Samantha Dorisca

AFROTECH STAFF

Samantha Dorisca

Samantha Dorisca is a Houston-based journalist and photographer whose mission is to impact communities through the gift of storytelling using the written word or visual media. She completed her B.A at The University of Texas at Austin and is pursuing a M.A at The University of Memphis. Her work can be found on platforms such as Houstonia Magazine, Girls' Life Magazine, and Blacque Magazine. Samantha mainly reports on tech, trends, and entrepreneurship.

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How Nextdoor's Product Marketing and Multicultural Engagement Lead Reesha Howard Is Using Her Journey To Amplify Underrepresented Voices

Reesha Howard had an unconventional journey into her position as a tech executive. Born in the South Side of Chicago, IL, Howard recalls growing up to appreciate the differences in cultures and forging connections with people of color as well as with those who identified as queer. This was on full display while she attended Whitney M. Young Magnet High School. “It’s funny how when you take the time to reflect on how a journey started, you’ll notice all these clues along the way to where you were headed, long before you realized it…,” she mentioned. “ By the time I attended Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, I was deeply immersed in culture and always had strong connections with people of color and queer people.” Howard’s burgeoning advocacy later manifested in her career trajectory, which was uniquely challenging to embark upon. While attending Florida A&M University on a full-ride scholarship, she recalls feeling “ under-resourced” and “overwhelmed” with her responsibilities at...

Jun 17, 2024

11-Year-Old Quentin Hines' Interest In Lawn Mowing Started Once He Could Walk — Now, He's Turned It Into A Business Of His Dreams

11-year-old Quentin Hines is his own boss. According to CBS Mornings, Hines founded QJ’s Professional Lawn Care in 2022. His lawn-care company offers services like mowing, edging, weed treatments, and leaf pickup. His interest in lawn mowing began when he could walk, and he began to take greater control in mowing alongside his father when he was 8 years old. “I really enjoy it. It makes me feel very soothing,” Hines told CBS Mornings. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Quentin Hines Jr. Lawncare (@qjsprofessionallawncare) In the summertime, Hines invests extra time into his business. When he returns to school in the fall, his business activities are limited to weekends. Hines’ father Quentin Sr. and his mother Shirley run the business’s social media accounts to support their son’s business efforts. Hines’ fifth-grade classmates also support his business venture, and he is in the process of recruiting some of them to help expand his business. His overarching dream for his...

Jun 17, 2024

50 Cent And G-Unit Announce Housing Project In Shreveport, LA, With Aim To ‘Help Low To Moderate-Income Families Get Mortgages’

50 Cent plans to develop housing in Shreveport, LA. As Blavity previously shared, the Shreveport area is now home to the rapper’s G-Unit Studios, an extension of his G-Unit Films and Television company. The 985,000-square-foot property aims “to operate a production studio and/or activities and uses related to the promotion or development of the film, sound, light, movie, television, broadcasting, recording, and arts industries,” per a previous report by AFROTECH™. G-Unit Studios’ purpose includes giving opportunities to creatives and the community. 50 Cent has announced a three-phase plan to revitalize the area, with housing development being a focus area, according to KTAL-6 News in Shreveport. “We start building houses, and we have an idea to go into communities and help low- to moderate-income families get mortgages,” Orville Hall, G-Unit’s growth advisor, said per KTAL-6. Furthermore, plans will focus on supporting youth by creating new media programs. “We’re going to go to each...

Jun 17, 2024

Opal Lee Now Holds Ownership Of A Texas Property That Was Once Stripped From Her Family By Racist White Mob

Pioneer Opal Lee has received the keys to her new home. As AFROTECH™ previously reported, in 1939, 12-year-old Lee along with her family were removed from their home in Fort Worth, TX, by a racist white mob. “Just to know that there might be children that we could have played with, that we might have known their families,” Lee told CBS News Texas. “We just wanted to be good neighbors, that’s all.” The outlet also notes Lee never lost hope that she would one day own that very land. Her wishes would come true in January 2024 when she received a homecoming and a cquired ownership of the land that was stripped from her family. Building on this milestone, a home was recently constructed for Lee on the property, and she has received the keys to her new home. She was given the property for $10 thanks to North Texas organizations such as Trinity Habitat for Humanity and Texas Capital. Additionally, HistoryMaker Homes is credited for building the home free of charge, and JCPenney aided to...

Jun 17, 2024

New Orleans Teenager Elijah Hogan Overcomes Homelessness And Graduates At The Top Of His High School Class

Elijah Hogan’s life circumstances did not deter him from graduating high school at the top of his class. Hogan recently graduated from New Orleans, LA’s Walter L. Cohen High School. However, for more than a year while attending school, he lived at the Covenant House, a local homeless shelter, People reports. He learned about the shelter from his grandmother, a retired social worker. “Her lease form for the house that we all used to live in started to expire, and we only had 30 days until we had to move out. So, I took it upon myself to live independently,” Hogan told People . “She gave me some info about Covenant House and told me to continue on with my education. …Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to finish my high school years, giving me a place to stay, a place to eat, a place to sleep. I wouldn’t have been able to be where I’m at now.” In May 2024, Hogan graduated as the class valedictorian with a 3.89 grade point average. “Above all the trials, tests, and hardships, what...

