entrepreneurship

50 Cent bankrolls new Houston high school business program with $600,000 donation

Rapper 50 Cent really means business. 50 Cent/Twitter

Rap star and Newstonian 50 Cent is giving back to area schools in need of help. The recently relocated rapper/producer/entrepreneur/rodeo wine bidder is teaming up with the Houston Independent School District and Horizon United Group to bolster entrepreneurship programs at Kashmere, Worthing, and Wheatley high schools.

He has funded the project with a $600,000 donation, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced on May 17.

Dubbed the G-Unity Business Lab, the new program will encourage students to engage in MBA-level lessons that represent the full lifecycle of a product or concept, from idea creation, to market branding, to even running a company, a press release notes.

Starting fall 2021, selected students from Kashmere, Worthing, and Wheatley high schools will work with HISD educators, Houston business leaders, and the G-Unity Foundation to complete an after-school course.

The curriculum and concepts align with the core values preached by 50 Cent (nee Curtis Jackson) in his book, Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter.

Utilizing a Shark Tank- styled competition, student work will be judged by 50 Cent, Al Kashani, president of Horizon United Group, and other community leaders. Winners will receive seed money to begin their businesses that are incubated in Houston.

"It's great to be giving back to this community that's already given me so much," said 50 Cent in a statement. "These young kids can do great things if they just have the right skills and tools. This program is going to help get them there."

Turner noted that the plan lines up with his initiative to create jobs. "I am deeply grateful to Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson for investing in Houston ISD students," he said in a release. "This program will have a big impact on the lives of students and their families. It will provide a platform to help young people grow their skillset by learning how to be future entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, and business leaders."

------

This article originally ran on CultureMap.

Trending News

Building Houston

 
 

For over a year now, scientists have been testing wastewater for COVID-19. Now, the public can access that information. Photo via Getty Images

In 2020, a group of researchers began testing Houston's wastewater to collect data to help identify trends at the community level. Now, the team's work has been rounded up to use as an online resource.

The Houston Health Department and Rice University launched the dashboard on September 22. The information comes from samples collected from the city's 39 wastewater treatment plants and many HISD schools.

"This new dashboard is another tool Houstonians can use to gauge the situation and make informed decisions to protect their families," says Dr. Loren Hopkins, chief environmental science officer for the health department and professor in the practice of statistics at Rice University, in a news release. "A high level of virus in your neighborhood's wastewater means virus is spreading locally and you should be even more stringent about masking up when visiting public places."

The health department, Houston Water, Rice University, and Baylor College of Medicine originally collaborated on the wastewater testing. Baylor microbiologist Dr. Anthony Maresso, director of BCM TAILOR Labs, led a part of the research.

"This is not Houston's first infectious disease crisis," Maresso says in an earlier news release. "Wastewater sampling was pioneered by Joseph Melnick, the first chair of Baylor's Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, to get ahead of polio outbreaks in Houston in the 1960s. This work essentially ushered in the field of environmental virology, and it began here at Baylor. TAILOR Labs is just continuing that tradition by providing advanced science measures to support local public health intervention."

It's an affordable way to track the virus, says experts. People with COVID-19 shed viral particles in their feces, according to the release, and by testing the wastewater, the health department can measure important infection rate changes.

The dashboard, which is accessible online now, is color-coded by the level of viral load in wastewater samples, as well as labeled with any recent trend changes. Houstonians can find the interactive COVID-19 wastewater monitoring dashboard, vaccination sites, testing sites, and more information at houstonemergency.org/covid19.

Trending News