Don’t Let Anything Stop You From Making a Difference

“I was 12. I was getting beat in a foster home with a metal clothes hanger. The hanger got caught on the back of my neck. The metal sunk into my neck. I started bleeding. I screamed in pain. I still have the scar.”

The foster home where Nigel was beaten was one of thirty two foster homes he lived in growing up. In other foster homes Nigel was molested… sexually assaulted. Close friends and family members are dead… drugs… gangs… life in a world of poverty and despair.

Nigel (L) age 6, with his brother and “keeper.”

That’s not Nigel’s story. He broke out. It wasn’t easy

. He sold drugs. He went to jail. But… Nigel also went to college. He graduated. He is an African American in a world of computer technology with very few leaders of color. Just three percent of Apple’s leaders are black… two point five percent at Google.

Top 50 Tech Visionary award winner.

“I’m alive because I chose another way. I chose to go ahead and be more than what I came from.”

More!? A lot more. Nigel is a father… husband… teacher… entrepreneur. The 27 year old is The Chief Technology Officer here at Sparkt. He builds the backbone of just about everything you see on Sparkt. He’s flat out brilliant.

Nigel, his wife and daughters.

Nigel’s impact goes well beyond Sparkt. This summer in Buffalo, NY he started his “Dreamers Program.” Nigel taught young black students from low performing schools how to code. Coding is the programming language of a computer. Every line of code tells the computer to do something. Computer coders can become great success stories. One of Nigel’s students, Lisa Littleton told a Buffalo NY television station: “I was able to learn things that will change my life forever.”

Nigel is just just getting started.”My dream is to build generational wealth and knowledge for millions of black kids,” says Nigel. I believe he will do that. When I hired Nigel, I knew none of this. He was sent to me by a business partner who described him as extraordinary. He is. The other day Nigel told me “If it wasn’t for my intelligence, I’d be dead.”

Nigel lives the Sparkt mantra “Start Something Good.”
Nigel is out there doing it…every day. What are you doing to make a difference? It’s never to late to start. Let us know here at Sparkt if we can help.

About Marty Griffin
Marty is a past recipient of three prestigious Regional Emmys for Outstanding Investigative Reporting and also won a Broadcast Achievement Award for an undercover story about Michael Irvin and the Dallas Cowboys. He was named the Best Talk Show Host in Pittsburgh in 2008 for the Pittsburgh Achievement in Radio Awards. Marty shakes things up weekdays 9 am to noon on KDKA Radio.

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