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UNF Students Receive Free Rides, Mentorships Through Uber

Uber App
Lindsey Kilbride
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Doug Leeby swung open the door of an Escalade at the University of North Florida on Thursday. In the back he was sitting, awaiting a mentee.

Leeby, president of Jacksonville software company Beeline, joined four other Jacksonville business leaders to offer 15-minute mentor sessions along with free rides through the ride-for-hire service Uber from the UNF campus.

 

“So we thought it would be neat to set up an environment where these kids could come out and share resumes or ask questions or just get advice and frankly even provide a little reverse mentoring where I could ask them questions and take that back to my workplace," Leeby said.

Other business leaders participating in the ride alongs included Daniel Davis, president and CEO of the JAX Chamber; Tracey Evans, director of Events and Entertainment for the Jacksonville Jaguars; Cindy Craig Johnson, associate general counsel at CSX; and Tyra Tutor, head of mergers and acquisitions, communications and corporate social responsibility for Adecco Group North America.

UNF is partnering with the ride service as the city is deciding how to regulate it.

University spokeswoman Andrea Mestdagh said Uber approached the college about partnering for the day and no money was exchanged.

The city of Jacksonville has been trying to regulate Uber and similar services for about two years. Many taxi drivers say it’s not fair Uber drivers aren't required to have the same level of insurance or car inspections.

Mestdagh said UNF isn’t weighing in on whether it supports Uber’s policies. She said the event was to provide students with a "unique career prep opportunity."

Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.