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Contents Table of

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A Child Born Unto A Child

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CEO. Technologist. Author

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Jaemellah Kemp: Choose to Serve Youth

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Dr. Anita Leads Kids to The Village of Possibility

26

A Global Force of Mentorship and Youth Advocacy

Shark Attack!

29

The Art & Heart of A Smile

34

Allow Children to Dream in Colorful Hues

41

Servant Sweetie Loves the Children

45

It's A Different Time

47

Don't Be Afraid of a Big Mistake

11 12 15

Youngpreneur On the Rise

The Tutoring Resource Every Child Needs

18

Show Her the Crown

20

5 Little Sibling Entrepreneurs

49

Aspiring to Greatness


From Dead on Arrival to 8-YearOld Author and Entrepreneur

I Am Nalani Madison Hasty

The Importance of Gardening (Nzinga Howard)

A Choice to Use My Voice

51 55 57 59

Creativity During Coronavirus

61

Domestic Violence Birthed a Book Series

63

Colorblind by Rashida Moore

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Letter From the Editor communiquĂŠ Magazine is an international publication that celebrates people from around the world. This is a Special Youth Edition that celebrates our future leaders and those that serve children through education, art, reading, writing, creativity, and fashion. Everyone has a story. communiquĂŠ Magazine takes the message out of the story to deliver quality, relatable articles that inspire, teach, and encourage all readers, including children. Children are innocent and deserve unbiased freedom to explore, create, and develop in a vigorous healthy way. As adults we must nurture and promote healthy living through education, self-care, proper nutrition, guidance, social interaction, technology, family bonding, and hobbies. In this edition it is my goal to ignite excitement in parents with the great articles about children books. I want readers to connect with the featured writers and the people being highlighted to extend your personal and professional network with each of them. Through the pages you will find ways you can support children, get tutoring for a child, order great books to give as a gift, or add a great read to your own home library. You will also encounter some fun pages for the children to enjoy! We are proud to feature Dr. Ted Steliotes, a renowned Dentist and Author, as the cover story. Dr. Ted was inspired by his son Leonidas to write a book series and gives readers a closer look into his life as a public figure and a dad. Our feature stories take us on a journey from South Carolina where we meet a family of five young sibling entrepreneurs, and then in another story we go on an international trot over to Dubai where we learn how one Author from Maryland gained inspiration to write about bullying. Other articles, vivid photography, and advertisements will keep you engaged from front to back of this magazine. Thank you for taking time to read communiquĂŠ Magazine. This Special Youth Edition is dedicated to my five grandchildren: MiKayla, Ariana, Anthony, Kayden, and Karmen. Give life and give love, without prejudice and with expectations that the best is yet to come. Children are our future. With appreciation, C.

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COMMUNIQUÉ MAGAZINE

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A Child Born

UNTO A CHILD written by Corretta L. Doctor

I was a teenaged Mother, giving birth to my child just one week shy of my nineteenth birthday. I was married to an Armed Forces servicemember, living at a military facility hundreds of miles away from my family. Becoming a vessel to bring a life into the world was a glorious and Blessed time in my life. My husband and I were excited and nervous, and though he was four years my senior, we were both young, first-time parents. I think of the innocence our healthy baby girl entered this world with; the carefree child knew nothing about pain, suffering, neglect, hunger, loss, drama, or racism. We promised to keep her life as pure from hatred and harm as much as we could. We promised to teach her values that would reflect on her good character for all of the days of her life. I was a teenaged mother, young and unwise in many areas, but strong and courageous with my maternal instinct. My husband and I learned parenting together. We took on the responsibility of developing a child that had an increasing awareness of being a good person. A good person, by all accounts of the word good. We didn’t want to overprotect or underserve our child, we wanted to allow her freedom to grow through her childhood and into adulthood knowing that we were her protectors, educators, and every definition of a parent. We accomplished that. As new parents, we had so much to look forward to back in the late 80’s. The air was clearer for us, literally and figuratively. Life back then was filled with expectations of happier days, fun and exciting activities, lack of fear of breathing in bad air, and certainly there was no fear of gathering and socializing among friends and family in groups of ten or more. Today our daughter is 31 years old and is a mother. She is raising her children during a global pandemic, in a world plagued with police brutality and racial 5

injustice. The news headlines are traumatic for young people. My daughter’s role as a parent is different today than mine was in 1989. She has to have a different conversation with her children than I had to have with her when she was young. Today’s discussions around her dinner table are on topics that prepare her children for the unknown. My daughter and grandchildren talk about protecting themselves from human trafficking, avoiding being lured by strangers and the awareness of what abduction is and how it happens. They also talk about cyber and physical bullying. As if that is not enough, there is an unpredictable COVID-19 virus that is sweeping through the globe killing millions of people, including children. To a deep regret, the discussions with the children have to explain the negative impact that racism is causing in our country and the brutal deaths that result from it. In her home of two adults, three daughters, and two sons, there are a variety of conversations happening but regardless of the topics and no matter how deep they are, love prevails. Although hard topics surface during their conversations, they bound their talks by using love as the prevailing factor. Love is a way to inspire children to understand values of our country. Children learn lessons in the home that they will carry into society. My grandchildren are taught love. They recognize races, cultures, and the uniqueness of each person they encounter. The part that we cannot fully explain to adults, much less to children, is why race becomes such a painful issue for such innocent people. As a family, we practice love without limits, we are practicing courtesy and respect, and we teach fairness and values in everything we do. My daughter Brittni is a child born unto a child, that is now raising her own children. Age did not matter as much as the responsibility to be a good parent mattered then and matters now. The same love and lessons I taught my child are now transferred to the teachings she gives her children. No matter how hard the world becomes, let love live in the home and in the heart.


CEO.

Technologist.

Author.

written by Erica Doctor

Mrs. C. NaTasha Richburg exclusively discusses her

newest children’s book, “The Adventures of Seven and Breeze,” her life beyond writing and her future as an author. “The Adventures of Seven and Breeze” is a children’s book written by C. NaTasha Richburg that came to life after a trip to Dubai in 2018. In Dubai, C. NaTasha attended a book presentation for children, in which the children shared, during the discussion session, that they did not talk to their parents or teachers about bullying. In fact, the children were very adamant about their lack of trust in authoritative figures. C. NaTasha recalls, “Those little kids were very brilliant … [they] weren’t having it. They did not feel like parents and teachers were equipped to protect them from bullies.” Thus, “The Adventures of Seven and Breeze” was born. The story follows siblings Seven and Breeze, who are also characters in another book by C. NaTasha titled, communiqué Magazine

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“A Hoodie Ain’t a Coat.” In her latest book, “The

helping the youth. She had been studying for her

Adventures of Seven and Breeze,” the siblings

doctorate degree in Urban Leadership Education

set out to get help from the chamber of elders to

at Morgan State University but stopped at the

assist with problems, of which bullying is one. The

dissertation phase because it wasn’t a good

chamber of elders consists of different animals

experience for her. While this may have paused

that live in the mystery of dreamland, only to

her path to her doctorate degree, C. NaTasha plans

come alive once Seven and Breeze are fast asleep.

to eventually finish so that she can create a school

Once asleep, Seven and Breeze sneak to enter the

with her daughter who would work the day-to-

chamber of elders to get advice regarding how to

day functions while C. NaTasha would handle the

ask their teacher for help. The elders offer Seven

administrative functions.

and Breeze effective advice to stop the bully. The moral of the story is for children to trust the

So, what does the future hold for writing from Ms.

authoritative figures in their lives with matters such

C. Natasha Richburg? While writing is no doubt a

as bullying. “The Adventures of Seven and Breeze”

strong suit of hers, C. NaTasha states that writing

is the perfect addition to young students reading

is just something she does to get her point across.

lists as it is written on a 3rd or 4th grade students

Right now, she plans to watch how her current

language level for elevated critical thinking.

children’s book does before publishing another one. However, creative minds like hers are always

Beyond the Writing….

bouncing with new ideas. C. NaTasha shares that

“A business strategist who happens to write books.”

a story she could see herself involved in is her daughter’s IVF story. Her daughter, Ericka, would

When asked about her career, C. NaTasha refers

be the content writer and she would provide the

to herself as “a business strategist who happens to

“embellishment” that accentuates fullest of the

write books.” While she does write often, and is

story’s essence.

the CEO of CNR Ministries, LLC and Founder of C. NaTasha Productions, C. NaTasha actually has

Mrs. C Natasha Richburg is undoubtedly a hard-

extensive background in Information Technology

working woman with many accolades to show

(IT). This experience includes 31 years of working

for it. Her drive and passion to uplift and guide

as an (IT) executive, 25 years as an adjunct

others through any work she may do, should set a

instructor at the University of Maryland Baltimore

precedent for those to follow.

County (UMBC) and on top of that, C. NaTasha is a talent manager who impressively founded a production company. C. NaTasha shares that she is passionate about

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Dr. Anita Leads Kids to the

Village of Possibility

written by Corretta L. Doctor Dr. Anita Davis DeFoe is a strong advocate for mentorship in women and children, although she offers her Life, Leadership and Business strategy services to everyone, both domestically and internationally, she has a warm heart for young people. I had the pleasure to work with Dr. Anita, as she is affectionately called, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She presented her book, ‘Kwabena and the Baobab Tree’ to two schools in Dubai, the first was the German International School Dubai and the other was Ignite School. The children were receptive, loved the interaction with Dr. Anita, and even sparked an interest in our colleague that traveled with us, C. NaTasha Richburg to write a book of her own. This is Dr. Anita’s first children book. She describes the experience as liberating and says “It was exciting to write to an audience of children. They are pure in their thinking. I let my imagination go free.” Dr. Anita says, “I wrote this book for my friend Dr. Mfon Archibong who wanted to raise money for his school in Africa.” Set in the Village of Possibility, Kwabena and the Baobab Tree is a heartwarming story about seven friends who in the face of bullying and peer issues learn how to handle the challenges we all face growing up and developing self-confidence. Kwabena and his friends learn that loving and being yourself is a great life achievement! A glossary of vocabulary words taken from the story and a word search puzzle make Kwabena and the Baobab Tree a fun way to learn. What is a Baobab tree? Pronounced [ˈbāōˌbab, ˈbouˌbab], it is a short tree with an enormously thick trunk and large edible fruit. It lives for an exceptionally long time and is often referred to as Africa’s tree of life. Fun facts about the Baobab tree! Dr Anita says she and Dr. Archibong are close colleagues, still doing business in the areas of education, leadership, social enterprise and youth development.

