LIVINGSTON, NJ — Homeschooled Livingston teen Shaniyah White recently hosted a fundraiser to help donate a laptop to her hometown’s Senior, Youth and Leisure Services (SYLS) department for senior programming. Thanks to the proceeds brought in through a bake sale she held during the annual SYLS Senior Adult Forum, White was able to purchase and donate the laptop.
Mayor Al Anthony said that as a council member, it’s “always a pleasure to meet special people” like White.
“Shaniyah’s fundraising ability and generosity makes her special,” he said. “Such kindness makes me feel good about our young people and what’s in store for the future.”
White, who has raised funds for many noble organizations, has also spoken at many events. As an entrepreneur, White founded a nonprofit organization called Born to Rise Foundation, Inc., whose mission is to “provide mentorship to youth focused on building self-empowerment and leadership skills while helping them launch their passion and purpose into the world,” she said.
The 17 year old has also participated in a long list of philanthropic projects, such as partnering recently with the Cosy Cupboard Tea Room in Morristown to host a Recovery Tea Fundraiser event for The Burn Center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center.
She also volunteers for the Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors food pantry (CHOW), and is a volunteer coach for the Essex Special Skaters charity program, helping special needs athletes of all ages learn how to skate. She is also currently training skaters at the Summer 2019 Championship Figure Skating Camp at the Richard J. Cody Arena in West Orange.
White also volunteers for the Techie Teens Tutors Club technology instructional sessions for senior citizens in Livingston.
In addition, White volunteers for homeless families receiving temporary shelter through Interfaith Hospitality Network of Essex County at Temple B'nai Abraham in Livingston.
Additionally, White has served as a motivational speaker “at various venues designed to empower, enlighten, and encourage youth.”
‘I am passionate about using my God-given gifts to serve the community,” she said. “My mission is to empower, enlighten and encourage others.”
Some of White’s speaking engagements have included:
- Speaker and judge for the Handling Your Business Finale entrepreneur commercials at the East Orange 2015 and 2018 Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP) Ceremony in East Orange.
- Keynote speaker at NJDC Cares, Inc. 3rd Annual Scholarship Awards Banquet.
- Speaker at the Black Student Union (BSU) Black History Celebration at the County College of Morris (CCM) as well.
- Keynote speaker for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) 2017 Graduation at Rutgers Business School in Newark.
- Speaker at the Handling Your Business entrepreneur workshop at Cicely Tyson School of Performing & Fine Arts in East Orange that year as well.
Not only does she operate her nonprofit organization, but White is also the founder, chief executive officer and chairwoman of Shavonne LaBre, L.L.C., a hand-made jewelry company she founded March 2010 when she was in second grade. White has accumulated nine years of experience in sales and marketing while running her business.
When White isn’t running her nonprofit organization or jewelry company, speaking at engagements, fundraising for good causes, volunteering her time or doing homework, she enjoys singing and is a member of the Taiwanese Presbyterian Church Choir in Livingston.
She also plays in a local guitar club that performs for charity events and enjoys figure skating, writing, painting and horseback riding. White also said she aspires to be an attorney.