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E-Magazine of Today’s Young Black Leaders


Be your Own Success Story




Carlos Emmons Verron Haynes David Nelson

Tennessee Titan

Kamerion Wimbley

Talks About The Impor tance Of Education


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Publisher’s Desk


It's that time of year... no, I'm not talking finals. I'm talking FOOTBALL! Whether we like it, watch it, or not, it is football season. Whether you are in high school or college, football is a part of schools and communities across the country. When I was younger, I played varsity football. It was an amazing experience and looking back, the thing I loved the most was how my coaches always stressed education. We needed a certain GPA to play and we had to get progress reports from our teachers to make sure we were behaving in class. On top of that, we would have study hall after school-- before weight lifting-- and there were tutors available if we needed them. My coach would tell us, "what you tolerate, you will achieve." This applied in the classroom as well. If you tolerate a "B", then you will earn a "B". They made education important, so we as athletes made it important as well. Even though football has had its reputation tainted over the years, there is one thing that has remained with me from day one, and that is the connection between education and football. After many conversations about our futures, my coach would warn us, "your brain will out last your knees!" and he was right! Being involved with football taught me so many things like different ways to deal with challenges and how to communicate with others. I think sports in general are a great way to not only keep active, but to also to learn about yourself. And football taught me a lot about myself. Would I have been the same without it? I would say no. If you love football as much as I do, sit back and enjoy reading about how football and education take the field together for a successful life. Tolerate greatness and you will achieve it. ~ Howard Clay / Publisher

Howard J. Clay/ Publisher

Howard J. Clay

Howard J. Clay is available for speaking engagements, clinics/ seminars, as well as appearances for organizations, corporate and school events. For Booking


Linda Tatum Hollis Taylor Michael Harris Howard Clay Aisha Felder

Staff of B.O.S.S. Left Row Editor in Cheif Drea Elizabeth

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Contributing Blogger LaTresa “Tree” Cunningham

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Asst. Marketing Director Desha Elliott

Contributing Writer Jazmyne Byrd

Magazine Designed by: Emmanuel Johnson



Please include your name, address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for clarity or space

Mailing: 849 Franklin Rd Suite 1012 Marietta, GA 30067 Subcriptions: Email: Phone: 678 719 9779

Substance In Every Issue

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“Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice.” ~ Ann Rand


Black Women and Breast Cancer Surviving Breast Cancer through Early Detection and Diagnosis

The Issue Nothing speaks more clearly to the shocking breast cancer health disparities than the fact that Black women are less likely than white women to get breast cancer, yet have a higher breast cancer death rate. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Black women and in 2010, the CDC reported that breast cancer was the leading cause of cancer death for Black women aged 45--64 years. What was most alarming in this CDC report was that the breast cancer death rate for women aged 45--64 years was 60% higher for Black women than white women (56.8 and 35.6 deaths per 100,000, respectively). (CDC: National Vital Statistics System:

Why this is important for Black women The growing breast cancer disparities that exist between Black women and white women are alarming. Although the overall lifetime risk of breast cancer is lower for Black women compared with white women, the death rates are higher. It is important to note that Black women also have a lower 5 year survival rate at 77% compared to that of 90% for white women. Contrary to prevailing beliefs, younger Black women up to age 44 have a higher incidence of breast cancer than white women, (U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2006 Incidence and Mortality What Black women need to know?

Breast cancer tends to appear in Black women at a younger age and in more advanced forms. In fact, Black women are two times more likely to develop triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease which has fewer effective treatment options. Triple-negative breast cancers tend to grow and spread more quickly than most other types of breast cancer. We also are known to have denser breast, one of the strongest predictors of risk for breast cancer and also is a known factor limiting the sensitivity of a screening mammogram. Mammograms of breasts with higher density have been described as harder to read and interpret than those of less dense breasts. A small cancer can be concealed by dense breast tissue or by the overlap of normal breast structures. Many women with early breast cancer have no symptoms. That is why it is so crucial to get screened before symptoms have a chance to appear. However, the most common sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass. A painless, hard mass that has irregular edges is more likely to be cancerous, but breast cancers can be tender, soft, or rounded. For this reason, it is important that you have any new breast mass or

lump checked by a health care professional experienced in diagnosing breast diseases. Other signs may include:

Swelling of all or part of the breast Skin irritation or dimpling Pain in the breast or nipple Thickening of the nipple or breast Discharge other than breast milk

What Black Women Can Do: Detect. Diagnose. Survive

Early detection is critically important, especially for women at higher risk. For Black women who have been diagnosed at the earliest stage of breast cancer when the tumor is small and localized, early diagnosis can make a difference. For most of us, early detection and diagnosis are attainable with a few easy steps:

Have your provider show you how to perform monthly breast self-examination (BSE) and perform it faithfully at the same time each month. See your provider for a clinical breast examination (CBE) at least once a year. Have regular mammograms. Since breast density is one of the strongest risk factors for Black women developing breast cancer, insist on digital mammography or some of the newer more advanced technologies that help detect tumors Learn more about what the Imperative is doing to make breast cancer disparities a priority through our national campaign to end breast cancer disparities, Moving Beyond Pink and sign up for becoming an advocate in your organization and community.




Featured Interview


B.O.S.S.: Who was your favorite teacher and how did they motivate you to continue your education? Kamerion: My favorite teacher was a guy named Mr. Loon. Not only did he continuously encourage me to strive for greatness and uplift my spirits with encouraging words, but he asserted on more than one occasion that I was indeed a very special student that would go far in life. If you were not working in your current field, what would have been your Plan B? I would be a Social Worker serving juvenile delinquents. My passion for this field stems from a desire to help those children in less fortunate situations realize and maximize their potential. In addition, I would aim to provide them with a sense of encouragement that there is hope for a brighter tomorrow. What encouraged you to pursue a career in your field? I initially realized my athletic capabilities, specifically pertaining to football, when

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I was in the 3rd grade. As my childhood progressed, so did my technique as a football player. Reality finally set in when I arrived at the first day of high school football practice and was immediately placed on the Varsity team before I had an opportunity to showcase my talent. Are you a first generation high school grad/college student/ college graduate/business owner? No, I am not a first generation high school graduate, college student, college graduate nor business owner.

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What was your major? My major at Florida State University was Social Work.

What advice would you give young football players in high school and college, concerning the importance of education? If you aspire to be a professional athlete, education must be a priority. In addition, it is important to understand that the chances of capitalizing on this opportunity is slim to none, so you should always have an alternative career path in mind.

What other educational activities do you participate in? I recently attended the NFL Did you graduate from college? Business Management and If yes, why was graduating Entrepreneurial Program at College so important, compared Stanford University. It was quite to just leaving? beneficial and enabled me to No, because I chose to focus connect with entrepreneurs on the promising future that and investors who openly awaited me at the time. However, shared strategies on how to run I will receive my Bachelor of companies at an optimal level. I Science degree from the College also learned about the valuation of Social Work at Florida State process and how to determine University upon completion of if a business opportunity is my Internship. lucrative and worth capitalizing on. 13

While I was growing up, my family didn’t have much money, so I knew that if I could get a scholarship I could at least get a free education. I knew how much that [scholarship] would help my parents since they would not have to pay for me to go to school. In high school, I focused on whatever I could do to get a scholarship for college. That was my goal. Once I got that scholarship, my new goal focused on doi ng what I could in order to graduate. Then when I graduated, the following semester I was drafted into the NFL. In the

B.O.S.S.: At what age did you know you needed to get a scholarship? I always wanted to go to college. That was something that was on my mind as a young kid, so I would say it was around 8th grade when I realized I had to get money for college. I watched the professional athletes and I dreamt of being them one day. It is a one in a million chance to become a professional athlete, so you have to have something else you are working towards. I always wanted to make sure I graduated so that if the NFL didn’t happen for me I would have something to fall back on.

