HBCU Buzz

2015 HBCU Top 30 Under 30

Cabral Clements – Morehouse College

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Class of 2016 | Media Major/ Sports – Journalism Minor
Clements is a senior at Morehouse College and upon graduation (2016) will be a third generation Morehouse Man. Clements’ tenure at the college has been highlighted by his two years being a resident advisor, the new Chairman of Morehouse Residence Hall Association, and through working tirelessly to create a social platform specific for Morehouse College, now boasting more than 2,000 users. With the help of Clements’ efforts and leadership, the social platform called Campus Bubble has expanded to over 70 institutions nationwide, with Morehouse College being the second school to incorporate the tool.

Prior to Morehouse College, Clements spent much his time learning how to tell stories through video – and developed content for companies like HP, Toyota, and Cutters Athletics. This was followed by an internship at CNN right before college, working in the audience and multi-platform technology division. Through this, Clements builds on his storytelling abilities and leverages technology resources to create a holistic approach to brand management and media production that has been used working with a number of brands and businesses small and large, as demonstrated by his website, CabralClements.com. Along with helping brands tell their stories, Clements currently produces projects with local film company Glass House Pictures/ Class Clown Films and continues to work with Atlanta Startup, Campus Bubble to ensure higher education institutions are well connected.

Derrick L. McMahon, Jr – Florida A&M University

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Class of 2010 | Education |HBCU Advocate
Derrick L. McMahon Jr. is a 2010 graduate of Florida A&M University–earning a BS in History with a minor in Education. As a student at FAMU, Mr. McMahon made a name for himself in the campus newspaper, The Famuan, writing about a range of topics such as race, gender, and sexuality from a critical and insightful position. Along with his passionate HBCU advocacy which has allowed him to assemble a combined online following of over 36,000 across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Mr. McMahon has appeared on Huff Post Live with Morehouse professor Marc Lamont Hill, as well as serving on panels at institutions such as Howard University. He has inspired students from all over America to apply to and tansfer to HBCUs.

Jennifer Jackson – Hampton University

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Class of 2013 | Business Administration | Field: Consulting
Jennifer Jackson attended Hampton University where she graduated magna cum laude in 2013 and completed her Masters of Business Administration in 2014. She is a natural-born leader who enjoys serving her community. While attending Hampton she was an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., the Greer Dawson Wilson Student Leadership Program and served as a coach for the S.M.A.R.T. Ones Program for individuals with special needs from 2011-2014.

Jennifer has a passion for international business and affairs and is an advocate for HBCU students traveling abroad. She has spoken on numerous panels about her experiences abroad and how HBCU students can obtain scholarships. In 2012, she was selected to represent Hampton University in a foreign exchange program with Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore. She has traveled to over 12 countries including Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, France, Ireland, & Morocco. She also has plans to visit the UAE, Costa Rica, Oman and Guadeloupe later this year. In 2014, Jennifer moved abroad to Madrid, Spain where she served as a business consultant/analyst for an international telecommunications company. There she had an opportunity to work in a bilingual environment with client deliverables in both English and Spanish. She also attended the Eureka School of Spanish Language and completed an intermediate level Spanish program. There she had an opportunity to interact with individuals from across the world and has created an extensive international network of colleagues and business partners.

Taking her passion for business back home, she launched her company H.U.E. Business Consulting in late 2014 in an effort to include her love of serving her community in her career. H.U.E. stands for ‘helping us earn’ and provides business consulting for small, women and minority owned businesses. She works with clients across many industries and assists business owners with various tasks from writing business plans to employee retention. Jennifer plans to continue to empower individuals with the gift of economic independence through her business and serve as an advocate for international travel among the HBCU and minority community.

Dr. Eric Lamar Patrick – Howard University

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Class of 2011 | Doctor of Pharmacy | Pharmacy (Pediatric Hospital) & Investment Education
Dr. Eric Patrick is a visionary. Growing up in Florida, he didn’t always know what he wanted to be, but he knew he wanted to be great at something. After graduating 59th in his class of almost 700 students (and the top African-American), he attended the University of South Florida in Tampa. He realized quickly he didn’t want to be a physician, but wanted to be in the healthcare field. He switch is focus from Pre-Med to to Pharmacy and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences within three years. He was initiated into the illustrious Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. while matriculating at USF. He then was accepted into Howard University’s College of Pharmacy (then School of Pharmacy) and became active immediately. During his time at the Mecca, he served numerous class and organizational positions including: Class President, Student Council President, and General Student Assembly Public Relations Chair. He also was a speaker during the College of Pharmacy, Nursing, & Allied Health Sciences graduation in 2010 and was the first ever Mr. Pharmacy (2011) at Howard University’s College of Pharmacy.

After graduating in 2011, he began his pharmacy career in Dallas, TX at a hospital that is a part of one of the biggest healthcare systems in the state of Texas, Baylor University Medical Center. He since has transitions to Our Children’s House at Baylor, which is the sole inpatient pediatric facility within the North Division of the Baylor Scott & White Health system. He also serves at Pharmacist-in-Charge at this location.

Recently, Dr. Patrick started a new venture, which is his company Black Market Exchange, LLC or BMEX for short. BMEX serves as an educational platform teaching on stock market fundamentals so people can learn about investing. But, this isn’t a normal investment education platform. In order to attract his audience, he has incorporated hip-hop and modern day urban media to lighten the tone of investing which as seemed so domineering for ages. Whether is using Hip-Hop lyrics to explain investment terms and concepts, or using humorous memes on social media to drive a point across, his message is becoming loud and clear: invest early, often, and with confidence. There are bigger milestones to achieve for his platform, but he believes that we all must start at the basics. Just as the adage states, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

David Hughes – Prairie View A&M University – Morehouse College

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Class of December 2012 | Industry: Education/Sports
David Hughes received his Bachelor of Art in Kinesiology, Sport Studies, and Health Education from Morehouse College in December 2012 and his Masters of Education from Prairie View A&M University in August 2014. While obtaining his Masters from PVAMU, he created the curriculum and become the co- implementer of a mentoring program geared to help increase African American male’s retention and graduation rates at PVAMU. The program is called the Men Achieving Leadership Excellence Initiative and is implemented in conjunction with the Vice President for Administration, Dr. Michael McFrazier and the Director of the Student Academic Success Center, Josette Bradford.

