College to Career Transition: 45 Internship Resource Websites for Students

After writing my blog post on Internships as a pathway to successful navigation from College to Career, my business partner, Kevaughn Isaacs, asked me to include a database of Internship resources to help interested students find gainful internships online. So I looked up a few links on some websites, and decided to share some of them.

However, in searching for internships, a student’s first reference point should be the College’s Career Services Center. This is because your College Career Center usually knows of internship opportunities from Companies and Organizations that hire from your College. Employers are also allowed to post openings onto a College career’s webpage, which might not even be on their website. So check them out.

Industryplug.com: This one is missing from the list below so I added it. I know about it because Mr Isaacs found his Warner Bros Internship on their website while in College, and interned with Warner Bros for two years. Their internship opportunities are in the entertainment industry. Check it out

Most others are listed below. Please explore and let me know if you secure an internship from any of them.

Chike Ukaegbu’s email: chikeukaegbu@yahoo.com

interninc — aims to be Facebook meets LinkedIn for students, employers, and universities — connecting them via a social networking platform. Students need to register with the site to enable searching for internships, as well as finding social connections and career advice. No cost to job-seekers.

InternJobs.com — a national database of internships for students and recent grads. Job-seekers can search the internship database by keywords or locations and can post a resume online. Free. Part of the AboutJobs.com network.

Internweb.com — where college students seeking internships in a variety of career fields across the U.S. can search for internship listings, as well as find many useful resources, including internship-related articles and career tools. Registration required to search for internships. Free.

Urban Interns — an online marketplace that connects high-growth companies with candidates seeking internships, part-time jobs, freelance work, and contract positions in handful of major U.S. cities (but also includes virtual work). Search for jobs (by location, tasks, industries, availability) and post your profile. Basic job-seeker profile is no-cost, but you can pay for premium service, which includes an enhanced listing.

After College — a job and internship site for college students and recent college grads. Post your resume or search for job openings (by job type, industry, type of work, location, and keyword). Also includes some basic career resources. Free to job-seekers.

BanyanLink — a job, networking, and career site aimed at current students to recent grads, offering listings for internships and entry-level positions. Develop your personal brochure, your personal marketing plan, so that interested organizations find you. Many other career features also available. No cost to visitors.

bigapplehead — where college students and recent college grads can search for all types of jobs and internships in the New York metro area (including New Jersey and Philadelphia) as well as post your resume. Also expanding into Boston and Washington, D.C. markets. Also includes an online forum to network with other users as well as a job-matching agent. Free to job-seekers.

College Central — a great place for college students and grads to begin your job and internship searches. You can post your resume, search for jobs and internships, find job fairs, and get expert job and career advice. Includes megajobs search engine. Free to job-seekers.

externs.com — an internship site for college students, where you can browse for both traditional and virtual internships. With a virtual internship, you work in a remote location (dorm room?) for the employer. No cost to job-seekers.

GetThatGig.com — where young job-seekers (16-21) can find cool summer jobs and internships, as well as learn about extraordinary career paths in all types of industries, from entertainment and education to healthcare and marketing — and many others. Search for jobs or post your resume. Free to job-seekers.

Global Experiences — an international education programs provider, specializing in international internships and work experience abroad, summer internships, fashion internships abroad, volunteer programs, teaching English as a second language, foreign language training, and similar programs. Fee-Based.

Groupereye — an interesting site for college students and recent grads, in which you can enter company-sponsored case competitions (prizes, networking, internships), as well as search for internships and entry-level positions. No cost to job-seekers.

How to Find a Summer Job — a strong how-to guide for finding internships and summer jobs from the Career Services Office of Trinity College. The key tip: start as early as possible to get the best opportunities.

iHipo — a combination of social network and job site, iHipo provides young professionals and students the ability to browse through hundreds of international job and internship postings, post a profile, and develop contacts. iHipo stands for international High Potential network. No cost to job-seekers.

Institute for Experiential Learning: Internships in Washington, D.C. — search the database to find vital information on all about academic internships — mostly in government — in the Washington, D.C. area.

Intern Abroad — a great source for international internships. Students can search for paid and volunteer, academic and non-academic internships, as well as college credit practical training programs around the world. From GoAbroad.com. Free.

InternshipPrograms.com — where internship-seekers can browse an internship database for possibilities and apply for those of interest directly from this site. Internship categories include: advertising/marketing/PR, journalism and communications, government agencies, sports teams and organizations, law firms, and others. From WetFeet.com.

Internships.com — regionally focused and regularly updated guides about internships and part-time, career-related positions in the private, non-profit and government sectors. Major cities and states. Cost: $7.95 per guide.

