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Clap For Him: This Teen Was Accepted to All 8 Ivy League Schools!

By on Apr 7, 2015 | 0 comments

Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth…many students dream of attending one of America’s elite schools, but Long Island, NY teen Harold Ekeh just pulled off the near impossible. Getting accepted to one of the nation’s most selective universities is difficult enough, but the Elmont High School senior won a spot at all eight Ivy League schools!   “Absolutely shocked. It was as though I was hit repeatedly. I was stunned,” Harold said in an interview. Harold and his family emigrated from Nigeria to New York when he was eight years old to seek a better life, and his parents have preached the importance of education ever since. “We had a fairly comfortable life in Nigeria, but they told me we moved to America for the opportunities like the educational opportunities,” he said. It paid off. Harold—who is also the salutatorian of his class—was not only accepted to all eight Ivy League schools, but he’s been awarded scholarships too. He plans on studying either neurobiology or chemistry so he can become a neurosurgeon, a goal he made after his grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when he was 11. “When other kids would say, ‘I want to be a superhero or police officer,’ I would say, ‘I want to know what is on the inside of us,'” he said on Fox & Friends. And he’s well on his way. Earlier this year Harold was a semifinalist in the Intel Science Talent Search for his research on how the acid DHA can slow Alzheimer’s. While he’s an exceptional student, Harold is also well rounded. He plays the drums, directs the youth choir at his church, gives back to the community, and he speaks three languages—Igbo, Spanish, and English. Harold’s principal calls him “one of the most humble young men I’ve ever had the opportunity to meet,” and it shows. “I am very humbled by this. I see this as not an accomplishment for me, but as an accomplishment for my school, my community,” Harold said, “Because I really see this as my mission to inspire the next generation.” So far, Harold hasn’t decided which school he’ll attend in the fall, but he’s leaning toward Yale. We wish him luck, although something tells us he doesn’t need it! Related Post In Praise of Jaden Smith & Young Men Who Refu... Yes, Boys Struggle With Body Image Too Michigan’s Top Swimmer, Tabahn Afrik, Breaks Rec... Here’s What Happens When You Take a...

These Brothers Are Authors, Entrepreneurs and Champions for Change

By on Apr 1, 2015 | 4 comments

Jeremiah and Joshua West aren’t your typical young boys. At just 8 and 6 respectively, the West brothers started “Champions for Change,” an ambitious initiative aimed at teaching young people how to give, save, and spend their money wisely. When it comes to money matters, Jeremiah and Joshua know what they’re talking about, too. After writing their own children’s book, the boys started a business and now regularly speak at schools and community programs, teaching other young people how to be kidpreneurs while doing good. Champions for Change is also the title of the brothers’ book series, which merges the boys’ passion for encouraging literacy with encouraging others how to give back. So far, Jeremiah, now 10, and his little brother Joshua, 7, have been successful. In addition to being recognized for their work by news outlets, the pair has organized various initiatives that have raised thousands of dollars for charity. Last year, the Greece, NY brothers, hosted two Christmas parties for homeless families, handing out  with meals and gifts to over 200 people; organized a “Kids Fun Run,” raising over $3,000 to help a cancer-stricken six-year-old pay for treatments; and hosted a “Feed a Family” Thanksgiving event that gave away over 1,300 pounds of food to 42 families. Recently, the brothers hosted a “Birthday in a Bag” event for 20 kids in foster care who rarely get to celebrate their special day. While their love of philanthropy is inspiring, what’s even more wonderful is that Jeremiah and Joshua have gotten other kids to join them in becoming “change agents.” In 2014, more than 200 kids volunteered along side the West brothers, spreading their mission even further. What could be more awesome than that? Check out an interview with Jeremiah and Joshua as they explain why they decided to write a book and give back to others. Related Post After Ferguson, What Do Men & Boys of Color T... Must Watch: This Sesame Street ‘House of Car... EVERYBODY Needs to Listen to This Cris Carter Spee... 5 Apps Brown Boys Will...

