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B.O.S.S. ISSUE 004

E-Magazine of Today’s Young Black Leaders 04 – 12

Be your Own Success Story

One At a Time


Mission Statement


ur Mission is to provide minority, and underserved youth with an outlet to discover their potential through literary content and accessible role models to evoke the spirit of “believing in one’s self� while teaching them how to create, pursue and believe in the path of becoming a professional.

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BUILDERS Support the People who Support our Youth Donations are a huge part of our success. It is what allows us to share B.O.S.S. with you for free. So, if our MISSION matches yours, please feel free to donate to help us reach as many young, minority students as possible. * $5 donations by an individual or a $25 donation by a company or business will be highlighted in the next issue as being a “B.O.S.S. Builder”.* We will assure you that any money donated to B.O.S.S. will be put towards the success of the E-Magazine and keeping it free to the public. Thank you and let us continue to do our part in this fight to win back our lost generation. Sincerely,

Howard J. Clay Jr.

Howard Clay/ Publisher *B.O.S.S. E-Magazine is NOT A “NON-PROFIT” ORGANIZATION OR COMPANY, so donations are not tax deductable under any federal laws.

APRIL BOSS BUILDERS Support the People who Support our Youth Shaneen Murray Linda Clay Gloria Ishman Howard Clay Sr. Hollis Taylor Pam Pack Jerome Davis Jessica Lynne Moon Andrea Paul Dorothy S. Moon ______________________________________________________________________________ An Howard Marcus Merk Ervin Jerome Davis Crystal L. Malone Refina Rodgers

s d n o c e s Every 26

. l o o h c s h g i h f o t u o s p o r d t a studen

Do somethingtheabout it. are in... reviews Become a “INSPIRATIONAL”


Greatly “I ” Respected “EXCELLENT!” “ONE OF A KIND” And “VERY NICE. GREAT IDEA” Deserving individual love where you are going with this magazine


Join the BMOR Project


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In Every Issue

Don’t knock the hustle!

P. 50

P. 30

Warning Signs

P. 36

P. 44


P. 60

P. 64

Don’t become a Statistic!

P. 14

P. 23

“Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice.” ~ Ann Rand


Be Your Own Success Story


Can I make a Difference?


Can Entertainment be Inspirational?

1st Firsts:

Hi! My name is Fafsa!

38 Making a difference Yvette Simpson takes a break from her busy schedule and sits down with

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ured Feat Intervi



Interviews are the backbone of our magazine. The personal testimonies

of the successful “Bosses” we speak with are priceless. Every issue will have featured interviews that you definitely do not want to miss! These interviews are enlightening, informative, and will, without a doubt, shape your life. All B.O.S.S. interviewees will have income in the 6 figures! What do you want to be when you grow up? Yeah, there’s an interview for that!

Tony Gaskins jr.

Author, Motivational Speaker, Consultant, Screenwriter and Producer.

Each of us, famous or infamous, is a role model for somebody, and if we aren't, we should behave as though we are?cheerful, kind, loving, courteous. Because you can be sure someone is watching and taking deliberate and diligent notes. ~~ Maya Angelou 10 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine


Sometimes success comes in forms that we don’t expect. Truth is...never give up on yourself. Tony Gaskins jr. never did.

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Publisher’s Page

April 2012

“One Student at a Time...”


E-Magazine of Today’s Young Black Leaders

I don’t care

about getting an award. I don’t really care about recognition, fame or fortune. I’ve achieved a lot in my life and I’m very happy with where I am in my own career. But now, I have one goal; “ONE STUDENT AT A TIME!”

PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER Howard J. Clay Jr. EDITORIAL Editor in Chief - Drea Elizabeth Editor’s Assistant - Lizzie Pack ART JC3 Entertainment ADVERTISING & MARKETING Marketing Director - Jeffrey Royce Promotions Manager - Linda Tatum MARKETING TEAM Sean Pack Elizabeth Pack Pam Taylor Hollis Benard Desha Elliott Romonica Pitts Ciera McClurklin ____________________ HOW TO REACH US 849 Franklin Rd Suite #708 Marietta, GA 30067 Phone 678-995-5863 Article Submissions email proposal to B.O.S.S. is a monthy publication any questions or concerns please contact us immediately. If you are interested in an Advertisement please contact Entire contents © 2011 B.O.S.S. E-Mag. unless otherwise noted on specific articles. All rights reserved. an affiliate of Clay and Clay llc

I’ve worked in the educational field for quite some time and have seen a lot of successes and failures. Because of this, I know how important it is to not get caught up in the numbers, nor the hype surrounding this endeavour, but to focus on the individuals that we are trying to reach; YOU. The minority youth. Everyone can’t be helped. Everyone doesn’t want education. But, there are people out there who are not satisfied with their current situations or what they believe their future holds and truly understand what is necessary to get to where they want to be in the land of success. These are the people we are trying to reach. The individuals who haven’t given up, but believe in their own ability to move forward. We all have shortcomings and we all have the ability to fail, but we must stay focused and realize that everything we need is actually inside of us as a part of our potential. The strongest thing we have is the CHOICE to keep trying! If we can adopt that to our educational endeavors we can accomplish anything. You don’t have to be the smartest, or attend the best schools, or even have the smartest teachers. If you have the WILL to never, ever stop, then you will make it. To graduate “One student at a Time” is my goal- that is my personal mission. You never know, you could be the next Martin Luther King Jr., the next President Obama, the next Rosa Parks. If we are merely living our lives and are not “inspiring,” then what are we doing? Be the difference you want to see in the world and inspire those around you to be better than what they are today, one student at a time.

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Howard J. Clay, Jr.

B.O.S.S. E-Magazine

Subscribe Today For more information about B.O.S.S. E-Magazine visit us at

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In Every Issue

1st First

Preparing for College

1s t F i r s t What is the “1st First”? It’s the first child from your family who is the first to go to college. Schools and scholarship committees call this “first generation college student.” Scary thought, huh? For a lot of Minorities, it’s an unfamiliar reality. 14 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine

1st First

What CAN I be when I grow up? B.O.S.S. Magazine is here! This E-Magazine will make sure to point you in the direction of your destiny! Have you Subscribed yet? Don’t WAIT, subscription is FREE!!!

B.O.S.S E-MAGAZINE What Successful Teens Read


Interested in Freelance Writing in B.O.S.S. E-Magazine? Contact Drea at

Navigating FAFSA

1st First

Preparing for College

By Drea Elizabeth

It's that time of year

when high school seniors and college students begin the FAFSA process. FAFSA? What do these abstract letters mean? Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This application is oh-soimportant if you want/need to be considered for financial aid.

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1st First

Preparing for College

What you need: As a high school senior or college student you will need the following information to complete your FAFSA. 1) YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION. Make sure you have your social security or tax ID number available. Also, you will need your ID/driver's licence number as well. 2) FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR YOURSELF. Did you work in 2011? If so, you will soon receive a W-2 form from your job and if you filed an income tax return you will need those documents as well. Lastly, if you have any bank accounts in your name, you will need your current bank statements. Use this income info as needed.

3) YOUR PARENTS' PERSONAL, EDUCATIONAL AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION. Have your parent(s) or their info available while completing the application. You'll need their ID numbers, income information for 2011, and their education level. Did they complete high school, college, have a vocational certification? All that goes on your application. 4) YOUR (PROSPECTIVE) COLLEGE INFORMATION. For seniors, you most likely have a list of colleges you have already applied to and those you are planning to complete admissions applications for. To file a FAFSA you will need all the school codes for all of the schools you have and will apply to. In this section, you will need to state whether you will be living on or off campus.

