Featured Dream Chaser: 1st Time Reporter Kayla Haley Faces Fears and Shines Light On @HoneyChildTracy ‘s Female Youth Empowerment Program

Kayla Haley

Meet Kayla Haley , a humble and extremely ambitious 18-year old who was among 19 other high school student reporters that I had the privilege to work with this past summer at the 30th annual James Ansin and Peace Sullivan High School Workshop in Journalism and New Media program. Her goal, to be able to tell stories that make a difference.

For her, like a few of the other student participants, it was a first time experience having to do research, contact complete strangers and interview them to pull a story together for the multiple media platforms. And boy was she nervous! I recall her being concerned about not having the experience of other student reporters, and being fearful of not landing the right interviews. But nonetheless, she landed all of the right interviews, including one with Tracy Mourning,  wife of former NBA All-star Alonzo Mourning as part of a feature on her non-profit girl empowerment organization Honey Shine.

As a mentor, I was able to go with Kayla on interviews with Honey Shine Director Edlyn Griffith, Tracy Mourning, and some of the “Honey Bug” participants. I was most impressed by the in-the-moment confidence, as well as the highest level of professionalism that she displayed.  She inspired me to share her story with my readers because she’s an example of how a “getting scared, but doing it anyway” approach can lead one closer to goals and dreams than being passive. In her article, Kayla tells the story of why Tracy started Honey Shine, and the effect that the program has had on young girls across South Florida. Check out her story below:

HONEY SHINE- Shine On

Kayla didn’t just face her fears while discovering what it means to be a journalist, but she showed resilience and tenacity after being told that her Honey Shine story would not be published due to technical difficulties.  As devastating as this news was, Kayla was ON TO THE NEXT! Hard work and determination, and one heartfelt pep-talk with yours truly not only allowed her to regroup and set out to do an entirely different story with media components, but she won the workshop’s Best Story 2013 Award! Whoop whoop! Click on the image below to read her investigative story on how homeless teens solicit help on social media.

Photo: I still can't believe this! Thank you again to everyone at Montage who made these past three weeks more than amazing! And thank you to my family and friends who prayed for me while I was gone!

I’d say that she’s already gotten a great start on setting her goals in motion. Hope you’re inspired too!

Love,

@BCSTARKS

P.S.- Check out the other amazing stories on Homeless Youth in South Florida by participants in the JAPS Journalism and New Media Workshop here:

2013_UM_for Web_Miami Montage

Advertisements

Throwback Inspiration: Tyrese Gibson has ‘Mastered His Domain’

Waddup #DreamTakers!

I came across this article while doing some research for my graduate thesis. Now, let me just say that I am always on the look out for things that keep me inspired, and those things are usually always hidden in the story of someone else’s life.

In this case, Tyrese Gibson, known for his starring roles in Transformers, Baby Boy, and Four Brothers has me awe. Besides the fact that he is wayyy too easy on the eyes, this guy’s story of rediscovering his passion after getting bitten by the “success bug” is phenomenal.

He talks about being vulnerable as a man, and not letting his ego and pride get in the way of all the good that he desires for  his life. He even discusses how when he realized that he couldn’t do everything on his own, he reach out to those whom he looked up to, such as Will Smith, who told him that “in order to truly succeed he’d have to change everything around him.” Who hasn’t heard this lesson before???

This article may be 3 years old, but so many people I know can identify with his story, including me.

Double click each photo to read the article:

BTW- I need to KNOW him… Like for real, for real. 😉

My celebrity crush, Tyrese Gibson… and J. Cole.

What I learned from Tupac: Your life becomes WHAT YOU BELIEVE

On the anniversary of his death, I came across a YouTube video interview of the late and great poet/hip-hop icon, Tupac Shakur a.k.a. 2Pac, during his time in prison. Growing up with all brothers, I was a fan of hip-hop at an early age. Tupac happened to be my favorite rapper around the time of his death, because at the time, I felt a strong connection to many of his songs, especially growing up in a single parent home. Though there were several things that were published about his life and his intentions with the lyrics in his music, this interview revealed his vulnerability and evolving nature as a human being.

I found this interview to be quite intriguing as he spoke about his strong and long-held thoughts of being incarcerated and murdered, much of which he shared with the world through his music and poetry. Tupac was extremely talented, intelligent and conscious minded, and mostly painted pictures of hope through his platform. But even he would not live long enough to shake the dominant negative thoughts that would ultimately become his destiny.

I will die Before my Time

Because I feel the shadow’s Depth

So much I wanted 2 accomplish

Before I reached my Death 

-Tupac Shakur in The Rose That Grew From Concrete

I was moved by this interview because I believe that his story is the story of many a people… People who have yet to become aware of their God-given ability to change their lives, by merely changing their minds. Tupac was beginning his transition  while in prison, but unfortunately he wouldn’t live past the age of 26 (he was murdered two years after this interview) to tell his story of how things have changed as a result of his shift in consciousness, because as far as death, he believed that it was the only thing that would stop him… and it had become the ‘thing’ that he was mostly anticipated and feared.

What I learned from Tupac, among many things, is that life ultimately becomes what you believe. Guard your minds and choose your thoughts wisely, for it is the only true thing that we can control in life.

Check out the interview below:

R.I.P. Tupac.

Love @BCSTARKS