Tony's Story

When Tony Allen thinks about Lansing’s future, he thinks about unity, growth, change and prosperity—and he sees himself in the center of it all.

“I don’t believe I have to leave this city to find opportunity; there’s no instant gain in doing that,” says Tony, a 21-year-old Lansing Community College student. “I’m going to stay and build it—I’m going to create jobs.”

He’s off to a great start. Tony and two of his Eastern High School friends and fellow Lansing Promise scholars started a small clothing company called LNSNG (Lansing without vowels) in 2017. It is designed to inspire a cool local vibe and enhance local pride.

The Lansing Promise allows him to balance his life and focus on his dreams.

Listen to a message from Tony:

I don’t believe I have to leave this city to find opportunity; there’s no gain in doing that.

—Tony Allen, Lansing Promise scholar

“Without the burden of tuition, I don’t have to work seven days a week,” Tony says. “I can focus on my homework and on building our company.”

All profits from LNSNG go back into the company or the community. The company works with local musicians and local artists, many of whom graduated from high school with Tony and his friends. They have produced designs to help fundraise for local causes, including scholarships.

The young entrepreneurs are saving to buy a $2,500 printer to step up production and quality of their apparel.

“I pride myself in my ability to get stuff done,” Tony says. “My advice to others: try things; get help when you need it; talk the right way and put yourself out there.”

Find out more about Tony’s company and how to support it:
Tony Allen portrait
Photo: Tony Allen is happy to call Lansing home. Photo by fellow Lansing Promise scholar Tina Nguyen.