Episode 63 : Brittany Wagner – “Last Chance U” star turned entrepreneur

Last Chance U academic adviser shares why she launched her company, Ten Thousand Pencils


Brittany Wagner is a nationally respected athletic academic counselor, life coach and motivational speaker. She garnered world-wide fame in 2016 as the television star of the hit Netflix documentary series, “Last Chance U”. Known for giving “troublemakers” their last chance at making it to the next level, Ms. Wagner was the vivacious, mentor and mother-figure to these young men – often times the driving factor behind their future successes. Wagner’s stardom has landed her interviews with ABC’s Nightline, The Dan Patrick Show, The Kidd Kraddick In the Morning Show, GQ, The New York Times and New York Daily News – to name a few. Her common question, “Do you have a pencil?” has become a phenomena across the world since the show’s debut.

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Episode 62 : How yoga saved the life of former NFL all-pro Linebacker, Keith Mitchell

NFL great shares how yoga helped him recover from a career ending injury 

Keith Mitchell, Master Certified Yoga Instructor, and former NFL all-pro Linebacker for the New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans, and Jacksonville Jaguars, turned to Yoga after a paralyzing tackle caused a spinal injury that ended his football career and forced him into the agony of early retirement at only 31 years old.  In his darkest hour, Keith discovered conscious breathing, yoga, and meditation.  As a result, he not only found healing but a whole new outlook on life.

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Higher education with Anthony Jenkins

Episode 28: Paying it Forward- Making an impact for future generations with West Virginia State University President, Dr. Anthony Jenkins

In celebration of Black History month, Get on the Box is pleased to present “Black Excellence: Sharing the stories of High Achievers.” In this month long series, we will publish two episodes per week (Wednesday and Sunday)  highlighting the accomplishments and contributions of nine African American High Achievers.


“I owe a lot of people.” – Dr. Anthony Jenkins

Welcome back storytellers!  Today’s High Achiever, is Dr. Anthony Jenkins, (@JenkinsWVSU11)

Anthony L. Jenkins, Ph.D., West Virginia State University’s 11th President effective July 1, 2016, is an established higher education leader committed to advocating for students and creating opportunity to higher education for all students, especially culturally under-represented groups. 
Born in Washington D.C., and raised between our nation’s capital and North Carolina, Jenkins is a vocal proponent for education and public policy issues. He has fostered meaningful dialogue within the national higher education community. His research, speeches and publications focus on crisis management, enrollment and retention, diversity, African-American male initiatives, first-generation college student success, state funding for higher education, mentoring and high-risk college campus behavior such as alcohol consumption and sexual misconduct.

Throughout his career, he has enhanced the quality of the university experience for students, developed and successfully implemented comprehensive retention and enrollment plans leading to greater access, opportunity and higher graduation rates; thereby enabling more individuals to improve their quality of life by earning a college education.

Jenkins began his path to West Virginia State University as a United States Army veteran and first-generation college graduate. Jenkins earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Tech University, a Master of Science degree from North Carolina Central University, and a Bachelor’s of Applied Science degree from Fayetteville State University.
Prior to leading the State family, Jenkins served as Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and, most recently, as the Senior Associate Vice President for the University of Central Florida – the nation’s second largest university. His career includes serving at Jackson State University, thereafter joining Virginia Tech’s Housing and Residence Life and later the Office of the Dean of Students. He remained at Virginia Tech until becoming the Assistant Dean of Students at Northeastern Illinois University. He later served as the Associate Dean of Students at the University of North Carolina Wilmington; and was recruited to serve as the Dean of Students at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

A supporter of quality higher education, he has served as a site evaluator for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). He has been inducted into several of the most prestigious academic honor, business and leadership societies in the nation: Alpha Kappa Psi; Phi Kappa Phi; Sigma Alpha Pi; Alpha Sigma Lambda; Omicron Delta Kappa; Alpha Phi Sigma; and Order of Omega.
Jenkins is married to Toinette Jenkins and they have two daughters.


  • The benefits of letting your children taste failure
  • The importance of mentors
  • Why you should define your own definition of success
  • The difference between a leader and a manager and a
  • The five essential qualities of a good leader
  • The greatest compliment a parent can give a University
  • How first generation college graduates break  generational cycles
  • Why families should give strong consideration to a state college
  • The expectation President Jenkins has of West Virginia State graduates
  • How the perception of two year college institutions have changed
  • Why West Virginia State implemented the Straight 2 State program 
  • How running a university is like being the CEO of a company
  • The myth of high cost education
  • What factors students should consider when selecting a college
  • and so much more


“I realized that everything she was doing, she was not doing it for herself, she was doing it for us.

