Monday, December 22, 2014

The Greg Jennings Foundation

A community where all educational needs for youth are met.

The Greg Jennings Foundation strives to partner with and assist other organizations in educating youth by providing the necessary resources in order for them to reach their academic potential. 

Empowering youth for improved educational awareness.



Educational Achievement




Monday, December 15, 2014

Business owner to help homeless

DES MOINES, Iowa —Years ago, Derrick Walton was homeless and had no help. Today he is the owner of Chef D’s Rock Power Pizza and he is making sure he serves up food and goodwill.

Walton made a promise to himself and just weeks after he opened his restaurant, he made sure he kept that promise; food at no charge for those in need;

“This week it’s baked chicken, rice, vegetable, a salad and bottled water,” said Walton.  “The name on the restaurant may say Rock Power Pizza, but on Monday nights, the menu changes to a full, home-cooked meal."

Raised in Detroit, Walton has seen tough times.  But after living in Des Moines for a dozen years, he decided to help others, who are still seeing tough times.  ”I've been doing this for so many years, it's just a passion,” said Walton.

He closes his restaurant on Monday nights and invites homeless and needy families to stop buy, and eat for free.

Volunteer Carrie Knudsen and her son stopped by to help.  It takes a lot of work to prepare a few dozen meals.   Another young volunteer is doing his best at becoming a waiter.

So far customers are hearing about Rock Power pizza through the grapevine.  Helen Christner stopped by Monday night for the first time, and found much more than pizza.  “I said wonderful, we're going to get a meal,” Cristner said.

Walton wants to spread the word.  His kitchen and his heart are open for anyone who needs help.  “I want them to know, you always have a place to come and eat."

Rock Power Pizza is open from 5 to 8 Monday nights to feed the homeless.

Walton says he accepts donations, which anyone can send to or drop off at the restaurant.   Otherwise it's money out of his own pocket.  But he loves doing it.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Multi-Talented High School Student Offered Hundreds Of College Scholarships

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Chad Thomas, a senior at Booker T. Washington, is a teen with many talents. So many talents, that he has received hundreds of college scholarship offers.

Thomas, 18, has received 150 scholarships for his skills on the football field, but also for his exceptional musical abilities—playing a total of nine instruments.

Of the football and music scholarships offered, Thomas has chosen to attend the University of Miami and will play football as a Hurricane, and also practice his musical talents at the University’s Frost School of Music.

Thomas helped lead the Booker T. Tornadoes to back-to-back state championships and win a national title this season. But it’s not only being on the field that he loves—Thomas says he fell in love with music at the age of three while listening to his late grandmother’s gospel CDS.

Thomas said his grandmother bought him a guitar and also signed him up for piano lessons. By the time he was five, Thomas was performing.

“My plans…I’m going to UM for music technology and I’m going to play football,” said Thomas.
So play for the NFL or a career in music production—for Thomas his focus in in both.

“So if I make it to the NFL that would be a blessing for me,” said Thomas. But his love for music remains a strong passion. “I have love for music and took it upon myself to learn and play the instruments I hear in the songs.”

Thomas plays the piano, trombone, euphonium (a small tuba), base guitar, regular guitar, snare, tuba, trumpet and drums.

CBS4’s Cynthia Demos asked Thomas, if he had to choose a career in either music or football, he paused for a moment but then finally answered.

“It would probably be music,” said Thomas.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Russell Westbrook Launches New Initiative to Promote Childhood Literacy

Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook’s latest move is a true reflection of NBA players caring about the next generation of community leaders.

On October 27th, Westbrook launched his new “Russell’s Reading Room” initiative at North Highland Elementary School in Oklahoma. Funded by his organization, Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation, the NBA superstar stocked the new reading center with 1,200 books for children of all ages and plans to open two more centers within the next couple of months.

Partnering with Scholastic for their National Read 100,000 program, Westbrook is challenging students to log 100,000 minutes of reading throughout the year. At the end of the school year, Subway will sponsor an assembly with Westbrook and the school that has the most students with logged in reading minutes.

“Reading is a key to success,” Westbrook tells NewsOK. “When people in my position are able to do things like this, give kids something exciting to see, give them some type of encouragement, give them access or some type of way to reward them for reading.”

Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation was launched in 2012 with the mission to inspire kids and encourage them to ask “Why Not?” when faced with the challenge of being told they can’t do something. Westbrook’s foundation hosts annual Thanksgiving and Christmas events for the community in order to provide resources for individuals in need.


Monday, December 1, 2014

The Science Behind America's Game

Did you hear the one about the MacArthur genius physicist and the NFL coach? It's not a joke. It's actually an innovative way to understand chaos theory, and the remarkable complexity of modern professional football.

In Newton's Football, journalist and New York Times bestselling author Allen St. John and TED talker and former Yale professor Ainissa Ramirez explore the unexpected science behind America's Game. Whether it's Jerry Rice finding the common ground between quantum physics and the West Coast offense or an Ivy League biologist explaining--at a granular level--exactly how a Big Mac morphs into an outside linebacker, Newton's Football illuminates football--and science--through funny, insightful stories told by some of the world's sharpest minds.

With a clear-eyed empirical approach--and an exuberant affection for the game--St. John and Ramirez address topics that have long beguiled scientists and football fans alike, including:

* the unlikely evolution of the football (or, as they put it, "The Divine Random Bounce of the Prolate Spheroid")
* what Vince Lombardi has in common with Isaac Newton
* how the hardwired behavior of monkeys can explain a head coach's reluctance to go for it on fourth-down
* why a gruesome elevator accident jump-started the evolution of placekicking
* how Teddy Roosevelt saved football using the same behavioral science concept that Dreamworks would use to save Shrek
* why woodpeckers don't get concussions
* how better helmets actually made the game more dangerous

Every Sunday the NFL shares a secret with only its savviest fans: The game isn't just a clash of bodies, it's a clash of ideas. The greatest minds in football have always possessed an instinctual grasp of science, understanding the big ideas and gritty realities that inform the game's rich past, as well as its increasingly uncertain future.

Blending smart reporting, counterintuitive creativity, and compelling narrative, Newton's Football takes gridiron analysis to the next level, giving fans a book that entertains, enlightens, and explains the game anew.

Ainissa G. Ramirez, Ph.D. is a science evangelist who is passionate about getting the general public excited about science.  She co-authored (with Allen St. John) Newton’s Football: The Science Behind America’s Game (Random House); and, authored Save Our Science: How to Inspire a New Generation of Scientists (TED Books).

Before taking on the call to improve the public’s understanding of science, she was an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science at Yale University.  Technology Review, the magazine of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), named her as one of the world’s 100 Top Young Innovators for her contributions to transforming technology.  She has been profiled in The New York Times, Fortune Magazine, CNN, NPR, ESPN, The Hartford Courant and numerous scientific magazines (Scientific American and Discover Magazine).

Dr. Ramirez received her training in materials science and engineering from Brown University (Sc.B.) and Stanford University (Ph.D.). Prior to being on the faculty at Yale, she was a research scientist at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, in Murray Hill, New Jersey were she did award-winning research. She has authored more than 50 technical papers, holds six patents, and has presented her work worldwide.

She now focuses her energies on making science fun, and gave an impassioned called to action at TED on the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, which generated widespread enthusiasm. At Yale, she was the director of the award-winning science lecture series for children called Science Saturdays and hosted two popular-science video series called Material Marvels and Science Xplained.

As a graduate student she wrote as a science correspondent for Time magazine’s Washington D.C. bureau, which ignited her passion for communicating science.  Now, she speaks internationally on the importance of making science fun and has served as a science advisor to the American Film Institute, WGBH/NOVA, and several science museums.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.)


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.


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 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.


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.


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.


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 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.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Akintunde Ahmad Has a 5.0 GPA and is Headed To Ivy League

An African American Oakland student is our good news story of the week.

Akintunde Ahmad, who calls himself a regular street dude from Oakland’s public schools, has been accepted to several Ivy League Schools thanks to his 5.0 GPA and 2100 SAT Score, according to The Fiix

Ahmad says he is deciding between Brown or Yale University.

Ahmad has seen the same troubles as other teens his age, yet, his focus is to be commended.

“People looking at me funny is so common that it doesn’t stick out for me anymore,” says Akintunde. “It’s something that I’ve gotten used to.”


