Portrait of AGB Summer Business Internship participants in professional dress



Congratulations to our sixth cohort of Summer Business Interns! They spent seven weeks with us this summer, learning what it takes to run a successful business.

The highlight of this year’s program was a capstone presentation to the executive team at AGB Investigative Services. The interns became department experts and provided assessments with recommended improvements for the areas they worked in. This gifted group of young people was eager to learn about the skills and experience needed to operate the various departments. Working at AGB inspired several interns to explore entrepreneurship, thanks to the example set by John and Denitra Griffin, and all they have accomplished.

This year, we expanded the Summer Business Internship to 25 students and were able to offer them a weekly stipend, thanks to our targeted youth investment funding and a state grant that we were awarded. 

Our interns worked across every department in AGB. They spent time in Marketing, Procurement, Finance, Human Resources, and—for the first time—Fleet, where they saw the logistical side of AGB. The cohort came away with a wealth of experience! Students learned how to draft contracts, studied the science behind marketing research, and got a first-hand look at how the Foundation creates content and facilitates programs.

Your support allows us to continue providing a REAL (Real Experience Always Learning) opportunity to deserving young people of color. We couldn’t do it without you!

Please consider supporting the foundation today with a tax-deductible gift.

“Providing internship opportunities . . . changes the whole equation.”   —Eduardo J. Padron, educator  


Donate – Always Giving Back Foundation (agbfd.org)

“We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.” Mary McLeod Bethune.

We love our Interns at AGB. This month’s news letter is dedicated to Kinaya Kerr. Kinaya is a recent graduate of Whitney M. Young Magnet High School and a returning AGB Intern.  She is working under the leadership and guidance of Sara Martinez, the Program Director for the AGB Foundation.  Kinaya was given a leadership role as an Intern Supervisor. She will be attending FAMU (Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University) in the fall where she plans to major in Business Administration. I had the opportunity to interview this dynamic young lady.

  1. Tell me the difference between last year’s intern program and this year’s intern program and how have you grown so far? “I think that last year my group missed out on the personal connection and attention. We were in the office about 12 times over the course of 6 weeks. The 2021 cohort gained an abundance of in-person office experience. This year, I’m a leader as opposed to just an intern. The most valuable lesson I learned was how to be a leader. With Sara as my supervisor, she created a great environment for me inside and outside of work.  I have been a little bit intimidated by a person’s level in the past but Sara created a space to build a personal connection. That was something that I realized was important to being an effective leader. Being both the Intern Supervisor and their peer, I thought it was critical for them to understand I’m here to lead and not be an authority figure. A leader is only as strong as their team, and they have to be willing to follow.”
  2. What are you most passionate about learning personally or professionally? Personally, I am passionate about learning how to be more confident in myself. I have always been gifted intellectually but I have had experiences where that was frowned upon. Professionally, I  want to learn how to overcome fear. I want to be an entrepreneur.  I will encounter some failures and hardships. I want to acquire more tools to assist me in dealing with those obstacles. One of my biggest goals, as I enter college, is to learn how to communicate effectively.  I’m reserved, and an introvert, so I want to learn how to be more assertive; especially when representing myself in the workforce.
  3. Tell me about your volunteer and community service experience inside and outside of AGB? With AGB, we planned a car wash to raise money for the Foundation. As the lead on that project, I learned the details needed to make an event like that come to life. We had a great time planning the event, and it was a success. For the past 3 years, I was in an organization called Top Teens of America, where I was the Vice President of the Midway Chicago Chapter my last two years in the organization. We would go to senior homes for Christmas, and Valentines day. We would serve them food, play bingo, and host ice cream socials. We planned Halloween parties for children’s shelters and made Easter baskets for the kids. I love kids, and it made me so happy to see their faces light up when they saw us.
  4. What would you like to leave us with in terms of telling the reader who you are? I am like a butterfly. When I was in 7th and 8th grade, I was very self-conscious about myself. I was not proud of myself. I was a caterpillar then. Now, I am so proud of myself and the growth I see in myself. High school was like the cocoon stage. I was discovering who I was, from my passions to what my dream career would be. In college, I will emerge as a powerful young lady.  My favorite quote is, “pressure makes diamonds” because there is a lot I will go through as a black woman in America that I need to be prepared for.

When you let the youth lead, you will learn things about them you never knew and discover skills and talents you didn’t know they had.” LDSYouthLeadership.com

AGB is paving the way for our future Black and Brown leaders of America.  Please continue to support the AGB Foundation. If you would like to make a donation please click on the following link:

Donate – Always Giving Back Foundation (agbfd.org)



“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)

Piecing it Together

 The Always Giving Back Foundation is a place where Chicago minority youth can build their confidence. We provide social and emotional support throughout their college journey. We are a safe space for them to be themselves as they transition from adolescence to adulthood. There is nothing more powerful than seeing youth piece together their perspective on the world and how they see themselves.

The rate of college enrollment has increased in the last decade because of the economy and labor market. Research shows that 16 million undergraduate students enrolled in Fall of 2018 but only 13% of them were African American students. Those same students are underrepresented on predominantly white campuses. We are providing resources to rising undergraduates, one student at a time.

Last year we surprised five deserving youth with scholarships. See here: https://youtu.be/OiW9bOD3c50 Our scholars blossom into leaders and advance in their careers post college. We will share the AGB Scholarship with you Stay close to your email. Applications will open soon!


Let’s Celebrate

This women’s month we celebrate our cofounder Dr. Denitra Griffin. She stands next to John Griffin Jr. as they run the largest black owned security firm in the nation, AGB Investigative Services, while actively serving  on several boards. Her wealth of knowledge is vast and her heart seeks to make the Chicago community a better place to live.

Have you heard her story? or why the foundation exists today? Better yet, how she manages to do it all, such as keeping the family together, running a successful business, and owning her womanhood? “There are times you have to be both a lion and a lamb.” Lean in and tune to the Secure Podcast. 





If you enjoyed last year’s CEO Brunch you won’t want to miss this! From premium coffee, security and marketing last fall to Shark Tank’s CurlMix. Don’t miss out on brunch appetizers, freshly brewed coffee, and business between two CEO’s.  Rising entrepreneureres “embrace the ambguity of growth” and meet us at Connect Gallery.

This is your place for all things love, family, and entrepreneurship!

The Secure Podcast is changing the narrative of Black Chicago, marriage, and entrepreneurship. Empower yourself by tuning into Married-Preneurs, Dr. Denitra & John Griffin Jr.discuss the secrets of expanding one of Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing businesses, while successfully being married with 4 kids for over 25 years.

The Griffin’s work ethic is impeccable, but the love they spread is twice as impactful. As the first generation in their family to graduate in their family,  have a successful marriage, own a successful business they have tips for you.  They live their lives giving and this is there gift to you.

Take a sneek peek: https://youtu.be/MFNoyCi__ds

If you believe that “success is intentional” then be the FIRST episode of #FIRSTGENRICH !