Samantha Dorisca

AFROTECH STAFF

Samantha Dorisca

Samantha Dorisca is a Houston-based journalist and photographer whose mission is to impact communities through the gift of storytelling using the written word or visual media. She completed her B.A at The University of Texas at Austin and is pursuing a M.A at The University of Memphis. Her work can be found on platforms such as Houstonia Magazine, Girls' Life Magazine, and Blacque Magazine. Samantha mainly reports on tech, trends, and entrepreneurship.

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The First Student From LeBron James' I Promise School Graduates College

Anthony Claytor is the first I Promise School student to graduate from college. As AFROTECH™ previously reported, the school launched in Akron, OH, through the LeBron James Family Foundation, which was established in 2004 to “positively affect the lives of children and young adults through education and co-curricular educational initiatives.” The I Promise School came into fruition in 2017 through a partnership with Akron Public Schools (APS) and a committee of local leaders, educators, parents, and experts, Andscape reported. The school officially opened in 2018. “This school is so important to me because our vision is to create a place for the kids in Akron who need it most — those that could fall through the cracks if we don’t do something,” James said at the time, according to Andscape. “We’ve learned over the years what works and what motivates them, and now we can bring all of that together in one place, along with the right resources and experts. If we get to them early...

Jun 13, 2024

Who Was The First Woman To Sign To The Jordan Brand?

The Jordan Brand has attracted some of the world’s greats to its brand. However, that should come as no surprise when considering who is at the helm, NBA legend Michael Jordan. It all began when his mother, Deloris, stepped in to ensure he took a chance on signing with Nike. “My mother said, ‘You’re gonna go listen. You may not like it, but you’re gonna go listen,” Jordan said in ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary, according to NBC Sports. “She made me get on that plane and go listen.” Jordan was originally looking to sign with Adidas, but he would make his commitment to Nike known when he signed to the brand in 1984 under a five-year, $2.5 million deal, Sports Illustrated reports. Immediately, Jordan’s presence and the staple Air Jordan exceeded expectations with sales reaching $126 million within one year. By 1997, the Jordan Brand began operating independently and also added apparel and accessories. T oday its annual revenue exceeds $6.6 billion, per Sportico. What’s more the...

Jun 13, 2024

Ashlei Spivey Opens A Birthing Center In A Historic Black Business District Located In Nebraska

A birthing center has opened in North Omaha, NE’s historic Black business district. A ribbon-cutting celebration will kick off around 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, 2024, at 2306 N. 24th St. I Be Black Girl, a collective for Black women, femmes, and girls focused on Black-led investments, policy and power building, economic, and birth justice, will host the celebration, according to its website. The celebration will continue throughout the weekend with a Juneteenth Parade on Saturday, June 14, and the I Be Black Girl’s Heart, Soul, & Roll Community Stroll held the following day at 1 p.m. “We want it to be a celebration because it’s such a big milestone for addressing and creating solutions around our experiences as Black women, femmes, and girls,” Ashlei Spivey, the organization’s founder and executive director, said per Omaha World-Herald. Spivey is also running to represent District 13 in the Nebraska Legislature. The facility is called the Anarcha Center in honor of Anarcha...

Jun 13, 2024

Caleb Williams Scales His Presence In The Investment Space With 888 Midas Launch

Caleb Williams, rookie quarterback for the Chicago Bears, is scaling his interest in the investment space. While in college at the University of Southern California, Williams was among the first athletes to leverage name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals. He became a part- owner of the male grooming company Faculty in 2022, as AFROTECH™ previously reported. He was also the No. 1 draft pick in the 2024 NFL Draf t and was picked by the Chicago Bears . Now, Williams is scaling his interest in the investment arena by launching his own investment firm. Williams has established 888 Midas, which will “capitalize on select alternative investments in private equity, venture capital, and real estate,” according to a press release. His partners and advisors will support the firm. They include: Sherif Guirgis, former managing director of Main Street Advisors Ross Walker, co-founder and managing partner of Hawkins Way Capital, a multi-billion-dollar real estate enterprise John Terzian, co-founder...

Jun 13, 2024

Yo Gotti Didn't Know He Had To Pay Property Taxes On Houses He Paid Cash For — 'They Didn't Teach Me That In School'

Yo Gotti did not pay his property taxes for years due to a lack of information. During an interview with podcast “Earn Your Leisure,” the rapper revealed he was unaware he had to pay back taxes to the government. He viewed taxes as a celebration as he recalled the gifts he would receive from his mother around tax season. He didn’t know these gifts were likely coming because she had received a tax refund. “I grew up thinking, when you heard of taxes, my mama and ’em got tax money. That’s when we got new Jordans. We got new outfits… It was a celebration when it was tax time,” he said. “We was waiting on tax time. It was better than Christmas. So, I didn’t know… even in my early stages of getting money, I didn’t know we had to pay. I didn’t know because of a lack of information; they didn’t teach me that in school.” Lack of financial literacy carried over into how Yo Gotti did business too. As an investor in real estate early on, he purchased 10 to 15 homes with cash. However, he...

