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OCCUPATION Founder, SB.TV
Making The Guardian's list of Top Young Entrepreneurs is no mean feat; especially when you're just 20-years-old. Jamal Edwards, founder of the leading online youth broadcaster SB.TV, boasts over 60 million views and thousands of unique subscribers to the site. SB.TV features interviews, exclusive performances and behind-the-scenes footage with hip-hop, grime, and R&B performers- putting the spotlight on stars as well as up and comers.
Starting out four years ago with just a hand-held camera and a YouTube account, Edwards' pioneering site has attracted attention from some of the most influential businessmen from around the globe. With all of SB.TV's success, it's Jamal's love of music that still drives the brand: "We showcase talent, not status."
THE UPTON BROTHERS
OCCUPATION Brothers and MLB Outfielders
Millions of baseball players never get the chance to play at the highest level. So having two of the best players in the MLB come from the same family seems almost impossible. Impossible until you hear how hard the Uptons work to accomplish their goals of course. At 4 years old, B.J. would wait by the door for his dad to get home to play catch. Justin is three years younger and always had his brother to challenge him.
Today, they're the first brothers in MLB history to be drafted number one and two overall and both made their big league debuts while still teenagers. The yards they play in may have changed, but they still push each other to work hard and improve.
GHETTO FILM SCHOOL
OCCUPATION Breading ground for the next great American storyteller
Joe Hall felt everyone needed the chance to be heard and tell their story. He took that vision and started the non-profit Ghetto Film School in 2000, giving teens in his South Bronx neighborhood the chance to learn about all aspects of the film making process.
Each year a small group of applicants get admitted into the fifteen-month Fellows program. The teens have gotten a chance to pitch their stories to insiders and even rub elbows with filmmakers like David O. Russell and Lee Daniels. Most importantly, they're all getting a chance to express themselves in a creative way.
OCCUPATION MLB First Baseman
From the very first time Joey Votto picked up a baseball, he strived to play to the best of his ability. This determination has paid off for Joey through all of his playing days.
It paid off in 2002 when he was drafted right out of high school by the Cincinnati Reds, it paid off in the minors when he collected the Southern League AA MVP and International League AAA Rookie of the Year awards, and now it's paying off in the Major Leagues. In 2010, Votto led his Reds to the playoffs, was selected to the All-Star Game, and won the National League MVP.
You may have seen him on YouTube with his "I Hate College" remix - because it has over 3 million views. But did you know he emerged into the music industry as an independent artist? Oh, and he's a direct descendant of John Quincy Adams. Which is just cool no matter how you look at it.
His EP "Boston's Boy" jumped to number one on the iTunes Hip-Hop chart in March 2010, blowing right by Lil Wayne and Jay Z. So riding that wave of sudden fame, he's touring the college circuit and is rarely seen without a New Era cap.
Did we mention he's a college senior? Talk about doing what you want to do how you want to do it. Go, Sam.
OCCUPATION MLB Baseball Centerfielder
He spent the first 6 years of his career with the Detroit Tigers. But now, he's centerfielder for MLB's New York Yankees. He arrived in New York via a trade just before the 2010 season. That same season, he had 20 homers, 20 steals, 20 doubles and 20 triples. That was a first for the MLB. In fact, his first Yankee at-bat, was a homer.
But he's not just a great athlete. He's a great inspiration. Off the field, Granderson has served as an ambassador for Major League Baseball International. In appreciation, Commissioner Bud Selig wrote in a thank you letter, "There are so many fine young men playing Major League baseball today, but I can think of no one who is better suited to represent our national pastime than you."
He's even written a book, All You Can Be: Dream It, Draw It, Become It! It shares lessons he learned growing up — like the importance of family, choosing the right friends and the value of being yourself. He flies his own flag. And he flies it high.
OCCUPATION Toy Designer
Tristan could have just been a graffiti artist. Or an illustrator. But instead, he did both and then became a toy designer. He's a modern-day renaissance man and a prominent figure on the urban toy scene.
He says art school was, "utterly useless" and is completely self-taught. Although he's lived in London, Detroit and Michigan, he currently calls New York home. It's where he serves as the President and Creative Director of Thunderdog Studios, Inc., a designer toy brand and creative agency.
As a creative leader in the advertising world, he regularly consults brands like Hasbro, Pepsi and Nike on projects. His work can be seen at the Cooper Hewitt Museum and in the permanent collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art.
OCCUPATION Jewelry Designer
Osamu is the creative director for Complete Technique, a Brooklyn-base jeweler that creates pieces inspired by audio equipment.
His pieces are carried in stores from the United States to Sweden, Japan and beyond. He says his jewelry resonates with people who wear street wear — like DJs, producers and musicians. In fact, to cater more to this crowd, he began making pendants of skateboards, cameras and even guns. Yes, guns.
But hey, someone's got to do it.
Dave is an American hip hop dance teacher, choreographer and talent developer. If you've seen "Stomp the Yard" or "Step up 3D" you've seen his work. Haven't seen those? He's also the hip-hop choreographer for "So You Think You Can Dance."
But here's the thing. He's never taken a dance class. No training. No teachers. Just years spent watching musicals and Michael Jackson videos. Plus a healthy dose of inspiration.
We'd like him even if he didn't have over 70 New Era Caps. But he does. So that's a plus.
This poet, rapper, artist, illustrator, videographer and writer is inspiring people all over the place. He is part of a lyrical/spoken word group called "The Mayhem Poets," which was described by The New York Times as "The Simpsons meets Malcom X at a Notorious B.I.G concert."
But that's not all. He recently wrote a book called "Food Fight." It's a lighthearted illustrative story book about healthy vs. unhealthy foods. He brings his style to everything he does. And he's a huge New Era fan. So, he's got that going for him, too.
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