School of Rock owners around the world are making an impact in their communities
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group of diverse music students in school playing guitars and drums

School of Rock owners around the world are making an impact in their communities through the power of music education. And you can too.

You may already know School of Rock from the movie, but we’re so much more. We’re innovators in the world of music education.

We understand what it takes to inspire kids, change lives, and help you succeed as a music school.

Recognized by Entrepreneur, Forbes and Franchise Business Review as one of the top franchises in the world, School of Rock enables you to mix business with pleasure by owning a rock and roll hub in your city.

You’ll be able to offer structure, guidance, education and entertainment to the lives of children and adults through the power of music. And you will own a successful business on top of it all.

Become a School of Rock owner and experience our unique franchising approach.

Find out more here.

An HBCU grad galvanized voters in Georgia and another one is making history as vice president-elect
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Kamala Harris and Stacey Abrams side by side headshots, both smiling

Before Kamala Harris and Stacey Abrams broke barriers in the country’s political landscape, they thrived at historically Black colleges and universities.

Students and alumni from HBCUs around the country are celebrating the vice president-elect’s success, hoping it will change the misconceptions around the institutions’ quality of education and graduates’ social mobility.

Harris, a Howard University alumna, has regularly credited her education and even referred to it when she accepted the Democratic party’s vice presidential nomination.

“When you attend an HBCU, there’s nothing you can’t do,” Harris tweeted last month.

But she’s only one of several female politicians and activists who have become trailblazers, years after attending HBCUs. Abrams, the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, attended Spelman College in Atlanta and Keisha Lance Bottoms, the Atlanta Mayor and a surrogate for the Biden-Harris campaign, went to Florida A&M University.

Cori Bush, a Harris-Stowe State University alumna, became the first Black woman to represent Missouri in Congress.

“This is certainly symbolic of the great possibilities that can happen in America,” Elwood Robinson, chancellor for Winston-Salem State University, told CNN affiliate WXII.

There’s more than 100 HBCUs across the country, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics. Most of them were formed after the Civil War to provide educational opportunities for newly freed slaves.

While they represent about 3% of the higher education institutions, at least 17% of bachelor’s degrees by African Americans are earned at HBCUs, according to the United Negro College Fund, a Washington-based national group that awards college scholarships and supports HBCUs.

It should not be a surprise that HBCUs students and alumni, like Harris and Abrams, are at the forefront of politics and social justice, said Robert Stephens, founder of the HBCU collective, an advocacy group aiming to increase support of Black higher education institutions.

Continue on to CNN to read the complete article.

Couple Shares Passion for Careers in Medical Field Through Educating, Entertaining Young People
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LMS Keena's standing alonside four kindergarden students and another female teacher. Bith teachers wearing lab coats. Children holding completion certificates in hands.

It’s no wonder that Keena Duncan of Southhaven, Mississippi fell in love with the Little Medical School franchise concept. LMS is the leading developer of specialized curriculum and interactive resources for children ages 4-16. The program allows kids to explore the benefits of careers in healthcare while simultaneously get educated and entertained.

Duncan knows firsthand what a rewarding experience it can be. Duncan’s husband, Dr. Ulric Duncan, is a gastroenterologist in Southaven. Keena Duncan, who runs the Little Medical School franchise there was a teacher in the public-school system and the Practice Administrator in a specialty Gastroenterology Medical Clinic owned by the couple.

Both Duncan’s have a passion for medicine and a desire to help young people aspire to medical careers. After they attended a Little Medical School program, they realized it was the perfect vehicle to provide such an opportunity. Since September 2017, Little Medical School of the Mid-South has been providing its STEM-based curriculum (science, technology, engineering, math) through games, crafts and interactive demonstrations at schools, hospitals, daycare centers, birthday parties, summer camps and more throughout northern Mississippi and Memphis.

“Owning a medical clinic sparked an interest in teaching children the importance of knowing how their bodies work and how to access careers in healthcare,” said 58-year-old Keena, a Memphis resident. “I taught kindergarten in the public schools and homeschooled our three children. Now, Little Medical School allows me to continue to inspire and teach.”

LMS's Keena standing behind resource table  smiling
Keena Duncan of Southhaven, Mississippi at her resource table for Little Medical School

Little Medical School also offers a wide-ranging curriculum of virtual camps and classes. Franchise owners do not need a medical or teaching background. Little Medical School is a mobile business with low overhead that can be operated as a home-based business. The child-services and educational franchise industries combined represent an $11 billion segment that employs more than 285,000 people in more than 130,000 businesses.