Jun 14, 2024

Dr. Leeja Carter Created A Smart Refrigerator To Provide Healthy Food Options In Food Deserts Across New Jersey

After dedicating years to researching Black women’s health, Dr. Leeja Carter has developed a device to assist them. As a professor and a scholar, C arter had a desire to do more work within the community beyond the standard work on publications and presentations. Even in her academic role at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY, she said she felt like a spectator to the issues that were important to her. That all changed in 2020. “My research and work were really social determinants of physical activity and its impact on Black women’s health,” Carter told AFROTECH™. “And being in academia for 15 years as a Black woman researching Black women’s health, while I definitely had spaces of comfort, care, and support, I would say there were greater experiences where I still definitely felt like an outsider and felt that it was still an uphill battle to gain support to do the work that was so close to my heart.” She added, “When you’re in an academic space, what is currency is...

Jun 14, 2024

The First Student From LeBron James' I Promise School Graduates College

Anthony Claytor is the first I Promise School student to graduate from college. As AFROTECH™ previously reported, the school launched in Akron, OH, through the LeBron James Family Foundation, which was established in 2004 to “positively affect the lives of children and young adults through education and co-curricular educational initiatives.” The I Promise School came into fruition in 2017 through a partnership with Akron Public Schools (APS) and a committee of local leaders, educators, parents, and experts, Andscape reported. The school officially opened in 2018. “This school is so important to me because our vision is to create a place for the kids in Akron who need it most — those that could fall through the cracks if we don’t do something,” James said at the time, according to Andscape. “We’ve learned over the years what works and what motivates them, and now we can bring all of that together in one place, along with the right resources and experts. If we get to them early...

Jun 13, 2024

Who Was The First Woman To Sign To The Jordan Brand?

The Jordan Brand has attracted some of the world’s greats to its brand. However, that should come as no surprise when considering who is at the helm, NBA legend Michael Jordan. It all began when his mother, Deloris, stepped in to ensure he took a chance on signing with Nike. “My mother said, ‘You’re gonna go listen. You may not like it, but you’re gonna go listen,” Jordan said in ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary, according to NBC Sports. “She made me get on that plane and go listen.” Jordan was originally looking to sign with Adidas, but he would make his commitment to Nike known when he signed to the brand in 1984 under a five-year, $2.5 million deal, Sports Illustrated reports. Immediately, Jordan’s presence and the staple Air Jordan exceeded expectations with sales reaching $126 million within one year. By 1997, the Jordan Brand began operating independently and also added apparel and accessories. T oday its annual revenue exceeds $6.6 billion, per Sportico. What’s more the...

Jun 13, 2024

Ashlei Spivey Opens A Birthing Center In A Historic Black Business District Located In Nebraska

A birthing center has opened in North Omaha, NE’s historic Black business district. A ribbon-cutting celebration will kick off around 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, 2024, at 2306 N. 24th St. I Be Black Girl, a collective for Black women, femmes, and girls focused on Black-led investments, policy and power building, economic, and birth justice, will host the celebration, according to its website. The celebration will continue throughout the weekend with a Juneteenth Parade on Saturday, June 14, and the I Be Black Girl’s Heart, Soul, & Roll Community Stroll held the following day at 1 p.m. “We want it to be a celebration because it’s such a big milestone for addressing and creating solutions around our experiences as Black women, femmes, and girls,” Ashlei Spivey, the organization’s founder and executive director, said per Omaha World-Herald. Spivey is also running to represent District 13 in the Nebraska Legislature. The facility is called the Anarcha Center in honor of Anarcha...

Jun 13, 2024

Caleb Williams Scales His Presence In The Investment Space With 888 Midas Launch

Caleb Williams, rookie quarterback for the Chicago Bears, is scaling his interest in the investment space. While in college at the University of Southern California, Williams was among the first athletes to leverage name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals. He became a part- owner of the male grooming company Faculty in 2022, as AFROTECH™ previously reported. He was also the No. 1 draft pick in the 2024 NFL Draf t and was picked by the Chicago Bears . Now, Williams is scaling his interest in the investment arena by launching his own investment firm. Williams has established 888 Midas, which will “capitalize on select alternative investments in private equity, venture capital, and real estate,” according to a press release. His partners and advisors will support the firm. They include: Sherif Guirgis, former managing director of Main Street Advisors Ross Walker, co-founder and managing partner of Hawkins Way Capital, a multi-billion-dollar real estate enterprise John Terzian, co-founder...

