Afro-American Newspapers

February 27, 2010

Character Education/Black History Month

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Character Education
Black History Month Black Economic Empowerment
A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers The Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper 2519 N. Charles Street Baltimore, MD 21218 (410) 554-8200 The Washington Afro-American Newspaper 1917 Benning Road NE Washington, DC 20002 (202) 332-0080 John J. Oliver Jr. Chairman/Publisher Character Education Project Manager Diane Hocker Character Education Coordinator Takiea Hinton Project Editors Talibah Chikwendu Tiffany Ginyard Kristin Gray Zenitha Prince Electronic Editor Melissa Jones Graphic Designer Denise Dorsey

Table of Contents

5 Character Education Profile: BGE 6 The Evolution of the Black Church 8 Character Education Profile: College Savings Plans of MD 10 Character Education Profile: Legg Mason 11 Character Education Profile: Legg Mason 12 Military Enlistment Paved Way to Self-Determination 14 HBCUs Remain Economically Viable in New Decade 15 Character Education Profile: McDonald’s 16 Character Education Profile: T. Rowe Price 17 Character Education Profile: T. Rowe Price 20 Character Education Profile: Verizon 21 Character Education Profile: Verizon 22 Black Economy Scheduled for Bounce Back
February 27, 2010 Afro-American Newspapers

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Character Education/Black History Month

he Afro-American Newspapers’ Character Education program is designed to promote positive character traits in our public school students. Each year, several corporate professionals and business leaders join our effort and share stories that illustrate how the building of their character not only helps them personally but also in the workplace. During Black History Month, the AFRO is delivered to public middle schools across the region including Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City and Baltimore County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C. Each publication contains the testimonies of our corporate partners. How does it work? During the AFRO’s Black History Month series – The Afro-American Newspapers’ most active and sought after series each year– we feature a Black History and Character Education publication that profiles diverse corporate professionals, their success stories and helpful strategies for planning a successful career. Each week, eighth-graders from Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City and Baltimore

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County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C. Public Schools receive the publication at no cost. The goal is for students to read the featured profiles and Black history content and submit an essay connecting what they’ve learned from a particular profile to the importance of character building. Winners of the essay contest are awarded valuable prizes to further their education and an opportunity to meet the corporate professional they chose to write about.

distribution of the publication within participating school districts. • Identify a liaison to advise us on information concerning character education that can be included in each edition. • Encourage teachers and students to participate in the essay contest. How do schools benefit? • The AFRO encourages staff and students of participating schools to submit stories, columns, photos, etc., about the importance of education and good character. • During February, all participating schools receive the Character Education publication to assist students in their learning of Black history and to further promote literacy.

Why eighth-graders? Our research shows that by the eighth grade, most students have started to seriously think about their career goals and and are more receptive to the information shared by the business community.

Partnership opportunity Corporations, nonprofits and other organizations are invited to become How can the schools help? strategic partners with this campaign. • Allow the AFRO to deliver By becoming a partner, your company Character Education to your school on a weekly basis throughout the month of will help provide the AFRO as an February. In addition, provide the Afro- educational tool to eighth-graders throughout the region. In addition, your American Newspapers in your school’s media center or library on a weekly basis company will illustrate its support for professional development among today’s for the current calendar year. youth. • Assist in coordinating the

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hen African Americans were freed from slavery, they were released with only the clothing on their backs. Largely having been kept from educational opportunities, not being able to own anything, being up to that point chattel themselves and surrounded by racism, freedom – while valiantly earned – probably seemed like a hardship. The newly freed citizens needed a way to survive and thrive in this land of opportunity. They needed money. Against the odds, African Americans found ways to earn money, starting businesses putting the skills and trades learned as slaves to work. From blacksmiths to seamstresses, African Americans provided services and began to earn. With their money they bought land, started communities, educated their children and thrived. As things in the South slowed and jobs – especially in manufacturing – became more plentiful in the North, people migrated across the country, looking for better opportunities. Some of these people were successful in achieving economic success, others were not. Over the years, many organizations have been founded to help people of color achieve economic empowerment. Many businesses have also been started with that mission. For week four of Black History Month, we look at the institutions that have fostered Black economic empowerment – historically Black colleges and universities, the Black church and the military – and discuss the hopes for Black progress when America recovers from the current recession.

