Sherrod Crum, Teenage CEO & Founder of a Non-Profit
Updated: Dec 10, 2018
In the holiday season of giving, here is a story that will make your heart melt! Sherrod is only a high school senior at South Cobb High School, and he has already launched 2 ventures. As the owner of Lean4Teens and founder of Mission: Scholarship, he is setting himself and his community up for success. Let’s see how his life has unfolded to begin giving back to his Metro Atlanta area.
What is Mission: Scholarship?
Mission: Scholarship is a non-profit organization focused on enhancing high school student’s chances to achieve a scholarship for funding towards post-secondary education as well as increase academic achievement and leadership acumen throughout their high school careers. It serves as an aid for under served students, particularly minorities, who need guidance throughout high school to develop and reach their future goals.
Students are informed about the ins and outs of being prepared for life after high school, whether it is college or any other career field they would like to pursue. Students can even access the Mission: Scholarship website and schedule a video-chat appointment to receive assistance in a variety of areas including college application assistance, college planning assistance, essay brainstorming assistance, etc. Students also have the opportunity to print off free resources available on the site such as the Mission: Scholarship Packet of Scholarship Resources and the Mission: Scholarship College Readiness Packet.
“We have assisted over 225 students across Metro Atlanta. Students have participated in major internships, summer programs, and gained large scholarships with the assistance of Mission: Scholarship,” Sherrod stated.
How has a part time job benefited your business and non-profit organization?
Sometimes people will say that you should dive head first into your business by quitting your current job and pursuing your passion, but not everyone has the opportunity to do that. Whether you have a family or need startup capital, managing a job allows you to feed your endeavors.
The funds that Sherrod earns from his part-time job are used to pay for many operations within both of his organizations. He has been able to purchase materials that have been useful in various marketing campaigns within Lean4teens, and his extra funds allow him to purchase materials to benefit the students of Mission: Scholarship.
What is Lean4Teens?
A place “where teen health is a priority, not a privilege” by assisting kids with efficient ways to reach their health and fitness goals. As the owner of Lean4Teens, Sherrod provides support to those who want to achieve their objectives. He experienced the challenges of weight loss while loosing 70 pounds in one year due to dedication and hard work. You can shop various plans from weight loss to muscle and weight gain.
What is a quote that resonates with you?
“Life’s problems would not be called hurdles is there was not a way to get over them.” - Unknown
What is your favorite book?
Sherrod’s favorite book is Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes, which is a fiction book about a girl who sees spirits and lives through Hurrican Katrina in New Orleans.
What inspired you to start Mission: Scholarship?
In 2016, Mission: Scholarship began as a hub for students of underrepresented groups to be informed about the scholarship (merit aid) process and how to save money for their post-secondary education. It was also designed for students to prepare for the college admissions process due to the lack of information being at service to them. Mission: Scholarship has since evolved and has grown into something much larger than ever expected. Mission: Scholarship has changed its primary goal to not just providing information about college admissions and scholarships but also to explain to students that pursuing their passions is the way to stand out in the college admissions process.
Mission: Scholarship is dedicated to promoting academic achievement and leadership in the community, where members will have the opportunity to pursue numerous opportunities where they can showcase their skills and develop leadership qualities. Mission: Scholarship does this by creating an environment where students of all races and ethnicities can grow and develop as individuals, both academically and personally. Mission: Scholarship is working to ensure that all students that are a part of this organization will be successful post-graduation no matter their class rank or GPA. No student should ever have to feel like they aren’t smart enough to be successful and reach their full potential! It doesn’t matter if a student goes to the top private school in the state or the least popular public school in the state, they deserve to reach their desired goals.
What advice do you have for others who are looking to start a not for profit organization?
Don’t be selfish. A non-profit organizations’ main focus is not about making revenue. You have to be able to put others before yourself most times.
Sherrod often finds himself booked with a student’s online appointment at midnight when he still has homework to do. The students do not pay for the session, but he still makes that appointment a priority.
He believes “you have to love people and love to see the personal development of others. Never keep your eye off the mission of your organization. You will be successful no matter what challenges come your way.”
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years personally, academically, and professionally?
Sherrod plans to go to college for business and sports journalism next year. While in school, he hopes to expand Mission: Scholarship nationally to help over 1,000 students by 2021.
Why is it important to connect with other entrepreneurs and collaborate?
“Being a teen entrepreneur is not easy. It is easy to feel like you are 'different' and that can limit your motivation to continue. However, connecting with other teen entrepreneurs allows you to build a community of like-minded individuals that push you and empower you to build your brand. Without collaborating with other amazing teen entrepreneurs, I am not sure I’m where I would be today.“
Describe how you found out about me from Gia & some of the conversations we had about how to grow your brand.
“Gia Tejeda, a fellow teen entrepreneur, told me about Amara and her impact in the community. I immediately wanted to collaborate because teenage entrepreneurs working together can turn into something big. Amara prompted me to increase my marketing strategies to successfully grow my brand,” he said.
Connecting with other entrepreneurs is so important because you learn what worked for them and what can work for you. As Sherrod graduates high school, his mission to make an impact will never waver. He is on a journey to make an impact while making an income. What better way than to be the founder of a non-profit organization and the CEO of a company?