technology

Positive Black Male News: Good Samaritan teaches homeless man computer coding

Positive Black Male News: Good Samaritan teaches homeless man computer coding

Positive Black Male News

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by Scott Stump. TODAY

One day software engineer Patrick McConlogue was walking to work in New York City when he decided to make an unorthodox offer to a homeless man.

He approached Leo Grand, who lives on the streets, and gave him a choice: $100, or a laptop and the opportunity to learn how to write computer code. Along with the second choice McConlogue pledged to spend an hour a day for two months teaching Grand a valuable job skill.

“I came to an immediate decision,’’ Grand told TODAY Monday. “The hundred dollars will last you for a short time. Learning how to code will last you for a lifetime.”

So McConlogue, 23, bought Grand, 37, a laptop and three textbooks, and began teaching him the language of computers. It was a lifeline for Grand, a computer lover who said he’s been sleeping in shelters for two years since the rent at his former apartment shot up and he was evicted.

Grand has proven to be an apt student under McConlogue’s tutelage. “The speed at which I’m going through these lessons is insane,’’ McConlogue told TODAY. “We barely cover things twice. His memory is really, really good.”

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Positive Black Male News: Student Creates App That Helps College Students Get Money For College

Positive Black Male News: Student Creates App That Helps College Students Get Money For College

Positive Black Male News

chris-greyBy:  John “Hennry” Harris

Many families across this country are still trying to rebound from the economic slowdownmeltdown increasing the reliance upon scholarships to pay for college.

Christopher Gray, 21, a Drexel University junior and CEO/Founder of Scholly, has found a way to make finding those scholarships easier.

Gray himself has been very successful in finding scholarship funds.  He is known as the “Million-Dollar Scholar” after being awarded $1.3 million in scholarships.

Over the past three years, Gray has also helped other families manually scour through databases, and figured, “Hey, I need something that can help.  There has to be a faster way.”

Gray developed the answer in the form of Scholly, an app that uses eight specific parameters, like state, GPA, or race, to instantly filter through a deep directory of

scholarships available for the prospective student.

“It’s extremely simple,” says Gray and that ultimately was the goal.

“The fact that it’s on the mobile (phone) really hits the audience,” says Soham Bhonsle, 21, a Scholly user and Drexel University senior. “It serves the need of its time. We want it on the go.”

Nicholas Pirollo, chief technological officer for Scholly, also offers that apps optimize searches compared to standard websites because they are more tailored to specific needs.

A recent study, conducted by Sallie Mae, shows that 39% of families used scholarship funds to pay for college during the 2012-2013 academic year and Scholly connects users with relevant scholarships in about five minutes.  Scholly’s database is updated monthly to remove scholarships that are no longer available, add scholarships, and refresh deadlines.

There is money out there to go to school.  Scholly has more than 10,000 downloads of the $0.99 app found in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Scholly’s costs are intentionally positioned at an affordable price to serve more people that need it and boast a potential big payoff.

“Pay 99 cents and you may get $5,000 or $6,000 in scholarships.”

Scholly helps put the power of funding your education in your hands.

Source: Black Blue Dog

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Exquisite Women: Aiesha Turman

Exquisite Women: Aiesha Turman

Exquisite Women

TheBlackManCan: Aiehsa, What is the The Black Girl Project and what inspired you to make this documentary?

 

AT: The Black Girl Project is both a documentary film and a non-profit organization. I have worked with young people in New York for over a decade, with the past few years being dedicated primarily to high school students. It was in this work, I began to hear the stories of young women, many of whom were outwardly accomplished, but were dealing with a lot of issues from homelessness to sexual assault and depression. I was lucky enough to be trusted enough by them that they would talk to me. Their lives reminded me of mine as a teen aged girl. I was highly accomplished academically, but when it came to dealing with issues, many of which were shared with my peers, I turned inward for fear of embarrassment or disappointing my parents. The non-profit (http://blackgirlproject.org) is an outgrowth of the film and my commitment to helping young women reach their fullest potential.