Jun 13, 2024

Yo Gotti Didn't Know He Had To Pay Property Taxes On Houses He Paid Cash For — 'They Didn't Teach Me That In School'

Yo Gotti did not pay his property taxes for years due to a lack of information. During an interview with podcast “Earn Your Leisure,” the rapper revealed he was unaware he had to pay back taxes to the government. He viewed taxes as a celebration as he recalled the gifts he would receive from his mother around tax season. He didn’t know these gifts were likely coming because she had received a tax refund. “I grew up thinking, when you heard of taxes, my mama and ’em got tax money. That’s when we got new Jordans. We got new outfits… It was a celebration when it was tax time,” he said. “We was waiting on tax time. It was better than Christmas. So, I didn’t know… even in my early stages of getting money, I didn’t know we had to pay. I didn’t know because of a lack of information; they didn’t teach me that in school.” Lack of financial literacy carried over into how Yo Gotti did business too. As an investor in real estate early on, he purchased 10 to 15 homes with cash. However, he...

Jun 12, 2024

The First Black Vineyard Owner And Wine Producer In Mendocino County, CA, Is Giving Students Funding To Ensure More Come After Her

Theodora Lee is the first Black vineyard owner and wine producer in Mendocino County, CA. Lee’s introduction to wine began when she was 8 years old, while she was helping her grandfather on his cattle farm in Texas. By the 1980s, she had developed a personal interest in wine. ”My dad picked wild Muscadine grapes and made home brew,“ she told The Press Democrat. ”Given that Muscadine was my first introduction to wine, I found that sweet and syrupy wine nasty. I really had no taste for wine until I moved to California in the ’80s and learned about fine wine.“ Lee chose a path in law , working more than 36 years at the Littler Mendelson, P.C. law firm and splitting her time between Yorkville Highlands, CA; Oakland Hills, CA; and Dallas, TX. However, her passion for wine led her to add a new title to her resume: wine producer. “My first introduction to a grape farm was in Healdsburg, [CA], and specifically Dry Creek Valley,“ she said. “Walking that vineyard made me want to become a...

Jun 12, 2024

Kyle Morrand Started A Digital Platform Empowering Creators As A Side Hustle That Now Reportedly Makes $2M A Year

Kyle Morrand had an idea while living with his roommates. Now he’s turned it into a $2 million vision. The founder leads 302 Interactive, an Orlando, FL-based development studio leveraging game design and emerging technologies to create interactive media, its LinkedIn mentions. It connects clients to resources that supports augmented reality mobile applications, game development, virtual reality and immersive experiences with the aid of its in-house team of developers, designers, and artists. “…The business is a reflection of my own life, ambitions and creativity,” Morrand explained in an interview with Entrepreneur. “…I get to spend my days reshaping our relationship with technology to design lifestyles that are more playful and ultimately eliminate some of the symptoms of depression and anxiety that seem standard to modern-day living.” He says the idea dates back to his time at college in Apartment 302 where he lived with two roommates who were also passionate about gaming. “…The...

Jun 11, 2024

Shaquille O'Neal Is Giving 500 High School Students A Chance To 'Try College' For Free

Shaquille O’Neal’s new educational initiative is underway. As AFROTECH™ previously reported, O’Neal learned of the efforts of Tade Oyerinde, who founded and leads accredited online community college startup Campus, while reading a Forbes article about him. The startup had received a $29 million funding raise in 2023 with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Discord Founder Jason Citron leading its Series A funding round. “Shaq saw the Forbes article and had his team reach out, and he was just like, ‘This kid raised all this money from these guys.’ He thought it was unbelievable,” Oyerinde told AFROTECH™ at the time. O’Neal was so impressed that he wanted to get involved in Oyerinde’s mission. He is now an investor in the company and, most recently, is kicking off Campus’s latest initiative. According to a press release, O’Neal and Campus.edu plan to provide 500 high school students and recent graduates with access to business courses taught by college professors from top colleges and...

Jun 11, 2024

Founder Of Canvas Beauty Shares That She Has Become The First Known Person To Earn $1M Through A Single TikTok Live

Stormi Steele has seen firsthand the power of social media. Steele is the founder of Canvas Beauty, a beauty brand she conceived in a night, Forbes mentioned. It all started with a hair serum made with cayenne pepper in her kitchen, which she introduced to her clients at her hair salon. After her clients’ rave reviews, she was encouraged to sell the product. Now, Steele’s Hair Blossom Serum remains the leading product in its marketing sector, the outlet notes. “It just ended up having a life of its own after that,” Steele told Forbes. Steele found great success since the launch of her business in 2018. In its first year, Canvas Beauty sold more than 1 million units, according to information provided to AFROTECH™. In 2019, going viral led the business to earn 30,000 monthly orders compared to 6,000 before the exposure, per Forbes. However, the influx of orders prompted Steele and her husband and business partner, Courtney Beasley, to learn a quick lesson about running an online...

Jun 11, 2024