Thursday, November 27, 2014

High school student goes 8 for 8 in Ivy League college admissions

New York (CNN) -- A New York high school student has made it to the Elite Eight in a different sort of March Madness.

Kwasi Enin of Shirley has been accepted by the eight Ivy League schools -- Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Princeton and Cornell -- and then some. He will have his choice as the decision deadline of May 1 approaches.

"I applied knowing that going to any of the Ivy League schools would be wonderful," Enin told CNN. "I thought if I applied to all eight, I figured I'd get into one ... but from the first one onwards I said, 'This can't be happening!' I was shocked seeing all these acceptances under my name."

Enin scored 2250 out of a possible 2400 on his SAT, placing him in the 98th percentile across the country, according to The College Board. He's also ranked 11th in his class at William Floyd High School, a public school on Long Island, according to his principal, Barbara Butler.

Butler said Enin is not only a model academic student but also plays three instruments for the chamber orchestra, sings in an a cappella group, throws shot put and discus for the high school's track and field team, participates in student government and has had a lead role in school plays since the ninth grade.

"Usually kids are good athletes or good musicians or good actors, but they don't have all three and then on top add student government. It's a balancing act. He somehow finds time to do it all and then volunteer at a local hospital," Butler said.

Butler has been Enin's principal for six years in both middle and high school.

"He is an incredibly modest, humble and respectable person," Butler said. "He is incredibly dedicated and he has his priorities straight. He takes advantage of whatever opportunity he is afforded."

Rachel Rubin, the founder of Spark Admissions in Massachusetts, who also previously served on admissions committees at selective universities, said the feat is extremely rare.

"It's quite atypical," Rubin said, adding that most students do not apply to all the Ivy League schools.

"Standardized test scores and good grades will get a student in the door to have their application read," Rubin said. "But it's their extracurricular activities, leadership experience, exceptional talents, recommendation letters and personal essays that will move a student from a pile of 'maybes' to a pile of 'accepted.'"

Harvard's acceptance rate, among the most selective in the country, was just 5.9% for the applicants for the class of 2017, according to its admissions site.

Enin was also accepted to Duke University and three State University of New York campuses.
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Although Enin has yet to make a decision, there seems to be a front-runner.

"I'm thinking about Yale. I really liked their sense of family, relationships between undergraduates and professors, and the residential college. They also have a strong biomedical engineering program, which is a wonderful combination of biology and creative tools that doctors and health care professionals can use."

Enin added that Yale also has a strong music program, one of his beloved hobbies that he hopes to continue when he isn't hitting the books in college.

He hopes to one day pursue medicine, a dream of his that just so happens to align with his parents' careers.

His parents, who immigrated from Ghana in the late 1980s, are both nurses and pushed Enin to receive the highest grades possible and follow his dreams.

"Health care is a prominent field that satisfies people beyond finances and edifies people and is about moral development," he said.

His advice for future applicants?

"Follow your passions in high school and not just follow suit for what you think can get you into these schools," he said. "Develop your outside interests -- not just academics."

CNN's Laura Ly contributed to this report.

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/01/us/new-york-student-accepted-ivy-league/

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Turning Passion into Enterprise: How a Graphic Designer Grew His T-shirt Brand

If you’ve ever dreamed of starting a fashion business, you want to read this. Seun Olubodun, 32, is the founder Duke & Winston, an apparel brand started in 2009 with a cult-like following. Seun has managed to accomplish what few have in just 6 years, turning a grassroots t-shirt company into a thriving retail business. Seun, an experienced entrepreneur, wasn’t feeling challenged by his job anymore and went search of new opportunities.

While visiting his parents in Boston, Seun walked into Johnny Cupcakes, a t-shirt store that smelled like a bakery. He noticed the store provided a unique experience only making one thing – t-shirts – but selling them over and over with a line out the door. A few weeks later, Seun quit his job and sold his Audi A6 to the first cash buyer for $5,200 to start his t-shirt company. “I needed to move quickly before I got discouraged,” Seun says. “If I take the cash right now, I can get started tomorrow.”

Seun began vending at events all around Philadelphia. His first table at a festival sold 40 of the 50 t-shirts he made.  He typically paid $50 a table and made $600 to $2,000 per event. He used the money he earned to buy more inventory. The $5,000 quickly ran out and when he couldn’t pay rent anymore his roommates let him move into the basement on the couch next to the washer and dryer. That didn’t stop Seun; he kept going. Eventually he earned enough to by a van and put the Duke& Winston logo on it. He drove it all around the city and created buzz. “I knew I didn’t have a lot behind me so I wanted to make sure my presentation was above and beyond,” says Seun.

It wasn’t long before he landed his first retail account from Matthew Izzo, a local men’s shop, and Urban Outfitters followed with an order for 300 t-shirts that jump-started the business. But Seun never turned away from his grassroots marketing strategies and averages 100 events during the summer months. Two years into the business, he moved into a bi-level ground floor apartment and turned the downstairs into a showroom that looked like a Ralph Lauren store. Seun opened up his living room on the weekends selling 10 to 15 shirts daily from foot traffic on the block.

Duke & Winston made its first $100,000 in business from web sales and Seun’s apartment. When the city found out he was selling without a storefront retail license, they told him to shut down the showroom. Seun’s landlord thought he was innovative, so he jumped in and helped to renew the commercial license that was previously on the property. The Duke & Winston brand has continued to grow and just opened their first flagship store in downtown Philadelphia.

Seun shared the following advice for turning a passion for fashion into a real business:

Stand Out of the Crowd. Create a top-notch brand so that the company looks bigger than what it is.  Be honest with yourself and don’t buy into your own hype.  Duke & Winston works with a graphic designer from Tommy Hilfiger which gives his t-shirt designs a high-end look.

Know Your Market. Focus on the product you’re selling and make sure there’s an existing market for it. “I create my products for real people,” says Seun. “If I see ten guys wearing something, it inspires an idea for Duke & Winston.” Make sure that you know your product and what competitors are offering.

Focus on Selling. A lot of fashion businesses get caught up in the smoke and mirrors of the industry. Don’t spend a lot of money putting on fashion shows. Focus on the activities that will directly drive sales.

Seun Olubodun’s story shows us that people can make it in the fashion industry if they focus more on building a company that has the opportunity to grow and less on the fashion.

Jamila Payne is CEO of Soul Purpose Co. (SPC), and provides email newsletter, online courses and live events for women committed to building profitable and sustainable enterprises while solving some of the world’s toughest problems. She has held posts including director of African Leadership Academy’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, which was established through a $1.6 million multi-year partnership with The MasterCard Foundation. She is also author of several books including Your Big Year (2013) From Payne to Power. She has been a speaker at events including Jamila has been a speaker at The National Urban League Conference, Black Enterprise Entrepreneurship Conference, and the African Leadership Network and is host of WKDU 91.7 FM’s Heart & Hustle.

Source: http://www.blackenterprise.com/small-business/how-to-turn-passion-into-enterprise-seun-olubodun-duke-and-winston/

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

IPS high school student receives prestigious Gates Millenium Scholarship

INDIANAPOLIS - A Broad Ripple High School student is one of only 1,000 students in the country to receive the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship.

The scholarship -- funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation -- covers a full ride to any college or university in the country, all the way through a doctoral degree if the recipient chooses.

At 16, Alex Dunlap is poised to graduate Broad Ripple Magnet High School a year early in May. She knew all her hard work had paid off when she got the letter announcing her scholarship.

"Oh, I was ecstatic," she said. "I started crying, my mom started crying."

Dunlap plans to pursue her passion for languages.

"I'm going to study Spanish, French and Chinese in college with a focus in Arabic, I'm going to pick that one up as well," she said. "And after undergrad, I plan on attending law school."

Dunlap hopes to fight for the rights of children in foreign countries, but while her travels might take her worldwide, she plans to stay close to home for college.

"I've just recently decided to go to DePauw because they have such a great liberal arts program," she said. "Their study abroad program is great and exactly what I need because of my languages. Their language program is great. And I'm going to be entering as a Bonner scholar, which is a community service scholarship."

Beyond being a great student, Dunlap has a passion for community service. She teaches Spanish to inner-city kids, and she plans to keep volunteering.

She has this advice to other students.

"Always work hard, study hard and make sure you find something you're passionate about in high school," she said. "For me it was languages and it was music. And I was passionate and I loved doing it, so I always worked hard doing it."

Dunlap is the first student ever from Broad Ripple High School to become a Gates Scholar.

She'll meet the other 999 winners when Bill Gates flies them all out to meet each other and network.



