You’re super involved and focused on your philanthropy. What are some projects you’re working on?
My philanthropy, it never stops. Recently I had the honor of participating in this amazing experience with Cash and Rocket. There were 70 women and 35 cars. We drove through Italy in a red sports car wrapped up in the Cash and Rockets logo, along with our sponsors’. We drove to raise money for three charities: my charity, Shine On Sierra Leone, Orphan Aid and one more. It was just an amazing experience. It was our first time doing it so we didn’t raise as much money as we would like to but it was our first year and next year I’m looking forward to it. Just recently, I started working with the New York food banks. Right now I’m in their ads and working with them is just really awesome. There are so many woman and children in need of food in New York City so it’s a really great motivation. And of course, New Yorkers for Children, which is so dear to my heart because when I was younger, I was in foster care for a very short period of time. But it definitely stuck with me and I just wanted to give back to that organization.
One of your projects is Shopify’s Build a Business competition. Tell us a little about that and how you’re involved.
I will be one of the mentors this year. I’m learning as I’m going along and I’m so glad to be working with Shopify. It’s really great because it creates a platform for people to start their business. Everyday I get all of these great proposals and ideas thrown at me about starting businesses and I always try to encourage them, especially young people. Don’t talk about it, be about it and this is a really great way for them to start it. There’s really no excuse when it comes to Shopify, they really do everything for you. All you have to do is focus on the business.
What advice would you give to someone involved in the competition?
I think what my advice would be is to just stick with it. The first year of any business is always the hardest and Shopify really helps eliminate the process of running a business. It really does make it a lot easier so you can focus on perfecting your business. One idea should always evolve in something bigger and better. Case in point, the iPhone. You know, they’re always evolving and creating something bigger and faster. That’s how you stay on top. Don’t become comfortable in your idea, it should continue to grow.
Photo Credit: BET Blogs