RWO March 2018

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20 Something AN RWO NEW


Deanna King:


The Main Street Armory helps in creating beautiful memories for your special day. With 3 different spaces to accommodate your every need, there is no place like this special venue. It’s your special day so we even let you create your own menu! Contact us today to come and take a tour. 900 E. Main Street Rochester, NY (585) 232-3221

COVER STORY 14 AESHA ASH The Grace of Swan Dreams






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arch 2018






















QUEEN OF ARTS Melissa Sanley





20 SOMETHING Introducing Connor Sokal Sexual Transmitted Diseases AFS Collective Street Fashion 101



















RW READS & WRITES Leslie Youngblood





















LAW & HIPHOP Moe Betta Benziee Bish





















































“How wonderful is it that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” - Anne Frank


arch starts Women’s History Month. A time to celebrate all of the ways that women have changed and continue to shape our society. Generations of women have marched and organized for women’s rights and in honor of all these incredible women, this month Rochester Woman Online would like to dedicate our pages to featuring some amazing, inspiring Rochester women. Starting us off this month we have some much exciting news including the launch of our REAL WOMEN campaign, Syracuse Woman Online and Buffalo Woman Online and also our Rochester Woman Idols campaign. So much excitement is happening in 2018. The biggest news coming from RWO is the grand opening of our new offices in Cornhill with an amazing launch party on Thursday, April 19th from 5-9pm. We hope everyone will join us and come celebrate, meet our amazing team, and see all that we have to offer. On our cover this month, we have a graceful, inspiring, African American ballet sensation...Aesha Ash. Not only is she stunning to watch, but she is all about giving back to her community. Talking about the struggles of being a an African American dancer, coming from the inner city, and all she has accomplished, she is a must read this month starting on page [14].



We have the beautiful and talented Aesha Ash. Rochester’s graceful swan was hotogtaphed in the heart of Rochester’s inner city by Renee Scoot and Thaler Photography.

March is also the start of an all new monthly section for our up and coming millenial audience called 20 Something. Featuring writers that are in their twenties, we start off the edition introducing some of our writers and talk about STD’s on the rise in this age group, street fashion and more! We are very excited about all the possibilities this section will evolve into over the months to come. Start reading on page [ ]. Be sure to read this edition from cover to cover because it is filled with so many amazing stories, tips, interviews, and more! Plus, make sure to come and join us on Thursday, April 12th from 5-9pm at the Main Street Armory for the 5th Annual RWO’s Ultimate Women Entrepreneurs Expo. Over 125+ local vendors, amazing speakers, and a fashion show that will be sure to leave Rochester talking~! Invite all your friends and stop by to check it out!








Kelly Breuer Cheryl Kates-Benman Cassondra Kubit Kelly Breuer Marisa Nicodemus Michael Zappia Thaler Photography Renee Scott Rock Beach Photography Brandon Vick Photography Sarah Salvilla - Artistic Photography Rob Daniels Photography Christopher Cardwell Renee Venisky Cheryl Kates-Benman Julie M. May Liza Pabon Phyllis Haberer Rebecca Jaffarian Sheila Kennedy Cassondra Kubit Julia Antenucci Mary Elizabeth Nesser Jason Pierce Kathy McClare Christine Buff Sami Sheehan Chloe Corcoran Denisse Espalter Dave Jenkins Angella Luyk Tracy Echeverri Megan Cormack Alicia Caoila-Hicks Kathy Gleason Susan Rook d’ettorre Christina Duco Conor Sokal Selma Hammer Ann Marie Ebling

Robert Brenna, Jr. Alana Cahoon Julie Donofrio Jodi Atkin Shannon Lamendola Nicole Fess Karen Messina Teresa Galbier Luci Sacchetti Camille Macintyre Amanda Scott Sara Rosalina Marie-Adélina de la Ferrière Michelle Lehmann Katherine Chase Leslie Youngblood Tom Turner

Kelly Breuer


Cassondra Kubit


The Next Design

Rochester Woman ONLINE is the premier professional woman’s online publication in the greater Rochester area. Our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local area women. The electronic magazines are distributed freely through your favorite app store and will be in your inbox electronically by the first week of every month. The publication is available free of charge. Please feel free to contact publisher Kelly Breuer at 585.727.9120 or you can email us at Download our current media kit at www. The magazine is published 12 times a year by Rochester Woman ONLINE. Copyright © 2017 Rochester Woman ONLINE. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or republished without the consent of the publisher. Rochester Woman ONLINE is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photos or artwork. All such submissions become the property of Rochester Woman ONLINE and will not be returned.







Aesha was born on December 30, 1977 in Rochester. Growing up in the city, she was part of an urban-suburban program that sent children from inner-city neighborhoods to schools in the suburbs, where she encountered assumptions about what it meant to be a person of color. Aesha remembers that classmates asked her whether drug dealers lived on every corner of her neighborhood. “You try to laugh them away, but you know that these comments are to make fun of and belittle you,” she says. She loved jazz and modern dance, and won several competitions, but she transitioned into ballet at 10. That’s considered a late start for aspiring ballerinas, who often begin training by age 3. As a young black girl who began dreaming of being a professional ballerina, there were almost no role models for her to follow.


Aesha Ash started dancing at age five. Her love of dance was immediate. “I knew right away that dance was my passion,” she said.

The first African-American ballerina wasn’t even allowed to join a ballet company until the 1950’s. Her name was Raven Wilkinson and she danced under the condition that she posed as a white woman by painting her face. It wasn’t until the 1980’s when the first African-American ballerina received a principal dancer contract with a major American ballet company, the highest rank within a professional dance company. Debra Austin broke that glass ceiling when she danced the principal roles in Swan Lake, Giselle, and Coppélia, with the Pennsylvania Ballet. Dancing these roles with a white partner was also a first in the professional ballet world. Undaunted by the odds, Aesha was accepted into the legendary School of American Ballet in New York City at age 13. While training, students often dance more than 6 or 7 hours a day, 6 days a week. Professional ballerinas say that dancers can only deal with the pressures of reaching the top because they truly love dancing. It has to be – it’s too demanding mentally and physically otherwise.

She spent long, exhausting days practicing and admits she was sometimes lonely. She pushed herself, motivated by the sacrifice her family gave up for her to pursue her dreams. She would often look at an image that hung in the School of American Ballet dormitories, of African-American ballerina Andrea Long-Naidu. On days where she felt her lowest and the most discouraged, that image inspired her to persevere. While at the school, Aesha won the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise. Her love of dance never waivered. At age 18, she herself broke boundaries when she joined the New York City Ballet, where she remained for eight years. During her time there, she was mostly the only black woman in the company, where she performed numerous soloist and principal roles. She then joined the famous Bejart Ballet, in Lausanne Switzerland, as a soloist. After enjoying success in Europe, she returned to the United States in 2005 where joined Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet. “My road to becoming a professional ballerina was one big obstacle. I did not have a natural facility for ballet and I was a woman of color. The fact that I made it to the New York City Ballet was something I thought would never happen. With a tremendous amount of work, sacrifice and education I was able to achieve this dream,” she said. Today she is considered a true groundbreaking star in the industry, and has been featured in Dance Magazine, Pointe Magazine, Bazaar, Marie Claire and the New York Times. In 2016, she received the Woman Making History Award at the National Women’s History Museum that honored women who are making modern history and breaking down barriers in their respective fields. Aesha says she is often asked about discrimination in her field and feels like people expect a big story from her. “What I think is important to understand is that it’s the micro-aggressions that tear ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH 2018




“My road to becoming a professional ballerina was one big obstacle. I did not have a natural facility for ballet and I was a woman of color.” ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH 2018


away at your being,” she said. “It is the known but unspoken that eats away at you. It’s the images that we don’t see which are powerful and speak volumes. With that said, sadly I have received quite a few unpleasant comments because of my race during my career.” Aisha met her husband through mutual friends. They married twice, once in front of her family in Rochester and again in Italy for her husband’s family to celebrate too. Now retired from professional dance and living in California, she has made it her life to draw commercial attention to 18


the African-American ballet world. In 2011, she started the Swan Dreams Project, to encourage African-American children to develop a love for her art. The image-based project has three goals. She wishes to see ballet become more diverse. She hopes to inspire youth from rough areas to pursue their dreams. And she wants to show the world that tough environments can’t hold back talented people, especially those with ambition. Since her childhood, Aesha always wanted to challenge stereotypes and dispel myths

that exist for women of color, as well as those from underserved communities. She understands that young dancers of color still continue to face formidable challenges breaking into the overwhelmingly white world of ballet because of race stereotypes and socio-economic status. “I want our youth to know that they are not limited by stereotypes nor by their environment, but only by their dreams.” “Although, I had retired from dance where I used my art as my voice, I had never given up this desire to promote change. One day, while sitting on the sofa and watching

{ COVER STORY } “It is the known but unspoken that eats away at you. It’s the images that we don’t see which are powerful and speak volumes.”

my daughter play, I saw an image flash on the tv screen that fed into the singular stereotype that exists for women of color. “In that moment I was reminded that I was always inspired by that photograph of the only African-American ballerina in the company. I saw how one simple image could have such an impact on me, that I wanted to create images to be that voice and strength for others. I wanted to show the world that women of color are more than a stereotype. I wanted to put to rest the one singular story that exists for us. The well-known Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said, on speaking about the dangers of the singular story, ‘show a people as one thing, as only one thing over and over again, and that is what they become.’” With that in mind, Aesha put on her ballet outfit and hit the streets to prove that Rochester is more than violence and gangs. That’s where the beautiful images she created for the Swan Dreams Project came alive. “ My c o m m u n i t y saw that out of our environment came a ballerina, not just negativity — a little black girl from inner city Rochester actually went on to become a

professional ballet dancer in a top-tiered company,” Aesha said. “Youth followed me on the street saying, ‘This is what we need. This lifts us up.’”

bookmarks - some of those images were used by organizations to raise funds to continue offering scholarships to students as well as provide free dance attire.

