( ENSPIRE Feature ) These Black Businessmen And Women Come Together To Pay It Forward To Inspirational HBCU Undergraduate Students With The “Step Into Greatness” College Scholarship
ENSPIRE Contributor: Re’Dreyona Walker
Black entrepreneurs are showing commitment to their community by joining together to offer a $2,000 scholarship for two HBCU undergraduate students. Urban Business Directory Founders Lauren and Zevi Lacey, BlueDrem Media & Marketing Services CEO Wesley Jacques, Infinite 7 CEO Gia Mac and Ashley Johnson, Owner of the Vegan Chef Ash brand have partnered to present this incredible opportunity and to pay it forward to the next generation of black leaders. These entrepreneurs have created a collective call to action to give back to the community that has continued to support their dreams.
“As black business owners, we want to show our love and appreciation to the upcoming generation so the Step into Greatness Scholarship will be rewarded to passionate individuals who are making a positive impact in the community,” says Lauren Lacey, Co-founder of Urban Business Directory. With the goal of empowering young people to move forward in successful paths despite any roadblocks that may come their way, these black business owners want to express their support and encouragement for students. “Food, expenses, and tuition are expensive, so I am truly honored to be able to pour into the lives of young people by any means necessary. Our college students need to be uplifted because they are the pillars of the future,” says Wesley Jacques of BlueDrem.
In these ever-changing times, being able to pause and think about the future of the world is imperative. For these five black entrepreneurs, it was not an easy road to get to where they are today, which is why this scholarship presents a full circle moment for many of these innovative and incredible business owners.
“Entrepreneurship takes a lot of work and dedication, and we believe it’s our responsibility to champion those who have the dedication and drive to go after their dreams—especially at such young ages,” says Gia Mac, CEO of Infinite 7. By cultivating this call to action for HBCU students, these black entrepreneurs hope to be a source of encouragement, especially to those who go on to curate black businesses. Besides providing financial relief for students, this crafted partnership plans to continue in their collective support of assisting the community through scholarships, conferences and funding individuals interested in attaining professional certifications.”
They make a point to remember the years before their careers and the people who have helped them along the way. “I am inspired by stories of perseverance and people who have a desire to serve,” said Ashley Johnson, the Founder of Vegan Chef Ash. “I am looking forward to giving back to a community that continues to love and root for me. My core clients are people who understand the importance of a healthy mind, body, and soul. I accept all opportunities for me to practice what I preach and help young people step into their greatness in all aspects of life.”
The Step into Greatness Scholarship application deadline is May 31, 2021. Recipients will be announced on July 7, 2021.
Applications must be submitted digitally on either of the following websites: The Urban Business Directory HBCU Scholarship webpage or The Infinite 7 LLC HBCU Scholarship webpage.