1. Why did you decide to start a scholarship-based non-profit organization?
I did not intentionally seek out to start a non-profit organization. After graduating from college, I was thankful for the milestones that I accomplished and the various people who have helped me reach my educational goals. I felt the best way to pay them back, was to pay it forward. Essentially, I wanted to raise money to assist college students. As a result of the vision of Michelle Janaye and myself, a non-profit organization was born, The Helping Others Pursue Education Scholarship Initiative.
2. As The H.O.P.E. Scholarship goes into its third year, what do you hope it will accomplish?
Ultimately, I want to see H.O.P.E. motivate more people to follow their dreams, assist more students financially through scholarship and empower the next generation of young philanthropists. If this means more intuitive blog posts, stronger branding, better events, and larger H.O.P.E. tours; then lets do it.
3. What role has higher education played in your life?
I grew up enjoying the classroom and having professors who constantly challenged me. I was good in other things, but I did the best while sitting at a wooden desk with a #2 mechanical pencil in my hand. In fact, it was my determination to attend a HBCU at a very early age that contributed to me wanting to do my best in school.
4. What does it mean to be a HOPE Dealer?
To me, HOPE Dealer means, In all things that I do, I try to help someone else and I do it with a giving heart. I do not do it for fame or recognition, I do it because it is the right thing to do.
5. How can students involve themselves in philanthropy, even if they don’t have a lot of money?
For non-profit organizations, volunteers (or workers) are vital, their tireless work is just as valuable as monetary donations. Money should not be a deterrent on whether or not a student chooses to be involved in philanthropy, they can donate time and/or resources.
6. What are you hopeful about?
I am hopeful that my generation will not wait for the generation before or after us to make positive change; they will start where they are, with what they have and create change now.
Live HOPE. Give HOPE.
The H.O.P.E. Scholarship