She uses donations toward the cost of printing and shipping images to schools and other organizations that reach out to her.

“In addition to imagery, I have donated ballet barres, money to create a pointe shoe fund, offered free ballet classes, purchased tutus and tiaras for the students to perform in and I donate to organization where I see great need and who are doing the wonderful work of providing arts to those from underserved communities. One of these organizations even provided transportation to their studio since many of their students don’t have any other way of making it to their dance classes,” she said.

“I have printed and sent hundreds of images, from fine art prints to posters and

The more a community is willing to donate, the more Aesha is able to offer back into the community. “100% of donations as well as the proceeds go right back into the project in these various ways and I would love to do even more,” she said. Aesha and her husband have two children. Her daughter is 8 and her son is 5. Will they become dancers too? “I had my daughter attend a few ballet classes, but she told me stretching was just too hard… this of course made me laugh. Beyond this she had showed me not much excitement to attend. I want to make ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH 2018


{ COVER STORY } “I want our youth to know that they are not limited by stereotypes nor by their environment, but only by their dreams.”

sure that I encourage her to be her own girl and not just follow my footsteps. She adores science and art. Although, with all the attention the project is receiving she has now asked for ballet classes, but she was very clear that she wanted me to teach her and had no desire of going to a ballet class. I will be purchasing a small ballet barre to teach her at home- I reserved my happy dance for when she wasn’t looking,” she said. “Although, my son is very flexible and athletic he has not shown me that he would like to do ballet. He loves music and dancing, but does his own version of breakdancing. He will be starting soccer very soon and he couldn’t be more excited about that. I want both of my kids to find their own passions, whatever that may be.



There is nothing better than finding your passion and having the ability to see it through. I am grateful to have found my passion early on and to have had a family that sacrificed as much as they did so that I could pursue my dream.” Aesha dreams of having her own studio where she can offer ongoing classes for free. “I would also love to see the Swan Dreams Project become an afterschool program as well as a summer camp. I would love to pass along all that I have learned and have been exposed to as a ballet dancer. “This is not limited to ballet, but would include the classic arts, fitness, nutrition, etiquette and arts education. I wish to pass along all of this to the next generation. Creating more little swans, whether they chose ballet or not. These are all skills and

knowledge that can be used in the ballet world and beyond. The exposure to all of this made me into the person I am today.” Although she doesn’t have a favorite image, “the one that seems to sell the best is the image that went viral, the one with the two young girls. I think this image speaks to hopes, innocence, dreams and a community that cares,” Aesha said of the photograph taken in Rochester. “The image reminds me of what my mother always taught me, which was to never forget where you came from. “I would like to think that I certainly have not.” To learn more about Aesha Ash, buy a print or donate go to



“I saw how one simple image could have such an impact on me, that I wanted to create images to be that voice and strength for others. I wanted to show the world that women of color are more than a stereotype.�




You can call her a “recovering” tv reporter. You can call her a current radio personality. You can call her the Cynical Mother. Just don’t call her Janet, a mistake sometimes made by customer service reps that mishear her name. People in Rochester don’t make that blunder, radio listeners know Deanna King. She is heard every weekday morning as part of the Brother Wease Morning show on Radio 95.1. Her first meeting with Brother Wease wasn’t exactly auspicious. Wease show producer, Billy D’Ettorre tells the story, “She was filling in for someone on another station that morning. When Brother Wease came into work he was all fired up, frustrated because someone closed the elevator door in his face in the parking garage leading to the building lobby. His first segment of the show that morning was him telling us about the door shutting in his face even though he was jogging toward the elevator yelling for the woman in the elevator to hold it for him … that woman was, of course, Deanna KIng, nervous about the scary, tattooed guy coming towards her at 5 am!” Today, Wease and Deanna play off one another in a way that makes for lively radio. Wease says, “I love Deanna. She’s a pain 26


in my ass because we don’t always agree on stuff so I’ll say she’s lame and she thinks I’m crazy, but people love when she beats me up so Deanna is great for the show.”

Batavia 10 … the hardest working person I know, getting up at 3 am to come to work and do all the stuff she does on the radio and the website.”

Like many people, Deanna grew up listening to Wease. He is Rochester radio royalty. She calls him a radio legend and was understandably nervous her first day. Despite the jitters she says, “By the time the show was over I knew this is where I wanted to be. There was instant chemistry. What you hear on the radio is real. We behave the same way on the air as we do the second the microphones are turned off.”

Paul Guglielmo (Pauly) is the lead producer on the Wease show, he says, “Thank God for Deanna. When she began working with us, all of our jobs got easier. She immediately demanded a heavy workload and produced A+ material for our websites and for air from day one. Deanna says she still get tongue tied but Pauly disagrees, “She can lead the conversation, pepper a conversation with jokes or help someone else through a conversation -- all of the skills needed to be one of the best personalities on morning radio in Rochester.”

Just “talking” on the radio sounds easy (the mark of a professional) but this is hard work, especially for someone who lives in Batavia. Wease says, “She’s my

That visibility can be a Catch-22. Deanna says, “We get our fair share of mean tweets and insults texted to the show. I would say as a woman I get more. If I were a man I would be praised for voicing my opinion. Instead, I get what most strong women do - I am called a bitch. I would be lying if I said it didn’t bother me. I try to brush it off, but I am more critical of myself than anyone else could ever be.” She’s passing that strength on to her daughter who recently said




“One day she realized that she could never please everyone, so she gave up trying and decided to be herself. Whether other people liked it or not was not her business.�

a boy called her a control freak at school. Deanna’s daughter shot back that she would be his boss someday. They both come from a long line of strong women according to Deanna, “Whenever I feel like giving up - I think about my mother and grandmother. They are two of the strongest women I know. Life wasn’t easy and they persevered.” Wease and others say Deanna is an amazing mom to her three children (one girl and two boys). Deanna gives credit to her mother and grandmother, “They also taught me that in the end, all that matters is the relationships we have and how we treat people.” She continues, “My greatest accomplishment is being a mother. It is true. My children are my world. We love to go on road trips. I 30


would rather spend money on trips and experiences than buying things. I hope they look back at their childhood with fond memories of our vacations instead of that time I screamed like a mad woman when I had PMS and they wouldn’t put on their shoes.” She’s equally honest about living with a war hero. Deanna’s husband, David Bellavia wrote a book on the Second Battle of Fallujah, House to House: An Epic Memoir of War. He has medals, awards, and accommodations. According to Deanna, “I am very proud of what he did for his country, but I won’t sugar coat it. Life after war can be hell for a veteran and his family.” But, she doesn’t quit and the sarcasm

and sense of humor are what make her such a good fit for the Wease show. After leaving journalism Deanna started her blog, Cynical Mother, to chronicle the “not so perfect” life of a mother. She says, “People on social media pretend it’s always easy and always fun. That’s not the case, but it’s easier if we can support one another and laugh together.” Favorite quote: “One day she realized that she could never please everyone, so she gave up trying and decided to be herself. Whether other people liked it or not was not her business.”





“Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” - Henry Ford





Cheryl L. Kates-Benman Esq., is the current editor of Rochester Woman Online, where she assists content selection, working with the writing team, assisting with fashion show planning and coordination, working with vendors and clients on social media and creating photo shoots for covers nd inside spreads . Kates writes a monthly column (Law and Hip Hop) and various other topics for the online magazine including current and relevant hot topics that are important in the greater Rochester community.

serves often as a “live” reporter for various agencies.

Ms. Kates is a runway and print ad model and is known in the community as the magazine’s “Diva #1”.

She is also serving as a promoter with local clubs and artists. She is the CEO of Exotikos Art and serves as a consultant for Limitless Records.

Kates is the also the former host of WAYO radio’s “Law and Hip Hop” show. She



Ms. Kates was featured in the films: “23 Reasons 23 Years is Enough” and “Multiple Injuries: Thalidomide Survivor: Mark Gizewski and his “Campaign for Freedom”. The films won the documentary short awards of merit. An additional movie, “Felony Murder and Parole” was also produced. (Fossil Fern Productions). Recently, she played an extra in the movie The City.

Kates began her career as a brain injury

trauma nurse. After an injury, she returned to school earning a Liberal Arts degree, a Bachelors in Political Science, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and her Juris Doctorate in Law from Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a criminal profiler certificate where she trainer under the renowned Pat Brown. Her law firm offers services to inmates dealing with parole matters state-wide. In 2016 Kates was recognized by receiving the Humanitarian award for her work with inmates and their families and domestic violence victims. Previously, she was given the Martin Luther King Drum of Justice Award. We are very excited to have Diva 1 as a huge part of the Rochester Woman Online team, and now Syracuse and Buffalo!



My name is Julie and I am originally from a tiny town of Friendship, NY. Although I have lived in many places including Texas and Rhode Island, Rochester is my adopted home town. I live in Greece with my fiancé Michael and our wayward yorkie named Baxter. Michael is a chef, so even though I don’t cook I eat really well. I went to SUNY Brockport and earned a

degree in Journalism so I have always loved to write. Articles, blogs, press releases, tv and radio commercials; I have been in marketing for more than 20 years so I’ve written a lot of copy. I also do a lot in digital marketing, creating websites, purchasing adwords and helping companies with their social media presence. My daughter is 20 and is a sophomore at St. Bonaventure University where she is loving the college life.

