Boris Kodjoe

What an amazing celebration party

This weekend we celebrated an idea. With the help of some amazing friends including Angela Bassett, Nicole Ari Parker, Felicia D. Henderson, and Dr. Pearl E. Grimes. We launched a way to help kids grow believing they can accomplish anything.

The beautiful thing is that now anyone can give their children this powerful gift. Join the community of people who believe in the next generation by joining us here.

By making a book that features a child you are close to you on the cover or your own child on the cover, you are giving them a powerful gift that will encourage them forever. 

Caption: Guests at the Kickstarter launch party for the Future American Dream project.

Caption: Guests at the Kickstarter launch party for the Future American Dream project.

Caption: Photographer Matthew Jordan Smith speaking at the launch party.

Caption: Photographer Matthew Jordan Smith speaking at the launch party.

Caption: Actress Angela Bassett and photographer Matthew Jordan Smith at the launch of Future American Dream project for Kickstarter.   

Caption: Actress Angela Bassett and photographer Matthew Jordan Smith at the launch of Future American Dream project for Kickstarter.

 

Actor Boris Kodjoe, Oregon's featured subject for Future American President, and photographer Matthew Jordan Smith at Kickstarter launch party.   

Actor Boris Kodjoe, Oregon's featured subject for Future American President, and photographer Matthew Jordan Smith at Kickstarter launch party.

 

Caption: Celebrating the launch of Future American Dream on Kickstarter.

Caption: Celebrating the launch of Future American Dream on Kickstarter.

Join us today and help empower children everywhere to dream big.

Kickstarter Link: http://kck.st/1UOLOn0

 

 

 

Vanessa Williams, Boris Kodjoe, Sky Torres, Ami Torres, Raine Torres, Darryl Havens, Mike Freeze, Quentin Gunn, Chaz Guest, Lisa Butler, Sofie Kodjoe, Nicholas Kodjoe, Keith B. Dixon, 

Zendaya's Top 5 Social Media Tips

Today you can watch Zendaya on the Boris & Nicole Show as she gives her top 5 social media tips of the day.  Zendaya also talks about writing the foreword for Future American President, and her new Disney show, KC Undercover. This is the first major press for Future American President leading up to the big launch on September 12th. with a celebrity book party hosted by Angela Bassett.

Zendaya as seen in Future American President

Zendaya as seen in Future American President

The show invited me down as a VIP guest along with 20 kids who were surprised as Zendaya dropped in backstage to hug each of them and pose for photo's. It was great to see the kids expressions and hear their comments after getting to see her in person and watch the show.

Afterwards, I hung out backstage with Boris, Nicole and  comedian Chris Spencer. We talked about the launch event, Japan, relationships and more. Before leaving Chris expressed how he wanted Future American President for his kids and I told him I'd keep him informed on the launch date for the special edition version of the book. 

I watched the taping of two other celebrity segments of the show and was surprised to see Loretta Devine and Holly Robinson Peete. Both women are included in my first book, Sepia Dreams and I enjoyed seeing them again.

Loretta Devine

Loretta Devine

Holly Robinson Peete

Holly Robinson Peete

As I left Hollywood and tried to navigate my drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic, I thought about the show and wished I could have brought my Nikon 810 camera out with me. TV shows hate camera's, cell phones and other recording devices so they are banned from the set.

Have a great Tuesday and always dream big!

 

TALK SHOW - What Your Kids Will Learn

In a moment, FUTURE AMERICAN PRESIDENT will receive its first major press. We are moments away from doing our first talk show speaking about the book. Three celebrities associated with the book are the feature of today's show, and I, am a VIP guest in the audience. 

There are several educational elements in Future American President, and I hope we get to speak about them today. As a visual person, I wanted to make sure the book was able to teach children about America, past presidents, and iconic people from each state.

To do this, instead of a traditional table of contents, we sequenced the book in the order that each state became part of the Union. Children can look at the timeline and learn the year each state became part of the United States. 

