HBCU Buzz – “Homeless to Howard” teen James Ward, a 19-year-old Los Angeles native who launched an online crowdsourcing campaign in 2013 to support his dream to attend historically black Howard University, is one of eight HBCU students featured on The Root’s 2014 Young Futurists list that celebrates young African-American men and women who are forging a path to future greatness.

Failure is never an option for these students.

Take Stephen A. Green, president of the Morehouse College NAACP chapter and a campus leader. Green missed several classes in 2012 to protest the investigation of the Trayvon Martin shooting and has worked “tirelessly” to bring awareness to issues that impact the black community, according to The Root.

Or University of the District Columbia student Brianna Patterson, who is a “bridge of hope for kids who are struggling”:  “We are the examples of those kids who come from single-parent homes, who come from schools that were in terrible areas, but they’ve managed to come through and overcome those situations and circumstance to become leaders and future elected officials,” Patterson told The Root. “Empower the community, empower the youth.”

Each year during Black History Month, The Root recognizes and celebrates students like Ward, Green and Patterson, “Young Futurists” who have already distinguished themselves in fields including social activism and justice, enterprise and corporate innovation, science and technology, green innovation and arts and culture.

“With these emerging leaders, our future is in good hands,” said Lyne Pitts, The Root’s managing editor.

See the full list, watch the video profiles and read about the accomplishments here