On weekends, you’ll often find me bingewatching tv shows. I am currently really into the Handmaids Tale and I can’t wait for the new Game of Thrones season after watching all 7 seasons in a month. I am also a die-hard hockey fan and I love the Buffalo Sabres, who are terrible. My goal in life is to live long enough to see them win the Stanley Cup.






“Connor Sokal is a college student at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA, where she is studying Forensic Biology/ Criminalistics. She currently has an internship at the Monroe Country Crime Laboratory. Connor is from Rochester, NY and has recently become involved in modeling in the Greater Rochester area. She is a model for Rochester Woman Online, a model for AFS Collective, has been trained by MTF Models LLC. and does freelance modeling. She is also the spokes model for Rochester Woman



Online. Along with modeling Connor volunteers, and is a member of multiple school clubs. When Connor’s time is not filled with school, modeling, researching and/or writing she can be found spending time with her loved ones. Connor’s modeling portfolio can be found by entering the following website; https:// She will also be sharing her completed columns for Rochester Woman Online on that website as well.”



Susan Rook D’Ettorre is a resilience specialist and reinvention resource. She is a: thinker, observer, listener, writer, internet scholar, storyteller and life hacker. Susan has been a journalist, television news anchor, public advocate, photographer, and writer. Susan has testified before Congress, been a panelist for a Presidential Debate, received an Honorary Doctorate, been alumni of the year for her university. She is most proud of her continuing volunteer work and anonymous support for causes she cares about.




Currently, Susan works with people to create a visual representation of their vision and then helps structure ways to make that vision a reality. Her business guides women to make vision boards and then use cutting-edge research to design habits to bring that vision into reality. She is in Guinness Book of World Records for grape stomping at the I Love Lucy museum. She has the only collection of original art by comics artists featuring Plastic Man and cats. She loves music, baseball, and community. Susan is made entirely of energy and joy.



I wrote for Rochester Woman Magazine and joined the RWO team with their first issue in January of 2017. I have been writing the Healthy Woman column each month where I write about different alternative treatments for pain relief, stress relief, different styles of massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, etc. I also write Rochester Woman’s Secret Shopper column with my partner in crime and life, Michael Storti. We wanted to shine a light on different places for a date night. In 2017, we had rules where there was no dinner, no movies, no bars (we may have done a few wineries), with the number one rule being no cell phones. In 2018, we are focused on finding those small diners throughout Rochester that you may not even know existed and shining a light on them.

I also do the short video clips on the RWO Facebook page, and you may have run into me a time or two at the Rochester Woman Expos directing traffic. What some people don’t know about me is that I am a Licensed Massage Therapist, Physical Therapist Assistant and a Certified Lymphedema Therapist. I am the owner of Healing Massage Retreat Integrated Wellness Center which has brought together a group of therapists that are dedicated to whole body wellness. HMR is a clinic that has a vision of being a one stop shop where clients/patients can get treated by multiple disciplines. A place where your care can be overseen by a whole wellness team under one roof to give the best care possible. We are excited to be expanding in May to bring more practices together. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH 2018





Hey Rochester! As part of your Rochester Women Online team; I love bringing you articles that are up to date in fashion, health and wellness! I am not a native New Yorker- as I grew up in Arizona and then went off to the University of Miami. In between that I lived in NYC trying to make it in the spotlight- however found my love and passion for design and fashion & headed back to Miami to get my degree in Fashion Marketing & Design. I quickly worked my way to become production assistant for several seasons of Miami Fashion Week & landed an amazing job working for Perry Elis Corporate offices. I now reside in Rochester, and after working in media and advertising for over 7 years I now run I.D. Sociale; a



media platform that not only helps small to mid size businesses take their social media to the next level but also focuses on providing features on health, wellness, and fashion. When I am not busy running my own business and working as a stylist for W by Worth; I am a busy mom of 2 amazing little girls who keep me on my toes. Let’s connect and be social! Cheers! Denisse



My name is Otivia Fantigrossi. I was born and raised in Rochester NY. Currently I am the owner/ founder of my home based business, innerGwellness , in which I provide Reiki Therapy Services, Health and Wellness Consulting and Empowerment Advisement / Mentoring Services. I am also a co-host and videographer for a local radio show Rock the Roc with Juda and Uncle Slosh, 106.3 FM Rochester Free Radio. In 2007 I decided to finish what I had started in 1985, after graduating from Hilton High School and obtain my college degree. In 2009 and 2010 I joined the Rochester Americorps Volunteer Services Program where I had received the Certificate of National Service through Rochester Americorps and the President’s Volunteer Service Award for both terms of service. I graduated from Monroe Community College in 2011 with an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts and Science , and began working on my Bachelors degree majoring in Health Science and a minoring




in Psychology at the College at Brockport, State University of New York until 2013 when I transferred to Empire State College where I received my B.A. in Psychology and Human Development as well as receiving an award for Outstanding Adult Student for the Academic Year in 2015. I obtained my Reiki Practioner Certification through the Academy of Reiki Training Center for Reiki Wellness & Hypnosis in 2014. I accomplished all this as a single mother while working and raising my son Tony , who is on the Autism Spectrum, and daughter Michelle who are now both adults. Throughout my life my career path has been within the Human services field. I worked as a Direct Care Professional with several agencies that provided services for people with developmental disabilities for several years as well as working as a Domestic Violence Court Advocate for Alternatives for Battered Women, now known as Willow Center. After graduating with my B.A. Degree I worked as a Medicaid Service Coordinator for Arc of Monroe County , and then as a Health Home Case Manager for Monroe Plan for Medical Care.


If I was to describe myself, I’d use the word “big.” Big Brains: Definitely not trying to be cocky, but I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Communication Design from Nazareth College in Rochester, New York- and Cum Laude to boot! I value education and always love learning about new things. Favorite subjects include art history, psychology, and literature. Big Personality: I’m a typical Italian- I’ve never been much for being quiet. I’m boisterous and outgoing. I pride myself on being on the quirky side- I haven’t met anyone else who could be my long-lost twin yet. (Thank God!)

that are on the darker and edgier side of things. My style icons include Morticia Addams, Lydia Deetz, Elvira, the Punk and Goth scene, and a lot more. After all, black is timeless, elegant, and magical- all of which, I’d like to be. Big Hair: The mop of curls on my head is my trademark and its actually part of my branding! People tend to remember characteristics more than names so when it comes down to it, “I’m the One with the Hair.” They won’t forget me. ;)

Big Fashionista: I am obsessed with beauty and fashion- particularly things






Like many, Stephanie Viriyakul moved to Rochester several years ago to raise her daughter and has yet to leave. Walking runways since she was sixteen, but best known for her spokesmodel work for various companies you are sure to have in your home. You’re most likely to spot her on our local runways or find her coaching Rochester’s up and coming talents from behind the scenes. She’s looking forward to continuing to coach and share her experiences for those breaking into the business.






Mary has been in the “hair” business for over 30 years with Mario’s Salon. The Salon has been in Brighton for over 60 years, when her father started it. Mary was lucky enough to take it over 17years ago and is proud to be the third generation in the hair styling business. They value having a family oriented, comfortable atmosphere. And Rochester Woman is proud to work exclusively with Mary and her team for all our styling needs! Mary prides herself in staying current with all the new trends and products and writes the Hair Hype column monthly for RWO. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH 2018







Growing up, I was fascinated with royalty. Before knowing my own ancestry, I had a natural affinity for tiaras and ballgowns. As a teenager, I ecstatically waited in line for movies with a royal theme. Princess Diaries. Marie Antoinette. As an adult, I still do the same - this time, eagerly waiting for the 2am release of Netflix’s The Crown. Between historical books and period dramas, my love for royalty and ritual started early on. Known by some historians as ‘court culture’, what began as a habitual interest became a scholarly endeavor. I ended up earning a degree studying the history and rules of etiquette, chivalry, and court fashion. Did I really get to use my said degree? No. But there simply weren’t jobs for queens-in-waiting. “Its mystery is its life,” Walter Bagehot wrote. “We must not let in daylight upon magic.” Anachronistic in nature, irrelevant for some, what makes monarchies so fascinating is its mystique. (And tiaras. Let’s not forget about tiaras.) After all, who can question its unusual – and sometimes ridiculous – rites and rituals when wrapped in the arms of royalty? Of course, no one today would believe the royal touch could cure illnesses. Or the infallibility of the divinely anointed. Of course, Bagehot was writing in his time and place. At a time when the Monarchy was very unpopular, Bagehot elevated the status of Queen Victoria from elderly stateswoman to semi-divine idol – the ‘Great White Goddess’ by some – whose domain 48


spanned around the globe. Even up to the ’52 Coronation, many believed the monarch was God’s chosen representative on Earth. Times have certainly changed, and so has the notion of Monarchy. While I have spent the better part of my 20s researching Monarchy, I learned little on the history of micronations. It all began a Fridaynight among friends of drinking and socializing. I was pouring

another glass when another segment of Vice News began. They were talking about an international conference in Georgia concluded earlier in the week. Men and women of various shapes and sizes, some bedecked with glittering tiaras, others with medals and sashes. No, Queen Elizabeth did not travel to the South. It was a conference of micronationalists. Presidents, Grand Dukes, Queens and Emperors of self-created countries. Some claiming territories on Earth, others in