You do not NEED information for both parents if one parent's income will not be considered as a way to pay for your education. In simple terms, if you have lived in a single parent household all of your life, you will only need the information from the parent you have lived with. Only stipulation: You must NOT be able to get parental info in order to not use it. A deceased parent, a parent who you have no contact info for apply here. For those students who have lived in foster care, or otherwise a "ward of the court" you will not need to provide any parental information. Lastly, if your grandparents or any other family outside of your biological or adoptive parents are your legal guardians, you can NOT use their information to file your FAFSA.

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Now, you are equipped with what you need to complete your application, it's time to log on and get started. Here is a short step by step guide on completing the FAFSA.

1) Head over to the official

FAFSA website at www.fafsa. This is the official site of the FAFSA application. Any other website you come across claiming to be a FAFSA site but does not include .ed or .gov in the URL, please be cautious about entering any personal information.

2) Click the "Start Here"

button. You will be directed to the first "Student Information" page. Enter your name, social security number, and birthday when prompted.


Federal aid comes in different forms. There are grants, work-study opportunities, subsidized loans, and unsubsidized loans. Grants: free money you do not have to repay; comes with stipulations- a certain amount of credit hours per semester, certain GPA, or Financial need. The money is paid directly to your college. Work-study: Federal program where you apply/attain a job on-campus and use your pay to cover any needs you may have. The money is paid directly to you. Subsidized loans: money you borrow that must be repaid after graduation or if you drop below halftime student status (usually less than 6 credit hours a term). With this type of loan, the gvovernment pays interest while you are in school. Unsubsidized loans: money you borrow that must be repaid after you leave school. With this type of loan, interest accumulates while you are in school.

3) You will be prompted for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for

either the student or a parent. If this is your first FAFSA application, you will need to apply for a PIN. Follow the prompts and enter the necessary information. You will be sent a PIN via email. Both you and your parent(s) need to apply for a PIN. Your PIN is considered your official signature for the FAFSA. This is how you will sign your application at the end of the process and how you will log in the the website when you need to make changes and renew your FAFSA for the next year.

5) Pay attention to your SAR , EFC, and DRN. You will get this 4) Enter in the necessary information. Once you officially log on to the FAFSA application, the website will take you step by step through each section. Before any financial sections, you will be prompted to complete a "worksheet". These worksheets help you visualize the information and then transfers the appropriate numbers to the actual application. All in all, it is a calculator used to help you simplify the process.

information once you submit the application.The SAR is the Student Aid Report. This is what gets sent to the list of universities you claimed you wanted to be considered for financial aid. It summarizes all of your information, so look it over and make sure everything is correct. If you find anything wrong with it, you can make corrections right away. Your EFC is your Expected Family Contribution. Based on the correct info you provided on your FAFSA, the EFC is the amount the system assumes your family will be able to pay out of pocket. This is in no way a number you and your family should use to determine whether or not you will be able to pay for college. The computer/ FAFSA system generates it, based on this application. If you think your EFC is incorrect, re-check your SAR and make the appropiate corrections. Lastly, you will see a DNR. Along with your PIN, you will need this number to make corrections after a FAFSA is filed.

AFTER FAFSA 1) Check with each of your listed colleges. After your FAFSA has been submited and reviewed by the financial aid offices at the schools you have applied to, contact them to ask if you need to submit any other documents to complete your file. These documents can range from court documents stating that you are a ward of the court, to institutional financial aid applications, to scholarship applications. 2) The financial aid award. After you have applied, been accepted, and submitted your FAFSA, a college will now send you a financial aid award, either as a part of the admissions welcome package or electronically. Once you recieve all of your aid awards from each school you have been accepted to, review them carefully. Compare the cost of attendence (tuition, room and board, expenses) against the amount of aid a school is offering you to determine your unmet need. The FAFSA website has great information about comparing financial aid awards. Check it out at html. 3) Next year. You will have to renew your FAFSA application every year you will be in school in order to be considered for financial aid. The process is essentially the same, except most of the information will be prefilled with last year's info. Make sure you update changes in your ID/driver's licence number if you have changed your residency and school info if you plan on transferring. REMEMBER:

The application for FAFSA opens January 1st. It is advised to complete your application as soon as

possible after that to ensure you receive your maximum amout of aid. By filing a FAFSA in January of your senior year in high school, you are applying for financial aid for the following school year. For example, the senior class of 2012 will begin their financial aid applications January 2012 to receive aid for the 2012-2013 school year.

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Tiffany Hall


Don’t Knock the Hustle! “Broke college student!” We have all heard this phrase before. Be-

ing too busy for a “regular job”, too young for a “real job” and too cute/ cool to work on campus in the cafeteria (no disrespect for those that do!), many college students are forced to find a way to earn some

“ Yo u a re y o u r o w n B . O. S. S. . . ” extra cash or learn how to mooch money from

family and friends. Unfortunately this was not a lesson that was taught to me during my college days. I do remember several of my college peers who had “side hustles” on campus. One sister had her cosmetology degree and was hooking everybody’s hair up for the low in her dorm room! Another sister did nails; acrylic and all, and yet another sister braided hair. While the rest of us were barely getting enough money to eat off campus, they were getting paid! Why didn’t anybody tell me that I needed to have a hustle while I was in school? In hindsight I wish someone had told me to make sure that before I left home, I had some kind of hustle that would put money in my pocket! It wasn’t until 6 years after I’d graduated from college that I became a “hustler”. My first exposure to being an entrepreneur was as an Independent Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay Cosmetics. Being in that company opened my eyes to so many things! It taught me business skills, personal skills, speaking skills, and most importantly, it taught me that if you need to make a dollar or two, you had the ability to go out and make it happen! I will be forever grateful for my MK experience. To this day, if I need some “extra” money, I know how to “hustle” it up. Do you need $20 to go to that frat party this weekend? Why not sell some clothes that you don’t wear anymore to Plato’s Closet? Hustle! Need some cash to pay that initiation fee into that sorority/fraternity? Why not offer baby-sitting services to local families (only if you are good with chil-

dren please) or mow someone’s lawn (elderly people would love to pay someone else to do that for them)? Hustle! Do you need a couple of dollars in your pocket every month, if for no other reason, than just to not be a broke college student? Then Hustle! Now hustling does come with responsibility! Your hustle must be legit! No illegal hustling! Your hustle must not interfere with your education. You are your own B.O.S.S., so set a schedule that works for your school schedule. Your hustle should be funded by you, if at all possible. When you get that fat student loan refund, instead of blowing it on clothes or partying, invest it into your hustle. Lastly, your hustle is just that-- a hustle! Unless your life’s goal is to be a professional hair stylist or to run your own landscaping business, do not let your hustle take precedence over your real life goals! Now get out there and make some money! Here are just a few ways that you can get your hustle on:

• Selling items on EBay, Selling clothes to consignment shops • Hair (styling, braiding, cutting) • Tutoring • Nails • Lawn services • Network Marketing Businesses (Mary Kay, ACN, Avon, Zamzuu) • Kids’ Birthday Parties (face painting, tattoo artist, balloon maker, photographer)

Tiffany Hall, author of Intimate Conversations with Fine Gay Men, Graduate of Alabama A&M University and Miami University of Ohio, veteran educator, and current doctoral student at Capella University. 23 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine


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Sarah Grant - Wilson



Becoming Your Own Boss It takes a ton of energy to be a full time college student. Unlike high school, you

are now responsible for everything concerning your education. This means that you have to handle everything from registering for courses to scheduling regular meetings with advisors to make sure that you’re on track for graduation. No one is going to hunt you down for anything. No one will be waking you up for class or making sure that you have missing assignments if/ when you miss a class. Everything is on you. Realizing this can be quite intimidating especially if you’re used to getting a lot of assistance. So, here are four tips to help keep you on track and ahead of the game. 1.)

Find out who your advisor is.

You must know who to go to for help. Your advisor will help you choose classes that satisfy the requirements of your major. If you have any issues within your major such as wanting to minor in another disciple or wanting to switch majors, your advisor can assist you with that as well. Most schools have a list of faculty contacts on their website. So get familiar with your advisor early on and build a relationship with them. In addition to helping you graduate on time, advisors are very instrumental in your job and internship search. Even after you have graduated they can still provide recommendations for you, so it is important for you to keep that relationship in good standing.


ery college has a plan for its students and that plan is called an undergraduate catalog. The undergraduate catalog is a list of courses specific to your individual major that must be completed upon graduation. The guide breaks down the courses by semester or quarter, letting you know which courses should be taken and how many credit hours should be earned per year. If you ever get off track or happen to fall behind, simply refer to this guide before meeting with your advisor to develop a new graduation plan. Everyone moves at their own pace, so this catalog is not the only path to graduation. BUT you must know where you stand in order to have a productive meeting with your advisor. No one wants to meet with a clueless student who hasn’t done his/her homework. This guide will not only answer questions for you, it will also provide you with the necessary questions and comments for your advisor.

Check your e-mail daily. Class may be cancelled. A meeting 3.)

may be pushed back. A paper may be due earlier. A guest speaker may be on campus. Anything could be happening but if you don’t check your e-mail then you won’t have a clue. Schools want students to know about everything that’s happening on campus. The easiest way for administration to reach everyone at once is through e-mail, so check it! DAILY. You could miss out on some important opportunities by being negligent.

You cannot put a demand on anyone else until you put a demand on yourself first. You can’t expect excellence from your advisor if you aren’t operating in excellence yourself. So be assertive. Handle your business. Keep your word and always be on time. With these few tips you should have a very successful year.

Refer to an undergraduate catalog. Ev-


Network. College can be intimidating,

especially if you’re in a new city around so many unfamiliar faces. Most schools have a plethora of organizations and programs designed to bring the student body together. Take advantage of these groups. If there is nothing available of interest to you then start your own group. Fear is paralyzing and college is all about growth and expansion, so you don’t have time to be timid and introverted. Finding your circle of friends is great, but don’t be opposed to making new connects. You won’t be in college forever. Eventually you are going to graduate and enter the real world. The connections that you make in college can lead to life changing and life long experiences; including internships, career opportunities and even friendships. So meet everyone you can, you never know who you will need in the long run.

Kevin J. Robertson



What do you want to be when you grow up? This is a question that seemingly

every child is asked at least once by every adult in his or her life. My answers varied depending on when I was asked. Every time, I answered enthusiastically with what I had most recently decided on. Some that I recall are inventor, meteorologist, paleontologist, and physical therapist… just to name a few. It wasn’t until I attended a youth professional development conference in Dallas that I started to gain some definitive clarity in what I wanted. I will never forget that day. The speaker broke

“Why do you want to go back to school if you are already in your career?” down how much of our life we spend doing various activities. He showed us that we would likely spend two-thirds of our life (in years) as a part of the work force and at least one-third of our day during a “typical” workday. I never forgot that breakdown. As I looked at the adults around me afterwards, I couldn’t help but notice that some hated their jobs. Some were miserable. Some had deteriorating health. Some were making great money but had no time to spend it. Some had family issues growing around their work-related absence.

To date, I have trained under audio engineers who have worked with names such as Prince, Bootsy Collins, Reba McIntyre and Midnight Star. I have worked the Internationally televised Allstate Gospel Superfest for the past 5 years. While I have worn many hats working with the show, my highlights include interviewing talent in Atlanta and in Cincinnati, capturing behind-the-scenes footage, and assisting with stage management. This year the Allstate Gospel Superfest will be recording in Memphis Tennessee and I have been promoted to Stage Manager.

That’s not to say that everyone was that way, but

I’ve been asked, “Why do you want to go back to school if you are already in your career?” There are a few reasons. Education is important in my family and therefore to me. Also, I would want my future children to graduate from college and I would rather lead them by example. I cannot overlook the fact that this industry is trending towards the idea of a degree being a requirement rather than the “niceto-have” it has been. Besides, how can it hurt to learn skills and information to further my career and put me close to my aspirations?

it was enough for me to make a decision.

If I’m going to be spending that much of my life working, I need to find a way to get paid

doing what I love to do.

My collegiate career started at the University of Toledo where I was a dual major in Athletic Training and Pre-Physical therapy. Even though I thought this is what I wanted to do, I became one of the 80% that switched career directions while in school. I could have done well in it, but it wasn’t my passion. I just knew when I was growing up, I saw so many adults in their job solely for money that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life imitating that unenviable trait. So, I enrolled in Brown Mackie College in Cincinnati to pursue a career in Audio and Video Production. While I have not yet graduated, the skills and networking I have mastered there have launched my career. 26 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine

My future plans include growing my company, yTheory Media and Entertainment LLC, finishing my degree at Brown Mackie, and continuing my education at Full Sail University for my Entertainment Business Degree.

COMMUNITY 27 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine




There is always that one student who sits in front of the class, blurting out all of the answers or asking millions of question. To the right of them is that other student who pretends to take notes on their computer, instead they are on Facebook, chatting. Behind that student there is the other student who never comes to class, yet gets all A’s on his tests right along with the guy

“What makes a good Academic?” who snores really loud every morning… and then there is Me. What makes a good Academic?, I wonder. Could the bases of your knowledge be determined by only your grades in college? If so, then that makes me an average person, with average grades, that will have just AVERAGE goals because my G.P.A. is just that. Average. We sit for hours studying for a test or quiz, writing papers or having play performances. I, personally, have to deal with managing my many lifestyles. My weekly schedule consists of work, college, and The Real World. I have come to realize that many people limit themselves on the amount of Knowledge they are capable of gaining. For example, this semester, I have been studying Women Studies, Race, Gender & Theater, Music of World Cultures, and Creative Writing. However, during my “off” time, I am writing this article and reading other books such as “Keys to the Universe” or “From Poverty to Power”. This allowing me to have an understanding of Society and the Earth my conscious is rising. Time management is the key to being a well organized academic, that, I learned. Since I am trying to open my mind to all the horizons, I do have difficulties writing the most excellent paper that I can, or studying for a test because there is simply so much I want to accomplish! To that realization, I have taken the time to first, make a Change within Myself. This past month, alone, I have been hurt by the number of lives we have lost not only in the World, but in Cincinnati. There has been a 7 year old shot and killed, a 10 year old hit by a bus, an infant and a 4 year old got shot during a drive by... and then there is the story of Trayvon ( R.I.P to those beautiful souls). Millions of people are taking the time however to March for ONE soul, where I am

trying to make a difference for the Universe.

