For the Langston Hughes High School senior, getting there was a complete and utter shock.
“I didn’t think I was going to win,” he said. “Everyone else had an organization or foundation that was really, really helping people. At the time, I was only a business with a legit vision that didn’t quite have a reach yet.”
But 21st Century Leaders saw something in Guyton’s vision that he has worked to bring to fruition.
A combined effort between 21st Century Leaders and the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40, students throughout the metro Atlanta area are selected on the premise of making an impact on either their school or community, through starting new businesses and clubs.
Students are also evaluated on their demonstrated leadership skills and setting a positive example for fellow youth in their schools or communities.
Guyton first learned about the 21st Century Leaders program in November and applied.
His entry centered on a business idea which infuses technology, gaming and phone services for affordable pricing.
“Other places like Best Buy were more expensive and I’d do the same services to meet the needs of other people for much less,” he said.
Most recently, Guyton has been concentrating on strategically getting the word out about his business venture.
“One of my main goals is to get more noticeable,” he said.
“I designed a poster and business cards and gathered a couple of other people to help me complete these tasks.”
Guyton’s business speaks to his passion of all things technology and gaming.
He currently attends classes on Tuesday evenings at the Cisco School of Technology.
“I have received my certificate in small business and homes networking,” he said.
“I am now working on my certificate for medium business and homes networking.”
Despite balancing his studies and his burgeoning business, he still makes time to give back to his local community, namely to the elderly.
“I go out and try to help other people,” he said.
“I take groceries for the elderly, cut their grass or do something else free.”
Guyton also tries to give back to youth of his age.
“Sometimes during school hours, I will speak to youth at the school.”
21st Century Leaders started the Georgia Youth Leadership Awards in 2008 and has since then had five classes of 20 Under 20 students.