds Scholarship to help empower African American students in their education.

Because this scholarship is in its infancy, help us spread the word about this opportunity to future college students! We plan to fund this scholarship indefinitely, which means we could use your support. If you’re interested in contributing to our scholarship fund, consider donating. We invite clients, partners and friends to pay it forward to a good cause. Give us a call at 309-674-7747 or email We’ll put you in contact with the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

When asked how we at Simantel could better improve on our diversity and inclusion goals, Henry suggested we provide the opportunity for more community events to share the work we’re doing. He adds, “But pretty much, you guys are on it!”

Please wish Henry a warm congratulations on his scholarship and be on the lookout for all that he will accomplish in his bright future!

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