Making a Difference

Attorney Audrey Chisholm’s nonprofit gets high school juniors and seniors in gear for college and community action

Chisholm says the program attracts both top-performing and “middle of the road” students who are serious about their future and just need help getting there. “A lot of college scholarships are only available to students who have a 4.0 and a perfect résumé,” says Chisholm. “Our scholarship doesn’t focus on your GPA—we don’t even ask for it. We’re looking for students’ leadership aptitude.” Community involvement is another criteria considered by Revolution Leadership’s scholarship committee.

This year’s recipient was 19-year-old Treasure Leach. The University of Central Florida health sciences major used her $1,000 award for books and used the balance to purchase a laptop. “It would have been easy to go shopping but Revolution Leadership changed my mindset about money. I learned that whether it’s scholarship money or grants, it’s important that I put money aside to continue funding my college education.”

Alison Jones, 18, attended the retreat in 2011 and says Revolution Leadership taught her how to take her business to the next level and get into the school of her choice. Jones launched her business, Adelaide, in 2010. A clothing and accessory line, the business helps cover her school supplies, which cost about $900 a year at Daytona State College. “Since attending I have gotten business cards, commissioned my merchandise in stores, and even started an online store.”

Starting a business in college is something Chisholm highly recommends and something from which she personally benefited. She started her apparel company, AKH Apparel L.L.C., while in law school at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and it allowed her to graduate debt free [The estimated tuition and fees for FAMU Law is $75,000 for a full-time student.] Starting off as just a collegiate apparel line in 2005, it grossed $11,000 its first year. With continued growth, the company has expanded into a national custom apparel business.

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