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    Photo Hasan Stephens

    June 25, 2021

    Investing in This Community

    The ability to empathize with others. To be resilient in the face of challenges. To balance multiple and sometimes competing priorities. These are the qualities that Hasan Stephens believes make great entrepreneurs. Stephens has drawn upon them himself as the founder of the Good Life Youth Foundation, an organization committed to ending cycles of poverty, incarceration and violence through hip hop culture and entrepreneurship. Now he is nurturing them in the students he works with as an entrepreneur-in-residence (E.I.R.) at Le Moyne.

    As E.I.R., Stephens’ chief aim is to provide students with opportunities to gain real-world experience to supplement what they learn in the classroom. This includes allowing several students who have created retail products the opportunity to sell them at a brick-and-mortar location in downtown Syracuse known as The Life. The store gives individuals like Goodline Marshall ’21, founder of the beauty company Abelle, the opportunity to put their ideas in the marketplace, gain feedback from the community, and solve problems in real time. Now Stephens and his fellow E.I.R. James Shomar are collaborating with Martin Babinec, the author of More Good Jobs, to create an online community comprised of entrepreneurs from Le Moyne and the surrounding community. As they network and learn from one another, the possibilities are endless.

    “The best companies have a social mission centered on investment in the community,” Stephens says. “More and more major corporations are creating charitable foundations or encouraging their employees to give back. We need to nurture this desire to give back in the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.”


    Explore the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity