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Volume 9                                                                                                                                                               March 2011  
In This Issue
Cherese Bracey- A Role Model for Literacy
Mona's Adventure in Learning
Meet Our Volunteers
Community Business Academy in Full Swing
Ongoing BAS Seminars a Success
Make a Difference
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Making a Difference in the life of an entrepreneur means helping a talented individual to build a business that will sustain his or her family, provide jobs, and keep cash circulating in our communities. Every penny counts. Show your support for our entrepreneurs today!

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Celebrating OUR Heroes
Ei Alfa 

As we close Women's History Month, we salute all of the hardworking mothers, wives, and female professionals and entrepreneurs amongst us! Without a doubt, women have proven that we can achieve anything we put our minds to, and that we can be successful simultaneously in multiple areas of our lives.


This month, I was humbled to be recognized in honor of Women's History Month by the Hudson County Executive and the Board of Chosen Freeholders, as one of 25 women who has made a difference in the community. My inspiration to continue the work of Rising Tide Capital, however, comes from so many other women-the strong women in my own family, the dedicated women who work at Rising Tide Capital, and our amazing female entrepreneurs, many of them not just working to provide for their families, but  embarking on enterprises that can benefit their own communities.


Just this month we received updates about three of our female entrepreneurs who are working tirelessly to promote various aspects of literacy-Cherese Bracey, who wants children to learn to love reading from an early age, Mona Fitch-Elliott, who has a real passion for empowering older youth to enjoy learning, and Desiree Harris, who has written a book to benefit Autism Speaks, which was inspired by her son.


The typical Rising Tide Entrepreneur is a 39-year old mother of two, earning under $33,000 annually. They come to Rising Tide Capital, with the hope of turning their skills, their dreams and their talents, into viable businesses. If you would like to help us continue to support exceptional women just like Cherese, Mona and Desiree, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our programs and services, in honor of a woman who inspires you.



Alfa Demmellash

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Cherese Bracey:  A Role Model for Literacy

Cherese Bracey, Reesie Reader, and Bookie

Cherese Bracey, CEO Reading Reaps Rewards with Bookie and Reesie Reader during Read Across America Week.

When talking with Cherese Bracey, CEO of Reading Reaps Rewards, one is immediately struck by her passion for children and literacy. With 18 years of experience in early childhood education, which includes training in Kindermusik, Bracey has not just honed her teaching skills, but she has also used her creativity to develop a full-fledged program designed to make reading interesting and fun for children.  She firmly believes that if children learn to love reading and respect books from an early age, they will develop habits that will last a lifetime.


Bracey started Reading Reaps Rewards as a volunteer program in 2005. She enlisted both her husband Taji and her brother Andrey Morris into working with her to teach children from as young as three years old, that reading can be fun. In this program, Bracey teaches literacy through every stage and angle-from phonics, to storytelling, to working with parents, all with the goal of having kids learn to enjoy reading. However, it was in 2009 after her brother graduated from RTC's Community Business Academy (CBA) that Bracey thought about turning her program into a business.


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Mona's Adventure in Learning 

Mona Fitch-ElliottWith a passion for education and a commitment to empowering today's youth, Rising Tide Capital (RTC) entrepreneur Mona Fitch-Elliott is setting out to prove that learning is an excellent adventure with the start of her new business, Excite Write Education Services. No stranger to the world of education, Fitch-Elliott had been a teacher for six years on the high- and middle school levels before her career took an unexpected turn for the worst last summer.


Last June, Fitch-Elliott unfortunately was laid off from her job.  A teacher at Hoboken Charter School, Fitch-Elliott did not get tenure, leaving her in an uncomfortable position:  one of economic uncertainty and void of fulfillment. At that moment, she knew that there was no better time than then to start her own business.


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Meet our Volunteers: Joseph, Lorenz, and PJ! 

Lorenz Los Banos
As with most non-profit organizations, volunteers are an integral part of the Rising Tide Capital (RTC) team. This month, we spotlight three interns from various backgrounds who have been assisting us in carrying out our mission. Visit our volunteer page to find out about our fantastic interns-Joseph, PJ, and Lorenz!


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Community Business Academy in Full Swing! 

cba class in actionDuring the first week of March, Rising Tide Capital (RTC) began the 26th, 27th, and 28th sessions of the Community Business Academy (CBA). Classes are now in their fifth week-nearly halfway through the 11-week semester-meaning that a new group of aspiring entrepreneurs are well on their way to turning their business dreams into realities.


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Ongoing Business Acceleration Services Seminars are a Success! 

Tax seminar

On March 17, BAS hosted "Small Business Taxes: Less Mistakes, More Returns," a seminar offering expert tax information from Len Goldberg, an accountant with 35 years of experience.  "When I moved here and read about RTC, it was exactly the kind of thing I was looking to volunteer for and utilize my experience.  It was very exciting for me to be with these eager, budding entrepreneurs, " said Goldberg.

For photos from the seminar, click here.

To stay abreast of all of the upcoming seminars, click here for our full calendar.