Tag: Columbia

17 Year-Old Ifeoma White-Thorpe Accepted to All 8 Ivy League Colleges

Ifeoma White-Thorpe from Morris Hills High School in Rockaway, New Jersey, was accepted into all eight Ivy League colleges, plus Stanford. (CBS PHILLY)

article by Jennifer Earl via cbsnews.com

Many college-bound high school seniors will have difficult decisions to make as summer approaches, but few can compare to the choice facing New Jersey teen Ifeoma White-Thorpe – she was accepted to all eight Ivy League colleges.  White-Thorpe, 17, from Morris Hills High School in Rockaway, New Jersey, was accepted into Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, and the University of Pennsylvania. And that’s not all. White-Thorpe was accepted into Stanford University, too.

At first, she was solely focused on Harvard — the first school to officially give her the green light. But acceptance letters from other prestigious schools across the country soon flooded her mailbox, and now she’s back to square one. “I got into Harvard Early Action, so I was like I’ll just go there. And then I got into all the others and now I don’t know where I want to go,” White-Thorpe told CBS Philly on Tuesday.

The teenager already has quite an impressive list of accomplishments. She’s student government president, ranks high in her advanced placement courses and is a talented poet and writer. She recently won first place in the National Liberty Museum’s Selma Speech & Essay Contest.“Education is essential for change, and I aspire to be that change,” White-Thorpe said after winning a $5,000 prize in the national essay contest.

White-Thorpe says she wants to major in global healthy policy, and plans to look into what programs each school offers in her field. But that’s not the only factor that will help make her decision. It will likely come down to whichever university provides the best financial aid package, she said.

Source: 17-year-old New Jersey teen accepted into all 8 Ivy League schools – CBS News

Nancy Abu-Bonsrah Makes History as 1st Black Female Admitted to Johns Hopkins’ Neurosurgery Residency

(image via twitter.com)

article via thegrio.com

Nancy Abu-Bonsrah is making history after being admitted to Johns Hopkins as its first black female neurosurgeon. On Friday, March 17, fourth-year medical students participated in a Match Day event in which they discovered where they would be doing their residency training over the summer. Each student held an envelope with the name of their matched hospital, and when Abu-Bonsrah opened hers, it had the name Johns Hopkins.

Abu-Bonsrah was thrilled, saying, “Everything is special about the match. It will be a dream come true.”Nancy Abu-Bonsrah is making history during #WomensHistoryMonth Read her story on @BBCNews here https://t.co/9k4kaygRTz pic.twitter.com/rAx12tb2vF— Hopkins Med News (@HopkinsMedNews) March 20, 2017

Asked about herself, Abu-Bonsrah had this to share: “I was born in Ghana and spent the first 15 years of my life there. My family and I came to Maryland about 11 years ago. I did most of high school at Hammond High in Columbia, Maryland, and went to college at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. I came to Johns Hopkins right after undergrad. I will be the first physician in my family, including the extended family.”

As for her future plans, she said, “I am very much interested in providing medical care in underserved settings, specifically surgical care. I hope to be able to go back to Ghana over the course of my career to help in building sustainable surgical infrastructure. I will be matching into neurosurgery, a field that I am greatly enamored with, and hope to utilize those skills in advancing global surgical care.

To read full article, go to: Johns Hopkins admits its first black female neurosurgeon | theGrio

New York High School Senior Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna Accepted to All Eight Ivy League Colleges

Image: Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna
Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna. Elmont Memorial High School (photo via nbcnews.com)

article by Sarah Donaldson James via nbcnews.com

All eight Ivy League schools — Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, Cornell, Dartmouth, Brown, University of Pennsylvania — have offered Long Island, New York high school senior Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna  places in their freshman class.

In addition to the Ivies, she was accepted by Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Augusta is valedictorian at Elmont Memorial High School, where she has a 101.64 weighted grade point average. The school is no stranger to academic superstars: Last year, senior Harold Ekeh scored the same number of Ivy acceptances.

“I am elated, but most importantly, I am thankful,” Augusta, 17, told school officials at Sewanhaka Central High School District.

Augusta’s older brother Johnson told NBC News that Augusta’s “initiative and perseverance,” as well as the family’s emphasis on learning, were responsible for his sister’s success. And the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as both their Nigerian-born parents are college-educated, and her father has a master’s and doctorate from the University of Indianapolis.

“Education is very paramount in our family,” said her brother, who also made his way to the Ivies. He is a freshman at Cornell University, studying biological engineering.

