“I’m from the hood,” says Madrid Danner-Smith, a UNC student from Newark, NJ, a city he notes is one of the most dangerous in America. His father exposed him to motivational speakers and “put these positive things in my mind.” His first semester at UNC was “…really hard. I ended up with a 2.0 GPA and on housing probation.” He joined Ebony Readers/Onyx Theatre to make friends and to perform poetry as he had done in high school. Having mentors helped. In addition to being a spoken word poet, Madrid is a graphic designer, a motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur. Madrid co-founded Success or Death (SOD), a motivational lifestyle brand company in December 2015. With almost 3000 followers on Instagram, SOD is “growing so fast because of the meaning of it. We are young black men who want to motivate dream chasers, underdogs, and young people because we identify as all three.” Learn more at www.MadridKDS.com.