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BOSS ISSUE 006

E-Magazine of Today’s Young Black Leaders 07/12

.Be your Own.Success Story .

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100+ Colleges

You may have NEVER heard of,

but may want to go to!

B.o exc .s.s. lus ive

Rapper T.I.’s 11 year old Son

Domani Harris


Mission

O

O

Mission Statement

ur Mission is to provide minority, and underserved youth with an outlet to discover their potential through literary content and accessible role models to evoke the spirit of “believing in one’s self� while teaching them how to create, pursue and believe in the path of becoming a professional.

2 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine


O

Tony Gaskins

Archieved Interviews

Ashthon Jones

Daron Jones


Warrick Dunn

Dereck Anderson

Amadeus


tent con

“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

Features

20

52

“the crown”

Terra strong of tsu thinks its time to tell

“The whole Truth”

70 YOUNG BOSS Domani is ready to be the boss, but he knows, education is first!

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B.O.S.S. ISSUE #6

B.O.S.S. PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER Howard J. Clay Jr. howard@boss-emag.com EDITORIAL Editor in Chief - Drea Elizabeth editor@boss-emag.com Editor’s Assistant - Lizzie Pack assistant@boss-emag.com ART JC3 Entertainment ADVERTISING & MARKETING Marketing Director - Jeffrey Royce marketing@boss-emag.com Promotions Manager - Linda Tatum contact@boss-emag.com MARKETING TEAM Sean Pack Elizabeth Pack Pam Taylor Hollis Benard Desha Elliott Romonica Pitts Ciera McClurklin ____________________ HOW TO REACH US Marietta, GA 30067 Phone 678-995-5863 Article Submissions email proposal to submissions@boss-emag.com B.O.S.S. is a monthy publication any questions or concerns please contact us immediately. If you are interested in an Advertisement please contact marketing@boss-emag.com Entire contents © 2011 B.O.S.S. E-Mag. unless otherwise noted on specific articles. All rights reserved.

Letter from Publisher

HBCU & U

From the time I was young I always had this curiosity about HBCUs. From the colors, to the bands, to the school spirit, there has always been an excitement in my heart when I thought about HBCU. I went to Circle City Classic in Indiana for over 10 years straight. I was always amazed with the school spirit and the BANDS! Nothing like the marching bands. Surprisingly, I didn’t go to a HBCU, wait, not surprisingly at all. The reason I didn’t go to a HBCU was because all the information that was given to me about HBCU was negative. Things like “it’s in the hood” to “It’s a second rate education” influenced my decisions. Unfortunately, I missed out on a lot because of the advice of my mentors, role-models and counselors, whom themselves had never attended a HBCU. That is the purpose of this issue. If I was influenced negatively, I sure I’m not the only one. Now it’s time to shed some light on HBCUs to give a real representation to students about the differences, the similarities and the culture of HBCUs. Through ISSUE 6, I plan to put to bed some of the myths, some of the negative press, and definitely some of the stereotypes that are associated with HBCUs. I want to share the good, the love, the family, the culture, the school spirit and of course, the educational excellence of these fine colleges and universities. That way, when another young person is deciding their future, they can understand that they have a choice. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), this is your time to shine. Sincerely, Howard J. Clay Jr.

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HBCU & U . . .

Are HBCUs still relevant?


The definition of a HBCU is - A Historically Black College or University. These institutions of higher learning were mostly established around 1854 in America with the intentions of serving the black community. As of today, there are approximately 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the United States and Caribbean. Most of these colleges are located within what are considered the “Former Slave States and Territories� of the United States, with the exception of the following HBCU's: Central State University (Ohio), Wilberforce University (Ohio), Cheyney University (Pennsylvania), Lincoln University (Pennsylvania), Lewis College of Business (Michigan), and Western University (Kansas). One very important fact you may not have considered while debating which college to choose, although they may be rarely mentioned along with "mainstream" universities, HBCUs are definitely thriving. Like many other institutions you've heard of, these African -American focused colleges offer everything from community colleges to Medical Universities, and of course, your standard two and four year degree programs. I consider the fact that a lot of students base their college decisions on everything from parental pressures, their peers' opinions, but most of all, popularity. Even though Ezell Brown isn't exactly known as a "household" name, he absolutely should be. Mr. Brown is one of the reasons that HBCUs have been doing so well in the developmental and marketing areas. In fact, recent polls show not only a rise in attendance amongst African American students in black colleges; there is also a rise in Non-African American students. One specifically surprising poll was done at Bluefield State College, located in West Virginia. Studies at Bluefield State showed that racial diversity made an astounding leap from 13% of Non-African American students for the 2009-2010school year, to a whopping 75% for the 2010-2011 school year, talk about growth! Don't get me wrong, many African-Americans, along with those of Non-African descent, continue to flock to those wonderful mainstream and Ivy League colleges across the nation. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with receiving American History teachings from very learned Professors, but the numbers don't lie. There has been a recent spark of interest among first time college attendants who prefer their knowledge with a little less "pizzazz" and a lot more Truth. In their minds, a HBCU education is where they can receive this knowledge. Written by, Brooke Cooley

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a private, historically black college (HBCU) located on 144 acres just south of downtown Dallas, Texas (USA). The college is affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME).

Paul Quin


nn College Interested in ADVERTISING in B.O.S.S. E-Magazine? Contact JEFF at marketing@boss-emag.com


ISSUE #6

HBCU & U

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Howar Howard University is a federally chartered, private, coeducational, nonsectarian, historically black university located in Washington, D.C., United States


rd University Interested in ADVERTISING in B.O.S.S. E-Magazine? Contact JEFF at marketing@boss-emag.com


Johnson C.

(JCSU) is a private, co-ed, four-year liberal arts institution of higher learning located in the heart of Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. It is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. JCSU is also a historically black college.


Smith University Interested in ADVERTISING in B.O.S.S. E-Magazine? Contact JEFF at marketing@boss-emag.com


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HBCU & U

#HBC


CUnBOSS Let’s make it a trending topic!!!


Crown Him

KING

of College Airways! @THEKINGCELEB


-Official Host of The Loud Music Tour - Official Resident Host For Delaware State University (The Voice Of DSU) -Host of The HBCU Mixtape with DJ Burn from TSU featuring all of the 105 HBCU's set to drop - 1/3 Host for 'Keepin It G" on All World Radio Premiering July 8th - The Fail Show Trivia w/ The King Celeb is coming Soon. - 1/2 Owner & Creator of AllCollegeAccess.com - TV Personality for Money Train TV - Set to be a Correspondant Host for The BET Black College Tour 2012-13 - Featured as a supporting role in Emanny FT Jadakiss - "Young And Ready"--> http://youtu.be/EnfRRK081nQ


ISSUE #6

HBCU & U

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THE KING CELEB B.O.S.S.: When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? When I was young I played ball, but I was always into entertainment. Since the early ages, I have been around music-- I think I was born with a radio! I knew that some how, some way music was going to be a part of my future. I played ball, I danced—I just entertained. As I went on, I grew and developed into radio. I would tape radio shows and then turn around and rerecord them, because that’s just how much I loved radio. B.O.S.S.: At what point did you realize that you wanted to attend a Historically Black College or University (HBCU)? My aunts and uncles were a big influence because they came from a prestigious HBCU. They went to Tuskegee, and I was heavily involved. From campus fraternities and sororities functions to different programs, bands, to athletics, and just the overall school spirit… I knew going to a HBCU would greatly be appreciated on my behalf. Because of my experience with my family, I got a nice little taste of what a HBCU was all about. B.O.S.S.: Tell us a little about you and how you feel about your experience. I grew up in New York, but my family is from the south. So growing up, I knew about Ala-

bama State, Alabama A&M, Tuskegee... My family painted the picture of HBCU and what I needed to be. So, when the time came, I knew what and where I wanted to be. I just knew [college] would be a fun experience. When you get a chance to go to a HBCU, cherish the opportunity that you get because, it’s a personal experience. You get to find out who is who, you get to find out where everyone is from, their backgrounds-- everything. In my opinion, it’s good to go away for school. You meet different people, learn about different music, lifestyles, and backgrounds. I had a great college experience because I got involved early. From that point on, I began to focus more on the entertainment aspect because I began to host all the media events. I remember walking in the parade and introducing the band… it was a fun experience. As soon as I got to Delaware State University (DSU), I had school spirit. It became my unofficial job to get everyone hyped up and excited. I became the host of homecoming, and the step show. Overall, I had an amazing experience. B.O.S.S.: What is a main difference you have seen between an HBCU and a predominantly white institution (PWI)? One main difference is the school spirit and tradition that each school had. They were just different. You go from a school that had a huge homecoming and a football team to a


