Dream Big Foundation Launches Innovative Programming to Help Brooklyn Residents Become Entrepreneurs

Some say the biggest changes in Brooklyn in recent years are the wave of gentrification that has swept the borough and the arrival of a Silicon Valley-style entrepreneurial culture. The first has brought with it both new business opportunities and skyrocketing rents; the second has revitalized neighborhoods like Dumbo, where major startups such as Etsy have their offices, and put Brooklyn on the map as its own destination outside the shadow of Manhattan.

But Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood, with a long history of high poverty and crime rates, has seen little of either. The Dream Big Foundation is hoping an entrepreneurial focus will help the neighborhood improve and maintain control over its future.  Read More

Professor Omari Simmons presents for the Carolina Advising Corps at UNC-Chapel Hill

On Monday, June 29, Professor Omari Simmons gave a presentation titled “Social Capital and Navigating the Higher Education Landscape” for the Carolina Advising Corps. The presentation was part of the training of new Carolina Advising Corps participants. “The Carolina College Advising Corps helps low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented students find their way to colleges that will serve them well. By providing well-trained, enthusiastic advisers who are close in circumstance to the students they serve, the program aims to increase college-going rates at partner high schools across North Carolina,” said Simmons.  Read More

Professor Simmons Inducted into MERIT Hall of Fame

Professor Omari Simmons was inducted into the MERIT Hall of Fame for his efforts advancing higher education opportunity in Southern Delaware. The ceremony was held at the Seaford Boys & Girls Club on Saturday, June 6 in Seaford, Delaware.

MERIT is a college access program targeting underrepresented minority students. Over a 30-year history, MERIT has over 300 college graduates among its alumni. Professor Simmons’ nonprofit, the Simmons Memorial Foundation, has partnered with MERIT for almost two decades. Delaware State Representative Harvey Kenton and MERIT Director John Hollis presented the awards.  Read More

Professor Simmons presents for Partnership Village Transitional Housing Program

Professor Simmons presented for the Partnership Village Transitional Housing Program in Greensboro, North Carolina, on Tuesday, May 26, 2015.  Professor Simmons gave a presentation titled “College 101“ for Partnership Village, residents, staff, and volunteers.  Partnership Village is a part of Greensboro Urban Ministry’s Beyond GUM program that focuses on ending homelessness through rapid re-housing.

Learn more about Greensboro Urban Ministry’s Beyond GUM program here.

Professor Omari Simmons to present at the National Business Law Scholars Conference on Thursday, June 4

Professor Omari Simmons will present his article “Delaware’s Global Threat” at the National Business Law Scholars Conference at Seton Hall University School of Law on Thursday, June 4, 2015.

This is the sixth annual meeting of the NBLSC, a conference which annually draws together legal scholars from across the United States and around the world. The conference welcomes all scholarly submissions relating to business law. Presentations focus on research appropriate for publication in academic journals, law reviews, and make contributions to the existing scholarly literature. Read More

Professor Simmons Appointed as New Director of Business Law Program

In Fall 2015, Wake Forest Law will introduce its Business Law Program, which is a student-centered program designed to expand student opportunities that strengthen knowledge of business law concepts as well as develop skills to assist professional development and readiness for practice.

The program targets four core areas: academic enrichment, professional development and ethics, experiential learning and joint degrees. Its goal is to engage students, faculty, alumni, practitioners, and the broader community in an important dialogue on emerging business law issues.

Read More

Professor Simmons Featured in The Journal of College Admissions

Professor Simmons was featured in the Winter 2015 issue of The Journal of College Admissions. The article, The Social Capital Deficit, profiles Simmons dedication to his nonprofit group, the Simmons Memorial Foundation.

“Its been nearly two decades since Omari Scott Simmons founded a small nonprofit to honor the memory of his mother and brother, who died a month apart in the fall of 1995.

“Simmons was a law student at the Unviersity of Pennsylvaina when, in their honor, he began to organize the Simmons Memorial Foundation, which provides college consulting and mentoring for underrepresented students in southern Delaware. For Simmons, memorializing his mother, an elementary school teacher, and his brother, a recent college graduate, meant working to improve the education system in his home state.”

Read more online.

Professor Simmons featured in Wake Forest Magazine titled Portraits of Pro Humanitate

Professor Simmons is featured in Wake Forest Magazine in a section titled Portraits of Pro Humanitate. In this photographic feature, Wake Forest Magazine profiles Professor Simmons’ work with the Simmons Memorial Foundation:

His cause: He is co-founder and executive director of the Simmons Memorial Foundation, which encourages underrepresented students from North Carolina and rural Delaware to attend college.

“My nonprofit work has focused on providing a foundation of encouragement for all students. To perform this critical function, you don’t need an advanced degree, an elected office or success in the business world. It simply takes a willingness to encourage others plus the ability to empathize and understand the people you are assisting. My father best described our work: ‘We’re lifting others on our shoulders, giving them the chance to climb over a fence to face brighter possibilities and educational opportunities.’ We do this recognizing that we may never get over the fence and actually see what is on the other side. For example, I may never go to Harvard or Yale, find a cure for cancer or be president, but I know these students can. Ultimately, we must challenge them to be their best and fulfill their potential even when they don’t see it. Our satisfaction comes from knowing that students have traveled farther and benefited from the assistance we offer.”

View the feature online.