This College Student Makes Six-Figures & is the ‘Best Tech Reviewer on the Planet’

By on Mar 26, 2015 | 0 comments

Google “best tech reviewer” and one name will come up: Marques Brownlee. With over than 2 million YouTube subscribers, the 21-year-old college senior is one of the most trusted vloggers in the tech space due to his highly engaging, unbiased videos on everything from the latest computers and gadgets, to the hottest cars. And the industry has taken notice. Vic Gundotra, a former Google executive, called Brownlee “the best tech reviewer on the planet” and he’s not the only one who agrees. “Marques is in this sweet spot of being a consumer expert,” Adrienne Hayes, Motorola Mobility’s senior vice president of marketing and communications, told USA Today. “He’s looked at by followers as one of us, and that’s very powerful. His fans are following him and listening to him with a specific purpose.” Brownlee’s accessible and informative videos are watched by millions of fans who trust his insight and comprehensive product reviews. His loyal following caught the attention of companies like Apple, Motorola, and Tesla, who regularly partner with Brownlee to try out their products. Even though Brownlee is a rock star on YouTube and produces two to three super high quality videos a week, he’s also a full-time college student. Throughout his life, his parents preached “the three A’s”—academics, athletics and arts—and Brownlee has followed their advice. He’s regularly on the Dean’s List at Stevens Institute of Technology, where he studies business and, of course, technology. In his spare time, Brownlee also plays golf, professional ultimate Frisbee, and the trombone. While Brownlee’s reluctant to talk about money, he says he earns enough to cover production costs (his camera equipment ran him over $30,000), buy the products he reviews, and live very comfortably. Because he’s one of the top YouTubers, it’s rumored he makes close to a million dollars a year from corporate partnerships and advertising on his YouTube videos, but he’s not in this for the money. He just loves technology. After he finishes college this Spring Brownlee wants to continue making videos, but he’d also like to work with tech companies to make their products even better. Brilliant. Check out Marques Brownlee’s “Five Facts” video to learn more about him.    Related Post 7 Picture Books to Read With Little Brown Boys Clap For Him: This Teen Was Accepted to All 8 Ivy ... For Marshawn Lynch & Brown Boys Who Dare to C... Leland Melvin Has the BEST NASA Photo Ever, But...

Michigan’s Top Swimmer, Tabahn Afrik, Breaks Records & Stereotypes

By on Mar 21, 2015 | 0 comments

Tabahn Afrik’s time in the pool got off to a rocky start. Instead of enrolling him in the beginners’ class, his parents mistakenly signed him up for a USA Competitive Swim team, not knowing how it would pay off.   When Tabahn saw people racing through the pool he didn’t know what to think. “I got in the water, and these people were flying by me,” he told the Detroit Free Press. “I had no idea what I was doing. I wondered why are they teaching me how to race? I should be learning how to swim.” While Tabahn clung to the ropes for dear life, his dad’s unexpected response was a blessing in disguise. “He goes: ‘Tabahn, if you don’t stop grabbing the lane line or the wall, you’re going to have to walk home.’” His father’s pep talk spurred the 17-year-old to become one of the best swimmers in the nation, and Michigan’s Division 1 state champion. Last weekend, he broke the state record for the 50-meter freestyle, clocking in at a sizzling 20.26 seconds, and on Friday he won the 100-meters freestyle title at the National Club Swimming Association’s junior meet in Orlando, Florida. Despite his talents, Tabahn isn’t just champ in the pool, he’s also a winner in the classroom. Tabahn is an honor student with an unweighted 3.6 GPA and is a member of his high school’s youth advisory council. This fall, he’s headed to Notre Dame on a full scholarship. “He challenges himself both academically and athletically, so he gets the job done in the classroom as well,” his coach, Steve Bowyers said. “He’s a phenomenal young man.” Although he’s a scholar and top-ranked athlete that hasn’t protected Tabahn against other people’s prejudices. The teen, who describes himself as a “mixed kid” because his father is from Sierra Leone and his mom is Korean, has had to deal with some people’s narrow perceptions of people of color. “Kids can be jerks; kids are kids,” he explained. “My skin color has come into many conversations, like: ‘He’s only good because he’s black.’ Hey, we’re not even in football. There’s some comedy behind the way some people think the way they do. But it’s never been a problem to the point that it’s bogging me down or preventing me to be the best that I can.” Along with breaking records, Tabahn dismantles stereotypes each and every time he gets into the pool. “Some say the reason I can swim is because I have the Asian in me,” he admitted to the Detroit Free Press, explaining many still hold limited views about what African-American can and cannot do. Still, Tabahn is unfazed. “Black people can’t swim?” he said, spouting off the misguided notion. “OK, watch me swim. I’ll show you we can swim.” Related Post Is Free-Range Parenting Dangerous for Brown Boys? 7 Picture Books to Read With Little Brown Boys Check Out the Sneaky Way Police Are Using Social M... No, Shaming Kids In Public Won’t Make Them...

