Compton, CA Teen Elijah “E-Jayy” Christopher DeVaughn Overcomes Hardships to Earn Early Acceptance to Harvard

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-11-10-58-pm

(Screenshot via nbclosangeles.com)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

According to nbclosangeles.com, 17 year-old Elijah Christopher DeVaughn – known to family and friends as “E-Jayy” –  recently found out he was accepted into Harvard University after applying as an early action candidate.

E-Jayy was raised for 13 years primarily by his mother Sherree DeVaughn, a teacher, while his father was in a federal penitentiary.  E-Jayy, who commutes 45 minutes to the Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, CA (where he earns straight As in all AP courses as he attends on scholarship) said his rough Compton upbringing motivated him to succeed. “I think that struggle – it ignites a fire under you to want to work hard and to want to do more.”

To see video of E-Jayy and learn more of his story click here.  And if you really want to support this impressive young man and his future, do like I did and go to his GoFundMe page https://www.gofundme.com/fromcompton2harvard and make a donation to help him pay for expenses at Harvard that financial aid and scholarships won’t cover, such as travel, books, winter clothes, etc.

Source: Congratulations, E-Jayy! Compton Teen is Harvard-Bound | NBC Southern California

Donors Raise Over $200,000 for Historic Black Church Defaced in Mississippi

Hopewell Baptist Church in Greenville, MS (photo via chnistiantoday.com)

Hopewell Baptist Church in Greenville, MS (photo via chnistiantoday.com)

According to the outlet, no one was harmed in the fire, but the blaze left behind charred pews and inside structure damage.  At a Wednesday news conference, Hopewell’s pastor, Carolyn Hudson, said parishioners were “heartbroken,” but was faithful that “God would allow us to build another sanctuary in that same place.”

Blair Reeves, a New York Native who organized the GoFundMe campaign, told ABC he felt “compelled” to act and was overwhelmed at the response.  “The animus of this election cycle combined with the potent racial history of burning black churches as a political symbol makes this event something we must not ignore,” Reeves wrote in the campaign’s description. “Only two weeks ago, the internet came together to help repair a North Carolina GOP field office that had been burned by thugs. Justice demands we do the same now.”

Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons, said there was no doubt the attack was calculated at Wednesday’s presser.  “We are well familiar that this form of attack on a black church has occurred many, many years ago. It happened in the ’50s, it happened in the ’60s, but we’re in 2016 and [this] should not happen.”

As previously reported, the Greenville Police Department is investigating the incident as a hate crime, while the FBI announced plans to launch a civil rights probe.

To read more, go to: http://blackamericaweb.com/2016/11/05/donors-raise-over-200000-for-historic-black-church-defaced-by-vandals/

Donations to National Museum of African American History and Culture to be Matched by Giving Day Sponsor Hyundai on 9/13 #GiveNMAAHC

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson, GBN Editor-in-Chief

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson, GBN Editor-in-Chief

In anticipation of its opening on September 24, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has launched a one-day giving campaign today, September 13th, to celebrate this momentous milestone for our nation and the African American community and to help ensure our future for all who follow.

We at GBN donated and signed up to aid this Giving Day effort, and will be posting and tweeting intermittently to help raise awareness and donations for NMAAHC.  If you’d also like to go beyond donating, you too can sign up to become a Giving Day Champion in celebration of a museum that tells a more complete story of America.

Simply click the link above to join and reach out to your network of friends and share the story of this amazing Museum. NMAAHC provides all the tools you need to spread the word about the Museum and this giving opportunity.

Thank you and let’s continue to share this amazing story of the African American experience with our nation and the world for generations to come.

To donate now, click here: https://givenmaahc.org/?utm_source=nmaahc.linkfast.com_donate_button&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=giveNMAAHC_2016_SF

Amazon Engineer Thomas Phillips Works to Turn Unused School Buses Into Rolling Tech Teaching Labs

Thomas Phillips (photo via blackenterprise.com)

Thomas Phillips (photo via blackenterprise.com)

article by Samara Lynn via blackenterprise.com

An Amazon engineer hailing from Detroit has a novel idea for that city’s unused school buses: turn them into mobile tech labs.

Thomas Phillips presented his idea at last month’s Hack the Central District Cultural Innovation Conference (Hack the CD) in Seattle, according to The Detroit Metro Times. The Aspire Tech Bus would be a school bus modified into a mobile tech lab. In this lab, students will work on coding projects as an actual software development team.

The students will learn basic and advanced topics in full stack Web development: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for front-end development, and NodeJS and ExpressJS for back-end development. Students will also be taught to build a website and a server from scratch. Furthermore, Phillips’ vision extends to teaching career skills as well, such as project management skills, how to create LinkedIn profiles, and how to establish professional email addresses.

The planned curriculum includes two 16-week courses, in total. The mobile lab students will receive a Raspberry Pi computer. By the end of the program, they will have a portfolio of coding projects to present to potential employers.