the Universe. One had land that could fit in the palm of your hand! Could I do the same? The following day I gave up on brunch and began researching the subject. I found out the micro world of micronations was bigger than I imagined. While the 21st century has allowed micronations to emerge in all corners of the Web, its origins go back to the 19th century. Among the interesting micromonarchs included a Brit who claimed an uninhabited island (Redonda); and a Frenchman who claimed territory in South America (Arucania and Patagonia) – going so far as to rally troops against the Chilean authority. I was to take the example of so many micronations and simply lay claim to some land. After all, not like I would be actively declaring independence! The grand duchies of Flandresis and Westartica have claims to territories in Antarctica. The Kingdom of Ruritania, meanwhile, claims a residential property in Georgia (its queen regnant, Anastasia, was hostess for the international conference of micronationalists.) But I had a rented apartment in the United States. I knew that wasn’t going to bode well – President Trump would order an invasion in minutes! But that gave me an idea. Throughout history, dominant powers like England and Spain invaded territories already inhabited by populations. Could the Kingdom of Ortensia do the same? I looked to the Caribbean for my new





kingdom. Despite its unusually strong hurricane seasons, the region is otherwise quite enjoyable. I started out with one uninhabited island situated between Haiti and Jamaica. Discovered by Colombus in the late-1400s, Navassa Island has since been claimed by both Haiti and the United States. I laid claim to the former guano-infested island and renamed it St. Elisabeth’s Island. I would later go on to proclaim five more uninhabited islands: St. Estelle’s Island (Bajo Nuevo Bank), St. Louis’ Island (East Caicos), St. Henri’s Island (Desecheo Island), St. Mary’s Island (Rosalind Bank), and St. Monica’s Island (Seranilla Bank). And, thus, the Kingdom of Legialle was born! (The seventh ‘territory’, a collection of small islands in the Genesee River, 50


has since been converted into its own ‘Realm’ of the Crown - the Dominion of the Maritime Islands.) Over the past few months, as I’ve continued to build my nation, there’s was an important element I discovered. Nationhood isn’t defined by the dirt underneath them, though it certainly adds flavor to the mix. Nations are formed out of a desire to be free from oppression. They are born out of a determination to see a group thrive and flourish. Nations are formed out of ideals and thoughts. Nationhood is all about identity, and how we see ourselves in the world. It is why Mexicans, Haitians, Americans, and Catalonians fought (and fight) for independence – because they see no space for them in the greater polity.

Perhaps that is the reason micronations are formed. Not out of self-glorification (though some may exist), but because their leaders cannot see themselves in the society of their mother country. One can see why the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands maintained a ‘war’ with Australia due to their lack of equal rights for the LGBTQ community. (It dissolved shortly after Australia passed same-sex marriage.) As a black, firstgeneration Trans-American, I cannot always identify with current American culture. And I am not ignorant of the increasing efforts by American leadership to limit the rights of people like me. Why not create a country where I can be treated fairly, justly, and royally?





Effort, will power, principles, elegance and values are all fundamental for me; I firmly believe that being an example to others through my actions is the best way to be honest with myself, with the public, and with music. This makes me present myself exactly as I am, on stage as well as in my life in general; in the end, everyone appreciates you being real.

one of these performances that the producer and composer Jerry Barnes, member of the group Chic ft. Nile Rodgers, appeared in my life. He offered that I work on a project with him in New York so, after several conversations and agreements, I flew out there. On my arrival, I experienced that special energy that only New York


A while ago I had the opportunity to perform in some European countries, including Switzerland where I achieved great national impact. It was actually in Switzerland where I met Ronnie, manager and director of Atlantic Records in London, and Sony Music in Germany, with whom I signed a contract for a 1.5year tour in Switzerland and Germany; a tour that was very rewarding. However, at the end of the contract I decided not to renew it as, despite the conditions being very good, it limited me to performing in the same area for a long time, and for me it was essential to broaden my horizons and meet new challenges, even at the expense of losing other opportunities. With clear ideas and renewed energy, I decided to continue preparing myself by studying music, singing and dancing, subjects that, to a greater or lesser extent, I have never given up. Above all I decided to make the most of this time in my life to create ideas and projects, and to focus on my music composition because on tour you don’t have any time to capture your creativity. During this period, I combined composition with occasional performances, and it was at 52


and within a few days we were recording the single “Fairy Tales”. At that time, I didn’t know that I would still be a part of that excellent team today. I am currently creating my music with some incredible people, who I love working with, and with whom I can finally express everything I have inside me and develop all my ideas and knowledge. So, New York is now my place of work and inspiration. I thank Jerry Barnes for his great work and for giving me the opportunity to create with him; to the great composer, Alex Forbes, for her complete dedication and for believing in me, she is not just a friend but like a sister to me, and to the rest of the team for keeping our new project called “My Time”, which will be released in spring, close to their hearts. “My Time” is a message about having your moment. It does not matter where, how or who, we all have that feeling that gives us strength and compels us to say “It’s My Time”. This work is a call for everyone to listen to that voice inside us, so it gets stronger and more powerful and becomes the energy that moves us.

transmits, and I felt at home. On leaving the airport, a studio driver took me to the hotel, I got settled in and first thing that same afternoon I was in the studio. Jerry introduced me to the whole team

All of this is a gift that I appreciate and, if possible, that makes me work with even more enthusiasm. But what is most important is that it confirms for me that when you have a clear idea and you let your heart guide you, you should go for it, because if I had gone for safety by renewing my contract with Ronnie, I’m sure I would have received other opportunities, but not the ones that I feel in my heart are right.




“From all of this, I have learnt that when I have to make a decision in my life, I always follow my heart, that it is very important to train the mind to be strong and to fight against adversity, and to be modest when successful.�

the ones that I feel in my heart are right. Since arriving in NY, I have been surrounded and welcomed by artists and musicians with spectacular careers, who have made me feel included as one of them. Chatting with musicians who tour with Bruno Mars, or listening to Lisa Fisher’s new work before going to the market, or being in the studio with Jon Bon Jovi or Nile Rodgers is a real honour. However, it is also true that in NY you see both sides of the coin, as the greatest artistic successes and failures have happened here. If you don’t have any contacts or representatives to introduce you, it is very complicated to get anyone to listen to you, so you can have the best media and companies in sight, but not within your “reach”. NY offers you everything, but you can feel the competition in the air; it is the daily life of this city. The best artists in the world come here and the competitiveness 56


is ferocious, but this also makes you keep your standards high. The other side of the coin is that if you deserve it and work incredibly hard in your career, they value it a lot and take an interest in you. I have always been a fighter, and I much prefer to deal with a competitive world than the jealousy that exists in some countries. That is an emotion that one does not perceive here, as with competition at least you improve, while jealousy does not contribute anything, only negativity. I have set myself a very big goal, but the greats also had them, if they could do it so can I. I don’t understand limitations, I don’t believe in them. The only limitations that exist are the ones you create for yourself, so you achieve things because you believe in them and I believe in my work and music, which is the most universal language. Maybe you don’t

understand the language in which a song is being expressed, but you can feel its energy and the emotion is transmits. Today brings with it a new day, a new stage in my life. Behind me are many years of hard work and preparation, trips, studies, joys and sorrows, dreams and uncertainties, successes and mistakes, but all of it necessary for intense and comprehensive training, and I thank the public and everyone who has helped me one way or another to develop personally and artistically. From all of this, I have learnt that when I have to make a decision in my life, I always follow my heart, that it is very important to train the mind to be strong and to fight against adversity, and to be modest when successful.






Thursday, March 22, 2018, Temple B’rith Kodesh, 6:30 pm -9:30 pm Please come to our 12th Annual Designer Purse Auction featuring 150+ designer hand bags, craft cocktails, food, wine and luxury raffle packages. For tickets and to learn more, visit or Panache Vintage & Finer Consignment, 1855 Monroe Ave.









Rochester Woman is proud to announce a new addition to our regular line-up of articles. We focused on bringing forward a perspective of all women in the magazine and now we are transitioning to also bring our readers a new section for our Twenty-Something women. This will be a monthly feature where we have new writers who will write about general topics of interest, fashion and beauty. AFS Collective will also bring a monthly feature along with this mind-set. Connor Sokol will be the Twenty-Something spokesmodel and general interest feature writer. Connor is currently a college student studying in the field of forensics. She chose this field because it was so interesting and is ever-changing. There are so many different techniques used to identify and analyze evidence and trace it back to an individual and the field. It is so interesting when studying how this fields helps people who are wrongfully convicted to clear their name. Connor feels choosing a career in this field is going to be super rewarding. She is looking forward to being able to help people and she feels this career is her opportunity to make a difference. Connor is currently interning at the Monroe County Crime Lab. She enjoys learning everything that goes into a case. She indicated a case comes in and the evidence is then processed. Serving in this capacity, allows Connor to learn hands on and experience what her future career in forensics will entail. Connor hopes to find a position in forensics after completing her current degree. She is also aware she may need to continue her education further seeking a graduate degree. Connor like most Twenty-Something college women, will go with the flow and do what she must do to gain employment. The field is very competitive. 62


She indicated she may also need to attend the police academy to seek the kind of position she would like. Her interest is in criminal evidence or crime scene investigation. In addition to forensics, Connor was interested in becoming a model. She like most young women, expressed an interest but did not have the opportunity to make good on it. Markas, her boyfriend encouraged her to follow her dreams. Connor began her career in modeling at Rochester Woman Online. She recently completed formal training and is pursuing opportunities as they

Connor shares: “I learned how critical people can be of what you look like. I was bullied online about the way I looked. Sadly, a lot of girls have to go through this and I want to be able to speak for those girls who feel like the things that people say about them online are going to define who they are as humans and women”. Connor looks forward to facing an obstacle in her career choice. She is entering a field which is male-dominated. Connor expects by showing she is a confident woman and is able to perform her job duties as a forensic scientist just as good as any man will allow her to become a top-notch scientist in her field. Connor will pursue her career in both forensics and modeling as she enters the work force. Connor indicates as an individual she values the people close to her the most.

become available. Connor enjoys the people she has met in the industry. Connor likes to give back and did some volunteer work including Salvation Army bell-ringing, YMCA Youth Camps, Lolly Pop Farm and other community activities. Connor would like to work with youth affected by the sex trade. Like many girls growing up, Connor experienced first-hand the trauma of being bullied. The influence of social media in our society, especially by teens and the connection to peoples’ opinion of things is astonishing.

