“Surprise is the greatest gift life can grant us” said Russian Poet and Novelist Boris Pasternak.  This quote rings true and was definitely a surprise for the five scholarship recipients. According to scholarship statistics by race, only 38% of scholarship recipients are minority students, and 62% are white students.  The AGB Foundation has leveled the playing field by awarding (5) Scholarships to deserving minority students in June. How did we do this ? The AGB Foundation was awarded a $40,000 grant courtesy of NBC Universal Studios.  This grant enabled us to extend our program to provide additional services like care packages, mentorship, mental health and wellness support throughout the duration of their academic career. The Scholarship categories were named after the First Family of AGB, The Griffins, otherwise known as the G Tribe!

  • John Griffin III – Students that qualify for extensive financial assistance
  • Najia Griffin – Student Athlete
  • Nia Griffin – Diverse Learning Needs
  • Geneva Stringer – First Generation College Student
  • Jibril Griffin – STEM

Each of these scholarships were awarded to students in secrecy with them being under the impression that they were coming to AGB for a follow up interview. Unbeknownst to them, we had secretly hidden their parents in a conference room where it was revealed that their students had been awarded a scholarship. You can imagine their surprise.  The students were in a different part of the building, where they were anxiously awaiting further instruction. They were reunited with their parents in celebration of the big reveal that they had each been awarded a $2,000.00 renewable scholarship. This was the first time in AGB Foundation history that we were able to award a renewable scholarship thanks to the grant provided by NBC Universal Studios.

The AGB Foundation thought about the scholar’s journey as they head off to college by providing each winner with a new set of matching luggage.  As Oprah Winfrey would say, “you get new luggage, and you gGet new Luggage”. It was quite a surprise as we rolled the luggage out and presented it to the scholarship awardees.  The parents of the Scholars were very appreciative and thankful for the luggage as evidenced by the happy smiles.  The morning’s event was capped off with a luncheon and no event is complete without cake.

The five Scholarship recipients are pictured below: They represent the Future of Black Excellence to come.

 

“The scholarship program is more than just about giving money, ” said Dr. Denitra Griffin.  “It is really about connecting with young people and helping them gain access to the resources they need in order to secure employment post graduation.”  “This grant from NBC 5 Universal Studios is allowing us to do that.”  “It is allowing the opportunity to share our resources and information to coach our Scholars throughout the tenure of their studies.”

 

Thanks for your continued support to the Always Giving Back Foundation.  If you would like to continue the blessings, please click on the following link:

Donate – Always Giving Back Foundation (agbfd.org)

AGB Business Internship Updates

Over the past seven months, our AGB interns completed an extensive training course in Workforce Development led by Sara Martinez, AGB Program Manager for the Foundation. The goal was to prepare them for employment and to teach them about the different departments within a thriving business like AGB Investigative Services. We introduced them to the AGB Leadership Team, and the interns learned about their specific job duties. The following departments participated in this exercise: HR, IT, Operations, Marketing, Finance and Procurement.

In addition to this exposure, our crop of interns learned critical professional skills, including how to dress, respond to emails, and communicate with their colleagues. They were trained in resume writing and also learned interviewing skills, which they used in meetings with AGB departmental leaders. As a final highlight, we were pleased to provide 11 business suits for our female interns and nine suits for our male interns, courtesy of the Tom James Company.

Our interns completed all this training during Saturday workshops in preparation for the opportunity to work in house at AGB Innovative Security Solutions this summer. We will be announcing those summer placements very soon!

 

Expansion of Programs

We are excited to announce that the AGB Foundation was recently awarded  the NBC5 Project Innovation Grant for $40,000.  This award will be used to expand the scholarship program and provide holistic support to our scholars through mentorship, social and emotional support, and post-graduation employment.  The enhancements of the program include care packages to the Scholars during mid terms and finals, professional headshots, resumes, and professional clothing.

The program initially provided 1 year of support  to our scholars but with this new grant and expansion of services, we can provide 4 years of services and critical mentorship to guide them towards their academic achievements and post graduate goals.

Financial Wellness

“Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing.”  —Warren Buffet

This is especially true with personal finances. The AGB Foundation piloted a new Virtual Financial Wellness Workshop Series that will run throughout 2021. This program is a direct response to the youth in our community and their desire to accumulate wealth. At the AGB Foundation we are invested in providing sound financial advice to our participants. We are blessed with the financial acumen of Les Goldstein, a financial advisor to AGB who has over 30 years of experience in the investment world. It’s never too early or late to learn about financial wealth management. Over three weeks, Les presented workshops addressing the following topics: retirement, investments, digital currency, inflation, stocks & bonds, mutual funds, savings, & managing credit card debt.  We invite you to take our financial wellness course by completing a brief survey. You do not want to miss out!

Community Day of Service

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

We have done it again and every year, it gets better!  On our most recent Community Day of Service we were fortunate to provide our surrounding communities with 300 care packages.  The packages went to the following organizations: St. Sabina Church Food Pantry, Sheldon Heights Church Food Pantry, Ujima Village, Margaret’s Village, and The Olive Branch Mission. These organizations are located in the Auburn Gresham,  Englewood and West Pullman neighborhoods, which are often underserved.

La Forice Nealy, president and CEO of the Olive Branch Mission, told our staff,  “I didn’t realize it has been nearly three years that you have been in partnership with us, donating and volunteering your time, making a difference in hundreds of precious people’s lives.”

Thanks to AGB Investigative Services for their financial support in purchasing the contents of the care packages, to Bank of America for donating the face masks and hand sanitizers, and to AGB employees for donating their time and additional items, as well.

 

 

2021 Interns

“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.”   —Swami Sivananda

Our summer interns are coming! This year, we expanded our summer internship program to include employment readiness. Our interns in training have been attending Saturday workshops since November in preparation for their summer placement. They  have learned how to send professional emails, conduct conference calls, dress for a professional setting, time management, and so much more!

This summer will  be the first time our interns will have to interview for their summer intern position. But don’t worry, we are teaching them critical interviewing skills and the importance of having a resume. We hope this experience prepares them for future interviews when they are ready to dive into the workforce. You do not want to miss their transformation.

It is time to Celebrate!

It’s time for a grandiose celebration folks! AGB Investigative Services turns 20! Can you believe that it all started in the basement of the Griffin Family home?  Fast forward to 20 years later and they are THE largest Black owned security company in the nation! They employ over 1200 individuals and are located in 17 states  across the nation. AGB is also in the midst of opening up a new Cyber Security Office. It will be located on the South Side of Chicago where AGB will provide high paying technical jobs in one of the fastest growing Industries.

“The Man who has no imagination has no wings.” Muhammad Ali

 

The Mission Continues

The AGB Foundation is celebrating AGB’s 20th year by continuing the annual Community Day of Service that will take place on Monday April 12th. This year, we will support 5 community organizations by providing care packages filled with the essentials. Some of the essentials include;  soap, feminine products, hair brushes, PPE, and a few other items packed with love and support by the AGB Staff.

The 5 community organizations that we are supporting this year are: Margaret’s Village, Sheldon Heights Church Food Pantry, Ujima Village Overnight Shelter, and St. Sabina Food Pantry. We will deliver 300 care packages for our homeless and less fortunate residents in the south side of Chicago. It is our ministry to continue to help and uplift our community and fulfill our mission of disrupting the cycle of poverty through workforce development, financial wellness and philanthropy.

“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else”. Booker T. Washington

Access and Opportunity

Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” This is why we continue to create access and opportunity for our Chicago youth who attend a 2 year college or 4 year university through our Scholars Program. Our Scholarship not only provides financial support, but an array of services that include giving our scholars a professional resume, professional headshot, and an updated LinkedIn profile. The total amount of U.S. student debt has reached over 1.5 trillion. This makes student loans the second largest source of consumer debt behind mortgage debt. We want to alleviate some of the costs to 5 wonderful students. If you know of any high school seniors in Chicago who are about to embark on their higher educational journey, please have them apply for our  AGB scholarship today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If 2020 was a movie what would you title it? We think it should be called “We Made It”.

We have to find the blessing in everything this past year brought us. Life is always happening for us, not to us.  This year you don’t have to take on New Year resolutions but instead, find the good. Reflect on all the lessons and gifts from 2020 to implement in 2021.

Your Gift to the Community!

 

Naazneen Vhora, UIC

With your help, we raised $15,000 in 2020. This assisted with the expansion of our programs.

AGB Investigative Services employees traditionally celebrate the anniversary of the company by volunteering and gifting care packages to organizations selected by AGB officers. Due to the pandemic, we were unable to go out to our partners. Instead, we gifted those in the Auburn Gresham community!

All while hosting our AGB Business Internship and awarding 5 amazing scholars.

Summer of 2020, AGB interns completely transformed.  We took a moment to analyze the need of our Chicago youth and decided to expand the program to year-round. We are so happy to have received the Illinois State Grant to provide tangible resources and workshops to help 25 youth excel.

The work doesn’t stop there. We had 1,000 applicants apply to our scholarship program and we were able to gift 5 youth $2000 to continue their academic journey. Naazneen Vhora, a former AGB Scholar graduated in December 2020 and will join the AGB team this year.

You can still join us in changing the narrative of Chicago for our youth and community by donating at agbfd.org/donate 

“Hey Alexa, play Secure Podcast”

We are happy to announce we are now on Amazon Music. Closing the year with 1k audio downloads and 2.8K views on Youtube. Share Season 3 of Secure Podcast where the Griffins give you the step by step Entrepreneurial Journey.

According to the U.S Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, 33.7 million small businesses were accounted for in 2020. So many took the leap of faith to start their business as the economy changed. As successful owners of a medium-size business, that is black-owned the Griffins felt the need this season to dive deeper into entrepreneurship. Here are some of our favorites this season:

 

 

Hey you! Thank you for taking the first step in opening our December Newsletter. Boy, has a lot happened. We gave away 100 BIKES, the Griffins have closed out Season 3 of Secure Podcast and you still have the opportunity to make an impact!

So much has happened this year that has forced us to create new traditions. It is sponsors like AGB Innovative Security Solutions who allow us to continue helping the community.

Oh, what joy it is to spread some holiday cheer. In 2020 Auburn-Gresham has seen a 30% unemployment rate, gang warfare & the highest rate of COVID infection in both the city and state. The Always Giving Back Foundation gave away 100 bikes to families on the Southside of Chicago. Thank you to Walmart who assembled and delivered bikes to our location.  It is the smiles on the young people’s faces that made it all worth it! Take a look: https://youtu.be/n_wYesUB5YA

If you want to volunteer at our next event click here.

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They Get Each Other

It takes courage to be married and to run a business. When one takes on that responsibility you change the dynamic of your family and the trajectory of your career.

Go watch the new episode of Secure Podcast, “We Get Each Other”.  As a G-Tribe member, you can anticipate new tips and tricks you can apply in your business. This season the Griffins have unpacked entrepreneurship and we don’t want you to miss it!  They have created a workplace that allows their employees to relish in self-identification and invest in their development as professionals. This episode expounds on setting boundaries around your business and marriage. As the Griffin’s have grown their business, they too have grown in their relationship.

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You Can Make an Impact

We recently started the year-round AGB Business Internship program. Youth are exposed to the value of teamwork and networking. Leaving with the understanding that the connections they make today will position them for tomorrow.

We provide a safe space for our youth to be proud of who they are. We hope to build their confidence and remove self-fear of “what if people don’t like me” or “what if people will fear me”.

Help us reach our goal of $10,000 by donating at agbfd.org/donate

 

Let’s Do This!

Oh, how 2020 has passed by! We have had some lows and some highs this year.

The Always Giving Back Foundation has always understood the importance of representation in the workplace. Who would have thought in this decade we would see a woman in the White House? We are super elated to see the FIRST woman, BLACK woman, INDIAN woman to serve in the seat of Vice President of the United States of America. We hope to cultivate tomorrow’s leaders who too will be the FIRST.

The AGB Business Internship has expanded from a six-week summer program to a year-round program. (See 2020 Summer Business Internship here.) This weekend 25 young people came together virtually. They left with a greater understanding of why the Griffins started the AGB Foundation. Their commitment to the community is what sets the tone for the culture of AGB Innovative Security Solutions and its charitable arm.

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Giving the AGB Way

Last year around this time we gave away turkeys to families across Chicago. This year we will gift bikes to the community, so stay tuned. If you ever want to volunteer your time, please fill out the following form. 

AGB’s great work doesn’t stop there! Have you watched this season of Secure Podcast? Entrepreneurs will find tips to build their business, data that encourages them to continue forward as they learn about the Griffins’ journey.

