2018 Grant Award: Symone McCollum

From this grant, I was able to purchase three brand new HP laptops for children in Haiti and expand my personal business. Though I plan to personally distribute these laptops if I can in the upcoming summer, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to spark change in someone’s life. Additionally, I was able to expand my platform for my business and continue encouraging women to foster their own ideas and open up a business.

Moreover, the laptops are an important piece in bridging the gaps between marginalized nations and the United States in education. By providing students with a resource to get ahead and advance in technology as the United States is doing, I have helped improve the condition of a country one small step a time. In the future, I hope to build a technology school with a close friend of mine majoring in IST to make a difference on a more impactful level. Regardless, getting the laptops was a difficult process. It was a balance of finding something both inexpensive but useful at the same time. The laptops I previously researched turned out to not be the best I could get based on advice from a friend familiar with laptops. However, once I found the magic three, I purchased them and awaited confirmation on when I could send them to Haiti.

In regards to my business, it was a tough process deciding what new products to make for sale. I started my business making cosmetic products such as highlighters and lip glosses. However, I wanted to change something up and experience a new path of business. Consequently, I decided to start selling skin care products! With the generous grant, I was able to use the leftover money from the laptops to purchase plastic jars and bottles, butters, oils and serums to make something new. In addition, I was able to purchase new and improved business cards and other marketing tools to take my business to the next level.

I plan on making and selling these new products before Valentines day to celebrate my one-year creation of the business. Consequently, I am grateful to have been given the resources to further advocate why women are successful running their own businesses and an extra push to encourage women to do so! In the future, I plan to continue making a mix of cosmetic and natural skin care products to foster health and beauty on campus.

Thank you for awarding me with this grant. I hope to provoke future change internationally in partnership with the Presidential Leadership Academy in the future!