Monday, September 1, 2014

Dr. Dennis Kimbro On How To Become Wealthy

Wouldn't it be nice if there were a roadmap to becoming a millionaire? Well, according to Dennis Kimbro's new book, "The Wealth Choice," there absolutely is.

Roland Martin sat down with author, Dennis Kimbro to discuss the roadmap to becoming a millionaire.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Masters of the Game and Leaders by Example

Fewer than 2 percent of the 77,000 members of the United States Chess Federation are masters — and just 13 of them are under the age of 14.

ChesstestPosition after 37 … Bc6; click to replay

Among that select group of prodigies are three black players from the New York City area — Justus Williams, Joshua Colas and James Black Jr. — who each became masters before their 13th birthdays.

“Masters don’t happen every day, and African-American masters who are 12 never happen,” said Maurice Ashley, 45, the only African-American to earn the top title of grandmaster. “To have three young players do what they have done is something of an amazing curiosity. You normally wouldn’t get something like that in any city of any race.”

The chess federation, the game’s governing body, does not keep records on the ethnicity of its members. But a Web site called the Chess Drum — which chronicles the achievements of black chess players and is run by Daaim Shabazz, an associate professor of business at Florida A&M University — lists 85 African-American masters. Shabazz said many of them no longer compete regularly.

Ashley, who became a master at age 20 and a grandmaster 14 years later, said the rarity was not surprising. “Chess just isn’t that big in the African-American community,” he said.

The chess federation uses a rating system to measure ability based on the results of matches in officially sanctioned events; a player must reach a rating of 2,200 to qualify for master.

In September last year, Justus, who is now 13 and lives in the Bronx, was the first of the three boys to get to 2,200, becoming the youngest black player to obtain the master rank. Joshua, 13, of White Plains, was a few months younger than Justus when he became a master last December. James, 12, of Brooklyn, became a master in July.

(Samuel Sevian of Santa Clara, Calif., is the youngest master in United States history, earning the title last December, 20 days before his 10th birthday.)

The three New Yorkers met several years ago during competitions. Justus has an edge over James, mostly because he won many of their early games, before James caught up. Head to head, James and Joshua each have several wins against the other. Justus and Joshua have rarely competed against each other.

Although they are rivals, the boys are also friends and share a sense that they are role models.

“I think of Justus, me and Josh as pioneers for African-American kids who want to take up chess,” James said.

James’s father, James Black, said he and Justus’s and Joshua’s parents were aware of what their sons represent and “talk about it a great deal,” but tried not to pressure them too much.

Black said his son “knows that the pressure comes along with the territory. What is going to happen is going to happen. As long he plays, we’re sure that things will work out for the best.”

The three boys approach the game differently. Justus and Joshua say that James studies the most, and Joshua admits he would rather play than practice. “I like the competition,” he said. “And I like that chess is an art.”

Justus said he is the most aggressive of the three, and he and James agree that Joshua is the most unpredictable. “Joshua likes to change up his openings during tournaments,” Justus said.

Supporting the boys’ interest is not easy financially. Though there are many tournaments in the New York City area, the boys must travel to play in more prestigious competitions, sometimes overseas. This week, they are set to play in the World Youth Chess Championship in Brazil.

They study the game with professional coaches who are grandmasters. The lessons are expensive — $100 an hour is not unusual — and the boys’ families have either found sponsors or have paid for the instruction themselves.

The boys aspire to be a grandmaster by the time they graduate from high school, something that only a few dozen players in the world have done. Ashley, who has met the boys but does not know any of them well, says the obstacles are substantial.

He said several children that he had coached to the junior high school national championships in the early 1990s went on to enroll at elite colleges and then to have successful careers. Along the way, he said, playing chess became less of a priority for them. It is difficult to make a living as a player, he said, adding, “I’ve seen many talented kids go by the wayside.”

Ashley said he could not predict whether the success of Justus, Joshua and James would encourage other young African-Americans to play. Another black teenager, Jehron Bryant, 15, of Valley Stream, N.Y., became a master in September.

“Masters will never be epidemics,” Ashley said. He said the rise of the young masters was a “phenomenon” that was “ worth noting.”

“It is special,” he said, “and that we know for a fact.”

