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Shawn Askinosie, founder of Askinosie Chocolate
Shawn Askinosie, founder of Askinosie Chocolate

Askinosie recognized by O, The Oprah Magazine

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In its July 7 issue, O, The Oprah Magazine recognized Springfield lawyer-turned-chocolatier Shawn Askinosie for his philanthropic efforts in a feature titled "Meet 14 Guys Who Are Saving the World."

According to the article: "The philanthropically-minded chocolate entrepreneur aims to get students thinking about business ethics in a way that could have ripple effects for generations."

The feature references an August trip taken by Askinosie and 13 Central High School juniors to the the village of Tenende in Tanzania, the site of one of Askinosie Chocolate's cocoa bean and outreach sites.

The students - part of Cocoa Honors, a Central High/Askinosie partnership which travels to and raises money for Tanzania - met with with woman-led cocoa farmer group UWATE. Fellow Springfieldian and philanthropist Doug Pitt, who was named goodwill ambassador to Tanzania by Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, also aids the project, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.

Proceeds garnered from the chocolate harvested in the area are shared with the local farmers, and some money is given to the Tanzania Education Trust, which helps build secondary schools in Tanzania.

The students now are fundraising to buy textbooks for children in Tenende, according to the article.

"I always visit the countries I work with, but I'd never done anything like this," Askinosie said in the article. "The students learned that you don't have to just show up, do business and leave."[[In-content Ad]]

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