-(Next Event Im Hosting)-The Loud Music Tour (@LoudMusicTour on Twitter) will be June 25th in Santos Party Haus Hosted by NYC's Top Elite Host She's Ryan (@shesryan on Twitter and Instagram) & The King Celeb (@TheKingCeleb on Twitter & Instagram) Music by Kiss 101.7 FM's DJ Bran (@DjBran on Twitter & Instagram) Featuring City Of God, Beyond This Point,Brian Parker, Mike Check, Velous,JF Brooks,Trippz Michaud. The Event is Sponsored by Street King, Best Buy, Quad Studios, Richezz Touch,Jerz Apparel & more.. Check Out The Visual of Our Hosts preparing for the show ---->http://youtu.be/WsteoyDoAQQ <--(Commercial)


ISSUE #6

HBCU & U

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school that didn’t have it. I love the people I met at both schools, but the people at DSU were one of a kind. They were genuine. The professors were willing to help you out. You just didn’t get that experience [at a PWI]. School spirit was just different. At DSU, you knew at half time of the basketball games you could win shirts, tickets, contests, and just have fun and be entertained. B.O.S.S.: So you continue school? I’m actually going back to DSU for graduate school to receive my masters. Plus, I’ve always wanted to finish at an HBCU. Now I’m back at DSU for grad school and I’m hosting everything and doing what I do. I feel like I’m bringing something to the school and going hard at it. It’s good to be back home… for me it’s a homecoming in itself. B.O.S.S.: How has an HBCU shaped you as an individual? DSU shaped me very much. I’m an on-air personality and an event host right now. I remember when I first got to DSU I took an “Acting 101” class and I was afraid to perform in front of people. The instructor pulled me aside and said, “listen, just try.” And once I tried it out, it was an instant hit! I wouldn’t sit down! Then, after hearing me a lot in class, the instructor told me that I had a radio voice and asked how I felt about doing radio. From there, I went to the radio station and ended up being nominated twice for “on air personality for HBCU.” I loved it because everyone got to know me. When someone sees you have talent and believes in you, a HBCU will stick by you and support you heavily. This is why I’ve been named the “voice” of DSU! If it weren’t for my acting teacher pushing me and supporting me, I wouldn’t have the success I have now. Now I’m back at DSU to take my throne! I just want to inspire people. I have siblings who can’t get to school because of financial situations and it’s hard. So if you’re in school or headed to college, cherish the moment and have fun. Don’t just sit around. It is important to actually get your education and still have a memorable college experience.

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.

HBCU & U . . .

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ISSUE #6

HBCU & U

@BOSS_EMAG

@HBCUCAREERCNTR

Follow &


TheHBCUCareerCenter.com supports the professional and career development of HBCU students, alumni, staff and the communities they serve! Providing information for personal exploration, expanding career and industry awareness, managing your personal brand, finding jobs and internships as you work towards career and professional success.

FEATURES:

Jobs & Internships - A meeting place for Employers and the HBCU community. Create your job profile today! Use ASKUs - Get answers to your questions about career or internship success and get FREE resume critiques Career Resources - Find information on resume writing, interviewing, studying abroad, grad school etc. Career Blog - Get the latest, most relevant career, workplace trends and information on what employers want and what success means!

Connect:

Follow us on Twitter @HBCUCareerCntr Sign up for our blog or newsletter at http://www.thehbcucareercenter.com

& NETWORK

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@HOPESCHOLARSHIP

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The H.O.P.E. (Helping Others Pursue Education) Scholarship Initiative is a non-profit organization designed to empower financially challenged students attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The organization was founded in 2010 by two Howard University alumni committed to serving their communities. Our mission is to make college education affordable to deserving students. No student should be denied access to a quality education simply because they lack the necessary funds. Household incomes cannot continue to dictate academic outcomes. ---

Visit our website: www.thehopescholarship.com/ Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/hopescholarship Follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheHOPEScholarship Follow us on Tumblr: thehopescholarship.tumblr.com

NETWORK

N e t w o r k


@HBCUPRIDENATION

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Travis Jackson graduated from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, with a degree in Public Relations, in Spring 2011. In his undergrad years he held many student leader positions such as Freshman Class President and Vice President of External Affairs for the Student Government Association. After graduation, Jackson dedicated a year of his life to City Year Miami, an organization catered to decreasing the national dropout rate in inner-city youth schools. He served as one of the Service and Events Coordinators for the a leadership development and service-learning program called "Young Heroes" alongside Brenna Foley. During a the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame conference in Atlanta, Georgia, Travis was introduce to the question " Are Historically Black Colleges relevant today?" That day was the birth of Jackson's new project, HBCUPrideNation, LLC. Jackson wanted to develop a company that promoted and marketed why HBCU's are relevant in today's society and provide positive exposure and opportunities for young black, educated scholars that attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In doing so, his whole purpose is to answer the question with action and movement to showcase the relevance of HBCU's today. Travis' ultimate inspiration is following God's direction for life, his mother and his late brother Joseph Towah, who was murdered in 2006.

Organization title:

HBCUPrideNation, LLC

Location:

HBCUPrideNation, LLC currently does not have an office location, but you can follow us on twitter @HBCUPRIDENATION and our executive team represents Miami, FL; Atlanta, GA; Dallas, TX; Durham, NC; Baltimore, MD;New York, New Jersey and South Carolina.

Mission Statement/Purpose:

To unify Historically Black Colleges and Universities by showcasing HBCU Pride and HBCU Unity in an effort to enhance the relevance of HBCU's in the present and future societies.

Inspirations:

-The lack of support for HBCU's , educating ourselves with the past to create a better future and most of all the question " Are HBCU's relevant today?", are the inspirations and operating system of HBCUPrideNation, LLC.

Additional information

-We were founded and created on Twitter. -We have over 13k followers from HBCU's around the nation -Our executive team is composed of current students and graduates of NC A&T State University, Tennessee State University, SC State University, Morehouse College, Southern University A&M College, NC Central University, Paul Quinn College and Lincoln University of PA. Follow us on Twitter @HBCUPrideNation!

TWORK

N e t w o r k


HBCU & U

ISSUE #6

@BOSS_EMAG

@HBCUNetwork

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ABOUT THE HBCU NETWORK – OUR HERITAGE. OUR LEGACY. OUR COMMUNITY. Slated to launch in the Fall of. 2012 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Network (HBCU Net) is a 24/7, 365 days a year, education, entertainment, sports & lifestyle network. Built on the 143-year-old historical HBCU Brand, the network is devoted to its 105 colleges and universities and the (4) HBCU Conferences (MEAC, SWAC, SIAC, CIAA). The network’s platform for sports, edutainment, lifestyle and inspirational programming, is design to uplift, motivate, educate and entertain young people about the lifestyle and legacy of the HBCU community. The HBCU Network founded and comprised of cable television industry veterans, Curtis Symonds (CEO), and Clinton Evans (GM). • HBCU Network is built on the 175-year-old historical brand and its 105 member and independent universities • The network will feature exclusive live events from the MEAC, SWAC, SIAC and CIAA Conferences • Programming to include lifestyle and “edutainment” content that captures the heritage and culture of the HBCU community

COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE: Vision: To be the leading media provider to expand the voice and experiences of the 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

Mission: HBCU Network will provide a meaningful financial contribution to the HBCU population to enhance the exposure and sustainability of these American higher learning institutions For more information about the HBCU Network, please visit www.hbcunetwork.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/HBCUNetwork

NETWORK

### HBCU NETWORK CONTACT: Clinton Evans 860.966.1480 clinton.evans@hbcunetwork.com

NN ee tt w w oo rr kk


HBCU Cheerleaders @HBCUcheer

HBCU Buzz Inc. @HBCUbuzz

Connecting HBCU @HBCUfollowtrain

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TWORK

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Article

Derrick Hayes

How I Helped Raise

$500,000 in Scholarship Funds for My HBCU By Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes

40 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine


ISSUE #6

HBCU & U

After graduating from high school in Rantoul, Ill., where I was not part of the majority, I moved to Nashville to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Tennessee State University (TSU). There, I was among the majority. There, I also realized that I was more fortunate than many of my fellow classmates because my father financed my education. Still, I needed extra money, which is what inspired the launch of my first business--Hotdog Heaven. Along with business partner and dorm-room neighbor Regail Swauncey, we invested less than $20 in hotdogs and buns and sold them to hungry students. Our venture quickly took off, providing Regail and I with some financial freedom--a combined profit of $400 a month--during our freshman year. Unfortunately, our studies took priority, Hotdog Heaven's sales dwindled and we closed shop. More unfortunate, Regail had to drop out of engineering school to work full time and help his family. But Regail wasn't alone at TSU (and I'm sure other HBCUs across the country). My friend Lafayette was also forced to leave school to provide for his family, giving up his dream of being a coach. One by one, other Black students who started college with me began dropping out. When the financial aid dried up or the scholarships were all gone, these promising students had to forgo their futures. This led me to start thinking of ways to help these success-driven students, who were making good grades, complete college. Walking through the heavily trafficked downtown Nashville campus one day, I noticed a huge empty

@BOSS_EMAG

wall on one of TSU's buildings. That's when a vision struck: businesses, nonprofits and individual donors could prominently display their brands/family names by printing their names on a plaque on the wall. The after-cost profits, which would eventually range from $1,000 to $5,000, could be donated to a scholarship fund to help TSU students such as Regail and Lafayette remain in school. After several meetings with TSU faculty and staff, the idea of the College of Business Wall of Excellence Scholarship and Development Fund was conceived in 1992. It was determined that the awards would be based on academic excellence, enrollment status, citizenship and leadership. To spread the word and generate support, another business partner and I sent out 200 mailings asking local businesses, nonprofits and individuals to contribute. That first year, we raised $50,000, primarily from committed corporate and financial-institution donors. Today, the Wall of Excellence Fund is still going strong. This year, $77,000 was raised to help students who might otherwise be forced to leave college. Since the fund's inception, more than $500,000 has been raised. Along with individual, alumni and nonprofits, corporate donors include Bank of America, General Motors Corp. It is indeed a great feeling to know that my idea continues to help the professional development of TSU students. The Wall of Excellence project taught me the importance of serving others. That’s why I continue, through words of encouragement, to help others think positively and make a difference.

Please do 1 or 2 things. DONATE or hire Derrick Hayes to speak at your next meeting, conference or event. Derrick Hayes is the Author of 1 WORD Is All It Takes, Creator of “Derricknyms”, Developer of the app Motivation To Your Mobile, Nominator of Today’s Honoree, and blogs at the Encouragement Speaker and can be reached at info@derrickhayes.com or (706) 615-1662. 41 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine


“ALL Children can LEARN” DR. HAWKINS

PRESIDENT OF TALLADEGA COLLEGE


E

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B.O.S.S.: What is the differnce between a Historically Black College/ University (HBCU) over a predominantly white institution (PWI)? I have been in this business for 36 years. I worked for 20 years at a PWI and had a great career and a great experience. The remaining 16 years, I’ve worked at four different HBCUs, and I can say that they serve a major purpose in this country. Talladega College, along with a number of other HBCUs are “open admission institutions.” This means that we accept students who have academic challenges coming from high school. We give them the appropriate academic support at our institutions that may have been lacking in their high school experience. We bring these students to the appropriate academic skill level that is needed, and then we work with them through to graduation. Not all of our students enter below standard, but there is definitely a substantial percentage of students who need our help. Students who are qualified to attend PWIs elect to go to HBCUs because of the personalized attention they receive. For example, here at Talladega College, students know who their college president is and they have access to the President. I am a very student oriented administartor. I direct all of my staff and faculty to provide their students with the personal attention they need in order to be successful in college. That is a quality unique to our HBCU. Our institution has a family atmosphere that you can sense from the alumni. When you speak with alums from the College, they clearly articulate that. They will also tell you that they felt comfortable attending Talladega. They got to know their professors and administrators and they didn’t feel like a number-- they were individuals. You can find that students fall in love with HBCUs because of that.

I have had an experience with both types of institutions and it’s very rewarding to work with the students I work with today. If we did not have HBCUs, we would have to create them because of the tremendous need we have to educate our young people in the African- American community. HBCUs provide us with this service very well. B.O.S.S.: How do you keep your students motivated all the way through to graduation? That comes with academically engaging material and the faculty members working with our students to develop and assist them in recognizing and realizing their professional goals in life. That is a very, very important piece. Along with the academic and professional focus, the other part is the extracurricular and social activities we have on our campus. From sororities, fraternities, academic clubs… You will find that the culture, attitude, and atmosphere of a campus really make a big difference in the retention of your students. When students know that they are a part of the institution by being included in the decision making process as it relates to programming and things that directly effect them, they become more involved and willing to remain a part of the school. When they leave the institution we want them to say, “I love Talladega!” B.O.S.S.: There is a huge debate in the African- American community about college not being for everyone. How would you encourage high school students to attend Talladega, or college in general when they are unsure if college is the right way to go? First of all, as an educator for 36 years, I’ve always had the philosophy that ALL children can LEARN. It’s just a matter of how we go about motivating them to learn from elemen-


tary to the high school level. Motivation is very critical. It is our jobs as adults to help the young people believe that they can learn, succeed, and do great things in life. Young people who have doubt, have it because that doubt has been put there. Understand that some of these students come from broken homes and situations-- it’s a matter of how that is addressed. The high school dropout rate is enormous in the black community and it has to stop. An educated person can move much further in life than an uneducated person. So, it’s a tragedy when we don’t do the things necessary to support these young people and give them options. At least put the young person in the position to make that decision of whether or not they want to go to college. We ought to be pushing them to want to go to college. B.O.S.S.: Any final words for our readers? Number 1, yes, you can do it. You can be successful. You can go to college. Number 2, above all else, it is important for you go to an institution where you know the administration and the faculty members care about you and your well-being. And number 3, look at our unemployment rate, the economic and job market situations in our country, know that you don’t want to be one of those statistics. Know that you want to control your future and that college can help you get there.

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@failshow


ISSUE #6

HBCU & U

@BOSS_EMAG

Cha Keirra Johnson

Senior, 2013, Psychology


ampions Fort Valley State University

49 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine


â&#x20AC;&#x153;...I get to experience things t to experience or see at a non


What made you decide to attend an HBCU? Well, being a child of a parent who attended a HBCU and listening to the stories about how much fun he had while getting his education made me more than ready to attend a HBCU myself. In all actuality, I just wanted to see if the hype of going to a HBCU was really what people made it to be. Why did you choose your HBCU? I chose my school because Fort Valley State University was one of the many schools to offer me a full scholarship for pitching. Fort Valley State just happened to be the closest school to my hometown in Georgia. I also had a former teammate from my high school softball team (Lovejoy High School) who was attending and playing softball there, so that familiarity was good enough for me! Most memorable moment on campus? That would be my Sophomore year when The Lady Wildcat Softball Team won the SIAC Championship. It made me proud to be a Lady Wildcat, not just because my school won, but because we made history. The team hadn't won a championship in 10 years, and then in 2011 we were bringing home the first place championship trophy! What are some of the benefits of your HBCU? Well, getting to say that I graduated from a HBCU is a benefit! Some other benefits of FVSU include the fact that I get to learn the history of "The Fort Valley State University " and that I get to experience things that I might not get to experience or see at a non- HBCU school. What advice would you give an incoming freshman? Just be yourself and have fun, but don't let the fun become more important than your schoolwork or going to class. Nothing is more embarrassing than going to a HBCU-- or any school-- on a full ride and coming home the next semester because you flunked out when there was no logical reason why.

that I might not get n HBCU school.â&#x20AC;?

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After being stripped of her crown and humiliated in front of her peers, now it’s time for the truth...