Tobias and Basillia Nna immigrated to the United States in 1994 and settled first in Indiana then New York City. They moved to Elmont in 2000. Their father has worked for various companies as a physical therapist. All four of their children were born in this country.  “Augusta’s school days start from 7 in the morning until around 8 at night,” said Uwamanzu-Nna. “Not to mention all of the homework assignments, scholarship and other miscellaneous things she gets done.”

He said that while his sister was co-founder of her own tutoring service, she also works at another tutoring center on Saturdays.

“I am humbled by all of the college acceptance letters that I recently received,” Augusta says on her high school website. “I am reminded that I have a responsibility to be a role model for others and use my experiences to encourage and inspire others, especially young women.”

To read more, go to: http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/college-game-plan/long-island-high-school-student-accepted-all-eight-ivies-n551901?cid=sm_tw&hootPostID=9c3ca1968651804b658563b28ec6dd2c

BHM: Meet Charles Bolden Jr., Former Astronaut and NASA’s 1st Black Administrator

article by Tonya Pendleton via blackamericaweb.com

Charles Bolden Jr., NASA’s first Black administrator, was nominated for the post in 2009 by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate that same year. Bolden nearly saw his career take another course in the early ’60’s, but he used his connections and a bit of humility to aid his quest to enter the U.S. Naval Academy.

Born August 19, 1946 in Columbia, South Carolina, Bolden was a football player at C.A. Johnson High School. Bolden was determined to enter the Academy. When he found out that a vice president can nominate anyone to the Academy while the president can only nominate the children of military personnel, he wrote a letter to then V.P. Lyndon B. Johnson to request his nomination.

Bolden saw his dreams dashed in November of 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. With Johnson elevated to president, Bolden moved to request that his state representatives nominate him for the Academy. But the elected officials in South Carolina, including notoriously racist Sen. Strom Thurmond, didn’t endorse Bolden due to his race.

Bolden then contacted Johnson and reminded the sitting president of their earlier correspondence. Eventually, Bolden was nominated by Rep. William Dawson of Chicago and he entered the Academy in 1964. After earning his degree in Electrical Science in 1968, he became an aviator with the U.S. Marine Corps and flew over 100 missions.

The Omega Psi Phi fraternity member earned his master’s degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1977. Two years later, Bolden completed courses at the United States Naval Test Pilot School and was selected by NASA as an astronaut candidate in 1980. In 1981, Bolden’s astronaut appointment was official and he flew four space missions between 1986 and 1994.

To read more, go to: http://blackamericaweb.com/2016/02/17/little-known-black-history-fact-charles-bolden-jr/

 

Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina Pageant Celebrates both Natural Hair and Black Female Entrepreneurs

2014 and 2015 Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina Pageant Contestants
2014 and 2015 Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina Pageant Contestants (photo via madamenoire.com)

Most beauty pageants claim they’re about celebrating brains and beauty. But the beauty (and body) part often gets a majority of the shine while the brains get whittled to one or two questions on stage.

That’s what best friends Maureen A. Ochola and Jessica E. Boyd hope to change. The two created the Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina pageant, a natural hair celebration also focused on business that’s been disrupting the Southern pageant scene since its 2013 debut in their hometown of Columbia, S.C. It has proven to be a success, so much so that they’re putting on their third exhibition on April 16.

“I had a high-level overview of pageants when we started, and they all seemed to be focused on the just physical aspect,” Ochola said. “What I like about what we’re doing is we’re highlighting natural hair. We take that confidence and add on the business element because that’s really what you need to be successful in business. Confidence.”

The pageant focuses on the beauty of natural hair and the beauty of Black female business owners. Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina started as a program to grow interest and a customer base for the co-founders’ original business idea: a brick-and-mortar natural haircare beauty supply store. They started social media accounts to test their idea first, and the accounts gained popularity.

“The money that it takes to start a store, we really didn’t have,” Boyd said. “We thought: How can we stay relevant and make people continue to be excited until we can get the store open?”

The two chose to think outside the box and celebrate two things they love: natural hair and business. “We thought about a pageant,” Boyd said. “In December of 2013, we announced we would have it.”

Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina Pageant Co-founders Jessica E. Boyd and Maureen A. Ochola
Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina Pageant Co-founders Jessica E. Boyd and Maureen A. Ochola (photo via madamenoire.com)

The organic success of the pageant was a pleasant surprise to Boyd and Ochola. It gave them the initiative to explore the pageant as a legitimate extension of their original idea. It was clear that such celebrations were needed and gaining quite the following.

“After the first pageant, it kind of took off. We sold out of tickets,” Boyd said. “The impact it had on the girls and the community, in general, took on a life of its own. It wasn’t a question. We had to bring it back and do it bigger and better.”

It’s not a surprise that creativity in business is also one of the pageant’s key themes. Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina contestants learn firsthand about entrepreneurship and small business.