“I envision this project as a ‘high-tech, voc-tech,’” he says, as giving students high-tech skills before college will better position them for success. “Some of them will choose to pursue their education further at the college/ university level, others will venture into the entrepreneurial sector. Both of these have far reaching implications that reverberate across the world,” said Phillips at the event.

Phillips’s project has already attracted attention, and he will soon launch a Kickstarter campaign for more support. “I want to drive around to different locations in the city and teach web development or other advanced STEM programming concepts to kids in Detroit,” he said in an interview. His goal is to eventually roll out his program to other underserved communities and school districts.

Source: http://www.blackenterprise.com/technology/detroit-engineer-turn-buses-rolling-tech-teaching-labs/

Writers Rally to Save Langston Hughes Home in Harlem via Crowdfunding

Langston Hughes (photo via theroot.com)

article by Angela Bronner Helms via theroot.com

The home occupied by one of the great leaders of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes, still stands on 127th Street in Harlem today.  Hughes used the top floor of the home as his workroom from 1947 to his death in 1967; it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

The current owner, who remains anonymous, listed the unoccupied dwelling for $1 million (which still has his typerwriter on a shelf) a few years ago, but it did not sell.  CNN Money reports that in a rapidly gentrifying New York, the home is now worth over $3 million.

Now that it’s on the market, writer Renee Watson has started an Indiegogo campaign to raise $150,000 to rent the home and turn it into a cultural center.

Over 250 people, many of them black writers, have given money in support and so far, the initiative to save Hughes’ house has raised almost $34,000.  “Hughes is deeply influential and important not only to me, but many writers of color,” says author Jacqueline Woodson, winner of the National Book Award for Brown Girl Dreaming, which opens with a Hughes poem.

Watson says she has spoken to the owner, who says she would definitely sell it, but “like me, she doesn’t want it to become condos or a coffee shop.”

To donate to the fund, please go to the I, Too, Arts Collective Indigogo page.

To read full article, go to: Black Writers Rally To Save Langston Hughes Home

New Jersey Educator Naseed Gifted Launches STEM Comic Book, “P.B. Soldier”

Naseed Gifted (photo via blackenterprise.com)

article by Samara Lynn via blackenterprise.com

Nat Cummings is a talented computer hacker using his skills to pay his college tuition. A covert operative, he is well-versed in hacking, hand-to-hand combat, blade combat, and stealth.All is well with Nat until he is listed as a
n International Terror Threat,­ Code Red.

The newly formed government/paramilitary organization called The Establishment gives him a simple choice, either work with them to become a highly trained assassin or be terminated. Nat is the protagonist of a new science fiction comic book series, P.B. Soldier. The series not only promises an exciting story of an African American antihero, but it is designed to teach STEM skills.

P.B. Soldier is the brainchild of PBS Media, an independent comic book publisher founded by Naseed Gifted.

Gifted is not only the comic’s writer and creator he is a long-time math teacher, was an engineer, and is currently an administrator for the Pre-Academy division of the New Jersey Public Schools system.

Today, PBS Media is launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise $8,500 for the production of episode 3.0, the sixth installment of a 13 book arc. Funds will go toward payment to line artist and colorist Abel Garcia, and the actual production of the book, including printing and distribution.

A portion of proceeds will go to the Central High School Pre­Engineering Academy in Newark, New Jersey, where Gifted has taught and led for the past 13 years.

To read full article, go to: New Jersey Educator Launches STEM Comic Book

Donations Pour in for Tyran Bell, 10-Year-Old Boy Who Asked to Mow Lawns to Pay for School Supplies

Tyran Bell (photo via abc13.com)

Tyran Bell (photo via abc13.com)

article by Breanna Edwards via theroot.com

Earlier this month, 10-year-old Tyran Bell, a boy from North Carolina, used his mother’s Facebook page to seek jobs mowing lawns because his mother could not afford to buy his school supplies for the school year.

According to an earlier news report by WECT, Tyran’s mom had missed a lot of work recently because his uncle was hospitalized. Tyran’s request was met with an overwhelming response from local businesses, community members, neighbors and friends. One local business, A1 Security Services LLC, started a donation drive for Tyran, WECT reports.  “He’s 10 years old. And for a 10-year-old to take that initiative and want to help his mom because she was struggling, I just thought that was amazing,” A1 Security Services President Theresa Babb told the news station.

Tyran is now more than covered for his school supplies, but the precocious 10-year-old is passing on his fortune and giving back to the community that helped him out. “I’m gonna put them in bags and go around the community and pass them out to whoever needs school supplies,” he told the news station. Babb is also looking for ways to give away the extra donations from the drive, telling WECT that her company is speaking with social workers to see which local schools need the supplies.

Source: Donations Pour In for 10-Year-Old Boy Who Asked to Mow Lawns to Pay for School Supplies

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