The Whole Truth The Whole Truth about the People's Choice Written by Terra Strong

I am Terra Strong, recently elected Miss Tennessee State University. Before I tell my story, I would like to express the love I have my University. I have grown leaps and bounds through this excellent institution and I am forever at its debt. This article is not meant to bash the University in any way. I was elected by a majority vote of the student body to be Miss Tennessee State University, then abruptly stripped of the position. I am finally ready to tell my story about the Miss TSU situation. I have waited nearly a month to tell this story because I had hoped that I could quietly work with the University administration to resolve the issue and get an opportunity to get my position back, but that has not come to fruition. So, now I want to explain what happened. I approached the professor of a course last spring because I was concerned about maintaining the “B” grade I had received at midterm, given my busy schedule. After going over some options, the professor suggested that I take an Incomplete or “I” and finish the course over the summer when I had time. Of course I am always concerned about my grades, so I agreed to accept the “I.” I never would have opted for an “I” had I believed that this would have the kind of future ramifications that it did. After all, I am a strong student, and I had a B in the class at midterm. To be clear, I have always been aware of the qualifications of post-certification for Miss TSU. My issue is how the policies were interpreted in my case. When the University performed its post-certification process, I found out that that since I had taken the “I,” I would not receive the 3 credits the course in question carried, and since I only took 14 credits, during the spring term 2012, I had only earned 11 credits, one credit shy of the 12 required to maintain the position as Miss TSU. At first, upon meeting with the President and members of her cabinet, I was led to believe that I would have a chance to rectify the situation. The professor called me and said she was told to work with her to get the work in by weeks end. The professor also sent me an email message that same day indicating what I would need to complete to receive a grade. Yet, later that day, I was called to the President’s office, where I was informed that the decision was made that the policy would stand. At that time, I was offered what was described to me and my mother as a “solution” to the situation: since I had enough credits to graduate, but not with my 53 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine


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Never did I think that I would come into an environment where I would work hard and excel for four years, only to be treated like I had done something illegal or immoralâ&#x20AC;?

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intended degree in Commercial Music Business with a minor in Business Administration, I could change my major to Interdisciplinary Studies, take my diploma, and leave “with my head held high.” Naturally, I was offended by this “solution.” I felt like the administration was trying to find a way for me to leave TSU quietly, regardless of what my academic goals and career aspirations are. All of this happened AFTER the University administration requested that I sing at the Spring graduation, and listed me in the program as Terra Strong, Miss Tennessee State University, 2012-2013. All of this happened AFTER the University directed me to enter the Ebony Magazine HBCU Campus Queens online competition, arranging for professionals to prepare photos and a video for the contest. All of this happened AFTER the University arranged for me to interview with Channel 5 to encourage viewers to visit the Ebony website. I want to address the reasons the University have based their decision to disqualify me from the Miss TSU position. I want to be clear – I am not asking for special treatment, I am not blaming anyone for what happened, but based on the ambiguity of the policies related to this issue, and the lack of clarity in how they would be administered, and actions taken by the University, I believe I should be given the opportunity to resolve the situation and get my position back. The University cites the following statement in the Student Handbook: “All candidates (winners, runners-up) shall be certified by Student Affairs in conjunction with the advisor to SEC to hold office after final spring semester grades are posted (to determine whether or not students have met credit hours and a 2.5 or better cumulative grade point average requirement to hold the office.” The University fails to recognize its own definition of an Incomplete as indicated in the University Catalog: ‘”Incomplete” is a temporary grade which must be removed from the undergraduate student‘s permanent record within one semester from the end of the term in which the ―I‖ grade was awarded.” According to this statement, an incomplete is not a final grade. I submit that they have not received my final grade yet. Also, the university cited the following from the SGA Constitution: “The elected student should show evidence of having earned the equivalent of at least 12 credit hours (excludes remedial and developmental hours) during the semester in which the election is held and earned a 2.5 cumulative and 2.3 semester grade point average.” I have met with my professor and have arranged to complete the work needed to receive a final grade. When that grade is posted, it will appear on my transcript as having been earned during the Spring 2012 semester. Again, I want to reiterate that this was a class I was doing reasonably well in, not a class I was struggling in. If I had understood the ramifications of taking an Incomplete, I never would have done it, believe me. The University administration also refers to a meeting and follow-up email regarding the post-certification process. Neither the meeting, nor the email dealt with the specifics of the post-certification process. Had I known, even on April 30, 2012, that on May 11, 2012, my grades would have been certified, and I would have been disqualified as Miss TSU, I would have been less worried about getting an A in the class, and would have settled for doing whatever I could to get a passing grade to retain the position. Those of you who know me and support me


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know that I would have moved heaven and earth to keep my position, had I known. I keep coming back to the question of why University officials would have allowed me to sing in the graduation and list me in the program as Miss Tennessee State University 2012-2013 if they had not officially certified me as Miss TSU. Why would they have allowed me to represent the University in the contest of a national publication? Why would they send me to the local television station as Miss TSU 2012-2013 to garner support for the Ebony contest? None of those things had to happen if I was not officially Miss TSU. My mother is a dean at a University. I know many people that work in other Universities. They tell me that situations like this would not be resolved in a way that cause embarrassment to the student or to the University if another reasonable solution could be pursued. The President told both my mother and I that the University has an image problem, and that is why they had to follow the policies in this case. I do not have the degrees or years of professional experience that the officials making these decisions have. But I could have come up with something more appropriate than causing public humiliation to a student who had done nothing illegal, immoral, or unethical; making a decision with ambiguous policies that are easily challengeable on all kinds of levels; offering a high performing student a “solution” of changing her major to Interdisciplinary Studies” and leaving the University “with her head held high,” and without the opportunity for its campus Queen to be represented in Ebony Magazine in the institution’s centennial year. As a student who loves Tennessee State University, I think their actions against me represent a much worse image problem than they would have had if they had allowed me the opportunity to resolve the situation and retain my crown. Since this whole thing happened, I have received an outpouring of support from fellow students, alumni, faculty, family and friends. Very interestingly, I have received support from alumni who were former SGA officers, Mr. TSUs, and Miss TSUs who found themselves in the same position I was in, disqualified at post-certification. The ones I heard from indicated they were given a chance to rectify their situations so that they could serve in their positions. While the

@BOSS_EMAG times they were given varied in each situation, they were all given opportunities that I was not given. Some of those alumni have reached out, in vain, to the University leadership with descriptions of their stories, asking why I wasn’t afforded the same opportunities they were. I know this because I was copied on emails to the President from these alumni. Their pleas went unanswered. No response to successful alumni expressing their concerns! I truly appreciate the efforts of those alumni. The fact that others before me have successfully challenged their post-certification results says to me is that the University has established a precedent for the way they handle challenges to post-certification. I am not clear as to why they chose to disregard my request for further resolution rather acknowledge that the process needs clearer clarification through perhaps a revision of the policies. I worked very hard to become Miss TSU. I strived to make my campaign about me, about my accomplishments, and about what I would do for the better of the University as Miss TSU. However, I want to give you some background about me that goes to the core of why I love Tennessee State University and why I was so elated to represent the University, and so heartbroken when the position was taken away from me. I don’t brag about my heritage, but I have a long lineage of relatives that attended Tennessee State University. Most people don’t think about that because I am from Cincinnati. My grandfather, Dr. Bailey W. Turner, who died in 2011, was a proud graduate of TSU in 1956. He was born in Sadlersville, Tennessee and grew up in Clarksville. He moved to Cincinnati in 1958 and became very active in the civil rights movement in Cincinnati and throughout the state of Ohio. He also was very active with the local TSU alumni chapter in Cincinnati. In 1965, the National Alumni Chapter of TSU named him Alumnus of the Year. His mother and my great grandmother, Lady W. Turner, was also a graduate of TSU. Having been a teacher for many years without a bachelor’s degree, she was inspired by her son, my grandfather, to go back to school. They graduated from TSU in the same year. My great grandmother had two brothers, Emmanuel Weed and Malcolm Weed Sr., who graduated from TSU. My great, great uncle Emmanuel Weed is listed in a 1928 commencement program on the TSU


website. Cousins Malcolm Weed Jr., Jane Weed, and Jessica Hale, all deceased now, were graduates of TSU. I have living relatives who are graduates of TSU, and at least one cousin currently attending TSU. I am related to so many people in Tennessee that I do not know the extent of my family connections to TSU. This situation cuts to the core of my being. Not to brag, but the reality is, I graduated from Cincinnati’s School for Creative and Performing Arts, with honors. I could have chosen any number of colleges to attend. Or, like many of my high school classmates, I could have gone right into the entertainment industry. But I was drawn to TSU through my family heritage. I believed that this would be a safe, fair environment for me to spend my formative years as a young adult. Never did I think that I would come into an environment where I would work hard and excel for four years, only to be treated like I had done something illegal or immoral. Never would I have thought that I would be put in a position where an administration would outspokenly talk about “putting students first” and then interpret questionable policies against me, a student.

