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education

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157 Year Old HBCU, Lincoln College Now Closed Following Covid-19 And Cyberattack Related Struggles

Lincoln College survived the economic crisis of 1887, a major campus fire in 1912, the Spanish flu of 1918, the Great Depression, World War II, the 2008 global financial crisis, and more.

Unfortunately, the Illinois-based institution has finally met its match and closed its doors for good today.

Despite record-breaking student enrollment in Fall 2019, the coronavirus pandemic dramatically impacted recruitment and fundraising efforts, sporting events, and all campus life activities.

lincoln college
Ke’Shawn Hess, a business student at Lincoln College | Credit: (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune)/Chicago Tribune via AP)

The economic burdens initiated by the pandemic required large investments in technology and campus safety measures, as well as a significant drop in enrollment with students choosing to postpone college or take a leave of absence, which impacted the institution’s financial position.

According to a statement on the school website, Lincoln College was also a victim of a cyberattack in December 2021 that thwarted admissions activities and hindered access to all institutional data, creating an unclear picture of Fall 2022 enrollment projections.

All systems required for recruitment, retention, and fundraising efforts were inoperable. Fortunately, no personal identifying information was exposed. Once fully restored in March 2022, the projections showed significant enrollment shortfalls, requiring a transformational donation or partnership to sustain Lincoln College beyond the current semester.

A Facebook group called Save Lincoln College tried unsuccessfully to help the school keep its doors open. The school, named after President Abraham Lincoln, held its final graduation last week.

“Everyone started leaving and we said our goodbyes, but we kind of realized we weren’t coming back,” a student said. “Other universities are offering them tuition and allowing them to start into the programs there but there’s never going to be a place like Lincoln.”

 

Tony O. Lawson


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Florida Teen Accepted into 27 Colleges, Receives $4 Million in Scholarships

Jonathan Walker, a high school senior from Florida, has been accepted into almost 30 of the most prestigious colleges in the country and has more than $4 million in scholarships offers.

Walker has applied to 27 colleges, and all 27 have accepted him.

“It’s so crazy to think about, that I applied to all these colleges and I got in because that’s such a rare thing to occur. But the fact that it did happen, I’m so excited about it,” Walker said.

Stanford, Harvard, Yale, and Duke were among the 27 schools he was admitted into.

Walker is still trying to whittle down the choices and take a few more college visits, with under a month to make a decision.

“The whirlwind of like decisions coming back, that’s over now. So I’ve just really been trying to soak it in just how much of a blessing that this is that I got into these colleges. So just like sitting back, smelling the roses,” Walker said.

Walker hopes to pursue a career creating medical devices to serve underprivileged communities and he’s already working on multiple patents.

Walker invented a braille system, created an air filter to turn gas emissions into oxygen, and created a pill dispenser to keep track of drugs— on a TI-84 calculator.

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Jonathan Walker with his invention

“Right now, I’m very interested in engineering and entrepreneurship. I’ve always loved creating devices to help people so I definitely want to further that,” Walker said. “I’m looking at majoring in electrical engineering and possibly biomedical engineering to hopefully develop medical technology in order to help disadvantaged communities that have health problems.”

He said he’s working with colleges to create his own major.

Walker plans to study engineering, computer science, business and psychology, in hopes of one day creating his own company.

“Jonathan has not been a typical student. He has continued to persevere despite all the challenges that we faced you know with the hurricane,” Rutherford High School IB and AP Coordinator Cathy Rutland said.

Walker has also played on the Rams football team for the past four years while maintaining a 4.85 GPA.

Pierre Laguerre Launches Academy To Show How He Created a Multi-Million Dollar Trucking Business

Pierre Laguerre is the founder of Fleeting, a trucking and fleet management services company that he grew to $4.5 million in revenue in just 3 years. Pierre is also the first Black man to raise over $1 million via crowdfunding platforms.

To show others how he raised capital for his trucking business and how he has managed to run it so successfully, he is launching  Pierre’s Academy, a comprehensive entrepreneurial trucking academy.

We caught up with him to find out more about this new venture and why he is apssionate about it.

Pierre Laguerre
Pierre Laguerre

Why did you decide to launch Pierre’s Academy?

After spending 19 years in the trucking industry as a driver and a successful entrepreneur myself, I eventually learned that 40% of the workforce in this $800 billion industry are minorities. Notice, I said workforce, not business owners!