While at Morehouse, David had the opportunity to intern for ESPN and for the athletic department at the University of Miami. Those experiences helped him gain employment with the Houston Texans where he works as a game day corporate development associate. He also works as an adjunct professor at Prairie View A&M University and Lone Star College. He has the distinction of being the youngest male professor in the department of education at PVAMU. Continuing his education, David is currently enrolled as a doctoral student in the Educational Leadership program at PVAMU where he was selected as a 2015 Emerging Scholar by the American Educational Research Association.

He was also elected the first student Diversity Committee Member from a Historically Black College and University with the North American Society for Sport Management, selected by the Houston Area Urban League as an education panelist, a United States department of education registered grant reviewer and a member of the Emerging 100 of Metropolitan Houston, a young professional group for 100 Black Men of Metropolitan Houston. He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, Texas and Houston Alliance of Black School educators and currently serves as the Secretary of the Morehouse College Houston Alumni Association.

Mea Boykins – Spelman College

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Class of 2011 | Bachelors of Psychology | Field: Mental Health, Global Advocacy, Philanthropy, International Public Speaker
With a heart focused on uplifting the global community, Ms. Mea Boykins majored in Psychology at Spelman College. While attending Spelman, Boykins was active in many organizations, including the French club where she was inspired to do her first study abroad in Paris. It was there that Boykins learned to speak French fluently and was instilled with a desire to help others around the world. Upon retuning to Spelman, Boykins sought to provide financial support for students at risk of expulsion by creating the Student Emergency Assistance scholarship fund (S.E.A.). To date, Boykins has awarded 5 scholarships to students to help them attain their goal of graduating. Since graduation, Boykins created the S.E.A. Inc., which she uses to empower youth and help eradicate homelessness in cities around the world. Boykins most notable events took place in Brooklyn, NYC with MTV and Bravo TV sponsoring give-a-ways for youth, free hair cuts/makeup/hair stylists with a professional photo-shoot for youth. Boykins also coordinated an International Youth Empowerment Event in London, England with a celebrity model/author as the keynote speaker; live performances & school supply donations. Boykins’ work has been featured in countless publications, magazines, TV shows and radio shows, including Hello Beautiful, Black Celebrity Giving & BBS Arise Talk Show in London, England.  Boykins was most recently featured in “We Are The City” a British publication, which highlighted her international work.

Boykins attended Kings College London for her first Masters degree in Child Psychiatry. Currently, Boykins is working as a Therapist, Corporate/Celebrity Event Planner and Public Speaker as well as managing S.E.A., Inc. Boykins is also working on her second Masters degree in Global Entrepreneurial Management through the University of San Francisco where she will be living and interning in Spain, Taiwan & California. Future plans include commencing an international consulting firm and a mental health clinic as well as continuing to create a positive impact on the global community.

Quanera Hayes – Livingstone College

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Track & Field
Quanera Hayes, who starred in track and field at Gray’s Creek High School who later received a full scholarship to Livingstone College never imagined that she would be breaking barriers in Track & Field. In her final races as a college senior, Hayes won the NCAA Division II championships in the 200 and 400 meters. On 6/27/15, Hayes placed fifth in the USA Track and Field Championships in Oregon. Hayes ran 51.27 in the final. Olympic medalist Allyson Felix ran 50.19 seconds. Only the top three finishers are assured of a spot on the USA roster for the IAAF World Championships, however if Felix decides to only compete in the 200-meter dash, McCorory and Hayes could be selected as relay team participants. It is posisble to see another HBCU alum on the track at the 2016 Olympics.

“I’m really looking forward to competing with some of the fastest 400 meter runners in the US, I understand the challenge will be great for me this week, but I’m confident I’ll be able to perform at a level that will help me achieve my personal goals while bringing honor to my college.”

Dex Robinson – Virginia Union University

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Class of 2009 |Mass Communications/Media Arts | Fashion Branding
“Dex Robinson is a New York based brand manager & image consultant for some of the top athletes around. He completed his graduate studies in Mass Communications & Media Arts at Virginia Union University. Dex has since held various roles for fashion brands and public relation agencies in New York City. However, it was under the guidance of Lisa Smith-Craig, stylist, that Dex gained experience and insight into styling. Dex has work published in ZINK, Elle Vietnam, Complex and Relaspe Mag as well as styled numerous celebrity clients throughout his career.

Most recently he started his company “DexRob” a collective specializing in image consulting, brand management, personal shopping & editorial styling catering to athletes but not limited too. With this endeavor he has helped athletes such as DeMarcus Cousins, Kam Chancellor, Tyrod Taylor and Thomas Robinson to further their brands in the fashion space. This is just the beginning for DexRob, stay tuned because the sky’s the limit!