She shares:“You could say I have always kept a small circle of people in my life because I value the deep connection where people know me for who I am and what I stand for. Those people in my life are incredibly influential because they encourage me to follow my dreams and they steer me in the right direction. I also learned a lot about myself through them and the way they treat me. Each person in my life, has taught me so many valuable lessons that I cherish and will use them as an example of how I will treat people, myself and the people I love”. Connor is excited to be included in the new group of Twenty-Something writers. She looks forward to assisting RWO in reaching women of her age group. She indicates our readers should look out for articles that will influence, empower, encourage, guide and educate women in her age group. Meet Connor Sokal. Ms. Twenty-Something.





One of the biggest health concerns facing women in their twenties is their women’s health issues related to sexually transmitted diseases. In fact, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control, “Women between the age of 19 to 24, make up more than half of the approximately 19 million annual new cases of STDs” (CDC, 2018). In fact, it is documented, in a 2016 CDC report, “One in four sexually active women around the age of twenty has an STD” (CDC, 2016). The most common STDs young women are being exposed to is Chlamydia and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) (CDC, 2018). Young women are at a higher risk of acquiring STDs. This is attributed to behavioral, biological, and cultural reasons. The higher prevalence of STDs among young women may be reflective of barriers to accessing quality STD prevention and management services (CDC, 2014). Among the challenge to receive quality prevention and management of STDs include a young woman’s inability to pay, her lack of transportation, the long waiting times at clinics, and conflicts between clinic hours, work schedules and school schedules (CDC, 2014). Many young women are also worried about the embarrassment attached to seeking STD services. Young women often experience anxiety when telling their parents they need to seek medical help, or that they want to get regular checks for STDs, and fear they will be disparaged. We as women should be encouraged to take control over our health. We should have our families’ support. We should be respected for wanting to keep our bodies healthy.

What is Chlamydia?

“Chlamydia is caused by the bacteria called Chlamydia Trachomatis. The bacteria is transmitted during sexual contact with someone

who has the bacteria. In 2016, women aged 20-to-24-years-old suffered the highest rate of reported Chlamydia cases compared to any other age group for either sex. The Chlamydia rate was 3,779.0 cases per 100,000 females” (MedlinePlus, 2018).

Who is at risk of getting Chlamydia?

“Chlamydia is more common in young people, especially young women. You are more likely to get Chlamydia if you do not consistently use a condom, or if you have multiple partners” (MedlinePlus, 2018).

there are vaccines that can stop these health risks altogether” (CDC, 2018).

How is HPV spread?

“You can get HPV by having sexual intercourse with someone who has the virus. HPV is linked to Cancer. HPV can cause cervical and other cancers. Cancer of the genitals and the back of the throat can result from the transfer of HPV. Cancer often takes years, even decades, to develop after a person gets HPV” (CDC, 2018).

Twenty Somethings Point of View:

What do Twenty Somethings have to say about these diseases? I reached out to people through social media and asked if anyone could share their experience with the HPV vaccine or Chlamydia, so that I could share it with you. These were some of the responses that I received.

T.M. shares:

What are the symptoms of Chlamydia? “Chlamydia does not usually cause any symptoms. So you may not realize that you have it. If you do have symptoms, they may not appear until several weeks after you have sex with an infected partner” (MedlinePlus, 2018).

What is HPV?

“HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. 79 million Americans, mostly in their late teens and early 20s, are infected with human papillomavirus. There are a few types of HPV, which can have more minor health risks, or they may have serious health risks. But,

“I believe that the HPV vaccine is a great idea. When there is an option to protect yourself from cancer why would you turn it down? I did not have any side effects from getting the vaccine. The only discomfort was some stinging in my arm where they did the injection. My arm felt tight afterwards, but I just kept moving it around and it loosened eventually.”

T.B. shares:

“I had no idea what HPV was, when I first got the Gardasil vaccination. I can vaguely remember my mom and my doctor telling me that the shots were to prevent some sort of disease. Now as a young adult, I realize the importance of the HPV vaccine in order to prevent cervical cancer.”

I.S. shares:

“I am grateful for the injection I received when I was 13 and will be for the rest of my life- unconcerned byBRANDON HPV-relatedVICK cervical PHOTO BY

“My favorite part about working in bridal is the unique opportunity to help women feel beautiful and let their inner goddess shine.”



{ {TWENTY SHIFT+CONTROL SOMETHING } } One of the biggest health concerns facing women in their twenties is their women’s health issues related to sexually transmitted diseases.

cancer. I would encourage all eligible girls to take advantage of the HPV vaccine.”

L.G. shares:

I requested to have an STD test at my regular gynecologist appointment since I’ve had a fair number of partners. I don’t know who I got it from or when I got it. Just shows how important it is to get tested even if you suspect nothing’s wrong. You never think it’ll happen to you.”

L.S. shares:

DO NOT WORRY! There are ways to prevent experiencing any of this! Make sure that you and your partner get tested regularly for STDs. Latex condoms should be worn while engaging in sexual activity. There is a vaccination, which is a series of three shots that will prevent you from getting HPV. One of the most important messages I would give to any parents reading this is to encourage your child to get tested regularly if they are sexually active and keep the dialogue open. Let’s spread the facts not the diseases!

“My mother was adamant about me receiving the HPV vaccine. She contracted HPV from my dad unknowingly, because he was a carrier and she never wanted me to risk picking up the bacteria and getting HPV. I cannot remember specifically getting the shots, so I guess that means I did not have any serious sides affects.” “One day I just decided to get tested after a little over a year of being sexually active. I didn’t have any symptoms, but I contracted Chlamydia from the first guy I ever had sex with and I felt disgusting and ashamed. I felt like I should’ve been more careful. Ladies look after yourselves!”

H.M. shares:

“I actually suffered no symptoms whatsoever.



Works Cited “Chlamydia Infections | Chlamydia | Chlamydia Symptoms | MedlinePlus.” MedlinePlus Trusted Health

Information for You, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Mar. 2018, html. “Human Papillomavirus (HPV).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 Nov. 2017, std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm.MedlinePlus, 2018 “2014 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 Nov. 2015, “2016 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

26 Sept. 2017, adolescents.htm.






Rochester Woman Online introduces AFS as a member of our “Twenty Something” Column community. We seek to bring in the view point of all generations. We encourage alternative and creative points of view as we would like the content at RWO to continue to diversify and embrace all women. The Collective will also be participating in RWO Expos. AFS Collective is an interesting new concept of a group of artists promoting art through culture and collaboration. The team specializes in digital marketing services working on brand representation. Amanda Frannie and James Kegler both visual artists, met bringing big ideas to the table. The group provides web



design, social media marketing, brand management and public relations. The group promotes other creatives including models, artists and musicians. They embrace art and the individuals producing art. Each month the collective will bring special features for RWO. The group is a very progressive association where younger people can gain some direction in promoting their brands. The Collective describes themselves as: “We aim to provide a concrete system of services and resources made available to a wide variety of people such as artists, business owners, and creatives of all media.

Our brand’s merchandise is the physical representation of our brand’s culture and community, featuring art from those within our collective, as well as one-of-a-kind pieces to promote the self-expression and unique identities within society. We believe in embracing art and the individuals who take part in contributing to the culture around it, and to provide the network and resources to create an environment to promote positive creative exchanges and unified growth”.