There are a million influences out there for kids. That is why I always encourage parents to keep their children active and involved because I know that participating in sports when I was young kept me out of trouble. It kept me organized and focused, and it put me around people who wanted to see me do better and stay out of trouble and make good decisions. B.O.S.S.: What was your favorite subject in school and why? English. I had a great teacher-she has passed but her name was


B.O.S.S.: Tell us about your background, football, and what you are up to now. I played football since I was a kid. I grew up in a small town in Mississippi where it is hard for people to make it out, but I had a dream. I never really thought I would accomplish it, but I worked hard and ‘came to play’ anyway.

end, everything I set out to do, I actually accomplished.


B.O.S.S.: What is your definition of success? I would say, accomplishing a goal you set for yourself. Everyone’s definition of success is naturally going to be different, but if you are happy in life and you are accomplishing a goal you set for yourself, then you are successful.

Ms. Bowman. For her it wasn’t just about a class... it was about having you succeed in life. She insisted that if you needed help with anything to meet her after class. It didn’t matter what it was about... the things she did, she was definitely a big help in my life.

B.O.S.S.: What does being a B.O.S.S. mean to you? I think, the biggest part is being able to put yourself into a situation where you can take care of yourself and your family. To be happy doing what you are doing. At the end of the day, I go to sleep every night feeling good that I didn’t have to “wrong” other people in order to get to where I am. So I think being happy where you are and being able to help the people who you love is the most important thing for me. B.O.S.S.: As an owner of a popular Atlanta restaurant, Wet Willies, what made you decide to start your own business and become an entrepreneur after football? I was a business management major so I always wanted to have my own business. So, when I retired, I started looking into franchises. I spent a lot of time in Miami and one day I was having a conversation and said, “I wish we had a Wet Willies in Atlanta.”

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That was when the light came on. I was looking at all these other franchises, so why don’t I take Wet Willies to ATL. From that point, I went and got the information and things went from there. It’s been a great experience. Different challenges, but that is good because it gives me something to strive for and helps to make my business better. B.O.S.S.: What classes did you take in college that helped you stay successful as a restaurant owner? On the college level, it would have to be accounting. One of the most challenging things is getting the numbers right in your business and trying to increase the profit margin. Where money comes from and where money is going is probably going to be the hardest thing.

B.O.S.S.: Do you have any last minute advice for our readers? Always make sure you get your education because not too many people make it to the NFL. Even if that is your goal, make sure you have your education to fall back on. Just keep working hard, keep striving to get better every day.


I was blessed and fortunate enough within a year to be granted a scholarship and then I was drafted 5th round with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Finally getting that scholarship was just the beginning for me. I still had to wait for my time. With 4 games to go in the season, I got my start and my breakout role. That’s when I captured an audience and attracted the Pittsburgh Steelers. They recognized my hard work and wanted to invest in me. From there, I won a Superbowl! I’m the first and only Trinidadian to win a Superbowl. So it was great to do it for the country as well... when you go back home and see your jersey being worn, it’s a humbling experience. B.O.S.S.: You are definitely giving the youth of your country something to look


B.O.S.S. Tell us a bit about your football history. My mother’s job relocated my junior year of high school and that was when I really began playing football. Honestly, I wasn’t the biggest, strongest or fastest at all. But one thing I would make sure of is that no one would out work me. I think that has always been the key to my success. I went to Western Kentucky University and beat out a guy in my first year. Then

I left the full scholarship behind and “walked on” at University of Georgia. As a non-scholarship student, I was paying to play. So a lot of opportunities that were given to scholarship athletes, I didn’t receive. You don’t have time to waste. Whenever you have an opportunity, you have to seize it. Working hard and taking advantage of every opportunity defines my work ethic.


B.O.S.S.: What does it mean to be successful? There are different definitions. Some people characterize success as money. I don’t. I think success is a level where compatibility and humble meet. There is no amount of money that would make me switch. With money comes a level of responsibility. You have to give back. Or enable a community or enable someone else to become successful. So success to me is an interesting word, and it’s crazy that you would ask that because in the dictionary is the only time success comes before work. That is what I tell my son and his friends. Whatever you want in life, in order to be successful you have to work at it first. It’s all on that individual to judge how successful they really are.

up to! What are some of the organizations you work with to give back? First there’s TurningPoint. TurningPoint is a breast cancer rehabilitation organization that helps women with surgery and counseling. After women go through chemo therapy, they struggle with adjusting back into the community. We have facilities that help them to cope and prepare for their life after or with cancer. My sister had breast cancer at the age of 26 so it’s really in my heart. Just letting them know that we care is our goal.

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B.O.S.S.: What was your favorite subject and teacher in school and why? Math was my favorite. I graduated with a degree in Finance. Math always intrigued me because of the numbers, factors and different things. I always picked it up really well. It seemed like second nature to me.

My favorite teacher was Ms. Woods. It was my eleventh grade year and she was a teacher who gave me that push that I needed. I was the young guy from New York who was trying to do his B.O.S.S.: You decided to go own thing, but she believed more back to college and finish in me than I believed in myself. your degree- why was that She gave me that push I needed. important to you? I would have so many people For one, my mother was a big to thank during this process of influence. She would kick my butt education, but Ms. Woods was if I didn’t! (Laughs.) I was so close definitely instrumental. [to finishing]-- only two classes away from graduating. When you B.O.S.S.: What advice would come that close it’s like being at you give to the youth of today? the 2 yard line in a football game. I would ask them the question, You are already at the goal line, “Do you know the life expectancy you might as well finish with a of a NFL player is 2.3 years?” score. 2 classes, 6 credits, away.. Be prepared, there has to be life I did one and then I ended up after football and education is the taking a prerequisite for another answer. and I was finished. It was that


BOSS: What was your major in college?

DAVID: I was a Sociology major. I love people. I love helping people. I eventually wanted to be a counselor. It’s a study of people in their environment. I love to know why people do certain things in certain situations and environments. BOSS: How are you giving back to others?

DAVID: Created a non-profit organization called I’mME ( I created this organization with my two brothers. Football is what I

We are building homes for 6 to 8 kids and for parents and we can help build a home environment for theme. We are doing a fundraiser campaign and create awareness through a program called Sudden Change (suddenchangechallenge. com). Sudden Change Challenge was a way to combine fans of mine and football, combine the people I know from the NFL and to find people who love to give, and give people a chance to pledge as little as $2, $5,


DAVID: I was always a good student because it was required from me from my parents. Football was important to me. If I wanted to play, I had to get all A’s or high B’s.


BOSS: How did you feel about school?

do but I’mME is my purpose. We want to help kids find their identity, get love from someone, get adopted, and we just want kids to know they can be loved and find their purpose. At the end of the day they can say “I’m loved”, I’m beautiful”… I can be myself and I know my identity and purpose. Our vision is to be global but for now we are starting in Haiti.

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“Whatever I do, I do it with everything I have!” $100; giving people a chance to be a part of something great. BOSS: What’s your advice to the youth?

