By Jaquatte Williams, Howard University News Service
Last Bison Standing, Inc, founded in April 2014 is an organization located in Washington, D.C. that raises money through selling clothes to benefit communities all across the country and connect Howard University generations.
Creator of Last Bison Standing, King, spoke passionately spoke about an organization with humble beginnings that has branched out to become one of the biggest forces on Howard University’s campus. King began his first organization, the Aaron Bonner Foundation, to benefit those affected by cancer. Every year, the Aaron Bonner Foundation would participate in Relay4Life and give each participant a Howard University sweatshirt after completing the race. The sweatshirts grew popular on campus but the real popularity of the brand began after Drake came to perform at Howard. Drake performed in a red crewneck which increased the demand for the sweatshirt on campus. King decided that it was his moment and launched his brand.
The organization uses the proceeds raised to make a real change in the community. The proceeds from the Last Bison Standing have been able to create a scholarship program through the Aaron Bonner Foundation.
Aaron Bonner Scholar, Jade Dickinson, said the LastBisonStanding has helped to change her life and her matriculation at Howard thus far. Being an Aaron Bonner scholar has a personal effect of Jade’s life, Jade was personally able to connect with Aaron Bonner’s struggle with cancer.
” Being apart of the Aaron Bonner Foundation has not only fueled my passion for advocating and conducting medical research to treat health disparities in the African American community, but has helped me to have an extra motivating factor to benefit others.”, said Dickinson.
Dickinson is only one of many Adrien Bonner Scholars who are being helped through their collegiate years from Last Bison Standing. Each of the students have different stories about their personal ways they have been helped by this organization.
Besides the efforts of the Aaron Bonner Foundation, Last Bison Standing has used its proceeds to send money to Bennett College during their financial deficit, send money and supplies to hurricane victims, help to save careers of influential staff at Howard University, create school tours , pay off student balances, and even donate a percentage of its proceeds back to the University. In addition to the monetary benefits, LastBisonStanding uses it social media platform to unite generations of Howard alum and current undergraduate students.
One of the biggest impact Last Bison Standing had last year was on the life of Carol Dudley. Carol Dudley is one of the most influential members of the School of Communications staff. Around August of last year, Dudley received the heartbreaking news that she no longer had a position at Howard. With the help of Last Bison Standing, they raised enough money to cover her salary and started a scholarship in her name, Through petitions and protests, Dudley was able to receive a new position at Howard with higher esteem and better pay in the Career Development Office.
With an instagram following of more than 26,200 people, Last Bison Standing has a strong and continuous group of ambassadors. King believes that his ambassadors are one of the most impacting aspects of the organizations.
“My favorite part of the program is watching the matriculation of his ambassadors through their Howard career. I give people a platform to blossom and gain exposure to advance in their life.” The ambassadors go on to not only excel in their desired field but pour back into current ambassadors. King has created a network of successful students and alumni from Howard University that help each to grow and be successful in all facets of life.
“I envision a Last Bison Standing building. The building would be setup with classrooms much like the first sets with my first ambassadors. Classrooms would be packaging centers, offices for the marketing team, and classrooms available to benefit the community like a barbershop, food kitchen, etc. I see Last Bison Standing getting even bigger and better with time.”
King has turned what started as small tribute for a friend into a multi-faceted organization that is changing the world one article of clothing a time.