North Carolina Teen Accepted To 113 Colleges And Awarded Up To $4.5M In Scholarships

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A 17-year-old North Carolina teen is closing out her 2018 high school year in a major way. Jasmine Harrison was accepted into 113 colleges this year and earning nearly $4.5 million in merit-based scholarships.

With the help of her school and community, Jasmine only had to pay $135 in application fees.

“On those late nights when I was filling out those applications with my mom and we just felt like we cannot do this, we just ended up singing gospel songs together to get through the night,” Harrison told WFMY News. It has all paid off because Jasmine Harrison will be attending Bennett College, the historically black college and university in her home state, on a full-ride scholarship to study biology.

Graduating from The Academy at Smith in Greensboro, North Carolina with a 4.0 GPA, Harrison was also offered full-ride scholarships from Ed Waters College in Jacksonville, FL and Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, MS, according to USA Today.

If you’re wondering how Jasmine was able to apply to more than 100 schools, she applied to 53 HBCUs with the single Common Black College Application, getting into 26. She also took advantage of College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) College Application Week, where she was able to apply to a number of statewide schools for free. Finally, she also took advantage of the Common Application to apply to 20 more schools.

“When I got the first couple in the mail, I was like, ‘Okay, this is really happening.’ I didn’t really think I’d be able to do that,” Harrison said.

Congratulations to Jasmine Harrison and the entire class of 2018!

The Deadline For The Shawn Carter Foundation Scholarship Is April 30

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If you know someone in high school or college, it is highly recommended that you share this post with them as today is the last day that the Shawn Carter Foundation will be accepting scholarship applications!

Founded on the belief that any motivated individual in need should have the opportunity to further his or her education, Jay-Z and his mother Gloria Carter started The Shawn Carter Foundation (SCF) in hopes of “removing some of the financial burdens associated with going to, surviving in, and graduating from college.”

According to the Shawn Carter Scholarship website:

The SCF provides individual grants, paid directly to the educational institution, to every student who qualifies, is accepted as a recipient and reapplies yearly, from admission to graduation up to six years and the age of 25.  The grant can be used to cover tuition expenses and related supplemental educational expenses such as books, lab fees, travel and select costs of living.  All Shawn Carter Foundation Scholars are required to “give back” by conducting community service and by serving as mentors to younger, aspiring SCF Scholars.

Click here to apply.

Beyonce & Google Partner Up For 4 More $25K HBCU Scholarships

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After Beyonce’s legendary Coachella performance during the weekend, one of the festivals her BeyGOOD charity donated $25,000 grants to four HBCU’s. The Homecoming Scholars Program will award a student from each college with a grant for the upcoming school year. As of recently, Google has gotten in on the goodness and plans to give for MORE students a chance to win.

Google.org will be matching BeyGOOD’s donation to help students at Texas Southern University, Fisk University, and Morehouse College. Students studying literature, creative arts, African-American studies, science, education, business, communications, social sciences, computer science or engineering will be able to apply. A minimum of a 3.5 GPA is also required.

“Google understands the vital role historically black colleges and universities play in delivering a high quality and culturally responsive education,” said Maab Ibrahim, a program manager at Google.org, in a statement.

Beyonce tributes to HBCU’s was not only a great moment for pop-culture and the African-American community but it is also an uplifting moment for HBCU students! If you are a student at any of the selected schools we encourage you to apply.

Beyoncé Follows HBCU Inspired Coachella Performance With Scholarship Announcement

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Beyoncé turned popular California music festival Coachella into “Beychella” for her highly anticipated 2018 set. The global pop star became the first black woman to headline the festival in Coachella’s 19 year history when she took the stage, a performance she postponed with the annoucement of her 2017 pregnancy with twins Sir and Rumi.

“Thank you Coachella for allowing me to be the first black woman to headline…ain’t that ’bout a bit*h” Beyoncé said to the excited audience.

Of course a Beyoncé show always entertains yet the Coachella set was empowering, nostalgic and legendary for several reasons. Many are singing Beyoncé’s praises naming her one of the best musicians to ever take the stage if not the the GOAT (greatest of all time). Her performance began with the melodic recital of Lift Every Voice And Sing, also known as the “Black national anthem” and from then continued to dazzle the audience in the crowd and watching via livestream with a show paying homage to Black culture.

Beyoncé included her most popular songs from the past and present. She reunited with her Destiny Child groupmates, danced with her sister Solange and even invited husband Jay Z. Throughout four costume and even nail changes Queen Bey slayed the stage, as expected. What wasnt expected: a full on tribute to Historically Black College and University or HBCU culture.

