TSU And Fisk Are Creating Mentorships Between Alumni And Students

Dreams can become reality but so often we find that many college students are sold a dream. Many are painted a picture full of happiness and joy coming into college that portrays a career that upholds various hopes and dreams of accomplishment if you work hard and diligently, having the impression that once graduating a job will await them. This is not reality for all and many just really want to start their own thing. That is why “Live Above Day” became a reality.

For the 2nd year in a row Live Above Day took place on the campus of Tennessee State University. The event consisted of students and alumni working together on creating a cleaner neighborhood that both Fisk and Tennessee State share along with a discussion with alumni of each respective school who have ventured out to create their own company or started their own community initiatives. Even though the event took place last Wednesday the benefits for students are still reaping.

The event brought together HBCU alum from both Tennessee State and Fisk University who decided to stop working for others and start their own businesses and initiatives which inspired current students who want to do the exact same thing. Students had the opportunity to learn from the panel on how they started and what it took for them to start their dream. HBCU Buzz was live on campus and many students publicly stated why they personally live above.

Tennessee State University student Courtney Hollis walked away with great gold nuggets from the interactive discussion. “#GetOverYourself It takes you to do what you want to do.  Ask for help and don’t be afraid to get told no,” stated Hollis as she reflected over the great advice shared during the event.

During the event, students could ask questions but also had an opportunity to speak with panelist Portia Phillips, CEO of PFP Communications Agency and Lumiere Teeth Whitening, Demetrius Short, creator of Steps of Success 5K, and Adrian Winston and Darin Wyly, creators of Appealed Design. Panelist Portia Phillips focused on the importance of mobilizing brands on social media. It is one thing to have a lot of followers but another when followers are also supporting and buying into the business that you have.

Panelist Demetrius Short really tuned into the importance of being accountable for actions.  Being an effective leader means that you must be disciplined for yourself. Adrian and Darin really emphasized not feeling defeated so early in the game. There will be losses but you must deal with them. Ajani Aaron, a future fashion line owner who attends Tennessee State University stated that he learned how to bounce back. “It will always stick to me that you have to jump back from losses of investments, numbers speak to me and I learned the importance of capitalizing,” stated Aaron.

Now, students are meeting one on one with the panelist for further help and what started as a day of inspiration is now creating mentorships between Alumni and students. “I love giving back but I’m careful in how I give back; I want to be the best mentor that I never had,” stated Portia Phillips.

Many students took the opportunity to publicize how they “Live Above” by writing the reason on a whiteboard and taking pictures with it.

Stay on the lookout because Live Above Day will take place again next spring. “We are already putting together ideas to make it bigger and better,” stated a very enthusiastic Adrian Winston.

Would you like to see an event like this take place on your HBCU campus? Let us know and leave your comment below.