Follow Tanya Spencer on Twitter: @tanyaspencer6 | Facebook: Tanya Spencer

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Source: http://www.theindychannel.com/news/good-news/ips-high-school-student-receives-prestigious-gates-millenium-scholarship

Monday, October 27, 2014

Dr. Sylvester J. Gates, Black Physicist, Named 2014 Scientist of the Year

The Harvard Foundation Award Follows Receipt of The National Medal of Science from Obama in 2013

University of Maryland’s John S. Toll Professor of Physics, Dr. Sylvester James Gates Jr., the first African American to hold an endowed chair in physics at a major U.S. research university, was named 2014 Scientist of the Year by the Harvard Foundation, according to a Feb. 21 news release.

Gates, best known for his work in supersymmetry and supergravity, has been characterized as a physicist who is pursuing an understanding of the fundamental matter of the universe.

The award, given by the foundation for his body of work and for promoting initiatives that serve to increase diversity in all areas of science, engineering and mathematics, is the latest of a stream of plaudits for Gates.

Last year President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Science and Villanova University awarded him the 2013 Mendel Medal. He is a University System of Maryland Regents Professor and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

He also has a reputation for trying to broaden participation in the hard sciences to people of color and has emphasized the need to involve children of color in science training.

“He understands what gets kids interested in science and engineering,” said John P. Holdren, Obama’s science and technology adviser, “and he is a tireless advocate for getting minorities and girls, who are underrepresented in most science and engineering fields, to pursue these subjects.”

“And these skill sets tend to be the kind of skills people who train in science, technology, engineering and mathematics possess,” Gates said in a 2013 interview with the Washington Post. “If we can have Americans fill those jobs, we’re going to have to have an education system that gets them ready for it.

Gates is director of the Center for String and Particle Theory at the University of Maryland.

The award will be presented at a March 28 ceremony by the Harvard University president, the dean of Harvard College and the director of the Harvard Foundation.

Source: http://www.afro.com/sections/news/afro_briefs/story.htm?storyid=81687

Thursday, October 23, 2014

5 Black Child Entrepreneurs Your Children Should Know

The black community must evolve to control our own community economics. We allow our $1.1 trillion dollar annual spending power to be squandered because we don’t have enough quality businesses to support in our community. Well instead of whining about it, let’s do something about it.

Let’s take the time to encourage and nurture our children to grow and become the entrepreneurs and business owners we need in the future. They are the next generation. They have the insight, courage, and ambition to do something big. We just have to be great parents and present them with these opportunities. One way to get their juices flowing is motivation.

Take a moment to discuss this article with your children. Make them aware of kids their age taking the entrepreneurial world by storm….and not waiting until they are adults to do it. This will allow your child to see kids their age doing great things. Who knows, they might be inspired in the process.


Business: Mo’s Bows

moziah-bridgesMoziah “Mo” Bridges, Age 11
Ever since he was four-years old and dressing himself, Moziah “Mo” Bridges, now 11, insisted on wearing a suit and tie whenever he could, even to the grocery store or while riding his bike. “I love dressing up,” says Bridges who found early inspiration from his father and grandfather who typically wear three piece suits for no particular reason. “I look and feel so much better in nice clothes. It makes me feel like an important person. ”

At first his mother and grandmother helped create the merchandise which they sold to family and friends. As the business increased through Facebook, an Etsy store and word of mouth, so did the production team. Now his other granny, aunts, cousins, and friends help him make bow ties as they sit around Bridge’s and his mom’s dining room table. Sometimes he’ll walk around the table and say, “how are my workers doing?” (He is the CEO of Mo’s Bows after all.)

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeryl-brunner/meet-moziah-bridges-11yea_b_3910921.html

Business: The Honeybunch Kids

Chental-Song BembryChental-Song Bembry, Age 14


Mission: To provide quality literature that entertains and educates children between the ages of 7 and 12. To launch a literacy campaign that will one day change the way children think about reading. To inspire children to set goals for themselves.

When you think of an author, the term entrepreneur doesn’t necessarily come to mind; but more book writers are beginning to realize that being an author takes a certain entrepreneurial spirit if you really want to move volumes. Just ask 14-year-old Chental-Song Bembry, who sold more than 500 books last year and is aiming to double that with the release of her second book this fall.

