Photo: Adam Vo
  /  11.15.2023

On Oct. 17, Walmart brought the third stop of the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to North Carolina Central University (NCCU). The tour’s aim is to provide students with the wisdom, resources, and platform that can help them cultivate their ideas and profit from their skills.

In honoring Walmart’s commitment to highlight talented students on campus, three NCCU students were given the space to showcase their side hustle.

Cameron Elyse, the founder of Cameron Elyse Productions, is a 19-year-old multimedia creative who specializes in fashion, film and entertainment. Fashion has been Cameron’s passion ever since she was a little girl drawing up concepts in her sketch pad. A couple of years ago, she openly wondered what the best way was to go about getting into the industry. The talent quickly discovered that the best way in was to become a skilled photographer and videographer, so that she could bring her concepts to life without having to rely on anyone else.

She wants her peers to know that it’s just as important to focus on the journey as it is the end goal because each step along the way comes with many lessons and growth experiences that will prove valuable in life and in that goal pursuit.

Like Cameron, Roshawnda Gongs discovered her side hustle at a very young age. Having watched her sister grow her own business as a hairdresser, Gongs experimented with different styles on mannequins when she was a kid. From there, the decision to cut her hair short in 2017 motivated her to look even deeper into hairdressing — and her passion for it only continued to grow. She considers her clients to be family and loves meeting likeminded creatives and young professionals to learn from, while conversing as she does their hair.

Terry Morrison Jr. is the founder of his own streetwear brand, StayDwnVzionary. His designs have a vintage aesthetic, and many are inspired by NASCAR t-shirt graphics from decades ago. He serves as “Mister Junior” at NCCU, a student-government role that positions him as the ambassador for his class to the entire campus. His goal is to, one day, design for luxury fashion brands and bring a unique flair to each one of them. Designing clothes has taught him to be more open-minded and patient because those traits will allow him to continue to push the creative envelope.

Actor Terrence J, television personality Kennedy-Rue McCollough, and lawyer John T. Rose also attended their third consecutive tour stop. They hosted another installment of the Walmart Black & Unlimited HBCU Tour Panel, where they gave students advice on how to make a profit from their side-hustle, and how to navigate the ups and downs that come with getting into the business world. Students lined up and asked insightful questions after the panel, and were even able to interact with each of the panelists after the event concluded.

And the HBCU Tour’s host, Atlanta-based influencer and talk radio show host Fly Guy DC, made sure it was the most entertaining tour stop yet. In addition to the live DJ, spin-the-wheel giveaway, and other activities, he added even more fun to the fray. The host curated an impromptu “finish the lyrics” competition and a “dance-off,” both featuring NCCU students. Students rallied around to either watch or participate in the festivities, and Fly Guy DC upped the ante by awarding cash prizes to the winners.

As the Walmart Black & Unlimited HBCU Tour moves from HBCU to HBCU, the enthusiasm is only growing.

We expect the energy to continue to build as the tour heads to Mississippi Valley State University.



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