DAVID: I encourage people to explore what it is they want to do. I didn’t know I wanted to be involved with orphans until I went to Haiti and became involved. I didn’t know I wanted to play football until I got over my fear of being hit. I found out I loved it and I was pretty good at it. So if you want to be a doctor explore and if it doesn’t work out try something else.

Live a life that outlives your life. It’s not about my name or who I am, it’s about helping people. Helping people, motivating them, inspiring them and give them tools that will help them even when I am dead and gone.



The mission at iCAN is to identify, evaluate and promote healthy nutrition and physical activity to diminish the popularity of childhood obesity. iCAN Foundation is dedicated to creating a more active lifestyle within the youth of today through various

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programs: It's Geaux Time!, Reviving Recess, I Can Grow - Community Garden Project and Football Skills Day, encouraging the youngsters to participate in sports and other games so they will grow up happier and healthier and will courageously pursue their dreams.

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Education is for EVERY-


“After 28 years of serving as a school administrator, I highly recommend the motivational programs presented by Michael Harris, of Harris Influence. This program is an excellent teaching/motivational tool for students and faculty. It ranks as one of the best I have seen in my many years serving as a principal.� Robert W. Burnett Retired High School Principal Pittsburgh, Pa.

Michael Harris is available for speaking engagements, clinics/seminars, as well as appearances for organizations, corporate and school events. He can be contacted at

Michael Harris




Overwhelming Excitement, Overwhelming Anxiety Ashley Evans

I constantly battle between these two emotions as I journey through two very important periods of my life. The excitement of being in my senior year of high school is something I have been looking forward to all my life. This is where everyone strives to end up. This is the sign that you have made it. Before now, all that hard work in the past didn’t seem worth it... but now, it’s so obvious that it was. At the same time, now you’re facing adulthood and you have no idea how to make that transition. Once you graduate, no one sees you as a kid anymore and that’s the scariest part. Who cares if you go to college? Who cares if mommy and daddy kick you out? Who cares if you can’t take care of yourself? Once you graduate, you’ve got to face the music that now you’re on your own. I’ve never had more fun than when choosing which schools I’m applying for. The constant mail and phone calls received from schools all around the country wanting lil’ ole me at their college is absolutely flattering. Searching for the perfect school, seeing what every college has to offer, learning about their student

life and seeing how much fun college life will be, it gets no better than that. Remember, you can only go to ONE school and that ONE school may not be the one you always dreamt about. The crushing reality is you may not be able to afford that school, your family may not want you to go there or worse, you may not get accepted. When dealt all these cards during your final year in high school, along with the ton of homework your teachers are giving you, the extra- curricular activities you participate in, and the craziness of just being a normal teenager, it’s a wonder many 17 and 18 years olds don’t lose it around this point in time! To be honest, there’s no way to prep for the things that come your way when you face this delightfully frightening stage in life. The best advice is to work hard, and keep the faith. Surely you’ll get through this feeling more accomplished than ever.

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First Year in College Advice Elayne Virginia

When everyone tells you the first year of college is an adjustment, they are telling the truth. Even as a high school student who spent summer after summer away from home at various educational programs, it still doesn’t compare to college life. I go to a school nearly twelve hours away from home and I knew no one when I first arrived. While I quickly made friends outside of class, I found out it is much harder to form the study groups everyone recommends to help you pass your classes. It is much different from high school where you might see a person in another one of your classes or at lunch when people typically have a moment to talk. Most of the people I was able to study with I met when they would ask me a question about an assignment in class. Though I always thought it would be awkward, asking random people from your classes “hey, do you want to study for the exam?” tends to work really well. While I found that challenging, I think the most challenging thing is time management. I literally write everything that I have to do down so I don’t forget. Currently, I’m enrolled in 14 credit hours (5 classes), working ten hours a week, and on a team that requires


at least four hours of practice each week. Then there are all the distracting things people forget to warn you about like the people who will come by your room and distract you from your work, or the numerous unexpected activities that seem too fun to miss. I think the most distinct difference between high school and college is that in college, there is ALWAYS something to do that is fun and does not involve work. Finding balance between the work and fun is very important but tricky because there is a fine line between the two. I believe that college really is about finding a balance between all these different intersections of life. I’m finding that things that worked for me in high school no longer work now that I’m in college. I can’t do work in my bed (I have to be in a study lounge or quiet space) but I can spend less time sleeping and more time studying. For me, “finding balance,” means that I occupy most of my time in order to keep myself focused. While that might not work for everyone, there is at least strategy out there that will work for someone. Though I have not completely mastered this idea of “balance” yet, I have gotten a lot better since I started school. But after all, I’m still adjusting to the college life,


Failure by: Alicia Stevens

When young, we have an imagination that can picture anything being possible, but as time passes, we experience the burns and the beatings of life and become more timid. Through the years, social priming helps us to truly understand the physical meaning of failure. As a student, the idea that ‘F’ is for ‘failure’ is hammered into every child’s mind. You find out failure is bad because you learn, either through experience or from examples that there are repercussions if you receive an ‘F’. And just as Sniffy® ‘the lab mouse’ learns not to drink when the light turns on or he will get shocked; we as humans come to learn we should NEVER fail. We go through life forced to believe that everything that we do must be without error and to turn around at the first signs of failure that may be coming our way. Soon this idea of failure becomes one of our fears. Imagine being blind and deaf. It seems like every time you take a step you are hit in the face by the handle of a rake. After getting hit so many times there are three choices you can make: Some people will choose the first option, so fearful that they will step on another rake they stop

walking completely and there they stand; battered, tired, and fearful. For years this where they will sit; now content with not being hit anymore, they build their life around being safe. Others get on their hands and knees and try to find their own way. This may be sufficient for some as you will cover more ground using your hands, but then there are the innovative ones. The ones that after getting frustrated with getting hit, pick up the rake realizing that all this time you had been tripping over that same tool that has been left for you to find your way. Which person will you be? Each person has been built with something that will be useful and will bring him or her great success, but not every person is willing to experience failure in order to find out what not to do. How would anyone know how something will go without experiencing it? I am sure everyone has experienced where someone wants to give you advice on a situation that they have never been in. You may have even done this yourself a few times, but once you’re in the situation you find that it is harder to follow your own advice. And as you find yourself in the situation you may have to try several different combinations before finding the right one that works for you. You may even get the combination and when you open the door you find

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“These hardships teach you strength, courage, and knowledge while traveling down the yellow brick road called life.” another combination on the other side. We must ALL experience failure. This allows person to be human, to make mistakes so that they can learn to grow become larger than their past and their problems. It allows anyone human to take so many steps back that they truly appreciate that one step forward. Every step back or perceived failure can be used as a tool to help you move forward. These hardships teach you strength, courage, and knowledge while traveling down the yellow brick road called life. At times you may want to stop and roar loudly with anger like the Lion or crying painfully like the Tin Man, but after crying until you rust or yell until you are hoarse…. GET UP!!! Dust yourself off and follow the road that was made JUST for you. You are a part of the elite so let your light shine through even when the odds seem against you.



