Introducing Grit and Grace Magazine, a New Media Venture Launching on Kids Industry.

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Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


BEHIND THE SCENE Welcome to Grit and Grace WE’RE excited to welcome you to the very first edition of our Grit and Grace Magazine. Proudly brought to you by and for parents and kids - our awe- inspiring Spring launch edition is full of engaging stories, handy tips, and information to interest, inspire and support our wonderful children around the world.

2020 sure was a crazy year that won't be forgotten by our friends, our families, and especially our kids. It’s been a hard time for everyone and I want to say on behalf of our Grit and Grace Magazine st aff that our hearts and thoughts go out to all those affected by COVID and those who lost loved ones to the pandemic. With more and more people getting vaccinated every day, We’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We believe in the coming year, things will go back to old ‘normal’ allowing us to be more social again. We’re not sure when that's gonna be, but we are hopeful and are looking to a positive future.

And as we peek cautiously around the corner at whatever the new ‘normal’ has is in store for us. I’m quietly optimistic about the coming months. We’ve seen a surge in small businesses supporting each other, schools doing amazing things to keep kids engaged and learning despite restrictions, and communities helping each other. Like many, our team of parents is on the parenting roller coaster and understands the ups and downs this journey brings. So this issue is all about getting our kids back to focus on their strength with grace. Through Grit and Grace, we aim to share stories, bring you tips on helping your kids boost self-confidence, showcase children and their parents from around the world who haven't stopped grinding despite the pandemic to keep on motivating the rest of us. We have a jam-packed first edition for you. We tackle the dilemma of lack of self-confidence due to lack of nutrition; renowned author Nia shares an expiring book about being a triathlete (page). A young girl with many interests will inspire you to keep ongoing. We’re part of your community, and your opinion matters to us. If you have any feedback, ideas, upcoming kids event, or great stories, please email us to share it - Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page and Instagram - search GritandGraceMag and click follow. Happy Reading

Remy Aquino-Nation

CHRISTA CANTILLO HEALTH/FITNESS EXPERT Christa is our resident health guru. When Christa is not teaching, she is busy raising her “Lil guru,” her beautiful son, who also has a natural inclination to the path.

PIA RASMUSSEN PROJECT MANAGER Wife and a mother of two lovely girls. Pia is originally from Denmark and is fluent in Spanish and English.

MARINELLA CIVALLE TALENT SCOUT Marinella is our Italian mother living the American dreams in Miami Beach, and she‘s a hands-on mom to her beautiful daughter Sofia who's also a model and a dancer. SKYLAR NATION PHOTOGRAPHER Skylar is our youngest team member at only 11. He’s homeschooled and enjoys coding, developing games, and assists his mother on photography jobs.

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


MEET UPWARD AND ONWARD WE GO By CC Christa Cantillo always understood the importance of inner and outer strength, setting Christa on a lifelong path of study in physical fitness and meditation. Christa began by building a strong foundation with studies in nutrition and various physical activities; however, Yoga took the spotlight the moment she was introduced to Ashtanga and Power Yoga. Christa is an expert at using her extensive fitness knowledge to curate specific programs for her clients, tailored to their particular needs. When on tour with her celebrity clients, Christa learned the importance of adaptability in her trainings; working with what you have got in the present moment. Christa’s experience flows into other aspects of the fitness industry; she has consulted on alignment for several large athletic fashion shoots including H & M and Perfect Balance. The Miami Holistic & Yoga community is special and Christa is honored to be a part of it. Christa has dedicated time to volunteering with 305 Yoga Gangster Outreach Program and introducing Yoga to teens and youth at risk. Christa’s love for Yoga, health, mind and body mechanics keep her continuing to further her knowledge with various master teachers. Christa believes that“the moment you stop being a student is the moment you stop being a teacher”. When Christa is not teaching she is busy raising her “lil guru”, her toddler son, Dante. Their mother/son morning and evening rituals include connecting to sound, meditations, and charging crystals as Dante has a natural inclination to the path.A proud Cuban and Austrian daughter of Miami, Christa enjoys an active vegan lifestyle. She is dedicated to her family's personal health and spends her free time with her husband, Anthony on the family boat, taking advantage of Miami’s beaches, skateboarding, biking, and best of all, swimming in the expansive beautiful ocean.

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021

Grit and Grace Magazine





WORLD OF KIDS AGENCY: STORIES FROM ONE OF THE MOST RESPECTED KIDS TALENT AGENCY IN FLORIDA By Margarita As mothers ourselves, we understand just how important that is! We all know that the entertainment industry has its share of actors, models, artists and directors who make us laugh and cry on screen. Behind the scenes, people work very hard to create these films, commercials, and shows that we love. One of the professions that most people don't know about may also be one of the most important: Talent Agents. We talked to two agents who specialize in this field to find out more about their work. We spoke with Debbie Cozzo and Margarita Morales, the phenomenal agents behind World of Kids Agency to get an insight into their work. Though they are based in Hollywood, they have been representing talent for print, commercials, TV and film throughout the state of F l o r i d a , as well as nationally & internationally, since 1993! Debbie and Margarita told about the life of an agent, challenges, and the work it become an agent! us all its special takes to

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


How did you start World of Kids Agency? After spending a decade as a Model Mom and Talent Agent, Debbie made the decision to start World of Kids in order to provide quality service for clients, talent & parents in the industry.

