Trenton, New Jersey (August, 2008) - The city of Trenton can continue to bask in the glory of another stereotype-defying success story. The Building Our Youth’s Development (B.O.Y.D.) Awards Luncheon held at Roman Hall recognized the accomplishments of the students who had taken part in the summer leadership development program as well as those who instituted a book club geared towards middle-school aged boys. With the phrase “The Power of Belief” as the theme, the students opened the program by reciting Our Deepest Fear by Maryanne Wilson, a popular poem about allowing our inner lights to outshine the darkness of our own fears in order to spark that same light in others. Among the litany of awards that were presented to the students for outstanding conduct and academic achievements, Georgelene Askie and Arthur Tartee Jr. who are both rising 8th graders from P.J. Hill School were announced as the winners of the 2nd Annual Business Plan Competition. Based on the Junior Achievement entrepreneurship curriculum entitled It’s My Business!TM which was sponsored by the Allstate Foundation, they received a tie score on the six-tier business plans that they produced presented on August 12th before a panel of judges from Junior Achievement of NJ (JA-NJ) and Allstate New Jersey Insurance Company (Allstate New Jersey).
Closing the ceremony was young entrepreneur and motivational speaker Rahfeal Gordon, founder of Infinite Productions and author of two recently published works entitled You Won’t Make It and Homeroom Heroes. Gordon recited excerpts from his well-known “Hip Hop Saved My Life” seminar which details how his faith in God and love of music inspired him to survive seemingly insurmountable obstacles and become a successful entrepreneur. Using rap lyrics to describe how he overcame poverty, homelessness, drug-addicted parents, and the murder of his younger brother, he stressed to the students, “Just believe in yourself and that’s all it takes because you can do anything you set your mind to…your location isn’t your destination.”
Building Our Youth’s Development (B.O.Y.D), operating in the Trenton Public School District is a year-round mentoring program for students in 5th – 8th grades that inspire students to make the most of educational opportunities. This character education program is designed to motivate and empower students as well as bring families closer together by hosting after-school activities for students and parents. The character education program consists of a sequence of 5-8 week modules covering life skills, banking and finance, college prep, and entrepreneurship/job readiness. Student participation in the program requires a promise of parental involvement and attendance at bi-monthly meetings. Membership includes a dress code that requires students to wear khakis and a buttoned white shirt one day per week. For more information, visit www.boyd-nj.org.
About The Allstate Foundation
Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by The Allstate Corporation and Allstate New Jersey Insurance Company. The Allstate Foundation sponsors community initiatives to promote “safe and vital communities”; “tolerance, inclusion, and diversity”; and “economic empowerment.” The Allstate Foundation believes in the financial potential of every individual and in helping America's families achieve their American dream.
About Junior Achievement
Junior Achievement’s (JA) mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, JA provides in-school and after-school programs for students in grades K-12. JA offers workforce readiness programs that focus on seven key content areas: business, citizenship, economics, entrepreneurship, ethics/character, financial literacy, and career development. Today JA Worldwide® reaches over 8,300,000 students worldwide in 100 countries. For more information, visit www.ja.org. This year, Junior Achievement of New Jersey (JA-NJ), a member of JA Worldwide, will reach more than 30,000 students in the Garden State. For more information, visit http://nj.ja.org.