Notoriously difficult to define, even by those who wear is, street fashion since the 80’s has been an emerging and upcoming trend amongst youth culture, influencers, creatives, and artists. This grassroots fashion movement is inspired from what is happening on the streets and constantly evolving. From Dapper Dan who inspired the trends back in the 80’s to today’s brands like Stussy, Supreme, and A Bathing Ape, street fashion has been taking over the industry. Street fashion encompasses streetwear, hip hop fashion, and Japanese street fashion, inspired from the DIY aesthetic of punk, new wave, heavy metal, and later hip hop cultures. Cities that inspire street fashion include New York, California, London, Milan, and Toyko. • Streetwear was heavily influenced California among surfers and skaters, usually causal comfortable pieces like jeans, t-shirts, baseball caps, and sneakers. Shawn Stussy created this modern expression by combining a t-shirt lifestyle brand with the limited feel of a high-end luxury brand. The integral components of a streetwear brand are T-shirts and exclusivity. • “Hip hop was the genre of music where

it was accepted, promoted, and preferred that the artist looked like the fan.” – Frank The Butcher. High end brands like, Tommy Hilfiger, Louis Vuitton and Gucci traditionally did not market to minorities but the integration of hip hop artists in these brands provided a bridge to the gap. People were able to live vicariously through their favorite artist by owning a luxury piece. This fashion began with Dapper Dan creating pieces in Harlem to bring high end fashion to the hood to supply rappers and influencers with unique pieces to showcase. His work integrated high end and affordable pieces, also bootlegging pieces. Now artists like Ava Nirui and Virgil Abloh are using their creativity to redesign clothing from high end designers into new pieces. Music artists and rappers began signing with high end labels and brands to inspire their popularity and began to influence the fashion industry as well. Hip hop artists are now becoming the biggest commercial influencers of our generation. • Japanese street fashion is heavily influenced by Yamamoto and Kawakubo, and brands like BAPE. The style is heavily focused on the art behind playing with mixing patterns and using fashion as an art. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH 2018





“Street fashion encompasses streetwear, hip hop fashion, and Japanese street fashion, inspired from the DIY aesthetic of punk, new wave, heavy metal, and later hip hop cultures. Cities that inspire street fashion include New York, California, London, Milan, and Toyko.” • Contemporary sportswear fashion mixes formal and active styles together to create a comfortable and trendy look. Common items are hoodies, jackets, track pants, leggings, and sneakers. The 1990’s hip hop fashion also is incorporated with elements like bomber jackets and dad hats. Nike also has a huge influence on the street fashion scene with shoes, active wear, and tech pieces. Luxury and minimalism are the key components of sportswear street fashion. • What pieces create a street fashion look? Layers are everything in street fashion. Basics are skinny jeans or tight pattern pants, graphic t-shirts, patterns like checkers and plaid are in, and any coordinating sneaker or boot. For accessories, jewelry such as chains, watches, rings, and earrings are statements. Sunglasses and hats are also necessary to complete a look. Street fashion is basically comprised however you can coordinate colors and patterns into a new and unique look. Street fashion breaks the traditional ideas of couture fashion and high end fashion and redefines fashion into grungy, urban, one of a kind

looks. Street fashion is creating your own form of art through personalized fashion pieces and looks that you put together. “Streetwear embodies the past, present and the future. I want to break necks when I walk in the room with my outfits.” BREAMO • Street Fashion Photography Another aspect of street fashion is the newfound type of photography where the inspiration is the streets. Street photographers look to regular, everyday people as well as influencers and artists for their muse. Usually the photography is candid photographs of individuals wearing urban clothing. During fashion shows, photographers like “Streetpeeper”, who is famous for covering Vouge’s fashion weeks, stand outside waiting to capture fashionable guests. “These fashion shows are one of the few times when fashion and the real world intersect just for a little sidewalk on Sixth Avenue between the show venue and the model’s car.” – Mr. Phil Oh “Streetpeeper”.





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Miss Finger Lakes Partners with the Alzheimer’s Association BY TERESA A. GALBIER

From a series of spotlight interviews with Alzheimer’s Association supporters. The interview with Diana Marie Russo (DM), Miss Finger Lakes 2018, was conducted by Olga Monacell (O), Communications Manager of the Alzheimer’s Association. Music can enrich the lives of individuals who live with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Stud-ies have shown music may reduce agitation and improve behavioral issues that are common in the middle-stages of the disease. Even in the late-stages of Alzheimer’s, a person may be able to tap a beat or sing lyrics to a song from childhood.

O: Recently, I sat down with Diana Marie

Russo, Miss Finger Lakes 2018 and a senior at St. John Fisher College. She is also an Alzheimer’s advocate and a member of a Congressional Team representing the Alzheimer’s Association Rochester and Finger Lakes Region. I asked Diana Marie to share with us her personal story of bringing back memories through music and advocating for those who live with Alzheimer’s.

O: Diana Marie, tell us more about your grandmother.

DM: My grandmother Lydia lived her life

with purpose and found joy in spending time with her grandchildren. Although she passed away in June 2015, I began to lose her to Alzheimer’s dis-ease in October 2008. At that time, I was too young to understand my grandma’s diagnosis. I couldn’t comprehend why she didn’t remember how to bake her famous rolls or why she thought her husband of 60 years was an impostor. It didn’t matter that I was young, because Alz-heimer’s came quicker than time. When I finally understood that I lost my grandma, it was too late. It was too late to learn from my grandma, hear family history and share my accomplish-ments with her. But, I knew there was a moment when the disease did not define my grandmoth-er and I knew Alzheimer’s was actually the impostor.

DM:: Imagine forgetting your name, your family

and where you are. Your memories start to fade and all aspects of your life begin to disintegrate. 76


Your sense of self, your personality and your knowledge are suddenly lost and you are no longer in control. This happens to more than five million Americans today, and my grandma was one of them.

O: But you found hope? DM: My grandmother Lydia was an admirable lady who tried so hard to remember but couldn’t. One day, when I was visiting my grandmother, I turned on an old recording of Frank Sinatra. When Lydia heard the song, her eyes lit up. I could tell she wasn’t in awe of Sinatra’s charming voice. Instead, this woman was brought back to the Roaring Twenties and her glory days of fashion, flappers and the Ford Model T. Lydia’s memories matter. After Alzheimer’s disease took those precious moments from her, music brought them back. I found hope in music.

O: Once you realized that music helped you

establish a connection with your grandmother and bring back her memories, what did you decide to do?

DM: I decided to use my musical talents and

become an advocate for Alzheimer’s awareness. After my grandma passed away, I started playing my flute for people in memory care homes. When I visit people with Alzheimer’s, I notice the challenges they experience with the disease but also the positive and uplifting impact music can have on them. When individuals with Alz-heimer’s listen to music, they begin to remember rhythms and lyrics and express their emotions. Music is not only a form of entertainment for these individuals, but it is also a comforting and soothing experience.

O: Tell us more about the advocacy work you do on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association.

DM: Last year, I joined the Alzheimer’s

Congressional Team of the Rochester and Finger Lakes Chapter. As a team member, I will seek to advance the fight against Alzheimer’s disease through the federal policymaking.

DM:The care for people with Alzheimer’s costs the pubic billions. However, currently,

“Last year, I joined the Alzheimer’s Congressional Team of the Rochester and Finger Lakes Chapter. As a team member, I will seek to advance the fight against Alzheimer’s disease through the federal policymaking.”

{ PARTNERS ON THE JOURNEY } “As Miss Finger Lakes 2018, I have a platform that amplifies my voice, but everyone can make a change. Whether you enjoy art, writing, poetry, sports or photography, share your talents with elders diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.”

there is no cure and the number of people who die from the disease continues to increase. We need to persuade the U.S. Congress to make Alzheimer’s a national priority. In addition, I will continue volunteering my time and enriching the lives of those who live with Alzheimer’s through music.

DM: Music is therapeutic and can turn an

unresponsive family member into one who is en-gaged. It engages elders because it creates an emotional connection. As a performer, I have to know my audience and play music that they are familiar with. I also try to speak to my audience and encourage them to create rhythms and sounds, too.

DM: As Miss Finger Lakes 2018, I have a platform that amplifies my voice, but everyone can make a change. Whether you enjoy art, writing,

poetry, sports or photography, share your tal-ents with elders diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Your passions will create a familiar environment and a sense of security for these individuals. There might not be a cure for this disease today, but music connects the mind to the soul. It’s never too late to make an impact that will always be remembered.

DM: As an Alzheimer’s Association

Congressional Team Member, I encourage everyone to take action and fight against this disease. Alzheimer’s cannot be forgotten by those who re-member because they are the voice for those who don’t remember. We invite the Rochester Woman readers who are interested in learning how music can enhance the daily lives of those with dementia to a livestreaming event the Alzheimer’s Association

of Rochester & Finger Lakes Region will host on April 3, 2018. Maria Batista-Hancock, music therapist and Expressive Arts Department Chair at Hochstein School of Music and Dance, will share effective and powerful techniques of integrating music into caregiving. To register, visit To learn how to build music into the life of the person with Alzheimer’s, visit our Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center at https://www. Thank you to Diana Marie Russo, Rochester Woman Online, and the thousands of volunteers who lend a powerful voice to Alzheimer’s advocacy efforts nationwide. To find out about how you can become an Alzheimer’s advocate, visit


THE POWER OF MUSIC Tuesday, April 3 • 3 PM - 4:15 PM

Maria Battista-Hancock Expressive Arts Department Chair, Hochstein School of Music & Dance

engage the brain and the heart with music • explore techniques to integrate music into caregiving • learn from award winning music therapist • no musical ability required This presentation will stream live at various locations across 10 counties Call 800.272.3900 to pre-register at a location near you This program is supported by a grant from the New York State Department of Health.

Culinary Clash Formerly known as The Apprentice Cook-Off Gala Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018 Hyatt Regency Rochester 6:00-9:00 p.m. An Interactive Evening Featuring: delectable entrées • cooking contest with teams of culinary students and senior living community executive chefs • wine and beer tasting • entertainment • silent auction • and more

Presented by

For more information, visit




fact that you are alive and that there is always someone out there living under much worst circumstances.

Dear Women, Let me be frank. Growing up in a broken family sucks. Growing up with constant setbacks sucks. Feeling like you were given the short end of the stick, sucks. I’m sure a lot of you can relate. Whether you come from a broken family or just a broken past, this piece is for you.

