CHICAGO—CEO Superheroes is a Chicago-based collaborative that provides S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) education, golf, entrepreneurial and life skills to youth and young adults, ages 16-24, and their families year-round.
This spring the collaborative partnered with Qadir Hakim, a.k.a. “Goalden Chyld”, with his Unity Campaign, for a joint Youth Entrepreneurial Pop-Up Experience at Mama Africa’s Marketplace, located at 2100 E. 71st Street.
The pop-up was held on Saturday, April 15, where several youth vendors displayed and sold products they made. “CEO Superheroes sponsored our first Unity concert, and in turn the president of Superheroes invited me to be part of today’s community event, which is in alignment with everything that we do,” said Qadir Hakim.
Fahad Muhammad is an 11-year-old entrepreneur and student at Muhammad University of Islam in Chicago. Fahad is a member of the CEO Superheroes, where he was taught how to make body butter, and in turn, now makes and sells his own brand.
“I really like being in the program because we are learning how to golf, make body butter, and (do) robotics. I’m getting ready to learn how to create animation, and I would recommend my friends join this program,” said Fahad, who is the grandson of Nation of Islam Student Assistant Supreme Captain and Martial Arts Grandmaster Abdul Azziz Muhammad and Sister Azziza Muhammad.
“My grandson has been in this program for a few years now, and his grades are really good. There were some issues going on but with this program and others, he’s focused,” stated Brother Abdul Azziz Muhammad.
“The golf program has really been going good and the children are excited about doing the 3D printing for the race cars. The program is showing the children that their interests are not just fun and games, it’s a way of making a living. This is a phenomenal program,” stated Sister Azziza Muhammad.
Raimonda Pierce is president of CEO Superheroes which was started in 2017. “We wanted a multigenerational organization that focused on family, youth, and unity. We wanted to promote programs for entrepreneurship as well as S.T.E.A.M. development. This program is offering opportunities to the youth to be prepared for what’s coming in the next generation,” she said.
“Today’s event is an opportunity for our young entrepreneurs to sell their products as well as give other organizations that support us an opportunity to introduce themselves to the community.”
Dion Madkins is the founder and CEO of Hit It Straight Golf Academy. “I have been immersed in golf my whole life, and I have been a PGA golf teacher for the past five years. I started my golf academy in 2019, and I partnered with CEO Superheroes a year and a half ago,” she said. Golf is a sport that at one point, Blacks were not allowed to play.
“At one point Black people were only allowed to caddie (carry bags and clubs) but not play. Once the caddy started making 15 percent of the winnings, Black people were no longer allowed to be a caddy. Golf is needed in our community; it teaches you to govern yourself.”
As a partner of CEO Superheroes, Hit It Straight Golf Academy provides the S.T.E.A.M. component to the program on Sundays at the Ravisloe Golf Course Clubhouse in Homewood, Illinois.
The past few weeks of the S.T.E.A.M. program, participants have included team building with miniature race cars. Each participant will have a thorough knowledge and understanding of each component that makes up the car.
Instructor Malcolm Henry stated, “This program is more than just instructing the children to turn a screw. It is about instilling organization and learning how each piece works. The children are eager to learn, they are engaged, and I am really enjoying seeing them getting more excited each week.” Larry Johnson is another instructor. “The cars give the children something else to do with their time, a positive alternative is placed into their hands,” he added.
Zoe G. is 11 years old and participates in the program. “My grandfather taught me how to build and now I like it. I really like this program and I am learning a lot. I also like golfing because it teaches me how to be organized.”
Seventeen-year-old Jack Keigher has been a student of Mr. Madkins for 10 years. “My dad introduced me to the game of golf and we started researching different golf programs and once we found a program, that is how we met Mr. Madkins. I have learned everything I know about golf from Mr. Madkins,” he said.
Alexandra Anaya Green has two children, ages 10 and five, in the golf program. It is the family’s third year in the program which was introduced to them by a neighbor. “My children absolutely love learning and playing golf, so this program is a perfect fit,” she said.
Latisha Smith’s 16-year-old son is in the program and Ms. Smith is a parent liaison for the program. She explained that financial literacy is also a goal of the program which will be introduced in the near future. Ms. Smith has a master’s degree in forensic accounting and a bachelor’s in finance. For more information about CEO Superheroes, visit www.ceosuperheroes.org. (Shawntell Muhammad can be contacted at [email protected].)