There are many individuals who do not agree with me not wanting to go out and march

for hours just for a man to NOT get justice, to just to lose another lost soul or when I say, “if you want to make a change, it must begin with yourself.” Instead, I choose to continue to learn and prosper as ONE, so that everyONE can make a difference. I ask myself again… what makes a good academic? Could it be just my grades? Or the fact that this month I have managed to schedule exercise time, I have turned off an unplugged my television for a better focus, I have stopped eating meat and putting toxins in my body. Does my transcript or G.P.A represent the amount of Knowledge I have gained… or have I proven to you that “Actions

Speak Louder Than Words”.

I refuse to limit myself to one form of learning, I refuse to NOT make a change. I have learned that if I am not ONE with myself, and I do not have an understanding of the world around me than there will be NO CHANGE, and that I cannot settle for. In the end I know that what makes a good academic, in my view, is simply Knowledge and

Prosperity shown through actions and commitment. I know that all of my dreams

will come true and someday I am going to make a Change to the world simply because I have taken the time to love and change myself. I have taken the time to BE the influence, rather to BE influenced. My biggest fear is seeing the world I live in, silenced because others are afraid and incapable of finding their own voice. My biggest encouragement is to learn, learn, and keep on learning. There is a situation bigger than the United States; there is a situation with humanity. The crime, the pain, the work that we all TRY to put in has deceived us because still, there is no change. It is time that we ALL stand up, we ALL wake up, WE ALL MAKE A CHANGE AS BROTHER AND SISTER, KINGS AND QUEENS! It is time we ALL become academics and go forth for a better living. Remember, it all begins with the person in the mirror.

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Martin Luther King (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)

29 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine


WARNING Dropping out has become an EPIDEMIC in America. We have to begin to pay more attention to what’s going on. Here are a few signs and statistics to keep you up to date with what’s going on where you live.

by jeff royce


Just ignoring the dropout rate will not make it go away. It will continue to get worse. If it doesn’t effect you now, it will affect us all in the future.

How Does Your State Compa

are to the National Average?

How do you feel about these numbers? What can you do in your community to affect change? We must start to change things ourselves because no one will do it for us.

What CAN I be when I grow up? B.O.S.S. Magazine is here! This E-Magazine will make sure to point you in the direction of your destiny! Have you Subscribed yet? Don’t WAIT, subscription is FREE!!!



B. S.S. E-Magazine of Today’s Young Black Leaders


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Be your Own Success Story

The little secret is that every 26 seconds a high school student drops out. Let’s help change that. Together we can be a part of cleaning this up.

If you would like to know more visit | Become a friend at | Text BMOR to 30416 for updates

September 2008 magazine 35







Yvette Simpson City Council Member: Cincinnati, OH



Cincinnati BOSS: When you were growing up, what did you want to be? And does that contrast with the position you hold right now? Yvette: when I was eight years old, I decided I wanted to be a lawyer. I ultimately did get my law degree and practiced for a little while. But, now, I’m using my law degree in a different way. I did not see myself as a politician when I was young. BOSS: How did you make that journey? Was there any kind of struggle, or any kind of resistance you had to overcome? Yvette: It’s funny, when I was at Miami University (Ohio), I was a student worker in the President’s office. That was one of the many jobs I did on campus-- I was the student worker to the President of the University, but you would have thought that I was the President by how well I did my job! That led to a couple of things: I was the Marshall at all of our graduations, I was one of the representatives, and I received the President’s Distinguished Service Award. It was more than just work, but the people who watched me work and give it 100% every day, they also saw me [giving 100 percent] when I was on campus doing service work. They saw me as someone who was leading organizations and they recognized me.

I came into politics more through my interest in community involvement and service. So, my law practice-when I practiced law-- was like one part of my life and then I had this other part of my life that was very community oriented. I did a lot of community service, served on boards, was in the trenches, and did a lot of different things. I was really excited about the impact that we can make in our community. I saw the government as a way to make a bigger impact in a more significant way. I saw an opportunity in Cincinnati. I think I saw what a lot of people were seeing; The city of Cincinnati becoming more progressive, becoming more forward thinking, becoming a city that’s more action oriented. I thought I could be a part of a group of people to be able to do that. So, at the time I decided to take on this position, I was actually directing the pre-law program at Miami University (of Ohio), which was my first attempt at turning my passion into my career. So, I use my law degree in this job as a Councilwoman quite a bit... I really got here based on that other side of my life which is more service driven. BOSS: You mentioned your passion... how important is it for us to realize what our passion is? Yvette: It’s everything! Law has always been an intriguing and fun career for me and I’ll always be a lawyer, but I think really having your heart and your soul into something-- you see it differently. When I do my job, people say that they see my passion for the community, for the youth, for the initiatives, and these changes we’re trying to make. [When you’re passionate about something] it makes you feel like you’re not working, even though you really are. Since I’ve been here people ask me, “How are you liking the job?”, and I tell them that 38 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine


I love it... I love what I’m doing and I see the impact it will make. I really, really am just passionate about making an impact on this community.

BOSS: What is your advice to teenagers who are not really sure where they want to be in life but figure that they need to do something? Yvette: Well, I think every journey starts with a step. I think the challenge with some of the young people I work with in the 17-21 range is that they have not gotten a true sense of themselves. They’re being so directed by friends and family... that just may be a part of the journey. What I tell students is to just be true to you and do what you love to do. That may not mean that today you can be president [of the United States], but you can take baby steps to get the training in order to get closer to that goal. Students really need to spend time figuring out who they are and then begin to take the steps to make that happen in their own lives. Also, I would tell them to not “sell out.” When I say that I mean, yes, money is an important part of life, but don’t let money run your life. It will not make you happy by itself. If you do a great job and you get money, then we call that a bonus. But if you go chasing a dollar, you’ll never find true happiness. You just won’t because it doesn’t live [in money]. We’ve seen a lot of examples of celebrities and other very wealthy people who just are not happy. I say that happiness is the greatest currency that you can ever have. BOSS: Do you have any final words, maybe a mission statement, that you live by? Yvette: What do I want my legacy to be? What do I want that epitaph to read when I leave this earth? I have decided that I want it to say “She served.” For me, service will always be an important part of my life. So, if you have an idea of what you want people to know about you when you’re gone, that will guide you through whatever you do. Make the motto in your life be whatever that thing is you want your legacy to be and identify with that.

We are always learning something. I’ve learned through my experiences – one, how to be humble

and two, how to do a good job. No matter what you do, whether you’re getting coffee, be the best coffeegiver. If you are making copies, be the best copy maker. (Speaks in mocking tone) “Oh it’s not important, I’m not doing important work.” Always do your best work because people watch you. Hopefully, they can give you a recommendation when you leave that job, because everything you do is important and will lead to the next thing. People were talking about me, even when I wasn’t in the room since I tried to do as much as I could with excellence. That is something I think young people can certainly do. Every job you do, do it 100%.