What relationships do you create with your talents? We often start representing talent when they are infants and have the privilege of watching them grow into adulthood, and we’re able to do this because we truly keep their best interests at heart. As mothers ourselves, we understand just how important that is! Recently, we’ve even s tar t e d w e l c o m i n g o u r “WOKGrandbabies”, as our previous WOK Kids are becoming parents themselves. When we say “welcome to the WOK Family,” we truly mean it!

Tell us the most challenging and rewarding part of the work you do. The challenge for us is the same as it is for anyone in the industry; the scheduling. Talent receives their time, location, etc., but behind the scenes there is a huge team of people…agents, casting directors, producers, photographers, etc., all trying to coordinate the details that go into that production. The reward comes in finally seeing those little faces in print or on- screen. My personal favorite is getting the photos of a child standing in front of their larger-thanposter in a storefront…the child’s expression is just MAGIC!

What is something about your job most people wouldn’t expect?

What advice would you give someone looking to be represented by your agency? Make sure this is something your child wants to do, and not something you want them to do. Pictures are so important… they are the first thing a client sees. Although they don’t need to be professional, they should be good quality photos. Make sure it’s a well-lit area, eyes should be open, smiles natural, hair natural, etc. Understand that while this is an extracurricular activity, it is also a business that requires your time and commitment.

How is the industry doing during the pandemic? Like with every business, the pandemic has taken its toll, and while it took a second, the industry has adjusted and found a way to work in/with the “new norm.” We are thankful that parents and talent have been patient and understanding during this time, and are so grateful to the clients that have gotten back to work! We hope Europe will soon be able to return to work in the states as well.

What are your ideal plans for World of Kids Agency in the next five years? We will to continue to bring the level of excellence to the industry that all have come to expect and rely on. WOK remains dedicated to making sure the experience is always seamless and memorable for all involved through relationships built on honesty, trust and integrity.

The hours. Many people may think this is a 9-5 job, but in reality, we are often working well into the night and on the weekends.

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


A Sleep Coach’s 5Step Plan for Getting Your Kids to Sleep By: Christina Heiser

The solution is to teach the child in a gentle way, over time. Dr. Lynelle Schneeberg, PsyD, understands the difficulties parents face when it comes to getting their kids to bed. The pediatric sleep psychologist, assistant professor at Yale School of Medicine, and director of the behavioral sleep program at Connecticut Children's Medical Center has spent much of her career specializing in the sleep needs of children. She's also the mom of three adult children in their early and mid-20s, so she's had plenty of opportunities to put her work into practice at home. Dr. Schneeberg shares her best advice in her recent book, Become Your Child's Sleep Coach: The Bedtime Doctor's 5-Step Guide, Ages 3-10. We chatted with Dr. Schneeberg about what parents can expect to find in her book and how to put some of her sleep tips to good use.

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Q: What are the five steps you outline in your book? A: Step one is preparing your child's bedroom for great sleep. I walk you through what to remove and what to add. Step two is using the 5B bedtime routine every night—that's to keep the routine consistent. The five Bs are bedtime bite, bath, brushing teeth, bathroom, and books. Step three is teaching your child to self- comfort as you work your way out of the room. Step four is limiting callbacks and curtain calls. Those are just what they sound like—kids love to call you back for “one more thing" or show up in the living room long past when you thought they were asleep. And step five is managing night and early wakings because, while you're working on bedtimes, your toddler is still going to wake up at night or wake up too early—and you have to plan for that.

Q: What are some of the most common issues you hear about from parents? A: There are two that I hear of more than any other. The first one is: “My child fell asleep so easily at bedtime, so why do they wake up so much at night?" Almost always it's because the parent is providing a lot of assistance at bedtime to fall asleep, and then they leave the bedroom. Everyone wakes up four to six times a night, usually at the end of a sleep cycle. But when a child wakes up and the thing they had with them at bedtime is missing, they have to come find it—or her or him— again to get back to sleep. In lay language, that's sometimes called a sleep crutch. In technical language, it's called a sleeponset association. In the simplest terms, it's usually called mom or dad.

The second most common thing I hear is: “We tried everything to help our kid become a great sleeper. Why isn't it working?" Then they'll usually give me a list of amazing and lovely things they've added to their child's bedroom—aromatherapy, a machine that projects stars onto the ceiling, a special night light, a weighted blanket —but these aren't the items that are going to help their child sleep. Parents keep purchasing things and adding them to the bedroom, hoping that will fix the problem— when in reality, the problem is almost always the fact that the parent is providing too much assistance

Q: What should parents do instead? A: The solution is to teach the child in a gentle way, over time, how to fall asleep independently. This is called sleep training. It's much trickier to sleep train an older kid than a baby. The advice for babies is pretty straightforward: Put a well-fed, happy, dry child into the crib and be nearby, but let them figure out how to settle themselves for the final journey into sleep. That's much harder when you're talking about a fouryear-old, for example, because they can come running out of the room, call you back, and tell you all sorts of things they need before they can go to sleep —which leads to very long and complicated routines. For an older child, it's important to have a consistent routine with only a few steps. Then you will want to make sure that the child has a reading light and a book. That could be a picture book or a drawing pad, depending on how old the child is. Then you can say to the child, "Hey, I love you and we just had some great time together during your bedtime routine but now it's your bedtime, so just look at your book or draw until you're sleepy." That takes the pressure off having to fall asleep on command, which none of us can do.

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


In my book, I try to mirror the child version of what an adult already does. An adult already gets into bed and looks at something—hopefully a book and not a tablet or a phone—until they're drowsy enough to fall asleep.

