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Scholarships, mentoring bloom from family tragedy

Stacy M. Brown | 5/2/2014, 6 a.m.
Aisha DaCosta and her siblings grew up on old-fashioned principals instilled in them by Jamaican-born parents: get an education, a ...
2013 scholarship recipients Morgan Greene (University of Miami) and Thaakirah Cason (University of Baltimore) with Aisha DaCosta (center), founder and executive director of “I Am O’Kah! Inc,” a nonprofit that serves the Greater Baltimore area by providing urban youth with opportunities through mentorship, education and scholarships. Courtesy Photo

— In total, “I am OKah!” has distributed scholarships to students at McDaniel College, the University of Baltimore, Baltimore City Community College and the University of Miami.

“The tweaking of our parents’ plan is teaching children today from a young age how to take their thoughts, creativity and imagination and turn their innovation into income,” DaCosta said. “By this method, they will have several years of practice, with their parents’ support. It’s a good time to practice business. What we’re trying to do with entrepreneurship is use it in live as a proactive approach to help our children unlock their greatest potential and for them to not be afraid to step out of the box.”

She says that’s what her sister envisioned and she is committed to carrying that torch.

The organization’s first big gala titled “Be Amazing” is aimed at continuing DaCosta’s crusade against socio-economic barriers to success will be held on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at the Maryland Historical Society located at 201 W. Monument Street in Baltimore City at 7 p.m.

In repeating the theme from the organization’s 2013 annual report, DaCosta says that it’s important that will and skill are instilled in young children.

“The size of the expectations you hold for yourself fuels your willingness to put in a massive amount of effort into attaining your goals,” she said.

For more information about “I am OKah,” or to purchase tickets to the event, visit: www.iamokah.org.