Posts tagged ‘community’

Teach them NOW!

With 3 weeks of this internship left, I have barely scratched the surface of what this amazing city has to offer. Out of the 11 cities that Lemonade Day is expanding to, I feel like Atlanta has one of the greatest amounts of potential.  There are SO many communities and at risk youth that could truly benefit from the amazing Lemonade Day Program; I am determined to reach them.  But I cannot do it alone.

Let’s look at some facts:

FACT:

Atlanta is the third largest city in the United States, the urban core of one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States, it has the nation’s third largest amount of Fortune 500 companies, and over  75% of the nations Fortune 1000 companies.  On top of this all, it has also been named the “Black Enterprise”, or “Black Mecca” of America.  And how can I forget, Forbes ranked Atlanta as one of the top 5 cities/metro areas to run a business.  When we are talking about expanding a program that teaches youth to be business savvy, financially literate, successful entrepreneurs early on in life…is there really a better a place?

FACT:

The importance of encouraging entrepreneurial interests among youth–within families, neighborhoods, and larger communities–strikes at the heart of Black Enterprise Declaration of Financial Empowerment Principle No. 7: to provide access to programs that will educate my children about business and finance. There are plenty of resources available for parents that will help their children learn about business and finance including camps, economics programs, clubs, and associations.

Guess what?  Lemonade Day can be one of those resources!  I have to be honest and tell you, I’m in my junior year of college, and until I interned with this amazing program, I never even IMAGINED being an entrepreneur.  Had I had this mindset earlier on in life, do you know how far ahead in I would be?  Let me give you an example, let’s look at an amazing young entrepreneur  I met through this internship,  Keith J. Davis Jr.  (look him up at keithjdavisjr.com).  Keith has done more in his youth than some have done in their lifetime.  He is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, actor, and model, and is well on his way to being a multi millionaire before he graduates college, and retired by 35. Why? He was exposed to business and entrepreneurship extremely early in life, and was aware that he had endless opportunities and resources.  Did I mention he is 18, and a recent high school graduate?

Lemonade Day is indeed for EVERYONE, but I am extremely determined to reach those at risk, inner city, minority youth that I know will benefit the most from it.  How amazing would it be to expose them to something that lets them know that they can create their own opportunities for success?  How amazing would it be to let them know that they don’t have to settle for where they are in life and that their current circumstances do not have to dictate what they can and cannot do in life? Kids can never learn too early how to grow and manage their money, we want to expose them to this all very early on through Lemonade Day.  Teach them now, why wait?

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I spoke in an earlier blog post about being a village and building a community that cares through Lemonade Day. I am calling all businesses, nonprofits, government, schools, and religious sectors to join together and become that village that empowers kids in Atlanta to run a business, be successful, and give back through Lemonade Day.  Who is in?

Contact me: iman@lemonadeday.org

Visit our site: www.lemonadeday.org

Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/LDayFunAtlanta

July 22, 2009 at 5:44 pm Leave a comment

The Power of One

One. It’s hard to believe a word that evokes such singularity can come to mean the complete opposite. In Houston, there’s a local radio station here that plays contemporary Christian music called KSBJ. There are no commercials. Ever! How awesome is that? Today is the commencement date for KSBJ’s Sharathon 2009! “The Power of One” is this year’s theme!

In other news, the National Conference on Volunteering and Service kicked off last night in SF! Many inspiring speakers helped open up this awesome conference, including California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, and rockstar philanthropist Jon Bon Jovi! I am not in SF – but thanks to the live webstream broadcast, I was able to catch most of these speeches. Michelle Obama said, “This is the time to act” and Bon Jovi inspired many by talking about “The Power of We” and “If each of the hopeful can fix just one thing, imagine…”

The Power of One plays an enormously important role in Lemonade Day and applies to several different facets of the program. The “One” can be a literal reference to the individual—each child, each entrepreneur, each lemonade stand, and each Caring Adult. Or, it can refer to the single, greater entity that each individual is a part of: each city and each community. For Lemonade Day to be successful, it is certain that each one needs the other.

Lemonade Day is no easy task. It takes an entire year just to plan for one day! I’m not going to lie, we need your help! How will you make the difference?

June 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm 2 comments

What does Lemonade Day Mean…

This afternoon my wonderful fellow interns and I were lucky enough to have a meeting with a very inspiring activist rapper from Brazil, MV Bill. MV Bill is doing some truely amazing things for his country. He is using his skills in the hip-hop world to make a difference in the slums of his home country. But he is not doing it in the conventional way most Americanized hip-hop stars would think to make a difference. In fact, he disagrees completely with the way that many American rap artists have portrayed themselves through their lyrics and lifestyles.  MV Bill is actually rapping about the experiences and hardships in the slums of Brazil in order to get the government,people of Brazil and all across the world to try to change the terrible things occurring in their slums. Even though people of have called him crazy and dont understand why he is using his music skills to tell of the hardships many native Brazilians endure everyday, he still continues on, because he knows what needs to be done in his country and I guarantee you, he won’t stop until the worst has been made better.

While we were all gathered around our conference room table with MV Bill, the executive director of P4L and Lemonade Day, Julie (whom is by the most inspiring woman Ive ever met) asked each of the interns to introducre ourselves and tell MV Bill what it is that drives us to make Lemonade Day happen. As soon as Julie said that, immediately my thoughts started to churn. As each of us went around the table the passion and joy in the room started to build to a whole new level, the spark in each of our eyes shined so bright when telling about the joy we feel for what we are doing. It is truly amazing to see the transformation we have each gone through in just three short weeks. Everyone one of us are on fire to help better the youth and future of our country.  Even though we each depicted our passions in different ways, we all came back to the same common goal… to inspire all of the youth in each of our cities, across the nation and around the world that anything is possible.

As week three of my journey with Lemonade Day comes to an end, my passion and love only grows stronger. I hope that you will embrace Lemonade Day with just as much passion as the whole Lemonade Day team has. What we are doing for the future is like nothing else.  I believe that with each lemonade stand that his put up on Lemonade Day there will be three times as much confidence, strength and hope instilled in each child that participates.

Have a wonderful weekend.

June 19, 2009 at 11:33 pm Leave a comment


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