Encore “Highlights Representation”

Recently Encore Magazine honored us by interviewing me for a piece they called Finding Representation. In it they highlight my book, “The Adventures of Lucas and Alyci: The Big Surprise.”  The goal is to help more kids…any kids…especially kids of color…to realize that their ideas can affect our world in powerful and positive ways too!

To quote the article:
“STEM can open kids’ minds to the fact their ideas always spark something better,” Corpening says. “There’s no leash on a kid’s ability to solve problems outside of the one we give them. In my day-to-day work in education, I hear so many first-time college students tell me how horrible they are in math and how they want to wait to take it. Teaching them early to be inquisitive . . . builds their confidence in their ability to try and figure problems, [which] helps them throughout life.” 


FINDING REPRESENTATION: Travis Corpening reads from his children’s book, ‘The Adventures of Lucas and Alyci’

By Shannon Rae Gentryon on December 17, 2019

WILMINGTON, NC ENCORE – The Pew Research Center reported in January 2018 that, while there’s widespread support of racial and ethnic diversity in science, technology, engineering and math jobs, lack of diversity and representation in STEM fields is a problem as we approach a new decade.

There are underlying reasons rooted in educational opportunities—or in this case, lack of access. However, a third of people working in STEM areas point to under-representation and lack of role models, leading to black and Hispanic Americans not believing their abilities to pursue these fields.

Local author Travis Corpening set out to combat the issue with his 2018 children’s book “The Adventures of Lucas and Alyci.” Corpening is director of the Nixon Minority Male Leaders Program at Cape Fear Community College. He also has his master’s degree in liberal studies from UNCW (2006), during which he researched the impact of exposing young kids to characters in storybooks who look like them.

Kids Read to Barbers While Getting Haircuts

DOWNTOWN WILMINGTON (WWAY) – The Just Cut It barbershop tried something new through their Barbers and Books haircut event. Barbers listened to kids read them books as they cut their hair. Books and Barbers is an initiative that started in Lexington, KY. Now, barbershops across the U.S. are participating in it.

This initiative expands children’s imagination and reading literacy. A Wilmington man named Travis Corpening says when his wife told him about the idea he immediately made plans with the Just Cut It barbershop to pull this event off.”

Read more and watch the video

Connect with Schools

Find a need…try to fill it! That is the way of the entrepreneur. Well supposedly.  Right? But what about Passion and finding a need to help people?  I always have had a hard time just filling the need without a deeper point or meaning.  When I started writing stories for All Your Cool Ideas it was with this in mind.  All kids need to see that leadership can have various faces.

Every time I read to a school and see the little faces light up at The Adventures of Lucas and Alyci characters it’s a treat like no other.  Recently, I had a chance to speak with kids at College Park Elementary about the first book, The Adventures of Lucas and Alyci and The Big Surprise.  To see the Wonderment and Engagement of students of all types connecting with the character Lucas (based off of my own son), Twitch (Hispanic), Brittany Eyeliene (insightful little girl), and Bounce (hefty, smart, resourceful kid) it makes this the best job in the world.

Find Your Passion!
Find A Way to Do It Every day!
Pray to do it for a long time!

And if by chance you are a business or a just someone who wants to help bring this feeling to other kids Sponsor a School!

Local man writes children’s book to inspire young minds

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — When you’re looking for a storybook to read to your child and you can’t find the right one, what do you do? Write your own, of course.

A few years ago, Travis Corpening decided to write a children’s book entitled The Adventures of Lucas and Alyci.

“My son was born in 2013 and my wife and I noticed, as we were going through books to teach him basic things, there weren’t a lot of choices, even on television and cartoons that he could see himself in lead roles,” Corpening said.

That’s when he decided to create his own book.

“It allowed him to see himself in lead roles and also other children who might feel the same way could also imagine themselves in the lead role,” he said.

Read the full article

Travis Corpening uplifts minority men by showing them excellence is possible

WILMINGTON, PORT CITY DAILY — When you love what you do for a living, it sometimes overlaps with your extracurriculars. Such is the case for Travis Corpening, who’s life objective involves uplifting others—students, in particular.

After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Corpening landed a position at Wilmington Health Access for Teens, and has been working with youth ever since.

Now, 16 years later, Corpening travels to different schools as a motivational speaker, hosts a local radio show once a week, and holds workshops and trainings for business owners.

But, two aspects of Corpening’s life truly intersect. He works full time as a program coordinator for a minority male mentoring initiative at Cape Fear Community College (CFCC), while his free time is dedicated to operating the Young Mogul nonprofit.

Read the full article

Leadership center encourages black professionals to graduate, return to Wilmington

WILMINGTON StarNews Online — Cape Fear Community College’s Nixon Minority Male Leaders Center is focused on increasing collegiate minority male retention and graduation.

From the classroom to the streets of the community, Travis Corpening and Cedric Harrison persist in changing the lives and images of black men in their community.

Together, the two black men run Cape Fear Community College’s Nixon Minority Male Leaders Center, a program focused on increasing collegiate minority male retention and graduation. Corpening has managed the program since 2010. He also is the founder of Young Mogul, an organization that focuses on introductory entrepreneurship, self-branding and decision making for young men.

Diversity at UNCW, CFCC, and in the Broader Community

WILMINGTON COASTLINE WHQR – By the year 2060, the United States will have no clear racial majority.

Both the Hispanic and Asian populations will more than double, and the black population is expected to rise from about 41 million today to about 62 million by 2060 – roughly a 50% increase.  According to the U.S. Census, this country will become a majority-minority nation for the first time in 2043.

Listen to the Podcast

Donation of $50,000 aids minority male mentoring program

By Miranda Roberts

WILMINGTON StarNews Online – The program aims to increase the retention, graduation and transfer rates of CFCC’s minority male students.

Cape Fear Community College’s Minority Male Mentoring program is now known as the Nixon Minority Male Leaders program, thanks to a $50,000 donation from an anonymous donor.

The program aims to increase the retention, graduation and transfer rates of the community college’s minority male students. The anonymous donation brings the total to $100,000 in community donations for the program. Cape Fear also receives $20,000 from the state to run the program.

The late Cornelius “Sonny” Nixon was well known by many in Wilmington as a shellfish pioneer and legendary purveyor of local oysters. A native of Wilmington, he attended New Hanover County Schools and graduated from Williston Industrial School.

Read more the full article

Man behind mentoring program has even bigger goals

By Pressley Baird

WILMINGTON StarNews Online – The accomplishment that brings the biggest smile to Travis Corpening’s face these days isn’t his own.

It’s what the young men he mentors have achieved: graduating from Cape Fear Community College.

Six of the students in CFCC’s minority male mentoring program, which Corpening runs, received their associate’s degrees from CFCC this spring. Now, they are moving on to training programs, jobs and college classes.

Corpening is doing the same thing.

He is a week into an online Ph.D. program in education management through Hampton University. It is a way to harness the broad skill set of a man who will do anything to pull the potential out of a student.

“I’ve been pushing everybody so hard to do more and be more,” he said. “I started to think, ‘I’ve got to walk the walk.'”


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12 to Watch – Travis Corpening

By Pressley Baird

WILMINGTON STAR NEWS – “These stories aren’t just about what they have done – they are about what they hope to accomplish. The StarNews set out to find 10 noteworthy people who might be high achievers in 2014. We settled on 12.

The honorees are all risk-takers. At the start of a new year, these stories are about what they have done – and what they hope to accomplish.”


Read more the full article