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‘Black Future Leaders, Inc.’ Educating Students in the Age of Information Technology

By Angela M. Coggs

Black Future Leaders, Inc. held their 32th Annual Summer Residential Program at California State University, San Bernardino from Friday, September 8 to Sunday, September 10. This year’s focus was Information Technology.  

The program was attended by 35 students from several school districts, including San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles. They were given the opportunity to explore Arrowhead United Way’s sponsored STEM activities. The program was open to students who complete an application, provide a recent transcript or report card, and has maintained a 3.0 or higher grade point average.

On Saturday, September 10, the students participated in a one-day informative technology seminar where they learned (1) how to build a technologically responsive website using share point, (2) the role of mobile technology in a business environment and (3) how to disassemble and rebuild computer servers. 

Danny Tillman teaching students about the the stock market and how to buy, sell and invest responsibly 

Danny Tillman teaching students about the the stock market and how to buy, sell and invest responsibly 

The scholars were placed in groups and participated in a healthy, academic challenge. Each group was responsible for organizing and preparing a Financial Analysis Project. Students were asked to pick a company and analyze its stock market performance. The top two groups did their company research on Johnson & Johnson and Chevron.?  

First Place – Johnson & Johnson Group: Anaya James, Nenna Obih and Lyric Page

Second Place – Chevron Group: Kelly Gadsden, Yonathan Habermariam, Nia Howard, and Darnell Smith 

End of Program/ Luncheon Photo (Danny Tillman -left and Lois Carson - sitted in the center)

End of Program/ Luncheon Photo (Danny Tillman -left and Lois Carson – sitted in the center)

In order for the students to obtain their dorm room key for the weekend, they had to submit an essay as part of the programs requirements. The topic varies each year but expectations remain the same. Students are asked to write a 500 word essay entitled “Hidden Figures, A History to Inform the Future.” The BFL Board of Directors believe with the book and movie “Hidden Figures” students should continue the focus on areas of study such as the careers of the future. This year’s Hidden Figures Essay winners were as follows: 

1st place- Danielle Lilley 

2nd place- Yonathan Habtermariam 

3rd place– Jamin Garbutt

Group Photo 

Group Photo

It is evident in today’s society that life will continue to be concentrated in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S.T.E.M.). Former President Barack Obama advised that these areas define the way to win the future and made these critical areas his priority during his time in the White House and also now through the Obama Foundation. African-American youth are seldom seen in the science classrooms or at the science fairs. Black Future Leader’s goal is still to change the paradigm. 

Black Future Leaders, Inc. was sponsored by Arrowhead United Way and Southern California Edison.

CEO and President of Arrowhead United Way Doug Rowand stated, “The opportunity for students to be exposed to STEM education is an important step in their future careers.” He added, “We are proud to support the engineers of our future.”? 

Black Future Leaders, Inc. is a program for African American students designed to develop leadership skills and build self-esteem to help them reach their full academic potential. Mrs. Lois Carson is one of the founders who are still active in the BFL program. The educational assistance program was designed for high school achievers from both Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Students must have and maintain a 3.0 GPA to participate. The idea for the program came from Dr. Jean Peacock, professor at California State University, San Bernardino and it was incorporated in 1985.  

For more information about Black Future Leaders, Inc. please visit www.BlackFutureLeaders.webs.com or email: BFLeaders@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

From Music Mogul to Top Real Estate Agent, Entrepreneur: Meet Jarret Ballard

Jarrett Ballard

Jarrett Ballard

By Naomi K. Bonman

As a Journalist, I get to do many exciting interviews and meet tons of people. There are some people who you’ll interview, and it will be just that an interview, but then there are those in a ‘select’ bunch that you just stay connected with and you watch their progress and growth over time. 

In 2011, I interviewed an up and coming boy band out of Chicago, Illinois but at the time had relocated to Los Angeles, California. Real Estate Agent, Jarret Ballard was apart of that group. So, to watch his journey from there to where he is now is inspiring and I know others will be blessed upon hearing his story on how he got started in the music business and how it prepared him in his current career as an entrepreneur in Real Estate and Finance. Ballard is on a mission in building wealth not only for himself, but in helping others, especially other minorities and millennials to build wealth as well. 

Check out and listen to the interview below and make sure to grab a pen and paper because I’m sure you will want to take notes to the advice that he is about to give you. 