But before you carve what I say into stone, let me tell you about how I choose strength and growth throughout my continuous struggles. My name is Liza Pabon. I am 29 years old, a Latina and a tenth-grade dropout. I come from a broken family, a life below

I’m here to tell you that the brokenness of your past does not mean your future is meant to be broken, too. The mishaps, the struggles, the setbacks, the devastations; they don’t define who you are. They don’t determine your future. Struggle is a part of the human experience and without them we wouldn’t grow into who we are today. Without struggle, we wouldn’t be able to see what we’re truly made of. When I find myself or someone in a negative mood I remember the words my economics professor Joe Marchese once said in class, “Do you know the only people that do not have problems on this earth? …Dead People!” And although everyone got a chuckle out of the statement I knew that he was right. Sometimes you have to appreciate the 80


the poverty line, constant disappointments and an endless string of new towns, states, and counties with constant new homes, new schools and new friends. I am also an entrepreneur, a multi-faceted business owner, a homeowner, a landlord, and one hell of a fighter. At ten years old, I was a fourth grader reading at a first-grade level. I started going to my teachers before and after

class to work on my reading and math. I wanted to prove that I could put in the work and that I could catch up. That same year, my niece and nephew pressed a lighter to a mattress and ignited a spark that turned into a mountain of flames. We lost our house that night. My pre-teen and teenage years were spent in the inner city dodging ill-intentioned men on my way to school, weathering physically and mentally abusive relationships, encountering countless assaults at the hands of the kids in school, while also managing a job to pitch in at home. Ev e n t u a l l y, it became a choice between showing up to school and working full time to make sure my mother and I had a place to live. I chose a roof over our heads, and my numerous absences did not go unnoticed. At seventeen, my English teacher advised me to drop out, not because I didn’t get good grades, but because I missed too much school; because I had no money, no car, and no choice but to work full time just to keep a place to live. I did not choose my circumstances, nor could I do more than I was already doing to




change them. He said I didn’t deserve the grades I got because I had to spend my time behind a pharmacy counter instead of a school desk. It didn’t matter that I managed to pass tests. It didn’t matter that I knew the material. I was not able to go to school, so I did not deserve to graduate. I dropped out. I was angry. I was frustrated. I was determined to do everything in my power to prove him wrong. I wasn’t going to let this define my future. I ended my abusive relationship. I got a new job at Sutherland Global Services. I figured out what it would take to get into college and I went to work. Over the next two years, my time was spent working multiple jobs and looking for a program that would help me prepare for the GED exam. At twenty, I was unsuccessful in finding a program and decided to take a chance and just take the GED exam. I passed with flying colors, and shortly after took my entrance exams for Monroe Community College. I got in. My parents were always entrepreneurs at their core. Successful or not, their business ventures drove our lives. I entered college at 21 with plans of studying international 84


business and following my roots. During my first and second semesters, I began to question the major I initially declared and found myself searching for what it is I really wanted to do. As I completed my core class requirements, I realized that communication classes are where I flourished. I was drawn to the creativity of the classes. So, I changed my major to Media Arts and Communications shortly after. From there, I started taking pictures and developed a small freelance photography business with a friend in a spare room at my house. It wasn’t until I began to master my graphic design skills that I knew the direction I was going in with the rest of my career. I purchased my first home at 23 and was able to share my blessing with more of my family members. I graduated from MCC at 24 and after that everything started to fall into place. Under the name Stratagem, I brought on our main photographer and good friend, Luis Perez. We started getting more and more paid work, outgrew the in-home office, and moved into a loft in the Neighborhood of the Arts. From

there we were able to work with larger organizations, like the professional women’s soccer team, the Western New York Flash. In about a year and a half, we moved into our current office with a lot more space. Within 4 years Stratagem went from a photography business to a full-fledged creative business with a photography studio, graphic design, event planning, and even an in-house Aveda salon. So here I sit pondering my past and looking for the words that I can only hope will inspire others on their journey through this beautiful and at times wretched world. What you choose to focus on is what will manifest. Choose to allow yourself to believe that you have a place in this world. That you can make a difference, it only takes a small act of kindness. Allow yourself the opportunity to look inward and accept your past. Remember that who you are today is based on the mindset you choose to have going forward and what action you take thereafter. In the spirit of Women’s history month, I think Maya Angelou summed it up best when she said, “I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.”

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Take the Scenic Route to History BY KATHERINE CHASE

The history of the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail begins with women. In 1981, Mary Plane, of Plane’s Cayuga Vineyards (now called Cayuga Ridge Estates), looked at her empty parking lot and knew if her fledgling winery was to succeed, she needed to fill it. What could she do to entice people to visit? Would people come if there were more to do, more to see? Thus began Mary’s vision of the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail. Mar y Plane gathered the support of Lucas Vineyards, Americana Vineyards, and Frontenac Point Vineyard & Estate Winer y. But four unknown wineries weren’t enough of a draw, so Mary solicited participation from other attractions along and near route 89. In 1983, Lakeshore joined t h e g ro u p a n d all five wineries banded together and established the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail and helped produce the first brochure. This first brochure was audacious – a quote ”The Cayuga Lake Wine Trail offers a variety that is unmatched in wine touring and tasting. Nowhere else will travelers experience such a multitude of premium wines, attractions, comfortable lodging, fine restaurants, friendly people, and splendid scenery.” 35 years later the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail has done just that: with 14 member wineries, and over 75 different local businesses listed in the brochure, Americas 86


First Wine Trail certainly has lived up to its reputation.


Montezuma Winery & Hidden Marsh Distillery, member since 2001: We are proud to serve you award winning fruit, honey, and grape wines. With over 30 wines ranging from dry to sweet, there is something to suit

food items at the country store. Enjoy scenic views of the vineyard, cherry orchard and Cayuga Lake. At Varick Inn, relax and rejuvenate at an 1833 historic home. Swedish Hill Winery, member since 1986: Experience over 30 different wines ranging from classically produced Rieslings and Cabernet Francs to delicious blends that showcase the flavors of the region. A visit with Doobie, our pet miniature donkey and our new miniature horse, Sven is a must-see! Knapp Winery & Vineyard Restaurant, member since 1984: Sit inside or on our vineyard trellised patio overlooking our landscaped gardens and vineyards. Our hearty dishes include classic burgers with unique flavors, alongside special entrees using regional products. Combine this setting with Knapp’s premium wine for an authentic Finger Lakes experience.

everyone’s palate. Hidden Marsh Distillery has premium liquors, brandy, whiskey, bourbon and vodka. Don’t forget the homemade fudge and extensive gift shop. www. Varick Winery & Vineyard, member since 2005: Experience wines paired with complimentary fare. Sample over 100

Goose Watch Winery, member since 1998: For over 20 years, we’ve produced distinctive premium wines with a concentration on off-the-beaten path varietals and styles not found on most other Finger Lakes wineries. Sample hard to find European varietals, or more traditional wines from our picturesque setting overlooking Cayuga Lake. www. Buttonwood Grove Winery, member since 2004: Winner of the 2017 Governor’s Cup! Come explore our beautifully landscaped grounds and lake view while tasting some of our many award winning wines. A renowned




venue for weddings, we also have onsite cabins for overnight lodging. www.

seating for larger groups. Enjoy our award-winning wines and delicious local fare.

Toro Run Winery, member since 2014: The winery sits on 64 acres 530 feet atop a glacier-carved hillside overlooking Cayuga Lake. We serve world class Finger Lakes wines, including our signature estate grown Gruner Veltliner. Toro Run offers all the beauty of Finger Lakes with a Spanish flair. Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery and The Copper Oven, member since 1983: Wood-fired pizzas at the copper oven are a mouthwatering delight. Our pies cook next to a crackling wood fire at 750 degrees in two minutes. Check our website for up to the day menu planning and special events. Don’t forget to sample fine wine in our rustic barn tasting room. www.

Hosmer Winery, member since 1985: Founded on the principle that great wine starts in the vineyard, the first vines were planted on the family farm in 1972. Today, 70 acres of vineyards are producing some of the finest fruit in the Finger Lakes, used to make 100% estate grown, award winning Hosmer wine.

Thirsty Owl Wine Company and Bistro, members since 2001: The Thirsty Owl Winery and Bistro, with its own 41 acres of vineyards overlooking Cayuga Lake, offers indoor, outdoor, and private 88


Lucas Vineyards, member since1983: Three generations of fun-loving Lucas family invite you to experience Cayuga Lake’s oldest winery. Engaging wine tastings, beautiful gardens and one of the area’s most unique gift shops are just a few happenings at Lucas. Wine slushies that can’t be beat! Americana Vineyards & Crystal Lake Café, member since 1983: Taste our award winning wines, try some homemade fudge, and visit our new taproom/Beer Garden featuring 10 Bacchus Brewing Co. beers on Top. Dog and family

friendly. The Crystal Lake Cafe offers fresh, locally-sourced, from-scratch gourmet comfort food in a laid-back casual atmosphere year-round – inside or when the weathers nice. Enjoy lunch, dinner, our Friday Nite Pizza Party, and a Sunday brunch that’s not to be missed! Six Mile Creek Vineyards, member since 1993: Nestled on the southwest slope of one of Ithaca’s most picturesque settings, Six Mile Creek Vineyard is a boutique winery and distillery specializing in the production of premium wines and spirits. Panoramic valley view’s capture the beauty of the vineyard, pond, and gardens. Long Point Winery, member since 2001: The winery sits on 72 acres of land overlooking the east side of beautiful Cayuga Lake. Guests are treated to a tasting of the finest dry red and white wines and the spectacular views that the tasting room provides. www.

