Tag: Education

Pharrell & Ellen Surprise Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences Students with $50K


Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences (DAAS) students have a lot to be happy about today. In addition to dazzling web viewers with their now-viral rendition of Pharrell’s hit single, the kids got a huge gift from Ellen Degeneres today: $50,000!

According to DAAS CEO Maurice G. Morton, 80 percent of the schools’ students live at or below the poverty line, and 98 percent of them qualify for free or reduced lunch. While many schools have shuttered their arts programs, DAAS uses music and art to ensure their students stay engaged and motivated to learn.

Like many inner-city schools, DAAS is strapped for cash. The school has been attempting to raise money to help the choir get to Disneyworld for a performance, but Ellen intervened, giving DAAS a $50,000 check courtesy of Shutterfly.

After hearing the news, DAAS students were, well, extremely happy. They even performed their too-cute version of the song, bringing Pharrell Williams to tears.  To see video of this story, click here.

article by Britni Danielle via clutchmagonline.com

Top Good Black News Posts of 2013

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As we enter into 2014, like everywhere else, GBN is reflecting on what made 2013 truly memorable. There have been historic moments (Barack Obama’s second inauguration to the Presidency of the United States, the Supreme Court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, Obamacare withstanding severe political and technical challenges) sobering moments (the George Zimmerman trial, the Boston Marathon Bombing, the Oklahoma Tornado Disaster) and inspiring moments (Charles Ramsey rescuing Ariel Castro’s captives, Antoinette Tuff talking down a would-be elementary school shooter, Homeless Teen Drew Gooch earning a full scholarship to college).

Of all the stories we posted this year, however, the ones most popular with GBN’s readers have primarily focussed on education, super-intelligent youth, and the debunking of the “deadbeat dad” myth that unfairly haunts so many African-American fathers:

TOP 5 POSTS of 2013


Thessalonika5. 14 Year-Old Thessalonika Arzu-Embry To Earn Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Chicago State University

On weekdays, Bryan August-Jones wakes before sunrise in his home in Watts. He gets his three sons dressed, then takes them to the baby sitter and to school. On weekends, they go on bike rides and out to eat. (Mark Boster, Los Angeles Times / December 19, 2013)

4. Survey Finds Black Fathers are as Involved with Their Kids as Men of Other Races

Gabrielle Turnquest


3. 18 Year-Old Gabrielle Turnquest Becomes Youngest Ever to Pass Britain’s Bar Exams

2. “Living Single” Actress Erika Alexander Co-Writes Graphic with Black HeroineErika Alexander


Adam Kirby1. Child Prodigy Adam Kirby, 2, becomes Youngest Ever to Join Genius Club Mensa


In 2014, GBN will strive to bring you much more of the same (as well as the surprising and unexpected), as we believe there can only be more Good Black News stories to cover. Because when you really look for it, you can find positivity everywhere.

Happy New Year!

Lori Lakin Hutcherson, Good Black News Founder & Editor-In-Chief

Morgan State University Launches Global School of Journalism and Communication School

Morgan State University LogoMorgan State University is launching the Global School of Journalism and Communication School to better prepare students entering the competitive field.

The Historically Black University explains their mission on the site:

Today, the mission of Morgan State University’s School of Global Journalism and Communication is to give voice to a broader group of people – people who struggle to contribute to the public discourse that shapes this nation and the world. We serve this cause with innovative teaching, cutting edge research, and exemplary service to Maryland, our nation, and the world.

Our goal is add to the diversity of thoughts, opinions and beliefs by offering students from a wide range of backgrounds the liberal arts education and skills training they need to effectively communicate ideas – to plead their own causes, or to accurately tell the stories of others.

In our global school, students travel the world in their classes and assignments, without leaving the campus. They also see the world through their interactions with our partner programs at universities in distant lands – and they are offered opportunities to travel abroad in our Worldwide Learning Lab program.

The great advances in technology have turned the world into a global village. The goal of our school is to make our graduates effective communicators in every way – and every corner of this village.

The school officially launches this fall and it will be commenced with a special ceremony on August 27, 2014.

article via blackamericaweb.com

Mother And Son Graduate Together With PhDs


Vickie McBride gave birth to her son at the tender age of 13, but that did not deter her from earning her PhD–or his, for that matter.  Last August, Vickie and her son, Maurice, walked across the stage at a graduate ceremony in Minneapolis, Minnesota and were handed their doctorate degrees from Capella University, WRDW-TV Augusta 12 reports.