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Your Power to Lead is Within
veryone has the potential to be a good leader if they’re committed to excellence. It takes hard work, determination and preparation. But you don’t have to be rich or famous to become a good leader. As a matter of fact, many great leaders came from very humble beginnings. As the senior vice president of customer relations and account services for BGE, I can tell you from experience that becoming a good leader starts on the inside. I am the youngest of four girls, but taking charge of important situations has always come naturally. I probably inherited this trait from my mother – a strong woman who raised my sisters and me on her own. She wasn’t a wealthy woman, but she taught me the importance of things that money can’t buy - integrity, optimism and self-confidence. She was also a strong advocate for a good education. As a teen growing up in Baltimore City, I witnessed many of my peers make bad decisions that would have long term consequences. Some misbehaved in school or cut class; others dropped out of school entirely. Despite these negative influences, I knew a strong education would increase my chance for success and that the decisions I made – even as a teenager – could have lasting, positive impact. Instead of following these teens, I pushed myself to excel and chose friends who were like me - focused on achievement and success. While some students wasted their time getting into trouble, my friends and I worked hard in class and encouraged each other to succeed. It wasn’t easy, but today, I can proudly say we have all earned college degrees, have successful careers, and most importantly, are still close friends. The lessons I learned during my adolescent years are still relevant today. Making the right choices about people, and doing the right thing are still rules by which I live. As an executive leader at BGE, I manage a team with the ultimate goal of improving customer satisfaction. I push myself and my team to be visionary thinkers who never settle for the easy way out. With more than one million customers relying on the decisions that our company makes, it is crucial that my team and I work together to provide our customers with the best possible service. To do this, we must carefully plan and effectively execute business strategies to ensure that our customers have confidence in our ability to safely and reliably deliver natural gas and electricity to their homes and businesses. My advice to anyone who wants to become a good leader is to remember that leaders don’t simply tell others what to do. They work in partnership with others, encouraging and supporting them in order to bring out the best in each individual. They treat people with respect and work as hard as the members of their team. Not only will this type of leadership help you achieve your goals, but your team will trust you and your decisions more if they feel you are charting a course that will benefit everyone. Another thing to remember is that no matter what resources you have or lack, education is the “great equalizer.” A person with a good education is almost always more qualified to lead than someone without it. Even after earning a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a Master’s of Business Administration, I still challenge myself to learn as much as I can. Whether I’m reading books, attending seminars or listening to an educational CD, I’m always learning and improving. So whether your goal is to lead your student government, your community or even your country, by working hard and being respectful of others, you are off to a great start. Always remember to maintain your integrity and never stop learning. Keeping education as a top priority and never letting negative influences get the best of you will position you well for success in the future.

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Jeannette M. Mills

Senior Vice President Customer Relations and Account Services Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. (BGE)

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The Evolution of the Black Church
By Melanie R. Holmes AFRO Staff Writer
The most valuable player throughout the Black liberation struggle ironically began as a means of justifying the African slave trade. African Americans tied their hope to the strength of the church during slavery, the Reconstruction era and throughout the Civil Rights Movement. Church leaders such as the Revs. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy led Blacks to seats in the front of the bus, at lunch counters and into better classrooms. And, the Black Church was among the first institutions owned wholly by Blacks.Today, pastors and scholars acknowledge that the role of the Black church has evolved with the times but agree it remains the heart of the Black community. Specifying that the church is the people as opposed to just the pastor, the Rev. Dr. Bowyer Freeman said the Black church was consistently called upon as a “means of massive resistance” and has the potential to remain in that capacity as long as individuals engage in its purpose. “The African American church has been central

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to everything that has emerged in the life of the African-American community,” said Freeman, pastor of New St. Mark Baptist Church. “The church is still the most free agency within the AfricanAmerican community to speak its collective mind to the powers that be. It’s a place where people come and work out their stuff. It empowers them to go higher, do more, dream and act.” One major reason Freeman says the

“Regrettably, the preachers who are the most prominent are the most silent on the issues that matter to our community.”
church holds so much weight in the Black community is because Black pastors have historically been able to speak on behalf of their constituents without fear of reprisal. However, the Rev. Dr. Jamal Bryant believes that current church leaders are no longer utilizing that power. The African-American church is larger and more powerful than it has ever been, the Empowerment Temple pastor said, but is not using its influence to champion the cause of Black America. “I don’t think it’s as vocal or as active,” Bryant said. “Regrettably, the preachers who are the most prominent are the most silent on the issues that matter to our community.” Despite the countless issues Black Americans face regularly, Bryant says the church has not chosen a single concern to rally around and feels a revival of sorts is