SPOTLIGHT Tonda Peterson-Bryant

B.O.S.S.: B.O.S.S. stands for “Be your Own Success Story.” Tell me, what does being successful and being a “boss” mean to you? Tonda: For me, being successful means that you are doing something that is fulfilling. It makes you happy, not necessarily making big bucks, but you are happy doing it. Being a boss means that you are able to create your own path, you decide what it is you want to do and you make it happen. It is something you can do alone or with others who can help you accomplish your goal. Just making whatever needs to happen, happen…that is what being a boss means to me. B.O.S.S.: As an entrepreneur, tell us about your company and what motivated you to start it. Tonda: I am a teacher by trade, having taught special educa-

tion for almost 8 years. During that time, my brother was in the NBA and he needed help with day to day things so that he could focus on basketball. He asked me to work for him and I did. I handled his day to day errands-- paying bills, getting his car serviced or washed… I noticed that some of the other guys on his team didn’t have someone like that. They were either trying to handle their own business or they had someone who wasn’t doing a good job at it. During the later part of my brother’s career, I started thinking about whether or not I would go back to teaching once his we reached the end of his career. I wasn’t sure about what I would do. I saw that there was a need for what I was doing and that’s how “Special T Concierge” came to be. B.O.S.S.: What advice would you have for youth inter-

ested in pursuing a career in concierge service? Tonda: I would say that you have to be a giver. You do a lot more than just what the clients need. Its trying to figure out what they need and go above and beyond their expectations. You must have a giving heart, be selfmotivated, and be imaginative all wrapped up in one. B.O.S.S.: When you were in school, who was your favorite teacher and how did they impact your life? Tonda: A teacher by the name of Mrs. Abrey… she was one on my teachers in elementary school. She had a way to make me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to. Even though my parents always instilled that in me, hearing it from someone else impacts you differently. She was very en-

couraging. If I ever made a mistake she would explain why the mistake was made and how to correct it. Mrs. Abrey genuinely cared for her students outside of being a teacher. That always stuck with me throughout my life B.O.S.S.: I know you are an athlete, what sports did you play growing up and how do you believe participating in them has benefited you today? Tonda: I played volleyball, basketball , softball, track, and cross country. Seems like I’ve tried everything! My two major ones were basketball and volleyball. I did track and cross country to stay in shape for the others sports. They all definitely made an impact on me. Playing a team sport teaches you how to rely on and work with other people. It also taught me about being competitive. In the real world, you

have to know what you want, be willing to work for what you want, stay focused and win. So, I believe sports definitely helped me be the person I am and what it is I am doing right now. B.O.S.S.: What is the last piece of advice you have for our readers? Tonda: I want them to know you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that your dream is unattainable. Just keep God first and stay focused. There will always be naysayers and people will always try to discourage you. But if you believe in your heart that this is what you are Special T Concierge supposed to do and that you want to do,then you can absolutely do it. twitter: IamSpecial_T You have to be willing to work hard for it… nothing is going to be easy, so make sure you stay focused on what you are trying to accomplish.


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The G R E E N G O I N G F O R W A R D Network

Since their inception, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have taken on a leadership role in addressing issues that impact African-Americans in the US. Today, HBCUs are emerging as leaders of the environmental sustainability movement in response to the numerous health, economic, and social disparities plaguing African-American communities in this country. These institutions are creating models that can be used by other impacted communities and minority serving institutions to address common issues. HBCUs are privy to the socio-economic and environmental plights of their student populations and the communities from which they come. They understand the importance of engaging the local communities in an effort to create innovative and interdisciplinary partnerships, to identify needs and solve problems, and to lead by example. Sustainable practices have been an integral part of the African-American community for centuries. For example, quilts, clothes, and food items were often products of the creative reuse of used or scrap materials. Waste was unacceptable and unsustainable then and still is. HBCUs are uniquely situated to guide the African-American community back to consciousness regarding sustainability. “Green Going Forward” (GGF) is a network consisting of a series of components that offer an exclusive look into how HBCUs are evolving and adapting their practices to support and contribute to environmental health. The GGF web series is the flagship component that showcases positive images and ideas of African-Americans practicing environmental sustainability in institutions of higher education, local US communities, and globally. The network emphasizes environmental sustainability and active implementation of plausible processes and techniques that will assist the African-American community in participating in the growing green economy. This network offers excellent branding opportunities as it facilitates school/community/viewer participation by sharing information and resources to boost the overall mission of achieving environmental sustainability. Each entity involved has the opportunity to brand itself individually and as part of a larger cause, offer positive images of supportive agencies and organizations, and offer a network of administrators, faculty, and staff. GGF gives organizations that represent HBCUs an opportunity to converge in a synergistic fashion as a united front around a cause that benefits our community as a whole. The GGF network celebrates the environmental sustainability involvement and successes of both the schools and local communities, commends mutual initiatives and commitments, and captures the passions of those engaged.

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D.E.R.R.I.C.K. Interview

Derrick Hayes, an alumnus of Tennessee State University is available for small and large meetings, church events, academic speaking engagements and workshops. Please visit Derrick's website at and to book him for a speaking engagement or media event, send an email to or call (706) 615-1662.

At Tennessee State University, Derrick Hayes started a business with Regail Swauncey as a freshman with three packs of hot dogs. Selling them to hungry students, Hot Dog Heaven was founded. Helping to pay his way through college with hot dogs gave Derrick the inspiration he needed to begin teaching other people how to run a business. Before graduation, Derrick realized that some students were not able to finish school because of financial hardships. This revelation inspired Derrick to help start The Wall of Excellence Scholarship and Development Fund that has helped raise over $500,000.00 so that students in the College of Business are able to complete their education. “As a student, he came up with the concept of the College of Business developing a Wall of Excellence to showcase companies and individuals who donated scholarship dollars to assist students. He was so convincing that the College bought the idea and today the Wall of Excellence sits proudly on the Avon Williams Campus of Tennessee State University.” Dr. Millicent Lownes-Jackson – Dean of The College of Business at TSU Derrick Hayes has been a featured speaker at colleges and universities such as Brown Sanders College, Georgia State

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University, Bowie State University, and Jackson State University but he always dreamed one day that he would be hired to speak at his alma mater Tennessee State University. On Tuesday September 24th, 2013 the dream came true as he returned to Tennessee State University. He spoke to the student body about the process of “Building Relationships in College and Out.” In the workshop, students were taught through the word BUILD how to: B- Become You U- Understand Your Uniqueness To Reach Your Peak I – Invest In Your Future Through Networking L - Learn From your past relationships D – Develop Others The response to the event was incredible and it brought the old school together with the new school. What did the Directors have to say? “Oh my goodness, Derrick Hayes is remarkable. He is the real deal and what I really love is that he is so real and the students could have left after they signed in but because Derrick was so engaging, they stayed until the end. If you ever get a chance to see Derrick Hayes in person you have to go.” Chandra Norman Lipscomb, M.A. – Director of The Women’s Center