Interviewed by Desha Elliott

Student of the Month Donovan Dennis Ambitions of a Black Neurosurgeon


assion, integrity, ambition, compassion; these are all qualities of a true leader, one who displays good character and has a vested interest in the betterment of others— someone like me. In my personal journey of success, I have immensely grown as a leader; but, I still have much more to learn. Regardless, I know that I will someday, fully blossom into a great leader with my motto of Continuous Improvement. I should be student of the month because of my selfmotivation and intellectual curiosity. From a young age, I have always loved working on puzzles, analyzing objects, and questioning the world around me. I have attuned this curiosity into a passion for learning—simply for the sake of learning. This love is exactly what has helped me get into my local premier, college-prep high school—the University High School Academy—in Southfield, and is exactly why I have maintained a cumulative GPA of over a 3.75 since 9th grade. However, my love of learning is a diverse gift of mine. It has allowed me to become active in numerous organizations (i.e. Student Congress and the National Honor Society), to earn awards (like first place in Kroger’s Black History poetry contest) and to develop a proficiency in both Mandarin and Spanish—I have even visited Costa Rica to help out elementary students there. My curiosity has also opened my eyes to a future career in neurosurgery; it is my dream to study the brain—like my role model Dr. Benjamin Carson—and uncover its countless mysteries. This is why education is important to me; if being the first in my family to graduate from college is not incentive enough, then developing this passion will suffice. I am further excited because I have the opportunity to study at my dream college, Brown University. Therefore, it is my dream to be a successful role model and future neurosurgeon on the campus at Brown University, as a black leader of my generation and of the world.

Congratulations, Donovan on being our Student of the Month and continue being a BOSS!! 40 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine


Mississippi Accolades, awards, medals and plaques The mention of my name, the pat on my back. The standing ovation, the cheer from the crowd The thunder of clapping, the whistles and howls. The flash of the camera, the outstanding review The five out of five stars, the feeling of secure. The peering of eyes and signal of respect The dignity in the walk, the cashing of checks. The crispy pressed clothes and the razor sharp line The profound way of thinking, the extended waist line. The confidence in my speech, the power in my voice The passion in my eyes, the precision of my choice. My exclusion of peers and my selection of friends The training of my mind, beginning to end. My serious stare and the focus of my mind By keeping it business and leaving folly behind. My everlasting charm and studious ways The flex of my intelligence, my heart in a cage. Fear of failure my fuel and truth as my guide I long for a Mrs. To stand by my side. The joy in my laugh and the sorrow in my tears My breaking of tradition, the overcoming of jeers. My diverse agenda and my persistent work schedule The hunger to have it all, to be on a different level. This is who I am and what I have become; it’s me from her on out until fighting the stereotype is done.

Poetry Month

It’s Me by Alexander Gibson*

* From Alexander Gibson's book “FIGHTING THE STEREOTYPE “ (

My name is Alexander Gibson. I am a 25 year old from Starkville Ms. I'm married with one daughter. I am the author of two books, Fighting the Stereotype which is in stores now and The Unadulterated Truth which is soon to be released. I am also the CEO and founder of Help for the Helped which is a non profit organization based on community and state development. For more information visit My life passion is to help others,especially convicted felons and to show my view of the world through my writing.

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Chicago CHICAGO (CBS) — An all-male charter high school on the South Side is celebrating Friday, as once again, all its graduating seniors have been accepted to four-year colleges. As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, this is the third year in a row that every graduating senior at Urban Prep Academy – 85 of them – has been accepted to four-year colleges or universities. Most of the students came in four years ago with a lot against them. They are AfricanAmerican and male, and they come from poor Chicago communities.

But now, all of the 85 graduating seniors are off to college. Vernon Cheeks, 17, was accepted to 14 colleges. “It taught me how to be resilient. It also taught me how to be accountable for my own actions,” Principal Dennis Lacewell says the keys to the school’s success are high expectations and having a culture that expects students to go to college. “The third line in our creed that we say every day is, ‘We are college bound,’ so from freshman year all the way through senior year, they’re saying that every day,” Lacewell said. Lacewell says “83 percent of the Urban Prep class of 2011 is still in college” – a figure higher than the national average. The Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men, at 6201 S. Stewart Ave. in the Englewood neighborhood.


Next Month’s Featured Person:

Dr. Adrienne Johnson Entreprenuer Author Philanthropist

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Everyday Is GRADUATION: 10 Things We Must Do Daily To Be Rewarded By Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes

Everyday Is “GRADUATION”:


Things We Must Do Daily To Be Rewarded By Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes High Schools and Colleges will soon have Graduations. I looked back at what it took for me to complete my in school education and through the word GRADUATION I was inspired to give you 10 things we can do daily to be rewarded.

“Graduation for some is a few months away but GRADUATION for us all is what we do each and everyday. “ Please DONATE or hire Derrick Hayes to speak at your next meeting, conference or event. Derrick Hayes is the Author of 1 WORD Is All It Takes, Creator of Derricknyms, Developer of the app Motivation To Your Mobile, Nominator of Today’s Honoree, and blogs at the Encouragement Speaker and can be reached at or (706) 615-1662.

10 Things We Must Do Daily To Be Rewarded cont.


- Get Up. The things that happened yesterday already happened. You might have been knocked down but not knocked out. If you have breath, use just a little to get up on your feet.


- Rise with expectation. While you are on your feet why not think positive? Expect to make good grades. Expect to be a positive influence in the lives of others. Expect your good days to outweigh your bad days.


- Ask Questions. Is there something you need to know to help your mind grow? Find out what information you need to pass the test. Don’t just sit there work your plan so you can get there. Ask and you will receive.


- Decide Wisely. Choice rhymes with Rolls Royce. If you plan to roll with Royce make sure they have your best interests at heart. The decisions we make now effect what we are able to do even five, ten, and twenty years down the road.


- Use your skills. Stop complaining if you can’t find a job. Create one. You have the skills that can pay the bills. Every product or service you use comes from someone that created a business to sell to you.


- Adjust properly. Everyone makes mistakes. Success is not what happens to you, it’s how you react to what happens to you. Adjust simply means add just enough change to bring about different results.


- Train on. Take your school work seriously. What you learn today can help you earn tomorrow. Never think that you know it all and don’t have to learn anymore. What you don’t know might not hurt you but it can hold you back.


- Inspire Others. Be an example that others want to sample. Never focus on if someone is hating on you or trying to bite your swag. Walk your walk and talk your talk and others will want to be just like you mimicking what you say and copying what you do.


- Overcome obstacles. Situations and circumstances do not discriminate. When you find a way through a situation make a mental note on what happened just in case you revisit a moment like this. When you overcome obstacles it makes room for more opportunities.


- Never Quit. In the words of M.C. Hammer, You are too legit to quit. If you stop someone else gets a chance to win. There comes a time and place when we all have to walk away. Does it really have to be your day today? I don’t think so.

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Book of the Month


Book of


well Dr Pam Je

46 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine




Dr. Jewell wrote this book to help college students and/or future college students become aware of choices and their consequences. College students can be exposed to undesirable activities and might make choices that can cripple their future success. College is a very wise choice that requires tremendous sacrifices. For truth’s sake, college “hurts so good� because major and very important sacrifices are made for a long-term goal. She is also an educator and speaker; giving high-energy, motivational speaking engagements to high school and college students. The book is available on

Knowledge = Power Following your heart's desire will lead you in the direction your spirit wants to go. ~~ Oprah Winfrey

"Man's greatness consists in his ability to do and the proper application of his powers to things needed to be done." ~~Frederick Douglas

“The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness” ~~ Marcus Garvey

Education is a precondition to survival in America today.~~ Marian Wright Edelman

We all have ability. The difference is how we use it. ~~ Stevie Wonder

It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared. ~~ Whitney Young, Jr. “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” ~~ Malcolm X

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Lack of knowledge can be blamed for so many different things. You must be aware of the realistic possibilities your future can bring. You must not only be given a “photo” of your potential, but a “map” on how to get there.