About The Book Author Dr. Lynelle Schneeberg Dr. Lynelle Schneeberg, PsyD, is a pediatric sleep psychologist, an assistant professor at the Yale School of Medicine, and the director of the behavioral sleep program at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

If a parent has been staying with a child for a long time to help him or her fall asleep—this may have been years for some of the families I work with—I'll do a gradual taper, moving the parent further and further away over time until they don't have to be there anymore as the child falls asleep.

Q: How should a parent set up their child's bedroom? A: It's usually not about the color of the walls in the bedroom or the fanciness of the pillow. Keep it simple. Set up a reading light and leave out a book. There are a few items to keep out of the bedroom, too, including electronics. I think parents should have house rules—which I outline in my book—for electronics. These include turning off all devices one hour before bedtime and making them unavailable in the morning until a certain time so there's no reward for waking up and going to find a parent's phone early in the morning. Parents should also avoid having anything that could turn on or off later in the night in a child's bedroom, such as lights or music. Can you imagine if a light turned on or off in your bedroom at night after you had fallen asleep? You would almost certainly wake up.

As a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, she is one of only about 200 board- certified sleep psychologists in the country. Her book, Become Your Child’s Sleep Coach: The Bedtime Doctor’s 5-Step Guide, Ages 3-10, was written for the parents of school-age children. Her 5step guide was developed from years of experience working with families and from her training in sleep medicine, so it is both evidence-based and experience-based. She enjoys helping parents teach their kids to become great sleepers and wrote the book to share her secrets with a wider audience. She is also a mom of three, so she knows both professionally and personally how important it is to help kids become great sleepers.

Pets should be kept out of a child's bedroom as well since they can be unpredictable; a child may grow to depend on them at bedtime but they may not stay put.

About The Article Writer

Christina Heiser

Christina Heiser is the senior content manager at Saatva, a luxury mattress and bedding company, and a contributing writer to Grit s & Grace Magazine. She’s passionate about health and wellness and has spent her career as a health writer and editor. When she’s not writing and editing content for Saatva’s Sleep Enlightened blog, you can find Christina trying the latest beauty, fitness, and wellness trends.

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021





Dashaun Morris II: The most hardworking young athlete on the planet? America’s pre-teen football and track sensation is part of America’s new sprint golden age and says I’ll be fitter, stronger , healthier, quicker” at the Houston Junior Olympics this summer. His secret? “I’m faster than everybody.” Track and football phenom Dashaun Morris II wants to be the best safety ever to come out of Atlanta-area Grayson High School, and then to star for an NCAA Division I college and medal at an Olympics. What makes his dreams different than those of legions of other high school athletes is that he isn’t in high school yet and won’t be for several more years. Because even though he has earned national attention as a promising track and football star, Dashaun is only 10. Asked why he’s hit such a stride in multiple sports at his young age—he has already won gold at the AAU junior National Championships—Dashaun points to his work ethic, something he started at the tender age of three and has maintained ever since following the mantra “No Days Off.” Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021



But there’s another reason Dashaun is churning up headlines and winning the Internet, and it’s the man he got his name from. Dashaun credits his dad, Dashaun Morris Jr. Dashaun says he gets his passion for sports from his father. But that’s not all. His dad is his manager and schedules his busy days for maximum effectiveness.


Track and Field / Football

But it’s more than that. He says he has learned values of honor and integrity from his dad, who tends Dashaun’s Instagram account and posts photos and videos of the achievements of the talented kid known as d_honeybadger. (Dashaun also has his own YouTube account and starred in a reality TV sport show, also called “No Days Off.”) Despite all the hype (some say he has the fastest young feet in America), Dashaun has the goods to back up the claims made about him. At the age of seven, football recruiters began checking him out. At the AAU indoor National Championships earlier this year in Virginia Beach, VA, he took home a gold and a national record with an 8.28 second time in the 60-yard dash. And he won the 400 meter in his age group with a blistering time of 1:03:57. He’s also been known to embarrass runners a lot older than he runs runs outside his age group. Dashaun is working towards an equally impressive showing at the upcoming Junior Olympics in Houston in late July and early August, promising to be in optimal shape for the event. It’s no surprise that many think Dashaun is on the fast track to Olympic glory. But for now, he is enjoying being in the moment, training, and staying focused on his vision to be the best.

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021

“Protect my family, exercise my brain, be a leader, make good decisions, and never follow crowds.”



TIPS ON TEACHING YOUR CHILD SELF CONFIDENCE Parents usually want their children to be self-confident - after all, self- confidence is a key component of success in life. But how do you teach this important life skill? Here are some tips.

Meet Needs Experts note that babies and later children who have their needs met consistently needs for food, comfort, a listening ear, etc. - are learning the message that they are worth paying attention to; they learn they have worth. Some professionals believe this is best accomplished through the practice of attachment parenting. Others simply note that prompt and consistent meeting of needs will send a positive message to children.

Play with your child Play is how your child learns about and interacts with his or her world. When you participate, you validate this playful approach. You are sharing your child's world and helping him or her to see that Mom and/or Dad like the same things they do. Parents can get pushy about teaching their children the value of hard work or the completion of tasks. While these things are certainly important, the time in a person's life when they are young, playful children is quite short. So embrace this time and play with your child, and work in on the taskoriented training in addition to play time. Honestly, it can be therapeutic for parents to play with their kids!

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021



Watch what you say In a similar vein to the paragraph above, be careful about complaining about your children in their hearing. Yes, parenting is hard, and children can try your patience. But if you need to vent to your friends about the things your child does that drive you crazy, do it at a time when your child is not present or after he or she has fallen asleep.