Featuring a marching band, majorette inspired dance routines, a super dope baton twirler Beyoncé brought some HBCU vibes to the Coachella Stage. Beyoncé also included the Swag Surf , a classic moment during HBCU events and introduced her “fraternity”  BAK and essentially staged a probate featuring stepping in homage to Black Greek Letter Organizations, a key factor of HBCU culture. Many of her marching band, majorettes and stepping partners themselves graduated from HBCUs and pledged BGLO’s.

Beyoncé is taking her HBCU celebration further with the announcement of her latest Homecoming Scholars Award Program. Students at Tuskegee University, Xavier University, Wilberforce University and Bethune Cookman University, all HBCUS, will all be eligible to receive scholarship funds from the BeyGOOD Foundation.

“We salute the rich legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities: says Ivy McGregor, Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations at Parkwood Entertainment. He continues, “We honor all institutions of higher learning for maintianing culture and creating environments for optimal learning which expands dreams and the seas of possibilities for students.”

One student from each HBCU will be rewarded with $25,000 for the 2018-2019 academic year. Unlike the 2017 Formation Scholars which recognized young women, the Homecoming scholarship is applicable for all qualifying students regardless of gender.  Applicants must maintain a 3.5 GPA and disciplines recognized include literature, creative arts, communications, African-American studies, science, education, business, social science, computer science and engineering. Winners will be announced this summer.

Meet Michael Brown, Who Applied and Received A Full Ride From 20 Of the Best Colleges

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A Texas high school senior found out he not only got into all top 20 colleges in the United States, he also won’t have to pay a dime to attend.

Michael Brown, 17, of Houston, has always dreamed of going to Stanford. After years of hard work, he found out he was admitted early decision with a full scholarship, his mother, Berthinia Rutledge-Brown,

“That’s all he ever wanted,” says Rutledge-Brown. “But after that, other acceptances he didn’t expect started to trickle in.”

And on Ivy Day last Wednesday — when all the Ivy League schools release their admissions decisions — Michael sat down at his computer and started to check the schools he applied to one by one.

“He was amazed,” says Rutledge-Brown, who is a drug counselor and watched as her son received acceptances from schools including Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Harvard. “He sat on the couch and checked Harvard last because he really didn’t think he’d get in.”

Brown has until May 1 to make his final decision about which school to attend.

Rutledge-Brown says that her son — who attends Lamar High School — was always attentive and showed an interest in learning as early as kindergarten.

“He excelled immediately,” she says, adding that her son “was very self-motivated. By 6th grade, I was kicked to the curb.”

Brown even sought out tutoring before and after school to make sure he had a firm grasp on the subjects he was learning. He also was active in the debate team at school and many other clubs.

Rutledge-Brown, 51, says that she always believed in her son, whom she calls her “rainbow baby” after she lost her first three children to miscarriages.

“I wanted him so badly and made sure I could give him a good upbringing,” she says. “I was so excited about being a mom.”

Looking back on his successes and the future that awaits her son makes her feel “very proud,” she says.

“He wanted this,” she adds. “He worked really hard for this and it’s a very humbling experience. I could not afford to send my child to these schools.”

Despite his focus on his studies, Brown has managed to have a fulfilling social life and good friends. This past weekend he went to his friend’s beach house in Galveston, Texas, and watched the final game of the NCAA Men’s Division Basketball Championship with his friends.

But he didn’t want to talk about his own accomplishments alone.
“For me, it’s important to highlight that I’m not the only student of color who is achieving,” the teenager noted.

South Carolina Teen Joins Hierarchy of Stephen King By Winning Prestigious Writing Award

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A South Carolina teen has joined a prestigious group of writers by being awarded a Gold Medal Portfolio, the highest honor of the 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards presented by the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

17-year-old Malachi Jones who currently attends the Charleston County School of the Arts in Charleston, South Carolina, describes his reaction to winning the award as a “loud silence.”

“I felt like a siren was going off inside my head, but I was speechless,” Malachi says in a Charleston Chronicle article. “I had been submitting work to Scholastic since 7th grade, so it is insane to me to think an audience outside my family and peers wants to read and appreciate my work.”

According to The Post and Courier, Malachi Jones, who is headed to Columbia University this fall, joins the ranks of legendary writers such as Truman Capote, Sylvia Plath, Joyce Carol Oates and Stephen King as a winner of the national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

However, what sets Malachi apart from his legendary counterparts is the experiences he shares in his writing.

The article states, “Jones’s award-winning work—a collection of lyric essays and free-verse poems—revolves around his experience as a black teenager struggling with and finally coming to terms with his identity.”

In a poem titled, ‘Pantoum For My Mother,’ the teen writes, ‘Stripped of my blackness, / uprooted by judgement. / I was never dark enough for you / or for the ones who called me whitewashed.’

