Part 1 By Tanya Dennis The nation’s unemployment rate is spiraling towards ten percent with each passing month, and the jobless rate has more than doubled from a year ago. Almost two million college graduates are unemployed, and the National Association of Colleges and Employers predict companies will hire 22 percent fewer graduating seniors than they did last year. These statistics are not standing in the way of Charlie Fyffe, Erica Alexis, Rebecca Payne or Eric Brock, four young entrepreneurs, all twenty-five years or younger, who are forging their way through this recession to economic success. I asked each one the book that most inspired them: Charlie Fyffe, a twenty-one year old graduating senior at UC Berkeley, is a multi-talented young entrepreneur specializing in entertainment, marketing, and non-profit community work. Originally from Los Angeles, CA, Charlie developed his first business venture at the age of 15, a gourmet brownie delivery service for family friends and relatives. Upon graduating from Loyola High School with a 4.2 cumulative GPA, he received the Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship and numerous leadership awards. During his first three years in college, he focused his energy towards building a vast network of young black entrepreneurs from some of the country’s top universities including Columbia, Howard, and Boston College. Charlie has been featured as a guest speaker at the Black Solidarity Conference at Yale University and he has spoken on financial literacy at local middle schools and high schools all over the Bay Area, CA. During his senior year at Cal, he officially launched Charlie’s Brownies at his school campus within the Tully’s Coffee franchise. Among his many accomplishments, Charlie is the President of Artistic Grassroots Latter (AGL), a positive lifestyle brand clothing line: AGLBrand.com In the near future, he plans on developing The SLAG Coalition, a non-profit organization geared towards advocating for “Sustainable Living and Growth” in disadvantaged communities. Charlie will be releasing his first book on entrepreneurial leadership in 2011. One of Fyffe’s favorite quotes is by Will Smith, “You can often project your success in life by looking at the top five people you spend most of your time with. If you don’t want to be those people, you know what to do…” Charlie’s recommends reading EMyth by Michael E. Gerber. Contact Information: Charlie@AGLBrand.com or call at 310.738.2773 Eric Brock, also twenty-one years old, is a graduate of John F. Kennedy High School in Richmond. Eric started “Specialty Services” in 2007. Specialty Services serves as an umbrella for a wide array of businesses: carpet cleaning; valet services; car washing and detailing, lawn mowing and barbering. “My Dad instilled the value of hard work. The work ethic I learn from my Dad enabled me to evolve basic skills into lucrative business opportunities. If I continue to “over-deliver” with Specialty Services then I will prosper financially as well as benefit my community.” Specialty Services clients include the Berkeley Black Repertory Theater; Steven Art Design Gallery in Point Richmond; CA Robinson of the Police Activity League (PAL); The View of Life Project; and actor Tyrise Gipson. “Through my work in the community I hope to become a philanthropist and support other community efforts.” Eric’s book recommendation is “The Tipping Point” By Malcolm Gladwell. Contact Eric at (510)253-3782. Or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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