Internships Down Under — specializing in assisting students in finding internships in Australia and New Zealand. They also assist with visa applications, accommodations, flights, local bank accounts, and much more. Fee-based.

InternXchange — an internship site for college students, who you can post your profile (resume) and search for potential internships throughout the U.S. You must register before you can use any of the services. Free to job-seekers.

iTraineeship.com — where college students and recent graduates can find international experiences — international training programs, internships, and graduate business courses. Browse current listings by category. No cost to job-seekers.

Rising Star Internships — where college students can search for internships and/or post their resumes.

Snag A Job — a job sites for high school and college students looking for part-time, seasonal, or summer jobs. Search for a job by type of job or by location, and then apply online. Free to job-seekers.

Student Search System, Inc. — Specializes in finding internships and entry-level employment for college students and graduates.

SummerInternships.com — provides expensive internship options (mostly summer, but expanding into fall and spring) in about 20 locations across the world. The all-inclusive programs include guaranteed internship placement, housing, meal plan, 6 planned weekend activities to the best tourist attractions in the area, a weekly seminar series, and daily transportation to and from work. Fee-based.

SummerJobs.com — where summer job-seekers can search by keyword or location for summer jobs. A very nice resource.

University of Dreams Internship Program — offers fee-based ($5,500 and up) summer, spring, and fall internships for college students in 11 cities worldwide. Provides guaranteed internship placement, housing, meal plan, 6 planned weekend activities to local tourist attractions, a weekly seminar series, and daily transportation to and from work. Fee-based.

Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars — through its programs, students can earn academic credit while they gain practical experience, discover professional strengths and weaknesses, and evaluate career paths.

*Above list is adopted from QuintCareers.com*
Other Resources from ASPA Internships include

The following is a collection of non-APSA internship programs and databases.  Some are specifically targeted to minority students, undergraduates, etc. while others are general programs for any interested student.

College Board Online This site has several articles with links pointing to internship resources.  Use the site’s search feature to search on “internships”.

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Internships Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Internship programs bring the policy making process to life. The nation’s capital serves as the backdrop for our internship programs that offer personal, educational, and leadership development. Students leave our programs better prepared to meet the complex challenges facing current and future generations.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Summer Internship The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Program focuses on increasing Hispanic Students’ awareness of the U.S. political system and enhancing their leadership skills.

DCInternships.org: The Fund for American Studies The Fund for American Studies was founded to help instill in young people an appreciation for the American form of government and the free enterprise system. TFAS sponsors institutes that teach college students about the principles and values upon which the United States was founded.  Each institute offers classroom study, internships, and special events.  Students in the summer are housed together at Georgetown University while the Capital Semester students live in a newly renovated intern residence building located on Capitol Hill.

Ford Motor Company/Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) Leadership Program This program offers a unique internship experience for students to develop their personal, educational, and leadership skills.  Opportunity for students to gain exposure to the inner workings of the United States Congress, Federal Government and Washington, D.C.-based think tanks and international institutions.

Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities National Internship ProgramThis program offers internships to Hispanic Students who attend institutions that enroll significant numbers of Hispanic Students. Internships are offered in Washington D.C. as well as other locations throughout the country.

idealist.org Idealist is a project of Action Without Borders, a nonprofit organization founded in 1995 with offices in the United States and Argentina. Idealist is an interactive site where people and organizations can exchange resources and ideas, locate opportunities, including jobs and internships, and take steps toward building a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives.

Morris K. Udall Foundation Native American Summer Congressional Internship ProgramThis program is designed to provide Native American college students with experience in the legislative process, congressional matters, and governmental proceedings.

National Academy of Social Insurance – The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), a non-profit, nonpartisan organization made up of the nation’s leading experts on social insurance, is uniquely qualified to provide students with challenging internship opportunities. These are nationally competitive internships with a select number of placements made each year.

Public Policy and International Affairs Program (PPIA) Junior Summer Institutes – The PPIA Junior Summer Institutes (JSI) have been the hallmark of the PPIA Fellowship Program for over 20 years. JSI is an intensive seven-week summer program that focuses on preparing students for graduate programs in public and international affairs and careers as policy professionals, public administrators and other leadership roles in public service.

Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC)
RICHARD J. RIORDAN 2009 SUMMER INTERN PROGRAM
The Richard J. Riordan Summer Intern Program at PPIC provides an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students interested in a public policy career to work in a policy research environment. Intern projects are proposed by PPIC researchers and designed around a specific set of tasks and deliverables that can be accomplished within the term of the internship.

Rising Star InternshipsThis website contains an extensive database of internship opportunities for students and is a place where they can post their resumes in order to secure internships.

The Washington CenterThe Washington Center is a non-profit organization that helps locate internships on Capitol Hill and in the Washington D.C. area.