Justus, Joshua and James all played in the Marshall Chess Club Championship in Manhattan last month. Justus and Joshua finished with disappointing results — a common problem for young players, who often lack consistency. But James tied for fifth. In the last round, he beat Yefim Treger, a strong veteran master who is in his 50s.

Treger is a tough opponent because he uses unorthodox openings. James kept his head, however, patiently seizing space and building up his attack until he was able to force through a passed pawn. He wrapped up the game by cornering and checkmating Treger’s king.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Operation-Back to the Field

It is always good to see a new book on the shelf that's worth the read. But this book is a little different because the author is only seven years of age. Yes, his name is Amare Small and he has written his first book which focuses on getting back onto the field of one of his favorite sports.

“No football this year” said dad. These words rang in Amare’s ears like bells. All Amare ever wanted to do was to become a great football player and go to the National Football League one day like his favorite player Cam the Man, and his parents were crushing his dream. He know if he was going to play football he had to convince his parents that he needed to be on that field with his teammates. He needed to come up with a plan…. Not just any plan… the best plan ever! OPERATION BACK TO THE FIELD is a go!


Friday, August 1, 2014

Homeless D.C. Student Awarded Full Scholarship To Georgetown University

The homeless shelter that was formerly D.C.'s General Hospital has been making headlines for the story of a staff janitor who kidnapped 8-year-old Relisha Rudd. But one young woman's story shows a different face of the institution through her journey, not unlike the "Homeless to Harvard" success story of Khadijah Williams.

Rashema Melson, a model student -- 18-years-old and a 4.0 GPA athlete -- has been living at the D.C. General homeless shelter for the past two years with her mother and two siblings. And according to Fox 5 D.C. that the Anacostia High School senior been accepted to Georgetown University on a full ride scholarship.

Despite being on the move with her family for the past six years, Melson explained to Bob Barnard of Fox 5 D.C. how motivation is the key to her accomplishments,"It's not hard for me because I want it. When you're doing it because you have to it's a struggle. But I want to be successful... that's my goal in life."

Melson's next step is studying biology as a pre-med undergraduate, and eventually becoming a forensic pathologist -- a career aspiration inspired by the murder of her father as a child.

Visit Georgetown's website for information about the university's involvement with homeless D.C. youth.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

FAMU Alumnus John W Thompson Named Chairman of Microsoft

Today, Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumnus John W. Thompson was appointed the independent chairman of computer software giant Microsoft Corp., replacing company founder Bill Gates.

Thompson, a 1971 graduate of the School of Business and Industry (SBI), first joined Microsoft's board of directors in February 2012, serving as a lead independent director, a role he will continue in tandem with the appointment.

“Florida A&M University celebrates this achievement with John as he continues to excel in the world of business,” said FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson. “This is an excellent example of how the education our students receive at FAMU will propel them from the classroom to the boardroom and beyond.”

Thompson was inducted into the FAMU SBI Hall of Fame in 2011.

“John’s selection as chairman of Microsoft, one of the world’s most accomplished software companies, is a testament to the preparation that students receive at FAMU,” said Shawnta Friday-Stroud, dean of SBI. “He has been a major supporter of SBI through both his time and resources. We are extremely proud.”

In addition to chairman of the Microsoft board, Thompson is the chief executive officer of privately held Virtual Instruments. He is the former chairman and CEO of Symantec where he served for 10 years. Previously, he held a number of leadership positions at IBM, including sales, marketing, software development and general manager of IBM Americas.

“One of my key contributions, I hope, will be to engage with shareholders and keep focus on how together we can bring great innovation to the marketplace and drive strong long term shareholder value,” said Thompson in a video statement from Microsoft.

Thompson received his bachelor's degree in business administration from FAMU. He earned a master's degree in management from the Sloan Fellows program of the MIT Sloan School of Management.

According to Microsoft, Gates will assume a new role on the Board as founder and technology advisor. Thompson was named chairman of the Board and Satya Nadella was named chief executive officer, taking over for Steve Ballmer.

Watch FAMU SBI Dean Shawnta Friday-Stroud discuss Thompson's appointment on WTXL Sunrise:


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Monday, June 30, 2014

Avery Coffey, Teen Accepted To 5 Ivy League Schools, Is The Person You Wish You Were In High School

Washington D.C.’s Ward 8 may not be a neighborhood known for its affluence. But five of America’s most prestigious universities are fighting for one 17-year-old, born and raised in the D.C. area typically characterized for its neglect, proving difficult circumstances can't keep you from being Ivy League material.

