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 Continuing its commitment to Invest in Student Leaders 


NEW YORK, (August 26, 2009) Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) developed a national student entrepreneurs program designed to encourage young entrepreneurs to develop innovative new business concepts. We are pleased to announce the student winners. Each student will receive an individual grant valued at $10,000 to launch their business.


“As we navigate tough economic times, part of the cure for fueling economic growth is the creation of new businesses,” said Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee (D). Texas Southern University has always been a leader in producing talented young men and women who contribute to the local Houston economy. I am so proud that one of the national winners is a young entrepreneur who is contributing to the local Houston economy. I applaud the student awardee whose strong sense of business acumen will add value to the growth and prosperity of our district.”


The following student awardees include:


 Anasthasia Lewis, Texas Southern University – Savvy Connect: Savvy Connect will provide students enrolled in a business curriculum at Texas Southern University with relevant work experience in the students’ field of study while simultaneously offering products and services to the general student body.  The company will offer financial services to university students that are performed by student externs, under the supervision of experienced management. 


RaShaun Robinson, Langston University – Billy Goat Ice Cream: Billy Goat Ice Cream will deliver premium healthy products and will be recognized as the most organic ice cream alternative enterprise in the business.  The business will collaborate with the manufacturing and production skills of the Langston University Goat Research & Extension (LUGR&E).  The LUGR&E will be an outsourced entity and will produce the ice cream while the role of Billy Goat Ice Cream brand will be to market and sell the finished product.


Drew Brown, Langston University – B&E Better Energy for the Future: This small business’ mission is to provide a more environmentally safe and economically efficient source of energy.  B&E have a vision for a cleaner environment with the use of renewable resources and wind energy.  Wind energy could offer great economic and community benefits by creating more jobs in the workforce.  


Vickie Jones, Fayetteville State University – Next Step Development Learning: Next Step Development Learning provides professional community based rehabilitative services to children from birth to five who are developmentally delayed.  The goal of the company is to allow children to reach their maximum potential and to provide the information and support to their family. 


TMCF is working with the selected students to implement their individual business plans and will provide them with the necessary support and guidance needed for them to succeed


“The talent that was selected from the program highlights the innovative and creative thinking of young leaders,” said Dwayne Ashley, President & CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund.  “Leaders like these young men and women will be critical for creating new businesses that will fuel job growth for our country. The SBA’s engagement on this project exemplifies its commitment in our nation’s next generation of young entrepreneurs.”


“I was amazed to learn that I was chosen to receive this grant,” said RaShaun Robinson, a Sophomore at Langston University.  “Developing the Billy Goat Ice Cream Company supersedes meeting the requirements of a class project for me. Today marks the beginning of a life-long journey to educate the public on all of the wonderful attributes of Goat’s Milk.  I am thrilled to have the financial underwriting to begin this project, and humbled to have been chosen by an organization of the caliber of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.”


Students will also have the opportunity to present their businesses at the 9th Annual Leadership Institute in New York City which will take place on October 23-26, 2009 at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers.


Aligned with the nation’s priorities, TMCF is committed to working with our member universities to continue to offer leadership opportunities for students to become the next generation of leaders.


Faculty from the 47 public HBCUs Business departments joined TMCF in identifying competitive student candidates from their universities who produced business plans, budgets, expense timelines and marketing plans. A national committee conducted a rigorous review of all candidates and selected the winning business plans.


This project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA’s funding should not be construed as an endorsement of any products, opinions, or services. All SBA-funded projects are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.



 The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Inc., named for the late U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice, was established in 1987 and represents 47 public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and 6 law schools located in 22 states and the US Virgin Islands with a population of over 235,000 students. Over the last 22 years, TMCF has awarded more than $100 million in leadership development, programmatic and capacity support, and scholarships enabling more than 12,000 students to attend public HBCUs. It is the only national organization of its type that provides merit-based scholarships and programmatic support to students attending the nation’s public HBCUs. TMCF also provides internship programs and joins corporate and foundation partners in providing leadership training and support to students preparing for undergraduate and professional schools. TMCF is a 501(c) (3), tax-exempt organization. Please visit the Thurgood Marshall College Fund at