About Little Medical School

Little Medical School (LMS) was created and founded by Dr. Mary Mason in 2010 and began franchising in 2015. LMS has evolved to meet the demand for high quality STEM based health awareness focused curriculum There are currently 41 franchises in the U.S. states and 16 International franchisees, along with five company owned locations.  Each Little Medical School franchise is independently owned and community focused. For information visit https://www.littlemedicalschool.com. For franchise information visit https://www.littlemedicalschool.com/franchise-opportunities.

Ava DuVernay Launches ‘When They See Us’ Online Education Initiative
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Ana Durvernay at a press event

Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us educated many people on the story of the Exonerated Five, the young men wrongly convicted in the attack on a Central Park jogger in 1989.

Now, the award-winning director and writer is using the groundbreaking miniseries for a new online education initiative.

Via ARRAY, her multi platform media company and arts collective, DuVernay is launching ARRAY 101.

On May 28, the Oscar nominee revealed on Instagram, “Today, I’m so, so proud to launch a project that my comrades at @ARRAYNow and I have been working on for over a year. Today, we launch #ARRAY101: dynamic learning companions for all our film/TV projects.

Continue on to BET to read the complete article…

Photo Credit: Getty Images

My Wheelchair is My Superpower
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Madeline Delp, wearing a pink dress and smiling at the camera on a black cackground

By Sara Salam

Madeline Delp knows no bounds. She applies her strengths, or her “superpowers” as she calls them, to focusing on what she can do—defying and transcending boundaries along the way

Consistent with her trailblazing efforts, Delp serves as the executive director of Live Boundless, an organization that educates people on those with disabilities and provides equipment like wheelchairs to those in need worldwide. Whether it’s coaching people on how to release the mental bounds of fear, showing others how to navigate the physical bounds that come with a disability or providing critical medical resources for people, Delp says her goal is to equip others with the tools they need to thrive.

“We aspire to challenge others to reach for a higher potential in their lives, and in turn, give back to the world around them,” she said.

Delp strives to follow her own credo. She competed in her first beauty pageant in 2016, the Miss Wheelchair North Carolina competition, and won. That same year, she would go on to win Miss Wheelchair USA 2017.

Delp is also the first person to compete in the Miss North Carolina USA pageant in a wheelchair. She placed in the top 10, won Miss Congeniality, and is the first woman in a wheelchair to make it this far in a state pageant in the history of the program.

She also became the first paraplegic girl to BASE jump. She has also rock climbed and gone skydiving. “Focus on your ability and what you can do,” Delph said. “Learn to accept fear as a tool, because when you’re able to look your fears in the face and do that thing that you’re terrified of, you’ll become a stronger person.”

When she was just 10 years old, Delp learned she would never walk again. In surviving a debilitating car crash, she suffered a severe spinal injury resulting in paralysis and incontinence.

Within a short time following this life event, Delp began a homeschooling program, because her high school campus was not wheelchair-accessible and unable to accommodate her. She didn’t see her father for almost a year following her accident. Her best friend was killed in a car accident the next year.

“People and circumstances I had thought would always stay constant were quickly fading away….and as the last domino in a long line of heartbreaks fell, a thick cloud of darkness surrounded me–so much so that I could barely breathe,” Delp wrote in a blog post for Aeroflow Urology.

In the wake of these tragic and angst-laden experiences, Delp struggled with anxiety and depression. She would spend as many as three hours a day waiting on toilets during her tween and teenage years as a result of her bladder challenges.

Delp and her mom moved to Detroit when she was 14 where she started going to a rehabilitation center. She had an accident in front of her physical therapy team while balancing with the aid of a harness on a treadmill.

“As we left, one of the therapists caught up with me and said, ‘Madeline, don’t be embarrassed. This kind of thing happens all the time! We think nothing of it–we are used to it. This is just your new kind of normal. It’s just pee.’”

Triggered by a realization of a new kind of normal, Delp decided to make a change.

“In my late teens I firmly decided that I didn’t want to be that person anymore,” Delp told Glamour Magazine. “I may not be able to walk, but I wanted to find something inside myself that was stronger than all the reasons I had to be negative. So I started trying to push myself in new ways.”

She describes a study abroad trip to Germany during college as a “second life catalyst event.” While not without accidents and incidents, Delp would travel to Germany three more times. She would also walk across the stage to receive her diploma. She graduated from UNC Asheville in May 2017 with a degree in foreign language and a concentration in management.

