( ENSPIRE COMMUNITY ) Up Rising Stars Inc 4th Annual Scholarship Gala
Up Rising Stars Inc. is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization that is family-run. The organization was founded in September 2011 as a way to give back to the community. They assist young adults to achieve their dreams of a higher education. The goal is for people within the community to become the stars of the future, and as a family, everyone is a rising star. The organization continues to assist youth with educational goals and they tap into the smaller communities as a way of helping the bigger community.
The Fourth Annual Scholarship Awards Gala was held on July 25, 2015 in Elizabeth, New Jersey at the Hilton hotel by the Newark airport. An abundance of attendees included supporters, speakers, entrepreneurs, family and friends enjoyed a red carpet hour, a program of discussions, speakers, presentations followed by a wonderful dinner.
The event was hosted by Talent, Mr. “It’s just comedy.” He has been a longtime supporter of the Up Rising Stars Inc. Part of the gala included a panel discussion with Joi Brown, Senior VP of Marketing and Brand Partnerships at Atlantic Records, Willie Worley, Principal of Plainfield High School in New Jersey and Kristen L. Pope, Cablevision News 12 Westchester and Host and Executive Producer of a variety talk show. They broke down their experiences, advice and had a great discussion on their individual journeys to get to where they are. It was not only remarkable to hear the accomplishments of these individuals, but their personal stories that followed them through their professional path are inspiring. It gave a clear understanding to young or even older individuals on how they should utilize mentors who are within the profession that they want to go into. One of the main messages was that people need to be held accountable and this is extremely important for the youth to grasp early.
The evening continued with musical performances and attendees were at awe at the amazing message from keynote speaker Gemar Mills, Principal at Malcom X Shabazz High School, Speaker, Mentor and Author. His presentation was motivating, words captivating and overall message was something that everyone could take home and apply to their life. Gemar Mills is clearly an advocate for making a change to do better. His personal and professional record speaks to the kind of individual that others can look up to. Gemar has a story that a lot of our troubled youth can relate to because he went through the struggles and they can admire because he succeeded out of his struggle and still remains that same positive person that chose to change his own life. These are the type of stories Up Rising Stars Inc. are trying to build by giving the youth and opportunity to be better, rise and succeed in life.
Approximately 80% of donations and sponsorship funds go to the scholarship award recipients. The organization awards scholarships to high school students who work hard and who are seeking a college degree. Approximately $5000 in scholarships has been awarded since the inception in 2011. Last year, recipients received $750 each towards college tuition. With continued support and exposure Up Rising Stars Inc. looks to increase that every year. The 2015 Up Rising Stars Inc. scholarship recipients were Tatiana Garrison who will be attending Howard University this fall majoring in Biology and a minor in Spanish and Gabriela Francisco who will be attending Rutgers University majoring in Physical Therapy.
There are some important facts that Up Rising Stars Inc. reminds people when they donate. Approximately 75% of high school seniors are accepted into the college of their choosing, but approximately 50% cannot afford to attend. Approximately 47% of the undergrads have an annual family income of less than $40,000. This is compared to the average college student’s debt of $23,700. This means that the average student loan payment that students must deal with following graduation is $432 per month.
The scholarships provided by Up Rising Stars Inc. helps to reduce the amount of debt that students have so that they can attain a higher education and pursue their goals in life. The scholarships allow students to attend the college of their choosing. In addition to providing scholarships, the organization also offers a wide range of services. This includes college workshops, educational seminars, and an entrepreneurship series. There is also an extensive website focused on education.
Up Rising Stars Inc. is family-based and wants to give back to the community. They are passionate, committed, and the community has recently awarded them a feature within the Harlem Times and received the Community Impact: Business of the Year Award in 2013. We look forward to continue to support the growth and success for Up Rising Stars Inc.
For more information check their website here.