Courtesy Photo

Rev. Dr. Jamal Bryant, pastor of Empowerment Temple, says that although the African American church is much larger than it once was, it has failed to address many problems within the Black community. February 27, 2010

Continued on Page 9

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Leading with conviction, courage and humility

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James E. Lyons Sr.
Maryland Secretary of Higher Education

aryland Secretary of Higher Education James E. Lyons, Sr., embodies character with tremendous goodwill, a wry sense of humor and extraordinary leadership. A tireless worker, dedicated and loving family man, and a person of strong faith, Dr. Lyons balances each obligation with strong conviction and humility. From growing up in the projects of New Haven, CT -- a stone’s throw away from Yale -- to his work with the Peace Corps in Ecuador to three stints as a college president at three different institutions to his current position leading an agency during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, Dr. Lyons’ considerable character is tested every day. Dr. James Earl Lyons, Sr., grew up the son of a single mother who never went to high school and made her living as a domestic. She mandated that all three of her children graduate from high school. Through a little bit of fortune, Secretary Lyons received an offer from the woman for whom his mother had worked for 20 years to pay for his first year of college at the University of Connecticut. While Dr. Lyons never seriously thought about college when he was young, he saw how his wealthier friends’ neighbors were living and decided life in the projects was not for him. So, through hard work and dedication, Secretary Lyons went on to receive his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees! Dr. Lyons is humble sometimes to a fault. While always ambitious, he approached new career advancement with caution. When college presidency was the next step, he wasn’t sure if he was willing to take on such a major endeavor. The confines of a vice president of Delaware State College (now University) seemed comfortable. However, he knew he could offer his considerable talents as a compassionate educator at a higher professional level. That meant Dr. Lyons needed to call on his steely will, courage and willingness to face the possibility of failure. “Sure I was ambitious,” Secretary Lyons said. “But I told myself and my family that if I ever did become president, I would never betray my values and I’m pretty proud of the fact that I don’t believe I ever have.” It takes courage to make a decision on a series of important administrative matters. Tackling budgets and trying to meet faculty, staff and students needs while still demanding excellence is not easy, but Dr. Lyons succeeded with great distinction in all three of his presidencies. He developed a reputation as a man of such integrity and effectiveness that Governor O’Malley selected him as Maryland’s Secretary of Higher Education. It is a testament to his character that Secretary Lyons chose the position of Secretary of Higher Education rather than retire or pursue other career options. Dr. Lyons felt that Governor O’Malley’s policy agenda supported education and that Governor O’Malley’s cabinet members will need to provide support for his initiatives. This appointment was a great opportunity for Dr. Lyons to continue his work in an area where he had dedicated himself. “This governor is a major supporter of higher education,” Dr. Lyons said. “He understands that every Marylander who wants to pursue a postsecondary degree should be able to attain one. That’s what I fight for every day and he has my back, especially in these difficult economic times.”

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The Evolution of the Black Church
Continued from Page 7
necessary to spark a church awakening. “We lead in HIV, there’s no cry around that. We lead in foreclosures, there’s no cry on that. Black Entertainment Television now is highlighting and marketing ignorance, there’s no cry on that,” he said. “It’s not like we’ve picked one issue over another issue. We have no issue.” University of Massachusetts history professor Maurice Hobson suggests that some of the post civil rights generation believes Blacks have arrived at the ultimate goal of equality and there is nothing left to fight for. He also said the Black community has become less reliant upon pastors for guidance as literacy rates improve. “That’s how the church has changed,” Hobson said, “but it remains the cornerstone of the Black community. For so long, so much of the culture of African American community has been built within and on top of churches. [Without the Black church], it would leave aspects of the Black community hollow.”

