Michael McMyne is the kind of guy who keeps his promises. Especially a promise like the one he made on a hospital bed five years ago where he lay battling a life threatening lung disease.
McMyne, a public relations major at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., had struggled with serious health problems for several years before traveling from Louisiana to see a specialist in Colorado. The treatment he received at that hospital not only saved his life but also changed it forever.
"During the second week of my hospital stay, as I cried myself to sleep, I begged and pleaded with God to make me well," says McMyne. "I promised Him that if He cured me and helped my brothers through their troubling days as active gang members, I would use my life to help those in need."
Three weeks later, McMyne’s health had improved so rapidly that he was able to return home to find his brothers waiting to greet him at the airport.
"Until that moment, I could not recall the last time I got a hug from my brothers," he says. "I experienced a miracle, not only a medical miracle but a familial one as well. At that moment, I decided it was time to start giving back."
Instead of merely being grateful to have his health back, McMyne began to create the life he wanted for himself. The results have been amazing. McMyne, a graduating senior, is now the proprietor of three successful businesses: McMyne & Associates, LLC; The Giving Back Foundation; and Innovative Media Works, LLC.
And those are just a few of his accomplishments. McMyne won the prestigious 2002 Global Student Entrepreneur Award for Social Impact for his company’s efforts to improve the quality of life for terminally ill and underprivileged children nationwide. He was also awarded the "Key to the City" in his hometown of Kenner, La. In addition, the mayor of New Orleans honored him by proclaiming a Michael McMyne Day for his outstanding community service.
"He’s not like any student I’ve ever had," explains Patricia Mark, McMyne’s academic advisor at Spring Hill College. "Michael is very impatient, he wants everything right now. But Michael makes things happen."
Business ventures are those things that he makes happen best. He started the first one during his senior year of high school. The business, McMyne and Associates, serves as the umbrella company that launched his two books, "Real Life University" and "Student Entrepreneurs." It is also a public speaking company through which he delivers motivational speeches to adults and youth nationwide.
"I think the spark that keeps me going is that I have a fantastic family," says McMyne. "I have a great support group and some amazing mentors that have made me bloom."
His second enterprise became a nonprofit organization called The Giving Back Foundation . The foundation was created as a result of the promise he made during his illness. To date, the group has been able to raise more than $250,000 for underprivileged and terminally ill children.
McMyne’s college experience, detailed in his first book, is another part of life where he has excelled. Though he left the dorms for an apartment last year, he still leads a very active on-campus life. He is the current chairperson of the Campus Programming Board and is actively involved with the school’s Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.
In the past, he also has taken leadership roles on campus through the Student Government Association and by founding a sports booster club called Badger Athletic Productions. In addition, he helped lead a movement to bring his fraternity back to active status on campus.
Surprisingly, an active social life, school commitments, and two thriving businesses were not enough to satisfy McMyne. That is why the young entrepreneur and his friend, Glenn "Chip" Gardner, recently launched a third business venture called Innovative Media Works, which offers multi-media production services.
McMyne plans to continue using his success to inspire others. He stresses that in the future, "I’m going to keep my eyes open for business ventures, and I’m still trying to acquire as much knowledge as I can while I’m young."
For more information on Michael McMyne, visit his website at RealLifeUniversity.com.
Copyright © 2004. YOUNG MONEY®