Allen Temple kids made the “nice list” this Christmas

When a good new friend of mine invited me to speak to young females about the importance of attending college I was honored to even be thought of. Little did I know that I was going to witness the incredible feeling of what it truly means to impact a community.

It’s nice to receive blessings but it’s a lot more fulfilling when you can be a blessing to someone else. Christmas came a little early this year for boys and girls living in Allen Temple apartments. Thanks to the Sell Hope not Dope organization hundreds of gifts were shipped to Atlanta from majority of college students attending HBCU’s.

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Sell Hope not Dope Members John Vaughn, Daphne Banks, Dominique Shell, and Obadiah Njoku

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More Sell Hope not Dope members Man Man and Obadiah Njoku
I walked in the room amazed by the many gifts that surrounded the table in front of the room. From personal experience, I enjoyed shopping for the little girl I was assigned to sponsor. She loved Frozen dolls and reading and I wanted to get her almost every frozen toy I saw.

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I adore this beautiful girl!
I can just imagine the hearts of others who were shopping for their kids as well. But nothing beats the glow in kids’ faces when they received their wrapped and unwrapped toys. Wait-there is something that beat it-their eyes popping out when special guest comedian DC Young Fly walked in the room. These kids went CRAZY! He not only motivated them to reach their highest potential but got them dancing to of course “Hit the Quan” and “Nae Nae”.

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DC Young Fly with kids. Photo taken from @sellhopenotdope

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Photo taken from @sellhopenotdope
On behalf of the kids, I would like to say they had the time of their lives! I am very proud of the community for making this event happen and thinking about our future generation. I’m also very thankful for my friend OB who included me to be a part of it. It was nice seeing college students/alums, Fraternities and  Sororities, and community leaders come together for a common cause. We need more of this,

For more of Sell Hope not Dope please visit their Instagram page @sellhopenotdope.

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I got the mic!!

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of hosting a panel discussion (at North Clayton High School) for the second time with an amazing organization, Project Inspire. This organization serves a purpose to enlighten the younger generation (high school students) through community service, panel discussions and empowering events. The best part about this organization is the fact that it’s ran by a group of men-black men at that!! These guys are so incredible, so successful and they all come from different backgrounds.

Project Inspire North Clayton High School
North Clayton High School

The organization hand picks men from the community to sit down as panelists and speak with the high school men about their background, what inspires them, how they were in high school, etc. The high school boys get the opportunity to speak to men who are business owners, bankers, educators, realtors-just successful black men in general who worked hard to become who they are.

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Listening to one of the panelists 

 

As I MC’d the discussion it was very intriguing listening to their stories. Just imagine, every story is different but they all had one thing in common-they were inspiring. I was very proud to be apart of something that uplifted our boys and gave them hope for a brighter future. It motivated them to go to college-the first time I hosted for Project Inspire at Charles R. Drew High School I over heard some of the younger boys talking about how they didn’t even plan on attending college mainly because they didn’t know where to start as far as preparation. However, with the presence of these men they received advice and help.

This is what I live for-witnessing growth in our community and documenting it. It truly was amazing serving as their host.

 

Students going broke and don’t even know it

In college everyonCollege Refunde is talking about having fast cash. It got so serious that recently the trend was “wake up now”, which was a home-based business opportunity allowing individuals to help others find great deals and get paid for doing it according to a review written by Ethan-Vanderbuilt. He added that people would pay less to travel and shop and make money while doing it-if you “shared” the opportunity with others. From the outside looking in it looked like people were just getting money off others because every time someone joined your team you get paid like $100.00. But where is wake up now currently? That was just something that was big just a year ago. Again, fast money.

The fastest cash most college students can get a hold of-if it wasn’t from their parents-comes around once every semester-this is known as a refund. Money students are given back after they’ve used loans to pay for their tuition. Refunds can be anywhere between 30 to thousands of dollars. My freshman year I received about $300.00 and my junior year, as SGA President having free housing, I received around $4,000.00. Yeah, BIG CASH! Now as a recent graduate I have something to say about what students use with that cash. I’ve seen some use it for school supplies and others go all the way by splurging it on clothes, shoes, accessories, going out to eat all the time and electronics such as game systems and TV’s. And I’m not going to lie, I played a part at one point but my junior year I used it to buy a car and to pay for my note-I’m starting to see it as bad decision. If I knew what I know now I definitely would have used that money to save for PAYING BACK THE LOANS (because Sallie Mae will be waiting on you after you walk across the stage), save for life after college (because it just may be a struggle trying to transition into an apartment, etc.), or even an investment for your life. For example, I like to edit and shoot videos, I even enjoy graphic designing. Being that I want to expand Every Woman and become a YouTube blogger it probably would have been helpful if I saved to purchase a MacBook and a good camera. Those choices would have been good decisions on how to spend my refund.

I’m writing this to warn high school students going into college or even if you’re in the middle of your collegiate career. SPEND WISELY! Don’t go crazy with all that money. Don’t stop going to the café because your pockets got a little bigger! The money is not yours…..you have to pay it back! Try dividing it up a bit. Save only a little for pleasure to reward yourself but save A LOT to either pay it back or invest into your future-and honestly getting a car with a note does not fall into that category. Unless you have a good paying job that you can keep even after college you have no business signing up for something you’ll have to owe for yearrrrrrrs. Take it from me. This should be the least of your worries while in school. I would rather catch a ride with my friends when they’re going to Wal-Mart than trying to figure out how I’m going to pay this and that bill-while I’m still balancing school. College is one of the best years of your life, don’t screw it up by trying to grow up too fast.