We want to be a part of your holiday plans. Please help us continue our mission of disrupting the cycle of poverty through workforce development, financial wellness, and philanthropy. Support us on Giving Tuesday, December 1, one of three ways:

  1. GIVE & MATCH
    Give any gift of your choice, and request your company to match, at agbfd.org/donate.
  2. SMILE & SHOP
    As you purchase your holiday gifts, consider us in your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping as your foundation choice through AMAZON SMILE.
  3. SHARE  THE JOURNEY
    Take a picture with one of the following “Reasons to give” images and share it on your social media. You’ll be spreading the word about the Foundation’s work and encouraging your friends to give!

 

 

 

 

Now is a good time to prepare for next year. In this last quarter of 2020, we challenge you to do a self-introspection. Your inner thoughts affect your life and leadership. As you close out the year, identify how you can be a blessing instead of a burden to yourself and others. Locate where you are and decide where you want to go. You can do so by asking yourself the following to get a sense of where you might be (Relationship Intelligence, Dharius Daniels):

  • Where am I? –  Accurately assess where you are. Honestly, locate where I am in the relationship, job, and with one’s self.
  • What do I need in this season? – Determine whether you need low maintenance friendships, healthy distractions, to take on new courses to advance in your career, or even time to rest, etc.
  • What do I have?- Take a look at the contributions that you and other people are making to increase the health of your life.
  • Now, what do I need to do? – Make the decision to realign, remove, or pursue decisions that encourage your growth.

This opportunity to move forward in your life can start with AGB. Share the AGB Business Internship with your favorite teens. Listen to the Secure Podcast. Help us reach our fundraising goal of $10k. Learn more below!

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Self-reflection activities are the types of confidence-building exercises we facilitate with our AGB Interns. We normalize self-identity and encourage them to ascertain who they wish to be five years from now.  Finding stability in their sense of self creates an environment our interns can grow in business.

As the AGB Business Internship enrolls our new approach, we provide instrumentation for Chicago youth to set their career goals. We have divided our program into two-part to ensure Chicago youth gain insight into the business. The first half of the program trains and the second half of the program allows them to put the lessons learned to the test with mentors to guide them along the way.

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There is no shame in their game, just authenticity. Season 3 of Secure Podcast is all about the steps to being an entrepreneur. The Griffins provide resources to get started and truths that one should be mindful of.  It’s so important to do practical things like writing out your elevator pitch to sell your business and avoid stress. Stress easily leads to irritability and frustration. We don’t want that for your business.

Get into the mindset of an entrepreneur by tuning into Secure Podcast.

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FALL INTO THIS NEW SEASON

If you want to know how to start a business, this new season of Secure Podcast with the Griffins is for you. Season 3 is here with NEW CONTENT, at a NEW LOCATION, with NEW PERSPECTIVE on the world.
During this time we typically have our CEO Panel. Though we can’t come together at our quarterly workshop, the Griffin’s are still here to help you build your business. This is a time of freedom and an unprecedented opportunity to be an entrepreneur.
Don’t get distracted from your purpose because of the pandemic. Keep your attention on the things that make you impactful. Focus on your purpose. You can do so with a plan. Listen to the Griffin’s,  and take notes on how to develop a plan.
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OUR YOUTH ARE BUILT FOR THIS

Youth around the nation are back at school! Masked, separated by six feet, and still have to move into the dorm room/meet in the classroom. They aren’t defined by their circumstance, but thriving because of their push through. When they finish this school year they will come out stronger, so long as they maintain a positive perspective. Take a look at 2020 AGB Intern Taaliyah’s move in. 
We are committed to staying connected to our scholars and interns. We know how hard it can be to transition into the classroom. We know that life happens in between, which is why we have Sunday Sitdowns. This is an opportunity for us to encourage our youth on a weekly basis.
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GIVE TO WHAT MATTERS

2020 has been one for the books! It has allowed many of us to expand even though we had to alter our initial plans. The Always Giving Back Foundation was able to adapt with the times, because of generous donors like you.  Here are some of the accomplishments we have made thus far:
Your donations allowed us to serve 450  families, award $10,000 in scholarships, and host 12 interns virtually. We hope to continue to grow our programs in the near future. Due to the pandemic, we are unable to hostour Holiday Soire’ so we need YOU! we are simply asking you to donate  what you can by November 30, 2020.