Celebrating Local Black Talent Series
Small Black Owned Business Feature
Name: Dr. Tyrone C. Black
Affiliation: Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of students at Goodwin
Business Name: T. Carlton Educational Consulting LLC
Business Type: College counseling services/placement & Diversity Training/Workshops – Weights of Reality
Year Founded: 2016
Who We Are & What We Do…
We are a residential college guidance service offering college bound students from grades 9 through 12, and postgraduates, on-going college counseling seminars and classes. Additionally, we offer a boarding experience where students can reside on campus for seven days and engage in a curriculum that addresses:
- The college admissions interview
- How to research colleges and find the right college that “fits”
- How to create an impressive activities resume for the admissions process
- How to strengthen the high school transcript
- How to navigate through the NCAA eligibility process;
- Understanding standardized tests such as the PSAT, ACT, and SAT,
- How to create an appropriate college essay
- Financial Aid, scholarships, grants, and loans
- How to choose the right teacher to write the academic recommendation
We also travel across the nation facilitating diversity workshops under the title – Weights of Reality. Weights of Reality allows people to see diversity as more than color, it is a walk of life. Through open dialogue, people share their discomforts, challenges, private victories, and limitations within the world of multiculturalism. No one is judged, yet, they are celebrated for what they bring to the community. This activity takes on a more visual approach to seeing the complexities of diversity.
How We Started and Where We Are Now…
My college counseling career began 20 years ago while working as the head of the college counseling office at a private, boarding school in central Connecticut. Families appreciated my knowledge of and approach to the college counseling process. I found myself taking on outside clients while working a full-time job. It wasn’t overwhelming and the supplemental income was greatly appreciated. My client base began to grow significantly and I soon realized it was time to create/establish my own LLC. So in 2016, I officially became T. Carlton Educational Consulting LLC. I then found myself meeting with families at local restaurants like Panera, Bertucci’s, and area diners. I was also holding larger presentations either at my church or nearby conference spaces. It was in 2019 when I decided to seek an adequate space to house my business and host seminars and workshops. In the fall of 2019, I purchased the Historic Pinney School in Stafford Springs, Connecticut. I now have 17 plus rooms to hold seminars, workshops, and one-on-one counseling sessions. I also have space to board up to 7 students at a time for overnight programs.
What Inspired Me to Start This Venture…
I thoroughly enjoy helping students navigate through the college process. And with having worked in the field for over two decades, I have witnessed repeatedly, outstanding students receive little to no guidance on the college process from their high school guidance counselors. This is such a disservice to the wonderful talent that flood the active halls of our secondary schools daily. So I felt a strong calling to start a business that would seek out those students and help them have a college process they so deserve.
What Makes Me Feel Empowered…
I feel empowered by all of my past students, whom I’ve counseled and who visit with me and share their success stories during and after college. It can’t get any better than that.
What I Love Most About What I Do…
I love traveling with groups of students to visit college campuses. It’s a great feeling exposing students to different types of campuses and watching their facial expressions change from campus to campus. I also love when students are accepted to their first choice college and then receive an unexpected scholarship.
Challenges I Have Encountered…
I have found that in this field, you have to be the best. Families/clients are paying not only for your expertise, but for your connections and rolodex. It’s expensive to stay up to date in this field. You must travel to college campuses, meet key people, and gather business cards. Additionally, colleges are always changing requirements and academic profiles, so it’s imperative to stay informed which is not always easy. Having visited over 2,000 college campuses in the U.S., keeping up with the changes is taxing, yet enjoyable.
What We Celebrate…
We celebrate the educational accomplishments of our students. We applaud each student’s decision to pursue their own educational aspirations and hold them accountable to finish what they began.
What Being a Black Business Owner Means to Me…
It means that I stand upon the fight, struggles, and wide shoulders of my ancestors as a strong black man, an owner and navigator of my own vision. To know that after I am gone from this life, my work and my name will forever continue as a true testimony that difficult beginnings can produce a legendary ending, is a wonderful feeling.
How I Hope to Inspire Others:
I am a firm believer that a vision that’s not written is only a dream. Once I finally believed in my vision enough to pursue it, everything I needed to expand it just fell into place. With that said, I am hopeful others will look at T. Carlton Educational Consulting LLC and feel empowered to write down the vision that keeps them up late at night and pursue it with all of their might. Anything is possible.
My Message to Potential Black Business Owners…
I would encourage every potential black entrepreneur to be the best in their field. Research trends and norms, and surround yourself with individuals who are wise and see the industry from a totally different perspective than yourself. Be excited about your own product and NETWORK. Take risks even if it’s something no one has ever done. And most importantly, pursue a diverse clientele and create a product that can cross cultures.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.