Nemmi Cole – Florida A&M University

Nemmi Cole Top 20 UNDER 30

Class of 2017 | B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering | Field:Engineering
Ms. Nemmi Nikkia Cole was born in Houston, Texas, raised in San Bernardino, California and currently resides in Tallahassee, Florida. She is a second year Ph.D. student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. Nemmi, while also a member of the infamous Marching 100 and prestigious Mahogany Dance Theater, completed her Bachelor of Science degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering as well as a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering. Ms. Cole was recently concluded a stint as a member of the tenth class of the Florida Gubernatorial Fellowship program. She is the first engineering student at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering to ever be selected for this fellowship program. This prestigious program was created from the belief that the best way to ensure Florida’s greatness is to actively educate and cultivate its future leaders. As part of the fellowship, Nemmi has been placed with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection working with the Deputy Secretary of Regulatory Programs. Nemmi stated that this fellowship has allowed her to fulfill roles of critical responsibility as well as interact closely with the state’s top leaders. Nemmi was selected as the 2015 Florida Gubernatorial Fellows Washington D.C. Outstanding Leadership Fellow. As a D.C. fellow, Cole will represent the State of Florida and the Governor’s office while working with federal agencies to develop and propose ideas for policy development and changes, and monitor and evaluate federal legislation and its impact on the citizens of Florida.

Nemmi is passionate about public service and her mission in life is to leave our environment and world a better place for future generations. She longs to pour all that she has been given back into others who are aspiring to grow and carry on the legacy of innovation, through the restoration and preservation of our natural resources.

Jerek Sharrod Brown – Morehouse College

Political Science

Political Science | Field: Education
Raised in the heart of the South by way of Jackson, Mississippi, Jerek Brown firmly believes that educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all. In so doing, he has committed to a lifelong career in education. Jerek had the honor of representing the Morehouse College Class of 2015 as the class valedictorian and was awarded the Robert Brisbane Award in Political Science after having maintained a cumulative grade point average of 4.0 during his four years there. The Phi Beta Kappa graduate is currently enrolled at Harvard Graduate School of Education where he is pursuing a Master of Education in Teaching and Curriculum with certifications in Political Science/Political Philosophy and History.

During his time at Morehouse, Jerek served in several leadership capacities. He served as President of the world-renowned Morehouse College Glee Club where he reinstated the Brother-to-Brother Initiative wherein which each of the organization’s newest members were paired with senior members who could assist in their transition to college and serve as a lifelong brother, and advocated for an exclusive study hall for members to promote academic excellence amongst the membership. Additionally, he served as President of the Morehouse Political Science Association, member of Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society Honor Society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society to name a few.

After having been raised by a family of educators, Jerek credits much of his experience in college to ultimately lead him to the path of education. During Summer 2013, Jerek had the privilege of interning with Mentors of Minorities in Education’s Total Learning Cis-TEM (MOMIE’s TLC) in Washington DC. There he co-taught second graders in the Prince George’s County School District to reinforce state tested subject concepts that were introduced the previous term, attended trips that gave them cultural expose in the nation’s capitol and in Baltimore, Maryland, and worked closely with parents to monitor academic progress. He also worked with the Summer Training for Excellence in Education Research at UCLA as a summer research intern exploring the disparities amongst advance curriculum programs in Title I schools. This summer Jerek is a teaching intern at the Cambridge-Harvard Summer Academy and will have teaching placements in Boston Public Schools during the 2015-2016 school year. Jerek plans to gain experience teaching in urban schools and abroad before pursuing a doctorate degree in education and working in education administration and education policy.

Shaquayah McKenzie – Morgan State University

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Class of 2014 | Field: Education
Ebullient and innovative urban millennial leader. As an Educator, Civic Engagement Coordinator and engaging public servant, she upholds the expectation that one must be the change they look to see, with great integrity.

Born and raised in Hartford, CT, Shaquayah cultivated an impeccable ethic for success at a very young age. Indefinitely influenced by her Jamaican heritage and watching her family strive for educational and economic stability, her understanding of the importance of setting high expectations and overcoming obstacles with fortitude allowed her to mature very quickly. She also found a natural grace in leadership through fine arts and community involvement. Throughout her youth, she participated in various performing arts organizations, scholarship pageants and apprenticeship programs. Some significant experiences from her youth include completing the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s Neighborhood Studios Arts Apprentice program with The Artists’ Collective, winning Ms. Caribbean-American Teen 2008, and being a premier youth leader in the Catholic Charities’ sponsored group called “The Gifted Ones”, where she mastered hip-hop & african dance choreography, poetry and stepping. These experiences nurtured her passion for youth involvement, character development and community engagement.

In 2009, Shaquayah enrolled at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. Throughout her matriculation, she excelled in academia, joining an honor society and making the Dean’s list several times, all while consistently working 3 jobs to support herself. Moreover, she established a unique precedent for student leadership. She held several roles on campus including Student Government President, National Pan-Hellenic Council President and President of the Alpha Gamma chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Her stellar leadership resulted in her to being honored as the first “Leader of the Year” under the Office of Student Activities. She was also nominated for the 2014 White House HBCU All Stars Competition. When she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in English & Philosophy in May 2014, she was awarded the President’s Second Mile Award for her dedication to student life. The day after graduation, she participated in a 10-day Campus Allies trip to Israel with 39 other national high-achieving college students and graduates, and established relationships with some of the country’s top leaders. To date, she continuously strives to make global bonds.

Currently, Shaquayah serves as the After-School Program Coordinator for the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, and is a 2015 Teach for America Baltimore Corps member. This fall she will begin graduate studies in Secondary Education at Johns Hopkins University and will be teaching 8th grade English. Concurrently, she continues to grow and engage in activism and leadership in the community while serving as a Peace Coordinator for Peace by Piece, a national civic group with branches in Baltimore, Atlanta, South Carolina and Houston. Her life’s guiding mantra: “Perfection is not found in everything going right, but rather accepting what’s happening moment to moment. Change is acceptance that has transformed into action.”

La’Tisha Price – North Carolina A&T State University

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Class of 2012 | Field: Dance
La’Tisha Price, 26, is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University with a BA in Psychology and a Masters in Adult Education. She served as a member of Golden Delight from 2007-2011, while being captain in 2010 and leadership team in 2011. In 2012 she served as the recruitment coordinator for Golden Delight working with prospective members to prepare girls for collegiate dance. She is a member of Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority Incorporated and is extremely passionate about females and the arts.

La’Tisha is the owner of EducateDancer and The EducateDancer Studio located in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. La’Tisha Price is a member of the North Carolina Association of Educators and National Association of Professional Women. When La’Tisha is not dancing she is teaching middle grades social studies and working within the community college.

Bryant M. Stewart – Bowie State University

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Class of 2010 B.S., 2016 EMBA | Political Science | Field or Industry: Telecommunications
Bryant M. Stewart is a Lead Product Marketing Manager in the Business Marketing segment of AT&T. Bryant has been with AT&T since 2010, where he has been in multiple roles including Technical Sales, Business Development and Product Marketing. Bryant began his career with AT&T through the Business Sales Leadership Development Program. Throughout his career he has been a champion of diversity and performance. He is a founding member and an Officer of a 501(c)3 non profit known as oxyGEN, Inc. oxyGEN is dedicated to the attraction, development, and retention of young professionals in the workplace. Over the past 3 years oxyGEN has grown to over 15,000 members across 27 cities in the United States and was recently ranked #9 on the Nation’s Top 25 Employee Resource Groups and Diversity Councils. With a passion for equality in the workplace, Bryant has also been published in the Huffington Post for his thought leadership on the encouragement of Women in STEM.

Bryant has been recognized as a leader within AT&T as well as within his community. He has been inducted into the AT&T Business Sales Development Executive Leadership Circle. He volunteers as a mentor to countless young professionals within AT&T and youth within New York City. As an undergraduate Bryant served as Chapter President of the Delta Mu Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. before becoming Mr. Bowie State University. As Mr. Bowie State, Bryant competed for the title of Mr. Historically Black Colleges and Universities and placed as a finalist. Since receiving his Bachelor’s in Political Science in 2010, Bryant has lived in Atlanta, Connecticut, Washington DC, and now New York City. Bryant currently attends the City University of New York at Baruch College, where he is pursuing his Executive MBA. In his spare time he enjoys traveling, reading and collecting the newest tech gadgets. Be sure to follow his many “moves”

Nicole Angela Tinson – Dillard University

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Class of 2014 | Political Science
“Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals.”-Dorothy Irene Height Biographies tend to be filled with a list of all the amazing things people have done in life, but what is a biography without a true understanding of a person’s background? Nicole Angela Tinson has made it her purpose in life to help improve the socioeconomic circumstances and sociological perspective of African-Americans and other underserved communities in the world.

Nicole grew up in South Central Los Angeles to a single mother who pushed her to be all that she could be while always keeping the importance of serving the community in mind. After her older brother was killed in a drive-by shooting, Nicole became dedicated to bettering the world, one day at a time. Nicole is dedicated to social justice, and transforming the way the world looks, thinks and acts towards people who are marginalized. She is an advocate for issues including gun violence prevention, education, mass incarceration, domestic violence and sexual assault, and civil rights.

Nicole is a graduate of Dillard University’s class of 2014 where she earned a BA in Political Science and introduced Michelle Obama at the commencement exercises. While at Dillard, she was actively involved, and served as senior and junior class president as well as NAACP president. Her involvement earned her the William Sutton Prize for Best All Around Student. Nicole was initiated into the Beta Gamma chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. while at Dillard and served on the social action committee. Nicole was also selected as a White House Initiative on HBCUs All Star.

Nicole is currently studying at Yale’s Divinity School, aspires to integrate faith and politics to advance her community. She intends to one day run for office and become the first Black woman Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Nicole recently started Jobs R 4You, Inc. JR4U operates with a particular emphasis to curb violence in urban communities, by promoting economic justice, raising awareness about the inequalities that take place and inspiring people to live better lives.

Douglas McNeil III – Bowie State University

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Class of 2013 | Communications | Football
Former New Town student-athlete Douglas McNeil III’s journey to the pros has been nothing short of a long road traveled. At New Town McNeil was a three-sport athlete. Upon the completion of his senior year he was voted athlete of the year. McNeil’s athletic success grabbed the attention of multiple college scouts that included Division I football program Virginia Tech who offered McNeil a full athletic scholarship, and James Madison University.

Over the next six years McNeil’s football and academic career would develop at James Madison University, Catonsville Community College and finally Bowie State University where he finished his collegiate eligibility and graduated with a bachelors degree in communications in 2013. In 2014 McNeil began his professional career with the Portland Thunder a then new franchise within the Arena Football League. After completing a dominant season in the AFL McNeil sparked the interest of two NFL teams, the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. Douglas spent time with the Denver Broncos before joining the Seahawks organization.

Geoffrey Golden – Morehouse College

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Singer | Sundays Best Gospel
Geoffrey, a junior at Morehouse College has an extensive musical past. He is a 2012 graduate of Cleveland Heights High School and served as the student director and lead vocalist of the Cleveland Heights High Gospel Choir as well as student director of the Acapella Choir and a member of the All-State Choir. Geoffrey is the National Praise and Worship Leader for the Churches of Christ (Hol.) USA. He is a member of the Greater Cleveland Choral Chapter of the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses (NCGCC) and sits on the Board of Directors of the NCGCC.”

Golden also is a songwriter, musician, director and orator. He is a member of the Glenville Church of Christ Holliness USA, where his father, Kevin D. Golden, is the pastor.