Given their journey, Maurice said he could not have ever imagined the day he would earn such a high academic honor. “Never in a thousand, million, trillion years [did I expect to get my PhD],” Maurice said. “The thought of becoming a doctor anyone was far fetched.”  Maurice’s awe at his own success was only outdone by his mother’s achievement.

“I never thought I would get chance to see my mother walk across the stage and then she turned around and saw me walk across the stage,” he said.  Growing up in the small town of Waynesboro, Ga., Vickie said  being a teenage parent was taboo. She remembers some of the older people in the community ”whispering” about her, but that did not stop her from continuing her education. Vickie’s mother, a retired teacher, took care of Maurice while she attended school.

“As a teenager I continued my education, Vickie said. ”(Dropping out) was never an option.”  She eventually went to college and even earned a graduate degree all while raising Maurice and three other children.  “I had to figure out how to work and how to parent and how to manage school all at the same time.” she said.

Continue reading “Mother And Son Graduate Together With PhDs”

Education Department, Alabama District To Promote Advanced Placement Classes To Black Students

Lee County Schools Al

This week, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR)  made a announcement that it has reached an agreement with the state of Alabama that will aid all students, particularly African-American ones, in accessing advanced placement classes. The Lee County School District entered in to the historic first-time agreement, which aims to bolster higher-level learning and increase college opportunities for students.

The plan has a few key points that Lee District intends to roll out immediately, including addressing the dearth of Black students in advanced or AP classes and higher-level courses, finding out why Black students are faced with barriers, introducing dual-enrollment courses with the local community college at the predominantly Black high school, and offering transportation between buildings.

Lastly, material will be produced to encourage students of all levels and backgrounds to embrace AP courses, pursue higher-level courses, and consider going to college. The OCR will be deeply involved in helping Lee County get the program rolling.

From the OCR’s assistant secretary Catherine E. Lhamon:

We look forward to working with the Lee County School District administrators to ensure that all students have equal access to a quality education and are pleased that the district has taken positive steps to increase college-ready access through raising the enrollment of Black students in AP and other higher level courses. The Lee County School District has been a partner throughout this process and I applaud the steps the District is taking to help ensure their compliance with our civil rights laws to serve all students.

To learn more about the Lee County School District plans, click here.

article by D. L. Chandler via newsone.com

Faces of Hope: Patrick Oliver Teaches Kids to Be Successful Readers and Writers

Patrick Oliver traces his success back to this scene: As a little boy in his home in the projects of Little Rock, he shared the morning newspapers with his parents and his grandfather. Each person grabbed a section of the newspaper and passed the other sections around. He and his grandfather, who lived nearby, shared the sports pages.

Years later when he worked himself up from a low level job to one as a material analyst and senior contract administrator in the defense industry, he remembered those scenes at home. His reading and writing skills allowed him to easily understand systems and write proposals that suggested more efficient ways of operating, thus gaining him attention, respect and promotions from upper management. Oliver never forgot the connection between the rituals at his house and his success at work.

“The success of me being a success in corporate America is because of my reading,” he said. “Our house was full of newspapers and magazines,” he said.

Now a literary consultant, program manager and radio host in Little Rock, he devotes most of his life to developing programs that introduce black youth to literature and the importance of reading and writing well. In 1993, he founded “Say It Loud! Readers and Writers,” the nonprofit that provides opportunities for youth ages 10 – 18 to participate in literary arts activities and events designed to enhance their appreciation for literature as a tool for empowerment. Today, in addition to programs in Little Rock, he has partnerships with programs in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

Continue reading “Faces of Hope: Patrick Oliver Teaches Kids to Be Successful Readers and Writers”

Website Publishes Top 25 Scholarships for Women in 2013-2014

female graduatesBillions of dollars in scholarships are available every year to women, and one web site,ScholarshipsOnline.org, is helping women apply for these financial aid opportunities. The web site has recently published the top 25 scholarships available for women and girls in 2013-2014.

Scholarships are monetary gifts awarded to students who demonstrate outstanding academic or athletic ability. Because of increasing expenses for tuition, boarding and books, more and more organizations and corporations are giving away scholarships as a part of their public or community affairs programs.

Federal government agencies, local government agencies, and educational institutions themselves are also giving away millions of dollars in scholarships every year. In total, it is estimated that more than $5 billion in scholarships will be given away this year, and perhaps even more next year.