“It’s about the questions and judgment he endures from both his white and black peers for not fitting the stereotypical ‘formula of a black male.’”

In a statement released by the Alliance for Young Writers & Artists, it is said that this year’s works of art and writing submissions broke records.

“Within the Awards’ 29 categories—which include poetry, photography, sculpture, humor, editorial cartoons, and video game design—a record-breaking 346,000 works of art and writing were submitted for adjudication at the regional level this year.”

The award won by Malachi Jones includes a scholarship of $10,000.

2018 ‘Mandela Washington Fellowship’ For New Generation Of African Leaders To Be Hosted At Clark Atlanta University

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For the fifth time, Clark Atlanta University will host the brilliance of the Mandela Washington Fellows as an institute partner for a portion of their United States based activities.  Black Enterprise reports that “according to a statement released by CAU, the university will host 25 of Africa’s brightest emerging business and entrepreneurial leaders for a six-week Academic and Leadership Institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, beginning June 20.

While at Clark Atlanta University, fellows will complete the following:

  • Site visits and collaborative projects with local business partners, including: The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport and UPS;
  • Community service opportunities at local partner non-profit community organizations, such as Atlanta Community Food Bank, Trees Atlanta and MedShare International, among others;
  • Campus-based events, including the President’s Welcome Reception; and
  • Faculty and community members are invited to host YALI Fellows as a group or individually in their homes for an American family dinner experience.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship For Young African Leaders began in 2014 through the Young African Leaders Inatiative (YALI) and empowers young people academically, providing leadership training and both networking and educational opportunities.

“The 2018 fellowship will provide 700 outstanding young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to hone their skills at a U.S. college or university with support for professional development after they return home.” YALI reports.

These young leaders range in age from 25 to 35 and have already soared as leaders in their home countries.  The fellows will take place in a six week Academic and Leadership institute followed by the Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit in Washington D.C. From there, 100 select participants will be chosen to remain in the U.S. an additional six weeks for a Professional Development Experience. All fellows will continue to build on their developed skills upon returning to their home countries.

For more information on the Mandela Washington Fellowship click here.

Disney To Donate $1 Million To Cultivate STEM Programs Across The Country Following ‘Black Panther’ Success

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Shuri may not have been the title character in Black Panther however her magical black girl brilliance quickly made her the favorite of many. Played by Letitia Wright, Shuri’s responsibilties included spearheading the vast technological advancements of Wakanda, creating T’Challa’s supersuit amongst other initiatives.

Watching Shuri shine on screen highlighted for many, the importance of STEM programs being funded.  The film ended with King T’Challa taking Shuri to Oakland, California announcing that they would be opening a technology education center with both Shuri and Nakia leading the way.  Disney has donated $1 million to help make this a reality.o seIt is reported that the grant will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a nonprofit organization, to enhance the science, technology, enginerring and math programs by establishing new STEM centers in cities including Atlanta, Washington DC, Memphis, New Orleans and Okland, director Ryan Coogler’s hometown.

“It is thrilling to see how inspired young audiences were by the spectacular technology in the film, so it’s fitting that we show our appreciation by helping advance STEM programs for youth, especially in undeserved areas of the country, to give them the knowledge and tools to build the future they want” says Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger. 

The grants will be used to provide hands-on, advanced technologies stimulating creative approaches to STEM exploration, including 3-D printers, robotics, high-definition video production and conferencing equipment. The program will also make available a fully dedicated STEM expert to offer individual and group support, using real-world applications to help Club members develop their STEM skills and critical thinking.

 

 

Phylicia Rashad & Denzel Washington Helped Pay For Chadwick Boseman To Study At Oxford

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During his appearance on Live! With Kelly and Ryan, This Is Us star Susan Kelechi Watson shared a story about her time studying at Oxford. In this story, she revealed that she and her classmates were not able to afford the tuition and alumni Phylicia Rashad pitched in to help.

“I remember a friend of mine reached out to Phylicia Rashad, who is also an alumnus of Howard, and got on the phone with Phylicia and Phylicia was like, ‘Oh no you’re going!’ And we were like, ‘Ok…’ She was like, ‘I will call you back.’”

“The next thing you know she calls back and says, ‘Denzel and I are paying for you guys to go,’” Watson added. “I’m happy to say he paid for my scholarship to go and we went and had this amazing summer that changed all of our lives. I saw Mr. Washington at some occasion years later and I said, ‘Excuse me Mr. Washington, you paid for my scholarship to go,’ and he was like, ‘Yeah, you’re welcome.’”