“I did all these things to show people with disabilities that you don’t have to be stopped by the limitations that people put on you.”

Black Role Models Play Large Role in STEM Retention for African-American Women
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African-american scientist or graduate student in lab coat and protective wear works in modern laboratory

A new study led by India Johnson, an assistant professor of psychology at Elon University in North Carolina, finds that a major factor to increase the retention rate of Black women in STEM fields is to have African-American role models who will serve as mentors.

According to the research, Black women earn only 2.9 percent of all STEM bachelor’s degrees in the United States. This is far below the rate of White women, despite the fact that White women and Black women are equally likely to express an interest in STEM fields at the beginning of their college careers.

Researchers showed prospective students photographs of laboratory scenes at a fictitious school of science and technology and profiles of faculty members. Black students showed a greater likelihood of considering the fictitious school if a Black professor was shown or profiled. This was particularly true for Black women.

Co-author Ava Pietri, an assistant professor of psychology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis stated that “women who feel like they belong are more likely to enter and stay in STEM, so lack of belonging may be one reason for women of color’s lack of representation.”

Researchers also surveyed Black women at a four-year predominantly White four-year college and at a historically Black college. The women at the HBCU reported that they had on average two or three Black women role models in STEM fields. At the predominantly White school Black women reported either zero or one Black role model.

The researchers also found that White faculty members who went out of their way to encourage Black women students also had a positive impact. The authors concluded that although increasing representation of women of color in STEM is the best way to improve belonging, building tools to help White men or White women become better allies for Black women in STEM will also produce positive results.

The full study, Exploring Identity-Safety Cues and Allyship Among Black Women Students in STEM Environments, was published on the website of the journal Psychology Women Quarterly.

Source: The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

For the First Time Ever, the Majority of Medical Students Are Women
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Collage of women in medical uniforms on white background

For the first time ever, the majority of U.S. medical school students are women, marking another milestone in the gradual diversification of those studying to become America’s next generation of physicians, according to 2019 data released by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Women constitute 50.5 percent of today’s medical students, building on steady increases in recent years that saw women account for the majority of first-year students in 2017 and most of medical school applicants in 2018.

Women reached the cusp of the majority in total enrollment last year, when they constituted 49.5 percent of all medical students, up from 46.9 percent in 2015.

“The steady gains in the medical school enrollment of women are a very positive trend. We are delighted to see this progress,” said AAMC president and CEO David J. Skorton, MD.

At the same time, while medical school classes continued to include more racially and ethnically diverse students, those groups remain significantly underrepresented in the overall physician workforce when compared with the general population and the patients they serve.

Among 2019 applicants and matriculants:

  • Applicants who identified as Hispanic, Latino, or of Spanish origin increased 5.1 percent, to 5,858; matriculants grew 6.3 percent, to 2,466.
  • The number of black or African-American applicants rose 0.6 percent, to 5,193; and matriculants increased by 3.2 percent, to 1,916.
  • American Indian or Alaska Native applicants grew by 4.8 percent, to 586; while matriculants rose 5.5 percent, to 230.

“The modest increases in enrollment among underrepresented groups are encouraging, but not enough,” Skorton said. “We must do more to educate and train a more diverse physician workforce to care for a more diverse America.”

Also among the findings:

  • Interest in medical careers remains high, which is critical at a time when the nation faces a projected shortage of up to 122,000 physicians by 2032. The total number of applicants to medical schools rose by 1.1 percent, to a record 53,371, and the number of matriculants grew by 1.1 percent, to 21,869.
  • Those numbers, too, continue a trend: Since 2002, medical schools have seen significant growth in applicants (by 58 percent), matriculants (by 32 percent), and enrollment (by 33 percent). Those increases have been credited in part to the opening of 20 new medical schools in the past decade and increases in class sizes.
  • Although the numbers of applicants and matriculants grew among women in 2019, the number of male applicants and matriculants declined.
  • Those enrolling in medical school in 2019 showed commitment to academic achievement and community service. The average undergraduate GPA stood at 3.78 in 2019, compared with 3.72 last year. Matriculants also logged more than 14 million community service hours, more than the 12.5 million collective hours reported last year.

For the 2019-2020 Academic Year

6.3% increase in Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish Origin matriculants
3.2% increase in black, African-American matriculants
5.5% increase in American Indian or Alaska Native matriculants

Source: aamc.org

The prestigious Wharton business school’s new dean will be first woman and person of color in its nearly 140-year history
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Erika James is speaking in business setting

Erika James has a knack for making history. Five years after she was named the first African-American woman to be named dean of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, James was named as the new dean at the University of Pennsylvania’s the Wharton School of Business.

