Hampton’s Student Recruitment Team Holds Their Annual Intake Week

Vashti Dorman | Staff Writer

Photo byHampton University Student Recruitment Team

From March 25-30, the Hampton University Student Recruitment Team (SRT) held their intake week virtually with the fresh, inviting theme of “Bridgerton,” a popular Netflix show that was recently released and quickly took social media by storm. The week started with a teaser video announcing the commencement of the week and the subject for each proceeding event. 

“Whoever edited that video did an outstanding job because I thought I was seeing an ad for the actual show,” said Briana Previlon, a third-year political science major from Boston, Massachusetts. 

SRTis a student organization that assists with the recruitment of high school students from the Hampton Roads area and around the country. The organization hosts annual events such as Highschool Day, Open House and Honors Visitation weekend, which allows prospective students to get a glimpse of Hampton University. The Student Recruitment Team also gives tours throughout the year to students and families interested in seeing the campus and learning more about what programs Hampton has to offer. 

With much buzz created around the Bridgerton themed promotional video, many Hampton Students were revved up to attend the Student Recruitment Team’s events. 

“I saw the flyers all down my timeline, plus I love the show Bridgerton,” said Cheri Manning, a third-year psychology major from Rochester, New York. “I was definitely excited after seeing the theme.” 

The first event held was the “SR Tea Party” which was a meeting for all students interested in getting more information on SRT and how to apply for membership. Many fresh Hampton faces joined the zoom call, seeming excited and dressed to impress in business professional attire. 

The subsequent events took place the following week on Monday, March 29, with their A Family Affair, interactive game night. This event was for current SRT members and students interested in joining SRT to bond through different games and activities. 

On Tuesday, March 30, SRT held an event titled The Royal Ball. The event included a speed dating activity designed for prospective members to get to know each of the SRT team members personally. 

SRT developed a system that allows current team members to connect to current high school students by text message and email. Each member was assigned a mentee who could ask them any questions about attending Hampton, applying, scholarships, etc. This new initiative is called Pirate Talks. This allowed many SRT members to stay involved in the recruitment process while being virtual. 

“The Student Recruitment Team to me is a welcoming and accepting family organization that helps prospective students find that one-of-a-kind college experience,” said Raven Harper, a third-year journalism major, marketing minor from Houston, Texas. “Whether that’s at Hampton or not, we get to give back to the community by helping them decide what’s best for them and what to look for in a college/university; them coming to Hampton is the bonus.” 

Hampton University SGA Elections: The Race Begins for Fall 2021

 Noa Cadet | Staff Writer

March 23 marked the beginning of Hampton University’s annual SGA Elections. Coordinated by Hampton University’s Office of  Student Activities in conjunction with the Student Government Association (SGA), candidates from across the university filled in their applications to run for class and SGA office positions. 

This year, SGA positions such as SGA President, SGA Vice-President and Representative to the Board of Trustees are available to current candidates. In addition to SGA positions, student leadership positions are also available for the rising senior, junior and sophomore classes. 

According to the Assistant Director of Student Activities, Kristina Janes, the voting period will officially begin on Friday, April 9,  from 9 AM Eastern Time to 4 PM Eastern Time.  During this window, students can vote for leadership positions within SGA, as well as for whom they want for leadership positions within their respective class. Before the voting window opens up, Hampton students will receive an email with instructions on how to vote via a Blackboard link. This link is also to be distributed through both the Student Activities and SGA Instagram accounts.

Due to the nature of remote learning, in-person campaigns and the spreading of fliers throughout the school is impossible, so how can one still effectively campaign and spread their name throughout the school?

According to Janes, candidates can post fliers on their respective social media accounts, which can only be reposted by members of their campaign team, which is submitted along with their application. These posts can be fliers but can also be videos or other forms of media. In addition to social media posts, candidates are also able to hold up to one social campaign event via remote meeting mediums such as Instagram Live or Zoom. However, to hold these events officially, candidates must inform HU Student Activities before making the event public. This allows a Hampton University official to attend the event and ensure that the proceedings are held to a standard and that the campaign remains fair. 

