Bright Idea: Take a moment to explore something you’ve always wanted to

As I decompress from a busy and productive week in New York City, I smile to myself, grateful for the opportunity to explore. While here on business, I was able to enjoy a change of pace, change of scenery, and a change in perspective. In meeting with various clients in the publishing, broadcasting and merchandising worlds, I was able to see the industry I am in through their eyes. Not only was it eye-opening and refreshing, but it was inspiring. Because of it, I have added to my goals and to my direction.

What are some of the things you are doing to broaden your horizons? What have you always wanted to do, but have put it on the back-burner because of time constraints, laziness, or simply because you are fearful that you will actually succeed?

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Jay-Z: The Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation

For anyone who is an entertainment news junkie, if I quizzed you right now, you would probably know that Jay-Z and Beyoncé welcomed their baby girl, Blue Ivy Carter, this past weekend. You probably know the correct order of her name. You may even be able to describe the inside of the hospital suite. But if I asked you to tell me how the proud papa gives back to his community, would you know the answer to that?

Well, The Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation was launched in 2002/2003 by Jay-Z and his mother, Gloria Carter. Their initial goal and “mission [was] to help any individual facing socio-economic hardships further his or her education at institutions of higher learning”. Throughout all of the forms the foundation subsequently took on, they were able to enhance the lives of a growing number of students across the United States, by making sure that their educations were a priority and without financial burden.

With the foundation expanding to include Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation College Tours and Shawn Carter Scholars, Jay-Z is using his empire to build a village for and of the innovative, optimistic,  and sharp young minds of tomorrow!

One month after welcoming his baby daughter to the world, Jay-Z is set to give back, yet again. On February 6th and 7th, he will be headlining an intimate performance at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium in an effort to raise millions for the United Way of New York and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation. According to a press release about the event, the money raised will “help boost on-time graduation rates in underserved New York City schools and put college within reach for low-income students across the five boroughs.”

Some statistics he aims to eradicate:

  • New York City has the largest income gap in the U.S.
  • 30% of children in New York City live in poverty
  • 39% of New York City students who enter high school will not graduate on time

For more information on benefit packages, which range in price from the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands, and include some interesting incentives, or to find individual tickets, available starting January 30th and priced from $500 to $2,500, you can visit the foundation’s website.

(Source: Nineteen87 Visuals’ YouTube Page)

Another reason why we love that “business, man“!

-Kendra Kabasele

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Alicia Keys: Keep a Child Alive

While Alicia Keys is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of her first album release, “Songs in A Minor” (I still remember the first time I saw her music video for “Fallin’”!), and has been seen around NYC with her husband Swizz Beatz and their baby Egypt, she maintains focus on one of her figurative babies – Keep a Child Alive. (http://www.keepachildalive.org)

Alicia Keys is Co-founder and Global Ambassador to the organization, whose mission is “providing life-saving AIDS treatment, care, nutrition, support services and love to children and families affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India by directly engaging the global public in the fight against AIDS.”

Alicia Keys spoke at the United Nations in New York City on June 7th, 2011. The conference on AIDS was called “HIV Priorities for Positive Change: In Women’s Words”.

June 5th , 2011 marked 30 years since the discovery of HIV/AIDS.

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