She’ll be the first woman and person of color to head the top business school in its 139-year history.

“Erika is an award-winning scholar and teacher and a strong, proven leader who serves as dean of the Goizueta Business School at Emory University,” University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann said in a news release.

“A passionate and visible champion of the power of business and business education to positively transform communities locally, nationally, and globally, she is exceptionally well prepared to lead Wharton into the next exciting chapter of its storied history,” she said.

James was credited with growing Emory’s school faculty by 25% by the end of her first year, where she built an innovation and entrepreneurship lab that opened to all students. By last year the school had one of the most gender-diverse faculty populations in higher education, it said.

“This is an exciting time to be in business education,” James said in the release. “The scope and platform of the Wharton School provides an opportunity to create far reaching impact for students, scholars, and the business community.”

James served as the senior associate dean for executive education at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business prior to becoming the dean at Emory.

She has a Ph.D. and master’s degree in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan, in Detroit and received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pomona College of the Claremont Colleges, in California.

Continue on to CNN Business to read the complete article.

Cecily Myart-Cruz becomes 1st woman of color to lead L.A. teachers union
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Cecily Myart-Cruz speaks into Microphone at podium during rally

The L.A. teachers union has elected the first woman of color, Cecily Myart-Cruz, to lead the organization, part of a familiar and experienced team that will include outgoing union President Alex Caputo-Pearl, who was elected as a vice president.

“I’m proud of the way we have worked with members to create a union that is inclusive, that is a fighting union, that cares not only about educators, but about parents, the community and students,” said Myart-Cruz, 46, who as union president assumes a role of influence and power in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest in the nation.

Myart-Cruz received nearly 69% of the vote to represent some 31,000 Los Angeles teachers, school nurses, counselors and librarians. The next closest was Marisa Crabtree, with nearly 11% of the vote in the five-candidate field. Crabtree had proposed to turn the union more toward classroom and teaching issues, while deemphasizing politics.

But Myart-Cruz said she sees the fight for political influence as essential to improving teaching and classroom learning conditions.

A little over a year ago, United Teachers Los Angeles went on strike for six days, bringing a focus to overcrowded classrooms and staffing shortages. While Caputo-Pearl headed that effort, Myart-Cruz was a key advisor. Caputo-Pearl is barred by term limits from seeking a third three-year term.

“The work is not done. Our educators need the resources and our babies need the resources as well,” Myart-Cruz said.

“By almost any measure, Caputo Pearl has been a strong and effective leader,” said Charles Kerchner, professor emeritus of the Claremont Graduate University School of Educational Studies. “The plan to swap offices with Cecily Myart-Cruz would essentially keep the leadership regime in place. That creates stability in ideas and agenda.”

All the same, Myart-Cruz emphasized that she will be fully in charge when she takes office in July.

The momentum from last year’s strike carried over into the May election of Jackie Goldberg, a union-backed candidate, to the school board. But soon after, L.A. voters defeated Measure EE, a parcel tax that would have increased local resources for schools.

The union is currently engaged in a high-stakes, big-money battle with supporters of charter schools for three contested seats on the seven-member Board of Education. If even one union-endorsed candidate loses, the direction of the board could shift away from some union priorities. These include limiting the expansion and spread of nonunion, privately managed charter schools and pushing for higher pay and increased school staffing.

Myart-Cruz, a district parent and single mother who identifies as biracial, black and Latina, has 25 years of teaching experience in elementary and middle schools. She has long been part of the union’s activist wing and helped lead a campaign to remove principals whom the union felt treated teachers unfairly.

As a regional chair she also helped organize a yearlong boycott against some standardized testing to take on what the union described as the “overtesting” of students. Union leaders argued that students took too many standardized tests and wanted the number reduced because they take away from learning time.

The new president also has been active at the state and national level in teachers unions.

The election turnout was low, but that’s been a consistent recent pattern in union internal elections. Close to 5,300 union members cast ballots out of about 31,000 eligible voters.

Continue on to the LA Times to read the complete article.

Lash Nolen Is Harvard Medical School’s First Black Woman Class President
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LaShyra Nolen stands outside of class looking confidents at Harvard

Most people call her “Lash,” but LaShyra Nolen’s name is hardly the only unique thing about her. Last year, she became the first black woman ever elected as class president of Harvard Medical School (HMS).

Born in Compton, California, and educated in Los Angeles, Lash grew up with big dreams and equally daunting challenges. Despite not seeing black women leadership reflected in society in general, she found inspiration in the strength of the women around her. Lash’s mom had her when she was only 18 years old. But as a single mom, she got her masters, while working numerous jobs to support Lash’s dreams.

“Mom pursued life with grit and a desire to win. She would tell me: ‘I’ll see you at the top,'” Lash tells Teen Vogue. In third grade, Lash won first place in a school science fair for a project that studied the patterns of fish. After this, she told her grandma she wanted to become a brain surgeon-slash-astronaut.

“My grandma would tell me that whatever I wanted to do, we were gonna make it happen,” Lash recalls. “After telling her I wanted to become a surgeon, she would tell me to protect my hands.”

Today, Lash is a Fulbright Scholar, activist, and an emerging leader in medicine.

Lash spoke to Teen Vogue about this moment in Harvard’s history and the advice she has for black girls everywhere.

Teen Vogue: What does it mean to you to be the first black woman elected as class president of HMS?

Lash Nolen: For me it means opportunity — opportunity in the sense that it will allow me to create a pipeline for others who look like me to hold positions of leadership at Harvard Medical School. When applying to HMS, I didn’t see people who looked like me in student council or positions of leadership at that level. I think it is important to show that black people can also be the face of a university.

TV: How do you use student council leadership to make a sustainable impact?

LN: I try to use my resources and platform intentionally. For example, this year with our budget, we decided to create an annual community outreach event for youth at local elementary schools for Halloween. Right now we are working on a project that will highlight members of our community who are custodial staff, cafeteria workers, security guards — the people that make our community whole, with portraits that will be displayed in the main atrium at HMS. By doing things like this, we’re able to sustainably change the narrative of who belongs on the walls and on the grounds of Harvard Medical School. To me, that answer will always be our community.

TV: What advice would you give to young girls of color pursuing their wildest dreams?

LN: Go get it. Our society has a way of implicitly reminding young black girls what they cannot achieve and what they cannot be, while explicitly giving the green light to white men. For those same reasons I almost didn’t apply to HMS. It wasn’t until my mentors told me that I was capable of being a student at a place like this. And there are so many young girls out there who are excellent and deserve access to opportunity, but won’t take the leap because society tells them that it’s not for them. So no matter how crazy it might sound, no matter if someone in your family has done it or not, just go get it, because you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

TV: How have you personally dealt with moving through the largely white, male-dominated world of science and medicine?

LN: I know myself and I know my history. Over the past couple of years, I have been doing a lot of unlearning and investigative research on systemic racism and the hidden contributions of my people to our society. This has given me a great deal of strength. When I walk into a room, no matter where I am, I know the strength of my people and how much they are the reason why these spaces even exist.

TV: What does being a student from Compton at Harvard Medical School mean to you?

LN: My mom raised me as a single mother. My grandmother is the most kindhearted and giving human I know. The city of Compton is one of the most resilient in the world. Growing up and watching them struggle and work so hard to give me what I had in my life, I couldn’t help but do everything in my power to make them proud. I feel like Compton made me scrappy. I’m hungry for opportunity, I’m hungry for justice, I’m hungry to see my people win. So, when you put someone like me at a place like HMS, I’m going to do whatever it takes so make that vision a reality.

Continue on to Teen Vogue to read the complete article.

Uber passenger pays off driver’s outstanding college debt
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Latonya Young wearing cap and gown pictured with Uber passenger kevin esch

A Georgia Uber driver recently graduated from Georgia State thanks to a man who helped her pay an outstanding debt that prevented her in finishing her degree program.

According to ABC News , Latonya Young recently graduated from the Atlanta university after starting her college journey many years ago. At age 43, Young now has an associate’s degree in criminal justice.

Her return to college was made possible thanks to an Uber passenger. According to ABC News, Young had picked up Kevin Esch for a 20-minute ride. Young told Esch about her desire to go back to college, but that a $700 outstanding debt prevented her from enrolling.

Shortly after the ride, Esch decided to help the mother of three out. Nearly 18 months later, Esch was there to see Young graduate.

“I have thanked him so much but I feel like I haven’t thanked him enough,” Young told “Good Morning America.” “It was not just the money but his willingness and his sacrifice for me to do better in life.”

“It was something I could do that I thought was worth it and would really help her,” Esch told “GMA.”

Continue on to KXLF to read the complete article.

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