“Last year we added a twist: a business pitch idea because that’s essentially what we’re doing,” Ochola said. “Why not introduce that to these girls as well?”

Continue reading “Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina Pageant Celebrates both Natural Hair and Black Female Entrepreneurs”

$29 Million-Dollar, Family-Owned Construction Firm Celebrates 30 Years of Business

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ENVIROAg Science, Inc. founders and leaders, The Lynn Family

One of the nation’s largest black-owned companies, ENVIRO AgScience, Inc., is celebrating 30 years of business. The family-owned business has grown from a mom-and-pop landscaping business into a $29 million-dollar construction management and commercial landscaping firm.

In addition to its Columbia, South Carolina, headquarters, ENVIRO has offices in Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles and is looking to expand its offerings globally. The company is ranked No. 92 on the 2015 BE 100s Industrial/Services List.

ENVIRO is best known for building schools and community centers in the Columbia area, but has also been involved in military structures, jails, mess halls, warehouses, and historic, municipal and airport renovations throughout Georgia and North and South Carolina. Currently, ENVIRO is part of the team helping to build a new minor league baseball stadium, Spirit Communications Park, completing bond referendum projects with the Richland County Recreation Commission and annual grounds maintenance for Richland Two School District.

ENVIRO began as a commercial lawn care business that has grown into a full-service construction and landscape company servicing government, military, schools and universities, along with private sector firms. It was founded by Louis B. Lynn in 1985 after a successful career at one of the nation’s largest agrichemical companies.  With a legacy of business excellence and ownership, including his grandfather, who owned a grocery store and his father, who ran a butcher shop, Lynn also chose the path of entrepreneurship. Lynn has parlayed a ‘golden handshake’ from Monsanto Corporation into a multi-generational, black-owned business.

Earlier this year, ENVIRO executed its succession plan and Lynn assumed the role of chairman, leaving his children to manage daily operations and strategy of the family’s construction management and commercial landscape firm. Now it is the next generation, Lynn’s children, who are spearheading plans to make ENVIRO a multinational company. His daughters Adrienne Lynn Sienkowski, 41 and an engineer, is chief operating officer, and Krystal Conner, 38 and a pharmacist, is CEO. His son, Bryan Lynn, 30, is a facilities manager.

Continue reading “$29 Million-Dollar, Family-Owned Construction Firm Celebrates 30 Years of Business”

WAVE GOODBYE! South Carolina House Votes to Remove Confederate Flag From Capitol Grounds

Jalaludin Abdul-Hamid, a protester against the Confederate flag that flies outside the South Carolina Statehouse, speaks to a flag supporter Tuesday.
Jalaludin Abdul-Hamid, a protester against the Confederate flag that flies outside the South Carolina Statehouse, speaks to a flag supporter Tuesday. (Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Updated at 2:15 a.m. ET Thursday: Final Vote

Early Thursday morning, lawmakers in the South Carolina House approved a Senate bill that removes the Confederate flag from the Capitol grounds. The measure passed by a two-thirds margin and now goes to Republican Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk. The Associated Press reports: As House members deliberated well into the night, there were tears of anger and shared memories of Civil War ancestors. Black Democrats, frustrated at being asked to show grace to Civil War soldiers as the debate wore on, warned the state was embarrassing itself.

Original Post:

The idea of removing the Confederate battle flag from a prominent place in front of South Carolina’s Statehouse gets a crucial test Wednesday, when the state House of Representatives votes on a bill that would put the flag in a relic room.

Today’s vote is pivotal: under South Carolina’s legislative system, bills must be read and voted upon three times. The first vote is normally to introduce the bill; that happened Tuesday, after it was approved by the Senate. The third vote is often a formality.

By mid-day, the bill had been stalled by a host of amendments offered by opponents to removing the Confederate banner. One measure calls for planting flowers in the spot where the flag now flies.

We’ll update this post with news from Columbia, S.C., where the House is considering the bill. The action comes two weeks after Gov. Nikki Haley and other leaders called for the flag to come down.

article by Bill Chappell via npr.org

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley Finally Agrees Confederate Flag at State Capitol Must be removed

“This has been a very difficult time for our state,” Haley said. “We have stared evil in the eye. … Our state is grieving, but we are also coming together.”

“Today, we are here to say it is time to move the flag from the Capitol grounds,” said Haley, surrounded by top leaders including U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, both Republicans like the governor. The other politicians broke out in cheers during the announcement.

The decision follows days of protests inside the state and growing pressure on Republican leaders to back away from the flag.  Roof, 21, is being held on nine murder charges in connection with the shooting last Wednesday. Pictures of Roof have surfaced showing the high school dropout with the flag.