Jun 12, 2024

The First Black Vineyard Owner And Wine Producer In Mendocino County, CA, Is Giving Students Funding To Ensure More Come After Her

Theodora Lee is the first Black vineyard owner and wine producer in Mendocino County, CA. Lee’s introduction to wine began when she was 8 years old, while she was helping her grandfather on his cattle farm in Texas. By the 1980s, she had developed a personal interest in wine. ”My dad picked wild Muscadine grapes and made home brew,“ she told The Press Democrat. ”Given that Muscadine was my first introduction to wine, I found that sweet and syrupy wine nasty. I really had no taste for wine until I moved to California in the ’80s and learned about fine wine.“ Lee chose a path in law , working more than 36 years at the Littler Mendelson, P.C. law firm and splitting her time between Yorkville Highlands, CA; Oakland Hills, CA; and Dallas, TX. However, her passion for wine led her to add a new title to her resume: wine producer. “My first introduction to a grape farm was in Healdsburg, [CA], and specifically Dry Creek Valley,“ she said. “Walking that vineyard made me want to become a...

Jun 12, 2024

Kyle Morrand Started A Digital Platform Empowering Creators As A Side Hustle That Now Reportedly Makes $2M A Year

Kyle Morrand had an idea while living with his roommates. Now he’s turned it into a $2 million vision. The founder leads 302 Interactive, an Orlando, FL-based development studio leveraging game design and emerging technologies to create interactive media, its LinkedIn mentions. It connects clients to resources that supports augmented reality mobile applications, game development, virtual reality and immersive experiences with the aid of its in-house team of developers, designers, and artists. “…The business is a reflection of my own life, ambitions and creativity,” Morrand explained in an interview with Entrepreneur. “…I get to spend my days reshaping our relationship with technology to design lifestyles that are more playful and ultimately eliminate some of the symptoms of depression and anxiety that seem standard to modern-day living.” He says the idea dates back to his time at college in Apartment 302 where he lived with two roommates who were also passionate about gaming. “…The...

Jun 11, 2024

Shaquille O'Neal Is Giving 500 High School Students A Chance To 'Try College' For Free

Shaquille O’Neal’s new educational initiative is underway. As AFROTECH™ previously reported, O’Neal learned of the efforts of Tade Oyerinde, who founded and leads accredited online community college startup Campus, while reading a Forbes article about him. The startup had received a $29 million funding raise in 2023 with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Discord Founder Jason Citron leading its Series A funding round. “Shaq saw the Forbes article and had his team reach out, and he was just like, ‘This kid raised all this money from these guys.’ He thought it was unbelievable,” Oyerinde told AFROTECH™ at the time. O’Neal was so impressed that he wanted to get involved in Oyerinde’s mission. He is now an investor in the company and, most recently, is kicking off Campus’s latest initiative. According to a press release, O’Neal and Campus.edu plan to provide 500 high school students and recent graduates with access to business courses taught by college professors from top colleges and...

Jun 11, 2024

Founder Of Canvas Beauty Shares That She Has Become The First Known Person To Earn $1M Through A Single TikTok Live

Stormi Steele has seen firsthand the power of social media. Steele is the founder of Canvas Beauty, a beauty brand she conceived in a night, Forbes mentioned. It all started with a hair serum made with cayenne pepper in her kitchen, which she introduced to her clients at her hair salon. After her clients’ rave reviews, she was encouraged to sell the product. Now, Steele’s Hair Blossom Serum remains the leading product in its marketing sector, the outlet notes. “It just ended up having a life of its own after that,” Steele told Forbes. Steele found great success since the launch of her business in 2018. In its first year, Canvas Beauty sold more than 1 million units, according to information provided to AFROTECH™. In 2019, going viral led the business to earn 30,000 monthly orders compared to 6,000 before the exposure, per Forbes. However, the influx of orders prompted Steele and her husband and business partner, Courtney Beasley, to learn a quick lesson about running an online...

Jun 11, 2024

Will Smith And Martin Lawrence's ‘Bad Boys: Ride Or Die’ Impresses At The Box Office With A $104.6M Debut

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are making waves at the box office. The on-screen duo are back for the latest installment of their hit “Bad Boys” franchise. Released on June 7, 2024, “Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, takes fans on the journey of characters Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence), who are tasked with resolving a mounting case against their late police captain Conrad Howard (Joe Pantoliano). “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” maintains the franchise’s balance of action and comedy as fans watch the cop duo navigate a new story. “This movie, in really beautiful ways, is the culmination of all three,” Smith said during an interview with Hot 97. “For fans who have been down from the first one, I promise you there’s a moment in this movie where you stand up out of your seat and throw your hands in the air with the level of perfection of the call-back that we have. It’s as good as it’s ever been done… It is...