To view the Top 25 Scholarships Available For Women in 2013-2014, visit:

To search hundreds of other 2013-2014 scholarships, visit:

article via eurweb.com


Jennifer Hudson Hosts School Supply Giveaway in Honor of Nephew

Screen Shot 2013-08-15 at 3.58.29 PMAcademy Award-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson was back in her home town of Chicago Wednesday to lend a hand with the back-to-school effort. The Oscar winner and her sister, Julia King, hosted a school supplies giveaway for low-income children at a South Side Salvation Army community center. “They can bring their list, pick and choose what they may need and go from there,” Hudson said.

The third annual Hatch Day celebration was in honor of King’s son, Julian, who was killed in their Englewood home several years ago along with their mother and brother. The event is always held on Julian’s birthday, who would have been 12 years old this year. “He was so into education, which is part of why we chose to give back in this way,” Hudson said.

There were enough supplies on hand for 5,000 kids, including backpacks, notebooks, pens and pencils. “You lead by example, and I feel like we’re leading by example. We’re hatching the dreams of thousands of children,” Julia King said. Hudson told NBC 5 she has an album and three films coming out, including the lead role in next month’s “Winnie Mandela,” the story of Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife.

article via nbcchicago.com

Obama Signs Student Loan Deal

Members of the Morehouse College 2002 graduating class sing their school song during commencement ceremonies May 19, 2002 in Atlanta. (Photo by Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama signed into law Friday a measure restoring lower interest rates for student loans, pledging the hard-fought compromise would be just the first step in a broader, concerted fight to rein in the costs of a college education.  Encircled by lawmakers from both parties in the Oval Office, Obama praised Democrats and Republicans alike for agreeing — finally — on what he called a sensible, reasonable approach to student loans even as he cautioned that “our job is not done.”

“Feels good signing bills. I haven’t done this in a while,” Obama said, alluding to the difficulty he’s faced getting Congress to approve his legislative priorities, such as gun control and budget deals.  “Hint, hint,” he added to laughter.

Friday’s ceremony capped a frenzy of negotiations that led to a rare bipartisan compromise to lower rates before classes resume. About 11 million students this year are expected to have lower interest rates, saving the average undergraduate $1,500 on interest charges on this year’s loans.  The legislation links student loan interest rates to the financial markets. It offers lower rates this fall because the government can borrow money cheaply at this time. If the economy improves in the coming years as expected, it will become more costly for the government to borrow money, and that cost would be passed on to students.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called it “a good day” and a fine example of what Washington can accomplish when petty partisanship is put aside.  “With the stroke of a pen, we’ve now officially taken the politics out of student loans,” Boehner said. “By linking interest rates to markets, this law — part of the Republican jobs plan — means students will see lower rates and won’t have to worry about Washington suddenly making it harder to pay for their education.”

Continue reading “Obama Signs Student Loan Deal”

A $147 Million Signal of Faith in Atlanta’s Public Schools

The new North Atlanta High School features amenities like a video production center and a cafeteria resembling a mall food court. (Dustin Chambers for The New York Times)

ATLANTA — The most expensive public high school ever built in Georgia opens Wednesday in an old I.B.M. office building.

With 11 stories, a 900-car parking deck and views fit for a corporate executive, the school, North Atlanta High, looks very much like the fancy office buildings and glittery shopping strips that populate its Buckhead community.  The school cost about $147 million. That is small change compared with the Robert F. Kennedy high school complex in Los Angeles, built in 2010 for $578 million — a figure critics liked to point out was more expensive than Beijing’s Olympic stadium.

But in the Deep South, where the median cost of a new high school is $38.5 million, it might as well be the Taj Mahal.  As a result, some in this antigovernment, tax-sensitive part of the country are grumbling, especially since the project was $50 million over its original budget.  “The raw numbers themselves in terms of the cost of construction should give pause to any taxpayer,” said Edward Lindsey, a lawyer and a Republican member of the Georgia House of Representatives.

But for the Atlanta Public Schools, which are just beginning to recover from a cheating scandal that in March brought indictments against 35 educators, including a former superintendent, the shining new school is being pitched as an important step toward redemption.  About 48,400 students will attend public school in Atlanta this year, about 400 fewer than last year.  “We have a special obligation here,” said Howard E. Taylor, the new principal. “The district is digging out of a historic crisis.”

He and other educators say that the new school building is an opportunity to show that a large, urban public high school can be a viable alternative to the rising tide of charter schools, voucher systems and private education.  Some of the 1,400 students who will attend the school this year come from the wealthiest families in the region, but others, Mr. Taylor said, are homeless. Nearly half are black. About 27 percent are white and 20 percent are Hispanic. They speak more than 40 languages.  “If there was ever a model for an urban high school, this is it,” he said.

Continue reading “A $147 Million Signal of Faith in Atlanta’s Public Schools”