Kobi Gregory a junior at DeLaSalle High school is has been described as cheerful, nurturing, adventurous and funny. She can now add philanthropist to the list.

On March 4, Gregory delivered 120 children’s books to the NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center in North Minneapolis – her bounty from a month long self-organized book drive. It was her love of books, and the requisite for service hours (a requirement for all DeLaSalle students) that ignited the idea of a book drive. 

“I’ve always been an avid reader” said Gregory. “So much that my bookshelf is stuffed with books I’ve had since I was a preschooler. It got to the point where my mom couldn’t stand the sight of it so she made me start a donation pile.”

Her pile was so large it made her think how many of her friends and family were also in the same boat. Her goal was to collect and donate 100 books. She was happy when she surpass that goal by 20.

Her book drive couldn't have come at a better time. The bookshelves at NorthPoint were empty except for three lingering books, but for good reason. The Doctors at NorthPoint give books to each of their preschool patients to encourage reading at an early age.

Not only is Gregory an avid reader – she is also an entrepreneur. She recently launched her candle business, Kobi Co. (www.lovekobico.com), to pay for the fee to attend the Progressive Baptist Church annual HBCU tour in the fall and to hopefully able to continue to provide support throughout her years in college. Kobi Co. debuted her signature luxury candle and mist scent, #GirlDad at Positive Image’s annual Father Daughter Dance.  Gregory’s future plans include to slowly grow and expand the luxury offerings on her e-commerce store.   

“Who knows, maybe I’ll even get a truck so I can start a mobile boutique,” said Gregory. “But first I guess I better work on getting my driver’s license.”

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I along with the rest of the world was shook when I heard the news that Kobe and Gianna Bryant died in a tragic helicopter crash. It doubly hit close to home because I was named after Kobe and his daughter and I were pretty close in age. It made it even more clear that no one is invincible not even Kobe. In the days to come I started seeing the hash tag #GirlDad trend on social media. I had just started my candle company and was trying to think of different names for my candles that spoke to me, my personality and my experiences. #GirlDad seemed quit fitting for my newest fragrance profile. After all I like Gianna had a #GirlDad who meant the world to me, who loved and provided for me. Who guided me and even attempts to dance with me at the annual Father Daughter dance. So this candle is my homage, my shout out and my tribute to Kobe and all the amazing #GirlDad's out there just trying to understand your daughters and being there even when you don't.

(pictured above me and my #GirlDad Rennie Harris)

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