Quashon Mayes, 24, from Camden, New Jersey escaped the stereotypes and distractions of his environment to become a college graduate and entrepreneur. He had to overcome a lot growing up; for instance, his upbringing of being raised in a single parent home, by his mother automatically put him at his disadvantage being from Camden.
Instead of what statistics may predict, Mr. Mayes had a chip on his shoulder and didn’t realize it until he was exposed to life outside of Camden; the motivation, resilience, and determination that comes with being from what is considered the bottom, named the nation’s poorest city and always ranked in the top 5 for violence.
Mayes’ first and undying passion is football and like most men growing up, he made it a career beginning from middle school all the way into his arena league pro career that was almost cut short. After being victim in a car accident that would end most players’ careers, Quashon continues to push himself to be a pro athlete and be an inspiration to others. In the accident, he shattered his hip and went through a grueling rehab allowing him more time to read and focus on finding other passions in life.
I’ve known this young man for 9 years and never knew his most amazing talents until recently when I found out like myself he is a poet, positive spirit, youth advocate, has an undeniable thirst for knowledge, and motivational demeanor.
At Albright University in Pennsylvania, Quashon studied to become a history major where he was exposed to world renowned poet, William Shakespeare. However, even though he studied Shakespeare, Quashon was still drawn to the great poetic work of Hip-Hip legend, Tupac Shakur, whom he was a lifetime fan of.
He shared with me his belief that expression could be a connector between all things, especially the power and faith in love. One of his good childhood friends Jose Purnell would always tell him “You could write about your life,” never knowing the impact those words would have on Quashon.
Recently Mr. Mayes put those words into action as he published his first independent poetry E-book “Lost in the Mayes” which can be located at www.lulu.com/spotlight/olo4ever. In addition to being a great poet and excellent football player, he exposes us to so much more of his talents.
Quashon coaches’ youth in football by assisting them to better themselves and to work within their passions. I am humbled by his humbleness and it is refreshing to know that not only do the kids need him, but he need them as well. He stated that he learned just as much from them as he teaches because the kids push him to be better and work harder.
Mr. Mayes and other friends from the city have started a movement entitled, #oloviews, a new entertainment company that is the one stop shop for party needs, music production, blogging, social media management, and more. They recently partnered up with city politicians on Tuesday, June 6th, which was election day, where they brought a new era of change to the city.
This is just the one of many great representations of self-started Black Owned Businesses with a positive outlook that is taking initiative and participating in local politics by promoting candidates who will bring the essential tools in to help other young entrepreneurs get businesses started.