“Dem Boys” Are Rewriting the Standardized Testing Narrative

3 mins


  • Among top scorers on the SAT—those scoring between a 750 and 800—60 percent are Asian and 33 percent are white, compared to 5 percent Latino and 2 percent black (Brookings)
  • For college-bound SAT users, the SAT national average score was 1083 ; for African-Americans and Hispanics scores were 950 and 980 respectively.  (Brookings)
  • With an income of <20,000, the average test score for the SAT is 970. With an household income of >200,000, that number was 1230! (Brookings)
  • It is estimated that in the entire country last year at most 2,200 black and 4,900 Latino test-takers scored above a 700 on the math section. In comparison, roughly 48,000 whites and 52,800 Asians scored that high. (PrepScholar)
  • There were only 8 states with SAT averages LOWER than Georgia. While some were equal, Georgia still falls within the bottom quartile of US test takers.

The mission:

We can’t change the education system. Unfortunately, there are barriers around education that make helping some of our students a “moving target” It is also increasingly difficult to mentor, tutor, and follow a student through their three years of high school prior to their standardized testing. It IS possible, however, to dramatically increase the chances of a successful standardized test scores that will influence admissions decisions, scholarship dollars, and special program acceptances.

Right Before Magazine partnered up with a group of 25 Black males, “Dem Boys”, looking to do our part to level the socioeconomic education playing field! Imagine if it were possible to take a high achieving student, right at the precipice of college admissions and give them the confidence to apply to their dream school knowing that their SAT score is in the upper 75th percentile. A lot of times this is possible in schools that offer significant test preparation or with families that have the finances to provide testing assistance.

We will be giving away FREE merit-based SAT prep courses as well as providing weekend mentoring that can help on subjects such as essay writing, the application process, and research. This opportunity will be application based but designed to take students at the point Right Before applying to their dream school and push them over the edge. We will provide course books, instructors, individual mentors in Athens, application waivers, and the moral support teenagers need to aspire for more!

The idea:

It all started how a lot of things start, as a New Year’s Resolution. I bounced the idea around numerous group messages I was involved in, hoping to just get ONE to bite. “What if, over the course of this year, we all decide to give a little bit of money every two weeks in order to give away a lot of money in a few months?”  As a secondary thought, “What if our community did the same, with GroupMes around the world gathering funds together for one larger cause?” … It was a big reach; bigger than most would be comfortable with, but aren’t those the kind of reaches we need to take our people to the next level? The idea itself isn’t new. Micro-financing or “crowdfunding” is one of the fastest growing trends for startup ideas and ventures.

Like most resolutions, the hardest part was getting things moving and pushing deeper into month two. The concept of giving money to someone every two weeks is/was enough to scare a lot of people off. Some of the best people, even with good intentions, never got around to replying. When it comes to starting something new, there are some who get on board at the beginning and others that tend to become a part after it launches. Right Before is extending the opportunity for readers everywhere to get involved now.

To donate please visit:

Call to Action:

We want to raise enough money to positively affect change in the lives of many students who have already worked hard enough, but just need the additional resources to reach the plateau that often comes with standardized testing. Help us be the change in these students lives, and the effects will come back to benefit our communities in the long run. Our goal to bring this program to fruition is $3,000. That will give us a classroom worth of materials and the ability to help each student apply to their dream school, free of charge. We have a YouCaring that has already raised $750 of our goal, but just need your help to push us over the finish line.

Former President Barack Obama once said “If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” There are a lot of individuals waiting for something good to happen to them; who deserve something good to happen for them. Help Right Before and the 25 Black men behind this goal to make the difference in these students’ academic careers. 

To donate please visit:

Why Your Friend’s “Consulting” Business is an Awesome Idea

3 mins

Being an entrepreneur is probably one of the most “in vogue” and “cool” things to do right now. The ability to set your own hours and call yourself a “CEO” has the effect of a powerful drug running through your veins, turning some of the quietest people into vocalists about their trade. Throw the words “LLC” or “Corp” behind your new creation and all of the sudden you are just one big break away from being the next Steve Jobs or Mark Bezos.

The most popular new startup idea that I see happening is “consulting”. Consulting is amazing because it requires almost ZERO hard skills. You don’t really have to be good at numbers, coding, engineering, or writing (although all of these things are helpful). The most successful consultants have to have the ability to sell, network, and relate to the client on a personal level. Consultants at the highest level have the ability to set their own hours, work from just about anywhere, and set rates exceeding $400/hr.

At this point we’re all just faking it to we make it


I read a post recently where a friend of mine discouraged many individuals without the necessary experience from starting their own consulting business or LLC. There was significant merit to the things she was saying, and made many good points I could not refute. I have heard the same arguments from people telling me to WAIT to start my business. I think that there are arguments for waiting. More job experience, school experience, and time could lead to a more beneficial product. However, I look at the argument discouraging people from starting something and I still would encourage you to do it anyway 10 out of 10 times.

1.Starting (and maintaining) a business is humbling

“Nothing tugs at all of your deficiencies like managing a business.”

One might start a business thinking that the marketing, accounting, networking, outsourcing, and website management can be done just by managing a few applications. You will start to count the hours in the day and realize there aren’t enough to compensate for all of the things you have to accomplish. At some point, the amount of work is not as difficult as it is impractical. Companies, even as small as 20 employees, often employ a CEO, CFO, CIO, and an outside marketing agency just to manage their limited operations.

The humility that comes typically pushes people in two directions. People either:

  1. Decide that entrepreneurship and starting their own business just isn’t right at this time. These people are not necessarily quitting or giving up, but rather stepping back into the shoes of reality and addressing their deficiencies in the hopes of trying again later in life. THIS WAS ME!


  1. Realizing that it can’t be done alone will force the networking and collaboration that is necessary for growth. Have you ever seen anybody fall flat on their face, only to get right back up and realize they should probably be more careful? Learning to thrive in business is a lot like learning to walk. You are going to fall the first couple of times, but you will develop your own rhythm and cadence

2. There is a lot of “technical”stuff that has to be handled that is good to learn

If you call yourself an LLC and you’re not actually a Limited Liability Company, then you are more so a fraud. If you take the hours and hours it takes to set up an LLC or to incorporate a company, these are eye-opening experiences. Writing your first articles of incorporation, building out the by-laws, and composing the officers of a company are all worthwhile and thought provoking opportunities but also come with additional work. Keeping on top of the different requirements from the state and more importantly from the IRS is a challenge within itself and teaches a tremendous level of responsibility. Ultimately, the name of the game is outsourcing. It is best to make sure that you know what things you can accomplish yourself and what would be more efficient if handled by someone else.

3.DOing is always better than Talking

I am a big believer in just doing things that contribute to your dreams and vision. There are a lot of studies that are conducted that are say you should “write your dreams down” or “”plan out the future you want to have”; but the act of actually taking the first step may actually be the hardest.

Sometimes simply telling someone that you are encouraged by their big dreams or the posts that they write is enough to make their day and encourage them when work gets overwhelming.


All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney.

Keep Dreaming Folks, maybe your consulting firm is the next McKinsey or Bain. Simply add your name and put in the hard work required to make it all a reality.


Lashaya White wins inaugural Phenomenal Woman Scholarship

2 mins

“My summer in Barcelona was one of my most rewarding experiences. I was exposed to an entirely different culture that changed my outlook on the way I live life. There’s so much more to life then what we are all accustomed to so I truly hope that this experience will inspire YOU to become even more fearless and develop an international perspective on the world.” -Nia Hampton




Lashaya White

Lashaya is a Junior at the University of Georgia majoring in Finance. She is a recipient of the Cargill Scholarship, National Association of Black Accountants Scholarship, as well as many more awards. She is involved in campus with diverse organizations ranging from B.E.S.T to the Tate Leadership Scholars Program. In her free time, Lashaya volunteers with MathCounts, Designated Dawgs, and drives disability vans for UGA Transit. Her interests include Volleyball, Mentorship, Diversity, and Calligraphy.

What stood out about Lashaya are her various career ambitions and passion for helping others. She has aspirations to become a financial advisor and eventually start her own non-profit for educating underprivileged minority youth on financial literacy and the importance of money management. She will be traveling to South America for Terry Business School’s study abroad program and immersing herself in a culture in order to better provide for those individuals in the future. There are so many impressive people at the University and I have been blessed to meet some unbelievable candidates. Lashaya is an awesome choice to be our first scholarship winner and I cannot wait for it to become bigger and better year two.

From myself and Nia Hampton, we would like to congratulate you for all of your achievements thus far and for all you will accomplish in the future. -Kenneth Duncan
“I know that from my experience I’m no longer afraid of stepping outside my comfort zone and fully emerging myself in situations that are foreign to me, and I am so thankful for this because there are so many jewels to be discovered in this world! Right Before has given one lucky lady the opportunity to not only study abroad but to hopefully learn a lot about herself as well. I can only hope that your experience is as filled with joy, excitement and is as life changing as my summer in Spain.” -Nia Hampton

7 Ways to Give Back Without Spending a Dollar

3 mins

With the holidays over, many of us are waiting for our pockets to recover from the various gifts and travel that we gave for friends and family. If you’re like me, you’re waiting for that next paycheck to come and provide some relief. If somebody asked you to give back to them right now, your answer would be a resounding NO!

You would probably say no because you feel that you just don’t have too much to give right now. You’re about to go back to school or work and the stress of the recent splurges weighs on your decision. Many people are not active in extending a hand out to others because they are unaware of all of the ways they can empower, support, and endorse others without spending a dollar. When considering the needs of underprivileged communities, friends, or peers, it is important to consider that everybody needs a team of people around them that all provide something unique.

I challenge you to think about the ways you can give back to the people around you outside of financially and perhaps cut one excuse from your arsenal. 

1) Give somebody just a piece of your time

Time is precious. It cannot be replaced and thus many people are concerned with “wasting time”. I hear it over and over about how some person or group is not “worth my time”. Time is something that many of us feel we are at a shortage of. If you think about your typical day, is there something that could be replaced that you don’t HAVE to do? There may even be plans that can be merged with others in order to “create time”. Recently I started having all of my phone calls while sitting in Atlanta traffic or while I am preparing food, that way I am not losing anything. Think about ways you leak time in your daily life and consider how much it would mean to others to have some of it. Time is one of the best gifts people can offer, we can give so much more in 2017.

2)Motivate somebody “just because’

Have you ever been a step away from quitting, only to have somebody close to you say the perfect thing! Many of us encounter something every day that we must make a decision to take on or leave alone. In 2017, when you think about somebody consider reaching out. Send a text, make a call, or even speak in person to somebody that is embarking on a journey. You should not underestimate the value of motivation. In fact, try to be an asset in somebody else’s life expecting nothing in return. This is a trait that is always appreciated. 

3)Lend Your Expertise

You may be good at something that somebody else isn’t. There are at least 10 people whom I have called or emailed because they were just better at something than I was. Many of the skills and attributes that we have the opportunity to enhance come from others I love when we utilize the resources in our circle to accomplish a goal. All of us have a skill or talent we take pride in. Use this to help somebody around you and build us all up. Steel sharpens steel.

4)Show others Compassion/Love

Probably the hardest one to just “give”, but definitely something that can not have a dollar value put on it. Compassion is one of those things that a lot of people do not know they are looking for, yet it is always appreciated. It is not really easy to “love” other people but showing love and just a general care for other people will make your life so much happier. 

5)Listening Ears are better than words

Yeah, sometimes it sucks to hear people vent or talk only about themselves. I am 100% percent positive that my best friend Damon does not want to hear me talk about my life. You never know what type of things you can learn about somebody else or even yourself by listening. You can think more about your feelings towards the things you’re hearing and less about your response. Listen, then think, then respond. 

6)Share Your Story

RB has hopefully inspired thousands of people this year to tell their story. Blogging and writing is becoming such an integral part of our society because the experiences we have are so vital to our learning as individuals. Share your experiences and in turn, share parts of the learning lessons involved. Of course, if you are in the midst of a journey or project that has presented challenges, you can always submit your story to our team.

7) Show Spirit, even if it’s not the holiday season anymore

All of our “new year, new me” posts typical include some sort of clause about being a more positive or optimistic individual.  Share a smile, share a quick conversation, hell share a Coke. Your upbeat ambiance and good nature will attract people to you and leave those around you happier.

At the end of the day, just adding one of these things to your every day life will not only make a tremendous influence in your own happiness, but also happiness of others. Let us know your thoughts or if you have any other tips!