Washington Internship Institute – The Washington Internship Institute (WII) is a project of the Institute for Experiential Learning.  The Institute for Experiential Learning (IEL), an educational nonprofit organization, is committed to individual development through excellence in experiential education. Active learning by participants, including disciplined reflection about individual goals, intercultural competence, and personal attention from IEL staff, are at the heart of IEL’s mission.  They offer resources for obtaining internships in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors offer first-hand knowledge and practical experience for all majors.

You may use any search engine like Google.com to look for more opportunities. Good Luck with your Internship Search.

 

Sincerely,
Chike Ukaegbu
Posted in Chike Ukaegbu, College Transition, Entrepreneurship, Minority Affairs, Opinion, ReLIFE Inc, Youth Developement, Youth Empowerment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

College to Career Transition: How to Successfully Navigate The Job Market Part 1

I recently was at the City College of New York to talk to students about how to successfully transition from College to Career. I thought that I had just given a simple presentation on what I thought they should already know about successfully securing a job offer beyond College. To my utmost surprise, the overwhelming response I received after my presentation indicated that I might have simplified a mystery code that many college students are either unaware of, have a fear of, or just have misguided perceptions about.

In outlining my easy steps to navigating the job market, I had told them that there are simply FOUR key points that they needed to be aware of to succeed out there. They include:

  • College Experience
  • Internships (During College or after graduation)
  • Job Application
  • Advanced/Specialized Degrees

Because I realized how long this article would be if I went into detail on each of the points, I decided to turn it into a series. I’d therefore explain each of my points as a part of this College-to-Career Series.

Highlight of my Presentation: Everyone in the room seemed so shocked when I told them that being unemployed or having a part-time job at this time is the greatest asset they may have, and that I did not really believe in full-time jobs anyway. Their confused faces asked and wondered ‘HOW’? I will explain this more extensively in my next series on Entrepreneurship, so that I do not derail from my topic.

These were the steps I gave them in order to successfully navigate the job market.

College Experience:

Your College experience must be an all rounded one. It is your best opportunity to explore different interests, establish gainful partnerships and sample different career paths. Thus, Maximize it.

Participate in more than academics, without forgetting that it remains priority. Dabble into new horizons. Take that fun class, join that weird club, volunteer for an absurd cause. ‘Just do it’, like Nike would say. This is because:

  • Most business partnerships are formed in College, and you do not know where you’d meet that one person who might change your life socially, academically, professionally, etc.
  • Your experiences also enrich your resume, showing you as a daring person who is willing to learn and try new things. To an employer, those translate into an employee who is not scared of taking on and completing new tasks, and one who is flexible to go beyond one’s comfort zone to acquire new skills.

As a College student, I did it ALL. I majored in biomedical engineering, served as a Colin Powell Fellow on Leadership and Public Policies; was a musical theater minor, liberal arts honors student, president of the 3 most active student clubs, involved in the Undergraduate Student Government, masterminded the origination of CCNY Idol and the likes, directed several African school plays and hosted the largest edu-tainment events on campus, among other things.

I loved it all and more.

All these, while I worked full time and was also a fulltime student involved in about 5 different research projects at different times during my College experience. Yes it could be done. I did it and there are several others who do even more. At the time, I did not realize how important these things would have been after I graduated. They opened several job opportunities and avenues for me; from policy building to Biotech/Pharmaceutical sales, to entry level biomedical/quality engineer, etc.

I chose to teach College Math instead, because apart from being conveniently close by and paid well, it was a part-time job which gave me room to pursue my other passions outside of work. That choice gave birth to Re:LIFE Inc, Black:Higher, Re:ACT Studios, and many more initiatives that I am currently involved with.

So in order for one to succeed in the job market, it is necessary that one take relevant classes and electives, actively participate in several other things, and engage in choices that will:

  • Increase communication and writing skills
  • Enhance understanding of human and organizational behavior, or other organizational interests (pick an organizational niche)
  • Acquire other unique skills like inter-major research methods, technology, theater etc; skills that will not only make you more marketable, but will also enhance your success directly or indirectly in the work place.

Your ability to articulate your experience or interest will make you more appealing to employers. This is because many employers constantly seek people who are not only confident about their experiences, but can effectively express themselves.

It is therefore very important to go through College with the intention to successfully transition to the workplace after graduation, with more than just an impressive academic background.

So enjoy your college experience, engaging in activities that in your opinion will enhance your marketability after graduation.

