Reggie Burroughs was born and raised in Parramore and West Orlando. He’s a proud graduate of Jones High School and now serves as director of youth employment for the City of Orlando. Before coming back to work for the city that gave him so much opportunity, he attended Morehouse College in Atlanta and worked with the Georgia General Assembly and the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency.
We sat down with Reggie to learn more about a special non-profit he started upon his return to Orlando, Black Bee Honey.
How did Black Bee Honey get its start? Growing up in Parramore, I was part of two very significant mentorship programs: Compact Program and Kappa League Orlando, both still in existence today. I honestly don’t know where I would be had it not been for them. I wanted to use my experience to recreate a similar one for kids now.
When I started my job with the Youth Employment Program in Orlando, the program only assigned Parramore youth to jobs within our recreation department. I wanted the kids to have more choices, so I asked them what they wanted to do after high school. Several said they wanted to be firefighters, others lawyers, some nurses, etc., so I secured opportunities for the kids to work in the fields they hoped to later have a career in. Some loved it, others quickly found out that they wanted to do something else. That was the beauty of the program.
Last year, the group of teens I was working with said they didn’t want to work for anyone else, “we want to work for ourselves.” I asked them what they felt was the biggest challenge in Parramore; they agreed that we had a lack of access to food and that Parramore is a food desert. From there, we made a list of fresh foods that we could bring to the area using local products. We decided on honey and launched Black Bee Honey in January of this year.
The purpose of Black Bee Honey has always been two-fold, to teach kids a transferable skill set — to help them learn entrepreneurship skills — while giving back to their community.
Making it to the big screen. Steve Harvey’s producer caught wind of our story from a shared post on Facebook. We were invited to appear on the show, and in July, we were in the NBC Tower of Chicago. Steve has been a big supporter ever since.
What has been the pinnacle of success for Black Bee Honey thus far? There are two, both of equal value to me: One, our partnership with iGourmet and opening up Black Bee Honey to the world of e-commerce has dramatically helped us. Second, there’s no better feeling than visiting a local store in Central Florida and seeing our product on the shelves. The community has really rallied behind us, and we couldn’t be more grateful.
What are your three favorite places to take a friend in Parramore? Nikki’s Place for lunch, Wells’Built Museum for a quick history lesson, and any of our three recreation centers to get a good feel of what we’re doing in the community.
How can we help Black Bee Honey’s success? We are always looking to partner with local businesses who are willing to come by and teach our kids a skill set. Also, if you see Black Bee Honey in the store, please support us. It’s locally grown right here in Central Florida, and all profits go back into the Parramore community.
Are you enjoying our Monday Makers series? Is there someone you want Central Florida to know more about? Just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll reach out.
‘A systemic failure.’ The Florida Supreme Court began hearing arguments last week in a lawsuit that challenges the state’s performance in providing a “high quality” public school system. The suit claims that disparities in test scores and other measures point to failure on the part of the state, but lower court rulings have concluded that the matter should not be subject to judicial review. (Orlando Weekly)
A somber remembrance. This Election Day, Orlando voters paid tribute to the victims of the 1920 Ocoee massacre by leaving “I voted” stickers on the grave of Julius “July” Perry, a black man who was lynched by a white mob for encouraging fellow African Americans to vote. The mob also set fire to a number of Ocoee homes, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 50 to 60 people. (Orlando Weekly)
Speeders, beware. The Orlando city council is set to approve a $75,000 grant today that will pump more resources into traffic enforcement for speeding and aggressive driving. The money will go toward overtime pay for police officers in areas with a high number of crashes, as well as public education and outreach. (Orlando Sentinel)
Backstreet’s back. And they’re coming to Orlando. The Backstreet Boys will take the stage at the Amway Center on Aug. 24, 2019, in support of their latest album, “DNA.” It’s the biggest tour for the iconic ‘90s “boy band” (most of them are in their 40s now, but whatever) in nearly two decades. Tickets go on sale this coming Wednesday. (WESH 2)
In other entertainment news… Tickets for the hit musical “Hamilton” go on sale at 9 a.m. Friday, so it’s time to plan your strategy if you’re hoping to score seats. The show runs from Jan. 22 to Feb. 10 at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. (Orlando Sentinel)
🎙 FRIDAY, NOV. 16: Catch pianist Adam Golka’s performance in conjunction with the Timucua Arts Foundation (SoDo)
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TODAY – VETERANS DAY (OBSERVED)
🐶 Grab the pups and head over to Yappy Hour (College Park)
🎵 Hey Orlando, let’s jam (Mills 50)
🎬 Check out The Last Suit at the Jewish Film Festival (Maitland)
🍴 Soul food with double the twist – it’s vegan AND seafood (Casselberry)
🧘🏻♀️ Run often? This yoga class is for you (Mills 50)
❓ Don’t be a muggle – test your Harry Potter knowledge (Downtown)
🧘🏻♀️ Get your downward dog on beneath Orlando’s skyline (Downtown)
🎟 Grab your business cards and head to bingo to network (Audubon Park)
🖼 Discover South Africa through the arts in this documentary (Winter Park)
🎭 Watch The Mystery of Irma Vep before it ends (Loch Haven)
🎨 A better artist after a few drinks? This is for you (Milk District)
🍷 Learn how to pair the perfect vino with Thanksgiving dinner (Ivanhoe)
🥂 Or pair bubbles with BBQ (College Park)
🗣 Calling all women who are “educated and broke” (Downtown)
🧘🏻♀️ Ladies, let’s yoga and socialize in Camping World Stadium (Parramore)
❓ It’s trivia night at Brass Tap (Mills Park)
🚂 Step back in time at this open house (Winter Garden)
🛍 Shop, sip and stroll along Park Avenue (Winter Park)
🍷 Does there exist a better trio than wine, chocolate and cheese (Mills 50)
🎟 Attend this networking event at the new Modera space (Downtown)
🍩 Get in line for these doughnut ice cream sandwiches (SoDo)
🗣 Be a part of the conversation on hate crimes (College Park)
FRIDAY – HAMILTON TIX GO ON SALE
🎄 Kickoff the holiday season by lighting up the city (Ivanhoe)
🍁 Through Sunday Cooler temps make this fall festival even better (Longwood)
🎟 Through Sunday Got a crazy idea? This is the weekend to share it (Downtown)
🕰 Through Sunday It’s a good weekend to go antiquing (Mt. Dora)
🚞 Go on a culture tour on the SunRail (Winter Park/Downtown)
🧘🏻♀️ Practice yoga under the stars (SoDo)
🥩 Grab a steak and head to the springs (Wekiva)
Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to email@example.com or tag #pulptown on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and COMING SOON add your own events with a Pulptown membership.
Fall in Orlando not only brings cooler temps (finally) but also marks the official start of patio season.
Stay cozy, Orlando!
P.S. Stay tuned — tomorrow, we’re giving you the lowdown on scoring Hamilton tickets.