Though she sharply condemned the alleged shooter, Haley noted that the flag represents many positive things for people in her state.  “The hate-filled murderer has a sick and twisted view of the flag,” she said, adding, “we have changed through the times and we will continue to do so, but that doesn’t mean we forget our history.”

In calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from state grounds, Haley said: “My hope is that moving a symbol that divides we can move forward and honor the nine blessed souls who are in heaven.”

Religious and political leaders including Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. said earlier Monday that they would push for the flag’s removal when the Legislature returns.  Riley has led protest marches against the flag and has called for its removal from state grounds before.

“The time has come for the Confederate battle flag to move from a public position in front of the state Capitol to a place of history,” Riley said at a televised news conference. The flag “was appropriated years and years ago as a symbol of hate,” Riley said, and should be moved to a museum.

The Rev. Nelson B. Rivers III of the National Action Network said the flag should be removed before the body of state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, who was killed in the attack, lies in state on Wednesday. Pinckney was also pastor of Emanuel AME.

Republicans, who control South Carolina’s state Legislature, have rebuffed many previous calls to remove the flag, which dates from the Civil War. For civil rights activists and many others, the flag is a racist symbol of the state’s slave past.  The flag has also been adopted by some white supremacist groups in modern times.

Continue reading “South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley Finally Agrees Confederate Flag at State Capitol Must be removed”

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: Oakland Teen Akintunde Ahmad’s 5.0 GPA, 2100 SAT Score, Land Him Acceptance From Multiple Ivy Leagues

17-year-old Akintunde Ahmad. (Photo courtesy of YouTube/ABC)
17-year-old Akintunde Ahmad. (Photo courtesy of YouTube/ABC)

When most people see 17-year-old Akintunde Ahmad, they find it hard to believe he has earned a 5.0 GPA, a 2100 SAT score and acceptance into almost every Ivy League school in the nation.  This is because Ahmad, who describes himself as a “street dude,” admits that he is often judged by his 6-foot-1 frame and waist-long dreads. In fact, the Oakland teen has been underestimated by his peers to the point where only cellphone images of his grades and test scores provide the most viable proof.

According to ABC, Ahmad — who attends Oakland Tech High in northern California — has been accepted into a number of prestigious schools including Yale, Brown, Columbia, Northwestern, the University of Southern California, UCLA and Howard, among others.

Aside from his exceptional academic record, Ahmad also plays three instruments and is a star athlete on his school’s baseball team. So much so, that he has even been approached by Yale about joining the university’s team.  “Every school he applied to is already Division 1, so he wasn’t taking a step down as far as baseball is concerned,” baseball coach Bryan Bassette told ABC.

Continue reading “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: Oakland Teen Akintunde Ahmad’s 5.0 GPA, 2100 SAT Score, Land Him Acceptance From Multiple Ivy Leagues”

Sisters Prep to Take Over $28 Million Black Construction Business

Louis B. Lynn’s family tree is rooted in entrepreneurship. His grandfather owned a grocery store and his father ran a butcher shop.  “My father was businessman of the year back in the ’60s. Last year, we won the Ronald H. Brown Leadership Award,” says the president and chief horticulturalist of ENVIRO AgScience Inc. (No. 84 on the be industrial/service companies list with $28 million in revenues).

The 29-year-old family-owned business provides construction, construction management, architectural, and landscape services. In addition to its Columbia, South Carolina headquarters, ENVIRO has offices in Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.

Lynn launched ENVIRO in 1984 using his severance pay for 15 years of service after being downsized from a middle management position at Monsanto, one of the nation’s largest agricultural companies. As someone who follows the “each one, teach one” principle, Lynn could have become a college professor; he holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in horticulture from Clemson University and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. But it was the entrepreneurial bug and a green thumb that led him to create a commercial lawn care business that he has cultivated into a full-service construction management company servicing private sector, government, education, and military clients.

Now it is the next generation, Lynn’s children, who are spearheading plans to make ENVIRO a multinational company. His daughters Adrienne Lynn, 39, an engineer, and Krystal Conner, 36, a pharmacist, serve as vice presidents. His son, Bryan, 28, is a landscape manager.  Furthermore, a succession plan is in place for Lynn to pass the reins on to his daughters and thereby transition ENVIRO into a certified minority- and woman-owned enterprise. Lynn will stay on as chairman, while Krystal will serve as CEO and Adrienne as president.

“My father didn’t pass on a business but the desire to start a business,” the 64-year-old Lynn says. “We are the first generation in my family to have a real opportunity to pass on a substantial business.”

article by Carolyn M. Brown via blackenterprise.com