Inte r v i e w s


All photos courtesy of subject.

Reprint Interested in Freelance Writing in B.O.S.S. E-Magazine? Contact Drea at

51 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine

All photos courtesy of subject.

INTERVIEW B.O.S.S.: What did you want to be when you were younger and why? Tony: I wanted to be a professional athlete... In certain [demographics] that seems to be the only avenue-- the only way out. I gravitated towards sports at a young age and was exceptionally good at them. I always scored more touchdowns than any of my friends... In basketball, I was always a leader the league for scoring, so coming up, I felt like this was “for me” this was my “calling”. I come from an area that produced top notch athletes, and for me to be at the top of my class, I felt like that was what I was “meant” to do. B.O.S.S.: What changed you from going down that path to becoming a professional athlete? Tony: Well, I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t understand how to get there. I didn’t understand that everything affects everything. I didn’t understand what the make-up of success was. If you want to be successful on the field, you must first be successful in the classroom-and in your life. And so, along the road, I was focusing on being successful on the football field, but I wasn’t paying attention or trying to become a better student in the classroom or in life as a young man. So, I got caught up. I was in college, on a full football scholarship, but got caught up in females… I got caught up in the fast life-- selling drugs, making money, trying to be cool. Trying to fit in. Fit in by standing out in the wrong way. As I said earlier, “everything affects everything.” I wasn’t sleeping right, therefore, I wasn’t eating right, therefore, I wasn’t lifting right, therefore, I wasn’t growing right, and ultimately couldn’t play right. B.O.S.S.: So, when you were in high school, what were your original feelings about education? Tony: I loved to learn, but I didn’t like to study. So, I would learn what I could, solely based on my memory. Outside of school, I only wanted to do what I had to do-- like the homework that I had to do-- I would do it. Since I played basketball and football, I was concerned with how fast I could get through my homework so I could get outside to play and practice. I did what I had to do, but I wasn’t crazy about school-- not many of my friends were. But things changed in the 9th grade after I got arrested. I changed schools

and my mom transferred me to a predominantly white private school. When I started at the school, I noticed a difference between the white school and the school I came from, which was predominantly black. At the black school, it was cool to be an athlete and to be the best dressed, but at the white school, it was cool to have the highest score on your test. At the private school, we wore uniforms, so it didn’t matter what your shoes or clothes looked like, it was who was the smartest in the room. I didn’t have to shrink all of my knowledge like I was trying to do at the public school. And that was when I started to look at school differently. It was cool [to be smart] and I started to enjoy making good grades. B.O.S.S.: You got into college with an athletic scholarship, but how did your collegiate career end?

INTERVIEW Tony: Because I wasn’t focused in the classroom after three years of being on a scholarship and not producing what I came there to produce, the coach let me go. I was hurt at the time, so [the coach] used that to kick me off the team. I had to pack up and drive a thousand miles to start over-- in school and in life-- without sports. I was 21 years old and that was when life really began to challenge me. B.O.S.S..: Were you able to overcome that obstacle and finish school? What happened? Tony: In the midst of trying to finish school, I would have to say that life happened. And while being lost and confused, I gravitated towards females. I met my wife that first year I returned home. Still focused on women and not school, I didn’t know how to be a student without being an athlete. Without my scholarship, I had to find a job to pay for my car note, rent,

groceries, school supplies... I worked full-time, trying to be a student, but I didn’t know how to be just a student. So, it was tough. That first semester, I withdrew from all of my classes and returned to school the next term. From 2005 to 2010, I tried to balance being a husband, a father, an author, a full-time employee, and a student. I had to. The combination of my lack of stimulation in school and my dreams, goals and aspirations outside of college, prompted me to write my own book in 2007. By then, I felt like I had learned what I needed to learn, but I did want to finish. My switching majors and wanting to learn so many things, I needed to buckle down to just one subject in order to get a degree in that field. So, I had an eight year education, but no actual degree to show for it. B.O.S.S.: What kept you inspired to continue and finish your education? Tony: Just to know I can complete a task that I begin is the ultimate thing. But, I also learned a lesson not too many people get to learn. I learned “education”, but in the midst of getting an education, I learned it is most important to get “self-educated”. I remember Jim Rome saying, “Formal education can make you a living, but self-education can make you a fortune.” So, when you have both [formal and self-education], you are able to move forward and have no limits on your life. What inspires me is the fact that I know I am able to complete a task, take my self-education, combine it with my formal education, and have nothing I can’t do. B.O.S.S.: Amazing, amazing… What would be your one piece of advice about life to a teenager? Tony: I would say that the honest truth is that school may not be for everyone, but to really pay attention to your gifts. Some people may have limitations and things in life that may happen to adversely affect them-- from money, to parents, to lack of guidance or advising. You have to find out how to become successful. I say at that point you figure out that college may not be for you, you have to identify your natural gifts and then find an outlet to express it and turn that passion into profit. You can still use your abilities to change the world-- even if you are not successful in school for whatever reason, you can still become your own success story!

“...It didn’t happen like a “Cinderella Story” for me. It definitely wasn’t a beautiful story...” 54 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine


B.O.S.S.: What did you want to be when you grew up? I actually have been singing since I could remember. I grew up in church and I always thought that one day I would be a singer. However, growing up in church, you really don’t see the stardom [of being a singer]. Because you are there singing in the choir, you’re around the preacher and the church ladies and they want to keep you in church. But, I always thought I would be a singer. It didn’t happen like a “Cinderella story” for me. It definitely wasn’t a beautiful story. I actually went through a lot of [hardships] before I became a professional singer. A lot of things... B.O.S.S.: Tell us a little about your high school experience. Did you do anything special to help you pursue your dream of becoming a professional singer? Or is it something that just happened? Actually, I have-- really a testimony behind my “schooling.” I went to Mt. Juliet High in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. My mom had me going back and forth from Georgia to Nashville to Mt. Juliet. I was in the 9th grade in ROTC and the choir. But, I was a high school dropout... Yeah, [pause] and this is why I love talking to kids, because I have an amazing story to tell! I believe [my story] can really help kids that are looking and thinking about dropping out of school. So, I dropped out and I ran away from home. I had a lot of things going on at home. My mom and I were not getting along and my father-- he wasn’t my biological father, but he was my dad who I knew since birth-- he passed away when I was 14. It really struck some “nerves” in me and I wasn’t very happy. I really wasn’t happy as a teen. My mom put me in ROTC to try to “straighten me up,” but it didn’t work. I dropped out and I ran away. I was gone for about 2 ½ years without anyone knowing where I was. B.O.S.S.: WOW! Yeah... I really, I really, really really, really, really could have been dead. I really could have been dead. I went through so much stuff, went through so many obstacles, and met people that I wasn’t supposed to be around. I got into the things that teenagers get into when they are with the wrong people. Drugs, alcohol-- all that jazz. Really, God had his hand on my spirit, on my life, because he allowed a certain situation to happen that allowed my family to find me! We all reunited and I went to stay with my grandfather in Georgia when I began to change my life. I ended up getting my GED and I got

All photos courtesy of subject.




All photos courtesy of subject.