There is also a FUTURE AMERICAN PRESIDENT map. By viewing the books map, children will be able to learn the birth state of the current president and each past president. They will also be able to quickly see which states have never given birth to a president. As a bonus, each president's name is accompanied by the years they served in office, making the book a great reference tool for kids. 

Throughout the book, children will be able to learn as they turn the pages and read about their peers in every state, but as they look at each state they will also learn about great American's born in each state. For example, in Missouri, children can learn about Misty Copeland, Walker Evens and Al Hirschfeld, who were all born in Missouri.

The only thing that could make this book better is if you were able to include YOUR child in the book. Well, on September 15th you will have that chance. Starting at 9:00 a.m. on September 15th, and running for only 30 days, you will be able to order a special edition version of the book featuring your child on the front and back cover.

To have your email added to the list for updates regarding the special edition book and to receive a FREE video tutorial on photographic lighting click the link below.

Always dream big

You Are Not Alone – The California Story

Have you ever felt like you were the only person in the world going through a difficult time? Just the feeling of thinking you are the only one dealing with your problem can make it harder to deal with.

During the making of Future American President, it was important to find children with disabilities, but finding children on the road would be challenging. I know a family in California with a disabled child and asked if I could include their daughter in the book. I didn’t want her to be the only child in the book with a disability so I sought to find others.

I shared my vision of including other children with disabilities with friends, and a buddy told me he knew a woman whose child suffered from a disability, but he wasn’t sure about the specifics of her condition. I asked if I could speak with the mother and my friend made the introduction. The first time I spoke on the phone with the mother she was curious about the project and told me she would like for me to meet her daughter first. We made an appointment and a week later I was knocking on their front door.

I was greeted at the door by the child’s grandmother, who welcomed me into their home and spoke at length about my project. Twenty minutes later I was introduced to the mother and learned more about her daughter. As she shared information she explained that her daughter has been in a wheelchair all her life. The more she spoke the more my interest grew in meeting and speaking with her ten-year-old daughter. After about 45 minutes, I still had no idea about her daughter’s particular disability, and then, she told me.

When the mother first mentioned her daughter’s disability I couldn’t believe my ears, but then she shared something that really threw me. She said her daughter feels like she is the only child in the world dealing with her disability. In that moment, I knew God had led me to meet this little girl.

Her daughter has Spina Bifida, a birth defect that affects the spine and is preventable by taking folic acid before and during the first three months of pregnancy. I was shocked to learn of  her daughter’s disability because the first child I photographed with a disability also has Spina Bifida.

Now it was time to meet her daughter. The first moment we met I loved her energy and zest for life. She talked with me for a while and seemed wise beyond her years. She was beautiful, intelligent and strong willed, the perfect combination of qualities necessary to become a future leader. As we spoke, she told me she feels like she is the only child suffering from Spina Bifida, even though she knew there were others somewhere. I told her I knew of another little girl with Spina Bifida and that she too, is included in the book. She was surprised, so I asked her if she’d like to meet the other little girl. She said yes, and I promised I would speak with the other child’s parents and see what I could arrange. Before I left, I shared the story about one past American president who lead the country from his wheelchair, and explained to her that she could do anything in her life if she just believed it was possible. We set up a date to do the photo shoot and I called the other parents as soon as I left to see if they were available to meet my newfound friend.

 

On the day of the photo shoot the other parents met me at the shoot location with their daughter and both girls had a chance to meet, and I photographed them together to remember the moment. The connection for everyone involved was wonderful because the first parents have a foundation that helps children suffering from Spina Bifida and were able to give useful information to my latest subjects mother.

 

I left this photo shoot feeling intense emotions because my new friend now knows she isn’t suffering by herself. What I didn’t know is that my journey would lead me to meet another child in Tennessee months later who also has Spina Bifida, but even that wouldn’t be the last child with a disability included in the book.


Always Dream Big