I quickly realized this was an untapped market for minorities to become entrepreneurs and build generational wealth. Not that minorities don’t know this market exists, they just never have been exposed to the business side of the transportation industry.

I decided to launch Pierre’s academy to teach aspiring entrepreneurs about the business opportunities in trucking. I want to teach as many people how to build their own trucking dispatching business or their trucking companies right in the comfort of their home.

I want to show them how to make six figures while adding value to one of the most critical stakeholders in trucking, our truckers.

Who is this course for?

This course is pretty much for anyone that’s seeking financial freedom. Everyone from stay at home moms that are looking to maximize their earnings, to young men and women from underserved communities who are desperately looking for a way out of their current circumstances.

How is this course different from others?

There are a lot of social media influencers who teach trucking but the majority of them have never spent a day in a trucking operation, nor have they built or managed a business and a team. Their goal is to sell courses instead of adding value and solving a specific problem in trucking,. They often do this at the expense of minorities looking for an opportunity.

So, one of the main reasons why my courses are different from others is the fact that I actually drove trucks for 19 years, I built a staffing agency and a trucking company to $4.5M in revenue in 3 years, and I’m currently the founder and CEO of a transportation tech company called Fleeting which I launched in 2019 and already did over $5m in revenue.

In other words, they get to learn directly from an industry veteran who has done the work and also failed numerous times.With my courses they can start earning right away after completion.

What information can potential students expect to receive from the course?

The first and most important information students can expect to receive from this course is how to make money in trucking without being a driver. They can expect to learn about every stakeholder in transportation and the challenges they face daily.

They will learn how to build and maintain relationships with key partners ( shippers, carriers, freight brokers, and truck drivers),  the industry do’s and don’ts as well as how to communicate effectively.

Students will learn how to start their business from scratch with no prior experience and how to quickly scale. I will also provide to one-on-one coaching and support.

Visit Pierre online for more information about course registration or a one on one consultation.

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Chicago Student Achieves the First Perfect ACT Score in his School’s History

Mario Hoover, a student at Providence St. Mel School in Chicago achieved a perfect score on the ACT standardized college admissions test.

The perfect score of 36 is the highest any student performed on the test in the prestigious private school’s 42-year history.

The bright and ambitious junior was born and raised on the West Side. He studied hard to earn a high score because he dreams of being a neurosurgeon.

Mario said that he hopes his accomplishment encourages others in the neighborhood to recognize they are capable of excellence.

mario hoover

“It means that not only can I achieve this. But others can as well. It breaks the notion that people from the West Side can’t succeed,” Hoover said. “I hope people look at me and think they can do it as well.”

His success is proof that when young people are lifted up and given quality resources and opportunities, they can achieve beyond expectations, Hoover also said.

“Not everybody has the best access to education. But once provided with those tools and resources to succeed, a lot of people have the potential to. I see potential everywhere as I walk through my neighborhood,” Hoover said.

He has his sights set on the Ivy League and hopes to go to Columbia University in New York. According to his mother, he has already been contacted by the school.

“I get emotional because it is a great accomplishment,” she said. “It’s a huge accomplishment for our neighborhood and for our family.”

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Homeschooling Among Black Families Is on the Rise

While once considered an option for white, middle-class families who opted out of traditional or private schools to focus on their children’s education through a religious lens, homeschooling has begun to gain traction among Black families during the pandemic.

A recent U.S. Census Bureau report showed that homeschooling rates quintupled amongst Black families, with the proportion of homeschooling increasing from 3.3% in the spring of 2020 to 16.1% in the fall of 2020. Though we’ll note that the number may not be completely accurate, due to many children choosing to remote learn in response to the pandemic.

Even so, the numbers signal a significant increase in the number of black children being homeschooled and indicate a trend among the Black population in America.

Micro-Aggressions and Bullying

In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many students into online learning environments, there are many other reasons for Black parents to homeschool their children. Didakeje Griffin, for instance, told NPR that she wanted to protect her children from bullies as well as COVID-19. Schools across the country report an increase in bullying affecting Black children recently, some with irreversible, and devastating effects, such as the suicide of Isabella “Izzy” Tichenor.

Similar to the workplace microaggressions adults face, some kids are subject to embarrassing (and even dangerous) encounters with classmates and teachers based on their race. Based on a 2014 study by the Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Education, Black students are suspended at three times the rate of white students and have higher chances of being reprimanded. The Association for Psychological Science reported in 2015 that Black students are more likely to be labeled “troublemakers” by teachers.