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Imagine where you will be, and it will be so!
n the movie Gladiator, General Maximus tells his army to “Imagine where you will be, and it will be so!” Why does the General offer his soldiers, many who are about to die in battle, such advice? Are the soldiers supposed to think of themselves home with their wives, or at the market shopping for food? Is the mere thought of where one would like to be a guarantee of getting there? Certainly not, and to assume the answer is yes to any of the previous questions would be foolish. The General understood that in order to achieve in life, goals must be set. A person thinks about what he or she wants, plans how to obtain it, and then follows the plan. The General’s advice was a reminder to the soldiers that they should be looking towards their future goals, and in battle, fighting with the knowledge that only by winning the fight and surviving would they be able to attain their goals. Throughout life, a person sets goals. In school, a person studies in order to earn an ‘A’ on a test. Over the summer, an athlete lifts weights in order to perform better during the upcoming football season. Later in life, people attend college so they can learn what is needed to take on the responsibility of a career. Where someone ends up in life has a lot to do with where they have imagined they will be in the future, and what goals he or she set along the way. As an assistant controller for Legg Mason, the decisions I make affect people throughout the firm. I work with many committees, prepare numerous reports, and supervise the work of various employees. My department is responsible for ensuring that the company follows the law and that the interests of people who invest money with Legg Mason are protected. Because I attended college and graduate school, I was prepared for the responsibilities of my job. If you can envision yourself being somewhere, or doing something, you have the ability to plan and make your future happen. Your goals and your planning will make you the person that, right now, you can only imagine.

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Calvin Bland

Senior Accountant, Global Fund Accounting Legg Mason

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Exercising Courage!

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hroughout my life, my mother has always taught me that “having courage does not mean being fearless”. Courage to me is pursuing your goals in spite of any doubts and fears that may arise. I was 8 years old when my parents purchased a new home in a town 2 hours away. This meant leaving a comfortable environment, my extended family members, and my friends. It also meant having to become acquainted with a new neighborhood, school, and being faced with standing out as “the new girl”. Worst of all, I was going to have to make all new friends. I had fear and doubt, but over time, I adjusted to my surroundings, exercised courage and made many new friends. It was there at the new school, I met the person who I consider to be my best friend. Our friendship grew through junior and senior high school, and we even attended college together as roommates. We still to this day have a very close relationship. Sometimes as adolescents, and even as adults, we will encounter situations that may cause fear and doubt within us. Exercising courage enables us to continue to push forward; whether it be making new friends in new surroundings; completing a math problem in front of classmates; or as adults, giving a presentation to colleagues. These days, it takes tremendous courage to simply be an individual and to be oneself for fear of being misunderstood or rejected by our peers. It’s important to remember that growth takes place when we are courageous enough to be ourselves; stand firm in our beliefs, share our ideas and embrace new experiences. In my professional career, when I am challenged by new circumstances or completing unfamiliar tasks, I encourage myself to welcome the “new”, remain determined to work through any doubts or fears, rise to the occasion, and to get the job done to the best of my ability. When life presents new challenges, embrace them; be reminded to exercise COURAGE in the face of fear; and to relentlessly pursue your goals and dreams. Afro-American Newspapers

Tahna Jones

Senior Associate Business Implementation Legg Mason

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Military Enlistment Paved Way to Self-Determination
By Dorothy Rowley AFRO Staff Writer he illustrious history of Blacks in the military traces back to the arrival of slaves in the United States. In fact, there has been no war fought involving this country in which African-American soldiers did not participate.

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Black soldiers seen here in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

AFRO File Photo/U.S. Army Signal Corps

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Continued on Page 23

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AFRO File Photo/U.S. Army Signal Corps

But their trek in service – beginning with Crispus Attucks, who was the first American to die in the Revolutionary War – to a country that had largely frowned upon their abilities and potential, has been mired in stark racism. As a result, recognition over their achievements and moving up in rank has been, for many, a slow and tedious journey. Retired Army Gen. Colin Powell once recalled in a magazine interview that Black people served their nation even when the nation had not served them. “They chose a way to show their commitment to the nation, and that was to shed the same red blood that their White fellow citizens had shed,” Powell said. “They did it time after time, through every one of our wars. And they did it knowing that while in the military they would be discriminated against.” Though the armed forces are collectively

Brigadier Gen. Benjamin O. Davis, right, one of many African Americans who have distinguished themselves in military service over the decades, received the Distinguished Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious service to the government. He is seen here talking during an inspection tour of U.S. Army units in Belgium in February 1945.

