The Houston beverage company Exotic Pop is doubling up on its efforts to support area public school students by creating a financial literacy program and offering two scholarships for HISD seniors to pursue their entrepreneurial goals.

Word in Black is a re-imagining of the Black Press, a journey initially begun by 10 publishers of independently owned Black media companies. Articles, like this one, found under this banner for the next six months are companion pieces to those of fellow publishers and will soon be located on the new website, WordinBlack.com. This project is underwritten by the Fund for Black Journalism. The Black Press is alive and thriving. Spread the word!

In 2021, Exotic Pop founder and CEO Charleston Wilson launched the financial literacy workshop to provide young people with the resources to build generational wealth.

“Giving back to the community and especially the youth in the community is a huge priority for Exotic Pop, and for me, personally,” said Wilson. 

“It’s important we serve as positive community leaders, role models and mentors to teach financial literacy to young people to help them build generational wealth through business ownership.  Our goal is to mentor, uplift and provide resources for the next generation of entrepreneurs, so they in turn uplift the entire community as they succeed.”

Recently, Exotic Pop held a financial literacy workshop for 30 students at The Black Store. Now, the workshops are held on the first Thursday of each month at their corporate office.

During the 2020-2021 academic school year, two HISD students benefited from the Exotic Pop scholarship fund of $1,000. Heights High School alumnus Joshua Martinez and Northside High School alumnus Isabel Garcia were chosen as the inaugural scholars. They both attend Texas area universities.

This year HISD is expected to announce the new scholarship recipients.

Students who are interested in signing up for the financial literacy workshop can visit the HISD website. Scholarships are open to HISD seniors who attend one of Exotic Pop’s educational workshops, are interested in pursuing business or entrepreneurship, and have been accepted to a college, university or two-year community college program. 

Laura Onyeneho

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...