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The sales of the book was successful and helped with the sustainment of the school. Dr. Anita plans to write more children books. Books that focus on girl issues, like self-acceptance, embracing your own definition of beauty, and girl entrepreneurs. She is currently mentoring girls and women in several countries. Earlier this year, she traveled to Egypt to speak at the Women’s Economic Forum about social enterprise and purposeful living. Dr. Anita offers this advice, “For young women entering into the workplace, or relative to entrepreneurship under the terms of COVID-19 faced with this new social distancing challenge, explore opportunities to create innovative virtual services and sustainable business models; remain resilient on your quest to be successful as you define it. Just focus intently on possibility not solely on the problem and understand how to recognize and use your transferable skills to harness opportunities, and moreover learn to exude career resiliency”. Dr. Anita does capacity building and works with organizations to identify growth opportunities that can expand their revenues and impact. Visit her website at www.UpshiftGlobal.com and be sure to purchase a copy or two of ‘Kwabena and the Baobab Tree’. Click here to order Kwabena and the Baobab Tree


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Shark Attack! by Charlise N. Mallory

One day, a girl named Faith (some people call her Fay for short), went to Miami Beach to get some peace and quiet. Faith always goes to the beach every summer during the month of June. While at the beach, she was relaxing with her eyes closed in her beach chair and enjoying the breeze in her hair. Then, all of a sudden, she heard screaming. At first she thought she was dreaming, but when she opened her eyes, a big white shark was coming at her! She began to scream “lifeguard!” The lifeguard ran to her to save her. He wrestled with the shark and put it back in the water. After everything was over, the lifeguard talked to Faith. Faith said that she was scared when she saw the shark. The lifeguard said, “I was scared too. I am so glad that you are alive.” Faith replied, “Yes, me too. And next time I will be aware of my surroundings, not just at the beach, but everywhere I go!”

Charlise Mallory

is a nine (9) year old student from Hampton County, South Carolina. She is well spoken, a creative writer and an exceptionally good student. Her personality and character are distinctively charming, and she is such an amazing child that excels in every area of her life! Her parents are Charles and Shanise Mallory. Charlise is excited about the opportunity to collaborate with other young writers and welcomes the opportunity to be published. Her parents can be reached at shanise_l@hotmail.com .

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YOUNGPRENEUR ON

"THE RISE" by Author Mellisa Lambert

Chelsea Chisom Onyiriuka was born to her parents Mellisa Lambert and Benjamin Onyiriuka; she is the inexpressible joy of her parents. Currently residing in Florida with her family, the eight-year-old author is passionate about strengthening relationships among her peers. As a young aspiring writer, Chelsea was inspired to write her first book, “Beauty and Me” with her lovely mom. She hopes that through this book, she can encourage and help her friends and children around the world to see their inner beauty. Chelsea is also releasing another book with her mom October 30, 2020, to encourage other boys and girls who too lost a sibling that they are not alone. She hopes to inspire many moms, dads and siblings with the story of her heavenly brother Caleb. She has a heart for people and always tells her mom one day she will help the homeless and children who has no family. I know one day she will be the change her generation needs and will leave an impact worldwide. Chelsea not only has books released but her mom has built her a brand of t-shirts, jewelry line, soon to release book on cd and affirmation frames. Chelsea and her mom have also created a movement of Mompreneurs and Daughterpreneurs through their program called: “E.P.I.C” Kidpreneurs Program. In this program they hope that moms and daughters will be educated, prepared, inspired and learn how to create wealth by building their own empire. Chelsea is still a child who enjoys reading, swimming, playing with friends and she enjoys going to Disney World. The realization of her passion consistently spawns an unwavering drive to contribute greatly to the lives of her peers and simultaneously set a universal example for love, compassion, and friendship. Chelsea loves God; she loves smiling and she derives great joy in helping her friends. communiqué Magazine

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Beauty and Me

Friendship is priceless, friendship is vital. God gives us friends, but it’s devastating when kids find it difficult to make friends or be kind to each other. Kids imagine you had a handy tool for resolving friendships. Well, that’s absolutely what this book is, a tool for resolving friendship. It’s an easy read which discusses some strategies with which kids pull out and use to express themselves, build relationships, end arguments and fights, halt bullying, and overcome unhappy feelings. In the world today, so many kids find it difficult to make friends due to the issues of teasing, bullying, and so many other problems accompanied with it, but after reading this highly illustrating book on their own or with an adult, kids will become well equipped to face any challenges of friendship that comes their way. Additionally, this book is a true-to-life story of the author, but she uses it skillfully to build better relationships. Throughout this life-changing guide, the author pinpoints the vital importance of kids believing in who they really are and what they stand for. Beauty and Me will help kids realize their inner beauty, maximize their potential, and reach for their dreams. Chelsea encourages kids everywhere to stick together and enjoy the benefits of true friendship and love. Its set’s a universal example for love, compassion, and true friendship. Beauty and Me is a must-read for all kids. 13


Children are likely to eat more fruits and vegetables when they are presented in a unique way. I recommend these websites to learn some neat ideas to promote healthy and fun snacking for your little one.

Afooda

https://www.afooda.com/pita-sticks-ice-cube-snack-trays/

Hello Fashion

https://www.hellofashionblog.com/2016/08/5-fun-yummy-recipes-for-the-kids. html

Super Healthy Kids

https://www.superhealthykids.com/recipes/fun-food-kids-owl-rice-cakes/

Eating Well

http://www.eatingwell.com/article/290320/healthy-party-food-ideas-for-kidsthat-curb-the-sugar-rush/

Easy Mom and Baby

http://easymomandbaby.com/6-ideas-for-healthy-kids-party-food-that-they-willlove/

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THE TUTORING RESOURCE

EVERY CHILD NEEDS

The global pandemic had an immediate adverse effect on a lot of businesses and organizations, to include public services and educational facilities. School aged children were forced to stay at home and attend school through distance learning, with the help of their parents. Many parents work full time and they also underwent a change of their workplace environment. While many adults are educated and are good at multitasking, not everyone is equipped with the skill to teach and educate their children at home. Good news! There is help available for those parents (and students) that need it. StepByStep Tutoring Enrichment Program is your answer. StepByStep is a tutor-matching company that offers virtual and in-person tutoring for elementary scholars, Pre-K through fifth grade. The subjects they focus on are math, science, reading and writing. They offer general help with homework and accommodate special needs students and other educational projects as required. The mission of StepByStep is to enable scholars to reach their full potential

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as productive, caring, and responsible lifelong learners. StepByStep adds value to a child’s education by providing a world-class enriching experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who is connected to the program. As soon as you think your child may benefit from tutoring, then take action to get them involved in the StepByStep program. The process for getting matched with a S.T.E.P. Tutor is simple and begins by contacting the company by phone, email or directly from their website. The staff conducts a brief interview with the parent(s) about their needs. Following the initial interview, they send a followup questionnaire to get the specifics about the parent and their scholar’s needs. After receipt of the questionnaire, the staff personally matches the parent with one of their pre-vetted, qualified tutors. The staff will then conduct a follow-up call and set up a date and time to get started. The parent and tutor are connected, and they schedule tutoring


sessions. Parents work directly with the assigned tutor to confirm times, cancellations, reschedule, etc. Education enrichment is a good way to ensure success for your scholar. We asked StepByStep a few questions that many parents will want to know, here is a summary of the questions we discussed. What type of technology is involved when you work with a child? When working with our scholars, we engage them with programs they are familiar with, such as I-Ready, Quizizz and Kahoot. We also utilize the Education.com platform to give our scholar a fun and interactive way to improve in the topics being taught in their classroom at the time. Our goal is not just for our scholars to know the material, but to master every assignment given to them. Does StepByStep offer group training? StepByStep does offers group tutoring sessions as well. For our group sessions, our student to tutor ratio varies from 2 to 5 scholars per tutor. Does StepByStep work with children across the country? At this time StepByStep only service elementary scholars in the state of Florida. Our goal in the near future is to be able to assist parents and their scholars throughout the USA. We understand state educational standards vary widely throughout the United States, meaning students with similar academic skills are being evaluated differently

depending upon the states where they live. So, to accomplish this goal, we are on a mission to find tutors in every state. This will enable us to provide the best tutoring outcome for all scholars, with all of our tutors uniquely teaching according to their state standards. Does StepByStep offer services to private and public schools and daycare centers? StepByStep services are available for all schools, programs and individuals in need of us. As our partner, you'll have direct input on our joint tutoring program, ensuring students are making the progress you want to see. As a result, your school or program can better meet its milestones and metrics of success (whether it's test scores or graduation rates). Our tutors are given access to select students for certain windows during the school day (i.e. study hall, home room, etc.). This lends specialized assistance to school or program staff interested in helping specific students improve or advance. Most tutoring companies aren't plugged into class curriculum. So, tutors show up on the door completely unprepared. They have no tools for plugging into lesson plans or test and quiz results. This makes it impossible to measure progress and build upon it. One benefit of partnering with us is our tutors are given direct access to curriculum and report cards, so they know exactly what a student is learning and can better track and measure results.

What are five reasons why a parent should hire your company? S.T.E.P. Tutors is a network of local educators with a variety of backgrounds. They include former and current teachers, college students, and professionals with specific expertise. Most are experienced educators. All tutors are thoroughly vetted with their backgrounds checked. We'll never make your child take a 2-hour "tutoring placement test" for $150+. We'll get you help straight away. Our pricing is straight-forward. We'll never tack on any "at home" upcharges or obscure "fees" at the end of the month.

