Student creates foundation to provide scholarships

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Jarrell Jackson

Lorenzo Harrison, freshman double major in secondary business education and business management has created a foundation that helps students who have given their time to volunteer in their community. 

Danielle McCollum

Lorzeno Harrison, freshman and double major in Secondary Business Education and Business Management, has started a foundation called Lorenzo Gives Back. This foundation awards scholarships to graduating high school seniors. Harrison was inspired to create this foundation after his years of volunteering since the age of twelve.

Harrison started off sorting clothes for a dress for success program, and began to like it more and more. “I came more often in the summertime … came every day in the summertime.” From there, he moved onto receptionist and then onto assistant to the teacher, where he helped students answer questions preparing for job interviews.

His experience with volunteering made him want to start Lorenzo Gives Back, Inc.  It started in June 2016, when he was given tickets to a Royals baseball game.

“I couldn’t attend. It was on a Sunday and I had a church event going on. I couldn’t go to the game so I decided to give them away.” He posted the tickets on Facebook, and decided to give them to a thirteen-year-old boy who had been battling cancer since the age of six.

Harrison said he always like the idea of starting a foundation, but didn’t want to wait until he passed away. He wanted to able to witness the students involved with Lorenzo Gives Back, Inc. success.

“We want to make a difference in people’s lives. [Our] goal is to be seen and well known in the community … usually when you turn on the TV, you don’t see good things … really we need to. People who are alive see the positive and not just the negative,” Harrison said.

Currently, Harrison has accepted an internship with the Disney program in Orlando, Florida. He will be leaving at the end of May, and returning in January 2018. He will be working with the marketing team, as well as in human resource roles. He is hoping to come back from the internship with more leadership skills for his team and his personal life, like church and other areas he is personally involved in.

As for the future of Lorenzo Gives Back, Inc., Harrison is extremely hopeful as the foundation is planning to branch out into other states. His team is currently working on the Joplin area, and other key areas for launching include Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; as well as hoping to work some stuff out with Orlando, Florida while he is there. He says they hope to reach a major city in each state. “Our goal is to hit every state by the end of 2018 or early 2019.”  Harrison says Lorenzo Gives Back, Inc. has other projects it’s working on as well, like a children’s book to come out in 2018, and some other programs that have not been released yet. “Right now we’re just getting out relationships developed … just transitioning and planning to make sure everything runs smoothly while I’m gone.”