10. (20) Simona Noce – Howard University
Simona is a twenty-something Afropolitan passionate about God, special events, public relations and motherhood! A DC girl now, running around somewhere handling press,special events, screenings and more! She is a proud Howard University Alumna, with B.A in Public Relations.
A Public Relations professional with an intense passion for media, entertainment, and the execution of creative ideas and special events. She has pierced the world of both Hollywood glamour and the non-profits sectors in the D.C area. Her wealth of experience boasts a large network of strong media relationships, and has proven results in securing national and local placement for diverse clients and the employment of social media as an effective tool to generate response and action. Her work experience includes companies such as International Creative Management, 2U Inc. The American Black Film Festival, HOWARDwood, May Sisters Entertainment and the Sorenson McQueen PR Group of BET’s “Black Girls Rock!” She also proudly served as the communication and policy director for the Rebecca Project of Human Rights.
She currently is an Account Executive at Allied Integrated Marketing, leading film campaigns on behalf of high profile clients such as Screen Gems, Universal, STX Entertainment, Sony Picture Classics, Faith & Family, and MOXY (Allied’s African American division).Known for having her hands full; She is the founding & lead host of Our Family Dinner (DC chapter), the co-founder of District Motherhued,and runs SimonaNoce PRoductions (her wedding planning business). She also occasionally blogs, if her kids aren’t throwing sippy-cups at each other.
If you can’t find her managing press on a red carpet or scheduling interviews on a talent press tour, then she’s off building her brand as a mommy blogger, or better yet placing the final touches on a client’s event!
9. (19) Temarrick Hemingway – South Carolina State University
Temarrick Hemingway is an American football tight end for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL). The Rams selected tight end Temmarick Hemingway of South Carolina State in the sixth round with the 177th overall pick in the NFL draft. Hemingway is the second tight end selected by the Rams.
Hemingway, 6-foot-4 and 244 pounds, caught 38 passes for 418 yards and a touchdown last season. Hemingway participated in the NFLPA Bowl in Carson after the season and performed well at the NFL scouting combine.
8. (18) Amanda Hamilton – Prairie View A&M University
Amanda Hamilton is a native of Houston, TX and a graduate of Prairie View A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Psychology. While at Prairie View, Amanda was the President of the campus NAACP and served as Scholarship Chair of the National Society for Collegiate Scholars. Amanda just completed her Master’s in Political Management at The George Washington University, there she was actively involved in the Toastmasters Club as well as The Black Graduate Student Association. Some of Amanda’s professional work experience includes working at our Nation’s Capital for Texas
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson through the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and then working for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. After leaving Capitol Hill she went on to work for one of the top 5 companies to work for, Facebook; in their public policy division in their DC headquarters.
As a selected participant of the Claudia L. McKoin Public Service Leadership Training Academy, Amanda gained training in public policy development and skills to increase the number of women running and elected into public office. In DC Amanda was selected for a two year term with the Young Women’s Leadership Council we she helps execute the mission of providing women and girls of color in high need communities in the national capital area with the resources and support necessary to achieve personal, educational and professional success. Amanda currently works for the Administrative Office of the United States Courts in the Human Resource and Policy Division as a Program Analyst where she implements tools to attract millennial talent to work for the federal government. She currently resides in Hyattsville Maryland and enjoys going to church and volunteering at a women’s shelter monthly and being active with her sorority Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated.
7. (17) Javicia Leslie – Hampton University
Javicia was born to two military parents in the Augsburg, Germany. When her parents split she relocated back to her mother’s home state of California. After a few years in Cali, they ventured back east to live in Columbia, Maryland and then PG County where she grew up. Even as a kid, Javicia was a performer at heart. Participating in more plays and dance recitals than she could count. She has always had knack for the stage and cameras. I inquired about modeling. She lightheartedly told me, “I actually consider myself a performer and it just so happens that I like taking pictures. That was never something I was going after, but I do enjoy photography and being in the picture.” We both laughed. I’d agree that “Performer” is a great way to describe Javicia’s wide array of talents.
Javicia and I met up in Los Angeles. Sunny West Hollywood to be exact. We sat down in her cozy studio apartment which from her description, symbolized the grind and sacrifice of a young actress. I recognized the seating area from her Youtube talk series. Her homemade “Set,” I liked it.Javicia is a performing arts stand-out and is widely recognized by Hamptonians as the 2008 Miss Hampton University. Currently, Javicia is a burgeoning actress with a ADD web series, multiple commercials, and a couple notable film roles under her belt. The entertainment industry is grueling. What #Shines about Javicia is that she took a leap of faith out of her comfort zone in DC to pursue her passion 3000 miles away in Hollywood. Javicia’s blog, Fashion, and branding prowess have also gained her a healthy following. I am happy to feature a talented star in the making on this week’s #ShineHard conversation.
6. (16) Johnny Bailey IV – Hampton University
Johnny is the executive director of 501(c)(3) non-profit, The #ShineHard Family and an operating partner of creative agency, Bold Management Group based in Washington, DC. Raised by his grandmother in Petersburg, Virginia, Johnny learned early to find a way or make a way. He started by winning two state championships in high school Track & Field and earned a scholarship to Hampton University before breaking the HU and MEAC Record in the 60m dash. Johnny graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management and earned a Master’s Degree in Marketing from Virginia State University.
Following graduation, Johnny began his career in the sports industry working as a client service rep at NFL sports agency Corporate Athletic Management. Years later he was selected as an intern for Nike ID’s grassroots marketing team in Chicago. Johnny stayed with Nike for 4 years and contributed to events like NBA All-Star, Super Bowl, and World Basketball Festival. He gained a knack for culture building, campaign execution, and creative marketing.
In 2014, Johnny founded The #ShineHard Foundation, a network that equips students with the skills and relationships to turn any passion into profit. The mission is to recognize, educate, connect, and inspire. In its 3rd season, #ShineHard features the nation’s leading millennials of color via web series and then unifies them as members to uplift and serve our communities. At Bold Management Group, Johnny serves as a marketing consultant to startups and entrepreneurs. His most notable client being Track & Field Phenom, Candace Hill, the fastest youth sprinter of all time.
Johnny exited the corporate world to build a legacy through entrepreneurship. He hopes his journey will serve as a reminder that anything is possible. Because when it’s all over, the world will ultimately remember you for how you served, how you loved, and how you made a difference. If in fact you did.
5. (15) Jamila Mustafa – Delaware State University
Jamila is a graduate of Delaware State University, living in New York City. Jamila works for network Black Entertainment Television. She is enthusiastic, open minded, and hardworking with all projects I dedicate my time to. Ambition coupled with determination is what fuels my drive.
With over 10 years of marketing, television production, editing, writing and on-camera hosting I am fully devoted to my craft and pride myself on learning something new each day.
Oprah Winfrey once said ” You only get out of life what you have the courage to ask for”. My one request is to have an opportunity to show you what I’m made of. Will you accept my offer?
4. (14) David Castain – Howard University
“David Castain is the kind of person movies are made about” says the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.
David Michael Castain II is a Howard University class of 2013 graduate with a Bachelors in Speech and Applied Communication and a minor in Sociology. After becoming a 2014 graduate of the number one Master’s program in the world for Public Relations and Corporate Communications at Georgetown University, he continued his academic journey by returning to his Alma Mata, Howard University. He is now in the second year of his Ph.D. program in Sociology, with a concentration in Medical Sociology and Social Inequality where he continues to be a student leader.
Originally from Los Angeles County’s own Pomona, California he has built a reputation for his ability to excel in any direction. Growing up David became a “product of his environment” growing a lust for the streets. Due to the conditions of his everyday life, he consequently became gang affiliated. Since the age of fourteen he had been in and out of the judicial system. He was eventually incarcerated with a felony charge of the direct violation of California penal code PC 211: Armed Robbery. After many court dates he took a deal which granted him time served and was sentenced to an additional 8 months of home monitoring. During his stay at the California Correctional Facility he promised himself as well as his family that he would never go back. It was then that he decided to turn his life around. Being a man of his word, he applied and was accepted to Morehouse College, Howard University and Clark Atlanta University. He decided to attend Howard University, the Mecca. Knowing that hard work and dedication were the only two things that would keep him there he departed the streets and entered the world, it was either go hard or go home.
Since his life changing decision he has become a trendsetter to his peers, branding himself as a Social Engineer and Event Specialist. The “Washington Times” has named him “One of the country’s best promoters” as he organizes events with celebrities such as Diddy, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Trey Songz, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Young Jeezy, T.I, Rick Ross, Waka Flocka, B.O.B., T-Pain, J. Cole, Robin Thicke, Usher, Wale, Gucci Mane, Tyga, Ludacris, Cash Out, Kirko Bangz, Lil Kim, Miguel, Lloyd, Jeremih, Jamie Foxx, Fabulous, Soulja Boy, Roscoe Dash, Tank, Yo Gotti, 2 Chains, Trina, Mario, Bow Wow, Teairra Marí, Juicy J, Big Krit, Rich Kids, Lola Monroe and Teyana Taylor. Sports Superstars such as Lebron James, Shaquille O’Neal, John Wall, Nick Young, Navorro Bowman and Prescott Burgess. He has also done events with Soca Artists like Benjai, Kes, Blaxx and the world’s number one Soca artist Machel Montano. Others include Amber Rose, Rocsi Diaz, Kim Coles, Joi Brown –Pitts, Richelle Cross, Valeisha Butterfield and more.
He managed, organized and executed voting campaigns for Vincent Gray in his victorious Washington, DC 2011 mayoral election as well as President Barack Obama in his 2012 Election.
His accomplishments have led to much recognition, he had a Black History Month feature on Fox News and in media outlets such as Ebony Magazine, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, The District Chronicles, The Hilltop newspaper, Washington Times and many more.
While laterally being a full-time student, David managed to create his own consulting firm, David Castain & Associates. Using the momentum created from events, he launched the David Castain & Associates firm to develop unique plans that address all issues involved in the growth of a business: strategy, marketing, pricing, innovation, product development, organization, leadership, and economic competitiveness. Some of his most notable clients have been, Warren Buffets Cort Furniture, Franklin Park Homes, the second largest apartment complex on the East Coast, Fuel Pizza, Z- Burger and FrozenYo, the fastest growing yogurt chain in the nation’s capital.
While serving as Resident Assistant in Howard University’s George Washington Carver Hall dormitory for three years he developed a passion to give back, “enlighten minds and change realities”. Time spent giving back is what Castain credits as most valuable to him. Committed to changing the lives of others in his down time he founded the David Castain Foundation, a non-profit geared towards changing the future of youth who do not have the necessary resources to achieve success. The foundation allows inner-city youth within the Washington, D.C. area to pursue a positive escape in their free time. Activities include: mentoring, tutoring, college application assistance, and resume writing workshops.
David is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., NAACP, and Lambda Pi Eta National Communication Association Honor Society. He is also the recipient of the Georgetown University Public Relations and Corporate Communication’s 2014 “Most Creative Award”; he was also a speaker at Howard University’s John H. Johnson School of Communications’ 2013 Commencement.
His favorite quote, “See the invisible, feel the intangible, and achieve the impossible”, by Winston Churchill embodies his outlook on life.
3. (13) Kamau Mandela Marshall – Texas Southern University
Class of 2010 | Journalism & Public Affairs | Field: Government/Politics & Communications
Kamau Mandela Marshall, an artful melding millennial who’s an Organic Gentleman with a heart focused on uplifting the global community, as an effective change agent. He is a natural-born leader, who enjoys the people while being a compelling servant in multiple communities in different capacities.
Born in Chicago, IL he came of age in Baltimore, MD, Pittsburgh, PA, Birmingham, AL, Columbus and Atlanta, GA and currently resides in Washington, DC. A graduate of Houston’s Texas Southern University (TSU), he has adroitly applied his BA in journalism and public affairs in tandem with a masters of public administration from TSU to an increasingly impressive array of endeavors. It is this institution where he honed his civic engagement and political acumen as student government executive vice-president, debate team member, drill sergeant in the university’s Ocean of Soul band program, and a co-founder and vice president of the TSU Collegiate 100, a mentoring machine intentionally focused on black and brown youth’s access to broader opportunity structures in education, politics, volunteerism and civic responsibility. Kamau remains a proud member of Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.
These early involvements as student leader have catapulted him into a rich array of relationships networks and educational opportunities domestic and global. He is currently working on a second masters’ degree from Harvard University, after having completed the school’s National Security, Strategy and Press program in 2013 and successful stints as a United States Senate Press and Legislative Fellow and a Truman National Security Congressional Scholar.
His significant expertise in communications, media relations, government, political campaigns and community engagement have been deployed in the political, public affairs and corporate sectors. His vision and personal mission have been enriched by travel to Senegal, The Gambia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, France, and Germany. Kamau most recently worked as Special Assistant to Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, a Leading Democratic in the U. S. House of Representatives, encompassing 7th Congressional District, which is over half of Baltimore City and surrounding areas. Prior to this role, he served as the Press Secretary and Special Assistant at the pharmaceutical firm known as Cote’ Orphan under the leadership of the former Director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office of Orphan Products. Before Cote’, he worked at SKDKnickerbocker, a leading strategic and political communications firm. His broad and diverse experiential base also includes working as a middle school social studies/history teacher and the 2012 Obama for America campaign.
Kamau Mandela is committed and passionate about his purpose in life. He will continue to be an effective communicator and progressive relationship-builder with and for the people. He is determined to use his many accomplishments to cultivate more inspired cadres of youth leaders, especially among black and brown males domestically and globally. Kamau plans to continue working in government and communications. In the future, he plans on working globally in the tech industry in government affairs and in higher education as a university president, while being a global philanthropist advocating for HBCU’s. One of his goals is to become a public servant as well. Kamau believes that “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” – Muhammad Ali
2. (12) Asia Nache’ Martin – Alabama State University
Asia Nache’ Martin is a 21 year old Dance Major from Decatur, GA. She is currently a senior at Alabama State University in Montgomery, AL where she will be a part of the first graduating class of students to obtain a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance in the university’s history. Since becoming a student at ASU, Asia has led the Sensational Stingettes as captain for two consecutive seasons, being voted “Best Captain” both years through the HBCU Dance Corporation. Asia’s love for dance landed her on the big screen in 2014 when she was cast as a dancer in the movie Drumline 2: A New Beat.
In 2015, Asia was featured as a dancer alongside star of vH1’s T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle, Zonnique Pullins in her music video, “Nun For Free” ft. Young Thug. Asia has also had a taste of reality television being a part of the cast of Lifetime’s “BAMA STATE STYLE.” When she’s not in school or performing, Asia travels to different cities teaching and cultivating young dancers; many hoping to one day follow in her footsteps. Upon graduation, Asia hopes to tour the world as a professional performer, choreographer, and teacher of her craft.
1. (11) Angel Rich – Hampton University
A fourth-generation Washingtonian, Angel Rich was raised in a life insurance sales family with a passion for financial literacy. Rich graduated from Hampton University with six honors and studied at the U. of Int’l Business and Economics in Beijing, China. In 2009, Forbes recognized Rich for winning Prudential’s national case competition and selling her groundbreaking Generation Y marketing plan.
Becoming a Global Market Research Analyst for Prudential, Rich conducted over 70 financial behavior modification studies. In 2010, Prudential’s CEO requested Rich to lead Obama’s Veterans Initiative Research Study and her recommendations were announced in the State of the Union.
In 2011, Rich conceived the first African American Financial Experience Study which now serves as the benchmark across the financial services industry for marketing to Blacks. In 2012, Rich was recognized with a Presidential Achievement Award for Exceptional Research and Innovation for helping Prudential save $60 Billion, rising from #16 to #4 in Service in one year.
As Community Outreach Advisor, she helped create NJ financial literacy curriculums and managed Junior Achievement. Separately, Rich completed missionaries in Kenya and Uganda. Accomplishing her goals, Rich resigned to found The Wealth Factory in 2013.
The Wealth Factory designs financial literacy and workforce development education technology games. We walk users from birth to retirement in 12 interactive modules to exceed the Personal Finance Common Core Standards. The Wealth Factory is now the official financial literacy tech partner for Bank on DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking serving 15,000 youth annually, an Obama Connect Home Content Partner for 28 states, and named the top 9 edtech company of 2015 by the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools.
In 2015, Rich was honored to speak at the Congressional Black Caucus, win Industrial Bank Small Business Competition, become an advisor to the District’s Financial Literacy Council and announced as DC Spokeswoman for Wells Fargo.