Toni Thorpe, a Rich Square, North Carolina native, has served as a mentor to NC State student leaders from many years. Thorpe graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in technical and business writing. After a stint in the corporate world, Thorpe began working at NC State's Center Stage. Thorpe began serving as a volunteer at the NC State African American Cultural Center after reading an article about the center. In 2001, Thorpe became the program coordinator at the African American Cultural Center, a position she still maintains. As the program coordinator, Thorpe schedules lectures and activities that uphold the mission of the center. Thorpe also helps students develop their own programs and understand the structure of the university system.