For those of you who supported me in my efforts to become Miss TSU, I am sorry that all of this has happened. I wanted you, and everyone else for that matter, to know the truth, and to understand that I did not intentionally or irresponsibly lose the Miss TSU title. Please feel free to contact the University administration by phone or email, or however else you deem appropriate and express your concerns about what has happened. Despite what has happened, I still want to be Miss TSU. For the University administration, who suggested that I change my major to Interdisciplinary Studies and immediately leave the University, please know that I have no intention of doing so. I have met with my professor and intend to finish the course as soon as possible. I intend to stay at Tennessee State University as long as it takes to complete the degrees of my choosing, regardless of whether I am Miss TSU or not. I will “hold my head high” regardless!

@terrastrong 57 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine


O

CAN President Community

Jenkins CHANGE

YOU feel about

college?


B.O.S.S.: Why do you believe students should choose to attend a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) instead of a predominantly white institution? HBCUs can relate to students in ways that other institutions cannot or may not be able to. We take a look at students’ backgrounds and history and we are able to tailor our programs to accommodate them. So, in general, I believe that we meet the needs of our students in ways that PWIs are not prepared to. B.O.S.S.: What are some unique features of Livingstone College that makes it stand apart from other schools?

Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr. became the 12th President of Livingstone College in February 2006. He has earned the reputation of a “Turn around Artist” because of his knack for rescuing institutions from the brink of disaster. The traits most associated with his rescue accomplishments are establishing financial stability, increasing student enrollment and building and beautifying the physical plant. Under Dr. Jenkins’ tenure, Livingstone now has a new residence hall, Events and Hospitality Center and a state-of-the-art student union. Likewise, Livingstone now offers degrees and certificates through a Hospitality Management Program. Most importantly, Dr. Jenkins has reduced the College’s overall debt by more than $10 million and increased its net assets by more than $14 million. Dr. Jenkins earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Elizabeth City State University before earning a master’s and a Ph.D. in biology from Purdue University. Before coming to Livingstone College he was President of Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Fla., and Chancellor of ECSU. Dr. Jenkins has been married to Dr. Faleese Moore Jenkins for 47 years. The couple has three children, Dr. Lisa Lopez, Attorney Ginger Cartwright and Jimmy Jr., a graphic artist and college lecturer, and five grandchildren.

Livingstone College is the only college in the nation that has a holistic curriculum. Students who select Livingstone know that we address every aspect of their lives in a way that will impact and improve their quality of life. We have every student sign a contract, where we explain in detail our expectations for them during their time at Livingstone. When our students come to Livingstone, they not only sign up for four years of academic studies-- they sign up for four years of social activities and life experience. A unique aspect of this experience requires that they enroll in “Health and Wellness” where we focus on obesity among our students. Obesity is one of the major issues in the black community in particular, so we focus on it by trying to get their body mass index (BMI) in-line with what is appropriate for their height and age in order to be in shape by exercising and physical activity to eating healthy. From obesity stems diabetes, blindness, hypertension-- And by attacking obesity from day one, we can attack these other issues. We understand that many of our students are first generation college students, so they become “change agents”. They go back home with what they have learned and try to help their families realize what it takes to become healthier. In addition to “Health and Wellness,” we also enroll students into a debt and money management program. Too many individuals are caught in the “web”, of poor credit. To help avoid or repair this issue, our money management and debt sessions allow students to look at their credit scores and focus on repairing or rebuilding it for the next four years so that by the time they graduate, they have the best credit rating they possibly can. On this contract students sign on their first day we take issues that are prevalent in the black community and


â&#x20AC;&#x153;Livingstone College is the only college in the nation that has a holistic curriculumâ&#x20AC;? @LIVINGSTONE1879

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try to resolve them here at Livingstone among our students. Red Cross CPR and emergency training, conversational Spanish, and voter registration are some of the 18 things included on the contract. This is our attempt to help them become well- rounded graduates who not only can demonstrate their academic skills but the life skills they have learned and acquired over their time at the College. We are the only college in America that I know of to have such a program. I’m very proud to have it, and I think It’s improving our students. B.O.S.S.: What are some things you do to retain students and keep them motivated all the way to graduation? There are three major reasons for poor retention and why we lose students along the way. With the first one being academic, many of our students come to college and are not really prepared to meet the rigor of the curriculum. This is due to the type of education they received in high school. They come to college ill prepared and are unable to read at an appropriate level, unable to speak proper English, unable to perform math calculations…Those issues are very pronounced when they get to college because of the rigor and expectations we set forth. The next major reason for poor retention is financial. Too many of our students come and are not prepared to pay for college. A lot of grants have turned into loans and families are very leery about amassing debt that they have to pay later on. The last reason is social. Students come in and they are not mature enough to handle the freedoms of college where “no one is telling me what to do.” Most of the bad social habits they had in the past can be pronounced now that they are in college. Often times, it presents itself as not being able to focus on going to class or the library and translates into doing a lot of other things like going to parties, sleeping in, and a general immaturity. At Livingstone, we try to address these issues three-fold. Firstly, we test our students to learn where they are academically. If we find that they are not prepared for intro level courses, we enroll them in preparatory classes with laboratories to build their skills to college curriculum level. Next, for the financial issues we have started a


Scholarship Incentive Program. Under this program, if a student begins with a 2.0 - 3.0 grade point average, for every grade point that you increase each semester we will give you $250 toward your tuition and fees. So, a typical student starting off with a 2.0 GPA can earn up to $1,000 towards school, by simply getting better grades. We are motivating them to do better and address their academic success at the same time. Lastly, the social issues come into place once the academic and financial aspects are corrected. The more you focus on academic improvement and financial stability students become too occupied for social distractions and ill- behaviors. At Livingstone we focus on motivating ordinary students to become better. We believe that this will promote retention and improve our graduation rates. B.O.S.S.: What would you say to a high school student who is struggling and believe they may not graduate? I would tell them to continue giving your best shot at your education. You should be going to the library and seeking tutors to help you. You should also speak to teachers and tell them you have problems and are seeking help. Many studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; performance will improve if they attack their issues. Once you know you have given it your best shot, I am absolutely convinced that you will be able to graduate from high school. Students just have to communicate. They have to admit they have problems and go to the right people for help. They flunk out not because they cannot master the subject, but because they could not communicate their need to their superiors in order to complete their goal. If you decide to come to Livingstone, if you have the will, together we will find a way to matriculate and graduate from this institution.

@ILOVEMYHBCU1 I LOVE MY HBCU means you love your historically black college/university. Promoting black education & embracing our black heritage worldwide!


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@BOSS_EMAG

Find a way or make one B.O.S.S.: What made you decide to attend a Historically Black College/ University (HBCU)? I grew up in the predominantly white town of York, South Carolina. In the 3rd grade, my family and I moved out of York and even though I was very young, I could still recognize the racial divide at that time. I went to a small private school in the country and experienced racism at a very young age. Because of [the racist experiences my family had], we moved to Bennettsville Sc in Marlboro county. It had about a 75% African- American population-- I didn’t know what to do! I loved it because I finally got a chance to see a lot of “me”. My classrooms and my teacher-- that was the first time I ever had an African- American teacher. It was a major experience for me and I didn’t want to leave that environment because I saw the level of enrichment it provided by allowing me to be around my own people. That’s when I knew an HBCU was the school for me. B.O.S.S.: You said being around people in school who looked like you provided “enrichment”. What do you mean by that?

I recognized at a very early age the in depth understanding of self and community. I noticed how much of that understanding was lacking at a school that was predominately white. I knew it didn’t have the support system I needed. Even after scoring high on exams, I was still overlooked. Compared to the black school, I received a lot of support and leadership. B.O.S.S.: Why did you specifically choose to attend Morehouse College? Honestly, I always wanted to go to Morehouse. I didn’t know much about it personally, but I saw movies and shows that supported the College. I was also very Afrocentric and was searching for my culture. So, with regards to Morehouse, it was a decision I made early and I don’t know why. I was interested in film and I knew the legacy it had-- I knew Spike Lee went there along with other people I admired. I just knew that was the place for me. B.O.S.S.: What was your major? I went [to Morehouse] for film, but they did not have a film department. I was so sold on the Morehouse


Stephen “Docta” Love


“brand” that I knew I could find away to make it work. So, I majored in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing. This plan helped me to become a producer and studio executive. B.O.S.S.: What is one unique experience you had as a student at Morehouse? There are so many! Because there was no film department there when I started, I didn’t want it to be that way when I left. My way of creating my own legacy was to start a program for film developers to network and make movies. Spike Lee and Samuel L. Jackson, whom we looked up to, I wanted them to be apart of it. So, I reached out to the President and he suggested that I talk to the Deans of Humanities. It just so happened that he and I were thinking the same thing! We created a film organization called “Morehouse Film Makers Association” which proved there was an interest in a film department on campus and a number of students who wanted to create movies. We scheduled a meeting with Spike Lee, the Dean, and filmmakers to present to them the concept of the Association. Spike Lee agreed to be the advisor for the program. That was major! He did so much more than just “advise”-- he went out of his way to meet with us and have phone conferences with us. That really made the difference. That experience was a direct result of the network Morehouse provided. The keyword here is “network”. Through networking, I participated in a national film contest and went to South Africa… I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the Morehouse network. B.O.S.S.: How would you rate the education you received at Morehouse? The class ratio was typical for general education classes: 30 students to 1 instructor. Major courses were around 25 to 1. Now, your core classes had a 10 to 1 ratio. Morehouse is a nice “marriage” between attending a school with a strong brand to help you move forward in your career, but it also had the personal attention you need to learn.

http://lovessceneproductions.blogspot.com/


B.O.S.S.: How much of the “family” aspect of your HBCU helped you to be successful during your college career? When we were brought into the fold of being a part of the school, we were provided with the College’s history, then orientation, and finally, the school philosophy, “you always have your brother’s back.” You do not just apply and take classes. That is what you are told from day one-- “you have your brother’s back, you have your brothers back.” It’s almost a sense of pledging-- learning the foundation and traditions of the school before we even touch on the academic aspects. When you move into the classroom, the mantra of always having your brother’s back becomes even more real. If one brother fails, we all have failed at our jobs to have our brother’s back. It becomes your responsibility more so than an option to always encourage and uplift your brother. I think having that support system helped me to finish and graduate in four years. With an all male school, our graduation rate is phenomenal. I had a consistent support system from my brothers. B.O.S.S.: What would you say is a benefit of an all male college? Our focus. Studies have shown that single gender schools have a higher rate of completion and higher test scores than other institutions. Females focus regardless, but guys struggle. We do events and collaborations together with the all- female schools, but we are separate. There is nothing like a brotherhood. Because of the way our society is, there are a lot of African American males without fathers in their life, so attending Morehouse and having that brotherhood to take that place of a lack of male figures is a benefit. B.O.S.S.: How was your experience with your instructors at Morehouse? The average instructor was very supportive, but very stern. They nurture you, but become stricter as time progress because they expect excellence and nothing less. The higher-level professors love you, but they expect you to perform well and not fail. In the smaller classes you have no place to hide, so you have a personal experience that you can’t run from. B.O.S.S.: If you had the chance, how would you encourage a potential student to attend an HBCU over a predominantly white institution? If you are going to try any school, try an HBCU. They are not just for African- American students. The experience itself is a benefit to the students and can help them be successful. Historically Black Colleges and Universities are very diverse, very nurturing and understanding, and really give you that “family” experience. If you believe that you can’t go to school because it may be too hard or because you won’t be successful, I say to try an HBCU for those reasons and see how it can help you to be successful. “Find a way or make one” ~Hannibal

@Docta_Love


. s . s . o . e B v i s u l c x e

B

Young S S

Doma Harris


Eleven-year-old Domani Harris is from Atlanta, Georgia and is the son of Clifford (T.I.) Harris. He has taken his father’s lead and has jumped into the music industry. He’s fairly new in the industry, but has already reached a lot of success in the year that he’s been rapping. One of his biggest influences is in fact his father. He’s inspired by everything around him, writing music comes naturally.

ani s

We can imagine that being the son of one of America’s top artists can carry a lot of pressure, but rapper T.I.’s son, Domani Harris, handles it with ease. After speaking with him recently, we can definitely say that he is, indeed, a future BOSS. Not because of his family and his talents, but because he knows what it is going to take for him to be successful with education at the top of his list. The 11- year- old 6th grader realizes the challenges of balancing his music career and his grades. “Well, at first it wasn’t easy but I got used to it. Plus, my dad said if I wasn’t good in school, then I would have to stop doing music. That was motivation enough.” Even when touring and navigating a heavy performing schedule, Domani takes time out to study for tests and be prepared for his classes. “During school, I don’t write raps because that’s school time, not work time. I split it up… I prioritize my education.” This BOSS is not just about music. Domani also builds model airplanes, is involved in acting classes, and does origami in his spare time. 71 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine


Reach for the sky

Every 26 seconds a kid drops out of school. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let that be you.


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@BOSS_EMAG

While he may have his work/ life/ school balance prioritized, Domani does have a word of caution for fellow students interested in pursuing a career in music while in school. “I think you should wait a while, because it’s hard. Trying to keep your grades up and trying to stay good with your music-- it’s hard. School is mandatory so you have to always have to keep your grades up. “ When it comes to struggling and thinking about giving up, Domani proposes that students should be upfront with their teachers and ask for help. “Whatever subject you’re struggling with work on it more. If it’s math, do your homework and pull your teacher aside to tell them you need help. Then, just study and understand that things will get better.” His final message was simple. “Keep your head up, keep dreaming, keep working hard and you will get to where you what to be!” With his music career beginning to flourish with solo projects and records with a number of different artists, Domani Harris is definitely a Future BOSS to keep an eye on.

@IamDomani

“my favorite subject is math because it’s easy to catch on to and easy to learn.”


Black Inspiring Fit Magazine women and girls of color to be fit through exercise and proper nutrition.

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BOSS ISSUE 004

E-Magazine of Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Young Black Leaders 07/12

.Be your Own.Success Story .

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&

U

103 Colleges You may have NEVER heard of, but may want to go!

Amadeus CEO of Platinum Boy Music & Sean 'Diddy' Combs' 'The Hitmen' Producer


Community

Preparing Families for College Interview with Jessica Taylor By: DrDesha   B: Be Your Own Success Story wanted to thank you for interviewing with us. Um, So we just want to get a little bit of background on what your job is. What do you do? J: I am the Program Coordinator for The Ohio State University Young Scholars Program which is in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. B: And what exactly is your role? Like what are you responsible for? J: Okay, well within the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at The Ohio State University, we have a Young Scholars Program and that program is in 9 different urban cities across the district, across the state of Ohio. And our job, well my job primarily, is to make sure that the university has an avid number of minority students and also to increase the number of minority and the underrepresented first generation and low income students at The Ohio State University, on its main campus. B: And what do you think is the biggest difficulty that, uh the schools were having, before they implemented this program, this job for you to do? J: Uh, I would say for, I would say awareness. I think a lot of students, I don’t think college is talked up enough in the classroom, I don’t think it’s spoken a lot in the household. A lot of times when students get to high school, it’s kind of like okay I’m graduating and now I’m done. However at The Ohio State University enrollment is around 56,000. I think this year we brought in 1200 students of color. Within the notion of color, only 6 percent of those students were African American. So one thing, um, is definitely awareness. And