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One of the reasons our clients love us is because of our bundles and monthly invoicing. Not only do we offer significant discounts on our bundles (as much as 20%), but our "by the hour" monthly invoicing also helps our clients tackle costs in manageable bites. We understand that coordinating family logistics can be a challenge! For that reason, rather than you coming to a tutoring center, our tutors meet you at your desired location and work around your schedule. Our tutors are available to work in-home with an adult present, or on-site in a public location (i.e. library, cafe, bookstore, etc.). Due to concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak, many of our tutors have migrated to awesome online platforms for virtual tutoring. What is the most common reason parents hire StepByStep? Having the majority of our tutors as certified educators is a huge draw for parents. With our former and current teachers having an understanding of how things work in the school system, scholars are able to receive the best assistance. What is the outcome and result of having StepByStep work with a child? The result of having StepByStep work with your child is all of our scholars are on track to excel in school with a plan for future educational success. We teach, train and empower our scholars to step into success with the mindset of “if I believe I can succeed, I will succeed.�

For our scholars with learning disabilities, StepByStep provides a unique space to learn with one on one attention. Many times, children with learning disabilities needs go unmet in a normal classroom setting, but StepByStep Tutoring Enrichment Program ensures we accommodate their needs and offer services that fit their unique learning styles and requirements. For our scholars living in single parent homes, we understand finding assistance can sometimes be a little challenging. Parents desire to get the necessary help for their children but are not always able to pay for the service. So, StepByStep provides the resources needed at an affordable price. We offer bundle packages and discounts towards enrolling multiple children. This is one reason why our rates are as much as 25%+ cheaper than the big tutoring chains. We believe our parents and scholars can receive expert help without having to break the bank. If you are interested in more information about StepByStep Tutoring Enrichment Program and how they can assist your scholar(s) please feel free to contact them at 850-296-9203. You can also visit them on the web at www.sbstep.com. Please follow StepByStep on social media: Facebook: www.facebook.com/sbstep2020 Instagram: www.instagram.com/sbstep2020 Twitter: www.twitter.com/sbstep2020

Where do you see the biggest need for your services? a) Single Parent Homes b) Dual Parent Homes c) Parents with children in several age groups d) Children with learning disabilities e) All of the Above Our program is able to accommodate most parents and students, but we believe children with learning disabilities as well as single parent homes benefit most from the services we provide. StepByStep Tutoring Enrichment Program Board Members Ebony Reliford (left), Brandon Jolly, CEO (middle), Alycia Banks (right), Tanya Fulford

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The Crown

S HO W HER

P

atrice Royalette Tabon always wanted to write a book since she was a young girl. She never stopped setting her eyes on being a published author and set a goal to publish three books by age 35. Her purpose was clear, Patrice wanted to write stories that become guiding tools for her children. She wanted “author” to be a part of her legacy. From the time Patrice finally put the pen to paper, less than a year later, on July 6, 2020, her book ‘Where’s Your Crown’ was officially released to the world. This book has a message for every child about bullying, self-esteem and confidence. This book is written about a little girl who struggles with her self-esteem. Her mother helps her see that it’s her uniqueness that makes her who she is and that being true to herself is what makes her beautiful. Although this story is written about a little girl, the story is gender neutral in terms of context! The target age group for the book is four to eight years old but any kid

or adult can receive a message from this story. Crowns indicate royalty and from birth, Patrice’s mom instilled the distinction of being royal and authentic in her walk through life. Her middle name is Royalette and her brother’s middle name is Royal. This family was destined to have a royalty mindset. Patrice describes her young life in rural Galax, Virginia as an easy going person who enjoyed being involved in various activities. In her spare time, you could catch her reading books about almost anything including pyramids, astrology, and bugs…yes this timid young girl loved reading about B-U-G-S! Mason jars of lightning bugs would never scare away Patrice at all, however, she was well respected which allowed her to make her mark in history. Patrice proudly shares, “I was the first African American homecoming Queen of my communiqué Magazine

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high school, Carroll County High. It was hard for me to break racial barriers, but I did it and was the first African American to hold that honor of being crowned.” Through her academic excellence, Patrice excelled. She was shown that perseverance is key, and determination is necessary and because of this she earned the accolades and success she deserved. She owes a lot of who she has become to her mother and family who revealed to her early on where her crown truly laid. Someone was there to show her the crown and that moment set the stage for Patrice to press ahead against any obstacle, racial or otherwise.

with other children and adults”. Patrice wants each child to get this message from her book, “It’s ok to love yourself even though you feel like you don’t fit in. It’s ok to be you, even if you talk different, walk different, look different”.

Patrice writes to give her children a gift of literary love, but the message is for all children and parents, too. She says, “There are many struggles that many parents may forget their kids could be going through. The smallest things sometimes can cause the biggest problems for your children. Take time to listen and observe their interaction

Patrice is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur dedicated to helping others become the best version of themselves. You can purchase her book by visiting https://bit.ly/2Z8NJ22 Follow her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ PatriceRoyalette

Patrice is a lover of books and encourages parents to read to their children. Choose books that promote self-confidence through diversity and help children embrace culture. When we asked Patrice about her future in writing, she told us that she is working on meeting her goal to release two more book before she turns 35!

Maliah Age 9 (right), Kimya Age 6 (middle), Kaylee Age 2 (left) 19


5 Little Sibling

Entrepreneurs by Stacey Henry-Carr When Lavonda and Reid Murphy decided to help their children create Murphy’s Love, they were not only creating a business, they were establishing a family brand, and a legacy. Murphy’s Love was established in June 2019 inspired by DIY projects being done by five siblings. I had the pleasure of interviewing the Murphy girls, and the word impressive is not strong enough to describe our time together. Let me introduce you to Murphy’s Love where they create homemade bath bombs and sugar scrubs. The founders of this company range in ages from 2 to 12 years old. Murphy’s Love was created by these five sisters to promote positivity and self-love. There are five sisters and one love, and they spread the love “the Murphy way”. These children are intelligent, loving, kind, and filled with an entrepreneurial vibe. It was obvious based on the girl’s mannerisms that they were taught respect as a core value in their household. But a feeling of unity was at the forefront of it all. Each sister plays a role in this business, and each of their talents makes the unit run like a well-oiled machine. Brooklyn 12 years old is the quality control and the accountant, Journey 11 years old is the spokesperson, Iris, 8 years old is the worker bee, Ireland 6 years old is the hype girl and the support for everyone, Quinn 2 years old is known for her cuteness and her ability to carefully package a bath bomb. When I talked to the young entrepreneurs about how they feel when they are making the bath bombs, the words they shared were filled with wisdom beyond their years. “It will

uplift people’s day and we don’t want any negative vibes”. Their faces lit up when they spoke of feeling love, kindness, joy, and fun when they are making their product. I could not help but think about the lessons they are already learning about working from their hearts’ desires and the joy they will get from it. As both the older sisters separately mentioned the happy look on the customers’ faces; they recognized the jubilant feelings that come from owning and creating something that will make a positive impact. In addition to making their bath bombs and sugar scrubs, these sisters balance their academic work and extra activities in an age-appropriate manner. They are being taught how to balance life. Brooklyn does competitive volleyball, crafting, and loves hanging out with her friends. She aspires to be a veterinarian. Journey loves to sing and dance and is the mini mom of her sisters. Iris plays tennis and softball and is a fantastic student who loves to learn. Mom says she is always willing to help which is where she coined the name “worker bee”. Ireland did competitive gymnastics and track and field. She is an amazing reader and observes and takes in everything. Quinn is the wild child who her sisters adore, and I watched as their faces ignited when they described how she helps to make bath bombs. They all have different reasons why they love making bath bombs, and each scent represents their favorite color. Brooklyn’s Victorious Vanilla, Journey’s Peaceful Peach, Iris’ Lovely Lemon, Ireland’s Lucky Lavender, and Quinn’s Outstanding Orange. The

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Brooklyn, Age 12 Journey, Age 11 Iris, Age 8 Ireland, Age 6 Quinn, Age 2

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names of the bath bombs put a feeling of love in my heart and brought a smile to my face. Whether it is mixing the ingredients, spending time together while they work, or inviting their friends over to help, their DIY turned into a business took on a more personal meaning for these siblings. Just when I thought this story couldn’t get any more amazing when I asked the girls what do they do with their money, they told me that they donate a percentage of the sales to their 10-yearold cousin Brielle, who has Alexander disease. Their donation helps with research and hospital bills. This was the part of the interview when I took a moment to explain to these young girls the magnitude of the service and kindness they were demonstrating. I know that they are young, but kindness and compassion do not have an age limit. How do you get your young children to be mindful of social change? Lavonda and Reid Murphy found a way because when I asked the girls what they thought the world needs the most, they said peace happiness, love, kindness, and care. The details that 12-year-old Brooklyn Murphy shared about the care the world needed was mind-blowing. She spoke of doing community work and how it can help the world. It is with that mindset of caring for others that the sisters decided to take to their social media to find people needing motivation and positivity. Murphy’s Love Notes was born during the shutdown caused by the pandemic. They sent colorful notes of kindness and love to help people to cope during a difficult time.

of being an entrepreneur, independent souls, and owning their own time while serving the community. Murphy’s Love will always be at the core of who they are and help to strengthen their commitment to each other. They said their company brought them together and taught them how to work together and it was evident as they moved as a unit. Their parents want to send a message to other parents to believe in your children’s abilities and recognized that they are all individually made for greatness. Acknowledge their creativity and individuality for what it will bring to the world. Your children are unique just stay by their side, set the core values that will make them shine in the world, and guide them to their greatness. These beautiful sisters will continue to make bath bombs and sugar scrubs and spread the love “the Murphy way”. Contact Murphy’s Love Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/murphyslove5/ FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/murphyslove5

As adorable as these children are, their story is packed with lessons for other children and parents. I learned from this family that your children can never be too young to learn how to build their table. Why fight for a seat when you can own one? Their parents are not only guiding young entrepreneurs, they are raising wellrounded children who understand the importance of service to others. Such a beautiful way of helping young children to brand themselves and teaching them values

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Jaemellah Kemp:

CHOOSE TO SERVE YOUTH on a ‘mission minded’ quest to use their life experiences, education, and personal journeys to help shape the minds, attitudes, and characteristics of students. Some of the objectives of IT TAKES TWO, INC are to award scholarships, sponsor youth programs and to develop strong academic and social/emotional skills in children ages eight to eighteen. Jaemellah says, “While we introduce conversations on making a living based on skills that they naturally possess, we do not force college as an option as we know it is not for every child, however, we tell the students that they have to have an after high school plan.” As a youth advocate Jaemellah’s primary focus is to ensure youth have the tools to succeed. This is achieved a few ways through the work with youth: to ensure they have basic school supplies and resources such as tutoring to excel in the classroom; options as it relates to their educational choices; and programs that focus on leadership and community service.

