The myth that black millennials only excel in sport and entertainment has always frustrated me immensely. The many negative stereotypes of black people have also been a great source of irritation. Occasionally we see a black millennial heralded in the mainstream media for academic or artistic excellence but on the whole, high achieving African and African-Caribbean millennials in these fields get little or no media praise. Nor was there an outlet to help them and inspire others. That’s until the Powerlist Foundation was created.
The extent of academic and entrepreneurial talent I’ve discovered in my brief time interviewing Powerlist Foundation and Deloitte Leadership Programme (PFDLP) alumni is both enlightening and refreshing.
Claud Williams is a perfect example. He was on the first PFDLP in 2011 and since then has graduated and created his own media consultancy company – Dream Nation – and looks set to becoming an extremely successful businessman. Although only 26, Dream Nation is Claud’s fourth company. He is giving back, as the Powerlist Foundation’s Chief Ambassador, helping and inspiring others. A wonderful young role model.
Tim Armoo and Ambrose Cooke famously met at the 2013 PFDLP thanks to Ken Olisa encouraging delegates to look to the person beside them and strike up a friendship. They have created Fanbytes, a website that maximizes clients’ connectivity with their younger customers. Disney, Adidas, Nickelodeon, New Look and Ronaldinho have contracted Fanbytes. It’s great to see how successful Tim and Ambrose have become in just over a year even though they are still studying.
The other PFDLP alumni I’ve profiled are Charity Mhende, Gary Izunwa, Senyo Aidam, Shani Page-Muir who are all doing amazing things in their academic and corporate environments and they are grateful to the Powerlist Foundation on many levels for their success.
Ken Olisa and Veronica Martin have plans to increase the PFDLP to 600 delegates and to open a sixth-form college. Very exciting. When this eventually happens there will be an enormous shift in how black youngsters are generally perceived by the public. The talent has always been there, but the opportunity hasn’t. Thankfully, the Powerlist Foundation can redress the balance.