Yasmeen Enahora – Howard University

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Class of 2016 | Sports Med | Dance
Yasmeen has a magnetic personality and dynamic spirit. As a Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream and Reach for Excellence Scholar, Yasmeen is a rising senior at Howard University majoring in Sports Medicine with a minor in Dance.

Having trained and performed since she was very young, Yasmeen is very passionate about Dance. Before entering college, Yasmeen trained with the Ailey School’s Professional Division for a six week intensive. During her years at Howard University, Yasmeen performed at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium stage, “Keuchen” choreographed by Royce Zackery at the International Association of Blacks in Dance in Cleveland, Ohio, and was featured in Howard University’s “28 Days of Dance” online exhibition: a collaboration with Browngirlsdoballet.

All the while Yasmeen has taken on positons as a Howard University lifeguard, Genesis Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Intern, a Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Program Assistant, and regularly volunteers helping kids in the Metro DC area at 826DC.

Yasmeen remains on the Howard University Dean’s list with a 3.6 GPA and is currently studying abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico as a Lucy Moten Scholar after being awarded money from Howard University to research ballet and traditional dance in Oaxaca. Yasmeen constantly brings warmth and joy with her infectious energy. She is always striving for new adventures and opportunities. Upon graduating, she plans on continuing her sports medicine education, and dancing always.

Tray Walker – Texas Southern University

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Class of 2015 | Football
Tray Walker was selected by the Ravens in the fourth round (136th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft…Walker was the third of three Ravens’ picks in the fourth round (OLB Za’Darius Smith – 122nd overall & RB Javorius Allen – 125th overall). College Honors, Second-team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference (2014), Second-team Preseason All-SWAC (2014) COLLEGE CAREER, Finished his career with 159 tackles (112 solo), 3.5 TFL (-15 yards), 9 INTs (181 return yards), 26 PD and 1 FR, Saw action in 44 games (42 starts) during his four-year career at Texas Southern, Also recorded 2 catches for 24 yards and had 1 PR for 12 yards.

Janeen Blige – Howard University

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Class of 2007 | Marketing | Industry: Education/Non-Profit
Janeen Blige is a branding expert, advocate, and innovation enthusiast. Once asked “Would you go to the grocery store and leave all of your paid groceries at the counter … if not, shouldn’t you approach life the same way?” Inspired by this message, Janeen has crafted her professional and personal life around this same philosophy. A first-generation college student from Harlem, New York, she learned the importance of laying the bricks for her own path from an early age. Janeen has devoted herself to a career focused on impacting student lives and providing access and exposure to transformative life-changing opportunities.

Over the course of her career Janeen has established an impressive track record bringing innovative concepts to life. Her expertise has been woven throughout key areas of the non-profit industry including: program development and management, innovation, strategy, fundraising and events. Janeen began her professional career in the events industry immediately after obtaining her Bachelors. She later transitioned into the non-profit sector where she had held impactful positions with organizations like the Supportive Children’s Advocacy Network, where she leveraged her leadership skills to re-vision the entire after-school program, and the Harlem Children’s Zone where she directly influenced the successful college completion and career development of over 375 under-represented disadvantaged New York City students.

Currently, Janeen is the Marketing Manager for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and serves as a key member of the innovative non-profit think tank, an organization that produces a robust and distinct pipeline of talented workers and future leaders. TMCF is the only national organization representing nearly 300,000 students attending this country’s 47 publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Here she has successfully executed multiple national branding and awareness campaigns, which include pioneering the TMCF “I Love My HBCU” campaign and establishment of the national “I Love My HBCU” awareness month. The campaign promotes HBCU advocacy and awareness, unites HBCU communities, and re-invigorates HBCU pride nationwide.

Janeen has accomplished many unique milestones throughout her life thus far, having been the recipient of a youth Essence Award to her most recent honor as the 2015 commencement speaker for her former High School in New York City. Janeen belongs to and holds leadership roles throughout several professional organizations including, the American Marketing Association and National Black MBA Association. She is a member of the International Fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and a proud graduate of the Howard University School of Business class of 2007.

Desmond Woodruff Delk – Morehouse College

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Class of 2009 | Health and Physical Education| Author
Desmond Woodruff Delk, a Southwest Atlanta native, is currently a PhD candidate of Kinesiology at Auburn University. A 2009 graduate of Morehouse College, he has established himself as an advocate for childhood literacy, higher education attainment, and global and community service. In 2012, Desmond published his first children’s book, I Love My SSU!. Over the past three years he has used the book to both excite children about their first homecoming at Savannah State University, and to inform them about higher education through intriguing conversations about college. He does this in the hopes that students learn the history of SSU and HBCUs in general, and understand that college can be the gateway to many endeavors. In fact, Desmond has even established a scholarship at Savannah State University to ensure that students are able to meet one of college’s biggest obligations—tuition and fees. As of today, eight students have been awarded the “I Love My SSU! Book Scholarship”. Along with Mr. Delk’s many readings and College Conversations at schools predominantly in Alabama and Georgia, he makes time to share the importance of outreach and altruism through lectures and conference presentations.

In fact, Desmond traveled to the Engagement Scholarship Consortium Conference in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, to make two presentations; one being entitled Cultivating the College Seed: Engagement Through Reading. So not only is he rousing children to attend college and garner a love for reading, but he is also encouraging other professionals to implement his approach in their interactions with the youth. However, one his greatest experiences happened while at Mtendere Village in Lilongwe, Malawi, Africa. He used this opportunity to teach at the Lumbadzi Primary School, tutor students at the Mtendere Village, lead after-school physical education lessons and donate over three dozen books. Most importantly, he shared with them the history, spirit and pride of our HBCUs. Most recently, Desmond’s academic and service efforts have been recognized by several organizations. In 2015 he was awarded AACTE Holmes Scholar Service Award, National Black Graduate Student Association Michael Powell Service Award, Auburn University SGA Outstanding Student Award, and the SHAPE-America Graduate Presidential Scholarship. Not only is he committed to preserving the legacy of HBCUs through children’s books, but he is also aspiring to make an impact on future generations of HBCU students. Beginning in the fall, upon the completion of his PhD in Kinesiology, Desmond will become an Assistant Professor of Health and Physical Education at the country’s most western HBCU, Langston University.

