Charles Schooler has an apt name. He’s schooling young African Americans in how to be successful in any field—not just sports or entertainment. The 2004 MBA graduate is the author of More Than Entertainers: An Inspirational Black Career Guide, a book that advises young African Americans to consider a variety of careers and gives them pointers on how to succeed. The book garnered Schooler the 2008 NAACP Image Award for outstanding literary work in the youth/teen category.
“Looking at minority communities, and even my own family, there was a sense—a false notion—that the only road to success for young blacks revolved around entertainment or sports. And if you don’t make it in either of those two regards, you’re going to be left to a life of poverty or imprisonment,” he says.
The book has been well received. “There’s been a lot of positive feedback, and the NAACP award has increased the book’s exposure and opened up a lot of avenues nationally.”
Schooler, who works in marketing and sales for Ford Motor Co. in suburban Chicago, is writing another book about the relationship between education and careers. “It goes back to when I was in high school and studying science and math and trying to relate that to a real world application,” he says. “This book will answer those questions—what is the true application of the education you’re getting.”
Schooler also has an informative web site with a catchy name, choicenerd. com, that offers young adults advice about financial decisions and other challenges. “As I was transitioning from college to the workforce, I noticed that a lot of my peers were hesitant to transition into a full-grown adult life because they didn’t have a lot of financial knowledge,” he says. “So I put a resource together to give young adults some background information to eliminate their fears. The web site name combines two things—financial choices and the nerdy kind of person you might run into who can answer your questions.”