Spring 2019

Changing futures

Once a struggling youth, Malik Day now works on Wall Street.
Photography by Chris Cooper

Thousands of people apply for jobs on Wall Street every year, but only 2 percent are hired. Malik Day, a 2018 Carlson School of Management graduate, is one of them. In fact, Day, a sales and trading analyst for CitiGroup, received three offers—a testament to his talent and the life-changing power of scholarships. 

Just six years ago, Day was homeless and struggling to find a way to pay for college, prompting one of his high school teachers to write a letter to the Minneapolis Star Tribune highlighting the challenges exceptional students like Day face when seeking scholarship support. “Anyone willing to bet on this fine young man?” she asked.

Jim and Norma Leslie read that article and acted quickly, establishing a scholarship at the U. Day was one of the first recipients. “We believe education is the most reliable way to break the cycle of poverty,” Jim says. 

The couple has since made additional gifts to support more students. Day is deeply grateful for the Leslies’ support, but the Leslies feel they benefit the most. “It’s an honor for us,” Jim says. “We hope our experience encourages others to help students in need.”