From Jail to Interviewing the President, See Why This Teen Makes Pres. Obama Proud

By on Mar 11, 2015 | 2 comments

Nobody’s perfect, but for far too many boys of color their mistakes can devastate their lives forever. After getting into trouble with the law, Noah McQueen could have been just another statistic, but with the help of his mom and a whole lot of self-determination, he turned his life around. Now…he’s hanging with the president.   Last year, President Obama announced a new initiative called My Brother’s Keeper (MBK), an ambitious program aimed at empowering at-risk boys of color and giving them the tools (and support) they need to succeed. In the past year, the White House has not only mentored a group of young men from around the country, including Noah, but has also challenged cities, organizations, and businesses around the country to get on board as well. My Brother’s Keeper aims to: Make sure boys enter school ready to learn Help boys read at grade level by third grade Ensure boys graduate from high school ready for college and career Help young men complete postsecondary education or training Make sure young men successfully enter the workforce Reduce violence and provide a second chance Cities across the nation have implemented mentoring, job training, and educational programs to help at-risk boys succeed, and it’s working, especially for Noah. Although his dad lives nearby, Noah—life President Obama—didn’t grow up with his father. According to the teen, this caused him to feel angry and disillusioned with life and led to several bad choices. After getting into trouble for fighting and skipping school, Noah ended up “on the run from the law,” a pattern he learned from other men in his neighborhood. He explained it all in a chat with StoryCorps: “You kind of learn right and wrong on your own terms,” he said, explaining how his dad’s absence affected him. “I got into fights. And fighting or getting put out of school is, you know, normal. So that’s how really the trouble started for me being in the juvenile system. I was on the run.” Thankfully, Noah’s mother intervened and sent him to a Christian retreat to help him get his life together. At first, he resisted the change, but Noah eventually came around. “It wasn’t until I decided to do better for myself, that I had to be held accountable for my actions, so I’m not the same person,” he told the president. “I’m not the same creature. Everything about me — and my being — is different.” Now, Noah has not only turned his life around, but he’s also giving back. In addition to being a student ambassador, editor of the newspaper, and an all-county football player at his high school in Maryland, Noah is also the president of AMATE (African-American Males Aspiring to Excel). Still, that isn’t enough. Although he has a full slate of academic and extra curricular activities, Noah also mentors and tutors other young men so they won’t repeat his mistakes. “I feel like if I can catch a kid at the elementary or middle school level I feel like I can make a difference,” he told President Obama. “We owe it to everyone to come back and change [things]. That’s our civic duty.” Noah’s transformation has been nothing short of amazing. He’s gone from getting in trouble with the law to being mentored by the most powerful man in the free world. Oh, and he’s also heading to college in the fall. Even President Obama was impressed. “I just want to say how proud I am of you, man,” the president told Noah. “It’s not an easy thing to do what you’ve done. And I think you give others a lot of confidence and a sense of what’s possible for them. And that makes me real proud. I know you’re going to do great things.” We totally agree. Take a look at Noah and President Obama’s powerful interview. Related Post Leland Melvin Has the BEST NASA Photo Ever, But He... 5 Apps Brown Boys Will Love Michigan’s Top Swimmer, Tabahn Afrik, Breaks Rec... This College Student Makes Six-Figures & is...

This Teen Runs a Six-Figure Business & Landed His Bow Ties in Neiman Marcus

By on Mar 9, 2015 | 26 comments

Moziah Bridges is amazing. At the tender age of 11, he founded Mo’s Bows, a Memphis-based fashion company that sells colorful, handcrafted bow ties for men and boys. In just five years, Moziah has grown his company to five employees (including his mom), and more than $200,000 in revenues while he’s gotten a ton of media attention from major outlets like Forbes, Inc, O Magazine, and Vogue. Last year Moziah and his mom appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank to ask for investors in his growing business, but he left with something even better: a mentor. Although FUBU founder and Shark Tank star Daymond John refused to invest in the company (because he knew Mo was already doing great things), John offered to take the teen under his wing and is teach the young CEO how to take Mo’s Bows to a whole new level. Even more inspiring? Daymond’s leadership has inspired Moziah to give back as well. On his blog, Moziah explains just how important his relationship with John has been: I like to say that I was the real winner of Shark Tank because I got something more valuable than money. I got Daymond. Having a mentor is important because I get to learn from the best of the best, and because he gives me insight on what the fashion world is really like. …One day, I hope I can be as great of a mentor to someone else as Daymond has been to me. Recently, Shark Tank shared an update on Mo’s Bows and its awesome founder. Take a look.   Related Post How Cute! This 3-year-old DJ Just Won South Africa... Michigan’s Top Swimmer, Tabahn Afrik, Breaks Rec... This Brilliant 11-Year-Old Ferguson Resident Is th... 7 Picture Books to Read With Little Brown...