“I think about it sometimes and I wonder why God chose me to be so blessed to have a mom like her. I hope that one day I can be at least part of how great she’s been to me as a mom to my children. I’m just so grateful.”
I started my own non-profit just over two years ago called The Big Blue and You Foundation. I had submitted my idea for a marine TV show to Roxy and I won first place, so I got a $10,000 prize to start my company.
I wanted to do more for my community. I started it with my mom, and she’s now the executive director. We’re the only two full time people and we have five interns that are all in college.
The Big Blue and You is really about inspiring and empowering kids to be true stewards of the ocean through art. We just had Art by the Sea. We’re also doing an event during the year for families. We’re just getting out in the community The next big project will definitely be our webisodes, talking about south Florida and the marine environment. I’m working on getting the TV show up and running. Read the rest of this entry »
Bassey Ikpi Writer, Poet, Mental Health Advocate Washington, DC
“When I start getting, “oh I can’t do this, what made me think I can write a book?” she kicks my butt and really reminds me what I’m writing and who I’m writing for… Because she’s her, I do it when she tells me to do something.”
My two mentors, Denene Millner and Meri Danquah, they’re people that I’ve admired for years. Over the last year, I’ve become personally acquainted with both of them. That never happens – you admire someone from far, you never get to meet them. They never like you and take you under their wing.
Denene, I met through a mutual friend. She’d been reading my work; she encouraged me to write more. I was like “no, I’m not really a writer. I just blog sometimes and don’t really take it out of the poetry realm.” She gave me a lot of confidence and perspective, she showed me my strengths. A lot of young writers get caught in the way they sound. They wonder if they sound enough like other people for the general audience to be accepting of them. But she told me, “Nobody writes like you, so you should be the one writing like you and they should be the ones wondering if they should be writing like you.” Read the rest of this entry »
“I do recognize that no one can make it out here in this world alone… I might not be able to change the world overnight but I can at least contribute. All the world’s a stage and everyone can contribute a verse, I just want mine to be heard.”
“My name is Andre Karim Lett. I’m publicly known as D.R.E.S. tha BEATnik and I am an underground concierge. I’m a host and an emcee, a human beat boxer, and lecturer, and promoter, and I make sure everybody gets what they need, when they need it, and how they need it.
“I started 4Kings Entertainment in Philly with three of my best friends – we all attended Martin Luther King, Jr. High School, hence the name 4Kings. We started with Sunday get-togethers and house parties and all that. It’d feel very Dead Poets Society-esque. [We’d] share stories, music, books, magazines; my grandmother would cook Sunday dinner for us. Every time we’d get together, we’d ask people to bring someone new the next week. It got to the point where it got so big that we had to find somewhere else to go. I kept it going pretty much until I graduated high school. Read the rest of this entry »
“My children inspired me constantly to do better, to work harder, to find new ways to reinvent myself. “
“How I got here is a long and winding story. On the way, I learned from so many people who I guess were overwhelmed by me, inspired by me, I don’t know, they just gave me chances. One of the great chances in my life, I started out as a book keeper at The Mescon Group and ended up being COO [,partner and CFO]. I was the only one without a college degree and my partners all had PhDs. I was given chances. It was a great job, but it was a corporate job. I decided I wanted a more creative life. Read the rest of this entry »
“Part of my growing up was living in a bedroom with three brothers. It was just full of music all the time. I was a little kid just watching them… As time got later on, we more seriously collaborated. We kind of bounce ideas off each other and we share things with each other… Musically we’ve always worked together.”
“I was born in London, my parents are from the Caribbean. My father is from St. Lucia, my mother from St. Vincent. I’ve always had two loves in life; my first love is electronics, my second is music.
“My father was a builder. He bought this house, then he built four extensions on it because I have three brothers and two sisters. Part of my growing up was living in a bedroom with three brothers. It was just full of music all the time. I was a little kid just watching them. Read the rest of this entry »
“I started [what I do] because of a Canadian hip-hop artist by the name of Promise. He was looking for someone to help him organize his business finances. He heard about me through a mutual friend at church and he brought a shoe box of receipts to me and said, “What do I do?” His manager Andrew was really excited once Promise came back to him. About a month later before they went on tour, [Andrew] called me and asked me if I would be interested in taking care of some stuff back home while they were gone. We met for about 20 minutes before they left.
“Then [Andrew] talked to me about becoming part of his company. When he and I met he was really clear about what he expected from a character standpoint and he wouldn’t really compromise with that. That was so rare from a music business standpoint. He really expected that from everyone on the team. It was really an honor for me. We’re still business partners today. We manage Liya now, Promise’s wife. Read the rest of this entry »