Shalisha and Shonda Witherspoon are identical twins. They dress alike every day and both recently graduated from the College of Engineering and Computing at Florida International University in Miami. They also had identical grade point averages of 3.95, which was the best GPA of any graduating student in the College of Engineering and Computing. The sisters also earned minor degrees in Japanese language and literature.
The sisters will stay on at FIU to pursue master’s degrees and to work as graduate assistants for Professor Naphtali Rishe in the High Performance Database Research Center.
Professor Rishe stated that “those two ladies are extraordinarily responsible. They are very smart, they have great attention to detail, they are always reliable. Any project they are asked to do, it’s done perfectly. They are experts in geographic data analytics. They manipulate very large big data sets, and they have excelled. They have a great career path in front of them.”
The sisters’ ultimate goal is to move to Japan and start their own software engineering business together.
According to blackenterprise.com, Jahvaris Fulton, the older brother of slain Sanford, Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, recently graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology.
Wilson, a founder of 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, also counts Fulton as a member who helped to encourage at-risk in Miami-Dade schools to stay in school.
Recently, Jahvaris and Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, spoke on CNN’s Anderson Cooper show to highlight the wide breadth of miscommunication that exists between persons of color and white America. “It’s not happening to them, so they don’t quite get it,” she told Cooper in an interview that aired Friday. “They don’t quite understand. They think that it’s a small group of African Americans that’s complaining: ‘Oh, what are they complaining about now?’”
This week, however, was all about celebrating Jahvaris’ success in higher academia. The exciting news was confirmed via Twitter, with many attendees tweeting their congrats.
According to a press release, a $500,000 grant from Wal-Mart will go to the United Negro College Fund to help sixteen HBCUs gain financial stability to ensure their continued mission of providing black students with higher education. Grants of $1 million and $250,000 to the National Urban League and the NAACP respectively will help individuals secure and build successful careers through training and placement assistance and help businesses create more job opportunities. Wal-Mart is providing $1.75 million in grants through its foundation to three of the nation’s biggest civil rights organizations: the NAACP, National Urban League and United Negro College Fund.
“With today’s economic climate there is a growing need to empower individuals in communities nationwide with access to opportunities that will help them live better. Part of this work will come from helping businesses understand and unlock the powerful results that a more diverse workforce has to offer,” said Wal-Mart Senior Director of Corporate Affairs Tony Waller in the release. “By helping one individual at a time build a successful career, we are growing a more competitive work environment. A competitive environment ignites innovation, which helps build stronger communities and, ultimately, a stronger America.”
“Since 2006 we have been able to increasingly grow our workforce training program through ongoing support from the Walmart Foundation and subsequently have exceeded expectations of the number of individuals we’ve been able to serve,” Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the NUL, said in the press release. “This new grant will help us further strengthen our workforce development programs and continue helping African Americans and other communities of color across the United States secure economic independence and empowerment.”
Jahvaris Fulton has a great opportunity on his hands. The older brother of Trayvon Martin is currently serving as a congressional intern for Florida Representative Frederica Wilson. Her office confirmed the news to NBC. Fulton, according to his Twitter page, attends Florida International University in Miami, FL.
Wilson’s office also said that Fulton is a part of the 5000 Roll Models of Excellence Project. The project, founded by Wilson 20 years ago, is a drop out prevention and mentoring program that serves the needs of at-risk boys in Miami-Dade schools. Good look to the young Mr. Fulton. It would be great if both he and Rachel Jeantel ended up working in law enforcement, hopefully fighting the injustices that were so evident in his brother’s case.