Magic Johnson, Common and Debra Lee Pay It Forward

Talk about a chance of a lifetime!  What kid (or adult for that matter) hasn’t dreamed of what it would be like to spend a day with their sports hero, or favorite rapper?!

I had a chance to hear Magic Johnson speak – a year or so ago – when he became an investor in Vibe Holdings.  It was a huge affair that was a who’s who of business, entertainment and publishing.  I could have filled up my notebook and packed it up after the introductory video that spanned Magic’s basketball career and showcased his business ventures across the globe – everything from movie theaters and Starbucks locations to the great work he does through the Magic Johnson Foundation.  If that wasn’t enough, he got up and spoke to the group!  He was mesmerizing and inspiring!  What I wouldn’t give to get a chance to pick that man’s brain!

Pay It Forward

Well, four lucky young people are going to get a chance to do just that.  In partnership with the United Negro College Fund, Coca-Cola “Pay It Forward” program will afford four 16-21 year olds will get an apprenticeship experience in business, music and media and entertainment.  This apprenticeship will be with one of three extraordinary celebrity history makers: Magic Johnson, President & CEO Magic Johnson Enterprises – and basketball legend; Debra Lee, Chairman & CEO BET Networks; Common, Hip-Hop Artist and Founder of Common Ground Foundation.

Over the course of this summer, they will get career guidance and job shadowing!  As I speak (type), I’m swooning over the thought! And, filled with such excitement for the world of opportunity that is going to open for those selected.  The magnitude of this opportunity in the lives of these youth doesn’t go unnoticed by the mentors.

“It’s a chance for young people to be with us, pick our brains and learn the craft,” said Johnson in an interview with The Grio. “I want them to understand the professionalism, versatility and hard work. Young people forget we were once their age. We’re still connected to the streets, neighborhoods and communities through the work that we do.”

Anyone can nominate a young person for the “Pay It Forward” apprenticeship at through March 2.

Latoya Henry is the publisher and founder of Haute Giving: The Sexy Side of Philanthropy.
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