This is a part of a Series, which is continued under Internships, Advanced Degrees and Job Application. Please share your comments and feel free to add to the list.
Also check out other Blogs where I share my insights and opinions:
Re:WORD Blog
Re:LIFE Inc’s Blog
Sincerely,
Chike Ukaegbu
Posted in Black, Chike Ukaegbu, College Transition, Entrepreneurship, Minority Affairs, Opinion, Personal, ReLIFE Inc, Youth Developement, Youth Empowerment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

I Have Proof That Aliens and UFO’s EXIST.

I just read an article about a NASA Scientist, Dr. Richard B. Hoover finding evidence of Alien life. According to the article, “No other paper in the history of science has undergone such a thorough vetting, and never before in the history of science has the scientific community been given the opportunity to critically analyze an important research paper before it is published.” In other words, the paper went through a stringently scrutinized process like no other, just to prove to us that ‘Other Life’ (like I like to call them) exists.

Are there still people in 2011 who believe that we are the only ones on/in the Universe?

Nonsense! Aliens exist. They exist in what we call ‘Other Planets’. Planets don’t just have nothing in them. The fact that we have not found the right technology to find out who or what is in them, does not mean that they are uninhabited.

Our Ignorance of their existence is not proof of Absence!

Take this for instance, prior to 400 years ago, or before whenever the West discovered Africa, I’m sure people believed that no such place with such people existed, even though Life as we know it originated from my dearly beloved Africa.

Now I am not saying that I completely agree with the Alien Proof Article referenced above, which I think has a ‘Woooooooo, some Scientists craze well well‘ moment in there.

(*craze well well = Pidgin English meaning ‘must be extremely crazy’)

Requoting from the article, “[The Journal of Cosmology] isn’t a real science journal at all,” says PZ Meyers in Science Blogs, “but is the ginned-up website of a small group of crank academics obsessed with the idea of Hoyle and Wickramasinghe that life originated in outer space and simply rained down on Earth.”

‘Life originated in outer space and simply rained down on Earth’? Really? In my opinion, the thought of that is Complete MADNESS. UTTER RUBBISH!

For the record, I am a Biomedical Engineer and a STAUNCH believer in the Bible. I sometimes wonder where these crazies get these ideas from. Lord Have Mercy!

Back to my subject of ‘Other Life’; I believe in Aliens and UFO’s. Yes I said it! UFO’s exist. Ask me how I know? Because The Universe is not just too large for us to be the only living creatures in it, but we are also, almost insignificant compared to its mysterious size and composition.

I have always believed that we weren’t the only beings on the Universe. In fact, if you ask me, I think I have a very valid proof for this.

Look at the human body. It is made up of cells, tissues, organs, systems that make up the organism (in this case, MAN). Everything has its function in its world (or its planet) inside of the human body (universe); the liver, kidneys, brain, lungs, bones, etc. They work together, but also independently for the proper functioning of our bodies. Cells interact just like we do, send messages, procreate, protect and respond to threats and dangers, just like we do. To the cell, the tissue becomes its universe for which it might not comprehend its entire functionality because it functions within itself to effectively work. Same applies to the tissue with respect to the organs, and the organs with respect to the entire body. Each of these organs might know of each other because messages are constantly being transmitted across the entire body, but there is no proof (at least I do not know of any), which says that the eyes understand the work-abilities of the ureters and vice versa. So to the eye, there might not even be a ureter as far as it is concerned. Does that mean that the ureter does not exist? NO!

Cells are created (born), carry out their duties, and die when they are old. In the same way, We are born, we live and we die. LIFE GOES ON! In my opinion, our contribution to the entire universe is a mystery we are yet to resolve, and might never will.

Now relating this to the universe: I believe we are, or part of a cell, tissue, organ or system that make up the Universe, or maybe a superior being (GOD).  All of his actions, reactions, movements etc, affect us in one way or the other, and are called several things. Everything (planets and all that make up the universe, known and unknown) has its place, function, and composition, just like our cells, tissues and organs do. We do what we do, either to maintain a balance that enables the earth function properly for the upkeep of the Universe, or an imbalance for which the entire Universe will react to correct our malfunction; just like our bodies do.

In perspective, it is assumed that there are between 50 to 100 trillion (50 – 100,000,000,000,000) cells in the body. There might be more, or less. In like manner, it is speculated that there are about 200 billion galaxies in the universe, averaging about 150 billion stars each.

Lets assume that there are about 3 planets orbiting each star, if my math is still correct, (and I hope it is) that would roughly amount to 3 x 150 billion x 200 billion = 90,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (90 sextillion) planets. We’d only just be 1 in all that.

That is equivalent to 1.1 x 10–²³. This is about 1/10 the diameter of an electron, which is smaller than the proton, way smaller than the nucleus, and definitely nothing close to the size of a cell. Go figure!

