Beyonce and Jay Z Make These Students Dreams Come True

Beyonce and Jay Z weren’t kidding about their promise to upgrade us. The power couple did just that for three high school seniors this past week.

During their OTR II tour stop in Orlando, forever hype man DJ Khalid announced the first three recipients of the BeyGood Initiative and Shawn Carter Foundation’s tour scholarship, which awards $100K to each student to go toward college enrollment.

Congrats to Keshawn Morgan. He’s more than deserving of that $100K bag with # 3 ranking of his class at Evans High School and president of Spanish Honor Society.

A day earlier in Atlanta, Beyonce and Jay Z awarded Karissa Jackson with scholarship for her community service work and 3.8 GPA at Discovery High School. Thanks to the Carters’, Karissa will be joining Kennesaw University’s 2019 class.

She told Gwinnett Daily Post that she was blown away by the scholarship.

“I had no idea I was going to get that. It’s really exciting and I couldn’t stop crying because it’s really a blessing to awarded something like this.”

The next student to go Apeshit over Jay Z and Beyonce’s generosity is Emily Geray from Miami Beach High School.

Emily will take her talents and award money to study criminology at Florida International University.

And the Carters’ are just getting started. They are dropping scholarship money in Arlington, Phoenix, LA, San Diego, New Orleans, Houston, Santa Clara and Seattle. Boys and Girls Club members are nominated for the scholarship award.

If you need another reason to see this tour, black excellence is def one of them.

How Drake, TI and Reginae Carter Made Us Ugly Cry

Allergies. Yup, that’s why my eyes are glistening. Damn pollen.

Okay, fine. You caught me. It’s not flora triggering my tear ducts–Drake fulfilling a fan’s wish to meet him is definitely doing the trick.

How could it not?

The jury’s still out on Kiki’s affections for him, but Sofia Sanchez is definitely feeling Drake after the “God’s Plan” rapper surprised the 11-year-old heart condition patient with a hospital visit on Monday.

Drake dropped by Lurie children’s hospital in Chi-Town, a week after Sofia–who is battling cardiomyopathy and seeking a heart transplant–took the “In Your Feelings” challenge, asking him to visit.

This is by far the cutest plug ever with Sofia rocking Scorpion cap. For those living under a rock it’s the title of Drake’s latest album.

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😍💙😍

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Long live the king of the South, especially if he continues to be this generous.

Rapper TI donated a year’s worth of lunch money to University High School sophomore Danielle Aiken, after learning on Twitter the Florida teen was denied lunch for being 15 cents short.

Like, really? The lunch lady aka Nazi couldn’t let the girl slide this once.

Thankfully TI took to Twitter to not only rant about it, but be the solution.

Danielle confirmed receiving TI’s blessing to WKMG. And revealed he wasn’t the only one offering to pay her lunch tab.

Prompting her to launch a GoFundMe account for students struggling to pay for school lunch.

Great way to pay it forward, sis.

Just like our girl, Reginae Carter and boo YFN Lucci is doing for Atlanta kiddies.

The power couple hosted a Back to School Field Day event in Atlanta’s Grant Park Recreation Center where they handed out backpacks full of school supplies.

And of course played games. Reginae and family took part in potato sack races, three legged races. In addition to face painting and bracelet making. To top it off there were food and ice cream trucks.

Sounds like a fun-filled day.

May your weekend be in the same vein.

Queen of Civil Service: Aretha Franklin Was More Than an OD

Aretha Franklin was our Queen of Soul and the indisputable Original Diva(OD).

She used her four octave voice to not only make us ugly cry (I dare you not to do the same with her rendition of Precious Lord during MLK’s funeral) but remind the world we matter. Black lives matter. Long before a grassroots movement formed.

She was a key supporter of the Civil Rights movement by lending that powerhouse voice to SCLC events, like the org’s 10 year anniversary convention–Aretha Franklin sang for two hours.

So long the headline speaker (Sidney Poitier) didn’t go on until early the next morning.

Now if that’s not rallying for the message…

Aretha Franklin may not have been on the front lines of civil rights marches, but helped raise $250,000 for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and SCLC to go on tour spreading their nonviolent message.

Aretha Franklin sang from her soul and quietly poured her heart into causes and people that uplift African American community, like political activist Angela Davis.

When Davis was locked up and charged with murder in the ’70s, Aretha Franklin vowed to bail her out.

“I’m going to see her free if there is any justice in our courts, not because I believe in communism, but because she’s a black woman and she wants freedom for black people. I have the money; I got it from black people–they’ve made me financially able to have it–and I want to use it in ways that will help our people.” Aretha Franklin said at the time.

“As soon as the campaign for bail was created, Aretha came forward and said if bail was set she would pay whatever amount was needed, whether $100,000 or $200,000–which was a lot of money at the time, Davis told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Davis was denied bail at the time, but never forgot Aretha Franklin’s commitment to helping her and thanked her publicly for years.

More recently, Aretha Franklin donated money and hotel rooms to her fellow Michigan natives affected by Flint water crises in 2016.

” She used her voice to deliver music for social justice,’ Rev Jesse Jackson told The Atlanta Journal Constitution. “She was a fighter who used her art as a platform.”

The voice may have been silenced today, but her spirit and legacy will always get R E S P E C T.

Kevin Hart, Common and Chris Paul Give Epic Back- to-School Gifts

These fellas give back game is on fleek!

September is right around the corner, and they’re already helping secure the bag for students to pay that too damn high college bill.

How?

Kevin Hart set up a $600,000 scholarship fund for college kids through his newly unveiled Help From The Hart Charity. He joined forces with Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) and United Negro College Fund to surprise 18 attending HBCUs.

Kevin Hart flew to LA to surprise the award recipients in person on Tuesday.

The Jumanji star and KIPP each donated $300,000 each to the Fund. Making the path a lot smoother for students heading to Tuskegee University, Morehouse College, Xavier University, Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University.

Black excellence at it’s finest.

How Chris Paul Isn’t Shutting Up and Dribbling

Chris Paul made history this week by donating $2.5 million to his alma mater Wake Forest University on Tuesday.

The All Star baller’s hefty check (the biggest donor gift from alumna in the school’s history) will go towards the basketball program—to “transform the men’s and women’s basketball clubhouses with expanded and enhanced locker rooms, nutrition resources and treatment areas.”

So naturally, the men’s locker will be named in Chris’ honor.

The former Demon Deacons player was inspired to do the locker room revamp because of the importance of teamwork.

The locker room transportation project inspired me, because that’s where players build relationships and create a unifying camaraderie that is the foundation of success on the court.

The nine time NBA All Star and North Carolina native would know.

Common and his Mother Donating Money for Students and Teachers to Get School Supplies

Finally, Common and his mother teamed up with Burlington Stores and non profit org Adopt-a-Classroom, for the second year in a row, to get much needed school supplies to teachers and students.

The duo kicked off the campaign by donating $10,000 to the org and visiting a school in NYC on Monday.

Common writes on Instagram he was inspired to make the donation because teachers make a huge impact, like his mother who taught in his native Chicago.

My mother has been in the Chicago school system for, more than 35 years, and I am honored to do my part to help teachers get the materials they need to help their students succeed

Okay, class dismissed and have a great weekend.

How Ludacris Answered Atlanta Woman’s Prayers

Ludacris was an angel in disguise for A.T.L native Therra Jarramillo last week.

The Fast and Furious star was shopping at Atlanta Whole Foods on Monday, after checking out he noticed Jarramillo was struggling to pay for her items.

Jarramillo was on hard times; her husband recently died of brain cancer and was living off of rice and vegetables. A friend gave her a Whole Foods gift card, but it didn’t cover everything.

That’s when Luda stepped in.
“He turned to me and he said, ‘I said I got this.’ And I looked at him, and he said, ‘All of this, don’t put anything back.’”

The total was $375, btw.

Jarramillo didn’t know who the Good Samaritan was until the cashier tipped her off.
“I kept looking at him, and thinking, this man is an angel,” she said. “And [the cashier] goes, ‘you know that’s a famous rapper, you know, that’s Ludacris.’ And I went, ‘What! What!’ and I screamed.”

She went home and recounted the pay it forward tale to friends on Facebook.

What Ludacris had no way of knowing is that his quiet kindness and generous gesture came at a moment when my candle was out.He used his personal light to fire up my own.

Isn’t that what we should be doing for each other?I think it is.

Be like Ludacris y’all. I know I’m gonna do it. Pay it forward.

We can, every one of us, do SOMEthing for others. You never know a stranger’s full story when you reach out a hand and yank them into a better place.

Amen. Let’s all try to be kind to one another in this divisive time.

NBA All Star Derrick Rose Launches Scholarship Program

Derrick Rose is the latest baller to cheer for, and it has nothing to do with his jump shot.

The former Bulls point guard announced the Rose Scholars via Twitter on Wednesday.

The scholars program seeks three “civically-minded” high school students–must be a sophomore, junior or senior–to apply for funds for college.

One lucky student can win $200,000 to go towards their higher learning fund. Two other students can earn $20,000 each.

Rose reveals he got the idea to launch the scholarship when reflecting on his charitable works, in a letter posted to the Rose Scholars site.

As I started to reflect on my service to others, the idea of The Rose Scholars program started to form. An award that would reflect on my desire to find greatness, my dedication to perseverance and determination, my passion for self-empowerment, and my wish to elevate it in promising individuals applies.

The Chi-Town native continued by writing the scholarship could be a turning point in teens lives.

I know we can all identify a moment where our lives changed. A new path opened up to us that was not previously available. This new path allowed us to make different decisions and start to imagine new possibilities. This is exactly what the Rose Scholars program is meant to achieve in each and every one of you that applies.

It’s a path friend and fellow advocate for education LeBron James can get behind by tweeting his support.
You may have heard he opened a school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio last week.

The deadline to apply for Rose Scholars is Sept. 30 and winners will be announced around Oct. 15.

Why I Ghosted My Besties (You, Guys)

I know what y’all thinking–where has this bish been?

Let’s just say adjusting to moving from Brooklyn to Queen City, getting a new job, and a new puppy (Malchi!) didn’t leave much time for me to tickle the keyboards.

Hectic schedule aside, these past two months of grinding left me so overwhelmed and stressed I had to quit a job that became toxic.

It felt like it took such a huge piece of my energy that I didn’t have time to do what I love: this right here.

I can feel myself going through the motions every single day–go to work for eight hours, feed my pooch, feed myself and go to sleep.

There was no joy or anticipation of what was in store, just on auto pilot mode. Walking away from a position that didn’t bring fulfillment was the best decision I made.

I already feel so invigorated and motivated to continue chronicling amazing people enriching the world with their generosity.

Thank you, besties, for your patience and understanding. I missed you and love you.

I would love to hear your stories on walking away from toxic people, places or things. Please leave your comments below.