Avery Coffey has been accepted to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, and University of Pennsylvania -- a feat difficult for any high school senior to achieve no matter where he or she is from. The high school senior is poised to graduate from Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, an institution known for its exceptional track record with college acceptance rates. The school has had a perfect track record of 100 percent acceptance for every graduating class since its first in 1984.

When asked by Fox News what his dream job would be, Coffey -- who holds a 4.3 GPA -- said he hopes to be a CEO of an investment or management consulting firm, overseeing fortune 500 companies. He's still unsure which university he'll ultimately choose to attend, but with such esteemed options, it's safe to say he can't make a bad decision.

Coffey said he doesn't see his background as a barrier to ultimately gaining a position of influence in the world, and he wants other young people to know it too.

“You can go anywhere you want to, pursue any career that you want to, and you shouldn’t let anybody hinder you from trying to reach your goals.”

We're officially adding Coffey to our list of amazing young people.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

From Homeless To Harvard (And Beyond): Khadijah Williams Starts New Life In NYC (VIDEO)

In 2009, Oprah met Khadijah Williams, a driven young woman who grew up in homeless shelters but never stopped believing in herself and the power of education. Though she went to 12 different schools in 12 years, she managed to graduate high school with honors and was accepted into Harvard University. Four years later, she graduated with a degree in sociology and even got a shout-out from Oprah during her 2013 commencement speech.

Williams -- who says she was in the bathroom when a friend came running in to tell her Oprah was talking about her on stage -- now has quite an impressive reference. "Just to have someone like Miss Winfrey acknowledge you and say, 'You did a great thing,' … it's not only a great confidence booster, but it's also something I can send to employers like, "Look! Oprah talked about me, here's my recommendation!'" Williams says.

"Oprah: Where Are They Now?" recently caught up with Williams in New York City, where she landed a job and moved into her own apartment after graduation. "Right now I am a project manager at an education technology firm," she says. It's a very adult job, I have actual responsibilities – which is a little bit scary, but it's exciting."

"Just being able to have my own apartment and make adult decisions -- or try to, anyway -- is very empowering," Williams says. "And I absolutely want to give back. I will give back. And right now I'm just setting that foundation so I can do that."

"Oprah: Where Are They Now?" airs Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on OWN. Programming note: In 2014, "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" airs on a new day and time. Catch up with past "Oprah Show" guests, newsmakers and celebrities on Fridays at 9 p.m. ET, beginning Jan. 3.


Friday, May 30, 2014

Black tech innovators blazing a trail in South Florida

By Felecia Hatcher

As many cities look to duplicate the model of Silicon Valley, it’s important that we don’t also duplicate the diversity issues especially as it relates to African Americans and women. Because South Florida has a large population of Caribbean and African Americans, I wanted to celebrate Black History Month by highlighting 10 emerging African American startup founders who are helping to not just reshape the ecosystem in Miami but also promote diversity and access.