Travis P. Jackson – North Carolina A&T State University

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Class of 2011 |Journalism and Mass Communication, Public Relations | Entrepreneurship, Youth Advocate
Travis P. Jackson is the CEO and Founder of HBCU Pride Nation, LLC, is a 2011 Spring graduate of NC A&T State University. While at NC A&T University he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a concentration in Public Relations. During undergrad Jackson served as the Freshman Class President 07-08 and Vice President of External Affairs 09-10 for the NC A&T Student Government Association.

Over the past five years, HBCU Pride Nation has provided a positive social media platform that promotes and educates the masses about the significance and importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country. In his efforts to increase positive awareness, the enrollment of our institutions Travis hopes to motivate youth to be greater than what they see on TV. Achieving these goals with the distribution of high quality apparel that students, alumni and supporters use to show their pride. Jackson takes pride in motivational speaking to high school students about college and the HBCU experience and fostering relationships with students and administration at HBCUs. Through their use of effective social media marketing, which has a following of over 50,000 followers, has aided us in our visits to numerous HBCUs such as Morehouse College, Florida A&M University, Bennett College, Clark Atlanta University, Winston-Salem State University, NC A&T and many more. HBCU Pride Nation has become the premiere HBCU platform throughout the country used to unite all HBCUs.

HBCU Pride Nation and Travis recently won “Favorite HBCU Support Organization”, “HBCU Alumnus of the Year” from the nationally recognized organization “The HBCU Campaign” and recently was a presenter for the National Association of Student Affairs Professionals Conference held at Savannah State University. Through it all Jackson works everyday to impact the lives of our youth as an Assistant Learning Center Coordinator for the YWCA of Central Carolinas. He primarily focuses on helping kids between K-5 grade to increase their reading comprehension levels and teaches them life skills.

Stephanie M. Goggans – Howard University

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Class of 2007 |Radio-TV-Film Production/Spanish | U.S. Military
Stephanie was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from high school, she accepted academic and band scholarships to Howard University where she participated in multiple organizations on campus. She was a member of the Showtime Marching Band, Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority, Inc., The National Society of Pershing Angels, Inc, and Army ROTC. Upon graduation from Howard University, she commissioned as an active duty second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. She has been stationed overseas in Iraq, South Korea, and in various locations in the U.S. as she achieved much success in her career, receiving promotion to her current rank of Captain.

She is currently serving on active duty as the U.S. Army Recruiting Commander for the Cleveland Metro Recruiting Company in Cleveland, Ohio supervising the active duty and reserve Army recruiting operations across 1,800 square miles of NE Ohio. She volunteers with the American Red Cross and the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program of the Greater Cleveland Area.

More Information about me: I am a Class of 2014 Institute for Defense and Business-Army Strategic Studies Fellow with UNC-Chapel Hill, and a Spring 2015 graduate of Liberty University (M.A. Human Services Counseling) located in Lynchburg, VA. And I have a furry and super cute little cat named Ms. Freckles.

Dunnie B. Onasanya-Hasan – Tuskegee University

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Class of 2010 | Business Administration | PR
Mrs. Dunnie B. Hasan a native of Gaithersburg, Maryland and achieved many feats regardless of the times and changes throughout her life. Coming up in the city of Washington DC politically influenced her to become the strong woman she is today. As a first generation Nigerian- American she is the first born of her parents union and was entrusted to the legacy and quality of her family name.

As a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the historic Tuskegee University she obtained a dual degree in the areas of Business Administration and Sales/Marketing. She has entered the corporate world equipped with superior skills and knowledge in her field. After graduating from Tuskegee University she has relocated to Los Angeles, California to fulfill her greatest passion is event planning she is a creative force for building environments for quality interactions, interface and exchange.

Wale Folarin – Bowie State University

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Poetry | Music
Wale, a Nigerian American, was born Olubowale Victor Akintimehin in Northwest, Washington, D.C. on September 21, 1984. His parents are of the Yoruba ethnic group of southwestern Nigeria and came to the United States from Austria in 1979. Wale’s family first lived in Northwest, Washington, DC before moving to Montgomery County when Wale was 10. He graduated from Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, Maryland in 2002 and later moved to Largo, Maryland in Prince George’s County. Wale attended Robert Morris University and Virginia State University on football scholarships, then transferred to Bowie State University but dropped out due to academic reasons.Wale’s love of the game of football and the Washington Redskins has led to a longstanding rumor that Wale had a tattoo of tight end Chris Cooley. He is the cousin of actor Gbenga Akinnagbe, best known as Chris Partlow on HBO’s The Wire.

In 2008, Wale signed with Interscope Records for $1.3 million, and his debut album Attention Deficit was released in 2009 with the singles “Chillin”, “Pretty Girls”, and “World Tour”. The album, although under-shipped, received positive reviews from critics. On February 5, 2011, during Super Bowl XLV festivities he announced his signing to artist Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group. He states that he will still continue to be able to put out the music that he believes in, with the support of Rick Ross. Since 2009, Wale has been signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation for management.