Professionals

then also the requirements to get in. Students aren’t aware of the requirements, they just say they want to go to Ohio State, because of the football team, but then once they see what they have to have in order to get in, they don’t meet the requirements. And a lot of times that’s because college wasn’t stressed at an early level, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th grade, in which they have to have the grades to which they will be admitted to the Ohio State University. B: And what responsibility do you think should be giv-


en to the family as far as preparing them? Or do you teach that as well? J: Definitely. Our program we don’t recruit just the students. After students apply we conduct interviews, and we interview the student and the parent, because the parent has to be just as much on board as the student in wanting to attend college. And for one thing with families, I feel like speaking about college with your children in kindergarten, first grade, so they know they have something that they are working towards. As opposed to just getting credits and graduating. So the family has to be behind the student because it’s not easy. You know it’s not easy at all to say I want to go to college, I want to leave Cincinnati, I want to be away from

home. (they’re initially saying) I want to go to a school where there are 56,000 students and my average high school class has 12 and the entire school has 1200. B: Is your job to be responsible once they get accepted into the program to keep up with them? J: Uh huh. So at the university we have retention counselors and academic advisors that work specifically with students in their program to ensure that they’re taking the right classes. That they’re not taking too many hard classes in one semester, or too many classes that will promote difficulty. Also that those students will matriculate through and that they graduate on time. Also within the program we have scholarship services. So there is someone of the Young Scholars student financial aid package. So even those these students are fully funded, there is someone there at the university who goes over their package to make sure that they are on track and that they (students) are at the school longer than they need to be. B: When you speak to the students about attending college, do the students already know what they want to do, what they want to be or is there guidance given for that? J: It depends on what grade, With our students we will recruit as early as the sixth grade and as late as the ninth grade. So it depends on the age group, it also depends on the grades. Once I go into the school and start asking general questions like, “What do you want to do?”, “Have you ever been to Ohio State?”, “Have you ever been on a college tour?”, then you kind of know where you would need to start that conversation. A lot of times students say “ Oh, I want to be a doctor”, “ Oh, I want to be a lawyer”, but they don’t like math or science, or they don’t like to read. So sometimes you have students who say they want to do whatever makes the most money. They heard lawyers make a lot of money, so they want to be a lawyer. They heard ‘this’ makes a lot of money, that’s what they want to do. So a lot of times, when we go in and we’re talking about the different programs offered at the university, and for some of those students, the students that are accepted into the program, we go through different career assessments, and they also go to Columbus and stay for two weeks (on campus), their Junior year, and within those two weeks stay they look at different internships within the field at the university. So they’ll do a STEM internship, they’ll do a health internship, and while they’re there it helps students signify and helps them decide what it is they want to do. And


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then with the academic advisors, in the event that a student picks a major, and they get there and say hey this is not what I want to do anymore, they can go to that advisor and they can walk them through the process of changing their major so that they won’t be deficient in credits. B: What are some of the parent’s responsibilities once the student has been accepted into the program? J: We have a parent-student alliance. Within that there are so many parent meetings that the parent must attend. Most of them are with the student. We meet at the facility, have different parent workshops and just ask them to participate. We ask the parents to donate so many hours of volunteer service. On top of that, they are to support their child and ensure their child is at every workshop because attendance is something that we definitely track within the program. B: What about for students that may not have that parental support but the desire for college is strong and their grades are strong, how do you work with them? J: We do have a lot of students who are in foster care. We also have some who are current wards of the state or they may live with a guardian and those situations, whoever the person is that’s responsible for that child , that’s who we try to work with most. And then sometimes you get a situation where you get somebody placed over the child, but they’re not actually an active participant in ensuring that child’s success. So then the next default would be to go to their team, their coach, or a teacher that you can count on who would definitely ensure that they’re doing well. We try to exhaust every option. So whomever is around that child that we can get into contact with, who can ensure that person’s success, then that’s something that we definitely do. Also, all the students in our program have been nominated. So a teacher, counselor or principal have nominated the student to be in the program. So there is typically someone around the child that sees that this child has a passion for college, that they have the grades, the work ethic and the academic capacity in order to be in the program. B: What about if a student is not accepted into the program, is there still something that you can give that student? J: Yes, most definitely. With our program a student needs to have a 3.3 GPA, first generation, and there’s an income guideline that we follow. So if the student doesn’t meet those qualifications in order to be in the program then in the office we have an options list. That options list provides them with other organizations around the city of Cincinnati (or wherever they may live) in which they can be a part of. Some organizations may have talent searches, like the TRIO program. You can be first generation and/or low income or neither. So you don’t have to be all of those, however our program you have to be all three. We definitely push the avenues of different programs with GearUp, Talent Search, College Success Center, and Project Grad, etc. So we do have a list with contact information, and we push those students and their families to be a part of those programs as well. B: What’s an important message that you want to tell the students to take to heart as they are taking their classes and figuring out what they want to do after high school? J: It depends on the grade. So if it was a 9th or 10th grade student I would say definitely take those years seriously. 9th grade is normally the year students are just getting to high school and they kind of goof off and get bad grades but you’ll end up spending your entire high school career recouping 9th grade, just trying to get your grades up in order for you to get somewhere. Also with tuition rising, it’s becoming a lot harder to get into school. So for them to take those harder classes. I know that you can take consumer math or pre-calculus, take pre-calculus. Take those classes that definitely make a difference as far as your credit worthiness when you are going to school. Also, if you’re a Junior, start preparing for your standardized testing. Don’t wait until your senior year to take the test. You normally only have two options before deadlines when you need to turn the applications in and you want to submit the best score. In addition to taking the test, don’t just go sit for the test, prepare for the test. Just like you do a driving test, do everything that you can to prepare and begin studying for that test you are going to take. Then there’s being realistic about the school you want to attend. So a lot of kids would say they want to go to this school because I heard they had hot parties or they have a good football team and I’m going to try to walk on and get drafted. You re 78 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine


ally need to be realistic. 1. Can I afford this school? Money is a big issue. Can you afford it? 2. Do you have the academic skills that the school asks for in order to be accepted into the school? #> Can you afford to go out of state? A lot of students want to go to the different HBCUs down south but they don’t have the money to go to schools out of state. So those are some things I would tell them to definitely stop and consider. Scholarships, you can’t wait until your senior year, the last minute to start applying for scholarships. Then on top of all that is visiting the school. A lot of things look great on the brochure but you need to go see where you’ll be spending the next four years or two years of your life and the money that you are investing into your education. Parents have to understand that, they may take out a loan for cars and houses, sometimes you might have to take out one to assist the student. These are called Parent-PLUS loans in which the student needs the parents to obtain extra money for them to attend college. Parents need to understand too that when they may have went to that school it may have been awesome but as the climate changes, so do colleges. That school may not be the best fit for your student. For the child, don’t limit yourself to what you might think you want to attend. If there’s a school out there that you like and you feel you can get in, apply, what’s the worse they can say? No? And if they say no, then just move on to the next one. B: What’s the difference between a grant and a loan?

Want to see more? Click on the picture below and enjoy the conclusion of this interview on our blog site! “Preparing families for college.”

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HBCU & U . . .

ALEX “FORTYWEST” GIBBS Senior, Class of 2012, Communication/ Theatre


What made you decide to attend an HBCU? I wanted to attend at school in which I could attain Black Excellence. Why did you choose your HBCU? TSU has a long legacy in my family which was passed on from my uncles and aunts. Most memorable moment on campus? My Freshman Talent show. What are some of the benefits of your HBCU? The connection that I have made, not only with peers, but with professors such as Dr. Tina Smith, Dr. Iris Johnson, and Clinical Supervisor, Tyese Hunter, just to name a few, could never be replaced and are far more valuable than a Ivy League. What advice would you give an incoming freshman? Dare to be Different

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HBCU & U . . .

Marcus Brandon

Senior, Class of 2013, Computer Information Systems


What made you decide to attend an HBCU? The reason I attended an HBCU is because I knew the beginning of AfricanAmerican achievements were founded here. I also wanted the overall HBCU experience that I heard so much about growing up. Why did you choose your HBCU? Being from the south, I felt Grambling was the place to be. The name Grambling itself is captivating. True, football built Grambling's name, but it evovled so much from athletics. Now, Grambling is being noticed for a variety of things from an educational standpoint and a social standpoint. Grambling is a place where everybody is a somebody and with the University having such a prominent name, it gave me a great opportuunity to be a somebody. Most memorable moment on campus? My most memorable moment on campus was on May 18, 2012 when I took the world by storm via Twitter by being one of the founders of the #HBCUFollowTrain movement and being the #4 & #7 worldwide trending topic. What are some of the benefits of your HBCU? Not only would I become more knowledgeable on my black history, but I also observe how other African- American students interact being from different backgrounds. What advice would you give an incoming freshman? My advice to incoming freshmen is to find yourself, discover who you are and once you do that, strive to be great.