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Derrick Hayes @encouragement4u

at TSU What did the students have to say? “Students were really empowered by the message of Derrick Hayes. Mr. Hayes not only did he bring a lot of real world experience to the students, but he made it relatable so they could achieve their dreams, hopes and aspirations as college students and learn about the networking opportunities available to them as students on and off campus.” Jer’Mykeal McCoy – Mass Communication Student at TSU What did the 5th Floor have to say? After 25 years from the start of their First Year Experience at TSU students that started on the 5th Floor of Watson Hall are still in touch. Willie Armstrong who is now a Computer Technician in Nashville came out to support along with Terrence Ross. “Derrick your growth over the years has been absolutely incredible. I am so thankful to the Creator for allowing me to see you grow into the awesome man that you have become over the years. When I first met you in 1988 I knew there was something special, I just didn’t exactly know for what destiny or course, but you are a positive vessel for change. I pray that the best is yet to come. God bless you” T. Ross – Nashville Metropolitan Airport Authority Derrick Hayes used his many years of networking to invite and bring many people together who live in and outside of Nashville to be part of the solution to help

students in their pursuit of “Building Relationships in College and Out.” L.J. Holloway is a great woman who traveled all the way from Jacksonville, Florida to support her friend Derrick Hayes as he spoke at his alma mater in Nashville, TN. “Derrick Hayes was right and relevant. I wish I could reverse the clock and would have had him to speak to me in college. The true test was I saw no texting. The only time I saw a phone out was when Students were asked to download the Motivation to your mobile app.” L.J. Holloway – All About HealthCare Advocates Andre Lee in college was Derrick Hayes business partner who helped bring the Wall of Excellence to TSU is now the Regional Director with INROADS an organization that brings positive opportunities to minority youth. Lee came out to support his long time friend. “Derrick Hayes has been the one since our college days and is still doing his thing. Still an overachiever and can still make the crowds move.” The Wilkins brothers who grew up with Derrick Hayes in a Middle School in Illinois came to fellowship with their friend that they used to bag groceries with as teenagers. The number fan of Derrick Hayes is his Dad. He wanted to support his son so bad that he caught a Greyhound from Illinois and rode all night for 9 hours.

“I’m glad I had the chance to come down. I was surprised that students stuck around for the whole seminar. The ones I talked to said the reason why they stayed is that they were really motivated and would definitely come back to hear you again.” James Henry Hayes, Jr. – Retire USAF, Retired Teacher, 3 Term Alderman, Beekeeper and one of the best dancers in the world over 80 years old In college Derrick Hayes learned how to build relationships through selling food and giving back with scholarship opportunities and once he graduated he realized how to help experts, entrepreneurs and celebrities by providing them with publicity opportunities through his blog Today’s Honoree and his world famous DERRICK Interviews. When Derrick is not speaking or blogging, he is writing original quotes for his Android and iPhone application Motivation To Your Mobile that gives subscribers all over the world a new positive word of encouragement right to their phone at the start of each day. One of the first questions that Derrick Hayes asked students is how many of you are in a relationship? Not many raised their hands. Every day many students walk on campuses and overlook and under estimate the ones that they are truly meant to build relationships with. Ask yourself are you “Building Relationships in College and Out?” 37


Peachtree Village International Film Festival (PVIFF) Red Carpet B.O.S.S. hit the scene in Atlanta for this year’s Peachtree Village International Film Festival. Check out the pictures of who was there and what they had to say about EDUCATION!

“Education is very important. You have to know how to read your script. Math is also very important. When you get those checks you want to make sure it is the right number. Education plays a big role in the entertainment industry. It’s important to have that knowledge.” - Camille Winbush, actress

“Everything in this business (entertainment) is communication and information. Every contract is unique and has specific terms. If you are able to communicate effectively, read and comprehend, and do math, you can make it further without getting totally ripped off.”Special Ed, Hip Hop Pioneer

“It took me going to The Julliard School and majoring in music to learn music theory and how to stack vocals... While I was at Julliard, I got the call to sing background for Chaka Khan. Had I not learned how to do those things, going to sing professionally for someone who was wonderful and famous in my eyes, I would have not known what to do. Education is a blessing.” – Meli’sa Morgan, singer

“The worst thing in the world is a dumb actor. The less you know about the role, the harder it is for you to participate. The less you know about the world and in life, generally speaking, makes you a less knowledgeable actor. You have less resources to draw from. Education is a huge deal for anyone in any career, but especially in this one (acting). If you are educated, driven, and if you cannot breathe without acting, then you are in the right profession. If you cannot take rejection, clearly this is not the job for you.” – Joe Morton, Actor

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“I am a Morgan State Bear. Both of my parents were educators. For us there was no other option. Education was the only way. When you look at America as a whole, and African Americans in America, those of us that go get an education tend to do better. We do have exceptions of people who drop out of school and who are successful but it’s not the norm. Education meant everything. Getting that degree at an HBCU set us up to go out and put me out in the world that I could accomplish anything I wanted- short of being a superhero. It turned me into the comedian, entrepreneur, host, whatever- it all goes back to what Morgan State gave me. I’m a new dad and I have a 3-year-old who is reading and a one year old that working on his numbers and colors. That’s encouraging to me, given the state of black youth today.” – Joe Clair, comedian, entrepreneur, host

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“I was an English major. I had a creative writing teacher who told me I didn’t have the patience for depository writing and that maybe I should try play writing. Without that teacher and that moment, I wouldn’t be here today.” - Jason Furlani, Screenwriting Finalist and Actor


“I try to teach my children that education is so important… That at the end of the day, you have to have something to fall back on. Some people say you don’t have to go to school to be successful- that is very true, but you have to have something to fall back on. For me and my family, education is extremely important for their future and their children’s future.”Bo Talley, CEO of Blaq Pearl Entertainment

“Education is everything. It is knowledge... I had no intentions of being an actor. My goal was to earn a college degree and I thank God that I did. I was the first in my family to go to Indiana State University. It is so great because all the knowledge, all the diversity- you met Italians, Greeks, Armenians, Arabs, Jews… It was great to learn all that knowledge and learn about yourself- your strength, weaknesses, what you can and cannot take. I love college. I advise everyone to go to college.”- Ernest Lee Thomas, Actor

The night’s honory, Anthony Anderson, actor, comedian, recieved the “Generational Barrier Breaker Award”.

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“Education is important to my career because it helped me understand what I was going to do in life. Without education, I would have probably ended up on the streets. Going to school helped me understand that I need to do something for the world, which for me was acting. I needed to affect people’s lives, help them laugh and cry.”- Tyrin Turner, Actor

“Education allows you the opportunity to see the world in a different place. Education not only means college and university. If you travel, read books, go to acting school- you see the world from a different point of view. What has helped me the most is reading. You read a lot of plays, you learn how people live and work and as a result, you are not as judgmental as some. Education gives you a vision and helps you focus on something you are passionate about.” –Orlando Chavez, Actor, Screenwriter

“We need to always empower one another like that old philosophy of “each one, teach one.” You can’t be successful and forget about the youngsters that are coming up. That’s the education I want to preach. That we celebrate blackness in any way. We support the youngsters with what they are passionate about.”- Peter Thomas, Real Housewives of Atlanta


5 Habits of

Responsible Co HABIT




Developing a Winning Attitude Having a goal of developing a successful business, while deep down you despise those who operate successful businesses is self-defeating. Greed, jealousy, bitterness, and envy are attitudes that block personal wealth. You have to understand what stimulates your personal ambition and make it your mission to improve upon that concept. Maybe you feel that you already have a winning attitude, and maybe you do. But, going about ways to strengthen your attitude will help you to soar to heights you may have never thought possible. Find your life’s purpose and begin discovering what will inspire you to win at life.

Studying about finance & wealth creation It is ok if you weren’t taught about finances growing up or even in high school; because now is your chance to make up for lost time and soak in as much information as you can concerning growing your finances in a productive manner. Despite the fact that you are studying to pursue your current degree should not hinder your ability to dedicate 1-2 hours a week on your financial education as mentioned above. The library, CD’s, seminars, DVD’s, webinars, and conferences are the tools you will need to be putting to use at this very moment. Learning about finances should not be boring and laborious but a challenge that you embrace; because in your mind you have $50 million coming to you and you need a plan to put that wealth to good use. This will be the most important of all habits in which to focus on because; it makes you constantly understand the dynamics and nature of money as a tool and not a self destructive force that keeps you broke and out of the game of life.