Maci Peterson – Spelman College

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Public Relations and Advertising | Entrepreneurship
Maci Peterson, the CEO and co-founder of On Second Thought, is a DC-based entrepreneur with roots in Chicago. In 2015, she was named “Tech’s Newest Innovator” by Essence Magazine and recognized among Washington Business Journal’s “40 Under 40”. An experienced marketing and brand development professional. She received her bachelors of Arts degree in Public Relations and Advertising from Chapman University. During her tenure there, she gained exposure to Journalism as well as advanced studies in Film Production. While a student at Spelman College, Peterson studied cultures of the African Diaspora and marketing. Maci is the founder and editor-in-chief of the former Mwari Magazine: A digital publication that deals with issues ranging from politics and world affairs to fashion, travel, beauty, mentorship, and seeks to give young, black women necessary tools to becoming effective leaders of our global society.

Second Thought won First Place at SXSW’s annual pitch competition #StartupOasis in 2014, was named “The Texting Savior” by AT&T, and was recently named a Top 10 finalist in the Women Who Tech Startup Challenge, in partnership with Craig Newmark of craigslist and Fred and Joanne Wilson. Before launching On Second Thought, Peterson was a brand manager at Marriott International and a marketing strategist for The Root. Peterson received her Bachelor of Arts in public relations and advertising from Chapman University. Maci Peterson is a member of many professional and community development organizations namely: the National Association of Black Journalists, Greater Washington Fashion Chamber of Commerce and Michelle in Training (MiT), amongst others. Currently Peterson is a cabinet member of Platform H and a board member of Carson Scholars Alumni. She is also a former board member of New Light Leadership Coalition and an alumna of Alpha Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Clay Myers II – Jackson State University

Big Break 23 -- Season: 2014-- Pictured: -Clay Myers (Photo by: Mark Ashman/Golf Channel)
Big Break 23 — Season: 2014– Pictured: -Clay Myers (Photo by: Mark Ashman/Golf Channel)

Class of 2012 | B.B.A. in Accounting | Professional Golfer
Growing up, Myers had two passions: golf and music. He always wanted to be different. Myers tried playing basketball, baseball, and football just to name a few sports growing up but none of them had an impact on him. Until Myers put a golf club in his hand. Instantly he knew this was the sport for him. Going against the grain of popular sports Myers friends made sure he knew how unpopular golf was. It seemed at the time the only respect he got for playing golf were from his elders, Myers shares. In 6th grade while sitting in band class deciding which instrument he would play, Clay remembers watching everybody pick the saxophone, percussion, and trumpet so he decided to pick the one nobody picked which was the tuba. Little did he know that I would continue to play the tuba for the next 7 years having to decide between a music scholarship or a golf scholarship for college. “Choosing golf was one of the best decisions I have made in my life.”

Golf has opened so many doors and provided so many opportunities, Myers can’t thank God enough. After moving to Orlando, FL upon graduation to chase his golf dream of one day playing on the PGA Tour with $3000 in his pocket and no where to stay. God continued to work in his life and within two months he had a roommate and a great job at a golf course to make ends meet. Myers feels as though he has been chosen amongst a couple more of his peers to inspire more diversity in the game of golf. Since turning professional Myers has played several tournaments earning money, featured in several commercials for Dicks Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy’s latest spring catalog. His newest venture was being casted on The Golf Channels hit reality show “Big Break.” When asked, Myers says “ I couldn’t have ever imaged being able to chase my dream as a young black professional golfer from Jackson State University. My time at Jackson State gave me heart and determination because we didn’t have as much as big Division 1 schools. I speak of perseverance because you can go to any school, withstand any obstacle, and face any challenge to reach your dream if that is what’s in your heart. Golf is in my heart and so is inspiring not only HBCU golfers around the nation but anybody that wants to fulfill their destiny.”

Banah Ghadbian – Spelman College

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Class of 2015 | Social Justice
“My family is originally from Syria. I came to Spelman because I knew of its reputation of being a leader for women of color, women of African descent and of the African diaspora especially, to pursue issues related to social justice and its academic excellence. I had all these passions that I wanted to bring them to fruition at Spelman. I wanted an education that could reflect those complexities. I grew up in a place that was racially hostile where I was used to hearing things like my classmates calling me ‘dirty little Mexican.’ I wanted to be in a space where women of color were encouraged constantly and I thought it was so inspiring that this was a place where Black women could be nurtured,” she shares.

“My family was displaced for speaking out against a government that outlawed freedom of speech since 1963. The power of words and education mean a lot to our community. We are systematically punished by the government — for speaking out — with imprisonment, torture and death,” begins Ghadbian during her valedictorian speech at the 128th Spelman College Commencement. “Right before I came to Spelman, an uprising in Syria broke out and for the first time since my family left, the thought of liberation in our home country for my family became a possibility. Protesters flooded the streets demanding freedom and justice. They were met with live bullets from government forces. The summer before I came to Spelman, I decided to make a video in solidarity with the protesters of Syria and uploaded it to YouTube, while in my living room at my home in Arkansas. My brave mother decided to reach across the diaspora to raise money for Syrian refugees on the Turkish borders. We traveled their together joining other women activists and gathered underwear and socks for refugee children. I met Syrian refugees and activists who witnessed unspeakable violence. When we noticed suspicious people following us and recording our conversation. It turns out regime agents from Syria recognized my face from my YouTube video.”

While chatting casually with smugglers, Ghadbian and her mother were told there were orders to kidnap them. They were wanted for 50 million Syria lira, the equivalent of $1 million. The “YouTube Girl” would be sent to the regime prison notorious for killing and torturing activists who dare speak out. “With the threat of this ransom looming over us, we fled and joined Syrians elsewhere who were planning civil resistance. A few days later, I packed my bags, came to Atlanta, put on my white dress and wobbled in heels, to start my first semester at the illustrious Spelman College,” she reveals.

