Tag: Ne-Yo

Ne-Yo Invests $2.3 Million in Holberton School, a Free Coding Academy, to help Diversify Tech

Ne-Yo with the Holberton founders Sylvain Kalache and Julien Barbier and Trinity Partner Dan Scholnick (photo via Holberton School)

by Biz Carson via businessinsider.com

The idea of a coding school that charges no upfront tuition was intriguing to Ne-Yo. The Grammy Award-winning artist is certainly not the first musician to invest in Silicon Valley, but he’s one that wants to put his talents and money into helping to solve the diversity challenges facing the tech industry.

On Thursday, Holberton School plans to announce that Ne-Yo invested in the coding academy’s most-recent $2.3 million funding round and is joining its Board of Trustees as a result. “This is not a realistic career for people who came up like me. It’s more realistic to do what I do, be a singer or an NBA star,” Ne-Yo said during a party celebrating his new role at Holberton hosted by Trinity Ventures in San Francisco. “Thanks to these guys it now is,” Ne-Yo said. “I have a platform, and I’m going to use this platform to spread the word.”

While there are plenty of coding schools and bootcamps abound, the Holberton School is taking a different approach by charging no upfront tuition for students to enroll. Instead, graduates have to contribute about 17% of their salaries or internship pay to the school for three years after graduation. Already, Holberton’s free (at least upfront) approach has helped the coding school attract a wide-range of people wanting to break into the tech industry.

Women constitute 40% of its students, and 53% of the student body is people of color.Specifically, Ne-Yo wants to attract more Hispanics and blacks to the coding school based in San Francisco. The school is able to keep its costs low by not hiring formal teachers or giving lectures. Instead much of the curriculum is based around students working on specific projects and helping teach each other. They also work with mentors from companies like Uber and LinkedIn to finish the two-year program.

Already, some of Holberton’s students have interned or been hired at companies like Apple, NASA, and Dropbox. While the coding school is still only about 18 months old, it’s early success is already attracting heavy-hitters like Ne-Yo, along with existing investors including Trinity Ventures, Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang, and Jerry Murdock, co-founder of Insight Venture Partners. “I’m very, very excited about this,” Ne-Yo said at the celebration. “Let’s make Holberton one of the biggest schools on the face of the planet.”

To read full article, go to: Ne-Yo invests in Holberton School, a free coding school – Business Insider

Choreographer Fatima Robinson Lands Dance Drama Project Based on her Life at NBC

Fatima Robinson
Fatima Robinson

NBC is calling on three principals from its production of “The Wiz Live!” for a new drama.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the network picked up a script from the TV musical’s executive producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan that’s based on the life of its veteran choreographer, Fatima Robinson.

Inspired by Robinson’s life as a dancer-turned-choreographer, the untitled drama is set in Los Angeles with early plans to set it in the 1990s, as dance begins to dominate pop culture on the streets and clubs that gave birth to hip-hop.

The project is in the early stages of development, according to THR. A writer has yet to come aboard.

Zadan and Meron will executive produce alongside their Storyline Entertainment banner’s Mark Nicholson and Tasha Brown, with the latter duo set to produce. Robinson will executive produce and serve as choreographer.

The drama marks her third go-round with Zadan and Meron following their collaboration on the Academy Awards, which producers told THR inspired them to enlist her to help stage NBC’s “The Wiz Live!”

“We worked with her on the Oscars and knew she was special,” Zadan told THR last week when he singled out Robinson’s contributions to helping to make the live musical a critical success. “We hired Fatima Robinson, who is not a Broadway choreographer, to do authentic black dancing. She comes from hip-hop and a lot of her point of view on dance is very gritty and authentic and raw.”

Fatima was behind the telecast’s most-tweeted moment during the song, when Ne-Yo “hit the dab” during his  “Slide Some Oil to Me” performance. The moment drew 15,218 tweets per minute.

article via eurweb.com

“The Wiz Live!” Airs Tonight on NBC, to be 1st Live TV Program to Provide Vocal Description for Sight-Impaired

"The Wiz Live" on NBC, December 3 at 8pm EST/PST
“The Wiz Live!” on NBC, December 3 at 8pm EST/PST (photo courtesy NBC)

NEW YORK — When “The Wiz Live!” airs on NBC this Thursday, it will come alive for the blind with a voiced description of the broadcast’s sights and action integrated into its soundtrack.

NBC parent Comcast says this will be the first live entertainment program in U.S. history to be accessible in this way to those who are blind. The vocal description is a narration track interspersed between existing pauses in dialogue that describes the show’s visual elements such as facial expressions, settings, costumes and stage direction.

This enhanced broadcast of “The Wiz Live!” will be a pilot program available on local NBC stations where SAP (Second Audio Program) feeds are available. The service will be provided by Descriptive Video Works, which has provided more than 1,000 hours of live description for certain news and sports events.

“The Wiz Live!” premieres Thursday at 8 p.m. EST, with stars including Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, David Alan Grier, Ne-Yo, Elijah Kelley, Uzo Aduba and Common, as well as Shanice Williams as the young heroine, Dorothy.

article via accessatlanta.com

Angela Simmons Inspires and Encourages Harlem Youth with GIRLTALK #Takeover Event

GIRLTALK #takeover On Wednesday, 200 girls in Harlem were treated like divas. The girls, ages 8-16, were received manicures, runway walk tutorials, makeovers and much more in an attempt to inspire them to feel beautiful, confident and informed.

The day-long event was the brainchild of Angela Simmons and her partner Kerri Berson Levine. The two, who had been friends for a while, had spoken about hosting an event for young girls often. Three years ago, through a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club, they launched what is now GIRLTALK #takeover.

In addition to the beauty component, there were fitness activities hosted by Pretty Girls Sweat, a yoga class. And in a classroom on the premises, health professionals spoke to the teenagers about healthy romantic relationships, reproductive health and puberty.

During this session, Simmons popped in to discuss the pressure many girls feel to engage in sex, perhaps prematurely.

She shared that she’s a virgin, waiting to marriage to have sex.

I had a chance to chat with Simmons and she explained that she felt it was important to share that story.

“I feel like in this day and age with social media, that decision is often made for them. So I want them to be able to make their own decision on what they want to do and to know that if they make the decision, they’re not an alien, they’re not by themselves.” 

In addition to these lessons, the girls had a few surprises that day when 14-year-old Little leaguer and Espy Award winner Mo’Ne Davis showed up to give a slew of hugs, sign autographs and take pictures.

Later, artists Ne-Yo, Justine Skye and Simmons’ younger brother Diggy came through to meet the girls.

This won’t be the last time you hear of GIRLTALK #takeover as there are plans to take the program to other cities in the nation.

article by Veronica Wells via madamenoire.com