HBCUs Remain Economically Viable in New Decade
By Kristin Gray AFRO Managing Editor The saga of today’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) was birthed in an era teeming with disparity, fear and oftentimes, hostility. Before the Civil War in 1863, educating a person of color was punishable by law in most southern states and only the Institute for Colored Youth – now Cheyney University in Pennsylvania – and Wilberforce University in Ohio served the educational needs of African Americans. It was with these two storied institutions that the legacy of Black Continued on Page 18

“…the total economic impact of the nation’s HBCUs was $10.2 billion in 2001”.”

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Community First…

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he Black McDonald’s® Owner/Operator Association (BMOA) of Greater Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, we represent 20 local McDonald’s operators and more than 100 African-American owned McDonald’s restaurants in the region collectively. Our partnership is really a “selfhelp” business group that works together to make a difference in our community. We are dedicated to giving back to the communities in which we live, so each year we look to partner with local groups and sponsor local events in our area to show McDonald’s commitment to the communities that eat and work in our restaurants. In 2009, we partnered with charitable events to support our communities. A few examples include: n “Buck$ for Book$ Program” - We donated to Morgan State, Coppin State, Bowie State, and the University of the District of Columbia. Each university will select students for a $500 scholarship. In addition, we donated to the Howard University Scholarship Fund in memory of our past NBMOA President, Ken Ross.

BMOA Members pictured with Ronald McDonald during check presentation at Morgan State Homecoming

n “Bikes and Helmets Program” – Another donation made for the purchase of bikes and helmets to be given to deserving kids at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Baltimore, Fredericksburg Virginia and Washington D.C. n “Develop Young Minds” - The BMOA hosted an Inaugural ball, net proceeds from the event funded BMOA charitable initiatives, including Develop Young Minds, a program that provides financial support to children with limited resources. Monies were awarded to support academic, art and athletic initiatives. We look forward to continuing the tradition of supporting our local neighborhoods through our outreach programs. In 2010, we are looking forward to continuing support of local children’s programs and education initiatives. By working together, we can reach more and more people who come to our restaurants and live in our neighborhoods. For more information on career opportunities at McDonald’s visit www.McState.com. For information on scholarships and student programs visit www.365Black.com (c) 2010 McDonald’s

BMOA Members in the Community at the Bike and Helmets program

BMOA Members and McDonald’s employees at BMOA Inaugural Ball pictured with Don Thompson, President of McDonald’s USA.

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Choices at Turning Points
f I had to point to an event that was the turning point of my childhood, it would be my move to Maryland as a teenager. I went from just getting through school and not focusing on my lessons at all, to focusing very hard and positioning myself for the future that I have today. After what was already an eventful childhood, when I was 13 years old my younger sister and I came to Maryland to visit our grandmother for a summer vacation. To come to Glen Burnie, Md., from California seemed bad enough for me at 13, but it felt even worse when I found out we’d be attending school in Maryland the following school year. This was my turning point—the point at which I discovered that I was capable of more than I had delivered in the past in terms of my education. Prior to the move to Maryland, I was just going through the motions at school. Moving to Maryland I came under the direct influence of my grandmother, who instilled the importance of education. She encouraged us to pursue our education and do well in school; her view was that people can deny you certain opportunities, but an education is something that no one can take from you. As I am sure you’ve learned for yourself, life can take some twists and turns. No matter your age, things don’t always happen as you want them to and most of us are impacted not just by our actions, but by the actions of those around us. Pick up the positive; leave the negative alone. No matter what your situation, you are in control of the decisions you make and your attitude while you go through the circumstances you’re in. As I look back on the circumstances of my life, I can see that God was weaving what is becoming a beautiful tapestry and it’s still a work in progress. I have found that the following character traits can take you a long way no matter what lessons life throws your way: Integrity – don’t give anyone a reason to question your motives, ethics, or morals. Personal responsibility – you may not control the situation, but you do control how you deal with it. Resilience – the ability to bounce back no matter what circumstances come your way. February 27, 2010 Afro-American Newspapers

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Karen Magness
T. Rowe Price

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Character Education/Black History Month