“Saved.” I gave my life to Christ. I took a class at a technical school in Georgia because I knew I had to get back on my education. Then, afterwards, I moved back to Nashville, and basically, started working with my mom. I had planned to go to the Military, but while I was working with my mom, I met a producer and that’s when my career started. I was 18 or 19 years old and I’ve been doing music ever since. I was also working with a guy, called BARNONE, who got me involved with a publishing company. I signed my first publishing deal at the age of 19. B.O.S.S.: That’s amazing! I know thanks! I know it sounds amazing, but it was not how everyone thinks it is. They look at American Idol and they look at artists and celebrities and say, “aww, man, they probably been doin’ that and they had it good!” No. It has not been all good. I’ve made some bad decisions, but one thing I know is that, it was meant for me to be a singer; it was meant for me to go on American

Idol. This is what God had in store for me and there was nothing I could do to mess it up! So, while I was working on my career I worked at a shoe store. My mom called me on the phone, and she said “Ashthon! American Idol is here! They’re here in Nashville!” And I said, “Mom I know, but I’m here [at work], I can’t just leave. I have to work, I have to make money.” And she said, “I know, but you know you’ve wanted to do it.” I told her that I didn’t think it was my year, and she said, “Ashthon, trust me.” My mom kept asking me to please go, please go, and so I talked with my boss. She said, “Well, you know, I don’t think you are going to be guaranteed a spot on the show (American Idol). I don’t think you will make it. You should be here, you have a secure job and...” It took her to say something like that to me to motivate me. My boss didn’t give me a chance. She didn’t even know if I could sing or not. So, that day, I quit my job. I went to get my Idol 55 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine


wristband and the next day I auditioned and made it. It was a life changing experience for me. I had been doing music for about 5 years, singing locally, in bars and clubs, to being on the stage in front of Jennifer Lopez and Randy and millions of viewers around the world! For me to come from being that little girl from Church of God by Faith in Cordele, Georgia, to being on American Idol. I almost felt like I didn’t deserve it, but I can’t say that, because God had a plan for me. . This is for all the teens and parents out there who don’t know that you really have to make the right decisions. It doesn’t always turn out good just like that. You have to make decisions that will help you be successful in life. I have 4 brothers and sisters that are younger than me so I try to be a role model for them. ...And that’s a little bit about ‘Ashthon Jones’. B.O.S.S.: During those times between getting your GED and being on Idol, what was your motivation and inspiration to be more? I actually have a few people in my life who have inspired and motivated me. My cousins in Georgia helped raise me as a little girl. They are all singers and they have always told me to stay driven and never give up. My producer who I met that got me the publishing deal. He has been a big part of my life since I was 19. He basically helped mold me as an artist. I felt like I could never just give up since I had all these people around who were pushing and pushing me. My mom has been a single parent for a long time, and for her to have my back like she does and working trying to make ends meet... I don’t really have a choice. I have my little sisters and brothers and I don’t want them to see me quit. All of those things around me help to mold me and drive me to keep going. B.O.S.S.: How did you finish on American Idol? I made it to the top 13! B.O.S.S.: That’s an incredible accomplishment! Yes. I really wanted to make it to the top 13 because I felt that would be the “life changer.” It would allow me to have viewers around the world to grow with me as an artist. B.O.S.S.: what would you say to a young person who is contemplating dropping out of school or is struggling to achieve their goals? It doesn’t always turn out good. If you make bad decisions, there will not always be a turning point where everything comes up roses. You have to be careful, because there are people out there who are not in your best interest and don’t love you like your family. It’s not a good thing to run out on your family, it’s not a good thing to run out on school and friends, because they will miss you. And ANYTHING can happen to you. It’s a true story, it really is. There were a lot of people I knew who hung out around me that had a lot of things happen to them-- from rape to drugs to death. And it’s a scary thing. So, you want to make sure you 56 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine

All photos courtesy of subject.


stay in school and surround yourself with people who care about you and your education and your life. And always know that you are beautiful. Whether you are a man, a woman-- you are beautiful inside. If, at any point, you don’t feel loved, always know that God loves you. I just want to tell people that. I want people to know that. Thank you, B.O.S.S. Magazine, for the opportunity to be REAL.

Ashthon Jones is currently working on a program called “A.S.I.S.T.”-- “Ashthon’s


Stay in School

It is scheduled to begin fall of 2012. Ashthon Jones will also be giving scholarships to the school that wins the talent show that she will be putting on later in 2012. To find out more about Ashthon Jones, please take a moment to visit her on Facebook, Twitter or her Website. Facebook: Twitter: @AshthonJones

*American Idol Season 10 Top 13 *Singer/Songwriter, Actress, Motivational Speaker, & Host. *For Booking & Hosting email:

All photos courtesy of subject.


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Mission: Our goal is to use BlaCk OWned to create a generation that realizes the power that is withinâ&#x20AC;Ś through fashion.


Sometimes in our educational pursuit we overlook the importance of entertainment. Entertainment, done right, can change peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives, can give hope, can inspire generations! Join us as we move through entertainment at itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s root and true purpose, to make change.

All photos courtesy of getty images




“Star Power” award winner

Academy Award-nominated actress has beauty and brains to boot. She blinds us with her star power whenever she walks on any red carpet and into any room.

When does

E n t e r t a i n m e n t

Taraji P. Henson

Entertainment become INSPIRATIONAL? Interested in Freelance Writing in B.O.S.S. E-Magazine? Contact Drea at


Shirley Caesar Grammy Award-winning legendary gospel singer Shirley Caesar embodies what it means to be a living legend. Grace, poise, class and the voice of an angel.

Tatyana Ali Most of us have grown up watching Ms. Ali's beauty grace the silver screen. She's been making moves in Tinseltown from a young age. This award is self-explanatory.

Angela Davis The original fist-pumping diva with the famous 'fro and strong message of Black empowerment has galvanized millions to make a change. Yes, indeed, she's an icon.

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BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc. is 501(c)3 non-profit youth empowerment and mentoring organization established to promote the arts for young women of color, as well as to encourage dialogue and analysis of the ways women of color are portrayed in the media.

Laurel Richie

All photos courtesy of

Philanthropist, businesswoman and powerhouse president of the Women's National Basketball Associationâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;she can call shots for us anytime.

Imani Walker and Malika Saada Saar Advocating for dignity and policy reform for women is one of the highest causes ever. These women break down barriers and stand on the frontlines of the fight for justice every day.


Don't Beco A Call to Act Control o By: Naima Woodson


larming statistics are being released everyday on one of the most preventable health issues. The obesity epidemic currently sweeping the United States is a significant problem for the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s youth, but among minorities, the numbers are even more alarming. Consider these 20 startling facts on obesity in America: 64 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine

ome a Statistic! tion for YOU to Take of Your Health 1. Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest rates of obesity overall at 44.1%. 2. Hispanics overall have an obesity prevalence of 37.9% (Mexican-Americans have obesity rating of 39.3%). 3. If you live in an area where walking or bicycling is difficult, you are more likely to be inactive. 4. Approximately 17% of youth ages 2-19 are obese. 5. People who live in neighborhoods where they feel are unsafe are less likely to be active. 6. People who grow up in rural, minority, or low-income neighborhoods are more likely to eat from fast food restaurants or convenience stores, due limited access to healthy food choices. 7. More than half of U.S. middle and high schools sell sugary soft drinks and snacks to students. 8. In 2009, only 33% of students in U.S. schools attended a daily physical education class. 9. 70% of obese youth have at least one cardiovascular disease risk factor, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. 10. Obese youth are more likely to become obese adults.