Education continues to be a timeless topic that is resounding around the world. IT TAKES TWO, INC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by its Chief Executive Officer, Jaemellah Kemp. Jaemellah has a laser focus mission to serve youth by creating tomorrow’s leaders today. Serving the greater Washington-Baltimore Metro area, Jaemellah and her board members welcome the opportunity to serve all youth in need, and specifically those in single parent households. Whether it is two people or two villages, it takes a conscious and intentional effort to come together and provide proper guidance to our young generations of future thought leaders, political influencers, scientists, doctors, educators, and the list goes on. With no underlying expectation of personal financial gain, youth advocacy nonprofits set out

IT TAKES TWO, INC awards the Tools for Success Scholarship and it opens again April 1, 2021. The organization focuses solely on students in grades four through college living in single parent homes for this program. The scholarship pays for school supplies, books, uniforms, academic and sports registration fees, tablets, and even internet if the family needs it for distance learning. All other programs and services are open to all youth ages eight to eighteen. A mission highlight was awarding 21 Scholarships totaling $6,800! “Something that I once struggled with is now a solution for other single parents through the work we do at IT TAKES TWO, INC. Parents now too can breathe a little easier when their child receives an award because those funds can now be used for other necessities”, says Jaemellah. The adult of today is successful based on both collegiate success and world experience that can be translated into college level training and theory. The biggest message here is that youth should find a course of life that they love and be encouraged to make that their career. The requirements communiqué Magazine

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myself qualified nor having time to run a business in the midst of working and going to school full time, making sure my son made it to football and track practice on time with very little gas some days, and just trying to figure out this mom thing. As we often do, I talked myself out of my own blessing, but finally in 2012, I took the leap of faith and launched IT TAKES TWO, INC. Through our Tools for Success Scholarship we support single parent dependents by covering back to school costs for the entire school year”. As Jaemellah closes out this interview, she says, “We choose to serve young people”. In an effort to support IT TAKES TWO, INC we encourage you to start with a visit to their website at www. ittakestwoinc.org

and necessities to make the career achievable will present itself and when you love what you do, the road to success is easier. Jaemellah adds, “It’s ok to change along the way. Be strategic and intentional”. Jaemellah is the right person, at the right time, doing the work that is right in line with what society is calling for: a better outlook on our youth’s future. With a world of endless possibilities for a success story among our youth, there are just as many chances for failure. Youth advocates stand in the gap and provide tools, resources, and opportunities to youth in an effort to keep them on the straight road to a prosperous life without crime, and other torrential circumstances. There is a need, a real need, to step up and figure out what you can give back to our youth. Jaemellah works for a nonprofit association, she operates a nonprofit organization and she is armed with a Master of Science degree in Nonprofit and Association Management from University of Maryland University College (UMUC). Jaemellah Kemp breathes and bleeds youth advocacy and stands firm in her passion purpose to operate her nonprofit with the utmost desire to be a recognized and trusted advisor to youth. Like many leaders that operate nonprofits, they all have a story.

Consider volunteering as a Board Member if you are local to Washington, DC, Maryland, or Virginia. Submit a Board Member Interest form at https://form.jotform. com/201864025202948 Facilitate a virtual workshop focused on anti-bully, college and career readiness, financial literacy, leadership, the importance of community service, and youth entrepreneurship. Donate to support youth by visiting www.ittakestwoinc. org/donate Please follow IT TAKES TWO, INC across social media platforms: Facebook: www.facebook.com/ittakestwoinc Instagram: @ittakestwoinc LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/it-takes-two/ Twitter: @ittakestwoinc YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/channel/ UCWSUYDggZDZNPSUaPbjhz_g

Jaemellah explains the birth of IT TAKES TWO, INC, “It was personal. At the time, I could not afford food and school supplies to send my son to kindergarten. While I received help from family and some friends, God gave me the vision that I would help other single parents who also were struggling to make ends meet. But, I didn't move as instructed until two years later because I didn't deem 25

Mikeya Dunnigan is a two-time IT TAKES TWO, INC Tools for Success Scholarship recipient (2013-2014 and 2016-2017). Mikeya graduated from Penn State with a 3.8 GPA and received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.


A Global Force of Mentorship and Youth Advocacy written by JC Gardner Maryland resident Karen Arrington is a true pioneer, blazing trails on multiple fronts as a Goodwill Ambassador to Sierra Leone, bestselling author, founder of Miss Black USA Pageant, NAACP Image Award winner, philanthropist, mentor and coach. Talk about servantleadership, she is redefining the landscape. Karen came from a family of politically active parents. “Growing up, I watched my parents fighting for social justice for others. My mother was a strong, intelligent, independent black woman. She and other black women inspired me to use my talents to give back and empower other women.” Her father was also the mayor of a small city for eight years. When she was young, she would read stories about Black women who made a difference, such as Harriett Tubman and Rosa Parks. In many ways, she felt like she was an extension of these she-roes, as if a torch was passed onto her to be a voice for the voiceless. By the age of thirteen, Karen became part of her county’s school desegregation plan. She attended Roger B. Taney Junior High School, but upon finding out the school was named after a confederate US Supreme Court judge that handed down the famous Dred Scott decision, she took action. “I knew I could not go to a school and have school spirit when the name of the school was after a racist.” So she

started a petition to have the school name changed. Her advocacy efforts paid off and two years later, the county school board decided to change the school name to Thurgood Marshall Middle School. In a high school talent show, she performed a skit from Harriet Tubman’s autobiography, and it was transformational, as it played a significant role in her belief that using her talents to give back was not an option. It is part of who she is. She notes, “It’s in my DNA. “ Karen carried her social justice calling through college, where she became an active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Upon graduation, she worked for several different airlines, which inspired her to see the world in a totally different way. communiqué Magazine

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In addition to her civil service work, during her teen years, she participated in a teen beauty pageant, sponsored by the local NAACP. “What was so powerful about the pageant is that at a young age, as teenagers, we are so heavily influenced by our peers. Being around girls who were so highly ambitious sort of rubbed off. It’s true iron sharpens iron.” Because she didn’t have sisters, being around other Black teen girls with ambitious goals was very powerful. It made her see a pageant could be more than just girls strutting down the runway. “I saw all of these beautiful, strong, intelligent black women appearing in these mainstream pageants -- but they never won,” or their wins were few and far between. Those statistics, for Karen, were unacceptable, so she thought: Why don’t I start one? That desire and ambition blossomed into her founding the Miss Black America Pageant. She knew what the mission of the pageant would be. “It would be about giving back -- about sisterhood. It would be about amplifying the voices of Black women, allowing them to use the title to create opportunities that would not be available to them otherwise.” It is an empowerment organization that happens to be a pageant. For the past twenty years, the pageant has served about 10,000 women. “When people ask me about the success stories, I normally ask ‘how much time do you have?’ ” as there are too many to name. Today, they have awarded over a half million dollars in scholarships. As if this wasn’t a significant enough achievement, in 2007, she had an opportunity to negotiate with the president of Gambia, West Africa to bring the pageant to the Motherland. For the first time, a United States pageant was held on African soil. “It was so powerful because these women [pageant participants] had the opportunity to redefine who they were as Black women. It really, truly changed their lives.” During her many travels, she and a close physician friend visited the country previously and saw the 27

suffering that people endured. They felt compelled to do something, especially once they found out that diabetes was the number one cause of death in the country. To help solve this medical crisis, they collectively raised funds and got medical and pharmaceutical reps to donate medicine and medical equipment. This success led to her being a co-founder of the first diabetes awareness day in The Gambia, and later, Sierra Leone appointing her as that country’s Goodwill Ambassador because of her good works. Also while in The Gambia, the president arranged for her to meet the last living relative of Kunta Kinte from Alex Haley’s lineage, best remembered for the television series, “Roots.” Binte Kinte was about 101 years old and meeting her was a complete surprise. She presented Karen with a cloth that the whole village had made. It was quite powerful and validated all of her lifelong work. With her busy schedule and averaging about four hours of sleep a night, she found time to pen a book: “Your Next Level Life: 7 Rules of Power, Confidence, And Opportunity for Black Women In America,” which won an NAACP Image Award for outstanding literary work. The book was really a combination of her mentoring over 1,000 young women to help them step into powerful careers. It is a bestseller with rave reviews. What’s next for this high-level, multi-faceted leader, who has over 100,000 hours of mentoring, coaching, and philanthropic service as part of her portfolio? She notes, “I have spent so much time working on others; now I am really focused on my private coaching and my next book.” She also wants to encourage readers to grab a copy of her book and support the pageant, slated for February 2021. The pageant is accepting applications for contestants, partners, volunteers, vendors, sponsors, and so on. To learn more, go to www.missblackusa.org. “Now more than ever when we talk about Black Lives Matters, we are talking about Black Women’s lives matter too! Lifting this up is a responsibility and no longer an option.”


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THE ART AND HEART

of a written by Corretta L. Doctor Theodore Steliotes, affectionately and widely known as Dr. Ted, is living a wonderful life of literary success, philanthropy, and skillful dentistry. Dr. Ted started life as a smart young boy with Grecian Italian roots. His love of art and science coupled with his desire to help people led him to a career in dentistry. “Dentistry is a perfect blend of artistic creativity and being able to help people is my mission,” Dr. Ted shared. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton of Ohio and the highly acclaimed University of Pittsburgh Dental School where he received his Dental degree in 1991. His artistic creativity shines through at Steliotes Dental Spa, the first United States dental spa located at 4249 Washington Road, McMurray, Pennsylvania. Welcoming and calming, the office décor includes fountains and chandeliers. An ambiance fit for royalty makes an often uncomfortable experience pleasurable. Dr. Ted changed the face of dentistry and created an experience enjoyed by adults and kids alike. An amazing staff accompanies him as well as Smudge, a compassionate therapy French bulldog. And don’t forget your hand massage while there! Dr. Ted reminds us, “Dentistry is a high touch service and, due to the recent COVID-19 restrictions, it became a ‘lost touch’ service. We have to get back to helping when times are safe to do so.” Steliotes Dental Spa specializes in cosmetic and restorative dentistry ensuring healthy and pretty teeth. Dr. Ted uses a combination of engineering, artistry and science, which has garnered him the position as the official dentist for the contestants of the Miss and Teen USA Pageants for the last 17 years. Dentistry is Dr. Ted’s passion and his reward is seeing his patients smile with no regrets which also fuels his philanthropy work. As the author of a children’s book series, he donates a portion of the proceeds to Smile Train, an international children's charity that provides free cleft lip and/or palate surgery for children in 87 countries. Local doctors are trained and funded through Smile Train, and they repair cleft lips and palates through a simple surgery. These surgeries are vital to helping patients eat, breathe, speak properly and smile. Dr. Ted’s children’s book series was inspired by the love of his life and only child, six-year-old Leonidas. When Leonidas was a toddler, he loved to grab at things. He especially loved to reach for decorations and to feel the furnishings around the home. He was allowed to touch anything in the home that he wanted to, but only with one finger. Leonidas and his dad would go around the house looking at pieces of artwork, décor or furniture and say good morning. “Good morning. Good morning. Good morning to you.” This greeting is how Dr. Ted came up with the book title, ‘Good Morning, Good Morning, Good Morning To You’. This book was created in light of Leonidas’ fondness to touch and familiarize himself with everything in the home. What started as a motivation to create memories for Leonidas has spilled over to the community. Children across the world can read memories that Leonidas shared in reality. The books all have an imprint of Dr. Ted’s son and their home in every page. The collection includes titles such as ‘How Did You Get So Cute?’ and ‘I Sure Do!’ a fan favorite. The short hook phrase ‘I sure do’ is memorable for young children and the book has communiqué Magazine

