Friday, December 2, 2016

#BLACKGIRLMAGIC: YASMINE ARRINGTON On DAILY VENUS DIVA MAG!!!

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Chocolate-Covered PLUS Model/Beauty Queen/TV Personality YASMINE ARRINGTON is the Founder/CEO of ScholarCHIPS for CHILDREN Of INCARCERATED PARENTS - a non-profit organization that raises money towards the awarding of college scholarships to students who have an incarcerated parent, and; she covers the the December 2016 HOLIDAY WISH LIST ISSUE of DAILY VENUS DIVA Magazine!!!

Here are some interview interludes:

How did you first become involved in the non-profit field?
Honestly, becoming a part of the non-profit field was an unexpected, unplanned part of my journey. My junior year of high school I was a fellow in the LearnServe International Program. LearnServe International (LSI) is a non-profit based in DC that annually trains a cohort of high school students on how to be social change agents and social entrepreneurs. In the program, students are challenged to identify one to two issues that they want to see change or improve and then create a venture project that would help solve the problem. My issue was and still is, mass incarceration. Part of my personal story is that my father has been in and out of prison most of my life from childhood to now. Presently, over 2 million youth in the United States have an incarcerated parent. My venture idea was to start a mentoring scholarship program for youth with incarcerated parents, called ScholarCHIPS (my maternal grandmother came up with the name). It turns out that the idea stuck and people began donating to the cause because it was a cause that people believed in and thought was important. Once ScholarCHIPS received a seed grant, and I began receiving donations, I knew I had to legitimize my project, so LearnServe served as our fiscal agent for a couple of years, and then the founding board of ScholarCHIPS agreed to apply for 501c3 status.
How have you been able to be of assistance?
Yes, in our society quiet as kept, children and families are the collateral damage when a family member is locked away in prison. Over the past few years there have been many discussions, panels, roundtables and rallies surrounding mass incarceration and solutions to what has now become a national crisis; however, too often the youth voice is missing in these settings and conversations. Through my organization, ScholarCHIPS, I and our scholars have become spokespersons for the cause and are increasingly being invited to speak to various audiences about the effects of incarceration on us, our ideas for solutions and to share our stories of resilience and success, which are too often omitted from the national narrative. Since 2012, ScholarCHIPS has awarded over $100,000 in college scholarships to 29 scholars and our application for the 2016-17 school year is now open. The organization renews scholarships for up to four years for each of our scholars as long as they are still enrolled in school and maintain good academic standing. We have also expanded our mentoring to local high school students.
With Christmas, less than a month away, what is on your holiday wish list?
Well, one thing that has never changed, I LOVE fashionable clothing, so no one can ever go wrong with gifting me with a lovely pair of high heel shoes or some stylish clothing. As for my wish list, I would like a bedazzled dress I can wear for a holiday party or formal outing by R&M Richards and a couple of professional women’s dress suits from Isabella for my speaking and preaching engagements. New pieces to add to my wardrobe from brands like Ashley Stewartand Eloquii are always the move!
I’m sure you are excited about the New Year. What do you plan to accomplish (personally and professionally in 2017)?
Yes, I am excited about the New Year!!! One of my primary goals to accomplish professionally in 2017 is to obtain representation from a modeling agency. This is not an easy feat, but I know that it is possible. I’m claiming that 2017 will be my year for a contract! I have been honing my craft for six years, so now it’s time to put the rubber to the road and began working for industry clients. I also plan to begin writing a book for publication. I am not yet sure what direction I will take with my first book, but I have gained so much knowledge and wisdom from my experiences over the years that, I believe it is time to put it down on paper and share with the world. I still want to meet and be interviewed by President Barack Obama, Oprah, Wendy Williams, The Breakfast Club and Sway Calloway and meet Queen Latifah, Tyler Perry, and Bruno Mars. I’m not sure if I will meet them in 2017, but I’ll continue to work towards it. In 2016 I met the author and advocate Bryan Stevenson, and actors Lamman Rucker and Christian Keyes and all three of them were on my goals list last year. I was also interviewed by the U.S. Secretary of Education John King. So again, I know that anything is possible. I am hoping to become an Echoing Green Fellow and Soros Justice Fellow in 2017.
-CCG

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