Adapt to Change, Develop Versatility, and Stay Connected
am Art Varnado, Manager of Strategic Initiatives in the Fixed Income Department at T. Rowe Price in Baltimore. My responsibilities include product development and strategy, managing special projects to grow our business, and representing the Fixed Income Department on firm-wide initiatives. My position at T. Rowe Price requires that I utilize a variety of skills and adapt to a variety of situations and people every day. Growing up, I learned to adapt to change by necessity, having lived in five different cities before age 18. I have also learned to adapt to circumstances beyond my control—things don’t always work out as planned—and you need to make the best of them. Being able to adapt and to be flexible are important ingredients for success. Adapting, however, doesn’t mean “selling out” or compromising yourself or your values. In fact, it is a test of your moral strength and character. It requires strong moral values, good judgment, and solid communication skills in order to step into a new environment, demonstrate your worth, and add value. My participation in sports while growing up, especially running track, helped me build skills that supplemented my classroom learning. Track and team sports allowed me to develop a strong competitive spirit, a desire to achieve, and the ability to persevere. Manager There were many times when I didn’t feel like completing a track Strategic Initiatives workout (or even showing up!) but I knew I had to keep the longerterm goal in mind—to succeed and win! T. Rowe Price With an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering and a master’s in business administration from Stanford University, together with the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, my educational background prepared me for a wide variety of career options. In my current position, it has provided me with the versatility I need to be a key contributor in a number of areas. Whether in understanding the investment aspects of the job, in communicating effectively—both orally and written—or in managing project teams, I rely on my solid educational foundation. Lastly, I believe in “staying connected” both as a mentor or role model to others who are striving to achieve and as a mentee as I open my mind to learn from other successful people. Young people today have many opportunities to make a meaningful difference in our fast-paced, ever-changing world. My advice on being successful is to learn to adapt to change, develop diverse skills so that you are prepared to step up and be a contributor no matter what the situation, and position yourself as a significant link in the chain of achievers.

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Art Varnado

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HBCUs Remain Economically Viable
Continued from Page 14 education – and African-American economic sustainability – began its course. According to data released by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), an advocacy group that provides financial assistance to minority students, there are 105 American HBCUs that graduate over 50 percent of all Black professionals. The data also says 50 percent of all HBCU graduates go on to obtain graduate or professional degrees. These institutions have made a profound financial impact in the communities they serve, according to the National Center for Education Statistics’ 2006 study measuring the economic viability of HBCUs. “Measured in the simplest and broadest possible terms, the total economic impact of the nation’s HBCUs was $10.2 billion in 2001. This amount represents the combined impact of all 101 HBCUs [with the exclusion of Selma University, Knoxville College and Shorter College] on the output of their host communities. To put this

2008 Graduates

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AFRO File Photo

into perspective, it is interesting to note that in terms of output [revenues], the collective economic impact of HBCUs would rank 232 on the Forbes Fortune 500 list of the United States’ largest companies.” Locally, Morgan State University in Baltimore and Howard Stephan Nahm received a University in the District were among the top 10 public and B.S. in Electrical Engineerprivate institutions with the greatest revenue. Morgan State ing from the University of pumped $252 million into Baltimore’s economy while Howard the District of Columbia in University produced a staggering $1.2 billion that year, making it 2009. the leading private HBCU. The significance of historically Black institutions has not been lost on the American government, whose White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities works to increase the schools’ visibility among federal organizations and agencies. In a February interview with Roland Martin on “Watch Washington,” U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said President Barack Obama has proposed an additional $98 million toward HBCU funding and a $4 million increase in Pell Grants for students attending these institutions in fiscal year 2011. Dr. Joyce N. Payne, founder of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a program that provides scholarships for 47 HBCUs, praised Obama’s budget provisions, but noted that the president’s agenda must include paths for students to secure employment after college. “Securing jobs is the bottom-line for our graduates,” said Payne in a statement. “With the potential impact of government policy in higher education; our students need jobs, but jobs that will complement and broaden their skill-sets acquired in their higher education formal training.” HBCU graduates have fared well in a plethora of vocations, including mathematics, engineering and science, sectors that HBCU attendance but that their wages increase 1.4 percent to 1.6 percent produce some of the nation’s highest-grossing careers. And despite a faster per year after attending HBCUs compared to Black males who decreasing number of Black male enrollments at all American schools, a attended other colleges and universities,” said Dr. Bradford F. Mills, the study entitled “The Wage Earning Impact of Historically Black Colleges and study’s leaders, in an interview with the Southern Economic Journal. Universities” found that Black men who attend HBCUs experience greater The study followed HBCU graduates of both genders between 1979 economic advantages than those who attend historically White institutions and 2004, but found that while Black male HBCU graduates experienced (HWIs). increased lifetime earnings, Black women’s income was comparable “Our study … shows that Black males have no initial advantage from regardless of their collegiate affiliation. Afro-American Newspapers February 27, 2010 Character Education/Black History Month