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW

Young Women’s Empowerment Foundation Refuses to Let You Go Silent: 5th Annual Women’s Wellness Conference

By Angela M. Coggs

On Saturday, September 9, Young Women Empowerment Foundation (YWE) hosted their fifth Annual Women’s Wellness Conference at San Bernardino Community Hospital Henderson Auditorium. YWE invited family, friends, faith-based organizations, students and community supporters to their augural event that focused on emotional and physical health and wellness. It was a free event for women in the Inland Empire, although there were several men in attendance.

This year’s theme was Silence No More. It refers to not keeping silent regarding heart disease and domestic violence. Both areas of concern plague all people but especially minority women. The conference placed an emphasis on the prevention of heart disease as well as learning to live with and maintain if diagnosed by a physician. Additionally, domestic violence was addressed in a unique and compelling way.

Vickie Lee, Madeline Freeman and Arlington Rodgers II performed an emotional and riveting skit that centered on a real-to-life situation that happens every day behind closed doors. Lee’s performance brought many of the attendees to tears. It took the engaged audience into a deep and personal look inside a potential volatile situation. “She was so good. It seemed so real,” exclaimed Dr. Romeo Brooks, one of the keynote speaker of the conference. Brooks stated that he was so moved and impressed with the entire performance.

Brooks and YWE Board

Brooks and YWE Board

It was an eventful and interactive conference. The women in attendance had the opportunity to participate in interactive demonstrations and hear life changing testimonials from other women on heart disease and domestic violence. 

Originally, there were three keynote speakers for the wellness conference who focus would be based on issues that are important and relevant to heart disease and domestic violence. The keynote and guest testimonial speakers were Dr. Romeo Brooks, Ph.D. (Keynote) Herbalist, Iridologist, Natural Hygienist and Naturopathic Medicine, Roots Nutrition and Melinda Cuellar, Representative Divine Connections, H.O.P.E.

Gwen and Assemblywoman Eloise Gómez Reyes

Gwen and Assemblywoman Eloise Gómez Reyes

The other scheduled keynote speaker was supposed to be Joyce Fairman CEO/Founder of Hearts of Color. Regrettable, she passed prior the conference. However, as they continue to mourn the loss of the beloved friend and heart health advocate Young Women’s Empowerment Foundation honored her legacy with her mentee, Deborah Smith, acknowledging her “never stop” attitude and how she continued to encourage to reach her potential and to find her passion. After her noteworthy peek into their personal relationship, YWE introduced Fairman to the captivated audience via slide show and they watched a montage of pictures that revealed her caring and positive spirit. Testimony from her close friend, Sharon Smith- Knight, shown Fairman’s humorous side. Everyone in attendance participated in and observed a moment of silence during Fairman’s original scheduled speaking time. 

Cuellar spoke about domestic violence and how Divine Connections, H.O.P.E.’s mission is to offer guidance, empowerment, education and resources for building healthy relationships. The attendees were introduced to Option House by Deborah Smith, which provides information, resources and services about domestic violence. A question and answer segment was held at the end of the presentations.

Vickie Lee and Dr. Brooks

Vickie Lee and Dr. Brooks

Dr. Brooks discussed how to prevent and live with heart disease. He communicated how the physical body is not only the expressed image of the invisible mind but is also the visible barometer of what occurs in our mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. He connected physical wellness to our mental health. He emphasized that we need to eliminate all the bad things our bodies accumulate.

In addition to providing useful health and wellness information at the conference, the attendees was also invited to get physical during the live line dance demonstrations by Heart and Soul’s Harriette Coggs- Stuckey. The line dance demonstrations has been a huge success for the past three years and this year was no different. Coggs- Stuckey energetic personality match her energetic performance. Everyone participated in the dancing segment and enjoyed the heart pumping activity.

Heart and Soul 2017

Heart and Soul 2017

YWE serves to strengthen the character of young women of high school age in the San Bernardino City region of the Inland Empire in Southern California. Young Women’s Empowerment was founded by CEO Gwendolyn Dowdy- Rodgers. The mission of our program is to empower these young women to achieve at their highest potential, particularly in education, and to instill in them a commitment to return to their community as leaders and mentors.

Vickie Lee and Madeline Freeman

Vickie Lee and Madeline Freeman

The Young Women’s Empowerment Foundation (YWE) is dedicated to strengthening the self-esteem, character, integrity and capacity of young women ages 12-21 so that they may achieve their highest potential. YWE accomplishes its purpose through strategic partnerships with other organizations. YWE is guided by ethics and principles which exhibit respect for cultural diversity.