Fast forward four years later and Ghadbian, who was a double major in sociology and comparative women’s studies and who’s credited with bringing awareness to global women’s rights, the crises in Syria and Palestine, as well as sexual violence on campus, was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Lambda Delta honor societies. She established the Atlanta University Center Students for Justice in Palestine and co-founded the Women Against Violence Brigade, a student organization that advocates against discrimination.

Amanda Murray – Howard University

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Class of 2008 | Business Administration | Law
Amanda Murray is a litigation attorney licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and California. As a Baltimore native, Amanda has always had a passion for helping people access justice. Amanda’s practice extends to a variety of civil and corporate matters. She also has an active pro bono practice. Amanda volunteers with Bet Tzedek Legal Services, a legal aid foundation providing services to low-income communities in Los Angeles. After recently relocating back to Los Angeles, Amanda is transitioning into practice as a commercial litigator in LA.

Amanda earned her Juris Doctorate from The University of Southern California Gould School of Law in 2012. In law school, Amanda competed on USC’s National Moot Court team and won Best Oralist in a national competition featuring teams from 42 law schools across the country. Following law school, Amanda joined an AM Law 100 international law firm in Philadelphia, where she was also a two-time summer associate.

Prior to embarking upon her legal career, Amanda earned her Bachelor of Business Administration, cum laude, from Howard University’s School of Business in 2008. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Amanda is committed to using her accomplishments as a platform to cultivate inspiration and ambition in young women and minorities.

Chental-Song Bembry – Hampton University

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Class of 2018 | Chental-Song Bembry | Entertainment
Chental-Song Bembry is an 18-year-old rising sophomore honor student at Hampton University. This past spring, she was inducted into the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute. In addition to seeking her degree in Broadcast Journalism, she will also receive a minor in Leadership Studies. With her 4.03 GPA, she was selected as a Renaissance Scholar, which will prepare her to apply for large scholarships, such as the Rhodes Scholarship. Chental-Song is the creator, author and illustrator of The Honey Bunch Kids series, which she created at the age of 10. The Honey Bunch Kids series targets boys and girls ages 7-14.

Chental-Song is also the CEO of her own company, called The Honey Bunch Kids, LLC. She began a literacy campaign in 2010, and has traveled to schools, churches, libraries, and book clubs to speak to youth on the importance of literacy, goal setting, and the impact of reading on academic success. Since starting her literacy campaign, Chental-Song has expanded her community service to include motivational speaking. A topic she frequently speaks on is “Passion and Purpose”, where she shares insight on the importance of following your dreams.

In 2011 and 2012, Chental-Song was recognized by Black Enterprise as “Entrepreneur of the Week.” In 2013, Black Enterprise recognized her as one of “8 Young Bosses to Watch.” The New York Nets recognized her as a “Hometown Hero” in 2012. During that same year, she was a hand-selected panelist at the National Urban League Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she addressed a group of high school students on combating peer pressure. Chental-Song also won the National Gold Medal in the category of Entrepreneurship during 2014 NAACP ACT-SO Competition. She was awarded the Gold Medal for her presentation of The Honey Bunch Kids, LLC business plan. Most recently, Chental-Song was recognized by Black Enterprise as a 2015 Teenpreneur of the Year Finalist for her goals with The Honey Bunch Kids, LLC. In February, Chental- Song was acknowledged at the 2015 BET HONORS awards show as an “Early Riser” for her accomplishments as a young author and motivational speaker. In March, she was honored as a M.A.D. (Making a Difference) Girl at the 2015 Black Girls Rock awards show. It is Chental-Song’s goal and dream to start her own television production company, and to develop The Honey Bunch Kids into an animated series and global brand. As a member of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, she is thankful to God and to her mother, who have helped her to impact the lives of others. Her favorite quote is by Louis Pasteur, which states: “Chance favors the prepared mind.”

Danyelle R. Carter – Spelman College

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Class of 2016 | Bachelor of Arts, Comparative Women’s Studies | Political Communications
Danyelle R. Carter communications journey began in fifth grade when she was elected Class Representative of Room 17 at North Miami Elementary. Back then she didn’t realize that she could aspire to be a communications professional and represent others; however, she have always possessed an innate passion for all facets of communications. Her passion stems from wanting to understand the way people interact with messages and stories. Her experience covers creating, shaping and delivering content to target audiences to achieve the best results.

Most recently she traveled to Josai International University in Chiba, Japan to study Japanese and Cross-Cultural Communications. Upon returning back to the U.S., she began her 10-week UNCF PRIME (Public Relations Internship, Mentorship and Education) Scholar Program interning at Univision Communications Inc. as a corporate communications and public relations intern. Per student organizations, she serves as the president to the Black Public Relations Student Society – Spelman chapter; brand strategist to Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance; publicity chair to Senior Class Council; and public relations director to Morehouse College’s The Maroon Tiger. She is also a member of Theta Tau Chapter of the Lambda Pi Eta Communication Honor Society, National Association of Black Journalists.

In March 2014, women’s history month, Carter launched Her Communications Network. Her Communication Network is a first-of-its-kind multi-platform network that bridges the gap between interest and entry-level for young women aspiring to enter communications fields. In March 2015, she launched Her Communications Agency, a purpose driven pro-bono agency that powers stories, media and technology to accelerate social change to make the world a better place for women and girls. HCA includes audits and plans, social media listening, and assisting clients in articulating their thought leadership and crafting messages in earned media channels. Carter, a three-time consecutive awardee of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award awarded by President Barack Obama and United States Congress graduated summa cum laude from Miami Dade College with a joint Associate of Arts degree in mass communications and journal degree in Miami, Florida.

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