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AFRO File Photo

“A Positive Attitude Turns Challenges into Accomplishment”

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y name is Virgilia “Tish” Campbell-Whitter, and I have a successful career with Verizon as a Tech Manager for Information Security in the Information Technology department. As a child, I was raised by positive and loving parents and they made sure they surrounded my two brothers and me with very positive people. One important place that gave me opportunities to establish good character was the Langley Park Boys and Girls Club in Hyattsville, Maryland. There I played basketball, softball and became a cheerleader. Each sport, each person, each coach and each leader had a positive impact on my life. There may have been times I lost a game and cried or I may have encountered some set back at work that left me with some self doubt about my talents and or my capabilities. Through it all it has been my tenacity and positive attitude that was instilled in me at an early age that has kept me ahead of the game. A positive attitude is very important as you go through life’s tasks. When your attitude is positive, it leaves no room for error or doubt. It is what faith is based on and integrity is woven into. I may not have liked everything that came my way, but with a positive attitude my challenges became accomplishments and my trials became my successes. As a result, I was able to earn my under graduate degree from North Carolina Central in Durham, North Carolina and my Master of Science degree from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland, and to become successful in my career with Verizon. Today, I am a volunteer at the same Boys and Girls Club and I hope to instill positive characteristics within the young boys and girls of our future.

Virgilia “Tish” Campbell-Whitter
Technology Manager Information Security Verizon

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“Leadership is Confidence and Concern for Others”

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Gemlyne Moe

Local Manager Installation & Maintenance Verizon

eadership is one of the vital qualities of a successful manager. A successful manager will exercise effective leadership in an organization. As a Local Manager for Verizon, I oversee the installation and maintenance of broadband, communications and entertainment services over our state-of-the-art network. I am responsible for the development of 21 service technicians. I feel that effective and fair leadership is showing skills to guide team members, to encourage them towards attainment of the organization’s goals and making the right decisions in critical times. It is important for any successful manager to have confidence in his/her abilities, and embrace change. They also must show a concern for employees by encouraging, reinforcing, and showing appreciation for their efforts. Following these key traits has helped me to be successful in my various roles throughout Verizon. On a daily basis I must ensure that each technician meets our daily productivity objectives. I also must perform monthly quality and safety inspections in order to identify any coaching or training opportunities for improvement. I started with Verizon in May of 1999 as a summer Clerk and was promoted in 2001 to a Customer Response Supervisor. Since that time, I have held seven different supervisory positions throughout three organizations. When I am not working I attend college part-time and am an active member in the PTA. As a proud single parent of 5 and 10 year old sons, I also devote my time to “team mom” duties through various sports activities they are involved in.

Afro-American Newspapers

February 27, 2010

Character Education/Black History Month

21

Black Economy Scheduled for Bounce Back
By Stephen D. Riley AFRO Staff Writer While official statistics aren’t scheduled to be released until early 2011, a survey of minority owners isn’t needed to reveal just how bad things have gotten for Black business owners over the past few years. Whether it’s a major corporation or a small time mom and pop shop, most businesses have had a difficult time eluding the economic monster that has flat lined sales across the nation. Just a decade ago, Census Bureau statistics pointed to Black-owned businesses as the fastest growing segment of new businesses, growing 45 percent between1997-2002. Thirty-eight percent of Black-owned businesses were ran by women and if location was key, then Black company owners certainly knew where to set up shop as New York, California, Florida and Texas hosted the most Black-owned businesses. Although times have changed, the question of whether Blacks can be successful business owners has already been answered. Statistics have proven that both Black men and women can not only run their own businesses but have great success in doing so. World Wide Technology last topped the June 2007 issue of Black Enterprise Magazine as the nation’s top-grossing Black-owned business. Companies like Maryland Heights, a reseller of IT products and services and CAMAC International Corp., a crude oil, gas exploration, production and trading company both reported sales of over $1.6 billion in 2007. But success stories for Black owners have been few over the last years of an economic struggle. While certain companies have remained afloat, a large number of smaller businesses – such as the ones owned by African Americans – have taken a knockout punch. “Most small businesses have been hit hard by the recession and that would be especially true