Recently, Chadwick Boseman revealed that he has a very similar story. Boseman, who attended Howard University was mentored by Rashad.

“She would do a play in D.C. and you’d go see it, and she’d drive you home and talk to you,” he recounted in his cover story interview with Rolling Stone. “‘How you eating? You look too skinny. You need a pork chop.’ We were just trying to aspire to her excellence.”

Rashad said that she knew that Boseman would make it big one day.

“Chad was this lanky young man with big eyes and an endearing smile and a very gentle way,” she said. “What I saw in him was the sky was the limit. He never asked me to introduce him to anyone – that’s not his way. He was going to make it on his own merits.”

When the chance came for Boseman to study at Oxford, he was helped by Rashad and friend Denzel Washington. Baseman says, “I’m sure he has no idea, it was random.”

Boseman went on to say that he is waiting to meet Washington in person to personally thank him.

 

Queen Latifah To Deliver Commencement Speech And Receive Honorary Degree From Rutgers University

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Queen Latifah has been confirmed by The Rutgers University Board of Governors as the keynote speaker at the Rutgers University spring commencement ceremony. The Newark, New Jersey native was selected for this honor by a committee of students, faculty and staff to take the stage at the Prudential Center. Queen Latifah will receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the University as well.

“Queen Latifah is inspiring to us as students because she always projects herself through her work as a strong woman” says Adebumpe Elegbeyle, Rutgers University undergrad student and also a member of the committee which selected Queen Latifah.

“She shows young women that we can do that too and young men that they need to respect that” continues Elegbeyle.

A Hip-Hop icon and trailblazing entertainer both on and off stage, Queen Latifah is well deserving. A career that encompasses accolades from a Grammy award, a Golden Globe, BET Awards and more, Queen Latifah’s recognition for her artistic skills comes with great humility. Queen Latifah continuously gives back, especially to her native Newark community.

Founding a scholarship fund for low income youth, Queen Latifah has helped many obtain post-secondary education. She has also worked to mitigate home foreclosures in disadvantaged neighborhoods and received recognition from Newark Beth Israel Medical Center for her humanitarian efforts.

“Queen Latifah has been a consistent supporter of Newark and a source of inspiration for creative people and entrepreneurs in our city and throught the world. She is an inspiring role model of excellence for Rutgers – Newark . I have seen, up close her creative spirit, entrepreneurial drive and deep-rooted connection to inclusive urban community revitalization” says Lyneir Richardson, Executive Director of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at Rutgers – Newark.

The commencement ceremony will take place May 14 2018.

 

Patrisse Cullors The Co-Founder Of #BlackLivesMatter Talks About The Movement & Being Called A Terrorist

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The co-founder of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, Patrisse Cullors recently sat down with Ebro on Hot 97 for an exclusive interview. Patrisse is 1/3 of the team who created the movement. The founders are Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi. In this interview, Patrisse discusses being called a terrorist, talks about the birth of the message/movement, the impact mass incarceration had on her life, and her book entitled When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir. Check out the interview below:

Four Tips On Standing Out As A Social Media Influencer

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When we launched the Live Civil Academy, we did it with the intentions of providing resources and tools to help cultivate emerging creative in the digital space. One of the first topic we focused on was helping others monetize their social media following so that they can become social media influencers and have brands to pay them to promote content in their markets. Here are four tips to help you stand out and get the attention that you need.

Professionalism Will Always Get Your Ahead      

How you carry yourself and the type of attitude you give off to others will always affect your business relationships in a positive or negative way. If you are a partner who is known for being reliable, responsive, timely, and flexible then brands will be more willing to work with you because they will think highly of you. How you carry yourself on your social media will always show too, are you constantly engaging with your followers? Do you remain positive and only showcase work appropriate content?

 

It’s Not You, It’s Them

Social media influencer marketing is one of the biggest growing fields right now and brands are doing their best to filter through available influencers they will give the best return on investment for their products. Something as simple as a strategy change to help improve engagement to sales data, budgeting could increase or decrease int  the marketing department. These type of things happen all the time and you have to remember it’s not a personal message your how you carry yourself or your brand

 

The More You Fake It, The Less You’ll Make It

We go into this in full on the Live Civil Social Media Influencers’ Course, but having a huge following if pointless if you don’t have a great engagement. Stay focus on growing your brand transparently and connecting with your audience in an authentic way. Brands will not want to reach out to you just because you used apps or other ways to get a lot of followers and they don’t engage with you. 

 

Find What Makes Your Special

The best thing you can do for your brand if find your niche market or an unique selling point and dominate with that. When you find something you are passionate about and build content around that you slowly become an expert in that market and brands will want to come to you before others because they know your audience will respond to anything you recommend about their products.