Jun 11, 2024

14-Year-Old Keniah Washington Graduates From Saint Leo University, Plans To Become Neonatologist

At 14 years old, Keniah Washington has graduated from college. Washington graduated with a liberal arts associate’s degree from Saint Leo University in Florida and a 3.0 GPA, according to USA Today. With the support of her former high school teachers and staff, she enrolled in a dual-enrollment program while attending Icon Preparatory School in Tampa, FL, and took online courses. “I started taking high school courses when I was in sixth grade,” Keniah said. “Once the teachers and staff saw that I was still excelling in my work, they enrolled me and a group of other kids in Saint Leo, and we had a tutor.” Washington admits that reaching her goal was not easy. She had to skip some school events, such as prom and homecoming. “My biggest challenge was being on track and not trying to fall behind,” she said, per USA Today. “I was missing out on prom and homecoming — everything other people experienced in high school. But I told myself that… I’m doing the high school courses now so I can...

Jun 11, 2024

Rick Ross To Auction Off Rare Items, Proceeds Set To Support Business Owners

Rick Ross is auctioning off items for a good cause. According to Billboard, the rapper is teaming up with Julien’s Auctions to host Push It to the Limit: Luxury and Lifestyle, a two-day event held June 25-26 live and online with 800 items up for grabs. People mentions items such as Ross’ exclusive collection of street and contemporary art, designer wear, rare sneakers, and music memorabilia like Michael Jackson’s sealed “ONE” by Cirque du Soleil light-up glove , and more. Specific items include the Air Jordan Retro 5 “University of Michigan Fab 5” PEs (estimated value, $2,000-$3,000); Air Maxes (est. $1,000-$2,000); DJ Khaled “Father of Asahd” Air Jordans (est. $3,000-$5,000) and Virgil Abloh Off-White collaborations (est. $500-$700); Versace silk shirts (est. $500-$700); and designer sunglasses and varsity jackets (est. $200-$500); among others, per Billboard. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Julien's Auctions (@juliens_auctions) What’s more, in partnership with The...

Jun 11, 2024

Will Smith Says He Was 'Broke-Broke' After Not Paying Taxes For 2 Years — 'I Sold Everything In Philly'

Will Smith learned a tough financial lesson early on in his career. During an episode of the podcast, “7PM in Brooklyn with Carmelo Anthony & Kid Mero,” Smith reflected on a peak moment in his career in 1988. Smith had won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance with DJ Jazzy Jeff for their single “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” Pop Sugar reports. Their win was even more significant because it was also the year that the Best Rap Performance category was introduced. However, that career highlight also came during a time when Smith ran into trouble for neglecting to pay his taxes. “I was like, you know the IRS gets money from everybody, they don’t like need mine, but they felt differently,” Will said on the podcast. “So, I didn’t pay taxes for the two years and won a Grammy and all that. So, they just thought they should take my stuff. So, I was a little down, and I went out to L.A. I sold everything in [Philadelphia, PA], like I was, like, broke-broke sold everything in Philly.” According...

Jun 10, 2024

How Many Pro Sports Teams Does Serena Williams' Daughters Own?

Serena Williams has positioned herself for a lifetime of success. However, as a mother, her children’s well-being also defines true victory. Williams and her husband, Reddit Founder Alexis Ohanian, have two daughters: Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., who is now 6 years old and was born on Sept. 1, 2017, and Adira River Ohanian, born in August 2023. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) Early on, Williams and Ohanian began making moves to establish wealth for their daughters. When Olympia was 2 years old, she made history as the youngest professional sports team owner. As AFROTECH™ previously reported, she became part-owner of the women’s soccer team Angel City FC (Los Angeles, CA), along with her parents. “As someone who spends hours kicking around a football with my two-year-old daughter, I want her to have a front-row seat to this revolution,” Ohanian said in a National Women’s Soccer League news release at the time. “I’m personally investing on...

Jun 10, 2024

Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon Has Helped Generate $8.3M For Black Entrepreneurs

Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon is creating wealth for Black entrepreneurs. The Village Market The former educator is CEO and founder of The Village Market, an Atlanta, GA-based marketplace launched in 2016 for Black entrepreneurs. Hallmon moved to the city in 2010 to work as an education research and evaluation specialist with the Georgia Department of Education, according to Forbes. Yet, she turned her attention toward strengthening the Black dollar upon observing trends between retail businesses and Black consumers. She began hosting monthly master classes geared toward entrepreneurship and community development, LinkedIn mentions. The Village Retail The Village Market soon followed the master classes. Hallmon’s savings of $20,000, along with $3,500 pooled from family and friends, supported the marketplace’s beginning stages. The venture proved fruitful and allowed it to scale to a storefront in 2020 with The Village Retail. However, the retail launch proved to be a trying time for Hallmon....

Jun 10, 2024