By Kevin Clark

Dakar Foundation participated in the first leg of our STEAM Career Fair Tour at Junipero Serra High School, Gardena Ca.  Career counselor and economics teacher Bernard McCrumby invited the Dakar team, and we had a memorable day of exchange with classes, but were able to get over 20 students to signup for our next experience.  We’re in discussions now as to how to take the energy to the next level.

The crush of 8-12th graders eager to meet professionals who represented everything from the NFL Network to Flight Academies was conducted with precision and rapid pace.

Dakar Foundation was represented by Kevin Clark, Rita Cossio U.S .Army Reserves, and Specialist Corporal Heather Doppke, Public Affairs for 79 Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Reserves.

The Career Fair started with a continental breakfast and an assembly in the gymnasium for all 575 students, and broke out into focused presentations inside of the classrooms throughout periods 1-4.

The highlight for Dakar was our presentation inside of Mrs. Mcaffrey’s Economic Class for 12th graders.  There was a presentation from City National Bank Assistant Vice President, Juan Sosa who talked the importance of financial literacy and the myriad of careers his company represented, and in particular, commercial real estate development for which he’s completing a large project in the city of Compton.

Dakar was finally able to use technology to present the youtube videos of DMA and Revolt to illustrate the range of careers inside of digital media.  The 12th graders were business like in their engagement of Dakar, and had buying questions about how they submit themselves to mentorship, apprenticeship and team building with students from different high school around the south-east part of LA county.

We ran out Revolt stickers, but got all of the seniors engaged with the Dakar team and they exchanged all of their information including their social networks they use to socialize their work and brand identities.  Speaking of social media, we witnessed the Bobo’s story of how social media has changed the game for him.

The young ladies seemed to be the most engaged in meeting the Dakar standard for excitement and personal development and social skills in starting conversation with us about who they were, and what they were seeking from the presenters.

Vince Kates, representing the alumni association at Serra has a well-oiled fundraising program and his presentation at lunch  all provided guest and parents with context and purpose for the Career Fair.  The fundraising, recruitment of mentors, and speaker bureau were just a few of the programs that were touted at the lunch program.

The courtyard seemed to be ground zero for all students who brought lunches and ate with one another while they listened to music and snapped twit and instagrams pics to posts to one another.

Another lasting memory for Dakar was the flock of students who were fascinated with Specialist Dopke in uniform.  Her appearance armed with a Nikon professional camera posed many students to ask her about her story.

The HBCU Black College Expo in town, and we were blessed to have a representation from FAMU.

Dakar has been in conversation with the ODEMO about connecting our student network with career opportunities in digital media, and this STEAM Career Tour kickoff will do wonders in assisting the potential value of our southern California pipeline development initiative.



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The current focus is in attracting the Defense Military Activity in mentoring Dakar, and partnering to make our career tour more experiential.   Specialist Doppke, attended training at Fort Meade Maryland, and attested to the value of the training in preparing her for assignment in public relations.




Digital Media Career Day At Compton High

Dakar Foundation helped facilitate  first Digital Media  Academy participation (DMA) in the Compton High School (CHS) Elective Fair.  9th-11th grade students were encouraged to browse tables and get information on  courses, clubs and programs offered at CHS. Counselors and Teacher  were  available to answer questions about how to submit their names for qualification.

Revolt Tv, one  of Dakar’s corporate partners lent a hand in making the DMA one of the most attended sessions during the three hour elective fair.

Highlights of the day was Mr. Reynoso showing the signup sheets for the more than 100 students signed up for more information about how they can attend a potential summer bridge program and compete for a spot in the fall 2015-2016 launch of DMA.

Students were asked what emotions were evoked when people found out that they were from Compton?  We heard comments such as people think Compton is known for a high crime rate and poverty.  Several were proud to represent Compton and they want everybody to know that Compton it’s  a great place to live, work, and raise a family. It is home to almost 100,000 people one student lamented.

Dakar wanted to be involve in the elective fair to get a sense of what students would be interested in considering enrollment in the DMA 2015-16 school year?  CHS  has a variety of elective classes available to the incoming 9th – 12th graders, yet career pathways to Hollywood have never been more possible and for students who will be enrolled in the DMA-Apprenticeship Program.


Many of their elective classes at CHS have activity clubs attached to them so a student has many opportunities to become involved and get to know their peers, yet the existing Video Production class managed by instructor Juan Reynoso has done a remarkable job keeping the program on par, and has welcomed Dakar as a collaborator in the next phase of delivering a career-driven curriculum designed for apprenticeship outcomes.

Studies have shown there is a strong correlation between student involvement in extracurricular activities and success. Dakar’s next elective fair will be directed to incoming 9th graders who will be invited to  attended the an Elective Fair (similar to a college fair) inside of Channel 26’s broadcast studio on the high school campus.  The Elective Fair gives students a chance to look over the elective classes before they fill out their enrollment cards.

Tatiana is a  senior in mr. Reynoso’s video production class 2014-2015.  She has become a leader, mentoring 9th-11th graders shared her perspective on  learning experiences, and greater opportunities for young women of color.  


She hopes to further her development in digital media beyond CHS, and Dakar is in discussion with women professionals who can assist her with a game plan that will propel through her last semester and result in a placement in a paid internship of her choice in  visual /performing arts, and digital media, as well as attending Loyola Marymount or Cal State Dominguez.




Diversity In Silicon Valley & Hollywood

Martin Luther King Jr. would be proud of Jesse Jackson in Silicon Valley

On the holiday honoring the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it’s a safe bet that the civil rights leader would be proud of the work the Rev. Jesse Jackson is doing to improve racial, ethnic and gender diversity in Silicon Valley’s tech workforce.  I for one can’t wait to experience the keynote address by Rev. Jackson at this years Social Media Week.

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But King would also remind us — in that unique, eloquent way we could never match — there’s still work to be done.

Rev. Jackson met with editors from the San Jose Mercury as part of this story.  He was persuasive as always, but we weren’t sure he’d succeed. Others, including writers at this newspaper, for years have called out how the tech workforce here reflects neither the population of the valley nor the target market for products. The poor record of including blacks, Latinos and women in hiring, board appointments and startup funding was pervasive.

Jackson’s dealings have become controversial over the years. But at 73, when it comes to civil rights, he’s still got that spark.

The first step toward solving a societal problem is shining a light on it. So, Jackson first got prominent tech companies, including Apple, Facebook and Google, to publish reports on their diversity — or lack thereof. None of them has more than 7 percent of employees who are black or Latino.

Then Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH organization hosted a summit in December that attracted representatives from Google, Microsoft and more than 20 other companies. That inspired Intel CEO Brian Krzanich to announce at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that his company was committing to actual change. He pledged $300 million to transform Intel’s workforce by 2020 to mirror the demographics in the market, including increasing its minuscule black workforce by 50 percent and women and other underrepresented groups by 14 percent.

Critics immediately looked for loopholes, of course. But just getting companies to disclose their records has been a major step: It leads to accountability.

Reputations will be established. Consumers and employees who care about these issues — and many do, here and around the world — will take note. Talented women and minorities will learn which companies welcome them and will apply for jobs accordingly.

It’s a truism that diversity in gender and race leads to diversity of thinking. Silicon Valley can’t afford to ignore the ideas and creativity of a significant portion of its potential workforce — or potential market. Tech’s greatest opportunities for market growth are in areas where caucasians are a minority.

It’s helpful when doing the right thing happens to be good for business. But King always said these things best. Nearly 50 years after his death, he offered this admonishment:

“The time is always right to do what is right.”

Digital And Beyond In LA

 By Kevin Clark

As National Mentorship moves quietly through the calendar, Dakar would like to recognize Derek Webster, Jay Tucker and the stellar group of digital media professional who took the stage Wednesday, January 14th for a diversity and inclusion strategy session.  Jay Tucker invited me to this event, and it was second only to his USC Silicon Beach event in providing us with insider tips and techniques to get better at launching our Dakar Media Academy next fall.

There were 30 students that attended Digital And Beyond LA, they were given discount codes to register for a workshop at General Assembly.   Below are options to get them started in their search.


Jay Tucker

Marketing and Outreach, Institute for Communication Technology Management (CTM), USC’s Marshall School of Business

Jay Tucker is a marketer, educator, and technology leader with over 20 years of experience in the technology, academic and entertainment sectors. Currently, Jay represents the Institute for Communication Technology Management (CTM) at USC’s Marshall School of Business where he is responsible for the Institute’s marketing and outreach Jay is also the head of CTM’s forums and workshops, and educational programs on digital technologies.

He is the founder of Silicon Beach @USC, a two-day event featuring a venture competition and a conference focused on innovation, investment, and new ventures related to technology and digital content.

As a seasoned technology leader, Jay is passionate about helping executives and entrepreneurs embrace disruption, drive innovation, and build powerful solutions. He has taught courses on technology management, technology convergence, digital media, and media literacy to professionals at corporations and non-profit organizations. Jay also speaks at academic and industry events, covering digital technologies and media, technology start-ups and other topics.

Jay holds an MBA in Marketing & Media Management from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, an MA in Instructional and Learning Technologies from Columbia University, and a dual Bachelors degree from Stanford University in Political Science and African & Afro-American Studies. He resides in Santa Monica, CA.

Miles Johnson

 Next Generation Financials

Miles Johnson is the founder of Next Generation Financials, a free mobile app providing financial planning services to low-income individuals. He is an alumnus of NFTE Greater LA and participated in Citi’s 2014 BizCamp in partnership with the Los Angeles Urban League. Miles has been featured by the LA Times, Yahoo! News, and Citi Group, and was invited to present in Silicon Valley as a semi-finalist of NFTE’s 2014 National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. Inspiration for Next Generation Financials originated from conversations with his dad about the importance of preparing financially for retirement.

“Growing up in a relatively poor neighborhood I remember our neighbors asking us for money sometimes. These were always older people. This is the problem that I want to fix.” With a love for economics and accounting, Miles realized his free app could help low-income families unable to afford private financial advising prepare for the future. “Making your money work for you is so important and powerful that I want to help people accomplish this.” Miles is currently a Junior in high school and, upon graduating, hopes to attend his dream college Claremont McKenna. 

Chris Denson

Director, Ignition Factory, OmnicomMediaGroup USA

Chris Denson’s career has spanned marketing, media, technology integration and product innovation. He is currently the Director of Omnicom Media Group’s Ignition Factory, one of the key groups responsible for innovation across media, technology, and marketing for OMD clients. He most recently served as Head of Creative Solutions for Machinima, where he lead several creative business opportunities focused on the cross-roads of brand integration, content creation, business development, audience engagement, and talent development. Additionally, he is an advisory board member of the 2014 SXSW Accelerator, Custom College Recruiting, Pluto TV, and a regular guest speaker at industry trade events and educational institutions.

Prior to joining Machinima, Chris has worked both domestically and internationally, holding posts alongside several organizations as the Head of Marketing for American Film Institute’s Digital Content Lab, Founder of Genius Effect Media Group, Director of Innovation at The Regan Group, Director of Marketing for the New York Film Academy, and consultant to organizations from Africa to Italy. Known as a creative problem solver and idea maker, Chris has worked across multiple verticals including Consumer Packaged Goods, Social Responsibility, Entertainment, Fashion, Arts, Electrics, Technology, and multiple hybrids therein.  In addition to his day-to-day professional work, Chris hosts a #1 ranked interview series, entitled Innovation Crush, with over 600,000 listeners around the world.

Sheila Marmon

Founder & CEO, Mirror Digital Inc.

Sheila Marmon has a passion for the launch and operation of new businesses in the digital media industry and has created effective media programs for over 15 years.  As Founder & CEO of Mirror Digital, an interactive media and advertising company, she helps Fortune 500 brands tap into the fastest growing U.S. consumer base – the multicultural market.  Sheila has executed over 200 interactive campaigns in this space for clients including General Motors, Sony Pictures, Verizon, Marriott and Macy’s.   In addition to entrepreneurship, Sheila’s multi-faceted media career includes leadership roles in operations, new ventures, and finance at Time Warner and Morgan Stanley.  Key to her success is the union of broad operating experience and growth innovation paired with her deep expertise in the multicultural consumer market.   This expertise is both academic and hands-on.  She has lived abroad, traveled to over 30 countries, and is proficient in Spanish.

Sheila has been featured as a multicultural expert in the Financial Times, a leading digital entrepreneur in Minority Business Enterprise Magazine and was published in the American Advertising Federation’s “Digital Resource Guide.” She serves on the advisory boards of two digital start-ups LLC and CrowdNoir.  She is a Founding Member of the Council of Urban Professionals and the National Advisory Council of A Better Chance.   She is also a member of CALIBR – an Executive Leadership Council (ELC) pipeline organization.  Sheila received a B.A. from Princeton University, cum laude and an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business.   She resides in Los Angeles, California and is an avid runner and yoga enthusiast.

Matt Joseph

Founder, CEO, Locent

Matt is the Founder and CEO of Locent, a startup building an app that lets people text local businesses instead of calling. Prior to starting Locent, Matt was Director of Investments and Operations at Launchpad LA, which during his tenure was named the top accelerator in Southern California by Forbes and TechCrunch. Matt previously held corporate positions at Verizon and the Boston Consulting Group. He majored in Philosophy at Princeton before earning a JD/MBA from UCLA. 

Hamet Watt

Venture Partner, Upfront Ventures

Hamet Watt is a Venture Partner at Upfront Ventures. He is also co-founder and Chairman of bLife, — a wellness innovation company, and co-founder and Chairman of MoviePass — a subscription service for movies in theaters.Previously, Hamet was an entrepreneur-in-residence at True Ventures, after exiting another company that he founded called NextMedium, which was acquired by Brand Affinity Technologies. Prior to founding NextMedium, Hamet advised Nielsen Media Research in the development of the first product placement measurement service for network and cable television. Hamet was also a General Partner in the New Africa Opportunity Fund — a $120 million venture capital fund, which was the first US-backed venture fund investing in post-apartheid South Africa.

A leader in both the Los Angeles and wider entrepreneurial communities, Hamet has received numerous awards for technology innovation and entrepreneurship — including a “Top 10 Black Innovators Award” — and was named by Business Insider Magazine one of 2014’s “46 Most Important African-Americans in Technology.”  Hamet sits on the board and/or advises several companies and organizations. He has frequently been noted in the national press for innovation in media and entrepreneurship, and has been featured in publications such as Entrepreneur, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and Forbes.  Hamet currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Joy, and his son, Zion.  Hamet received a BS from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

 Christy Haubegger, Agent, CAA

Christy Haubegger is an Agent at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the world’s leading entertainment and sports agency, where she provides insights on diverse markets to the agency’s clients. Haubegger is based in the Los Angeles office, and works closely with such clients as Salma Hayek, Sofía Vergara, Eva Longoria, Pitbull, Shakira, George Lopez, Jennifer Lopez, Eugenio Derbez, and Rosario Dawson, among others.  In 1996, Haubegger founded Latina magazine, the leading publication for U.S. Hispanic women with a monthly circulation of 500,000, serving as its publisher, president, and CEO.

In addition, she was a Producer on CHASING PAPI, a romantic comedy from 20th Century Fox, and Executive Producer of Oscar-winner James L. Brooks’ romantic comedy, SPANGLISH, starring Paz Vega, Adam Sandler, and Téa Leoni, released by Columbia Pictures. She joined CAA in 2005.  Haubegger has been named one of Newsweek’s 2001 “Women of the New Century;” Advertising Age has called her a “Woman to Watch;” and the Ms. Foundation chose her as one of its Top Ten Role Models of the Year. Haubegger was the youngest woman inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Achievement.  In 2009, she was appointed by President Obama to the President’s Commission on White House Fellows.

Max Geiger

Producer, Wemo Lab

Max Geiger is a producer at Wemo Lab, a startup based in Venice, CA, that is creating a platform for VR storytellers and content creators. At Wemo, Max produced theBluVR, a launch title for Oculus and Samsung’s Gear VR, the first widely released consumer-facing VR device.

Some of his previous projects include the BAFTA award-winning indie game The Unfinished Swan published on Sony’s PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4, as well as Deadliest Warrior, a cult-favorite reality TV show on Spike TV.  Max is a graduate of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Interactive Media and Games Division.

Estelle Reyes

Executive Director, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Greater LA

Estelle Reyes joined NFTE Greater LA in 2006 as Program Director and played a central role in launching and growing the NFTE Program in Los Angeles to reach over 10,000 students locally. In 2010, Estelle was named Executive Director. In this role she manages staff, operations, fund development and major partnerships. Prior to NFTE, Estelle worked as a Financial Analyst at Goldman Sachs’ Private Wealth Management Division in Los Angeles as well as a First Grade Teacher in Berkeley, CA.  Estelle holds a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University, and a Master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Marcus Rhule Moore

Founder, CEO, COO, LA Creative School

Marcus is a serial entrepreneur and international Award-Winning Creative Director having built innovative and highly compelling campaigns for some of the world’s top brands.  Always pushing to make the world a better place through brand connections, Marcus has founded jrCEOs Inc. A brand created to prepare our youth through entrepreneurship and the emerging global economy that currently our school systems are not teaching nor preparing our students for. jrCEOs Inc is the first social network for 11-17, geared around business, leadership, financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

 Marcus studied at The Berlin/Cannes School of Creative Leadership and honed his business and creative chops at some of the world’s most extraordinary shops, including DDB World Wide, BBDO and TBWA/Chiat Day/True. In the last 15-plus years, he’s built great work for HBO, Disney, Miller, Heineken, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, P&G, GM, American Honda, Nissan, Infinity, Lexus, Volvo, General Mills, Kraft, HP, Wells Fargo, US Army, Farmers Insurance, Hasbro and Atari. Recognized for making great things happen, he’s got shelves full of hardware including CLIOs, EFFIEs, NY Festivals, YoungGuns, Beldings the DDB Pinnacle award.

Charles Hudson

Charles Hudson

Partner, SoftTech VC

Charles Hudson is a Partner with SoftTech VC, one of the most active seed stage investors in Internet and mobile startups. He focuses on identifying investment opportunities in mobile infrastructure, mobile applications, and marketplaces. In addition to his investment activities, he supports SoftTech portfolio companies on business and corporate development matters. He was also the Co-Founder and CEO of Bionic Panda Games, an Android-focused mobile games startup based in San Francisco, CA.

Prior to joining SoftTech VC and co-founding Bionic Panda Games, Charles Hudson was the VP of Business Development for Serious Business until the company was acquired by Zynga in February 2010. Prior to Serious Business, he was the Sr. Director for Business Development at Gaia Interactive, an online hangout and virtual world for teens. Prior to Gaia, Charles worked in New Business Development at Google and focused on new partnership opportunities for early-stage products in the advertising, mobile, and e-commerce markets. Prior to joining Google, he was a Product Manager for IronPort Systems, a leading provider of anti-spam hardware appliances that was acquired by Cisco Systems for $830 million in 2007.  Charles was also the founder of the Virtual Goods Summit and Social Gaming Summit, two of the leading conferences in the free-to-play games space.

Charles spent several years working at In-Q-Tel, the strategic venture capital group for the Central Intelligence Agency. While at In-Q-Tel, he focused on identifying investment opportunities that could deliver significant value to the CIA and the commercial market in both the short and long term. He holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.A. in Economics and Spanish from Stanford University.