Q S U T UE D S TE NI O T N S S


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HBCU & U . . .

Reuben Rifin

Sophomore, Class of 2015, Mass Communications (Broadcast Journalism), Alpha Phi Alpha


What made you decide to attend an HBCU? The opportunity itself to attend a HBCU and become a part of history. Even more importantly, making history was an opportunity I could not turn down. I also strongly believe the Will of God led me there. Why did you choose your HBCU? I didn't choose to attend the Great Bethune Cookman University, the Will of God and fate chose BCU for me. Though tuition may be high and it is a ways from home, I was placed into an apartment along with the help of the faculty landed a job and received financial aid. Bethune Cookman University was in God plans for Him to prosper me to give me hope and a future. Most memorable moment on campus? My probate night! I felt that becoming a member of Alpha Phi Alpha was one of the biggest stepping stones for me in my life. To be able to share that moment with my family and friends on the campus was one of the highlights of my life. What are some of the benefits of your HBCU? The benefits are attending one of the oldest in the country founded by a visionary woman. Personally having people that went to my church attend Bethune Cookman University I was instantaneously embedded into a family environment; in which I know is second to none. What advice would you give an incoming freshman? Honestly, know why you came to college. Remember the ups and downs you had to take to get where you are. Never forget that someone prayed you up to get you here so don't let them down.

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HBCU & U . . .

LaDarrien Gillette

Incoming Freshman, Class of 2016, Criminal Justice/ Journalism


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HBCU & U

What made you decide to attend an HBCU? I believe that there is more to learning than just taking classes; there is the learning of oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own culture which I know I will be able to acquire at an HBCU. Why did you choose your HBCU? Spelman is the number one HBCU! I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think of a better place to get my education other than among my fellow African- American sisters. What are some of the benefits of your HBCU? I know Spelman has an excellent curriculum and also various sports and clubs to suit every Spelmanite!

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HBCU & U . . .

Randy Moore

Graduate Student, Class of 2014, Computer Information Systems


What made you decide to attend a HBCU? I wanted to continue the legacy that our ancestors have worked hard to prepare for us. I wanted to be able to motivate as well as inspire all people, but ESPECIALLY "my kind" because America doesn't recognize us as a whole for our positives. I could have only done so if I took this route. Why did you choose your HBCU? Virginia State University (VSU) offered me a scholarship in football and I had already knew some guys I played ball against in high school that was on the team there. VSU had this certain type of atmosphere that just made me comfortable. I felt like it was where I was suppose to be. Most memorable moment on campus? The most memorable moment on campus is homecoming week. As a football player, it is special to see everyone come together to support you, as well as the school... So it would have to be homecoming week... What are some of the benefits of your HBCU? Virginia is considered the top of the south/ bottom of the north. VSU combines you with a variety of students from different places. That is great when it comes to networking. To be able to sit down and talk with people from 15 different states and discuss their walk of life. It is interesting. VSU provides a comfortable home for students from all over the world. That's what I feel VSUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s benefits are. What advice would you give to an incoming freshman? Stay true to yourself. Work hard and remember the ones whose life you want to make better. Have enough confidence In yourself to do whatever you choose. ALWAYS keep a POSITIVE attitude and trust God with wherever He will be taking you in your college experience. Remember Self Wisdom Allows General Growth That is the true meaning of Swagg. DON'T fall a victim of peer pressure... Have enough self wisdom to make the decisions for yourself, with out anyone's advice. Surround yourself with people who want to succeed and be great at what their calling is! Be yourself throughout college...

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The Logic In everything you do, there’s a message! SWAGG is an acronym which stands for “Self Wisdom Allows General Growth”. The message behind this clothing line is for people to focus on being comfortable within themselves as well as understanding themselves. The more you know about you, the better you will understand you. The better you understand you, the easier it is to be yourself. No one can be you better then you can. Nowa-days people try to be like other person which takes away from their self value. You can be yourself and still be labeled cool. Stay within your financial bracket. You don’t have please anybody but you. Our motto is "Stay fly or get flown over". It's not just a clothing line, it’s a lifestyle! The Coolest People are those who are themselves!


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HBCU & U . . .

Jazmyne Byrd

Graduate, Psychology


What made you decide to attend an HBCU? HBCUs have been in my bloodline for years. I have been exposed to them all my life so there was no other choice in higher education but an HBCU. My grandfather was my biggest advocate for HBCU education. He went to Knoxville College and he would brag about his college days. He encouraged me to attend an HBCU and receive the best education I could. When I went for a visit at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio in 2004, I was welcomed with open arms. The students were nice and the campus was lovely. When I inquired about the academics, they were very knowledgeable about the field I was interested in. After the tour, I signed the forms right away to attend. Why did you choose your HBCU? Central State University is the only public HBCU in the Midwest. Being from Cincinnati, Ohio, I didn't want to travel far away from home. Central had everything I needed to get that being away from home atmosphere. Everyone was striving to be the best and do their best. I met so many people from Detroit, Chicago and other parts of the country. It had that feeling of being at home with family. Most memorable moment on campus? The Candle Lighting Ceremony. This ceremony represents your journey through college and life. It symbolized that when the wind blows, sometimes your light will go out, but there is always someone there to spark your light again and help you along your journey. That was so symbolic to my college years. I was never alone. Someone was always in my corner even when I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see it. What are some of the benefits of your HBCU? The campus size was one of the best benefits. It is large enough to have an amazing student body and campus life. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also small enough for teachers to know your name and face. Teachers are able to really give you that one on one experience to help you excel in your chosen field. What advice would you give an incoming freshman? Make it the best experience possible. Yes, you will get homesick and yes, the food sometimes does not look edible. But when you walk across that stage, all the obstacles it took to get you there will seem so small and minimal. So enjoy the time that you are there, make great friends and connections and appreciate the fact that you will be a history maker and changer.

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HBCU & U . . .

Tony Harris

Junior, Class of 2014, Social Work


What made you decide to attend an HBCU? Being from Savannah, Georgia, I had the privilege of being around the HBCU environment with family who attended Savannah State University and other alumni. Their positive influences encouraged my interest. Why did you choose your HBCU? When searching for a university, I wanted to attend an institution where I could learn and grow both inside and outside the classroom. Savannah State University was the perfect choice holding the distinction as the oldest public Historically black university in Georgia. I have had the opportunity to learn more about my historical HBCU and my city of Savannah. Most memorable moment on campus? My most memorable moment at Savannah State was the 1st annual NBHAAD (National Black HIV AIDS Awareness Day) Fair which I coordinated and hosted with the assistance of fraternities and sororities of the Divine Nine. What are some of the benefits of your HBCU? My HBCU has allowed me to become more culturally diverse interacting with our international students from all over. What advice would you give an incoming freshman? To any incoming freshmen my advice would be to enjoy your experience, embrace your new environment and peers, but most of all stay FOCUSED because Procrastination Prevents Progress.

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C e l e b r i t y


ISSUE #6

Left: Oprah Winfred Tennessee State University Right: Tom Joyner Tuskegee University

HBCU & U

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C e l e b r i t y


Left: Keshia Knight Pulliam Spelman College Above: Michael Clarke Duncan Alcorn State University 99 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine


H i s t o r y Above: Fisk Jubilee Singers: Fisk University


H i s t o r y Above: Tuskegee Airmen - Tuskegee University


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It's been an interesting few weeks as we have been working on this issue. We have come to put faces, names and experiences to some of this country's Historically Black Colleges and Universities. I would like to thank everyone that was involved in the making of this special issue that was outside of our norm. Thank you to the students who shared their stories, the college presidents who shared their enthusiasm, and everyone inbetween. While we were unable to represent all 100+ schools in this issue, we are asking for your support in sharing this magazine. At the bottom of this page is a link to a list of HBCUs at the United Negro College Fund Website. Visit the page and learn more about the member colleges. Thank you for your support of B.O.S.S. and as always, remember to Be your Own Success Story! Drea Elizabeth Editor PS. Please check out our new blog at http://BossEmagBlog.wordpress.com for more things B.O.S.S.!!

B.O.S.S. E-Magazine Issue 6  
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Discover all about Historically Black Colleges and Universities in our new issue #6 "HBCU & U". Read what Presidents, students and graduate...

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