So according to my math, if there are actually between 50 and 100 trillion cells in the body, which is the basic unit of life, and there really are 90 sextillion planets; that’s between 900 million to 1.8 billion times more planets on the universe than there are cells in the human body.

And people doubt that there is the presence of ‘Other Life’ on the Universe?

I don’t think God stopped creating after He created MAN. The Bible just said HE rested on the 7th day. What did HE do after the 7th day, 8th day, 9th day, etc? Also didn’t HE also create the angels anyway? So if Christians believe in angels, and principalities and powers, why not ‘Other Life’? They in themselves are Aliens, don’t you think? #justsaying

Then the next question becomes, ‘So where does JESUS come into this?’ My answer: Great is mystery of Godliness (1Tim 3:16).  I do not have that answer because I don’t have all answers. I’d let HIM do that explaining when HE returns. And part of this ‘Mystery of Godliness’ is what we are talking about today – The occupants of the Universe.

Thus, the presence of proof from a meteorite is not a shocking revelation to me, at least. Haven’t we all heard of stories and rumors of aliens actually visiting Earth? I believe that they have visited, do and still do visit. Some in fact might be here, either in captivity or among us.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, there is nothing we can do about that because We do not own the Universe.

So crazy or not, delusional or not, I believe that there’s more to our Universe than meets the eye or hits the ear, and actually more than man knows or may ever know.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT!

It’s Me again,
Chike Ukaegbu

Check out my other less opinionated outlets:
Re:WORD Blog
Re:LIFE Inc.’s Blog
My Sunday Funny Conspiracy: I think it rains when the Universe drinks; Earthquakes happen when It sneezes; Tsumanis happen when It coughs; The wind blows when It breathes. Love and Wars happen when We try to maintain Its population balance… (LOL. This conspiracy  was just for your comic relief.)
Posted in Chike Ukaegbu, Conspiracy, Opinion, Personal, Reflection, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Black:Higher – Experience A Different ‘BLACK’

February 27th, 2011 marked the end of the first part of the [Black:Higher] Black Spring event. In my opinion, it was very successful.

After several years of, sometimes planning and other times being a part of many Black History Month celebrations, I decided that personally I needed a little bit more than just a big event in February to mark Black Heritage.

I am not just Black only in February, but will remain Black till I die. So celebrating our milestones and past need not be a ‘February thing’ alone.

I wanted something that involved the contribution and growth of everyone involved, instead of a ‘program of events’.

Thus, one cold January evening, while I was watching my always ‘muted’ television, my mind’s spark light went off:

READ!!!!!!!!!
Oh! and READ with other people, who like you are too busy to do it alone.

‘How about space and cost involved?’, my mind asked.

Spark Answer: Do it in your home.

BRILLIANT! I thought. I did not need to pay for space, decoration, stage managers or event planners. I would have no fears about not taking a loss if the event was not well attended. But most importantly, I was in my home. I could always busy myself with sleep if people did not show up. BINGO! I had found the perfect and most impacting idea.

Earlier in January, I had bought this huge collection of black related books, formerly owned by the late African American Historian and Film maker, Gene A Davis (Creator of ‘you give us 22 minutes, we’ll give you the world and PBS’s Images and Realities series). I used these books to create my personally priced ‘Black Library’.

(The photo is a laptop shot of part of my ‘Black Library’. On the wall are pictures of beautiful African women from different African Countries. Also, an Obama picture hangs on the wall to the right of the door).

Being extremely involved in several things at the same time, it had been very difficult to read as much as I wanted to. So in seeking ways to read more, my idea for a unique Black History Month Celebration was conceived.

Then, I needed a theme.

Defy the ‘BLACK-MEN-DON’T-READ’ stereotypes while educating my mind.

So in an effort to flout the derogatory cliche’, “Most black men lack the wisdom to find the treasures hidden in a closed book“, I decided that one unique way of celebrating 2011 Black Heritage and History was to COLLECTIVELY read to educate, entertain and enlighten our community through Black Literature. Our readings will then precede discussions that explore and relate book themes to current day affairs affecting our community.

Thus, [Black:Higher] Black Spring was born.

[Black:Higher] Black:Spring is an Exploration and Celebration of Black Life, Struggles and History that runs from February to June. It is a two part Book-Reading Series described below:

1.) Black:Higher – This was a 21-day daily reading of selected African-American history books, celebrating our struggles, achievements, history and heritage through literature. This was in commemoration of Black History Month, spanning Feb 7-27. The goal was to mingle, network and appreciate talents, while finding time to read as a group. We discussed themes, problems and solutions in each book in relation to the current day affairs of African American life. Sessions involved an intimate group of up to 20 people.