Don’t withhold yourself If your child fails at something - and he or she will at some point - it's important not to withdraw or withhold love and attention. This sends the message that your child's achievements are more important that the child him/herself. Instead, make sure your child knows you love him or her no matter what failures happen. Of course, this does not mean you as a parent need to accept constant failure or not encourage your child to do better. The important thing is for your child not to think your love is conditional. Privileges can be conditional; parental love shouldn't b

“With confidence, you have won before you have started.”

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


*BSTRACT !*+)$+),- #"LEIL 10./231./04 5163.7 63 860 139 :1./2;8082

SOLEIL NATION: LIFE OF A YOUNG PAINTER !" #$%$&'($ )*+,'(-, !"#$#% &' RAN

Young Artist 2021 Interview on Taking R i s k , L i f e o f a Yo u n g Painter turned into fashion designer. At seven years old, Soleil Nation has already made a name for herself both on the small screen and the art world. Her resume at a young age can be intimidating. But sit in the same room with her, and she’ll make you feel right at home.

The bubbly young artist has been working since she was 4 years old, a commercial for Hasbro on The Cluck a Dee campaign, Saatva Mattress Youth Campaign, and most recently a Pedialyte commercial. Since then, she has appeared in numerous theatrical shows for Miami Children’s Theater.

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021

Take a peek into a day in the life of budding artist Soleil Nation, and how she improves her craft

“I never want to grow up and worry about if I can or If I can’t..”


Soleil Nation has had a world of influences in her short life. Born in the Philippines of a Filipina mother and an American father, she has been privileged to travel great distances and enjoy many cultures. Her dynamic sense of self goes way beyond her seven years of age, and her creative artistry is but one such example. Her sense of style, comfort with all types of people, young or old, and her intuitive nature would have you believe you are not speaking to a child not yet entered first grade.

Soleil started painting at age four and was the youngest artist to showcase her paintings during the first only kids’ exhibit, happening simultaneously with Art Basel in Miami Beach in 2018 – “Wonder.” Since then, she has been accumulating private collectors, and her works hang in many prestigious homes and collections. In 2019 prepandemic, one of her pieces was sold for thousands of dollars at a live auction, during the 5th annual gala for Little Dreams Foundation (founded by Phil and Orianne Collins) in which she is also their first and the youngest ‘Little Dreamer’ art award recipient at only five years old.

Because of her talent, she was awarded private tutelage by the world-renowned legendary artist Romero Britto. Her happy-go-lucky nature comes across in her ability to captivate people and put her original happy thoughts into her art. Her original works are self-taught and, at this time, limited only by the materials she uses and the restrictions of not having her studio but the world itself. She names her works and sees them as gifts to enjoy.

SOLEIL’S TOP TIPS FOR A SPIR IN G A R TISTS Awards and recognition are lovely, and it’s amazing when someone connects with a painting enough to want to live with it in their home. But I think the two things I care about most when the painting is building skills and being happy. Being brave is an important part of life, for me. I remind myself of a few necessary things each time I discover myself playing it safe: !"#!$%&!'(

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Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Ti n a We l l s Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021



TINA WELLS, FOUNDER OF RLVNT MEDIA, A MULTIMEDIA CONTENT VENTURE SERVIING ENTRPRENEURS, TWEENS, AND CULTURISTS WITH AUTHENTIC REPRESENTATION SHARES HOW SHE BEGAN HER CAREER AS A BOOK AUTHOR. As a 15-year old aspiring fashion magazine editor Tina Wells, the oldest of 6 found an ad in the back of Seventeen magazine to be a product review editor for a teen newspaper. She would sample products and write about her experience. After her articles would publish Tina shared the clips with the company whose product she had reviewed. Continuously the feedback from the brands would be that they loved her opinions and requested to send her more product. Loving fashion and beauty as she did, Tina saw this as a genius opportunity to obt ain the things she wanted at no cost to her parents. Score!

Over the next two years she garnered a reputation with brands looking to connect with the teen demographic. Her first boss move, hiring friends to help with the increasing workflow. She created surveys and shared insights with some 50 brands who basically served as her clients. During this time, she was not being paid, but enjoyed the work and the products. By her freshmen year in college a brand executive contacted Tina and shared that she was really impressed with Tina’s reports and suggested she figure out a business model for the service she was offering. Tina’s faculty advisor offered her an independent study opt to aid in formulating a business model. Over the course of three and a half months Tina created the foundation for her first business which she went on to run for over 23 years. The Zee Files is a 6-part series sold exclusively at Target. Book 3 The Zee Files:

Her research firm focused on youth marketing, which grew her reputation as the millennial expert showing businesses how to profit by tapping into powerful trendsetters and tastemakers. In 2007 she was approached with an offer to write a book series. Her first title, the best- selling tween fiction series Mackenzie Blue about a 12-year old smart, talented, funny and stylish girl living in California. Tina continued with her business but always thought about doing more with her character MacKenzie Blue and one day decided to close her agency to write full time. Shortly after a deal with Target was offered to her. Today Tina and Target have 12 books in their partnership. Currently Tina is the author of seven books, including the Mackenzie Blue spinoff series, The Zee Files. The Zee Files is the adventure of 13yearold MacKenzie (“Zee”) Blue Carmichael relocating to London and attending her new boarding school, The Hollows. Here she is hoping to find new friends and jump-start her music career.

Girl/Friend will publish in the summer of 2020. Additionally, Tina has another series coming this year, Honest June about a young black girl who is unable to tell a lie. Tina’s notable career has been fueled by her curiosity in people, stories and products coupled with her passion to see things through. To young girls, Tina offer this advice, “be ok with doing something new and exciting.” And on becoming an entrepreneur she shares, be comfortable knowing that the journey will be uncomfortable in certain seasons. The hard days are training you to be better. Tina Wells has been recognized by Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, Essence’s 40 Under 40 and more. She has been featured on TV and in multiple publications including O magazine, Marie Claire, Forbes and USA Today. Tina lives on the East Coast but likes to travel and share her passion to encourage and uplift young people.

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


FROM THE AUTHOR By Dawn Murphy What inspired you to write this new series? I’d been dreaming up an idea for a few years that explored Mackenzie Blue a few years older, dealing with teen issues. After a rejuvenating weekend in the Cotswolds at Soho Farmhouse, I thought that there was no better place for a creative arts boarding school. I’m from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, so I loved the idea of creating an environment where Mackenzie and friends connected with nature daily and were inspired by their surroundings, which was definitely my experience in growing up. Author Tina Wells is a business strategist, advisor, author and the founder of RLVNT Media, a multimedia content venture serving entrepreneurs, tweens and culturists with authentic representation. Tina has been recognized by Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” Essence’s “40 Under 40” and more. For over two decades she led Buzz Marketing Group, an agency she founded at age 16 with clients like Dell, The Oprah Winfrey Network, Kroger, Apple, P+G, Johnson & Johnson, and American Eagle that Tina connected with her network of 30,000 buzzSpotters® and 7,000 “momSpotters”, all influential millennials and passionate end-consumers. Tina is also the author of seven books, including the bestselling tween fiction series Mackenzie Blue, its 2020 spinoff series The Zee Files, and the marketing handbook, Chasing Youth Culture and Getting It Right. Tina’s board positions have included THINX, the United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council, The Franklin Institute and Young Entrepreneur’s Council. She has also served as the Academic Director for Wharton’s Leadership in the Business World Program at the University of Pennsylvania and is a member of the 2017 Class of Henry Crown Fellows within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute. Tina is represented by André Des Rochers of Granderson Des Rochers. Learn more at and about Tina’s next chapter here.

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021




Whether you're a male or female teen, your self-confidence is important. While the emphasis is often on girls' selfesteem, boys need to be confident, too, and often struggle just as much (although perhaps in different areas). Here are some tips to help teens build their self-confidence.

Recognize your talent It's easy to blow off your abilities, especially if your peers make fun of them (and they probably do so out of jealousy). But get serious with yourself and make a list of things you love to do and are good at. Keep this list just for yourself and look at it often. Remember it when you flunk a test or say something you wish you hadn't. Those talents of yours won't go away, and you can rely on them for the rest of your long as you cultivate them.

Cultivate your abilities You may have so many interests and abilities that it's impossible to develop them all; or, you may have one thing you really love to do. Regardless, look into developing and using some of your abilities in applications beyond school. Not only will it open more opportunities to look for activities around your community, but it might also remove you from peer judgment.

Be like a duck Have you ever heard the expression that you should be like a duck and let negative words and attitudes roll off your back? It's a good thing to cultivate - if you take every criticism or off- hand comment to heart, you might find yourself paralyzed with fear of other's judgment. Remember, school and teenage- hood are not forever. You will get out of this stage and you shouldn't let the criticisms of others sabotage your future, which lasts a lot longer than middle and high school!

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021



Resist the urge to compare When you look at your friends, classmates, or pictures of celebrities, try to resist the temptation to scrutinize them as the gold standard to which you should aspire. Someone will always have better legs, superior athletic prowess, nicer hair, etc. than you. But those people don't set the standard for you; you are who you are, and they can't measure up to that, either!


Listen to the inner voice - then tell it to shut up Stop and listen to your inner thoughts for a while. What do you automatically think of yourself in response to certain situations? What do you say to yourself when you wake up, interact with friends, or go to class? If you are tearing yourself down with negative thoughts, you need to stop. Address the negative self- talk and replace it with positive self-talk instead.

“Words matter. And the words that matter most are the ones you say to yourself.”

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021




GET YOUR KIDS UP AND RUNNING WITH PHYSICAL FITNESS FUN Love to run but want to get your whole family involved? You can get your kids up and running with physical fitness fun. Here are some ideas how and why it’s a good idea.

Some parents first expose their children to running from the time they’re in the stroller. The parents’ habit of running every day gives their children the sense that exercise is part of a normal routine, and that it’s something they, too, can do.

Some parents first expose their children to running from the time they’re in the stroller. The parents’ habit of running every day gives their children the sense that exercise is part of a normal routine, and that it’s something they, too, can do.

There are many benefits to running. Families that get fit together are healthy a n d h a p p y. R u n n i n g i n c r e a s e s endorphins, burns calories, builds muscles, and helps create a strong cardiovascular system. Children are natural runners and love to go fast, whether it’s on the playground, running around the yard, or chasing after a pet or a kite. Studies are showing that children who begin to enjoy running at an early age are more successful in sports, keep a healthy weight, and establish a lifetime of heart-healthy fitness habits.

There are many benefits to running. Families that get fit together are healthy a n d h a p p y. R u n n i n g i n c r e a s e s endorphins, burns calories, builds muscles, and helps create a strong cardiovascular system. Children are natural runners and love to go fast, whether it’s on the playground, running around the yard, or chasing after a pet or a kite. Studies are showing that children who begin to enjoy running at an early age are more successful in sports, keep a healthy weight, and establish a lifetime of heart-healthy fitness habits.

