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BRAND SPOTLIGHT: Michelle R. Horton & YOUniversity Drive

After years as a corporate marketing and human resources executive, Michelle made the decision to change careers and enter the college classroom as a professor. Her experience was both eye-opening and motivating. As an educator, she made it her personal mission to address the gaps she observed between students’ standard classroom instruction and their level of preparedness for the workforce. Her mission eventually expanded beyond the classroom and became the spark that ignited YOUniversity Drive.

In addition to leading YOUniversity Drive, Michelle serves as the Director of Experiential Learning and Leadership Development for Wake Forest University’s Schools of Business. In this capacity she develops hands on educational programs and mentors students to enhance their leadership preparedness and management skills.

Prior to joining Wake Forest, Michelle utilized both of her passion points, mentoring and marketing, as a Marketing and Retail Management professor at Johnson C. Smith University.

YOUniversity Drive was founded by Michelle R. Horton in 2011 out of her passion for helping all students thrive both in college and in life after college.

As a first generation college graduate, Michelle knows what it takes to work hard and to go beyond what she thought she could do to reach a higher goal. She has always lived by the idea of “you are in charge of your own success” and thus created the YOUniversity Drive concept to put students in the “driver’s seat” of their journey and to ensure they are accountable for their own success.

Michelle truly believes that all students can achieve, and knows how to inspire and motivate them using a fun, youthful approach that is relevant and real!

Recognition & Awards

  • Pride Magazine’s “Making It Count” feature story, November 2015 issue

  • Charlotte Business Journal’s Entrepreneur 2015 spotlight

  • “Who’s Who in Black Charlotte,” 2012

  • Charlotte Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2011

  • Uptown Magazine’s “Finest” feature for up and comers in Charlotte, 2011

  • Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year Award, College of Professional Studies at JCSU, 2011

Community Engagement

  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

  • Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

  • Mentors young women and girls

  • Speaking engagements at local colleges/universities, civic organizations, and churches


  • BA, Industrial Relations, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • MBA, Wake Forest University, received the Babcock Award, an honor given for exceptional scholastic performance, leadership, and integrity.

Michelle resides in Charlotte with her husband and they are the proud parents of two wonderful children.

Social Media handles are:

Facebook: YOUniversity Drive

Instagram: @YOUnivDrive and @MichelleOHorton

Twitter: @YOUnivDrive

LinkedIn: YOUniversity Drive and Michelle R. Horton

- Folks can email me at

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