1 Million Fans and Followers:      
Search Jobs | Submit News
Monday, March 13, 2023

Black Entrepreneur Launches New Initiative to Support NYC High School Students as They Reach for Their Dreams

Kevin Benoit

Nationwide — Kevin Benoit, founder of Parlé Magazine, is proud to announce the launch of Parlé Endeavors, a New York city based 501(c)3 organization aiming to empower and support young adults pursuing careers in the arts, media, journalism, entrepreneurship and related field. In its first year, the organization hopes to support a minimum of eight high school juniors and seniors through a scholarship program for those who are college bound; and a grant program for immediate aspiring entrepreneurs. Applications for both programs are available at ParleEndeavors.org since March 1, 2023.

The Parlé Endeavors Scholarship will provide four graduating New York State seniors with $2,500 each, to be applied towards their tuition in pursuit of an arts, communications, journalism or business-related degree at a 2- or 4-year institution. In addition to the scholarship, recipients will be matched with a professional already successfully working in their chosen field. The goal is to arm these students with guidance to begin shaping their post-collegiate careers in their first post-secondary academic year.

Parlé Endeavors’ Grant program is open to current juniors and seniors who are ready to begin, or have already begun developing a business concept in the arts, media, journalism or entrepreneurship. As part of the application process, these students will be required to present their idea in a pitch video shared via social media. Applicants will also have to demonstrate a proven commitment to bring that business to life within a year. Four students will be awarded a $2500 business development grant, to be disbursed in two payments.

These recipients will also be paired with a mentor in their chosen field, but with a much more structured program. Over the course of the year, the students will meet with their mentors twice a month to continue developing their business plan. The first disbursement will be made at the start of the program; while the second payment will be made once the mentor overseeing the student’s plan deems they are ready to shift from planning to actually building the business. As such, the second disbursement date will vary per student.

For Benoit, the mission he is undertaking with Parlé Endeavors was inspired by his own experiences. As a senior, he launched his New York City-area high school’s student run newspaper; unfortunately, upon his graduation, the program was discontinued. In 2004, while a freshman at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, he launched Parlé Magazine, an entertainment publication aiming to empower, entertain, educate, motivate, and engage Black and Brown lives within the media industry. A Black-owned and Black-led publication, Parlé continues to center BIPOC voices and stories. In the years since completing his MBA with a focus on Media Management, Kevin Benoit has worked with a number of organizations to help enrich the lives of New York City youth through education and career guidance.

Through both aspects of his career, he became acutely aware of the lack of resources, support and mentorship available to both media entrepreneurs and to students of color hoping to pursue careers in that field – today, only 73% of New York City high schools have a journalism program or a student-led publication or website. With the support of his staff and their team of volunteer mentors – who will also assist with the applicant selection process – Kevin Benoit hopes to not only inspire, but encourage the next generation of thought leaders and cultural influencers.

To support its first-year activities, Parlé Endeavors has launched a round of fundraising with a goal of $50,000. Donations can be made at https://parleendeavors.org/donate/. In future years, the organization hopes to not only increase the amount disbursed through both the Scholarship program and the Grant initiative, but to also expand outside of New York State to a national program. Students can apply for the scholarship and grant here: https://parleendeavors.org/scholarship-grant/

For more information, or to learn how you can partner with or support Parlé Endeavors, please contact the team at info@parleendeavors.org