“An educated person will always find opportunity to succeed.

“A people hire A people, B people hire C people.

“Size nor location should dictate your level of success.




Dr. Leroy A. Durant


Get on the Box  Episode 27 “Moments of Reckoning with Oliver Robinson.”

This episode is brought to you by HBCU Wallstreet  Their mission is to be the solution for increasing financial literacy, economic opportunities and wealth in the Black community, starting with our nation’s HBCU community. They aim to create an ecosystem that will position our nation’s HBCUs to be the epicenters for Black economic empowerment in their host communities. 


financial literacy knowledge summit
knowledge is profit


The Knowledge is Profit Summit is a 4 day virtual financial literacy event comprised of practical steps given by dynamic industry leaders and experts designed to equip attendees with tools to become more financial literate. This financial literacy summit will help you figure out how to: 

1. Create and follow a realistic budget 
2. Fix your credit report and raise your score 
3. Start saving by thinking more in, less out 
4. Purchase stocks in less than 30 days 
5. Learn how to get life insurance and why 
6. Learn how to start a profitable business to increase your monthly income



Thank you so much for checking out this episode of Get on the Box.  If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering inspiration through storytelling every week!

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SHARE YOUR VOICE What was your favorite quote, or lesson from this episode? We’d love to hear from you!


Episode 18: Take Your Shot with Henry Keculah, Jr.

“Winning scholarships is mostly about being able to tell your story and hitting the submit button.” – Henry Keculah, Jr.

Welcome back Story Tellers! Today’s main character is Henry Keculah, Jr. (@henrykeculahjr)

Henry is the founder and CEO of 4.0 of Growth Productivity Accountability (4.0 GPA). Brought up in Houston, Texas, Henry was raised in a single-parent home by a mother who migrated to the U.S. from Liberia. He was a first-generation citizen, and attended school in Alief ISD. While in school, Henry had been completely unaware of the important role that class ranking and GPA played when it came to attending college. He also had never gone on a college tour prior to attending his university’s summer orientation.

Thankfully, Henry was able to turn things around. In his junior year of high school, Henry learned that his GPA could determine not only what colleges he could have access to, but also which scholarships he could apply for, as well. He ended graduating from high school with a 2.5 GPA and gaining admission to The University of Texas at Austin despite not being in the “Top 10%” of his graduating class. In college, he applied himself further still – he finished his freshman year at The University of Texas with a 4.0 GPA, and would garner several scholarships over the course of his academic career there.

Upon graduating from The University of Texas, Henry was accepted into the Teach for America corps, with whom he served as a high school teacher in Houston. As an educator, Henry committed himself to giving his students the opportunities he had not had, so they would be better prepared for college. For example, he often took students on college tours to institutions throughout the United States. Even when he ended his tenure with Teach for America, he continued to take Houston-area students to college tours (like The University of Texas’s annual “Explore UT” event) on a yearly basis.

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Episode 17: Discover how to Brand You with Stephen A. Hart

“Your brand is the promise you make to your customers.” – Stephen A. Hart

Welcome back Story Tellers! Today’s main character is Stephen A. Hart (@stephenahart)

Born and raised in Jamaica, Stephen is a man of God, husband, father, brand and marketing strategist, serial entrepreneur,  and host of Trailblazers.FM Stephen is a highly sought after Digital Brand Strategist and Marketing Professional who LOVES to help individuals and businesses design, build, and optimize their brand, digital/social media and marketing strategy.

Stephen started Trailblazers.FM after growing frustrated with the media’s portrayal of black people.  The negative tone, and those touted as role models for black children usually include athletes, musicians, and reality television personalities.  Many black men and women are doing amazing things and Stephen uses the Trailblazers.FM platform to share their stories each week.

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Episode 16: Throw a party and just get started with Tara James

“I do whatever I need to do, to get the money to go, where I want to go.” – Tara James

Welcome back Story Tellers! Today’s main character is Tara James (@bymsjames). 

When Tara was younger, her father would buy her greeting cards filled with black imagery and messaging she could relate to.  At the time, Tara felt the cards were “super corny,” and never understood why giving her a card  with a black image gracing the cover and a message on the inside she could relate to, meant so much to her father.