Source: https://www.blackenterprise.com/event/entrepreneurs-conference/entrepreneur-of-the-week-14-year-old-ceo-chental-song-bembry/


Business: Leanna’s Hair Inc.

leanna_archerLeanna Archer, Started at 8



Leanna founded her company Hair Inc . When she was 8 years old, and was named Inc.com Magazine’sYoungest 30 Entrepreneurs under 30 . Using a family made ​​for hair repair, she Began her career by selling her product to fellow students. The buzz spread and soon orders Quickly Were coming from stores across the U.S. and online. Meanwhile, Leanna still have time to Develop new products, make the honor roll in middle school and have even Been Offered a scholarship from Harvard. She delivers motivational speeches Also in communication skills for parents and teens to live dreams Their Their Own and start business.

Source: http://www.cosmoloan.com/investments/10-inspirational-child-entrepreneurs.html


Business: Yumazu Anime Shop

Umar Brimah



At the age of 12, Umar Brimah runs his very own anime store called Yumazu (his name in Japanese). I opened the new shop in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Turning his hobby into business, his mother put up $ 10,000 as an investment opening. Considering the Internet is one the only places you can find anime, some products can end up costing twice the price, plus shipping charges.

Yumazu offers collectors a place where anime They Will Have to pay additional money to get what They Want. Umar one day hopes to expand his business to a chain of stores.

Source: http://www.cosmoloan.com/investments/10-inspirational-child-entrepreneurs.html


Business: Kool Kidz Sno Konez

Jaden Wheeler and Amaya Selmon, Age 12 & 11




Jaden Wheeler and Amaya Selmon are the youngest owners of a food truck in Memphis, and by a few critical years. Neither is yet a teenager.

The brother and sister team — he’s 12, she’s 11 — own and operate Kool Kidz Sno Konez, a little enterprise that started in their front yard two years ago.

“We were always asking my mom for stuff, because we wanted her to buy us toys and things, and she said ‘Why don’t y’all make your own money?’” Amaya said.

“So I said to do a lemonade stand, but Jaden said we wouldn’t make any money, and he wanted to do a yard service. But Mama said no, because he could get hurt.”

They loved Jerry’s Sno Cones, a good drive from their southeast Memphis home, and that spurred the idea.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/12/kid-entrepreneurs-jaden-wheeler-amaya-selmon-launch-food-truck-business_n_3425976.html

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The California Wellness Foundation Announces Launch of its Advancing Wellness Grants Program


The California Wellness Foundation (Cal Wellness) today announced the launch of its new Advancing Wellness grants program designed to promote equity through advocacy and access. The grantmaking will focus on three interconnected portfolios: Bridging the Gaps in Access and Quality Care; Promoting Healthy and Safe Neighborhoods; and Expanding Education and Employment Pathways. The grants program also includes the Opportunity Fund to support innovation in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.

“We are excited to launch the next phase of our grantmaking,” said Judy Belk, president and CEO of The California Wellness Foundation.  “Advancing Wellness builds on the Foundation’s long history of responding to the needs of California communities and addressing the root causes of health and wellness inequities.”

The process for submitting letters of interest to the Foundation has been streamlined with the introduction of an online grants application process to increase efficiency and support grantees’ efforts. Grantseekers can apply here.

Building upon its legacy, the Foundation remains committed to responsive, statewide grantmaking; core operating support; funding of direct services, public policy and capacity building; and improving the health of underserved populations.

Grants made under the Bridging the Gaps in Access and Quality Care portfolio will be related to: the equitable implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the health care safety net; oral health care for low-income adults, including seniors; and increasing diversity in the health care professions.

Grants made under the Promoting Healthy and Safe Neighborhoods portfolio will be related to: ensuring that effective systems, infrastructures and resources are in place to support healthy living and to minimize trauma and injury resulting from violence, particularly gun violence.

Grants made under the Expanding Education and Employment Pathways portfolio will be related to: charting a path to greater access to resources, opportunities, and support for adolescents and young adults whom Cal Wellness defines as “resilient youth,” i.e., young people who are in, or have exited, the juvenile justice system; are current or former foster youth; have been or are currently homeless or runaways; or are pregnant and/or parenting youth. The goals of this portfolio are also to ensure that there is access to sufficient income and other resources through fair employment and appropriate government benefits, as well as the building and protection of financial assets for resilient youth, military veterans and formerly incarcerated adults.


The Opportunity Fund will support capacity building, public policy and innovation among nonprofit agencies and philanthropic organizations working to improve the health of Californians.

To view a video and other materials on the grantmaking program, please visit the CalWellness.org newsroom.

The California Wellness Foundation is a private independent foundation created in 1992 with a mission to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention. Since its founding in 1992, Cal Wellness has awarded 7,523 grants totaling more than $899 million.