These statistics have contributed to the distrust in the education system among parents and guardians of Black children.

A 2022 Children Now report, which grades California outcomes for children, says overt and systemic racism adds to the pressures on Black youths. Kelly Hardy, senior managing director of health and research for Children said, “What we are seeing as far as causes are that there is overt and systemic racism that is putting additional pressures on Black youth. And that our Black young people are over-policed and under-resourced.”

Educational Freedom

Beyond the racial tensions developing in and out of schools, many black parents and caregivers cite educational freedom as a reason to homeschool their children, allowing them to learn and celebrate their own culture. Whether intentional or subconsciously Black educational freedom can be stifled in mainstream white-dominant educational institutions.

Moreover, homeschooling can bring out the best in Black children. It allows their creativity to flow without the fear of getting in trouble for being different or disruptive.

Community Building

Many Black families are finding a community through homeschooling. Parents and caregivers are discovering that there are networks of Black homeschoolers in their area and all over the country. In fact, many communities even have their own community association so homeschooling families of color can find and support each other.

Homeschooling allows children the freedom to ask questions and learn without a strict curriculum. It also allows them to connect with their culture.

Have you started homeschooling your children? Comment below to let us know how it has benefited your children.

 

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13 Year Old Caleb Anderson Begins Aerospace Engineering Program at Georgia Tech

Aerospace engineering major 13-year-old Caleb Anderson started the Fall 2021 semester as the youngest student enrolled at Georgia Tech.

“This is the kind of school I have been wanting to go to for a very long time, and I am finally here,” he told Tech officials on Monday.

As the youngest student on campus, Anderson’s parents Kobi and Claire Anderson were there to offer support and bear witness to their teenaged son taking this remarkable step. As they watched him, they beamed with pride while balancing both worry and reassurance.

“Have we prepared him enough?” his mother asked out loud. “Have we taught him enough about failure?”

His father, however, felt confident. “He’s willing to be stretched,” he said. “He knows how to get back from a punch … and continues to strive.”

The family recognizes that even at his young age, Anderson is an inspiration to African American boys and young men aspiring to succeed in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.

His story, Claire Anderson hopes, will “shift the perspective of what you see when you see a young Black man. This could be a future aerospace engineer.”

Still, Anderson remains a young teen who likes sleeping in and admits to being guilty of procrastinating. Things don’t come easy for him, and he knows that he has to put in work to be successful. Yet, as he took in everything around him Monday from his integral calculus class, the young genius was able to acknowledge his wonder and humility at it all.

“Wow, maybe I am advanced,” he said.

His parents are happy to see their son take this extraordinary step toward his future.

“I am really proud of him, but I am really grateful to Georgia Tech for opening a door of opportunity to a student like Caleb,” Claire Anderson said.

Anderson said he plans to earn a master’s degree from Georgia Tech after completing his undergraduate studies, and eventually work with the SpaceX program before starting his own company.

Ultimately, he said he wants to make sure other young gifted students have the opportunities he is now enjoying.

“I want to help others that may just need nurturing and resources,” Anderson said.

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Clark Atlanta University cancels student account balances for 2020-2021 school year

Clark Atlanta University announced this week that they will cancel student account balances from the spring 2020 semester through the summer 2021 semester.

University President Dr. George T. French said all student account balances from that time period will be brought to zero. The relief also applies to alumni.

“We understand these past two academic years have been emotionally and financially difficult on students and their families due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why we will continue to do all we can to support their efforts to complete their CAU education,” said President French. “We care about students and want to lighten their individual and family’s financial load so they can continue their journey in pursuing and attaining their educational and professional goals.”

French said the university’s ability to provide relief is due to the substantial amount of support it has gotten from the federal government under the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

With the funds, CAU has been able to provide emergency financial aid dollars, refund some housing and meal charges, discount tuition and fees for the 2020-2021 school year, buy WIFI hot spots for students with no internet at home and buy 4,000 laptops for every financially enrolled student.

This initiative will not impact students’ future financial aid eligibility because it is a one-time outstanding balance cancelation.

Clark Atlanta University isn’t the first HBCU to help students financially because of the pandemic.
In May, Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio, announced it will cancel student debt for 2020 and 2021 graduates. The president of the university said at the time that the total amount of cleared debt would be more than $375,000.

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LSU offers National Spelling Bee winner, Zaila Avant-gard, a full scholarship

Louisiana State University (LSU) on Saturday offered , Zaila Avant-garde, the first African American contestant to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee, a full scholarship.