 

TheBlackManCan: How did you go about choosing the participants in The Black Girl Project?

 

AT: Just about all of the participants in the film were young women I had worked with in the past. When I conceived of the idea, I began contacting them and they showed up, ready.

 


TheBlackManCan: How did you become so passionate about being an advocate about the segment of society which is Black girls?

 

AT: I became passionate about advocating for Black girls the more I worked with them. Actually, I’d probably have to say it’s always been a passion, albeit dormant. However, as I began working with young people, it became much clearer. I began to realize that my life is a tool for transformation. Not many people know this about me, but I’ve gone from college dropout, to having an MA. I have gone from a depression so deep that it almost ended my life on several occasions, to a woman who is fully invested in making the best life for myself, my family and Black girls. There is nothing that a young woman can say to me that will shock me or make me love her any less.

TheBlackManCan: You are the owner of Super Hussy Media. What is the company about? How did you choose the name Super Hussy?

 

AT: Super Hussy Media, LLC is a Brooklyn-based, independent content creation company which focuses on the lives of women in the African Diaspora. Basically, Super Hussy uses film, traditional and emerging media to explore and an illuminate the lives of Black women. On the name Super Hussy: “hussy” was my maternal grandmother’s favorite/only swear word. Regardless of your age, if you pissed Nana off and you were a female, you were pretty much a hussy. Now, after looking up the etymology of the word, I found out “hussy” was derived from the German for housewife and began thinking about how patriarchy (particularly the white supremacist brand) twists, labels and misconstrues anything that does not fit into its neat little power structure. Hussy became to be known as a wanton, lascivious, ruthless and sexually promiscuous heathen.

Language can be used to both uplift and nourish or belittle and hurt. Any woman who goes against the grain and/or lives lives by her own rules, not the ones forced upon her, has been labeled something or other (bitch and whore come to mind) which seeks to minimize who she is in the world. As far as the “super” goes, I’ve always loved comics, so I might as well be a hero!

 

TheBlackManCan: You have various platforms that you can speak out but your flagship workshop is You Rock! Can you give us more insight into this workshop you have created for Young Girls?

 

AT: You Rock! is a workshop that uses literature, art, culture and media to help foster self-esteem and build critical thinking in girls. It helps to show them that they are the architects of their lives and that they can do or be anything they want.

TheBlackManCan: What is Okra Stew? Where did the name evolve from and what can we expect when this art project is finished?

 

AT: Okra Stew pretty much means “a little bit of everything”. Okra has to be one of my favorite vegetables and I’d love it when my maternal grandmother mixed okra, corn, tomatoes and lima beans and served her succotash with rice. But it also is a bit of a euphemism for the African Diaspora, since pretty much everywhere Africans who were affected by the slave trade has landed, now has a signature okra dish. I can’t reveal much about what’ll happen when the project is finish, but I guarantee it will make you laugh, cry, get angry and think!

 

TheBlackManCan: How did you develop you passion for multimedia and video production?

 

AT: I have always loved film, media and technology. I have friends who are filmmakers and have led young folks through creating their own film projects. I’ve always been a storyteller and I see this as an amazing way to communicate.

TheBlackManCan: Aiesha, you truly are an Exquisite Woman, what advice can you leave with the youth of today?

 

AT: My advice for youth of today would be to chart your own course. Sit down with yourself and truly figure out what you are passionate about and go for it. Don’t let anyone dissuade you — even your well-meaning family members. I’d also say, develop your own set of moral codes nad standards. Know what you will and will not accept of yourself and from others. It will take you a long way.

 

 

Exquisite Women is where we at TheBlackManCan highlight Black Women who are making positive and remarkable contributions to society.  Nominate a Black Woman today on the contact page or e-mail team@theblackmancan.org, subject line: Exquisite Woman!

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