Books that we read include:
Mondays (5 – 9pm): Black Rage by William H Grier, Price M. Cobbs
Tuesdays (12 – 4pm): Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington
Wednesdays (5 – 9pm): Even The Stars Look Lonesome by Maya Angelou
Thursdays (7pm – 11pm): Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, by Walter Mosley
Fridays (6 – 12am)/Performance: Racism 101 by Nikki Giovanni
Saturdays (8pm – 12am) with Spoken Word Performance: Water From The Well by Myra McLarey
Sundays (7 – 11pm)/Performance & African Cuisine Feasting: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

We concluded the Black:Higher part of the series on Sunday February 27th, 2011. Fridays and Sundays were the most populated days. (I guess the food played a huge role in Sunday’s attendance). However, WE HAD TONS OF FUN.

In my opinion, ‘Black Rage’ is a must READ.

The beautiful thing about Black:Higher and this initiative was:
a. To help us understand, but most importantly appreciate our journey as a people.
b. To talk about the issues and setbacks affecting our people
c. To promote individual and communal LOVE
d. To reevaluate our values in order to effectively become relevant ‘Griots’ (an oral historian or a member of a caste responsible for maintaining an oral record of tribal history in the form of music, poetry, and storytelling) that will pass down the mantle of pride and kingship to our succeeding generations
e. To understand that ‘BLACK’ goes beyond the color of skin because it is the origin of man, and thus transcends discrimination of all sorts from ethnicity, gender, orientation, opinions, racism, hatred,  bigotry etc.

BLACK IS A HIGHER LEVEL OF EXISTENCE!

There was truly so much that came of out Black:HIGHER that has made me a better citizen of the world. The points of view that graced the event enlightened me even more.

We were Black. We were White. We were Asian. We were Hispanic. We were Men. We were Women. And there was the Genderqueer. But we were all people who had a collective Voice.

A ‘Voice’ that we fashioned, incorporated humanity.

Sometimes we disagreed, but we respected, interacted and fellowshipped with each other like we were all cut from the same fabric. Some cooked, some bought drinks and cookies and some brought their happy hungry ‘potbellys’ to enjoy from the same bowls of Nigerian delicacies.

It was FUN, and I’d do it all over again.

2.) Black Spring: Black Spring is a follow up weekend series throughout the Spring of 2011 (March – June). Once again, we will be exploring different black experiences and cultures; from African, to Afro-Latino, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-European, Afro-Asian, and Afro-American history and heritage. (More details about this to follow).

Challenge: In fact I challenge homes across the Nation and world to start something of this nature. As I learned from the Black:Higher experience, (from opening my home to friends, colleagues, students, strangers and all), it builds relationships; trust; enlightens and educates; as well as presents a platform for relevant dialogue.

Over the next few posts, I’d explore some of the themes from the books we read, and present questions and quotes that came up during Black:Higher. Please come back to find out about the event, or better still subscribe to the blog to get all updates. Also, feel free to participate in our discussions with your comments, inquiries and relevant feedback.

Also feel free to check out my other outlets:

Re:WORD Blog

Re:LIFE Inc’s Blog

Thank you for patiently reading this. Don’t forget to share your thoughts with me.

Sincerely,
Chike Ukaegbu
Posted in Black, Chike Ukaegbu, Minority Affairs, Personal, Reflection | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are We a dying NATION?

Last week, while teaching my youth entrepreneurship class for Re:LIFE Inc., I asked my students what they would like to be in the future and where they see themselves in 5 years.

Majority of the responses, which all seemed the same were the ‘baseball players, NBA players, rappers and musicians etc. As sad as this may be, I have almost become insensitive to the shock I encountered the first time I heard such answers. I mean, what happened to being a doctor, lawyer, accountant and engineer, or even just having the desire to go to college, even when you did not know what those meant? What happened to the pride we carried as young ones, when we rambled on on how, because my uncle or my dad, or my favorite dad’s friend was a doctor, a teacher, an accountant, engineer, designer, architect, etc, we wanted to be just like them. What has happened to students giving credit to their teachers for helping mold their ideas of a career? Are we a dying Nation I ask?

This insensitivity that I now carry is the consequence of these ‘mediocre’ responses becoming the norm. Yup, I said it! Aspiring to be an illiterate or GED sportsman or entertainer, is in my view, MEDIOCRE.

Every youth class that I have taught, tutored or mentored (and by youth, I mean elementary age to 24) have always responded unanimously with the same answers of ‘athlete and entertainer’ wannabes. In some cases, there are some who arrogantly pride themselves in having no future plans, while the dying breed are those who struggle to understand the value of education as being relevant to their futures.