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easy sight words. The books are fun to use in group settings and entice readers to ask a question like, “Who likes laying their clothes out for the next day before going to bed?” The group replies, “I sure do!” We asked Dr. Ted to tell us what he expects parents to understand most about his book series. “The books are all nice, sweet books that can teach kids to read. The stories have good morals and are soulful,” he replied. The entire book series is reminiscent of Dr. Ted’s memorable childhood. His mother bought him many books, but his favorite childhood book series is Box Car Children. Boxcar Children tells the story of four orphaned children, Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny, who create a home in an abandoned boxcar in the forest. They eventually meet their grandfather, who is a wealthy and kind man; although the children had believed him to be cruel. The children decide to live with the grandfather who moves the beloved boxcar to his backyard so they can use it as a playhouse. Dr. Ted’s favorite childhood story is ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ because of its magical and adventurous fantasies. We believe that he creates the same type of magic in life by supporting children in need, caring for people, and bringing about positive changes and smiles in his patients. Today it is hard to believe that writing was ever delayed for Dr. Ted. He shared that he didn’t believe he could write and

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publish a book, let alone a book series. As a busy, high in demand dentist, he was challenged by time limitations but dentistry gave him the freedom to revisit his passion for writing. “If you have a good idea, you should follow through with it. If you want to do it, just do it. Choose to self-publish. It is about helping people and I did something that a lot of people want to do, but don’t. Don’t worry about being judged. It is all about what you get out of it. The results are rewarding. It is not that hard. Writing books should not cost a lot of money if done right.” Great advice from a great man. Dr. Ted is a bright, bold and colorful spirit with a genuine love for his career and his passion for writing. The smiles leap off the walls and into your heart after just one conversation with this extraordinary leader. Paving a memory bank for his son while trailblazing a beautiful and healthy future for other children in and around the globe, speaks volumes to the wonderful person he is. Dr. Ted tells us that the future promises more books, continued support of the Smile Train organization, and he will continue to create memories for himself and his son. Leonidas is lucky and so is any and every person that crosses paths with Dr. Ted. His arm of friendship and support reaches across the globe from a deep desire to serve others selflessly.


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ALLOW CHILDREN TO DREAM

in Colorful Hues!

written by Corretta L. Doctor

written by Corretta L. Doctor LaToya Lewis is an educator and writer living in Abu Dhabi, UAE. She has a message for children and parents of all skin colors and races. With the support of her Mother Wendy Lewis, LaToya released the book, ‘I Am Brown’ on July 4, 2020, the date of her late grandmother, Gladys Lewis’, birthday. LaToya’s grandmother taught her to fully love herself. In a time where racism is echoing loudly in America, brown children around the world are learning more about what the color of their skin means to them. The color of our skin is supposed to be universal with no limitations or discrimination. That is the hope for parents and influencers around the world. They are faced with teaching innocent children the truth about colorism and racism. Colorism is an emotional battle within communities that are majority black. Racism is any prejudice directed against a person on the basis of their race typically the minority of a collective of people. At an early age, it is not easy to understand why

having a specific skin color is directly tied to lost lives and political unrest across television and newspaper headlines. Parents and people in leadership roles have a tough job ahead of them. ‘I Am Brown’ is a book about a girl with brown skin named Brailey. She loved to color, and coloring people different shades was her favorite thing to do. Brailey, through her classmate, learned that everyone does not see the world in color the way that she does. LaToya tells us, “Brown kids are identifying with the cover of the book.” The book has a golden rod yellow cover that features a brown skin, young girl with cornrows and an afro-puff hairstyle, wearing a smile. The little girl on the cover is seemingly happy while coloring the stem of a red flower with a green crayon. “The book was written as a way for me to vent”, says LaToya. “It is supposed to be for me but now it is impacting all children that come in contact with the book. I wrote the book because I was venting about a series of situations that communiqué Magazine

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happened during my first years as a teacher. One situation I was told by someone in leadership that parents of the school thought I may not be a good fit to stand before a primarily Caucasian classroom to teach because I attended a historically black college, an HBCU”. Regardless of the intent, that was blatant racism. Educators, of all people, are positioned to lead and not to judge or characterize. Yet, as an educator it happens to them far too often! The educators are judged by their own skin color, educational background, culture, or other socioeconomic factors. While fighting to remove the effects of racism in their own careers, an educator has to fight to keep racism out of the eyes of a child. In this case, LaToya Lewis spoke up, was heard, and chose to vent in a way that would help ensure children have a good resource to understand that their skin color is to be celebrated and accepted. LaToya grew up in a household where the skin color varied significantly from person to person, but the love was balanced and equal; skin color did not dictate or distract

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anything at all. LaToya’s mother is black and has caramel colored brown skin. LaToya’s stepfather is Korean and Black, and his skin color is golden tan. LaToya’s younger sister, Akeevia had skin the color of a peach when she was a baby. LaToya, just like Brailey, has brown skin. As LaToya recalls a child coming up to her and rubbing her forearm, she asked him what was he doing and he said he wanted to see if her brown color would come off, she shares this message with parents, “Do not force children to see black and white people. Allow them to see color. Allow them to dream in color.” The book, ‘I Am Brown’ will open the eyes of people of all races. LaToya adds, “let the child tell you what they see”. LaToya has a new book project on the horizon about her beautiful relationship with her grandmother. Purchase a copy of the book at www.LaToyalewisbooks.com and follow her Instagram account @LaToya_lewis_books.


A I V I T Rr i d s ! fo K 1 2 3 4 5

What do we call someone who travels to space in a rocket? What is the tallest animal in the world? What is half of the number fifty? Which one of these is a fish: A shark, a whale or a dolphin? What does water turn into when it is frozen solid?

6 7 8 9 10

How many colors are in a rainbow?

What do caterpillars turn into?

How many days are in a year? What letter is not included in any of the 50 U.S. state names? What is your Grandmother’s Middle Name?

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A N S W E R S 37

1. An Astronaut 2. Giraffe (adult giraffes can grow up to nearly 6 meters in height - mainly thanks to its very long neck) 3. 25 4. Shark (dolphins and whales are both aquatic mammals) 5. Ice 6. Seven 7. Butterflies 8. 365 9. Q 10. You will have to find this out on your own! Have fun!


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A World of

&Kindness

Love

written by Maria Broom

In one African village, when a person does something truly hurtful, work stops as everyone, young and old, circles around the accused. Each one tells all the good things they remember about the person. Every positive incident, strength and kindness is recited in detail. The ceremony can often last several days and ends in celebration. The ‘circle of love’ helps the person to feel and remember who he is. In an idealistic effort to reduce damaging angry behavior, teachers, counselors and parents constantly look for ways to help children to create a world of love and kindness. When I read about this tradition I thought it was such a highly evolved spiritual way to 'deal with' people who cause trouble in a group. But I thought 'how could we possibly implement such a practice in this culture where punishment is the expected norm'. And then one day on a train ride from Baltimore to Rhode Island, words just came pouring through me in rhyme... telling the story of "The Village Bully." When I reached my destination, I showed the words to a friend. She said... "This should be a book." We then showed it to someone else who read the words and said... "This needs to be a book." When I returned to Baltimore I sent the words to an artist/illustrator whose work I admired, and he sent me such wonderfully colorful images that truly expressed the weight of the simple words. And so began the journey to being published. This urban story/poem story is a means to introduce this loving healing tradition from another culture, to this society’s youngest citizens. The most logical setting for it is in a school setting. It offers a simple practice that can be done regularly in the classroom where each child gets a chance to sit in the middle of the circle of love and hear all the good things his peers have to say about him. It can also be done in any children’s group, camp or even in a family. It is fun, stimulating and most importantly, it is effective in helping to heal the heart of those who hurt others. I've been invited to present the book as a restorative practice and have done school residencies using it not only here in Baltimore, but also in the Bronx and Brooklyn, NY. The book and it's story of "The Village Bully" has traveled around the world now, across America, from Costa Rica, to Africa to Australia. The illustrations have won an award in Los Angeles and because of them, the book was even displayed in China at an international children's book event. While known as an actress in HBO's "The Wire" and "The Corner" as well "The West Wing" and "Clara's Heart”, my primary work here is at the Baltimore School for the Arts, where I have taught storytelling and dance to actors for the past twentyfive years. Even these high school students love "The Village Bully". Here's my website if you'd like to order a copy of the book and... you can listen to and see the illustrations on YouTube: https://youtu.be/eN9VTogRWfM www.mariabroom.com 39


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Servant Sweetie Loves the Children Dr. Sweetie is a Minister and youth advocate for child safety, child trafficking, and empowering the minds of children through the arts. She is the owner of ‘It’s Yes Performing Arts Institute’, and a Servant of God. As a youth advocate, Dr. Sweetie joins with other community leaders and provides support through her performing arts school to teach, train, and empower the minds of youth to believe in who they are and what they can and will become. “I want children to learn and know that their destiny is not based on where they come from but where they are going” she adds. Located in Orlando, Florida, Dr. Sweetie took her personal challenges and instituted her school to help children know that nothing can hinder their success. Faced with a childhood speech impediment, Dr. Sweetie knows what it is like to be different, regardless of what ‘different’ looks like for the individual, there is still an emotional connection that children need to understand that comes with being unique. Dr. Sweetie teaches confidence and promotes healthy self-esteem through the arts. She explains, “The type of skills I teach my youth are lessons for life skills through the arts. These life skills are based on the character traits of an Eagle: goals and dreams, importance of time, facing storms, challenges of life, association, etiquette, commitment, perseverance, integrity, decision making, services learning and self-control. Dr. Sweetie was born in Pensacola Florida. She is well accomplished and very active with her career as she explains, “I attended Florida A & M University and received my B.S. Degree in Art Education. I received a Master’s degree in education leadership from Nova Southeastern University and a Doctorate of Ministry

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Degree from Jacksonville Theological Seminary. I am a retired educator of 31 years. In addition to owning ‘It’s Yes Performing Arts Institute’, where I teach character traits to empower the minds of children through the arts, I am an artist. I write children songs, plays, and teach children how to draw. A day in my life reflects me, being a wife to my husband of 37 years, spending time with God, teaching Performing Arts Classes during the day online with the Boys & Girls Club, writing, drawing, singing, reading, acting, counseling, serving others, and studying God’s word”.


