A lot of people cannot afford to pay for college, and that includes Black and Brown people. However, with more and more people using things like crowdfunding (using platforms like GoFundMe) to help them cover the costs, college is slowly but surely becoming more accessible to all. For those who are lucky enough to attend, I see something that helps Black and Brown people achieve mental and physical success in college and the early years of their careers. I don’t say this as a savior, but more as a wounded healer. I’ve walked the path, made observations and gained a few scars along the way; heck I’m still on the path.
I’ve gone through a lot of stuff and a lot of it has been mental and driven around the false thoughts that:
a. I’m the only one going through and who has ever gone through this and
b. It’s not supposed to be this way; as if there is a set path and way things are supposed to go down.
I really didn’t realize this until recently and I want to help others see their way through. The process is necessary. I just want people to have more information and more insight as they go through that process.
What Triggered All This
I recently heard Tim Grahl on the “Startup Dad HQ,” podcast and he mentioned,
“The way to find your mission is to see where there are injustices in the world and try to fix it.”
[Tweet the quote] I like that.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Michael Margolis and reading an article he wrote about, Stop Trying to Change the World, but instead focus on that question you want answered for yourself. That was another trigger.
The events in Ferguson, MO and in NYC also sparked more love for my people and the thought about how we express and demonstrate to ourselves that Black and Brown lives matter?
Tying all those things together brought me to a place about identity and making your way in a changing world. How do you embrace your heritage and hood but still stay open to being exposed to bigger and better things. In the words of KRS ONE;
“Let go, It’s not a novelty; you could love your neighborhood without loving poverty.”
Here Is What I Know So Far
- I’d love to catch upperclassman (juniors and seniors) in college and explore ways to be successful in a more entrepreneurial world. How to build a personal brand that travels with you, how to build lasting relations based on giving.
- I’d love to also serve young professionals at the beginning of their career and help them to understand all the things you will never be told about how the game works.
- I’d love to combine the two so they enrich each other.
- Speaking is great but building a community is better. I want them to have a place where they can be themselves and know they are surrounded by people who will support them at different stages of their lives. There are no stupid questions here, just ones that will help you advance.
- I’d love to combine different departments at schools to make it happen. Alumni office, institutional advancement, career center, multicultural affairs. Leverage the alumni to help the current students and tell them the real deal about life after school. Give alumni life skills that work may not give them.
Where I’m stuck
- I’m good at creating. But creating is different from sustaining. That includes the program for Black and Brown people and making money to support little Emerson (my 10 month old son at the time of this writing).
- Lean! I’m looking to validate and it feels like there are a lot of possible customers and problems to test.
- If there is no customer or no problem I think my heart will have a tough time letting go.
So I’m at this crossroads and working through this thing that I think is so important but it may not make business sense to pursue it.
What would you do?
As always my goal is to help you run the point (take action) form where you are, with what you have.
Mike Ambassador Bruny