As is often the case, Tara’s perspective has changed with time, particularly with the birth of her son. Like her father, Tara had a burning desire to recreate and (re)inspire others with positive and relatable images of black people. 

By Ms James is a paper goods and greeting card company based on the real life experiences and adventures of Tara James. Like Tara, each card contains a funny, honest, quirky, lovable and extremely relatable message.  Her beliefs are her own but are shared with and by many. 


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Episode 15: Helping millennials skyrocket to success with Jonathan Jones

‘I’m living on purpose, living to empower and inspire students and millennials” – Jonathan Jones

Welcome back Story Tellers! Today’s main character is Jonathan Jones (@jonathanjonesspeaks). 

Millennials are easily the most scrutinized and misunderstood generation of my lifetime. Often labeled as entitled, self adsorbed, and lazy,   Jonathan is out to shatter these notions by living on purpose. He’s on a mission to empower and inspire students and millennials with his weekly “Process to success series,” keynote presentations, and student development sessions. Truly on a mission to help millennials and students achieve success, Jonathon wrote Process, 14 Surprisingly Simple Behaviors to Skyrocket Millennials to Success

Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Jonathan Jones is the youngest of two boys. Always encouraged by his loving parents to reach for the stars, Jonathan attended Richland College and played for the men’s 2009 Junior College National Championship basketball team while earning an Associate Degree. Jonathan has always had the heart to serve others but especially wants to facilitate youth to pursue a better tomorrow.

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Episode 14: Entrepreneurship is a mindset and can’t be taught, with Greg Henzel

  “I wasn’t willing to trade my time wholesale to someone who would then retail it out.”  -Greg Henzel

Welcome back Story Tellers! Today’s main character is Greg Henzel, aka The Saving Swami (@savingswami). 

A serial entrepreneur and ultimate hustler, Greg has always had a passion for building businesses from the ground up.  As Saving Swami, helping businesses and families save money is a top priority.  All businesses, large and small, can benefit from The Saving Swami’s negotiating expertise and complementary wise counsel. While at the bargaining table lowering your monthly invoices, the Swami will make sure there are no errors or mistakes made by your vendors.

Subscribe on Apple Podcast | Google Play Music | Stitcher Radio| Soundcloud 

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Episode 13: Making time for what’s important with US Marine Corps Veteran, Anthony Guadagnino

‘If you can hit a target of 500 meters, you can cut that straight and perfect  ” – Anthony Guadagnino

Welcome back Story Tellers! Today’s main character is Anthony Guadagnino (@veteranmadeny). 

guads headshot

Anthony (aka Guads) is a United States Marine Corps OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) Veteran and current US Army SFC (Sergeant First Class) whose gone from defending the flag to building them, as owner and lead carpenter of Veteran Made Woodworks.

Anthony is full of passion, and non-stop energy. 

Bonus coverage:  Want to know about our chance encounter? Of course you do.  Click here or the audio link above.  Here’s a hint, it involved cigars and the Repshaver.

During this wide ranging conversation,  we discussed:

  • How a simple D.I.Y. project served as a springboard to his business
  • Why he wanted to be a Marine
  • Best advise he’s received from mentors
  • Having an entrepreneurial mindset
  • Making time for what’s important
  • How previous life experiences and jobs have helped him as a business owner
  • The meaning behind each flag
  • Learning on the go
  • And so much more…

I’m saddened to share of the sudden passing of “Gus.” However, I’m glad I was able to capture a few moments of embrace between him and Anthony.  Gus will be forever cherished by the Guadagnino family.

Please Enjoy!

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Episode 12: Putting yourself in a winning environment with chef Jawed Halepota

  “I have a deep life long love for food.” -Jawed Halepota

Welcome back Story Tellers! Today’s main character is chef Jawed Halepota (@ja_wed_chef). 

A former high-school dropout, Jawed has built lifelong relationships which have afforded him the opportunity to travel to Europe and South America as personal chef to former NY Knick, Kevin Seraphin,  execute private dinner parties for members of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, and most recently, become the personal chef to Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics.

Jawed credits much of his success to building strong relationships, surrounding himself with winners, and taking full advantage of life changing opportunities that come his way. 

Subscribe on Apple Podcast | Google Play Music | Stitcher Radio| Soundcloud 
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