Avant-garde has drawn attention following her win. The teen has garnered praise in the past few days for her athletic prowess after it was noted the same child has notched multiple Guinness World Records for basketball.

Tony O. Lawson


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Curtis Lawrence III Graduated High School Early, Was Accepted to 14 Colleges and Chose an HBCU

In 2014, Curtis Lawrence III began taking dual enrollment courses at School Without Walls High School and George Washington University.

This spring, he will earn his Associates Degree and head to FAMU where he will pursue a double major in computer science and biology as well as a minor in Mandarin.

Curtis Lawrence III

Lawrence has also been awarded over $1.65 Million in Merit Scholarships. He was also accepted to Howard University, North Carolina A&T University, Morehouse College, Hampton University, Morgan State University, Claflin University, Hutson-Tillotson University, George Washington University, West Virginia Wesleyan, UC Berkeley, the University of Chicago, Yale and Harvard.

Lawrence’s love for education started at a young age. His parents, both educators, instilled the importance of school into he and his younger brother Corey early on, constantly taking them on trips to different museums, colleges, states and countries to expose them to what the world has to offer.

The competition is stiff among universities to recruit top young scholars. Dedra O’Neal, director of the FAMU Scholarship Program, has conducted Zoom calls with alumni scholars and prospective students since last fall.

The recruitment effort deploys alumni based in places such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Zambia, the Caribbean, France, and across the U.S. to discuss the FAMU scholar experience with top prospective students.

FAMU President Dr. Larry Robinson lauded Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. William E. Hudson Jr. for his role in successfully recruiting Lawrence. Hudson visited Lawrence’s Washington, D.C., high school, School Without Walls at George Washington University, last fall.

Lawrence said FAMU felt like home and explained one of the reasons he wants to be a Rattler: “Especially as a young student having been able to meet other students who also started college early at FAMU, and so I was able to really know that FAMU will provide me with that academic and professional support on top of schooling.”

Curtis Lawrence III
Curtis and his family | Credit: TN Democrat

Florida A&M University is competing with the best schools in the country to get top of the line students, including sixteen year old Curtis Lawrence III.

The young scholar now with his sights set on his undergraduate degree in which he doesn’t have to pay a dime.

Lawrence III could’ve continued his education at almost any university in the country but for his undergrad degree, his parents pushed an HBCU.

“We felt that at their start, right, at those fundamental times when you figure it out yourself. Who am I? What am I going to do in life?,” explained Curtis’ father Curtis Lawrence Jr. “To be in an environment that we felt would be nurturing I’m very supportive of their development. So that was very very important for us to create that level of foundation.”

 

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Meet The Scientist and The Activist Creating a Prison to STEM Pipeline

Stanley Andrisse is a scientist. Syrita Steib is an activist. They are both breaking down barriers to help formerly incarcerated people pursue education and careers in science, technology, education, and mathematics. They have both founded organizations that provide people with convictions pathways to careers in STEM.

“I was seen as a criminal, less than an animal,” Andrisse recalls the moment he realized that he had been being prepared for prison his entire life. In 2008 in a Missouri courtroom, Stanley Andrisse was a promising college athlete and biology whose future would be altered forever by a 10-year sentence.

scientist
Dr. Stanley Andrisse, Executive Director, From Prison Cell to Ph.D.

After serving his time, Andrisse reconnected with a cancer researcher he’d worked for during a fellowship in school. Through the encouragement and help of his mentor, Andrisse graduated with a Ph.D. in 2014. Now the endocrinologist runs a nonprofit, From Prison Cells to Ph.D., that offers people with convictions opportunities like educational counseling, paid short-term internships, and other resources.

Syrita Steib, founder and executive director of nonprofit Operation Restoration, faced a 10-year sentence and a hefty nearly $2 million in restitution after committing a felony. Nothing could have prepared her for the barriers she faced when she attempted to enroll in college after her sentence.

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Syrita Steib, Executive Director & Founder, Operation Restoration

She was only admitted to Lousiana State University after submitting an application with the felony box unchecked. Steib went on to complete her bachelor’s and founded Operation Restoration in 2016. The nonprofit supports current and formerly incarcerated women and has a one-of-a-kind lab assistant program that offers a direct pathway to a four-year degree.

Many college applicants with convictions aren’t rejected. The truth is, many applications never try. Stanley and Syrita aim to change that narrative.


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