COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Filmmaker and actor Tyler Perry has surprised middle school students in Ohio by showing up at a musical concert and donating $100,000 to help student athletes in the city’s South-Western schools.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that Perry was drawn to Finland Middle School on Friday after seeing a TV report about teacher Mary Mulvany starting a foundation to raise scholarship money to cover fees.
South-Western schools earned national attention when athletics and extra-curricular activities were eliminated after a failed levy in 2009. The ballot request was later approved by voters, and sports, clubs and other activities were resurrected for a fee.
Perry says he wants to sponsor as many children as possible and wants part of the money to go toward Finland and some to the foundation.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama said Wednesday that stories of toil and sweat by slaves once held at a historic home within sight of the White House are an important part of U.S. history, including her own personal story, and are “as vital to our national memory as any other.”
The first lady commented as American Express announced its donation of $1 million to the White House Historical Association to preserve Decatur House and pay for education programs for children. The nearly 200-year-old house is owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and operated by the association.
Most of the money will be spent to preserve the building’s former slave quarters, where about 20 men and women “spent their days serving those who came and went from this house” and their nights “jammed together on the second floor of the slave quarters, all the while holding onto a quiet hope, a quiet prayer that they, too, and perhaps their children, would someday be free,” Mrs. Obama said.
The red-brick, three-story townhouse built in 1818 has been home to many, including several secretaries of state. Mrs. Obama, briefly invoking her ancestry as a descendant of a South Carolina slave, said even more history came from the back of Decatur House, where the slave quarters were located, “the kind of stories that too often get lost, the kinds of stories that are a part of so many of our families’ histories, including my own.”
Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found blatant sexism in STEM, with less than 20 percent of college-educated women pursuing careers in computer science. Despite the odds, Martha Chumo, a 19-year-old computer programmer from Nairobi, Kenya, is determined to excel in software development. She fell into programming during a summer internship and is smitten with computer science.
“During my internship last summer I got access to a computer on a daily basis. It was pretty much the first time I had a computer all to myself. I started googling how the Internet and computers work,” she writes.
“Soon, learning code became my obsession. In June 2012, I took the little I had saved and bought a computer, installed Ubuntu and quit my internship.
I spent hours practicing at the Nairobi iHub. Online resources combined with the community helped me learn fast and in July I landed a job as a developer with a local Ruby on Rails boutique.
Programming opened an unknown world to me. I was planning on going to medical school, like most top-students in Kenya do. Now I’m taking a year off to explore software development. I’m especially excited about the world of open source software.”
The self-taught programmer has been accepted into Hacker School, a New York-based institute that teaches the tricks of the trade to up-and-coming programmers. It is a competitive program, but Chumo had the chops and earned admission.
Now she needs the funds to attend. Chumo has launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund her trip to Hacker School. She hopes to raise $4,200 to cover the costs of a visa, a round-trip airline ticket and a new laptop.
In the three years since a massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake shook up Haiti, the recovery process is still ongoing and today the Timberland clothing company is at the forefront.
In partnership with a local non-governmental organization, the Smallholder Farmers Alliance, Timberland supports an agroforestry program to train Haitian farmers to improve crop yields and has planted 2.2 million trees along the way. According to Forbes.com, An additional 1 million trees will be planted this year as well as in 2014 and 2015.
The project will help improve the environmental, economic and social conditions in the Gonaives region. Timberland and Smallholder Farmers Alliance are helping local farmers learn how to improve crop yields, develop eight community tree nurseries and support agricultural training centers in the region.
As her first act of business after becoming president of Tennessee State University on January 2, Glenda Baskin Glover presented the university with a check for $50,000 to establish an endowed scholarship fund in her name. She hopes the gesture will propel other alumni to financially support the university. “I want our alumni and everyone to get involved in financially supporting our institution, so I am beginning the process with my contribution. I challenge each alumni chapter to match my gift or follow my lead in giving to TSU.”
Before taking over as the eighth president of Tennessee State University, Dr. Glover was dean of the College of Business at Jackson State University in Mississippi. She had been at Jackson State since 1994. Previously, she was chair of the department of accounting at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Glover is a certified public accountant. In addition to her bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Tennessee State University, Dr. Glover holds a law degree from Georgetown University, an MBA from Clark Atlanta University, and a Ph.D. in business economics and policy from George Washington University.
The Bank of the West awarded $210,000 in cash grants during its third annual philanthropy award program that took place in San Francisco on November 13.
BlackGirlsCode, a nonprofit devoted to promoting young women of color in the technology industry was recognized as one of three winning laureates and received a $50,000 grant.
BlackGirlsCode reaches out to the community and introduces young black females to the world of computer programming via languages such as Scratch or Ruby on Rails. By introducing computer coding lessons to young girls from underrepresented communities, BlackGirlCode is attempting to show that girls of every color can become the programmers of tomorrow. Following their motto of “Imagine. Build. Create,” the non-profit attempts to bridge the digital divide where young black women grow up in homes where their White counterparts are twice as likely to have home internet access then they are.