There are multiple reasons why I decided to launch this website. When I got to Yale, I immediately felt very detached from home, and I felt like I wasn't having as much as an impact on Oakland as I needed to have. So I began to think about methods to stay connected with my home town and also continue to mentor and offer advice to the many youth that look to me as a role model. I synthesized different aspects of media and writing I had learned from my peers and own mentors to create the Oakland2Ivy platform. From my long term family friend and mentor Samuel Cain, I learned the value and importance of imagery. He taught me about positive image reinforcement and encouraged me to continue to put my face in the media in order to alter the negative stereotypes that have been pinned to black men. Check out Sam's work at samuelcaindiary.tumblr.com. From my mentor Jareem Gunter, I learned the importance of putting others before yourself, and how I could play my part in helping uplift young black men in America. Jareem is who inspired me to begin writing my book, after I witnessed him go through the entire process of writing and publishing his work, The Man Book. Check him out at themanbook.org. From Stacy Tarver, I learned the aesthetics of website design and artistic expression. I was introduced to Stacy through the Jackie Robinson Foundation (the greatest scholarship organization ever) and after meeting her I came across her site. I loved the design and layout, and many parts of my site are modeled after hers. Check her out at stacytarver.com. My final inspiration came from D'Andre Carr, a graduate student at Yale's Business School, SOM. When he launched his site, applyingwhileblack.com, I realized how important perspectives from people who had actually experience in specific fields were to future generations who may be considering those fields. I read every single post on his blog and it has helped me tremendously in terms of deciding what I want to do post undergrad. So, by combining these four inspirational individuals and my own personal experience, I came up with Oakland2ivy.com the site, and Oakland2ivy.org the blog. To top it all off, I had the honor of working with HackTheHood and one specific student, Abel Regalado, to make my website actually come to fruition. Check out Abel's work at engineerabel.com The goal of this site is to hopefully inspire future generations, specifically people of color, to pursue their educational dreams and intellectual interests. I want to use my life and personal experiences as a testament to what a black kid from an inner-city in America is capable of.