Thinking on another level Financially responsible college students are always thinking of new ways to grow their money. They understand that life is not about the amount of money you make, but how much you keep that makes the greatest difference. So, it is important to develop ideas that generate the results you require. If you want to make $1,000 an hour, think $1,000 an hour thoughts and leave the negative thinking people alone and move forward. You have to possess the innovator mentality that allows you to express your inner artist, entrepreneur or visionary endeavors. Financially responsible college students are thinkers because they have grabbed the fact that they are responsible for their own thoughts.

Financially ollege Students





Learning to communicate effectively One of the biggest challenges in the world today is the notion that money is hard to come by; and thus you have to work very hard to obtain any. In T. Harv Eker’s “Secrets of the Million Mind” his wealth file #15 states that “Rich people have their money work hard for them, But, poor people work hard for their money” Is this a contradictory statement to what you have been raised to think or do millionaires think differently about money? When you first start having these money conversations you must start off small (How much debt will I owe upon leaving college), then gradually begin to gravitate towards (How will I structure my will) (How will I ever save enough money for retirement). Remember, money only magnifies more of what you already are. So, practice this affirmation each and everyday until you begin to only speak positive thoughts about money: “I am advancing & progressing and getting wealthier everyday”.

Automating Your savings Although, you can never underestimate the silent curve balls that life throws at some of the most inopportune moments, you still need a plan in place to automatically save at least $5-$10 a month on the smallest scale. Don’t get caught between the opportunities to weigh whether or not you can afford to do it at all. Just remember that a bank account with $1 in the savings account is better than a debit card that gives you easy access to your money which is intended to make you spend more of your money. One of the greatest advantages of automating your savings is that it prevents you from spending the so called “leftovers”; you know the extra $10 or $20 in your pocket after you have paid a few bills and got gas in your car. Whether you are already doing this or have to implement this very effective strategy; make sure you are monitoring what goes in and out. IF you are not careful what could be a gift could also be a curse. Becoming a financially responsible individual in life takes time; and is accomplished through a process called patience. This article acts as a springboard in helping you to develop your own ideologies toward becoming a student of your own financial affairs. The main goal in this post was to give you practical wisdom concerning being fiscally responsible for the affairs of your life. You have to constantly evolve and grow into the person you would like to become. While you are studying and preparing to succeed in life make it your business to understand; the responsibility you have to become a wise steward not only of your money, but your relationships, talents, health, education, and community. As, you can see being financially responsible is only one aspect of the equation but deserves most of the attention.


Turning Point

In 2010, I resigned from some of the other stuff I was doing and I refocused on Going Strong Sports. In that year I doubled my income and it’s doubled every year since then. I’m the type B.O.S.S.: Tell us about yourself and your of person who listens. I have a lot of friends who company. are entrepreneurs and I get advice from them. Shamus: Shamus Goss with Going Strong If someone is in a position or place you want to Sports. I live in Atlanta, and have been here for 11 years. I have several different companies, but be in, then that is who you take advice from. I may not use it all, but I’ll take it in. That was my Going Strong Sports is my main company. GSS supplies full panel, sportswear and athletic gear turning point. to youth teams, all the way to semi-pro leagues. We take your team from step A all the way to the BOSS: How has education helped you in your final step. For example, if you are playing football successes? Shamus: When you get a good education or we do everything from your uniforms to your you have a good background in business, a full equipment... We cover a lot of team sports lot of things are instilled in you. Things like and we do a lot of sports camps, but athletic being courteous, having customer service, and wear is what we focus on. how to communicate. Having a lot of those things around me and surrounding myself B.O.S.S.: How long has GSS been in business? Shamus: I’ve been doing team sports for 9 years with business minded people helped me to understand that if you have a business doing now. During my first 5 years I did it as a hobby $250k a year, you do things differently than you out of my garage while doing other things. But, would with one that does $25k a year. You have it was only about 2 years ago when I decided to take it seriously and do it full-time. After moving to adjust. I think having an education is very, very important. So, when that time comes to GSS out of my garage, we got into a warehouse. cross that road and become an entrepreneur, We soon outgrew it so we finally opened up a there are just certain things you need to know. retail store. Education teaches you how to interact with B.O.S.S.: You said you did it for a hobby. What people. Also, how you approach a situation and how you react to certain situations. I think going was the turning point that changed it from a to school and college put me around people with hobby to a career.? Shamus: A friend of my mine who has been like “like minds” and “like thoughts” because it’s hard to do business with someone who is not a a mentor since the beginning used to have a “business” person. sneaker line that he sold to Reebok for around $9 million about ten years ago. I called him one BOSS: So how big is your company currently? day to ask him about some information and he Shamus: We have around 300 accounts right said, “When you are ready to make money, call now and we do about $1million in revenue. It’s me, other than that, don’t call me.” So I asked, “what are you talking about?” He said “You have just 3 of us who work in Going Strong Sports. a niche in that Atlanta market for your uniforms We are not just a company, we are a brand. We are competing with Nike, Adidas, Reebok... No and your brand, but you are spreading yourself one is doing what we are doing and we are going too thin.” He told me that I needed to stop to mix in our fashion expertise with the sports doing everything else that was ruining my time brand, until we become a house hold name. and not turning a profit and focus on what was turning a profit. For more information, visit



Shamus Goss

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Is Jay-Z the Most Important Musician Ever?

How Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail destroyed the music industry that made him millions By Brad Allen

Everyone remembers the moment when they first learned of Jay-Z’s newest release, Magna Carta Holy Grail (MCHG). What most of us thought was a standard commercial break during Game 5 of the NBA Finals turned out to be an historic musical event (I would argue THE most historic musical event in the last 50 years. More on that later). As Jay-Z, Timbaland and a host of other music industry luminaries unveiled their latest masterpiece to the world in a three minute clip sponsored by Samsung, media critics, fans and music industry heavyweights rushed to social media to opine on the potential impact of Jay’s newest LP. Unfortunately, even more than a month after its release, most if not all of those who have analyzed the album have missed its overall intent which, when discovered, reveals its historical relevance as a piece of art. Skill acquired by experience, study or observation? The application of human creative skill and imagination? How is art defined? I contend that a person’s life itself can be a work of art the way that Tupac Shakur’s life was a portrait of the brilliance, complexity and disposable nature of black life in the 20th century. Elbert Hubbard is famously

quoted as stating “Art is not a thing; it is a way.” The way in which Jay-Z the artist has maneuvered through the unforgiving labyrinth that is the music industry is in itself a work of art. But despite the fact that Jay-Z has continuously revealed to us that Jay-Z the artist and Jay-Z the businessman are inextricably linked we continue to evaluate them as two separate entities while ignoring the artistry of this accomplishment. “I believe you can speak things into existence.” – Jay-Z In the year 2000, my friend (and former Arista recording artist) Rob Jackson and I were having a discussion about the future of the recording industry. He was an underground rapper with tremendous buzz in the South and Midwest regions and was mulling over record deals from several suitors. While researching the pros and cons of different labels via the web Rob had a revelation. “One day the artist won’t need a label at all. All an artist needs is the capital to fund their project and a way to distribute their product. If you could get Pepsi or Proctor and Gamble to sponsor your album what would you need a label for?” The thought lingered in the air for a moment only to disappear into

the Ether (pun intended) for 13 years. There it sat for Jay-Z to download and apply it to his canvas. “We don’t have any rules. Everyone is trying to figure it out. That’s why the Internet is like the wild, wild west. We need to write THE #NEWRULES.” – Jay-Z It is my opinion that most everyone has been overly dismissive of the marketing campaign used by Jay-Z to sell MCHG. Even the full title of the album (Magna Carta Holy Grail) has been dismissed as meaningless and a not so clever maneuver to make the album sound like a larger than life event. But upon more extensive review there can be an argument made that this album is the music industry’s historical equivalent to the actual Magna Carta. The original Magna Carta, also referred to as the Great Charter of the Liberties of England, was forced onto King John by his subjects and ensured fair treatment and protection under the law while limiting the powers of the king. This charter is also credited as a precursor for the rule of constitutional law and the foundation of individual freedom found in most modern governments.

