Tobi Ogundipe

Creative Strategist

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Creative strategy consultant; accidental social-entrepreneur; and native Angelino looking for opportunities with innovative brands.

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Just a little something to see you into the weekend. 

This Pentatonix cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” features flawless arrangement by two amazingly talented Trojan Alums: Avi Kaplan and Ben Bram. Oh an Scott Hoying, the tall blond, has the voice of a Baptist choir boy. 

Check out their other covers. Everything from Katy Perry to Whitney Houston and they rarely dissapoint. 

Happy Friday! 

Giving Back

Since 2003 I have been, in some way or another, involved with the Riordan Programs: a non-profit organization that has provided leadership and management training to diverse high school, college, and graduated students since 1987. 

Waaaay back in 2003 (I’ve rocking 2+ decades on planet earth so 9 years is a long time ago to me) I was a wide-eyed yet dogmatically confident high school sophomore. I spent the next three years of high school in the Riordan Scholars (RS) program. The RS program is geared to sophomore through senior high school students. The program provides essential leadership training by providing mentors; offering highly subsidized or free SAT prep help; creating college application action plans; and otherwise exposing minority Los Angeles students to information and resources they would not otherwise have access to. 

The program usually has anywhere from 75-100 high school students in the program every year and each year the graduating class usually has a anywhere from a 90-100% university acceptance rate: I’m talking NYU, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Berkeley…you get the picture. Here’s a sneak peak into my RS graduating class.

Many of the kids I met back then are still friends I can call on today. 

A couple of weeks ago, I was helping a Sylmar HS student edit her college essays before the November 30th UC Common Application Deadline. I have not, and probably may never meet this student but that’s totally fine. In trying to help her edit her essays I went looking for my old college application essays. What I found really brought home to me why it is so important for me to give back whenever and where ever I can.

Clicking through my old yahoo e-mail account I found countless e-mails of edits from Riordan Program mentors and affiliated associates that graciously agreed to look through my essays and help me edit them. Most of them I never met in person and have not met to this day. Some of them may have only had the time to look through one paragraph while others took it upon themselves to read through my collection of application essays. It was humbling and inspiring to see the sheer amount of people who had some hand in me getting to USC. 

For every person who has touched my life/had a hand in getting me where I am today I owe someone behind me that same helping hand. The Riordan Programs recently featured me in their Volunteer Newsletter. Check it out!

I am honored and absolutely blessed to be in a position where I can help others. And I’m just beginning my journey, imagine how much more valuable my help will be at 30, 35, as a mother…

Here’s another amazing story of how the Riordan Programs continues to change people’s lives in the greater Los Angeles area. 

I encourage you to add some volunteer activities to your “New Years Resolutions” for 2012. You will put yourself in a position to change the life of someone else and yourself.

Soo I forgot to post this last week but I found this on my Pyrex bowl on my way out of the office early last week. I had made fun of one of the Notre Dame fans in the office (after we - the Trojans - beat them). I guess this was his comeback. I’ll give the guy some credit…it was a great color match for the team colors so why not take advantage of a prime prank situation? 
I told him I would get him back but then this weekend happend and his team got spanked by Stanford and we shutout UCLA - the NCAA SoCal “champs”…of what? Loosing? Psssh. 
I’m totally rubbing it in on Monday. Too good not to. 
DON’T MESS WITH TROJANS! I love my alma mater and to this day, I am convinced I made the best choice to send my statement of intent to USC. 
And just in case you were confused, missed the game, or just didn’t know…
USC runs LA…don’t you forget it! 
Zoom Info

Soo I forgot to post this last week but I found this on my Pyrex bowl on my way out of the office early last week. I had made fun of one of the Notre Dame fans in the office (after we - the Trojans - beat them). I guess this was his comeback. I’ll give the guy some credit…it was a great color match for the team colors so why not take advantage of a prime prank situation? 

I told him I would get him back but then this weekend happend and his team got spanked by Stanford and we shutout UCLA - the NCAA SoCal “champs”…of what? Loosing? Psssh. 

I’m totally rubbing it in on Monday. Too good not to. 

DON’T MESS WITH TROJANS! I love my alma mater and to this day, I am convinced I made the best choice to send my statement of intent to USC. 

And just in case you were confused, missed the game, or just didn’t know…

USC runs LA…don’t you forget it! 

DOPE Featurette #1: Ryan & Adam Goldston, founders and owners of Athletic Propulsion Labs

Anyone who knows me, knows my physical preferences for men are:

  • strong features (someone once characterized my facial preference as “square”)
  • tall (5’11” and above)
  • muscular/toned/generally in shape
  • good teeth, nice smile
  • large hands
  • groomed scruff

Now look at the photo…

Got it?

Good.

Ok, no. But seriously. These twins bros are pretty cool.

First off, they are USC Alums. Class of 2009. Adam (on the right) graduated from the (now) Dornsife College of Letters Arts and Sciences and his twin brother Ryan (left) graduated from the Marshall School of Business. Major points there already but maybe i’m just the slightest bit biased…

Adam and Ryan are the owners of Athletic Propulsion Labs. Having extensive athletic experience as basketball players in HS and at USC, their shoe idea stemmed from their yearning to have more “bounce”. Standing at 5’11” they felt what many of their shorter athletic counterparts felt on the court…the need for lift. 

The brothers began laying the groundwork for what would be APL in 2007 but they began their shoe journey much earlier than that. In 1991, their father - then CMO for L.A. Gear- brought home prototype pairs of the L.A. Gear Lights for the boys. Their experience with the first prototypes actually led designers to change the light pods from the back of the shoes to the sides.

Remember those L.A. Gear Lights?!? I had a pair in elementary school and I can still remember chasing classmates around the gym floor in the dark who also donned the light up shoes. I was so sad when they broke. So sad.

From 2007-2009 the brothers perfected their business plan and began working on prototypes with help form their Dad and shoe industry vets. They officially founded their business in March of 2009, just months before graduating. 

As of now, the shoe toting duo are working on Men’s basketball shoes designed to give players a significant boost in vertical leap ( a reported 3.5” increase). As for expansion, plans are already in place to debut a running line sometime this year.

As an added note, in 2010 the NBA banned use of APLs product for the ‘10-‘11 season citing that it gives players and “undue competitive advantage.” 

After looking through their product on the APL site I feel that they are lacking in the aesthetic design area. I’m a sneaker junkie myself and have an eye for great looking shoes. I understand that their brand is built on the platform of advanced technology but they should not have to sacrifice design for great tech. In fact, if memory serves me right, I know of a fellow ‘SC Alum who wants to get into the fashion world through shoe design…

Maybe their Beverly Hills office needs an intern? 

Kudos to this dashing duo. I’m excited to see where they take their company next.

Source: USC News

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