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021

In addition to the health benefits, research shows that active teens are better students. The British Journal of Sports Medicine released findings that eleven-year-olds who spend more time being active did better on some tests than eleven year olds who were less active. Their findings also showed that those who were more active as eleven-year-olds did better on some of the tests two to five years later. Consider starting your child out with running games such as playing tag, pickle, kick the can or Red Rover or spider. What about running around with squirt guns or spraying each other with a hose? Once your child is ready to hit the road, you can continue to make it a game. Run toward a specific destination – the stop sign, the neighbor ’s mailbox. Then hit the next destination. Many children cringe at the thought of running two miles, but building up from one goal to the next makes this accomplishment easier than they imagined.



STRETCH THEM OUT Once your kids have built up some

At home, kids might enjoy fitness apps to

stamina and muscle, you can build up to

make their running more fun. One

races. Are you running a 5K? Let your

favorite is an app that forces you to run

kids be there to cheer you on. After

fast to avoid a zombie attack. The app

they’ve seen a race and k n o w w hat t o

synchs with your music. As the music

e x p e c t , consider bringing the little

plays, you begin to run. Shortly after the

ones along in a stroller and see if the

first song, there’s a radio-like interruption

older ones want to run alongside you.

that informs you that zombies have been

They can start out slow and build up to a

sighted nearby. You must out- run them

faster pace.

or be eaten!

There are a lot of ways to make running

Once you’ve proven your mettle, the DJ

fun. Whether it’s a family game of tag

keeping watch in the tower above your

outside, running through a scavenger

neighborhood will allow you to become a

hunt or obstacle course or competing in a

part of their running team and will ask

local race, getting your kids up and

you to make runs to get supplies and

running is a worthwhile activity for

medicines while avoiding the zombies.

everyone. It can give them a healthy

The app tracks your movements and

heart, more confidence and even do

knows if you’ve sped up enough to avoid

better in school. Why not consider

the flesh eaters. What better way for your

bringing your kids along next time you’re

teen to enjoy running?

going for a run?

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


"Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard."


Feeling shy or awkward in certain situations is understandable. Don't we all have a little nervousness before we go talk to that guy or girl, or get sweaty palms before giving a speech? For some, though, shyness and social awkwardness may not be circumstantial, but constant. This can be very frustrating and hard to overcome, but there are some things you can do to help overcome your shyness and approach people in social situations. Here are some tips.

Learn to Laugh There's something about laughter that makes everyone feel more comfortable. This is why "ice breaker" activities at parties are often designed to get the participants laughing. So don't be afraid to laugh at someone's jokes, or learn a few funny lines yourself (not canned "pick-up" lines, but clever observations or comments).

Force Yourself to Stay S o m e t i m e s , s h y p e o p l e fe e l s o uncomfortable in a social situation that they just want it to end; they just want to get away. Consciously resist this impulse. Tell yourself to stand your ground, stay put, and interact. Remember, the other person is not going to breathe fire; he or she just wants to have a conversation and get to know you.

Learn to be Comfortable with Silence Social situations can feel especially awkward if you are uncomfortable with mutual silence. This may trigger shy people to "babble" to fill the silence, which then makes them feel even more awkward because they feel like what they're saying is silly or nonsensical.

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021




TIPS TO HELP OVERCOME SHYNESS AND SOCIAL AWKWARDNESS So be cool - some silence between people is okay. In fact, it helps give the other person a chance to think before he or she speaks. The person you're speaking with will appreciate this!

Stretch Just like physical stretching, socially and psychologically stretching can be somewhat uncomfortable, even painful. But also like physical stretching, it's necessary. If your first instinct is to say "No" when someone asks you to do something, stop and think first. Tell the person you will get back to him or her if you aren't sure. This will give you some time to pluck up your courage and say "Yes."

When to Seek a Professional There is a point when simple shyness and social awkwardness may be an actual disorder. Social anxiety disorder and social phobia are real disorders that may need the help of a professional. The difference between shyness and these disorders is how much it affects your life. For example, if you are so shy and embarrassed by just the thought of having to introduce yourself to others or attend a party that you go to great lengths to avoid the situation, it might be a social disorder. When it's social anxiety or phobia, you have trouble living a normal and productive life due to your social fears. ” Face

what you

think you believe and you will be surprised .” Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021



HOW DIET, EXERCISE AND CONFIDENCE ARE CONNECTED Do you struggle with not feeling confident? While therapy and coaching can help, it may also be of benefit to address your diet and exercise schedules.

The Connection When you eat well and exercise, it may help boost your self-confidence. Why? Here are some thoughts. * Body image - While exercising won't necessarily result in the perfect body, it does tend to give you a sense that you are being proactive about your health; you're doing the right thing and working toward getting fit. Recognizing this - even if you can't get rid of those love handles - can help you feel more confident in yourself. * Mood food - The food you eat can affect your mood, sources say, which in turn affects your confidence. Low blood sugar can cause you to feel grouchy and easily annoyed, and a diet high in sugar may contribute to depression (the ultimate in low confidence!). Lean protein combined with complex carbohydrates is a winning combination. * Endorphins - Exercise stimulates your body to produce endorphins, which are brain chemicals that help you feel good. These substances play a role in relieving depression and improving mood. * Energy level - If you're struggling with selfconfidence, feeling sluggish doesn't help. Exercise and a healthy diet are key elements to feeling energetic and, ultimately, confident.

* Vitamins and minerals Your confidence is affected by how you look and feel, and getting the right vitamins and minerals is important for things like teeth, skin, and h a i r. W h e n t h e s e aspects of your appearance are healthy and at their optimum, it helps you feel better about yourself. Specifically, some vitamins and minerals are directly implicated i n i m p r o v i n g m o o d a n d , consequently, confidence. These include B-complex vitamins and Vitamin D. In fact, fat-soluble Vitamin D is sometimes used by medical professionals to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). When you are getting the right amount of key vitamins and minerals, you are much more likely to feel confident in yourself. * Productivity - When your energy and confidence levels are up due to exercise and diet, you are much more likely to be more productive in work, school, and relationships. And this becomes a positive cycle increased productivity boosts your confidence even more. * Positive effects - If you begin to exercise and eat healthfully, you may find yourself looking better - you may experience weight loss, better muscle tone, and healthier skin. Looking in the mirror and liking what you see can go a long way toward boosting confidence!

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021




don’t have to cook



just good food

from fresh ingredients.”

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


“Stay classy, sassy and a bit


11 - noitaN ralykS yb sotohP Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021



Photographer: SKYLAR NATION




Stylist/Make-up: REMEDY AQUINO





Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


BENNY @benny_littlemodel Model / S i n g e r /Act o r 09 | Italy Benny is of talian descent. and loves to model for high end fashion companies.

Photographer: @baby__rush_ 📸 Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021

SOFIA S @sofiabetterthangood5 D a n c e r / S i n g e r /Act o r 08 | Miami Beach, FL Sophia is of half-Cuban and Italian descent. She is staying fierce by dancing and singing.

Photographer: RAN


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


DOMINIC B. @dominic.benedetto Actor/ Model 06 | Los Angeles, CA Dominic loves to boogie board, skateboard and play baseball.

Photographer: Danielle Vernengo

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021







ANNA NICOLE @annanicole_model Model/ Gymnast/Actor 06 | Highlands Ranch, CO

Anna is multitalented and active. She is passionate about Rhythmic Gymnastics. Where she is being trained by top Olympic coaches. Anna also LOVES to sing, dance, and perform live dance routines on stage. Anna is extremely artistic and incorporates her love of art into all of her hobbies. Fashion/ Modeling is Anna's greatest devotion. She is currently being represented by EADEN TALENT AGENCY @edentalentagency and is super excited about her future prospects. Anna has been featured in many modeling magazines and has collaborated and done many brand representations for designs modeling clothing for their brand. Aside from that, she greatly enjoys traveling and especially loves the beach. Her favorite sports are soccer, volleyball, and swimming. She loves anything outdoors and has an appreciation for nature and animals. Above all else, Anna is compassionate, kind, and sweet ~

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021

Photographer: R AN



ISABELLA JADE @isabellajadeofficial D a n c e r / Model/Act o r 11 | Los Angeles, CA Her love for dance keeps her busy as she performs hip hop, jazz and lyrical routines weekly.

Photographer: Annie Sorrel Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


JASMINE C. @jazzieconway Model/Dancer/Gymnast/Runner 11 | United Kingdom She is 11 years old and loves dancing, gymnastics and running. She was born in . Thailand and speak both English and Thai. On weekends she loves to go for country walks in the New Forest .

Photographer: Thanawat Satitrueangsak and Glenda Sponder

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


DANTE C. @blissfitlifemiami Yogi / Baseball /Soccer 07 | Miami Beach, FL Dante loves the beach, keeps busy with many sports, and lives an active vegan lifestyle.

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021

Photographer: R AN


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


COLLIN C. @yaidiclery Model/ Soccer Player 06 | Miami Beach, FL Doe eyed Collin is of half- Irish and Cuban descent. He is stays very active by swimming, soccer, and gymnastics.

Photographer: R AN

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


ODINA R. @sofiabetterthangood5 Soccer/ Swimming 07| Miami Beach, FL Odina loves dancing and singing with her younger sister Martha. She is half Danish and Spanish descent.

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021

Photographer: R AN


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


MARTHA P. @sofiabetterthangood5 Swimming/ S occer 06 | Miami Beach, FL Martha loves dancing and singing with her younger sister Odina. She is half Danish and Spanish descent

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021

Photographer: R AN


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


SOPHIA P. @sofiabetterthangood5 Swimmer/ Soccer 05 | Miami Beach, FL Sophia is of Spanish descent. She is staying fierce by dancing and singing.

Photographer: R AN Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


HAVYN L. @havyn_logan D a n c e r /Act o r 12 | Miami Beach, FL She loves to dance, sing and act.

Photographer: #chrzanowskicolleen

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


MARCOS N. @MarcosNobreOfficial Soccer/ Musician/Karate 13 | Monrovia, CA Marcos Nobre is a Brazilian-Italian 13 years old promise of US soccer with a brilliant future in front of him. At the age of only 7 he received the attention of the press for winning with his team the Coast Soccer League and beating an historical record of 40 years as undefeated champions with no goals against. Now at 13 years old he has more than 30 championships under his belt on a local and national level. He is currently playing in the MLS academy league (which is the top league in the US) with Surf MLS Academy as a forward and as a winger. In fact, his versatility makes him one of the most admired players in youth soccer. Technical and intelligent he trained with the best soccer coaches in the Los Angeles area, and received special training with Italian World soccer champion Alessandro del Piero, Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Portland Timberland defender Harold Hanson. His love for soccer runs in the family. In fact, in the 1970s his grandmother ’s house was the usual gathering of Pele and the Brazilian team who won the World cup for Brazil. Talent scouts in Europe have already invited him to try out for major academies, and he plans to do so after the pandemic is over. In his spare time Marcos plays the upright bass, practices karate with his brother, and is a straight A student. Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021

Photographer: Peter Georgopoulos


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


QUINN W. @quinnstagram_2012 D a ncer/Singer/Actor 08 | Los Angeles, CA Quinn Wrigley Weber, a 8 year old sctress is currently pursuing her dreams of working in feature films, television, commercials, print and all digital media. Quinn is sweet, outgoing, sensitive, creative, confident, and compassionate. Quinn’s charms, outgoing personality, level of understanding at such a young age and most of all her raw talent make her stand out from the crowd. Matshona Dhliwayo said it best "Astar does not compete with other stars around it; it just shines".

Photographer: Tim Weber Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


MARLEY S. @marleystarr3 Model / S i n g e r /Act o r 13 | Oahu, HI Marley loves modeling and is a youtuber and social media influencer.

Photographer: MS Starr Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


EVANGELINE N. @saltandbirchphoto.yql D a n c e r / S i n g e r /Act o r 05 | Canada Evangeline’s passion for being in front of the camera is very evident. She absolutely loves showing off her talent and sense of humour, and has an incredible joie de vivre. When she grows up, she wants to be an artist!

Photos by: Salt + Birch Photography Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


SKYLAR N. @skylarleonnation Model /Coder/Actor/Photographer 11 | Miami Beach, FL Professional model/actor, sweetest big brother, ever loving son, egamer, swimming fanatic, loves baseball and taekwondo

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


CHARLIE FAITH N. @saltandbirchphoto.yql Musician/ Model/Act o r 11 | Canada Charlie absolutely loves reading, writing, singing, acting, and dancing. She has performed on numerous stages, and received high praise and awards from local music festivals for her lyric poetry solos, and vocal/musical theatre solos. Charlie recently played the role of Lavender in Matilda the Musical at the historic Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod, Alberta.

Photos by: Salt + Birch Photography Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


EILEEN FREYA K. @eileenfreyakim Model/ S i n g e r /Act o r 07 | Cleveland, OH Eileen Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea. She lived there for three years Before meeting with her family to the United States of America. She is a passionate and strong willed girl who loves acting, modeling, gymnastics and science. She is 7 years old and already planning on how to make a lasting impact on the world to help the world become a better place. Her current dreams are raising enough money to build more animals shelters and homeless shelters. Nothing will stop her.


Photographer: Ms. Kim Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


NORA EMILIE K. @noraemiliekim Model/ Ballerina 04 | Cleveland, OH Nora Emily Kim was born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania and is four years old. She loves acting and her favorite character to play is snow white. She recently starred in a commercial for Discovery + for Mike Rowes show 6 Degrees.


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021

Photographer: Ms. Kim


Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


HANNAH MARIE K. @hannahmariekim Model/ Ballerina 02 | Cleveland, OH A budding ballerina, she loves to dance and sing with her 2 older sisters.

Photographer: Ms. Kim Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021



Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021


Wouldn’t it feel great to conquer physical challenges while feeling confident & at ease?


Are you ready to take your mind, body & energy to the next level? Let’s change your life from the inside out, together. Align your mind with your physical body. Create balance through your breath.




I AM A TRIATHLETE A Children’s Book “I am a Triathlete” is a one of a kind book, that will help encourage kids and adults to explore the sport of triathlons. Triathletes and multisport fans will enjoy the colorful and unique illustrations. This book celebrates the idea that anyone young or old, can make it to the finish line. All you need is a plan and a will to succeed. As intimidating as a triathlon can be, “I Am a Triathlete” encourages the reader to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. More importantly to learn from your own experience and write your own story. Order your copy today. We are also offering a special gift and bulk offerings.

Nia Obotete is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin resident, and HBCU graduate of Tuskegee University. Over the years Nia has organized and coordinated cycling and running meetups with local groups like Black Girls Run and Black Girls Do Bike. She has been inspiring and encouraging ladies to increase their fitness by participating in marathons, duathlons, and triathlons. In 2013 Nia completed her first triathlon, which inspired her to encourage others to try the sport. Swimming, biking, and running has proven to be both challenging and rewarding. Now Nia is looking to inspire a younger g e n e r a t i o n a n d t o c o nt i n u e t o encourage those new to Triathlons to make it to the finish line.

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021





COACH Mr. Geo Smith Mr. Geo Smith of True Talent Dance Studio, continuously instilling motivation, confidence, commitment, and respect in an exciting, fun-filled environment. Their motto is “Inspiring Dancers to Break Free." He wishes to pass on, not only dance techniques but equally important, a passion and love for dance. He takes great pride in their compassionate teaching staff who are not only highly qualified to teach dance but are also great role models for our future stars. They offer dance lessons taught by these fun, energetic, dance professionals in a safe, rewarding and empowering atmosphere. They use high-quality dance flooring and because they have small class sizes, their students receive personalized attention in every class. They offer age-appropriate music, costumes, and classes that enhance concentration, a healthy body image, musicality, and an appreciation for the arts. He feels it’s extremely important to not only teach dance skills but life skills that dancers can take with them outside of the studio. Come visit us and take advantage of their free trial lesson! We’d love to add another member to our dance family! Love Always, Your True Talent Dance Studio Family

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021




CALL GET - FOTO (919) 438 3686 !"NTACT NOW # $ % % % & '()*NATION& ! "

Grit and Grace Magazine I Spring 2021

Mitch Albom, For One More Day:

“Behind all your stories is always your mother's story. Because hers is where yours begin.” HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY

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