“I suggest creating an appealing and concise flyer that talks about why you’re running, what your vision and goals are, and when voting is,” says Hampton University Student Senator Gabriel Lewis. 

When asked how to effectively campaign during a period in which in-person campaign tactics cannot be utilized, Lewis was quick to offer his suggestions.

“Have a group of friends as a part of your campaign, willing to spread your flyers and promotional material and ensure your name gets out there. Also, use your one campaign event towards the end of the campaign period to make sure voters know your name and face and get the chance to meet you before the voting period so that you are still fresh on their minds on Election Day. Also, make sure you get everything approved by Hampton University, and that you follow up with them to ensure your material gets approved quickly,” said Lewis. 

With April 9 just over the horizon, there is still time for candidates to spread their name and make sure that they are in the minds of every voter come Election Day.  As for voters, make sure you get out there and vote for your chosen candidate!

Cymmone Yancey, CEO of C.N.D.Y Aesthetics, on Being a Student Entrepreneur

Nicole Pechacek | Staff Writer

Photo by Martine Yancy

Cymmone Yancey is a student entrepreneur who has experienced a lot of success with her brand, C.N.D.Y Aesthetics. On her Instagram, she has amassed over 1,000 followers and rose to prominence despite the pandemic. In this Q&A, Yancy discusses how she started her business and grown her brand. 

NP: How did you come about starting your business, C.N.D.Y Aesthetics?

CY: I guess it’s unconventional in a way. I’ve always had an affinity for business and finance and I wanted to find a way to create a business. One, to gain experience so that I could continue to establish a greater business later on in life, and two, as a means to kind of bring self-fulfillment. Every day is kind of boring, and don’t get me wrong I love my major, but having something that I can call mine that brings happiness to other people in the same way it brings happiness to me is different. Being able to start something like that is something I really wanted to do.

NP: What made you want to go into the beauty industry?

CY: You’ll note in my store that there’s not a wide range of beauty products. We’re going to expand our market soon, but I focused my interests on the areas of beauty I was truly interested in, so our biggest market right now is lipgloss and lashes. Anyone that knows me knows I love lip gloss. I may not be a ‘super get-up every day slap makeup on my face and hit the town’ kind of person, but you’ll rarely find me going out the house without a balm lip gloss on.

NP: So you’ve always had an affinity for beauty products?

CY: Yeah, I have. There’s a sort of humbleness that comes with beauty products. You are beautiful, so you don’t need the products, but it’s something you like, something you enjoy. It’s something you want to incorporate into your daily routine. I’m not going to sell anything I wouldn’t wear myself. Having a source for that is something I find important, especially for our demographic and age group.

NP: Do you make any of your products? If not, do you plan to?

CY: All of the products currently in my store are sourced from individual providers. I am working on lip-gloss products of my own. I’m not going to put them on the market until I feel they’re the best they can be, and right now I don’t feel that they are.

NP: Do you feel like your business has been successful? Do you feel like it needs improvement?

CY: I feel like anyone who says their business doesn’t require improvement is full of it. I honestly have a lot of room for growth. It picked up during the pandemic. I didn’t start funneling a lot of resources into my website until January. I do want to improve, but as of right now, I’ve had over 20 sales in the last two months, all of which were substantial orders, so I think I’m doing pretty good. 

NP: How do you advertise off-campus?

CY: One of the biggest things I like to do is experiment with marketing. So what I’ve found is if you build your social media platform in the right way. Your business will thrive without outside network influence, and that’s what I wanted to establish first and then bring that influence in. I feel as though currently, I’ve established my market. I have a good feel for the type of audience I’ve been attracting, and all of my customers have been people I do not know. They have solely come to my page through the marketing campaigns I’ve put out there. You don’t need to spend money on a photographer for those. I’ve taken pictures with my phone. The cutouts I’ve done with basic software on my computer. I plug in a picture, hit a button, and it’s done. That way I’m not wasting money on elaborate marketing campaigns.

NP: Do you have any general business tips you could give to fellow students?

CY: I think the number one thing is patience. There are a lot of people who say they want to start a new business because they want money, but they don’t want to work for it which is completely the wrong mentality. I’m a full-time student. I have a part-time job as a software engineer for Home Depot. There’s no need for me to even own a business. My career is substantial, so the money isn’t what I’m after. I’m after the experience. 

Follow C.N.D.Y Aesthetics @cndy.aesthetics on Instagram to catch deals and see what Cymmone has in her store next. Visit her website.

SGA Town Hall: Visions of Graduation and a Safe Return in Fall 2021

Noa Cadet | Staff Writer

Picture Credit: Image of the Hampton University Student Center, where Town Hall is usually held every year. Image can be found on Hampton University’s website here

Hampton University’s Student Government Association (SGA) held its annual town hall meeting in late February. The event served as a forum for students to bring their concerns directly to administration. However this year, things were a little different. 

 To account for the ongoing pandemic, SGA’s town hall was held virtually through Zoom. Students submitted their concerns via an online submission platform and SGA asked the questions to members of the Hampton University administration, including but not limited to; President Dr. William R. Harvey, Dr. Barbara Inman, Dr. Karen Ward and other members of the Hampton University administration. 

Hosted by Austin Sams, SGA’s 75th President, the town hall presented an opportunity for the administration to reveal their plans for Hampton’s future. 

Most notably, Dr. Barbara Inman revealed that in-person instruction will be available beginning during both the upcoming summer 2021 and fall 2021 semesters, Hampton’s first on-campus semesters since the Spring of 2020. Factoring in lingering health concerns with COVID-19, it is required of Hampton students (unless medically contraindicated or in the case of religious exemption) to be fully vaccinated before returning to campus and uploading documentation of such. 

Included in this plan for on-campus living, the administration mentioned that they intend to implement a system towards maintaining fifty percent occupancy in classrooms. In this plan, students of a said classroom will be split into alternating days of in-person instruction and remote instruction within their dorms, creating a cycle in which; there is always one half of class in the classroom and the other half operating remotely. 

In addition to classroom operation changes, Hampton is planning on implementing living changes by reducing density in residence halls. Currently, it has been established that both single and double occupancy rooms will be made available for the Fall 2021 Semester. 

Dr. Michelle Penn-Marshall, Vice President for Research and Associate Provost, also mentioned the procedural updates within the Health Center, with the inclusion of COVID testing that would be able to provide results “within 24 to 48 hours,” thus allowing for swift testing on campus to ensure maximum safety. 

With all the procedural changes that Hampton University is implementing for the return of the student body, the question remains to be asked: what of the Spring 2021 graduates?

As announced by the Hampton administration, the University intends to hold virtual graduation not only for Spring 2021 graduates but Spring 2020 graduates as well, given that the COVID-19 pandemic prevented a proper Spring 2020 graduation from occurring. 

While details regarding the specifics of the virtual ceremony have yet to be revealed, the decision has been met with quite a bit of disappointment from graduating seniors. 

“I feel saddened by the news of the virtual graduation. This is not at all what I imagined the end of my HU experience would be like. However, I am thankful that I’ll be with my family. I know that they will make the experience special even though it is virtual,” says Cassie Herring, a senior english major from Woodbridge, Virginia. 

As more information is released regarding graduation, the student body can only hope that the virtual ceremony manages to commemorate the achievement memorably, to make up for the fact that it is not in person. 

One thing remains clear nonetheless, Hampton University is making the strides to return to a new normal.

Hampton Alumna, Ariana Greene selected as TRESemme Future Stylish Fund Recipient

Vashti Dorman | Staff Writer

Picture Credit: Ariana Greene

Last month, TRESemmé, an American hair care brand, awarded Hampton University’s own Ariana Greene a $10,000 scholarship to attend cosmetology school. Ariana Crofton, a recent 2020 HU graduate, currently owns her own business, Ariana’s Canvas, where she creates a myriad of unique hairstyles such as; box braids, faux locs and feed-in braids.

 The TRESemmé Future Stylish Fund scholarship Greene received was tailored specifically for Black women to break the systematic barriers surrounding African American women and their hair in the beauty industry. 

“There are many barriers that exist for future Black female stylists, but things are changing because those tough conversations are being had,” said TRESemmé Future Stylists Fund selection committee member Ursula Stephen in an interview with Essence. “And great opportunities like the TRESemmé Future Stylists Fund are helping to encourage some much-needed change.”

Before winning, Greene mentioned that she experienced a season of no’s. Then one of her peers from Hampton sent her the  TRESemmé Future Stylists Fund application during the summer of 2020. Crofton took a leap of faith and applied. Crofton even took out a loan for cosmetology school but soon canceled it once she got the news that she won the scholarship.

“This experience was perfectly tailored for me,” said Grenne. 

Greene started her hair journey as a child, doing her Bratz Doll’s hair, eventually learning how to do her own. While growing up, her hair journey was not easy due to the many of the bad experiences she had in hair salons. She wanted to change the reputation braiders have in the beauty industry by offering a therapeutic space for Black women to get their hair done, not only on Hampton’s campus but also in the DMV region where she resides. 

“I started on accident by doing box braids for my bigs,” Greene said. 

Once she did her “big’s” hair, word spread fast, and she soon became Hampton’s go-to hairstylist. 

“It didn’t feel like I was the go-to hairstylist, but people created their own hype, and that helped,” she explained. 

With her fast-growing business and popularity on campus, Greene realized that doing hair and managing schoolwork can be difficult. Along with balancing Ariana’s Canvas and school, she realized she had to set boundaries with friends and family. 

“I didn’t have time for fun and often, could only work and go to class,” she shared. 

Although she lost a lot of free time, Greene gained many meaningful relationships from doing hair on campus. Through her business, she also learned how to pay taxes and budget. Regardless of having a few struggles, she realized she couldn’t focus on the approval of other people.

Greene advises everyone who is looking to start their own business to not over plan. She shared that she started her business in 2014 on YouTube as a DIY art channel. Later on, she began Ariana’s Canvas due to the need for Black braiders on campus who understand how to take care of natural hair. 

She also advises future business owners to start a business relating to their passions and look to their friend group for support.

“If they’re good friends, they’ll support you, but build your own community,’ she advises.  

Greene is currently attending cosmetology school at Aspen Beauty School and is working on becoming more creative with her work. She plans to one day bridge the gap between companies and campus stylists, as well as grow her hair business.

“I want to go international and talk to other aspiring stylists,” Greene shared. 

Ariana Greene is currently located in the DMV, and anybody interested in booking an appointment can do so through the link located in her Instagram bio @arianascanvas. To learn more about her TRESemmé Future Stylists Fund opportunity, follow Ariana on Instagram @anaira_99.

Picture Credit: Ariana Crofton

Hampton University to Hold In-Person Instruction for the Fall 2021 Semester

Raven Harper

Picture Credit: (Mr.Pirate picture: Eva Davis, students outside: Christian Montgomery)

After many months of anticipation and remote learning, on Feb. 25, Hampton University announced that they will offer in-person instruction and housing for the 2021 Summer and Fall semesters, but with a few conditions. 

Dr. Barbara Inman, Vice President of Administrative Services and Infectious Disease and Prevention Working group chair, sent out an email to the entire Hampton student body on March 8 with the news. In the letter, she stated that in accordance with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and the Virginia Department of Health, students will be able to return to campus in the Summer and Fall, showing valid proof and documentation of their vaccinations.

“Students will be required to be fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine prior to returning to campus unless medically contraindicated or there is a religious exemption,” the email read.

The Summer semester will also include Hampton’s Pre-College Program for the incoming freshman class. 

This announcement came a couple of weeks after a previous email requesting an advance tuition payment for the 2021-2022 academic school year was sent out, which had many students questioning if Hampton’s administration was planning for students to return in the fall.

To gain further information regarding this announcement, I sat down with Dr. Inman to discuss the questions and concerns many students had after digesting the email. 

Regarding Hampton’s rather early decision to return, Dr. Inman explained that the availability of the vaccine played a major role in the administration’s decision, as well as the readiness for the university and students to get back to campus.

News of the university’s plans was met with a lot of feedback and responses from current students and the Hampton community.

For current freshmen who spent what was supposed to be their first and best year in college at home, many felt solace towards the news. Felipe Gonzalez, a Music Education and Voice major from Long Island, New York, was one of them.

“Being Mister Freshman, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with a lot of my class, and we all have already missed out on so many milestones such as; high school graduation, prom, and freshman year,” he shared. “I can say for most of us that transitioning back to campus is something we all need right now.” 

Gonzalez and his friends, like other freshmen in the class of 2024, have been creating and maintaining their friendships solely online for a year and are excited to create experiences together in-person during the fall. 

Current juniors who will be returning next fall as the senior class are rather grateful to be able to finish their final year at Hampton back on campus.

“Honestly, it’s a blessing to be able to have a senior year. I know we’ve all dealt with a lot in the past year, so I think going back and being able to get back to ‘normal’ will be a good thing for us,” Kayla Jenkins, a Junior Psychology Pre-Med major, Spanish minor from Atlanta, Georgia shared.

“All of our programming and decisions are going to be guided by the CDC, the Virginia Department of Health as well as executive orders issued from the governor,” Inman said. “There will be some limitations on the number of people who will be able to congregate at social activities, but we are going to do our best to provide students with a quality, in-person experience.”

As the administration works on rolling out more details, one thing they are aware of is that for the graduating class of 2021, graduation will be held.

In fact, they will be hosting graduation for the 2021 class as well as 2020 graduates who, unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, did not get to have one. However, with the news of the return for the rest of the student body, some graduating seniors were upset their graduation will still be held virtually. 

“Of course, the news was a bit disheartening. I would love to interact with my classmates one more time, but I’ve chosen to accept it and move past it. I just hope that the virtual graduation will still be of quality,”  said Eva Davis, a graduating senior Cellular and Molecular Biology major from Fayetteville, North Carolina.

As students await more information regarding their return, the Hampton Administration says students can expect more detailed information and specifics rolled out well before the 2021-2022 Fall semester begins.

“We believe we have a reopening plan that we allow safe and responsible in-person instruction and housing for our students,” Inman shared.

“A legacy to remember” William R. Harvey to retire in 2022

Barry Jones | Editor-in-Chief

Courtesy of the Office of the President

Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey has announced his retirement. Set to retire in June 2022, Harvey would end up serving as the president of the university for 44 years, the longest tenure of any HBCU president and the eighth-longest tenure of any university president in the United States.

Becoming the 12th president of Hampton Institute in 1978, Dr. Harvey arrived on a campus that “was slowly losing ground,” according to a statement released by the university. Over the course of his time at the university, Dr. Harvey managed to expand its academic offering, financial standing and physical uniqueness. 

Under Dr. Harvey’s leadership, 92 new academic degrees were introduced, including 12 doctoral programs; the endowment increased from $29 million to over $300 million; and 29 new buildings have been erected.

Through building a reputation of prestige, honor and dedication to Hampton University, Dr. Harvey has maintained a philosophy of leadership centered around teamwork and active listening. He highlighted the fact that a major factor of the university’s progression and success are the contributions of a high-caliber team of administrators, faculty and student-leaders.

“If you look at the team that I have amassed here, I think they are extraordinary,” Dr. Harvey said in an interview with The Hampton Script. “When you look at the fact that I have 17 [administrators] that have gone on to become presidents of other colleges and organizations, when I add in student-leader input, faculty input, the board of trustees input, I think we have a pretty darn good process.”   

Dr. Rodney Smith, former HU vice president of administrative services, was appointed president of the College of the Bahamas in Nassau. Former HU Provost Dr. Pamela V. Hammond was appointed interim president of Virginia State University in 2015. 

The Harvey Leadership Model has served students, faculty and staff throughout the course of Dr. Harvey’s tenure. In 2016, Harvey published “Principles of Leadership: The Harvey Leadership Model.” The book highlights 10 principles that distinguish leaders. Serving as a culmination of 40 years of result-driven leadership, Dr. Harvey utilized his own personal response to adversity, wisdom from his parents and innovative thinking to pen a guide to obtaining and maintaining an enriching leadership experience.

Through Dr. Harvey’s avid political participation, Hampton University managed to make never-before-seen strides as it relates to the development and expansion of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute, the largest free-standing proton beam cancer center in the world, was established in 2010. Four satellites launched in 2007 made Hampton University the first Historically Black College and University to have 100% control of a NASA satellite mission.

“I have been in the Oval Office for every single president since Jimmy Carter,” Dr. Harvey said. “I think that has helped us gain federal money.”

Dr. Harvey has not backed down from his bipartisan approach to increasing Hampton University’s favor among political figures. Through Dr. Harvey’s relationship with former Republican president George H.W. Bush, the President’s Advisory Panel on HBCUs, a panel on which Dr. Harvey served, secured $776 million in federal funds in 1989 and $894 million in 1990 — an increase of $118 million in two years.

During the Bush administration, Hampton University secured more than $40 million in federal funding for faculty research, student scholarships and the expansion of academic programs. 

“My father said to me there are good people and scoundrels in both major political parties,” Dr Harvey said. “He said, ‘Always support the person, not the party.’ There may be times where alumni, faculty and students don’t particularly like the decision. But I will always do what is right and best for Hampton.”

Dr. Harvey’s adoration for Hampton University has been a motivating factor during his long-standing tenure as president. Students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff have recognized the progress that has been made under his leadership. 

“We all know Hampton University is a special place that has grown over the years to be a stellar institution,” Student Government Association President Austin Sams said in a statement to The Hampton Script. “Hamptonions of many generations have been fortunate for Dr. Harvey’s leadership, and I congratulate him on creating a legacy that will live on forever.”

As Dr. Harvey’s tenure comes to a close, the university will soon begin to set eyes on his successor. When asked how big of a role he will play in the selection of the next university president, Dr. Harvey indicated that the Board of Trustees will have the final say-so as to who will replace him.

The announcement of retirement has had no effect on the amount of work President Harvey plans to commit to during the remainder of his tenure. With plans to carry out the wishes of former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder, Dr. Harvey hopes to assist in raising funds for the creation of a slave museum in Virginia. He also emphasized an effort to fundraise $50 million to $75 million for minority cancer patients who can’t afford treatment. Finally, Dr. Harvey is focused on providing COVID-19 testing for “underserved rural communities.” 

Upon retirement, Dr. Harvey plans to stay in Hilton Head, South Carolina, with his wife, Norma B. Harvey. Dr. Harvey plans to embark on yet another literary journey in an effort to utilize his four decades of experience to serve higher education. Although Dr. William R. Harvey will retire as president of Hampton University, HU will continue to be his “Home by the Sea.”

Good Girls take Hampton: The birth of a new movement

Vashti Dorman | Staff Writer

Unsplash user Jessica Felicio

In an effort to unify and empower women, The Good Girl Movement was born. Arriving on Hampton University’s campus in 2020, the movement is dedicated to redefining what it means to be genuinely and unapologetically good. 

During the week of February 14, Good Girls Hampton hosted a wide range of events celebrating women and putting spotlights on various Black businesses. 

To kick off the week, the Good Girls Movement along with Dr. Empath, an empathic psychologist focused on healing the mind, body and soul, led an event on spirituality and how to attract your desired love. The session delved into different types of spiritual connections and how to differentiate the good 

On day two of Good Girl Week, HU student Janice Jallah led “Girls Need Love Too,” a dance class on Instagram live. Celebrating various body types and doing choreography that was easy for everybody allowed participants to relax and have fun. 

A virtual Black business seminar took place on day three. The event consisted of 6 business owners and panelists including; Danielle Boateng of Dbandz Luxe, Alexis Scott of the Bad Girl Network, Ashanti Johnson of Strength of a Broken Women and Spiced by Shanti, Ayana Iman; Fashion Influencer, Dayvondria Braxton of Von Capri and Sienna Nelson of White Lephant.

During this event, panelists were able to give their insight and advice on creating a successful business as a Black woman, while also giving the do’s and don’ts of starting a business. 

Keeping the week going, Good Girls held a service initiative event hosted via Zoom, where participants were able to write love letters to incarcerated women. During the event, participants learned statistics about women in prison, including that women account for 7% of the population in state and federal prisons. 

Ending the week off, Good Girl’s member, Sage, gave numerous tips on maintaining physical health, including maintaining a good sleep schedule, a healthy diet and exercising. She went into detail on how to maintain emotional health through therapy and to evaluate the people we allow into our lives. She also shared tips from her personal experience on developing techniques to stay healthy in all facets of life, from keeping a clean room to reading the bible every day. 

To conclude the week, the Good Girls Movement won “Best New Organization” at the Student Organizational Bazaar for the 2020-2021 academic school year. 

Keep up with the Good Girls of Hampton on Instagram @goodgirlstake_hampton and @thegoodgirlmovement.

Madani Dembele wins Mr. Ivy Pageant

Nicole Pechacek | Staff Writer

Courtesy of Madani Dembele

Premiering on YouTube on Feb. 19, Hampton University was able to host yet another successful virtual pageant thanks to the Gamma Theta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Madani Dembele, was chosen to become the next Mr. Ivy.

Dembele, a graduating senior strategic communication student, expressed his excitement after finding out that he had achieved his dream of winning the Mr. Ivy Pageant. 

“I was ecstatic,” said Dembele. “I was really happy my hard work paid off.”

Anticipating the pageant since junior year, Dembele’s opportunity to participate was ripped away when the pageant was canceled due to COVID-19. When he saw the opportunity to join again this year, he was admittedly hesitant to take the chance. 

“The pageant came around a few weeks ago this semester. A couple of my friends said I should do it again. I said ‘Nah.’ I was a little bit hesitant,” said Dembele. “I didn’t send my application in until the day of, but I said ‘Hey, I’m gonna do this.’ It was just a matter of time because this has been one of my goals for a long while.”

Despite the pageant being virtual, it still left a huge impact on Dembele, allowing him to step out of his comfort zone. 

“It allowed me to bring everything that I’ve been working on to light. For example, for my talent, I did rap, but I’ve been writing raps here and there for a few months now,” he said. “It’s sort of like a hobby for me, but the pageant allowed me to go into full production mode.” 

Dembele said that with the help of a friend who studies film, the video was shot, and he was able to put everything together. He wanted to bring three things together for his talent performance: Black History Month, the Gamma Theta Chapter and his platform, “Rising Above the Ashes.”

With the pageant being virtual, Dembele found the experience interesting in how he had to plan for a video.

“It was kind of complicated. I had to make sure certain things would sound good through all outlets since everyone is watching through different devices,” he explained. “I just wanted to make sure it was cohesive and that everyone would have the same experience watching what I put out there.”

Dembele expressed that virtual pageants allowed contestants to have more creative control than in-person pageants. He saw the ability to control things as an advantage.

“In a virtual pageant, you have a lot more creative control, and you can correct or fix things that you don’t want to showcase. As opposed to an in-person pageant, you don’t get that opportunity to go back and edit what you just did on stage. It’s irreversible.” said Dembele. 

His platform, “Rising Above the Ashes,” is a program targeted at African American youth, promoting mentorship and overall wellness. Dembele believes that the youth are the future, and thinks his platform will help them see that.

“I do believe that the youth are our future, and I think that they can be damaged which prevents them from living to their fullest potential. It can be hard to see the brighter things in life when all you’ve been seeing is darkness,” he expressed.

Dembele says the main takeaway of his platform that he wants African American youth to know, is that they are enough and are deserving of more than they think.

Madani Dembele plans to accept a job offer at AT&T for their BRB Sales Development program after graduating in May of this year. 

Hampton’s Very Own: Spotlighting Student Entrepreneurs

Angela Session | Staff Writer

Courtesy of Joy Coates

During the summer of 2020, there was a call to support Black owned businesses in response to the re-awakening of social injustice around the country. Since then, many consumers have been trying to become more conscious about who owns the companies and products they spend their money on. 

Hampton University is home to many innovative student entrepreneurs. In honor of Black History Month, here are two HU students making an impact through their entrepreneurial efforts.

Ju’s Mobile Auto Care

Julian McDaniel is a second-year graduate student majoring in community mental health counseling. He received his undergraduate degree from North Carolina A&T in 2016 with a B.A. in liberal studies with a concentration in race, class and culture. McDaniel is a native of Charlotte, NC, and is the proud owner of Ju’s Mobile Auto Care.

Ju’s Mobile Auto Care was created because McDaniel realized that he has skills that other people didn’t have. Due to his passion for helping others, he thought it would be a good idea to start a business that offers automobile services.

As a child, Julian had a keen interest in cars, so it was only natural for him to continue to expand his knowledge of them. He worked on his car while at NC A&T, and worked for Discount Tire for some time where he learned to mount, balance, and rotate tires. After graduation, he worked at O’Reilly’s Distribution Center before moving to Hampton. Even though he wasn’t working on cars there, he would get discounted parts to work on cars at his leisure.

 In 2019, McDaniel moved to Hampton and got a job at Jiffy Lube where he learned most of what he knows today. 

Recently, he quit and started his business to help other Hampton students with their car repairs at affordable prices. As a member of the HU Marching Force, McDaniel was able to spread the word to fellow band members and in student group chats. 

At the moment, McDaniel is focusing on creating more exposure since his business is fairly new.

Advice he would give to other aspiring business owners is, “to do what you have a passion for and make a side hustle that can bring in extra cash.”

 “Stay focused, keep an open mind, and work hard as you will get what you put in,” said McDaniel.

WaistHisTime

Joy Coates is a third-year kinesiology major from Montgomery County, MD. Her business is WaistHisTime, a holistic business that is centered around improving the confidence of women. 

Coates’ mother kickstarted the business by traveling to Ghana and bringing back waist beads. For Joy, waist beads are a part of her Cameroonian culture. With that in mind, she started WaistHisTime because she knew that making traditionally crafted waisted beads available would serve as an enhancement to women’s beauty and confidence. 

She was initially able to spread the word through her friends, and eventually began posting flyers, sales and products. Her friends would also tell others where they got their beads from. She also began creating more social media content for her audience. 

Coates plans to rebrand WaistHisTime into Tyme, a unisex athletic clothing line. She says this is something she wanted to start since freshman year and she knew she had it in her, the idea just needed to be unlocked. 

Her advice to aspiring business owners is that they must get to know themselves first. 

 “You are your only competition,” said Coates. “Take time away to get to know yourself, because having a business requires a strong mindset and the vulnerability to accept failure.” 

To learn more about Joy and WaistHisTime, follow her on Instagram @waisthistime. To learn more about Julian and Ju’s Mobile Auto Care, follow him on Instagram @757_mobile_auto_care.

Courtesy of Julian McDaniel