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Seven-Year-Old Neuroscience Whiz Kid Makes Her Debut In The Triangle


Durham, NC – What were you doing when you were seven years old? Explaining neurotransmitters to an audience of millions online?

Amoy with Dr. Sanjay Gupta during a visit to CNN (submitted)

Amoy Antunet, the seven-year-old whiz kid wowing the Internet with her mastery of college-level science, will join area entrepreneurs as part of a fun-filled Q&A at the third annual ENVISION Empowerment Experience™ on Saturday, January 20 in historic downtown Durham, NC.

For the past two years, Antunet has taken her talents to Facebook and YouTube to share a host of experiments and lessons with other children across the world.  Her latest video breaks down gamma-Aminobutyric acid and has been watched more than two million times.

Antunet’s interest in science began at the age of three, after stumbling ac

ross a microscope belonging to her father, Davin Shepherd.  She soon became his “study buddy,” grasping biology lessons her father studied while pursuing his undergraduate psychology degree.  She has since shared her knowledge of cell biology, cardiology and ophthalmology with the Internet — all while donning a pint-sized white lab coat.  From neuroscience to anatomy, this second grader from Atlanta, Georgia is wowing young and old-alike with her genius.  Antunet’s talent has garnered the attention of national and international media outlets, including BBC and CNN.

“The theme for ENVISION Empowerment Experience this year is ‘passion,’ and quite frankly I could not think of a better person to kick-off this event.  Amoy is passion personified,” says ENVISION workshop creator Dr. Bahby Banks.  “At a fundamental level, life is about discovering your passion, and connecting the dots to bring that passion to life.  It’s about pursuit.  Balance. What better example than a seven-year old who has mastered college-level science, all while participating in gymnastics and playing with dolls?”

Dr. Bahby Banks

Banks knows passion very well. As founder and CEO of Pillar Consulting, a Triangle-based research firm whose clientele includes Harvard University, NC A&T State University, Wake Forest University and UNC at Chapel Hill, she credits passion as the “lifesaver” that gave her the courage to launch her company and the annual workshop event.  “Whether through one-on-one career coaching or through program evaluation of a multi-site nationwide effort, my goal is to help clients align their efforts with their goals.”

ENVISION Empowerment Experience™ is a workshop intensive that allows participants to: 1) reflect on their personal and professional goals, 2) explore the lens through which they define and express themselves, 3) explore opportunities to network with other attendees and 4) commit to an action plan for the upcoming year.  This rapid-growing brand has brought attendees from as far as Miami, Washington, Columbia, South Carolina, and Richmond to Durham, North Carolina, and has expanded as a result of partnerships with the American Heart Association, Duke University, Shaw University and Partners for Youth Opportunities.  This year’s event is also supported by PNC Bank.

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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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