So in response to this utter foolishness, I have almost memorized my now ever-ready ‘You need an education’ recital as a way to hopefully inspire them to dream better. I even adopted a tradition of meeting with all the boys 10minutes before the end of class to have a brother-to-brother heart talk with them. Lord help us!

Forgive me, for I digressed from my main point today. So back to this class and their responses. After rambling on about the importance of education, especially for them as minorities, one student who did not speak yet blurted out, ‘Mister you know what my new year’s resolution was?’ After I shook my head, expecting his response, I heard what I never ever imagined my ears would entertain in this life.

‘I want to get shot and not die. Just like 50 Cent. That way, I would get all the girls, make all my ‘boys’ respect me and make sure many people fear me’.

I froze to death. And died again even while dead when most of his classmates agreed with him, detailing how and where they wanted to get shot at.

My heart wept, and all I struggled to do was reiterate to myself that these young teenage 10th graders had HOPE. A HOPE for survival because that statement reeked of nothing but DEATH. Emotional, Psychological, Social and ultimately physical DEATH.

Are we a dying NATION I ask again?

Now, this incident affected me the way it did because 3 days earlier, while helping 7th graders with their homework, I realized that one of the boys busied himself with drawing art not relevant to his school work. When I insisted on seeing what he was doing, I was shocked to realize that he had drawn a picture of himself shooting another classmate of his. 7th graders, really?

The question that has lingered on in my mind remains: Are we killing our children with too much TV, hip hop culture, unsupervised liberty and our indifference to realize that violence and gang related culture has sipped into the fabric of our communities? When did all this happen and who is to blame? Do we blame the artists on TV who perpetuate these foolishness, or do we blame our families for not being accountable for the well-being of our children.

Unfortunately, I do not care nor respect selfish entertainers in our midst, who are more concerned about their pockets than the well-being of our people. I find it difficult to regard the Jay-Zs, Diddy’s, Rick Ross’, Kanye Wests, Lil Waynes, etc, who have the power to influence our youth, but have not responsibly encouraged these youth about the benefits of educational success. I’m not saying that some of them have done nothing, but when your degrading music or art speaks louder than your message of hope; when your lousy empty music which classifies our women as bitches and symbolizes them as sex object, is constantly played on air, and I have to intensely search for your good deeds, something is wrong about the message you claim to preach.

By all means USE YOUR ART TO SAY SOMETHING WORTHWHILE; TO POSITIVELY IMPACT just as LOUD!

Where are the Lauryn Hills and her likes, who minister and give life to the souls of their listeners? Why aren’t we supporting these ones whose messages are more reflective, uplifting and inspiring, rather than the degrading and empty ones?

I hate to say that while many of us blame white suppression as the reason for our woes, we have become worse that those who we claim suppressed us. We have inherited that mantle of mind slavery, and are greatly inflicting our people with it.

When will we arise?

When will we wake up to realize that we are dying as a Nation, and where one disappears, another will rise?

We have come along way from our journey of existence, and should not die from our own callousness.

And while I borrow this paragraph from the book ‘Black Rage’ written 43 years ago by William H. Grier and Price M. Cobbs, let us ponder again and recognize that we are now our own emeny:

I will take it no longer.

We weep for the true victim, the black American. His wounds are deep. But along with their scars, black people have a secret. Their genius is that they have survived. In their adaptations they have developed a vigorous style of life. It has touched religion, music, and the broad canvas of creativity. The psyche of the black men has been distorted, but out of that deformity has risen a majesty. It began in the chants of the first work song. It continues in the timelessness of the blues. For white America to understand the life of the black man, it must recognize that so much time has passed and so little has changed.” – Black Rage

Unfortunately, its not just white America that must recognize that there’s been little progress, but we as a community must realize how debilitating our self-inflicting ‘change’ has become; How backward we are regressing, and how responsible we are for the DEATH of our NATION.

We must remember that according to Shakespeare, ‘Men are masters of their own fate. The fault lies not in the skies, but in our own hands’; because when we lose sight of that, and let our youth DIE, then We as a people crumble like a house without a foundation.

Yet the question remains: Are we a dying NATION?

You can also find me on other outlets:
Re:WORD BLOG
Re:LIFE’s Blog
Sincerely,
CHIKE UKAEGBU
Posted in Chike Ukaegbu, Minority Affairs, Personal, Reflection, ReLIFE Inc, Uncategorized, Youth Developement, Youth Empowerment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The MAN, Chike Ukaegbu

(pondering…) There are so many facets to the man Chike Ukaegbu. So many of them that even I, the closest being that embodies him, could not tell you about him in totality. So whenever I am asked to describe him, a confused state of ‘which part do I reveal?’ overwhelms me. I know what he’s not, and I can give you a laundry list of those i.e. Not white; Not 6ft tall; Not the first born child nor grandchild; Not the first son nor anything first that pertains to sonship; Not confused about his beliefs and principles; greatly abhors STEREOTYPES; and so on.