By partnering with a third party entity, in this case Samsung, to help fund and promote his project, Jay-Z has given all current and aspiring musicians the #newrules with which to attain individual freedom from the lords of the recording industry. Musicians in general (especially rappers and rap music producers) cultivate their own talents outside of the auspices of major recording companies. This is not to dismiss the talents of A&R’s, marketing executives and the like but the vast majority of an artist’s development is done inside of basements, school gymnasiums, churches, garages and small local venues. The archaic model wherein an artist gets as little as 12 percentage points is the one that Jay-Z has been trying to destroy for since his career began nearly two decades ago. MCHG is the latest and most powerful of Jay-Z’s claims for artist independence. Jay-Z is possibly the only artist with enough clout to pull off a corporate partnership with Samsung (which netted him a reported $20 million for an album that was unreleased) on an album in part released by a major label (Universal) that calls for the destruction of the modern music industry model.

This all reminded me of the conversation I had with my friend in the year 2000. On a much smaller scale local and aspiring artist should use the blueprint that Jay-Z has provided to launch and sustain their careers. In the year 2000 the internet was not at the evolutionary stage that it is at now. Almost all artists nowadays have a Soundcloud page, a YouTube account, at least one (if not several) twitter accounts and an Instagram. Artists can release music, music videos, documentaries and interact with fans without the assistance from recording label personnel. Artist should also seek out smaller corporate sponsorships and utilize startup websites like Kickstarter and Pledgemusic in order to ensure retention of their master recordings to realize their true worth as businesspeople AND artists as the art can be created without the direct influence from major recording labels. This is the new day and these are the #newrules. “A poet’s mission is to make words do more work than they normally do, to make them work on more than one level.” – Jay-Z Jay-Z has always expressed the void he feels from not feeling enough

love and appreciation from rap fans and critics alike. Most of this in my opinion is his feeling that he doesn’t get his due as an artist. Jay-Z’s power as an artist is often misrepresented by even his most ardent supporters. One of Jay-Z’s truest gifts as an artist is his ability to create a world within his songs where the Marcy Projects can coexist with Kurt Cobain, Picasso, Basquiat, the fight against the prison industrial complex, The Beetles and the Notorious B.I.G. This amalgamation of seemingly disparate worlds has actually created a new world in which it is commonplace for these elements to co-exist (see Jay-Z’s Picasso Baby music video). For Jay-Z the words and lyrics the he employs many times have double meanings as he has dubbed himself “the monster of the double entendre.” His greatest double entendre however is the double meaning created with Magna Carta Holy Grail as it is a simultaneous proclamation of his historical import as an artist and businessman. Once again Jay-Z the artist and businessman are inextricably linked, a work of art for generations to come to marvel. Picasso indeed. 47

Patrice Washington

3 Reasons College Grads Are STILL Bad With Money I‘m increasingly alarmed at the notion that having a college degree somehow makes a person intellectually superior in the area of personal finance. Last I checked, personal finance has yet to be made a mandatory course on every high school and college campus in this country even though it is the one subject you actually do need in the real world no matter what path you ultimately select. So, why is it that when I write a blog post about poor spending behaviors, the first person to disagree always justifies their opinion with “I’m a college graduate . . .” as if that means anything to me. Guess what? I’m a college graduate, as well and I left one of the best institutions on the West Coast with thousands of dollars of debt- not including student loans. I had grants, scholarships, parental support and a full time job all four years. I was a Dean’s List student who unfortunately, just sucked with money. I wasn’t out buying designer bags and taking Spring Break excursions either. It was truly the little things that added up and I actually fell for the “Life Takes Visa” slogan!

Luckily, the light bulb came on early and I was able to turn things around fairly quickly, but what happens to the college graduate who is stellar academically, as well as in their chosen career and still doesn’t know how to manage money? Here are 3 reasons college graduates may still find themselves in a money rut:

1. We have the “I’ve made it/ I deserve it!” attitude.

As college graduates, we tend to want everyone to know that we’ve made it. As soon as the ink settles on our first offer letter, we’re out leasing luxury cars, dressing in designer everything (for our new position, of course) and moving to the “good” side of town. The difference is that as super intellectual college graduates, we don’t want to admit that we’re trying to keep up with the Kardashians, so we say, “I have to look the part to be taken seriously in my career” or “I went to college and I deserve this (insert unnecessary indulgence here).”

2. We honestly believe we automatically know better. We believe our degree justifies us as smart in every subject to everyone around us. This is not about

someone else being “dumb” or as I’ve read on the comments, “ghetto.” This is not a “Hood vs. Harvard” debate. Just because you may be the first in your family to go to college, yea you may know more than the other kids from the neighborhood, but now you actually have more access to debt sources and can likely fall prey to them more quickly and aggressively than your “uneducated” counterpart. Don’t let the pride in your degree stop you from getting help when and if you need it.

3. We confuse our income with our net worth.

So reportedly a college graduate earns about double the income a non-college graduate earns annually. Does this mean that their net worth is necessarily more? Absolutely not! It wouldn’t matter if you earned $100k per year or $50k per year, the wealthier person is the one who lives beneath their means and makes sound investment choices. Period. Just because you earn more money than the next person, don’t assume you are better off than they are. You may look well off, but they might really be where you wish you were financially.

At its core, the issues we have with money as adults are based upon what we grew up learning, seeing or hearing about money from our parents and other adults or influencers around us as a child. If we don’t become aware of why we relate to money the way we do, many of us will continue to sabotage our financial success, regardless of whether we’ve had formal education or not. NOTE to those who are tempted to e-mail me about the economy: Stop blaming every thing on the recession, depression or economy. The recession is not the reason for EVERY foreclosure and/or bankruptcy out there; it just exposed how many people were truly living beyond their means and with no financial plan in place. If everyone, college graduate or not, doesn’t get some type of personal finance education, this will not be the first time we see our economy devastated by financial mismanagement. Until Next Time,