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Character Education/Black History Month

February 27, 2010

Afro-American Newspapers

for those serving the African-American community,” Executive Director of the Consumer Federation of America, Stephen Brobeck, said. “No one is offering to bail them out as the government has offered to bail out the banks and general motors.” But struggle often leads to success. While longrunning conglomerates such as Chrysler and Circuit City have folded, small business owners have turned to new and more innovative ways on how to be successful during down times. Online giants like Facebook, YouTube and MySpace have laid the blueprint for owners looking to capitalize off relatively inexpensive commercial businesses while grossing in millions of dollars. As more small company owners find alternative routes to be successful, it’s only a matter of time before the Black economy bounces back. “There’s bad news but light at the end of a long

tunnel,” Brobeck said. “The economic situation is dire for many African-American families. In general, things are not getting worse and most experts are cautiously optimistic there will be slow but steady improvement over the next two to three years.” Although the recession has flexed its muscles against even the mightiest of Black-owned companies, the Black economy has witnessed worse times. From the induction of slavery to the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, African Americans have always found a way to bounce back. While most economists have forecasted a healthy bounce back for a weakened market, as history has proven, the economy isn’t the only one slated for resurgence.

“In general, things are not getting worse and most experts are cautiously optimistic there will be slow but steady improvement over the next two to three years.”

Military Enlistment
Continued from Page 13
credited with being among the first U.S. institutions to pave the way toward integration, it wasn’t until 1948 that the military was fully desegregated. By that time, although many Blacks had enlisted out of loyalty to their country, others viewed enlistment as a means improvement, and most importantly as a source of economics.” However, from the past to the present, that platform has changed, and Lt. Col. Nathan Banks believes it’s for the better. [acknowledged] one of our four-star generals – Kip Ward who came from an historically Black school which was Morgan State University,” Banks said. “So the opportunities have presented themselves, and we’ve been giving the opportunity to do them.” Today’s military is also supportive of professional development – which spills over into the educational realm. “But it’s up to the individual soldier to take advantage of the military’s offerings,” Banks said. ““I had the opportunity to get my master’s degree at Georgetown University through the military,” he said. “It’s implied that if you want to go for it, the educational benefits are there.”

“Blacks in the military looked at the military as a source of opportunity, a source of self-improvement, and most importantly as a source of economics.”
of attaining greater socio-economic stability. According to retired Cmdr. Gregory Black, a former Navy diver and founder of a military-oriented Web site, “Blacks in the military looked at the military as a source of opportunity, a source of self“Because nowadays, the same opportunities present themselves to any job or position in the military,” Banks said.”African Americans are just as equal when applying for getting [top-level] jobs.” He noted for example, “We recently

Afro-American Newspapers

February 27, 2010

Character Education/Black History Month

23

Afro-American Newspapers’ Character Education Essay Contest

he Afro-American Newspapers’ Character Education Contest was launched 13 years ago to promote positive character development among the nation’s leaders of tomorrow -- our youth. We believe good character has to be taught and modeled, which is why we have chosen to profile local corporate professionals and business leaders in our publication. The featured individuals, time and time again, incorporate positive character traits -- such as honesty, respect, responsibility, courage and perseverance -- in their everyday lives, proving to be positive role models in their community. For the contest, students are asked to read the featured profiles and choose the one that inspires them most to incorporate positive

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Eighth-Graders Only
character traits in their own lives. Students should then write an essay that best explains why they chose the article and how they plan to use what they’ve learned to shape their future. • Essays should be between two and four pages in length (doublespaced) and must be typed. • Essays will be judged on neatness, grammar, punctuation and the student’s ability to give insight on what they learned from the profile. Judges are impartial volunteers and may include teachers, staff from local colleges and universities and the editorial staff at the AFRO.

For more information concerning the Afro-American Newspapers’ Character Education Contest, please contact: Diane Hocker, 410-5548243.

Cash prizes to be awarded

Deadline: April 9, 2010
Diane Hocker • Afro-American Newspapers 2519 N. Charles Street • Baltimore, Md. 21218 or email them to: charactereducation@afro.com No faxes will be accepted 24
Character Education/Black History Month February 27, 2010 Afro-American Newspapers

Mail typed essays to:

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