The National Urban League Honors Farrah Gray with the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Entrepreneurship Award

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America's Reallionaire, Farrah Gray, 21-year-old entrepreneurial icon, social entrepreneur and author, has received the Whitney M. Young Jr. Entrepreneurship Award during the annual National Urban League's Whitney M. Young, Jr. Center for Urban Leadership Conference.

America's Reallionaire, Farrah Gray, 21-year-old entrepreneurial icon, social entrepreneur and author, (Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out: The Essential Lessons That Took Me from Public Assistance to a Millionaire by the Age of 14) has received the Whitney M. Young Jr. Entrepreneurship Award during the annual National Urban League's Whitney M. Young, Jr. Center for Urban Leadership Conference.

The National Urban League's Whitney M. Young, Jr. Center for Urban Leadership's conference takes place in November of every year. The conference is a comprehensive training ground for nonprofit executives and professionals. This year's conference theme was "Urban Leadership: Meeting Community Needs, While Managing Economic Change." The National Urban League is the nation's largest civil rights and community based organization. With over 100 affiliates in 35 states, the National Urban League serves 2 million people in African American and urban communities nationwide. “Mr. Gray’s participation in this conference is certain to enhance the experience of all in attendance as we seek to build a cadre of urban leadership, dedicated to empowering communities and changing the lives of those we serve, given his trailblazing career related to economic empowerment, leadership, and entrepreneurship,” said Michelle N. Bullock, Director of the Whitney M. Young Center for Urban Leadership.

Even though he's just 21, Farrah Gray has achieved more than many achieve in a lifetime. Raised in the projects on Chicago's south side, Gray defied the odds and became a self-made millionaire by the age of 14. Gray began his entrepreneurial and personal development and civic engagement as a stellar young citizen at six years old by selling his own hand-painted rocks as book-ends and home-made body lotion door-to-door. At age 7, he was carrying business cards reading "21st Century CEO." At 8, Gray became co-founder of Urban Neighborhood Enterprise Economic Club (U.N.E.E.C.) on Chicago's Southside. U.N.E.E.C. was the forerunner of New Early Entrepreneur Wonders (NE2W), the flagship organization he opened on Wall Street. Gray became the youngest person to have an office on Wall Street. NE2W enlisted, educated and engaged "at-risk" youth to create innovative ways to acquire additional income.

Between the ages of 12 and 16 years old, Gray founded and operated business ventures that included KIDZTEL pre-paid phone cards, the "One Stop Mail Boxes & More" franchise and "The Teenscope: Youth AM/FM" interactive teen talk show. Gray was also executive producer of a comedy show on the Las Vegas Strip and owner of Farr-Out Foods, "Way-Out Food with a Twist," which targeted youth with the company's first Strawberry-Vanilla syrup product. Farr-Out Foods "Foodfulooza" generated orders exceeding $1.5 million.

As a pre-teen, Gray reached 12 million listeners and viewers every Saturday night as co-host of "Backstage Live," a syndicated television and radio simulcast in Las Vegas. Gray's inspirational spirit and grounded personality sparked requests from organizations around the country. According to Naples Daily News, "Farrah Gray touched them in a way few speakers can." Gray's sense of social responsibility motivated him to create the non-profit organization, The Farrah Gray Foundation.

Gray's Foundation gives quarterly grants and in-kind contributions to after-school and summer inner-city youth programs. Gray donates his honorariums from speaking engagements (which can be upwards of $10,000) and the proceeds of his book to his Foundation. Gray's book appeared on Amazon's and Barnes & Noble's Best-seller list two weeks before its international release. Reallionaire was also named as the #1 Best-selling Nonfiction Paperback Book in the August 2005 Issue of Essence Magazine. The book has been endorsed by Bill Clinton, Pierre Sutton, Steadman Graham, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. Gray is also a spokesman for the National Coalition for the Homeless and is the honorary chairperson for the Bringing America Home Campaign, a comprehensive effort designed to end homelessness in the United States that includes housing, health, income and civil rights components.

Gray also co-chairs the Relational Brokers Alliance Consultancy Firm (RBA). He has consulted with the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Development Agency to aid in the creation of a youth entrepreneurship institute for corporations including JP Morgan Chase and others. According to NV Magazine "Farrah Gray is one of the most respected and uncommon business minds to date."    

Gray was also the youngest member of the "African-American Leadership" Roundtable invited by President Bush and the Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, to set the stage for the upcoming corporate and philanthropic summit being planned for March 2006.

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Madeline Goldstein