Read about Kiante Young's
Young & Doin’it magazine.
Kiante publishes Young & Doin’it, a magazine that aims to present urban youth a variety of career alternatives to rap music and pro basketball. Although Youth in Philanthropy typically features nonprofit programs, Kiante’s magazine is an interesting example of how a young man combined social cause with entrepreneurship.
This spring, the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) named Kiante Young, an NFTE alumnus, as their 2004 Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year. The New York nonprofit’s mission is to “teach entrepreneurship to low-income young people, ages 11 through 18, so they can become economically productive members of society by improving their academic, business, technology and life skills”.
What kind of philanthropic or volunteer work
did/do you do?
I am developing a magazine to empower urban teens to reach for success. I did a survey in Harlem, and I learned that 100% of the boys interviewed wanted to be basketball players or rappers. For some, those are unrealistic goals, and the reason they picked them is because they aren’t exposed to all the opportunities that are available. So, in Young & Doin'it Magazine we will feature careers, highlighting people from urban environments who have become successful. It is in our hopes that we broaden their horizons. This way there are fewer drug dealers on the streets and a generation of successful people.
What is the name and location of the organization?
Kiante: Young & Doin'it, Harlem, New York.
Tell us about the project, especially who benefited from this work.
Kiante: Well, this magazine launched in November 2003. Urban teen aren’t doing well at all, and part of the reason is a lack of interesting, positive role models, so in our magazine we will provide them with just that. In our first issue, superstar rapper and actor DMX will appear on our cover to discuss his rise to fame and how he didn’t let anything discourage him. Celebrity publicist and best-selling author Terrie Williams wrote an article outlining what it takes to be a good publicist. We also interviewed celebrity hairstylist Gerard Dure and the fashion stylist at ENYCE Clothing, China Flower.
What inspired you to get involved?
Kiante: There is a need for positive role models in the urban community.
How did you first get involved? Through school? Your parents? Some other means? Give us some details.
Kiante: In 1999 I started a cable access TV show called Young, Black & Doin'it. On the show, I started out featuring careers, but after a celebrity interview I noticed that there were so many people who wanted to get in to the music industry. The problem was, most people only saw the easy part to the industry (parties, money, fame), so I began to feature celebrities and executives in the music industry. The editors of Honey, Heart & Soul and Savoy magazines; the CEOs of Ruff Ryders Records; Tony Shellman, co-founder of ENYCE clothing, among others, have all appeared on the show. We cancelled the show June 2002.
What is/was the best thing about your experience?
Kiante: The best thing is when you see a young person you helped grow into a productive member of society.
What is/was the hardest part?
Kiante: I can’t answer that question because I don’t feel that what I am doing is hard. It takes time, but it not hard to me at all.
What was the biggest surprise?
Kiante: It is surprising that many stars and executives support many efforts like this.
What new things have you learned as a result of your experience, and how have you changed as a result?
Kiante: I have learned so much, I honestly would not know where to begin.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of getting involved in philanthropy or volunteering?
Kiante: Just do it because when you do what’s right, you always will succeed, even if it doesn’t seem like it.
Young & Doin’it
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