Christine_nChristine Celise Johnson, Founder, DiversiTech
DiversiTech is a social enterprise dedicated to fostering the growth of underrepresented communities (ethnic minorities, women, youth, LGBTQ) in technology, with an emphasis on entrepreneurship. It leverages relationships with national industry leaders to connect our network with the resources necessary for startup success.
Andrew Quarrie, Founder, Jurnid 
Jurnid is a journalism platform, where freelance journalists and digital newsrooms collaborate on publishing stories. Journalism students use Jurnid to create portfolios and connect with professionals for mentorship and growing their personal brands. Readers follow or subscribe directly to their favorite journalists, students and newsrooms all in one place. Stories on Jurnid are delivered to users’ mobile and tablet devices in a simple interface that is easy to read and engage with.
Travis Profile pic
Travis Montaque, Founder, Splyst LLC
Splyst is a platform and social interest network for discovering, organizing and sharing interests that revolutionizes the way information finds people. The big data company smartly analyzes user’s interests/context to deliver personalized information to them.
Brianbrackeen1Brian Brackeen, Founder / CEO, Kairos
Kairos is a B2B facial recognition company based in Miami. Its flagship product, Kairos TimeClock helps companies identify their employees who are clocking in for the day, with just their faces. In 2013, Kairos was the first facial recognition company to release an API providing retailers the opportunity to customize shopping-experiences. www.Kairos.IO
Ann marie must attend
Ann Marie, Founder/President,  MustAttend Events Inc. is an online marketplace to find discounted business events and a platform where event organizers can both manage (ticketing and registration software) and market their events. Subscribers have the opportunity to get discounts ranging from 15-70 percent.   MustAttend focuses primarily on business events including conferences, conventions, networking meetings, charitable functions, and professional/continuing education forums.
Stonly Baptiste, Chief Operating Officer,
 Urban.Us funds and helps startups that help cities. The company is building a global network of enablers that help connect startups to resources and cities. Its tools help startups learn more about how to best work with cities and helps cities learn how to enable startups.
Tandi SGG Media HeadshotTandaleya Wilder, Founder, She Got Game Global
 She Got Game Global is a digital media empowerment startup. The aim is to advance "girl power," in developing and third world nations such as Haiti, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia, by offering young women living in these areas of the world an open, more visible platform to share their personal stories through the use of internet radio, video, photos, and even personal blogs. The topics will vary and include music, sports, health, entrepreneurship, political empowerment, gender-based inequities, culinary and tech.
TamarimageTamar Lucien, Co-founder, is a Saas platform that does all the candidate vetting work for restaurant and hospitality managers.  Candidates complete a one time profile and create a 1 minute 30 second video pitch to showcase their expertise and charm. Their system immediately and continuously works to match employers and to the right candidates making it a search free process for everyone. It's accessible through mobile
AndreKayNewPhoto2Andre Kay, Founder, SociallyBuzz
SociallyBuzz is a social media and reputation management mobile app created to help restaurant and retail owners easily manage Yelp, Google Places, Facebook and Urbanspoon in one place, anytime, anywhere. The app allows users to protect relationship with customers, manage social networks and online reputation on the go. It is a powerful, intelligent and easy-to-use.
Iname_nImani Hinton, CEO/Founder, GreenAsYouWannaBe
GreenAsYouWannaBe is a self-managing marketplace for people who sell goods that are sustainable (eco-friendly) and/or created on the principles of social entrepreneurship. GreenAsYouWannaBe is a hub for consumers who are looking for environmentally friendly products, looking to support social entrepreneurs, and looking for products that have a special uniqueness.  Currently in Beta.
Felecia Hatcher is co-founder of Feverish Ice Cream and Code Fever.

Read more here:


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou - Quote Image: Life

Universal Talk Laws

KINJADIXON.COM Everyone who's attained wealth, regardless of how, had to SPEAK to someone. Whether the aspiration was to start a company, acquire a promotion or seal a multimillion dollar deal, it was by means of skillful communication that their lives were forever changed. The most influential person you know has a way with WORDS that causes everyone to be drawn to him or her no matter what the situation. We have all heard of the person who can SELL anything to anyone at anytime with seemingly no effort. The secret to how these people do this is in your hands right NOW •How to gain disciplines and create actions to ensure that each day of your life is productive •How to vitalize your family's core value with proven mindset principles dated back as far as the 18th century •How to recognize and utilize opportunities in your current role as preparation for your next position •How to manage all fears •How to become self-reliant in a sales environment and in life •What Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Andrew Carnegie, and many more successful people have in common •How to turn each of your employees into independent bosses •How to live a more joyous life regardless of your conditions •How to turn pain into positive production. Kinja Dixon is a motivational speaker, life coach, and sales guru with more than a decade of consistent sales excellence. Most recently awarded the 2013 Stevie Award for Sales Represenative of the year and 2013 ARDY for Inhouse Salesperson of the year. Kinja has personally helped thousands of families from all over the globe enhance their quality of living by spending more time together away from home.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

I Can I Will I Must

There are countless examples of people who refused to give up in the face of impossible obstacles. In this episode of TGIM learn how to tap into yourself to overcome any adversity you may face...

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Pirates of the Carribean 3
I am Legend
The Lord of the Rings
G.I. Jane
Spiderman 3
The Book of Eli
Harry Potter
Crossing Over
Band of Brothers
Robin Hood
The Dark Knight
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