Positive Youth Gossip:: Houston's Youth Entrepreneurship Academy & Chicago's Urban Prep Academy

I just couldn't resist sharing this gossip with you...are you ready? Will you spread it?

I hate to disappoint you, but its all positive and its all about youth! Uh oh!

Its a rarity that we use our media platforms to talk about the positive accomplishments of the younger generations, but I love doing it on my blog...so here is some good news you may have missed out of Houston (my hometown) and Chicago.

Texas Business Alliance recently launched its Youth Entrepreneurship Academy® ("YEA") program. From among nearly 100 applicants, 15 youth were selected to participate in the seven-month entrepreneurial training program. The program will primarily be housed at the Jesse H. Jones School of Business at Texas Southern University.

"We are honored to have a role in helping to shape the futures of the Youth Entrepreneurship Academy® participants" said Dr. Joseph L. Boyd, dean of the Texas Southern University School of Business. "We believe in the YEA goal of equipping our youth, while growing the number of new, qualified small businesses in the area and ensuring their growth, self-sufficiency and sustainability."

The following outstanding youth were selected for the 2010 inaugural YEA program:

* Ashura Bayyan, Aldine High School, age 17
* Xavier Boatwright, Texas Southern University, age 19
* Keith J. Davis Jr., University of Houston, age 19
* Patrick Fagan, Lutheran South Academy, age 15
* KeShawn George, George Bush High School, age 16
* Tishera Jackson, Humble Senior High School, age 16
* Phillip E. Lopez, age 18
* Lydia Martinez, Deer Park High School, age 16
* Faith Miller, Victory Early College, age 16
* Jacob Ollison, High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, age 18
* Alexis Taylor, Carnegie Vanguard High School, age 17
* Ravin Washington, Chester W. Nimitz Senior High School, age 17
* Keris Williams, Carver High School, age 18
* Kerry Willrich, Carl Wunsche Senior High School, age 19
* Jalen Wiseman, Carl Wunsche Senior High School, age 16

L-R: Keith Davis Jr., Alexis Taylor, Keris Williams, Lydia Martinez, Jalen Wiseman
L-R: Jacob Ollison, Phillip Lopez, Patrick Fagin, KeShawn George, Xavier Boatwright
L-R: Kerry Willrich, Tishera Jackson, Faith Miller, Ashura Bayyan (not pictured: Ravin Washington)

"We are extremely excited about YEA Class I," said Texas Business Alliance Founder and CEO Jeffrey L. Boney. "Many of our young people today are motivated and talented, and simply need hands-on mentoring to accomplish their goals. With the assistance of our sponsors and volunteers, YEA will fill the role of helping youth have an entrepreneurial alternative to reaching the American dream."

YEA selection criteria included: the desire to pursue an entrepreneurial path; community and/or civic involvement, financial need and application completeness.

YEA program modules include: the entrepreneur experience, role of entrepreneurs, key characteristics and skills, learning how to spot opportunities, idea generation, business plan creation, marketing, credit management, financial literacy/management, accessing funding, technology, life skills, and community involvement/volunteerism.

Congratulations students!!!...but wait there is more....keep reading!

According to their press release, the students at Urban Prep Academies, the nation’s first all-boys public charter high school and comprised entirely of African-American males, have achieved what some thought would be impossible – 100 percent of its first senior class has been accepted to college.

Seniors, dressed in their uniform of black blazers and khaki pants, exchanged their red ties for a special red and gold striped version as they received college acceptance letters over the last few months. At the ceremony, the seniors most recently admitted to college were presented with their new red and gold striped ties.

“When these students entered Urban Prep as freshmen in 2006, only four percent were
reading at grade level, and according to the statistics, they faced low graduation and even lower college acceptance levels. But, at Urban Prep “We Believe” that all our students are college bound and never doubted this day would come. We are so proud to announce that all students in our first senior class have been accepted to a four-year college or university, ” said Tim King, founder and CEO of Urban Prep Academies.

(Photos courtesy of Urban Prep Picasa Web Album)

Congratulations young brothers!

Let's all continue to support our youth across the globe. Do you have a positive story to share about a young person? Send it to me!

--Brother Jesse



  1. As-Salaam-Alaikum, Brother Jesse. I have added your blog to my blog rolls.

  2. @AttorneyMom

    Wa Laikum Salaam! Thank you Queen!!! I will do so as well.


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