Everyone can recollect on mountains of great achievements in their lifetime, but the highlight of working with children for Dr. Sweetie is the joy of teaching them to look past their circumstances. "It gives me great Joy! Another bright highlight of my career is seeing my youth on stage at Disney World, at The Florida Abolitionist Child Trafficking Event, other Church Events and at The Dance Out Bullying In the Park Event where It's Yes! had the opportunity to perform "America Is Better Than This". To witness such greatness in action is amazing. I had the honor to attend a recent Black History Month event held in Orlando, Florida where Dr. Sweetie’s youth performed outstanding spoken word, dance, and theatrics. Readers can support ‘It’s Yes Performing Arts’ by referring students to Dr. Sweetie’s organization by sending an email to info27@servantsweetie.com . Parents can get their children involved by calling 407-440-2344 or 407256-1597. Click link to view It's Yes! students performing America Is Better Than This at the Dance Out Bullying in the Park event. https://youtu.be/hzdCia7HGYQ

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It's a

Different Time written by Stacey Henry-Carr

“old fashion” values. When I try to use some of my old school parenting tactics to teach a lesson, my son Matthew would say “times are different”, or “we don’t live in your time”. The truth is he was correct! I sometimes find myself trying to instill what was good for me when I was his age forgetting that we are far away from when I was 18 years old. Time and circumstances are completely different! As Matthew maneuvered through his last year of high school, I pondered what he would grow up to do with his life. Had I laid a good enough foundation for him to face the world? What did he love? What would make his heart sing? These were all the questions that kept me up at night. He was not interested in attending college and it was okay. I wanted him to find his place in the world. I wanted him to be productive, a leader among his peers, and a happy human being. So, I was serious about him creating a plan. I wanted HIS plan, not mine. This year, 2020 did not go as planned for him as a high school senior. His time with his peers was cut short, and to top it off while at graduation on the football field the timed sprinklers opened on their heads. But throughout it all, it was resilience that was growing in him. I thought as I watched my son collect his high school diploma it would be the proudest moment for me this year, but when he decided to separate from the comfort of his home to learn a useful skill that made me elated. In this fast-paced social media world trying to parent the old fashion way is not always welcomed by our children. They are overstimulated with material images that have lured their young minds to believe that life is about the number of likes and followers they have. However, it is because of this exposure that we must continue down our path of instilling

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Since Matthew was a little boy, he was always interested in exotic luxury cars. Our old BMW had done its time and he wanted one of his own. And so, I told him, “you better get to working so you can purchase your car” But he decided to master the mechanics of the BMW by spending time learning how to maintain and repair them. That decision sent my happy meter to the roof. Anyone can drive a luxury


car, but not everyone can repair one. I knew I wanted something different for my son, and so while he was trying to figure out his life’s direction, I introduced him to the stock market. I realized it is not “back in my day” and I want Matthew to learn early what it means to create generational wealth and to have skills that cannot be taken away from him. I want him to “play chess, not checkers” there was no need to rush the process. Making money is important, but being able to do what he loves, enjoy his day, laugh out loud, and feel fulfilled is what life is truly about.

Have you ever pictured yourself doing this work? I did not picture myself being able to fix cars. I always wanted to drive/own the most luxurious cars, but it is important to learn how to fix them if anything goes wrong. Is this something you see yourself doing in the future? Yes, I see it in my future.

Matthew is a child of few words, but I have noticed a positive shift in him lately. It is one that I am proud of. I look forward to his video calls where he expresses his excitement about Matthew’s answer to my questions was a validation that he what he did that day. His exhilarated voice rings growth and had been listening to my “old school rant” I know for sure that my old school tactics have prepared him for the next chapter of his life. What do you love about what you are doing at the mechanic shop? I look forward to when my son comes home with his I love being able to fix cars so I can do it on my own if my awakened purpose and a new sense of focus! Our children car ever needs fixing may not appear to be interested in listening to our rants, but like any seed that we plant with good intentions, it will grow What is your favorite part of your day? and flourish only to produce things that far exceed your My favorite part of the day is when I clear the code off expectations. someone’s car which means the car is fixed.

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Don't Be Afraid of A

“BIG MISTAKE” written by Isaiah Taylor with JC Gardner and Alesha Brown

Learning to correct our mistakes is one of the most important parts of growing up and becoming a successful adult. How parents respond to their children’s mistakes, is a vital part of how kids ultimately learn to handle their mistakes as well as view themselves. This is the reason why award-winning Author JC Gardner wrote her first children’s book, Big Mistake. Gardner felt that too often, young African American boys were represented as troublesome or mischievous. Big Mistake is a fictional story about a boy that decides to skip school and play basketball, the problems that arise from that decision, and how his family intervenes in a positive light. The story challenges the reader by showing that when kids inevitably make big mistakes, a positive outcome can arise. The book also includes a word search puzzle and questions for discussion, along with a bonus short story. Growing up, Jackie “JC” Gardner describes her mother as the “warden” with a “no-nonsense approach.” Gardner says, “All she had to do was give you a look and you knew she meant business.” In her mother’s house, it was a big problem if chores were not completed timely and sleeping in late was not allowed. JC’s mother instilled values in her that she did not fully appreciate until adulthood. Back then, there was very little conversation between parents and children. Parents felt they would lose control if they let their guard down by allowing their children to express themselves freely. Free expression was viewed as disrespectful back-talk. “Children should be seen and not heard.” That is where Big Mistake tries to turn the tables on the parent-child relationship.

While the boys in both stories did something against their parents’ wishes, the outcome was not the end of the world or worth damaging the child with feelings of unworthiness, failure, or labeling them as a problem child. In short, Big Mistake shows conflict resolution in a positive light. Children are going to make mistakes; how adults respond can make or break a child’s spirit. On Sunday mornings, Jackie had to be ready for church no matter how late she was up the night before. At the age of fourteen, JC had a work permit and, by the age of fifteen, she was working during the summers. When JC would come home from college, her mom would say to her, “You have two weeks to lay around here before you get you a job.” In an effort to be proactive, Jackie would inform her mother during her home visits from college that she would soon be starting her temp assignment. While JC’s mother could be strict, she was also cognizant that her daughter always put forth her best effort. If JC came home with three A’s, one B and one C on her report card, her mother could accept the C grade, knowing that she had wholeheartedly tried her best. While JC’s mom was tough as nails, as long as she knew JC tried her best, that was all she asked for. Aside from being the biggest fan of her writings, JC described her mother as her “cheerleader”, “prayer warrior”, and one of her “best friends.” Before she passed in 2014, the two spoke every day. Their friendship evolved from her late teens and blossomed into her adulthood. There is a fine line between being friends and being parents. Big Mistake shows it is possible to do both and with remarkable results.

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Aspiring to

Greatness by Trenace' K. Carter

There is more than meets the eye to seventeenyear-old Ramon Pitts of St. Louis, Missouri. Ramon is the youngest of three children and the only boy born to Rhonda McALister. Speaking to him was like speaking to an old soul. This senior in high school, is ready for the sweet fruits of his innovative labor to come to fruition. Ramon is what I would call a “creative”, he is talented and phenomenal in everything that he sets out to do. Creatives are always up to something. In Ramon’s case, he is up to everything. He is going to live the dream that he has been speaking of since he was three years old. “I am going to be a billionaire and have a butler when I grow up,” Mom indicates she heard these word s time and time again coming from her son. Hearing him speak, I can see that vision happening, and a whole lot more! In speaking to his mother, Rhonda describes her son as a success story. Ramon was diagnosed in 2019 with some mental health issues. Dealing with Ramon’s mental health diagnosis, which includes Major Depression, Rhonda and her son have been faced with some challenges. The challenges do not limit Ramon’s future as a bright and stellar entrepreneur. Together they have found avenues of growth, improvement, and selfcare that diminish the stigma that often comes along with such diagnosis. Rhonda has been an entrepreneur since 2004 and undoubtedly plays an inspiring role in her youngest son’s endeavors to succeed in business ownership. All three of Rhonda’s children are business owners. Ramon established E-Fly in 2019, a brand designated to be the parent company of several businesses that will be launched in the near future. The first business to be launched under the E-Fly brand is Hebi’kuma, a clothing line that he is partnering with another teen to develop. The line will include trendy streetwear that includes shirts, pants, shorts, ski masks, bonnets, jackets, hats, 49


and bracelets to name a few of the items. The clothing line will have motivational quotes to help encourage others struggling with depression. The streetwear brand is expected to launch within the next few months. Ramon starts his day early. He is up watching YouTube videos about business and researching everything that can possibly help him to succeed. But there is more this creative is doing! He is a designer that creates custom handbags, shoes, and jeans by hand. He is also an aspiring tattoo artist. Ramon has so many creative business endeavors. That is how a true creative operates, their brain is always going a million miles an hour, nonstop. Ramon has always had a love for music. Rap has been bustling through the walls of their home for years. Mom shares that she allowed Ramon to explore music as therapy, letting him listen to the lyrics and music that culminated a strong and positive message for her son. Ramon wanted to branch into the music industry himself, after discussing his plans with Mom, he quickly learned that Mom didn’t want him to proceed down that path yet she didn’t hold him back from his dream. As a teen would commonly do, he would sneak off to different places to do ‘freestyles’. Mom is also a lover of rap music and understood her son’s desire to reach into the music

industry. She saw how music allowed Ramon to further express himself. While standing firm on her decision to help Ramon grow a successful business, they moved forward with getting Ramon in the studio and releasing music. On April 26, 2019, the day Avengers Endgame was released, Ramon was in the studio recording for the first time. He goes by the stage name of Mob Money. His single ‘Mob Spinnn’ featuring GEE4 can be found on Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/user-981839944/ mob-spinnn. Ramon’s motto is: ‘your life achievement is based on how much you can do in your 24-hour day span.’ He can’t afford to be sleeping because he has stuff to do. He has to beat the odds. When he dies, he wants people to say he was the epitome of black excellence. He is trying to inspire nations of people. Ramon believes that there is more to life. He knows that he isn’t going to be working for someone else. There is more in life than what he sees here in the United States. He wants to travel the world. With that big beautiful smile, but shy and wonderous eyes, he says, “It is not ok to be basic”. Rhonda says this is Ramon’s persona, he has never changed his future planning and always sticks to his goals. Connect with Ramon via email TheMcAlisterEnterprise@gmail.com. communiqué Magazine

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From Dead on Arrival

to 8-Year-Old Author

and Entrepreneur The Story of Jasmine Miracle Cobb Cobb. Jasmine weighed only 3lbs 6oz at birth, but her identical twin did not survive. Undergoing emergency surgery, Jasmine's doctor pronounced her as deceased. Jasmine's parents held fast to the power of prayer and expected a miracle to happen. Within minutes, Jasmine's life was restored and she stayed in the NICU for about three weeks. Jasmine passed every test that was given to her by her doctors and quickly earned the title of "Superstar." Jasmine's parents knew then that she was destined for greatness!

written by Alesha Brown At first glance, you would never know that this vibrant, cute, and bubbly 8-year-old author and entrepreneur was born with death surrounding her. Jasmine Miracle Cobb, the creator of the My Ice Cream Dream brand, was born a twin. On May 14, 2012, her and her identical twin, Jewel, were born to proud parents Warren and Angelia 51

What a difference a day can make. At just five years old, Jasmine received the “Most Likely To Be An Author” award and, since that day, Jasmine has been determined to make her dreams come true. One year later, she received the “Heart of Gold” and the “Rock Star” award. Jasmine loves to speak, write, read, explore, and build anything her mind can think of. As Jasmine often says, "she has DOUBLE brain power!" Following her mother’s lead, Jasmine published her first book, "My Ice Cream Dream”, on May 11, 2019.


She published the companion coloring book on June 26, 2020. She also has an ice cream themed jewelry line which continues to grow monthly. Jasmine's goal is to write and publish many more books and become a Best Selling Author! She is creating a fundraising campaign to donate books to various CHKD’s for children who are sick and facing various health challenges. Seeing how she started life with a death sentence, she is truly a miracle as her middle name denotes. Jasmine believes she can do anything her mind can dream of and, once you meet her, you’ll agree. Follow her progress and learn more, by visiting JasmineMiracleCobb.com.

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Nalani

Madison Hasty

is a fifteen-year-old sophomore attending Valdosta High School in Valdosta, Georgia. Her greatest joy in life lies in being an active participant in any facet of the arts. There, she blooms and realizes her fullest potential. Additionally, Nalani immensely enjoys and appreciates meeting and interacting with other teens who share her love for the arts.

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Wake Up Black America A Poem by Nalani Madison Hasty Please allow me, if you will, to arouse your intellectual capacities with the following food for thought as I offer my insight into the “NOW” of Black America. Ingest, deeply. Wake up BLACK America! It is for later than you think. Wake up BLACK America! Before beginning, prepare well. Wake up BLACK America! If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. Wake up BLACK America! The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going. Wake up BLACK America! There are three types of people in the world: Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened. Wake up BLACK America! If a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for, he is not fit to live. Wake up BLACK America! Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. Wake up BLACK America! See it big; keep it simple; make it happen; and once awake, remember: You have only just a minute; Only sixty seconds in it, Forced upon you, can’t refuse it, Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it, But it’s up to you to use it. You must suffer if you lose it. Give account if you abuse it. Just a tiny little minute ― But, eternity is in it. - WAKE UP BLACK AMERICA! I would be remiss indeed, if I failed to challenge each of you to never, ever, entertain mediocrity, for GOOD is not good enough. YOUR best is not necessarily THE best; consequently, always THINK positively; EXUDE confidence; and AIM for excellence in all your endeavors. communiqué Magazine

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The Importance of

Gardening written by Corretta L. Doctor with Alesha Brown Music teacher Nzinga Howard and his wife Ragin are raising their four-year-old son Robert to learn valuable life skill lessons through gardening. This Baltimore, Maryland family teaches their son how to apply the gardening growth process to everyday life. Who would imagine how a simple act of nature could become effective life skill lessons? Ironically, it was an act of nature that provided the opportunity. “It started as a bonding experience and life skill lesson during the pandemic. It has evolved into a peaceful and relaxing family activity. With climate change, a global pandemic, and simmering racial/social unrest, we really don’t know what the future holds. We want our son to be able to survive and thrive no matter what tomorrow brings.”

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The Howard family credits Ron Finley’s Gardening Masterclass for teaching them how to perfect their horticultural skills. Nzinga and Ragin Howard love sharing information with their young son that he can carry on for generations to come. For many cultures, gardening is a family tradition that has sustained generations as a viable trade and source of nutritious food. The Howards focus on healthy eating and quality family time via their home garden. Together they grow a variety of herbs and vegetables while growing an unbreakable bond with each other. Gardening allows them to teach their son persistence, patience, dedication, and how to nurture an idea to fruition. “My philosophy is to give him [Robert] as many life skills


as possible. I want him to be able to survive and thrive in whichever future tomorrow brings. Therefore, as we teach him math, reading, science, and a host of other topics, we are also teaching him how to fish, garden, and basic construction,” said Nzinga. Fortunately for the Howards, Robert loves gardening and always checks the weather to determine whether he needs to water the plants. The family’s garden includes tomatoes, grapes, cucumber, corn, basil, thyme, oregano, okra, spinach, pumpkin, and a wide array of flowers. (Robert’s favorite seems to be pumpkins.) “We planted an apple tree, but it will be years before it bears fruit,” said Nzinga. The family plans to invest in creating a bigger garden next year and to donate a portion of the harvest if their plans are successful. A family project created by a pandemic has turned into a viable food source and life skill activity for the Howards. The idea of bonding while educating their son is more than just a cool thing to do, it is a necessity. Children must be trained to survive in every aspect of life and the Howards are using nature’s soil and the fruit it bears from their labor to ensure their son has a firm foundation. A job well done, mom and dad! Robert, may you always enjoy the fruit of your labor and may your harvest forever be plentiful.

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A CHOICE TO USE MY

My Voice written by Angela Chester-Johnson

It is not hard to imagine that championing successful life outcomes for young children would hold the prominent place that it has on my life legacy list. I was the municipal child care coordinator for the city of Oakland, the quality improvement division chief for D.C. Health and Human Services, and the Leon H Sullivan Foundation’s V.P. for international child policy advocate; owner of Chabot Children’s Center in the Oakland hills, an author, and the creator of GROW International, a women’s and children global agriculture experiment. It is hard to remember a time when I was not working with or on behalf of children. There’s even a kids’ division of Plum Good, our 10 years old tea, spice, and catering business – “Plum Good Kid”! As one of ten children living in an urban three-bedroom row house with a finished basement in Baltimore, Maryland, I have long since understood the importance of having that special aunt, teacher or neighbor that sowed random goodness into my life. These influencers were appreciated not only because they were supportive, but also because as a child, I reveled in not having to share any gifts given as community property with my multiple siblings, they were often just mine. The only solo toys in my parents’ house were those received on your birthday. I suppose that is why I celebrate and commemorate June 2nd so exquisitely each year, even now. These special people poured into my life, fueled my imagination for achieving more, being greater. These very welcome divinely placed journey angels were admired and often emulated. I often thought that “when I grew up” I would be one of these influencers – an inspirational lifeline to a child to see more and be more. That is not to say that our parents were not phenomenal 59

loving people. They were! They taught us the value of sharing, yet self-sufficiency. Of confidently holding up your head and looking folks in the eyes when you speak to them, yet to be humble, and that “a penny saved is a penny earned”. Though sometimes broke, we were anything but poor. We were consistently loved and poured in to through song, stories, poems, and pantomimes. Both of my parents were creative. My mom has been a writer since I can remember.


She has published songs, performed by the likes of the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, written school plays and poems (some of which I can recite today), and still plays the piano beautifully at 96 years of age! My dad was the family orator, reciting Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “In the Morning” and Edgar Alan Poe’s “The Raven”. It was always on! And while all of that was great, I most warmly remember our transformational summers. We would pile up in my dad’s two-toned brown and beige Pontiac station wagon for a road trip to Philly or Jersey to visit my mother’s family, or “down home” to the country on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to visit my dad’s side of the family. My siblings and I took in everything during those rides. Things were so distant from the cityscape of Baltimore. There were marshes, trees, white wooden bridges, cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, tractors, wagons, wells, and water. From time to time, when we all did not go together, my parents would send us by two’s or threes on the Greyhound Bus, with our nametags on, and lunches in tow. What a kaleidoscope of fun and wonderment for a young child!

go crabbing with their Grandpa Ivy on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The story illuminates life lessons and messages on sharing, caring enough to allow others to come in first sometimes and being who you are. I believe that every story should have a great life lesson, and that every life lesson, makes for a good story. Many of us who grew up on the East Coast have affectionate memories of the sights, smells, and sounds of summer, which surely encompasses blue crab season. With eyes closed and turned up smiles we tune in to cherished childhood memories of the exploits and escapades of that one special summer vacation.

In the story Mack and Missy, as in each of my stories, I use my voice to educate, entertain, inspire and excite children. My goal is to bring stories to life and motivate new dreams through love, lyrics and being relatable. Mack and Missy was published by Purple Hat Publishing and can be found on Amazon.com.

As a child, I was not cognizant of what depth these dual city/country experiences would seed in my character and harvest in the human arsenal of flexibility, agility, empathy, courage, and creativity. As an adult, I thank God and my parents for the care and communication of my roots – what I was brought forward from who my “people were”. And it is from that gratitude and the wistfulness of my daughter, nieces and nephews not first-hand knowing that side of who they were, from not traveling going “down home”, that I wrote “Mack and Missy”. Missy and her (real) brother Mack’s story is a fictitious book, based on many real-life experiences, people and places. In the book, the two of them COMMUNIQUÉ MAGAZINE

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Creativity

During Coronavirus By Sirahn Fulton, Age: 10

Staying at home during coronavirus has been hard, but it gives us more time to be creative. In this pandemic, I have noticed that people are getting a lot more creative at home. People have been building, painting, drawing, and engaging in different types of art. Normally, during a regular school year, I have a lot of after-school activities. I am an athlete, I do karate, and am a musician. I participate in after-school activities 4 days a week. With my activities being cancelled and being home a lot more than normal, I have been able to concentrate on the activities that I don’t normally have time to. Since we have been in quarantine in so long and school was cancelled, I have been able to try a lot of different creative projects. I have been building robots because I love to build and code. I’ve made music after participating in a virtual music production camp and I have also been drawing a lot. I have really gotten a lot better at those three things during this pandemic. My parents signed me up for a virtual 3D printing class which has given me a lot more creativity into seeing how you can create really cool things with simple shapes. Once, I even 3D printed a character from one of my favorite video games. I have also been gardening, baking, and I even made a suet mix for birds near my house. It was really fun watching the birds come by and eat the seeds. Each time a new bird came, I would get so excited! One bird kept coming back. The birds were really pretty. Some were robins, morning doves, and a few other birds, but I am unsure of the species. Baking has been a favorite for myself and my friends. My friends and I connect on FaceTime and share what we have made that day. Every week, one of my good friends and I bake the same recipe live over facetime. We alternate selecting a recipe weekly and then we share the recipe with each other’s parents to purchase the ingredients for us. We hold up our bowls or pots after each major step to see if our mixes look the same. When we are done baking, our families facetime together to taste the first bite. It is one of my favorite quarantine activities. I have even gotten creative with my family’s tradition of Fun Friday. Normally, we have pizza and go to the movies every Friday. So now, every Friday, I setup a movie theatre at home with the theme of the movie we watch. Last week, we watched a movie called, My Spy. I set the movie theatre( also known as the living room) up as a Spy Theme. Everyone was required to wear black. I assign seat numbers on the coach and write a menu of items in the house that can be ordered like a movie concession stand. I even pretend like I am a movie theatre employee and collect fake money for tickets and food items. During this time, I’ve learned that I am good at a lot. Even though this pandemic has been difficult, and we haven’t been able to see our friends and family, a lot of people including myself are learning new skills and creating things. I recommend that you try something that you will be good at and if you don’t think you will be good at it, try it anyway. One day you may use something you’ve learned during quarantine that can turn into a career. My Mom thinks I will be an engineer. What do you think you might be with your newfound creativity? communiqué Magazine

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Domestic Violence

Birthed a Book Series

As a small child, Author Onicka Daniel was a creative spirit, often doodling fashionable dresses in her notebook as she flipped through style magazines, read novels, and wrote poetry. Life took a dark turn when, in her 30s, she found herself as a mother of three in an abusive marriage. The mental and emotional abuse she endured before marriage only worsened and turned physical. Her husband choked her, dragged her from one end of the house to the other, and even put a gun to her head when she was pregnant with their first son. She left him and returned two weeks later after he apologized because she thought it 63

was better to have a whole family than be separated. But Onicka never stopped dreaming of the day when she and her children would be free. She fantasized about what she often prayed for: a home full of love and joy for her kids. When she used writing as an outlet and coping mechanism, her fantasies turned into words that turned into a teachable children’s book series. Since her two sons were born on holidays—the eldest on Halloween and the youngest on April Fools’ Day, she named the series, The Holiday Boys. Onicka felt it was important to create a teachable series that tackled important issues not


necessarily taught in school such as love, brotherhood, true friendship, family, and sibling rivalry—topics we can all relate to. True to its brand, every book from The Holiday Boys series is released on or near a holiday. The introduction book titled, The Holiday Boys, was released on July 4th in 2017 and rated #1 on Amazon’s Best Seller List. The 2nd book in the series, The Holiday Boys & The Tall Man was released three months later. The Holiday Boys Make A New Friend was released on April Fools’ Day 2018 and Big Brother’s LITTLE Problem was released on Thanksgiving Day of that year. Book 5, The Holiday Boys Learn Responsibility, will be released on National Dog Day 2020 (August 26th) since the brothers are trying to convince their parents to get a dog. Two of the five books in the series were made into stage plays at a local Hampton, VA high school’s performing arts academy. The red carpet event was highly successful and attended by politicians, local authors, and business leaders as well as educational representatives from principals to school board members and teachers. Onicka’s goal is for The Holiday Boys to eventually become a cartoon series. And while the author and her boys are enjoying the success of the brand, the most important thing about the book series is that a portion of the proceeds is donated to initiatives that provide resources and education to those suffering from the effects of domestic violence. Author Onicka Daniel,

who used non-profit Transitions Family Violence Services’ to help her leave her abusive 13-year relationship, now collaborates with the organization and donates a portion of the proceeds there. To learn more about The Holiday Boys book series, please visit the website, theholidayboys.com. Follow The Holiday Boys on FB, IG, YouTube & Twitter @theholidayboys.

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Credits Managing Editor Alesha Brown IG @thejoyguru Editor at Large Portia Perry IG @portiaoperry Lead Designer Brandon Jolly Brandon Graphic Designs Email: info@brangraphicd.com Front Cover Design Kiva Ferreira Graphics Designer IG @kivaferreira Front Cover: Dr. Ted Steliotes Photographer: Kashia Lee Photography Canonsburg, PA IG @kashialeephotography Back Cover: Model: Yuna Hathaway, Age 11 Designer: Vanessa Henderson House of Van Miller Aubrey Ann Kids Collection HMUA: Jacki Barnes Photographer: Jerry A. Barnes JABarnes Photography LLC Acworth, GA IG @jaybarnesphotography Table of Contents Watermark Image: MiKayla (Blue Shirt) Ariana (Burgundy Shirt) Anthony (Far Right, Blue Shorts) Kayden (Dark Blue Shorts) Photographer: Corretta L. Doctor Parent: Brittni Cowart Location: Isle of Palms, South Carolina 65

Pages 4, 38, 54 Model: Aubrey Perkins, Age 7 Designer: Vanessa Henderson House of Van Miller Aubrey Ann Kids Collection HMUA: Jacki Barnes Photographer: Jerry A. Barnes JABarnes Photography LLC Acworth, GA IG @jaybarnesphotography Page 17 Photographer: Ronnie Garmon Page 21 Photographer: Ebony Ellis Page 23 Ed Helper www.edhelper.com Retrieved July 29, 2020 Page 24 Photograph Credit: University of Maryland University College (UMUC) now University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) Submitted by Jaemellah Kemp. Page 25 Photographer: Meek Photos Vision IG @meekphotovision


Pages 29, 32 Photographer: Kashia Lee Photography Page 31, Top Image Model: Anastasia M. Age 18 months Photographer: Kashia Lee Photography Page 31, Bottom Image Karson T. Age 3 and Kenden T. Age 5 Photographer: Kenneth S. Taylor Page 33 Model: Nalani Hathaway, Age 7 Designer: Vanessa Henderson House of Van Miller Aubrey Ann Kids Collection HMUA: Jacki Barnes Photographer: Jerry A. Barnes JABarnes Photography LLC Acworth, GA IG @jaybarnesphotography Page 40 Retrieved with Permission from www.MariaBroom.com Page 41 Photographer: Ronnie M. Garmon Page 42: Photo Release on file with It’s Yes Performing Arts Institute Pages 43-44 Cell Phone Images Submitted by Parents of each child. Zeniyaaa J. Parents Jenna and Sterling Joyner Grayson B. Parent: Chelsea Batiste Karmen B. Parent: Brittni Cowart and Kendrick Boss Keymani P. Parents: Samantha Chapman and Ryheim Pearson Saige C. Parents: Brianna Cooke and Isaiah Taylor

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Chaniya, Christian, & Chloe C. Parents: Chandra L. Miller and Timothy B. Carter Skylar M. Parents: JaLisa and Cornelius Myers II Noah C. Parent: Maci Patterson Page 46 Model: Matthew Carr IG @king.matthew, @brm.racing Photographer: Jaden Whitelocke, Age 14 IG @jaaden1k Page 47 Photographer: Lisa Fleet Photography MUA: Ashley Callaway Pages 49, 50 Lace G. Media Page 55 Photographer: Eye Couture Photography IG @eyecouturephotography Page 59 Photographer: Dellareece Bostick Page 68 Photographer: Tahj M. Jones Page 69 Photographer: Tahj M. Jones Credits Page Watermark Models: Joi Williams, Age 16 (Wearing Yellow) and Taylor Thomas, Age 16 (Wearing Blue) Designer: Vanessa Henderson House of Van Miller MUA: Olympia Kent IG @olympia_kent_themua Photographer: Jerry A. Barnes JABarnes Photography LLC Acworth, GA IG @jaybarnesphotography

communique Magazine does not take credit for any Photographs provided by the Interviewees. All images are used with permission granted by the subjects of the articles or by the Photographers listed above. Any errors or omissions will be corrected on the magazine’s website and in the subsequent issue. 67


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Colorblind Written by: Rashida Moore Produced By: Branden Burch Guitar By: Andrew Debarge

Rashida Z

Verse I Loosely we call ourselves black and white But truthfully we’re all beautiful shades of brown So,

is a

Singer/Songwriter from Washington, DC, now living in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her song

‘Colorblind’ was

inspired by a college class homework assignment on music theory. The kindness among the diverse classmates was impressive and inspirational. The world is filled with kindness, if we show it we can see it. The lyrics to COLORBLIND are below, click here for a https://borntowritesongs.com/

Visit Rashida Z’s website at https:// borntowritesongs.com/ Follow Rashida Z on Instagram @borntowritesongs

Bridge 1 & Chorus Why should the color of our skin Keep love from blooming in our hearts Love knows not what the difference is What we’ve created in our minds We’re like the rainbows in the sky So beautiful the butterflies All shades of golden sandy blend Blackberry, copper, olive skinned But to each other we’re black and white Color so beautiful, why would we want to be Colorblind? Ooh, ooh Verse II For years we’ve lived denying what’s inside But what do, what do we see when we look through our own eyes Can’t deny. Bridge 2 &Chorus The colors in God’s palette Can be used to make much more than grey He painted beautiful your eyes Blue, green, mahogany, light brown I want a heart like a child So I won’t feel the hate around We all are beautiful to me Explore the possibility But still we only see black and white Color so beautiful why would we choose to be Colorblind? Adlib

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Profile for communique_Magazine

communiqué Magazine Special Youth Edition  

We are proud to feature Dr. Ted Steliotes, a renowned Dentist and Author, as the cover story. Dr. Ted was inspired by his son Leonidas to wr...

communiqué Magazine Special Youth Edition  

We are proud to feature Dr. Ted Steliotes, a renowned Dentist and Author, as the cover story. Dr. Ted was inspired by his son Leonidas to wr...

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