Another good and interesting week this past week.
– Mon, Apr 19th — attended a terrific meeting at the home of the Rockefeller Foundation at 30 Rock Plaza. I’m working on a strategic partnership opportunity with Legacy Connect — a terrific business that is aiming to “digitize philanthropy.” And, it was great to be in the offices of one of founding families of philanthropy.
– Mon, Apr 19th — attended a dinner in the honor of President Kikwete of Tanzania. This was a special and unique experience — my first-ever dinner for a president of a country. Among the guests at the table I sat was Phil de Picciotto, President of Octagon; Kevin Liles, former President of Def Jam Records; Chaka Zulu, the manager of Ludacris; the head of tourism for Tanzania, etc. The focus of the dinner was on improving the education system in Tanzania. They are making remarkable strides under the leadership of President Kikwete, but there’s much more work that needs to be done. It was definitely a memorable evening.
– Wed, Apr 21st — had a great dinner with two of my mentees, William and Mike, as well as a former co-worker from AOL, Rodney. I’m so proud of the growth and maturation of both Will and Mike. Mike graduated from Hampton a few years ago and is doing quite well. Will is only a few classes away from getting his degree from Bowie State. The focus of the dinner conversation was the importance of Will finishing his degree by the end of this year. His graduation ceremony will be one of the great thrills of my life (I’ve been his mentor for 10 years).
– Fri, Apr 23 — we held our business case competition for the Year Up students at Georgetown University. This was a spectacular day … our Georgetown Univ students from GAMBLE (Georgetown’s Aspiring Minority Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs) mentored / advised Year Up students on how to put together a business case. There were 16 groups presenting to the judges — comprised of Georgetown faculty, MBA students and local corporate executives. After a highly competitive and successful 4 hours of competition, we held an awards luncheon. I was given the great honor of delivering the keynote speech. I stressed the importance of mentoring as well as why both Georgetown University and Year Up have both been so important to me. I made a pledge at the lunch to write a check for $2,500 for the first Year Up student to attend Georgetown. We also had terrific speeches from Zaneta Chionuma, GAMBLE’s President, Dean Norean Sharpe and Assoc Dean Patricia Louison of GU and Tynesia Boyea-Robinson, the Exec Dir of Year Up. It was a special day … one that I will cherish for a long time.