Daquan Oliver B’14 Wins Coveted Echoing Green 2015 Black Male Achievement Fellowship
Global nonprofit Echoing Green today announced that Babson College alumni entrepreneur Daquan J. Oliver B’14 has been awarded a highly competitive and coveted Fellowship to help grow his Recesspreneurs.
The Fellowship will provide seed funding, mentoring and leadership opportunities as the organization expands beyond its initial six chapters into more than 20 additional colleges nationwide that each act as social entrepreneurial hubs impacting both nearby local communities of low-income and their very own campus.
Recesspreneurs works with a growing movement of undergraduate students to provide mentorship and life skills to youth participants as they create startups of their own. With the co-creation of a healthy support system of mentors and peers, and the knowledge of life skills such as goal-setting, personal finance, and public speaking, Recesspreneurs prepares middle and high school participants to overcome the cycle of poverty and achieve upward social mobility.
Recesspreneurs trains two generations of leaders, changemakers and entrepreneurs through hands-on practice. While middle school and high-school participants create ventures of their own, Recesspreneurs campus chapters are operated as startups, providing college students with a unique leadership experience of its own.
“Starting a campus organization with no prior experience was initially intimidating, but Recesspreneurs provided a network of support that made success inevitable. I feel empowered and I hope to pass on this enthusiasm to high school students through mentorship.” – Jasmine Robinson, Chapter President at Cornell University.
Of 3,629 applicants, 52—just over one percent—were selected to receive Fellowships. Through three Fellowship categories (Global, Climate and Black Male Achievement), Echoing Green has invested almost $40 million in seed-stage funding and strategic assistance to nearly 700 world-class leaders. Echoing Green also supports the Fellow community long after their initial funding period through ongoing programs and opportunities at critical points in their careers.
Oliver will receive $80,000 in funding for two years, participate in leadership development events, receive mentoring from leading business professionals and, most importantly, become part of a global network of leaders.
“We’re proud to be investing in tomorrow’s leaders, helping them go further, faster, as they realize their vision of a world changed for the better,” said Echoing Green President Dr. Cheryl Dorsey. “Many of the Fellows chosen are leading projects in the earliest stages, when it is hardest to find the necessary resources to get off the ground.”
Echoing Green’s Fellowship program is made possible through private contributions and the generous support of funders, including the Walton Family Foundation, the U.S. Global Development Lab of USAID, the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, The ZOOM Foundation, and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, with support from the Open Society Foundations.
Recesspreneurs’ mission is to empower children of low-income backgrounds to overcome socioeconomic obstacles by teaching life skills through after-school entrepreneurship programs. Using the campus chapter model, our college students mentor and teach students in their local community. Over the course of one academic school year, middle and high school students learn and practice life skills, gain mentorship, and form a support system in their very own neighborhood as they create a business venture of their own. At the same time, Recesspreneurs college student chapters are challenged to lead their chapters to also impact their campus. Students host events on campus and work with other campus organizations to spread the awareness of the cause Recesspreneurs strives to advance, engage individuals to take entrepreneurial action against social injustices they are passionate for, and to spread the culture of entrepreneurship.
Echoing Green’s mission is to unleash next generation talent to solve the world’s biggest problems. Echoing Green was one of the first organizations to invest in early-stage social entrepreneurs through our Fellowship program almost 30 years ago. Today, the organization remains focused on building a global community of emerging leaders in social change. To date, the organization has supported almost 700 organizations led by the most extraordinary purpose-driven leaders of our time. Echoing Green Fellows include the founders of Teach For America, City Year, One Acre Fund, The Global Fund for Children and SKS Microfinance. Echoing Green’s accelerator programming and investments help these leaders to go further, faster. Echoing Green also runs a suite of innovative programs that cultivate and support promising leaders, including programming dedicated to purpose development, board leader preparation, and impact investing.