Motivational Corner


Understand A couple of weeks ago, I went home to Detroit. Every time I go home I call my friends and let them know I am coming to town in hopes of being able to see them while I am there. One of my high school friends and teammates called me and asked if I would come speak to her middle school volleyball team and work with them on their game. I told her I would be happy to, so she told me the date and time of the practice she wanted me to attend. When I arrived at the gym the young ladies were full of excitement and the looks on their faces were priceless and filled with joy. They just kept smiling and whispering to one another. When the session started, Danielle had the girls sit on the end line and she introduced me to her team. I started by telling the young ladies a little about myself and my history

of volleyball and then answered any questions they had. After our speaking session we started working on different parts of the game. It was nice to see how hard they were working and how they wanted to improve their play. The girls asked me many questions on how they should do certain things and then went to try them. After the session was over we took pictures and the team dismissed. There was one young lady that caught my eye. She was very tall for her age and she reminded me of myself when I was younger. After most of the girls had left she came over to me and said, “You are tall.” I smiled and said, ”yes I am” and told her that I Love being tall and that Tall Girls Rock... I gave her a Hi-Five and she repeated me by saying, “Tall Girls Rock.” I then said, “Yes we do!” I told her that I am 6’2” and that I

have been this height since I was 13 years old and a freshman in high school. She then asked me if I used to get teased by the kids at school. I told her that I did... She told me that she gets teased too. I told her that I understand how she feels. I then told her that whenever I got teased in school I would spin it around by finding the positive things about being tall... When I was younger and kids would tease me for being tall I would say to them that that’s why I could ride roller coasters and they couldn’t. She and I laughed. I then told her how fabulous it is to be tall and in the end we have to love who we are and see our many positive attributes. I gave her my phone number and email address and told her to give me a call whenever she needs or wants to talk to someone who understands what she is going through. She was excited to get my info and said she would reach out. 51

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Issue 16

“Our youth are our future! Let’s treat them as such and support them with all our hearts!” Our youth go through a lot with peer pressure and bullying. We need to do more for our youth by speaking to them and making sure they know they have someone in their corner who they can talk to. They just want to know that someone understands what they are going through. When they ask for advise on different situations, it helps if we can be honest about our experiences in our past and be transparent with them. I encourage everyone to find at least one youth and be their mentor or someone they can talk to and come to for

advice. We need to be there for them and make sure they know that someone understands what they are going through and that someone has their back. Our youth are our future! Let’s treat them as such and support them with all our hearts!

LaTresa "Tree" Cunningham @purplediva13

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It's that time of year! always When high school seniors and college students begin the FAFSA process. FAFSA? What do these abstract letters mean? Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This application is oh-so-important if you want/need to be considered for financial aid.

As a high school senior or college student you will need the following information to complete your FAFSA.


Make sure you have your social security or tax ID number available. Also, you will need your ID/ driver's licence number as well.


Did you work in 2011? If so, you will soon receive a W-2 form from your job and if you filed an income tax return you will need those documents as well. Lastly, if you have any bank accounts in your name, you will need your current bank statements. Use this income info as needed.


Have your parent(s) or their info available while completing the application. You’ll need their ID numbers, income information for 2011, and their education level. Did they complete high school, college, have a vocational certification? All that goes on your application.

You do not NEED information for both parents if one parent's income will not be considered as a way to pay for your education. In simple terms, if you have lived in a single parent household all of your life, you will only need the information from the parent you have lived with. Only stipulation: You must NOT be able to get parental info in order to not use it. A deceased parent, a parent who you have no contact info for apply here. For those students who have lived in foster care, or otherwise a "ward of the court" you will not need to provide any parental information. Lastly, if your grandparents or any other family outside of your biological or adoptive parents are your legal guardians, you can NOT use their information to file your FAFSA.


4) YOUR (PROSPECTIVE) COLLEGE INFORMATION. For seniors, you most likely have a list of colleges you have already applied to and those you are planning to complete admissions applications for. To file a FAFSA you will need all the school codes for all of the schools you have and will apply to. In this section, you will need to state whether you will be living on or off campus.


Let’s Get Started 1

Head over to the official FAFSA website at This is the official site of the FAFSA application. Any other website you come across claiming to be a FAFSA site but does not include .ed or .gov in the URL, please be cautious about entering any personal information.


Click the “Start Here” button. You will be directed to the first “Student Information” page. Enter your name, social security number, and birthday when prompted.


You will be prompted for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for either the student or a parent. If this is your first FAFSA application, you will need to apply for a PIN. Follow the prompts and enter the necessary information. You will be sent a PIN via email. Both you and your parent(s) need to apply for a PIN. Your PIN is considered your official signature for the FAFSA. This is how you will sign your application at the end of the process and how you will log in the the website when you need to make changes and renew your FAFSA for the next year.

Subsidized loans


free money you do not have to repay; comes with stipulations- a certain amount of credit hours per semester, certain GPA, or Financial need. The money is paid directly to your college.


Federal program where you apply/attain a job on-campus and use your pay to cover any needs you may have. The money is paid directly to you.



money you borrow that must be repaid after graduation or if you drop below halftime student status (usually less than 6 credit hours a term). With this type of loan, the gvovernment pays interest while you are in school.

Unsubsidized loans

money you borrow that must be repaid after you leave school. With this type of loan, interest accumulates while you are in school.

Enter in the necessary information. Once you officially log on to the FAFSA application, the website will take you step by step through each section. Before any financial sections, you will be prompted to complete a “worksheet”. These worksheets help you visualize the information and then transfers the appropriate numbers to the actual application. All in all, it is a calculator used to help you simplify the process.

Pay attention to your SAR , EFC, and DRN. You will get this information once you submit the application.The SAR is the Student Aid Report. This is what gets sent to the list of universities you claimed you wanted to be considered for financial aid. It summarizes all of your information, so look it over and make sure everything is correct. If you find anything wrong with it, you can make corrections right away. Your EFC is your Expected Family Contribution. Based on the correct info you provided on your FAFSA, the EFC is the amount the system assumes your family will be able to pay out of pocket. This is in no way a number you and your family should use to determine whether or not you will be able to pay for college. The computer/ FAFSA system generates it, based on this application. If you think your EFC is incorrect, re-check your SAR and make the appropiate corrections. Lastly, you will see a DNR. Along with your PIN, you will need this number to make corrections after a FAFSA is filed.




Check with each of your listed colleges.

After your FAFSA has been submited and reviewed by the financial aid offices at the schools you have applied to, contact them to ask if you need to submit any other documents to complete your file. These documents can range from court documents stating that you are a ward of the court, to institutional financial aid applications, to scholarship applications.

The financial aid award.

After you have applied, been accepted, and submitted your FAFSA, a college will now send you a financial aid award, either as a part of the admissions welcome package or electronically. Once you recieve all of your aid awards from each school you have been accepted to, review them carefully. Compare the cost of attendence (tuition, room and board, expenses) against the amount of aid a school is offering you to determine your unmet need. The FAFSA website has great information about comparing financial aid awards. Check it out at for_college/award_compare.html.


The application for FAFSA opens January 1st.

It is advised to complete your application as soon as possible after that to ensure you receive your maximum amout of aid. By filing a FAFSA in January of your senior year in high school, you are applying for financial aid for the following school year. For example, the senior class of 2013 will begin their financial aid applications January 2013 to receive aid for the 2013-2014 school year. Consolidation

A loan program that allows a borrower to combine various educational loans into one new loan. By extending the repayment period (up to 30 years depending on the loan amount) and allowing a single monthly payment, consolidation can make loan repayment easier for some borrowers.


The amount borrowed. Interest is charged on this amount, and guaranty and origination fees will be deducted prior to disbursement.


An authorized period of time during which a borrower may postpone principal and interest payments. Deferments are available while borrowers are in school at least half time, enrolled in a graduate fellowship program or rehabilitation training program, and during periods of unemployment or economic hardship.

Award Letter

The official document, issued by the financial aid office, which lists all the financial aid awarded to the student. While award letters vary among institutions, the letter generally lists the expected family contribution, cost of attendance and all the terms of the aid awarded.

Next year.

You will have to renew your FAFSA application every year you will be in school in order to be considered for financial aid. The process is essentially the same, except most of the information will be prefilled with last year’s info. Make sure you update changes in your ID/driver’s licence number if you have changed your residency and school info if you plan on transferring.




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