This Valedictorian's Principal Wouldn't Let Him Give an Acceptance Speech, but the Mayor Did

Jaisaan Lovett
By Erickka Sy Savané

You work harder than you've ever worked in your young life, staying home to study while your friends are out doing things that kids do, and it pays off. You become the first African American valedictorian of your high school school and it's time to give an acceptance speech. Because you know it's all about that speech, thanking those who helped make it happen, dropping those gems...only this part doesn't happen because of run-ins that you've had with the principal in the past. So you're barred from speaking at graduation. I wish this were a made-up story, but it happened to Jaisann Lovett of University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men in Rochester, New York. While his principal- Joseph Munno, who didn't give Jaisann or his family a reason for not allowing him to speak- tried to get the last word, it was Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren who stepped in and gave Jaisaan an opportunity to have his big moment...and luckily we get to see it!

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Tell It Tuesday: Homeless to Harvard Teen Knows Real Success


Richard Jenkins
By Ta-ning Connai 

Sometimes the road to success is littered with disaster. For 18-year old Richard Jenkins, homelessness and lots of humiliation tried to obstruct his path. Yet, while living in a shelter surrounded by hopelessness and despair, he reached for books as his way of escape. As word spread at school regarding his obsession with reading, bullies taunted him relentlessly and called him “Harvard” as a joke. But his enemies had NO IDEA they were actually prophesying his future ‘cause baby boy can now officially say, “Whaddup Harvard University! I'm on my way and my scholarship is PAID IN FULL!” My my my, look who got the last laugh on his way to real success!

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Can Beyonce Ease the Financial Strain of Attending an HBCU?


Beyonce at Coachella
By Brenda Alexander

Following the hysteria and backlash from across the nation regarding the allegations that a Howard University law student embezzled upwards of $400,000 during his work study at the university’s financial aid office, I was impressed to see Beyonce’s new scholarship fund for prospective HBCU attendees. Not that she’s the first to establish a college fund or donate to a historically black college or university, but her recent (and phenomenal) Coachella performance has ignited pride and long overdue attention to HBCU’s and hopefully, attracts more big-time donations, as it is needed.

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