11. Obese youth are at an increased risk of social and psychological troubles. 12. Physical inactivity is directly related to obesity data. Sound obvious? Well, inactivity at school and work is just as damaging as inactivity at home. 13. Obesity prevalence among adolescents has nearly tripled in the past three decades. 14. Youngsters who live in areas where parks and recreation centers are difficult to reach or inaccessible are at a higher risk of being obese. 15. In a typical day, about 80% of youth in the U.S. consume at least one high-sugar beverage. 16. The average child aged 8-18 spends approximately 7.5 hours a day utilizing entertainment media for leisure. 17. Obese adolescents report a markedly lower quality of life than their normal-weighted counterparts. 18. Adolescents with low expectations for their futures are more likely to be obese than their optimistic peers. 19. Obese youth get the majority of their calories from fat and spend more time performing sedentary activities, such as watching television, than their normal-weighted peers. 20. 12% of high-school aged adolescents are obese.



As you can see, there are definitely certain socioeconomic and environmental factors that relate to obesity. Don't allow yourself to become a statistic, heading toward lifelong health issues. Change your own eating habits, improve your physical fitness, and remain committed to your health! Teens and Diets…

Whether your goal is weight loss or shaping up, it is important to have realistic expectations.

There are no quick fixes, so avoid strict, crash, liquid or fad diets. You still have a lot of growing to do, so you’ll need proper nutrients to get through your busy and active teen years. You should eat adequate calories and nutrient rich foods, to supply the vitamins and minerals you need for growth, such as calcium and iron. When you decide that you’re ready to become serious about your health and fitness goals, you will need to be prepared to make some permanent lifestyle changes. First, consider your personal age, fitness level, body type, height, and weight, and determine whether or not it is considered normal. All of those factors will play a role in determining what’s normal for you. The scale is not necessarily the best tool to use. Since muscle weighs more than fat, a physically fit person could weight more than an unfit person of the same height and size. In most cases, you will not need to be placed on a severely restrictive diet as a teen. A sensible diet and regular exercise are often enough to control your weight. The caloric intake between teenage boys and girls vastly differ. Boys are able to consume upwards of 2800

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COMMUNITY calories at the age of 16. Girls, however, should only be eating about 2000 calories daily at the age of 16. Of course these are only estimates, and you may need more or less of an energy allowance for daily activities, depending on your metabolism. If you consume more calories than is needed by your energy allowance, those excess calories will be converted to fat for storage. It is not necessary to count calories, but you should educate yourself about the foods you eat and how many calories they contain. Make it a habit to check the nutrition label of the foods that you are eating. Usually, you should try and eat foods low in calories and low in fat. Most importantly, if you’re considering a weight loss program or diet, speak with your parents, school nurse, or family doctor for guidance. If they agree that you could benefit from a weight loss program, with the right mindfulness, a nutritious diet could help improve your health.

What CAN I be when I grow up?

Naima Woodson, certified children’s fitness and nutrition specialist, is the mother of two children, and Founder and Director of Fit For a Kid, a Los Angeles based mobile fitness service provided to preschools, private schools, community recreation B.O.S.S. Magazine is here! This E-Magazine will make centers, churches, and private families. sure to point you in the direction of your destiny! Have you Subscribed yet? | 888-557-7088 | | Don’t WAIT, subscription is | @fitforakidla FREE!!!


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What Successful Teens Read



Brad Allen

Hate it or Love it, he’s the star of the show: LeBron James as Truman Burbank

Living (nearly) his entire life in front of the camera LeBron Raymone James is America’s first true reality television sports star. The nearly mythical exploits of a basketball prodigy from a rustbelt city in Midwestern America has had all of his significant career achievements (and mishaps) captured on film for all the world to analyze, consume and converse about seemingly without satiation. His high school games were available on pay per view cable television in Northeastern Ohio. ESPN, The Worldwide Leader in Sports, televised one of his final high school regular season games in a prime time broadcast featuring high profile analysts Dick Vitale and Bill Walton. Most recently, James staged a ‘Bachelor’ style reality show (The Decision -2010) in which he announced which team he would be playing for during the 2010-2011 regular season. Such is the life of a reality star that has “jumped the shark” yet remains a part of our daily dialogue regarding pop culture. Living your entire life in front of cameras makes you “fake” to a certain extent. You are continuously conscious of your physical appearance, the cadence with which you speak and the way in which you alight out of a luxury vehicle. Your words are carefully measured, your political stance usually neutral, your locution bland and corporate. But just like reality television stars have learned there comes a point where you get used to the cameras. To coin a phrase: ‘Where you stop being polite and start being real’. Like most prodigies, LeBron James is spoiled, petulant and in constant need of adulation and positive reinforcement. But unlike most prodigies he has had the chance to evolve and change before the eyes of millions. He has strangely become more endearing, three dimensional and human in the aftermath of his recent failures. His narcissism has seemingly waned somewhat with every 4th quarter failure and vanquished hair follicle (#lebronshairline).

We are all witnesses He’s been noticeably more humble in interviews while also going to great lengths (double headband? Really?) to conceal his physical imperfections. He is the rare prodigy that wasn’t derailed by a fluke injury (Bo Jackson), early death (James Dean, Len Bias) or self destruction (Hendrix, Cobain, Phoenix, etc.). We, the audience, have had the chance to watch a longer than usual career arc or a person obscenely gifted at their craft. There isn’t an early death and an incomplete body of work (Notorious B.I.G., Hank Gathers) for us to extrapolate and wax nostalgic about while claiming G.O.A.T. status. There is only tons of raw and developed footage for us to analyze, pick apart and micro blog about the imperfections.

68 B.O.S.S. E - Magazine

Hate it or Love it cont...

Throughout it all LeBron remains a fascinating follow. He is the real life Truman Burbank. LeBron’s career and the show that it has become is a living, breathing example of existentialism. Because despite all of the love, adulation and now the never ending hate, LeBron is what LeBron is and more importantly LeBron defines what LeBron “is” by constantly defining what is important (team vs. individual success, loyalty to his hometown, towing the corporate line) and what is fulfilling. The LeBron Show also offers up insight into our own dualist nature and our ability to change our worldview via his political stances (the Trayvon Hoodie twitpic, public endorsement of Obama) and lack thereof (refusing to side with or against the Chinese Government regarding their role in the conflict in Darfur). No matter how many of us decide to watch one thing is for sure: its must see tv.

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In the film The Truman Show, Truman Burbank, (as portrayed by Jim Carey) didn’t realize he was being “watched” until Season 30. Upon the realization that his life was being observed and manipulated by others for the sake of entertainment Truman began to act out and search for his true meaning. Eventually his search for his ultimate truth became a teachable moment for all of the observers in that we all have the choice as individuals to make our lives into something new. Each day, each decision, small and large can take us down paths to success, failure, happiness and tragedy. And despite what we believe as lovers or haters of LeBron we are only observers. Only he has the ability to give his life meaning, which adds to the irony as he seems, through his deeds, to attempt to live for “us.”

CONVER Cyrus Webb


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Reach for the sky

Every 26 seconds a kid drops out of school. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let that be you.

B.O.S.S. E-Magazine Issue 4  

Discover the #1 Emagazine bridging the gap between Minority Youth and Education, Issue #4. "One Student at a Time"