But in describing himself, as many would, he tries to tread carefully to avoid being assigned a label that he couldn’t wear. Well, that was before he realized that people will never stop tagging you with their labels based on their perceptions and opinions of you. Therefore, ‘We’ write, irrespective of what will be said:

I have been several things, whether presently or previously. However, the list that I have under the ‘About ME’ section are MY CONSTANTS. I will always remain some. I will always be passionate about others. I will always believe and/or despise the rest.

Other definitions and expressed perceptions are the opinions of others, which ring mightily insignificant to me. I’d hear them, but I won’t be affected by them.

Being IGBO, we greatly believe in the meaning of names. Thus, we endeavor to give meaningful names to our children because we believe that one’s name(s) speak volumes into their future, and in turn affects their destiny.

So in reality, my surname ‘UKAEGBU’, which is a shortened form of the sentence ‘UKA AGHAGHI EGBU M’, means ‘WORDS CAN’T KILL ME’ or in my translation ‘I AM NOT AFFECTED BY YOUR WORDS’. So while I appreciate constructive criticisms and opinions, I am not obliged to heed any of it.

On the other hand, my first name CHIKE means ‘STRONG GOD’. However, my full first name is really ‘OKECHIKESIRIM’, MEANING ‘THE PORTION GOD GAVE TO ME’ (Powerful right?). Middle name ‘OLUEBUBECHUKWU’ = ‘GOD’s WONDERFUL WORK’. All of these have depth and powerful meanings.

So back to this list; I intentionally started my list with the phrase, ‘Jack of many trades’. Not ‘ALL’, but ‘MANY’ trades. I love to see myself as that, which I think the list below quantifies.

But more important than that, and in fact, the greatest of all the qualities, is the one associated with my FAITH. My mother calls me ‘Man of Faith’; a title I love, and strive to LIVE by, but I describe Chike as a controversial SPIRITUAL CHRISTIAN for several reasons.

1. I am most likely the most questioning Christian you’d encounter because I do not just blindly believe in what ‘many Christians and their leaders’ have to say. I have encountered, experienced, and is constantly growing my relationship with my ‘CHI’ (GOD), and thus heavily rely on His Word for guidance.

2. I question and reason analytically and have learned through my journey that ALL Christians are CREATED equal. Hence, I respect everyone but DO NOT REVERE ANY MAN, regardless of acquired or self proclaimed title(s).

3. I intentionally DO NOT indulge Atheists, Agnostics nor Christians alike for the sake of religious arguments. (Waste of my time!).

4. I don’t believe in giving Tithes and Offerings for the sake of Tax Returns. I don’t claim them, and I don’t name those church envelopes either. (GOD ain’t no Charity cause!)

5. GOD works in MYSTERIOUS WAYSSSSSS!!! (which means that HE could use anything and any One. Therefore I strive not to judge people by the outward – clothes, hair, looks, past, etc.)

The list goes on and on.

Then I am proudly IGBO, Nigerian and African. Every other thing falls into place, and if you are so curious to find out more about any of the adjectives, adverbs, noun or whatever else is in that list, then feel free to leave a comment and I’d be sure to reply.

Others include:
Youth Entrepreneurship Specialist
Co-Founder of Re:LIFE Inc, Re:ACT Studios, YoungLIFE and EarnLIFE Entrepreneurs Programs, etc
Creator of [Black:Higher]Black Spring series; Reword Blog, etc
Bouquet of multifaceted ideas (I brood over them till they hatch… Yes like the chicken!)
Heterogeneous container of expressions
Sweet plantain lover and addict, especially when fried
Creativist (dint see that coming!)
Biomedical Engineer
Poet
Writer
Lover of ALL people, but PASSIONATE about ALL things BLACK
Gemini
Activist
Motivational Speaker
Public Policy Enthusiast
A firm believer in effective child-discipline (spare the rod and spoil the child, but use the rod sparingly with LOVE)
Actor
Variegated in personality
Innovative
Stubborn and Strong-willed
Grounded/well rooted in everything I believe in

And the list goes on… blah blah blah.

I want to hear from you: What do you think? What questions do you have? What opinions have you got? Do you have something to add to the list? Or maybe take out?

So delve into my ‘never boring’ world if you wish to find out about this mystery called ME because through this journey, I am definitely bound to LEARN something new from YOU.

Welcome to MY World.

Posted in Chike Ukaegbu, Entrepreneurship, Personal, ReLIFE Inc, Uncategorized, Youth Developement | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment