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Meet the 2023 Truist Foundation Fellows

 

Christele Parham, 2023 Truist Foundation Fellow

Generously sponsored by the Truist Foundation

Inspire and build better lives and communities

Nyla Bland

Nyla & Co. and Generation-Z

Nyla & Co. teaches and scales the ventures of other minority and economically disadvantaged business owners. They create successful companies that in turn hire contractors and employees to scale their business. Generation-Z teaches entrepreneurial skills to at risk youth in underserved communities. Nyla & Co. has served over 70 minority business owners since 2020 while the Generation-Z program has taught over 600 school-aged children in the Southeast USA region.

Jalynn Jones

Black Pretty and Paid U

Black Pretty and Paid University is an affirmation-enriched business coaching platform designed for melanated professionals and entrepreneurs looking to maximize their revenue and supercharge their personal brand through thought leadership and social selling. Black Pretty and Paid has supported over 1,500 entrepreneurs on their journey to multiple six-figure incomes, positioning many to generate their first $5,000 per month in less than 60 days.

Ivy Hall

The James WealthBridge Foundation

Ivy is the Founder of The James WealthBridge Foundation which provides action-oriented economic education to underserved and underbanked communities in order to close the wealth gap. The Foundation offers tools, resources, and assistance focusing on four pillars: Financial Literacy, Investments, Entrepreneurship, and High-Income Earning Skills. The Mission is to create a pathway for minority individuals and families and achieve greater financial success that yields generational wealth and closes the racial wealth gap. They have reached over 2000 people and currently serve 25 families.

Tron Banks

Pittsburgh Community Market

Pittsburgh Community Market was established in 2019 to create an imaginative space for local growers and makers to sell their goods and services, while fostering sustainable entrepreneurship throughout the Pittsburgh and Southwest Atlanta communities and to connect to underserved neighborhoods. Since its inception, the Pittsburgh Community Market team has curated over 70 markets to bring much needed foot traffic to an area that has been redlined for decades.

Jamika Render

She Creates Enterprises & The House of Grace-GA

She Creates Enterprises is a design and business assistance agency that caters to nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. The House of Grace-GA utilizes the power of grace to empower and educate those in need, primarily women and girls aged 8-45, through strategic programming and resources throughout the state of Georgia to improve their upward economic mobility. Both ventures have served over 250 individuals since the beginning of 2020.

Daniel Rosebud

Georgia Reconnecting Youth INC. (The GRY Project)

Founded in 2020, Georgia Reconnecting Youth INC. was established to advance the organizational capacity and capability of youth-serving and youth-led initiatives to address service gaps in disconnected rural and urban communities. The GRY Project strives to inspire action and support the community’s young adults with purposeful programming and devoted infrastructure for innovation to advance their skills, employability, and economic mobility.

Dickey Comeaux

The B Suite

The B Suite supports organizations in efficiently meeting their hiring and diversity goals through interim staffing services. Their mission is to connect the world’s most historically oppressed talent with flexible career opportunities to reduce power and wealth disparities, build financial and professional independence, and increase diversity across the c-suite and senior leadership. To date, the B Suite has served over 355 talent professionals.

Patrick Rodriguez

Georgia Coalition for Higher Education in Prison

The Georgia Coalition for Higher Education in Prison builds high-quality educational pathways from pre-college coursework to accredited degree completion. They support previously incarcerated people through their journey home and families that have a loved one impacted by the criminal legal system in navigating resources and receiving wraparound services. The venture aims to service over 325 people affected by the criminal legal system this year alone.

Christele Nicolas Parham

Macon Black Tech

MaconThon is a three-month intensive community that brings together creative influencers, social innovators, and underserved thought leaders of color in the Middle Georgia area who are interested in developing tech-enabled community solutions for the city. The venture’s first cohort supported 16 entrepreneurs who raised $10K from the program. Christele hopes to create a more robust infrastructure for local founders in the area to support them as they build their ventures.

Kathryn Smith

Walton Birch

Walton Birch helps underestimated founders show up credibly and professionally online by providing expertly-built websites and marketing support for businesses that don’t feel they have options or the resources when it comes to hiring expert support. Since 2022, Walton Birch has increased its client portfolio 3x and doubled its monthly recurring revenue. In the last year, the company also hired 7 new employees, including two dedicated client managers.

Brenton Strine

Refcode

Refcode teaches refugees, asylum seekers, Special Immigrant Visa holders and immigrants to code via a community of support and mentorship that helps them launch their software careers. The agency frequently employs graduates of the program and gives them real-world experience that is essential in landing their first job. Recently, Refcode provided 14 laptops to the refugees and immigrants who completed their “Introduction to Professional Software Engineering” class.

Jessica Lewis

MOBU Enterprises

MOBU Enterprises is a green construction company that builds residential and commercial structures out of shipping containers in vulnerable communities to provide healthier, more affordable, and innovative alternatives to traditionally built housing. The venture positively impacts disenfranchised inner-city communities and constituents, has created 200+ jobs, and proudly hires from immigrant, previously incarcerated, and veteran communities.

Dr Chuck Barlow Jr

SOSSI (Saving Our Sons & Sisters International)

SOSSI powers MyGPS (My Game Plan For Success) App, which makes it easier for young people who are between the ages of 16 to 24 years old and disconnected from school and work to find local, remote, and shift opportunities so they can earn while they learn. The company will work with at least 1000 high school seniors and 100 HBCU seniors in 2022-23 to make sure they are trade, college, job, and career ready.

Samantha Smith

The Georgia Notary Network (GaNN)

The Georgia Notary Network provides business training, opportunities, and resources to new and early stage entrepreneurs with limited resource access. They also provide education to ensure state compliance. The organization impacts currently commissioned Georgia Notaries public and Georgia citizens interested in starting service based businesses. In 2022, they launched the GaNN Gives campaign to recognize the work of other Georgia agencies and non-profits.

Ponchellis Jackson

Uplifting People (UP)

Uplifting People (UP) helps people transition out of the criminal justice system by offering housing and career training to individuals released from Georgia’s prisons. They aim to partner with small business owners and tradesmen who can offer UP’s clients the opportunity to apprentice or serve in an internship position that would allow them to receive the job training necessary to set them up for successful re-entry into community.

Twanna Harris

Tribal Good

Tribal Good partners with larger companies and philanthropic initiatives to equip underserved creators and storytellers with the coaching, tools/resources, space, and community they need to convert what was once a side hustle or passion project into a viable business capable of transforming their career trajectory. Tribal Good aims to address the widening racial wealth equity gap that exists between Black creators and the non-Black creators often credited with their intellectual property.

Averri Liggins

Black Women Moguls

Black Women Moguls is a branding and marketing agency that is a one-stop shop for women entrepreneurs to help them transform their brand strategy, monetize their purpose, and increase their visibility and connections to create profitable businesses. Since its inception, Black Women Moguls has reached over 500 entrepreneurs internationally through conferences, classes, events and 1-on-1 working sessions and provided award money to one aspiring business woman.