Scenic Route Take the





Open Year Round Dog Friendly â—†

A) Montezuma Winery & Hidden Marsh Distillery B) Swedish Hill Winery C) Varick Winery & Vineyard

D) Knapp Winery

H) Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery

E) Goose Watch Winery

I) Thirsty Owl Wine Company

F) Buttonwood Grove Winery

J) Hosmer Winery

G) Toro Run Winery

K) Lucas Vineyards

M L) Americana Vineyards M) Six Mile Creek Vineyard N) Long Point Winery

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Getting to know Marisa Nicodemus: Owner of Marisa MN Photography It always blows me away what photographers can capture and how they can make people, places and things come to life. A creative eye through the camera lens can go so far. And Marisa Nicodemus is one of those gifted human beings that just gets it and has an amazing eye to capture those moments. I first met Marisa at a photo shoot for Rochester Woman and loved her spunky and smiling attitude. There are people out there that have that gift to attract and Marisa is one of those. You want to be in her presence and she made the photo shoot easy and fun! We all laughed, made everyone at ease and got amazing shots for the magazine. Not to mention her smile can light up the room! I was able to get to know her a bit more by chatting it up and asking her some questions. But I can’t keep all this to myself right – so Rochester lets get to know who Marisa Nicodemus is! Tell us a little bit about yourself: I have 3 beautiful children who I adore and want the best for and they will always come first in my life, even before me. I have an Amazing husband (really) who truly supports me in whatever I do and in all of my craziness. We’ve known each other for 18 years and have been married for 15 years in August. I truly live in the moment, I live for everyday as it 92


comes and I believe that everything and everyone I meet has a reason, a purpose in my life, even if I don’t know it at the time. I believe in our own personal strength and we create our own happiness within. Even when you may feel like it’s so hard to find, it’s there. I look at life from all perspectives and I am open to all new things and all sides of the spectrum. I love to surround myself with those who have beautiful, genuine souls and bring positive vibes into my life. I love to laugh and dance and enjoy the company that I’m surrounded by. I look at life as a beautiful gift and that we are truly blessed to be alive, not to waste a single moment of this gift. I love with all of my heart and there isn’t anything that I wouldn’t do for those I love. I love to hike, climb mountains and go on adventures with my family and try to surround myself with all that this world has to offer. My husband and kids are my entire world and they are the best parts of me and that’s how I got the chance to be in this position writing all of this to you. How did you get started in photography?

Where do I begin?? Being a mom and a wife is and always will be something that I cherish, but I needed to be something more, do something more. Something that was my passion in life that made me exactly who I am and not to lose myself in the hustle and bustle of being split in half everyday. Something that defined me. In 2014 I bought my first DSLR camera and when I tell you it saved me, it did in every sense of the word. I wanted to teach myself, do it on my own. I studied images; I started reading on everything and anything that I could to teach the techniques that comes with a piece of equipment like a digital camera. Once I learned one basic thing, I took picture after picture of anything just to get it right. Countless hours of shot after shot to learn how to execute what I had learned or read about till I got it right and understood its function. After 2 years of teaching myself, with out me even realizing this... It became my PASSION, a part of me that made me completely whole. Not only as me; but as a wife and mother as well. It opened up my mind and my eyes to a whole new meaning. It brought out my personality ... it brought me to life! There still is so much more I want to learn, so much I need to learn because we should never stop challenging ourselves; to grow not only as a photographer but as a person as well. Holding my camera unlocked a key to everything that I am and everything that I may become on this beautiful journey. Describe your style I don’t really know if I have a specific style.





“Growing as a photographer and as a person everyday has been because of all the wonderful people I have in my life, even if it’s just for a moment. They have given me the strength to continue on my path.”






My style is Expression of whatever is beautiful in this world and creatively capturing it’s essence. To capture a moment with one click so that it becomes a moment we get to remember forever. Bringing a smile to someone’s face even for a split second is what drives me. What kind of photography do you like to shoot the most? I don’t have a favorite; I actually enjoy all photography. Its like art and freedom of expression. Landscapes, sunrises and sunsets, Macro photography which is precise details 96


up close, waterfalls and architecture, night photography and street photography. There isn’t anything that I don’t see as being beauty, capturing everything is just a small part of me and what I love to do as a photographer. On the other hand when doing portraits it’s capturing rawness, expression and allowing myself to have a little bit more visual on capture a family within a moment, laughing, smiling...making memories. Capturing a person inner beauty and pulling that out in a photograph to allow them to see how beautiful they are.

What motivates me to continue on the path behind the lens? Growing as a photographer and as a person everyday has been because of all the wonderful people I have in my life, even if it’s just for a moment. They have given me the strength to continue on my path. Many photographers or clients have given me the inspiration to keep moving forward with a kind word. But ultimately the person in my life that I have to Thank from the bottom of my heart is my husband and my children as they truly inspire me everyday to be more than I did


yesterday. When I see them proud of me, it’s the motivation I need to get up and be everything I need to be for them; which my camera is a huge part of that. To never give up hope and faith in all that I can do. The people that I meet... My story, their story inspires me to learn more. As they all inspire me... I hope I can inspire them! From your point of view- what makes a good picture? A good picture is vision and creating a story, a moment or beauty that surrounds us. It’s

composition of an artistic view no matter what it is. Everyone can take a picture especially with our technology now, but someone that can create a visual or express an emotion or feeling (could be anything) that takes talent and work. Capturing its entity to allow other’s to see it’s beauty. Who influenced you the most? As many photographer that I’ve meet along the way have influenced me to be a better photographer, have inspired me to create more and challenge myself at every turn.

They have taught me a couple of key points to work with. My husband has influenced me the most, he has never tried to change me and supports me 100% all of the time. He doesn’t allow me to give up and encourages me to go out there and do more. We go and take pictures together as I try new ideas and learn and different perspective on things. He allows me to be me always and when I see him smile, that’s all the influence I need to push forward. Influence comes from so many different ways, but ultimately it’s others that you surround yourself with influence ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH 2018




On your free time what kind of photos do you take? On my free time I love to take pictures of waterfalls, sunsets and sunrises and all of nature. I enjoy canoeing and hiking, climbing mountains so it allows me to spend quality time with my family as I’m still capturing all the moments. To breathe in life with those that mean the most to me, so in all the craziness of life I still don’t miss a thing around me. I use that time to encourage me to capture those moments for all others to enjoy!

your way. Success is hard work that will be rewarded to you in the end.

Advice you would give to other’s who are starting a business. If you have a passion, something you love to do... go for it and take risks and chances at getting yourself out there to accomplish your dreams. Even if you make mistakes, which you absolutely will along the way. Those are the things that allow you to grow and become better, things that you learn from. Don’t let fear hold you back from your goals and dreams. (Be Fearless) Your talent and your time has a price, to go out there and give it your all no matter what comes

What do you love about Rochester? I love the food and restaurants we have here. The festivals in the summer are amazing and so much fun. Our city is pretty spectacular and the people in it... it’s filled with so much architecture and history and such beautiful parks to enjoy your free time. I love to photograph it as a reminder to everyone else how beautiful it actually is.


Name one strength and one weakness. I feel one strength that I have is being able to make other’s laugh and smile and have fun in life. Because I love life so much, that allows me to take on any situation and make it fun. Taking photos even if you don’t like the camera on you should not be stressful but can be very fun. One weakness I have is chocolate :)

Tell us one thing people would be surprised to know about you. I draw and sketch on my free time, when I

want to relax a bit while listening to Orchestra music... I love piano and all instrumental music. And I absolutely love watching my Spanish Novelas. After getting to know Marissa – she rocks not just as a awesome photographer but as an amazing person inside and out! We know one thing for sure- Marissa is one cool boss babe! Want to get in touch with Marissa: Marisa MN Photography (Photographer/ Owner- Marisa Nicodemus) Phone contact- (585)- 426-0562 Email Address- Website- (Gallery- Macro/ Landscapes) Family Portraits/ Engagement sessions/ Senior portraits) Cheers!






Through Her Share of Adversity


Teresa Weinmann has been through her share of adversity. She began having panic attacks at age 9. School was difficult as she was struggling with undiagnosed ADD. The other kids in school teased her. She lasted one day on the track team. She was put on academic probation after her first semester of college. Her marriage ended in divorce. But this is not a story of tragedy; it’s a story about triumph. It’s about how Teresa took the curve balls she was thrown in her life and hit home runs. Today she is a successful 3rd grade teacher in Pittsford. She is raising her 7-year-old daughter as a strong, confident, single mom. And the girl that thought she was fat is now a competitive and accomplished athlete. This is a story about an amazing woman and her journey toward happiness. Teresa lived in Gates until she was five years old. She moved to Greece a month after her 5th birthday. Her parents still live in the house she, her brother and her sister, grew up in. She says, “I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I was in first grade. My mind was made up back then and continued all the way through.” She still recalls school being difficult. “In 6th grade my teacher talked to my parents about me daydreaming in class. I recall hearing a woman on Oprah talking about ADD in high school and thinking, that’s me,” she said. It wasn’t until freshman year of college that she was diagnosed and realized she would need to figure out her own approach to learning. “I went to three different colleges for undergrad, found my footing and what worked for me, the way I learn, and what I needed to succeed. I ended up with a 4.0 GPA with my master’s degree in Special Education at Nazareth College,” she said. She adores the teaching job that she’s had for sixteen years. “There are years that are more challenging than others, of course, but overall, the connections that I make with my students is extremely heartwarming and unique. I still remain in contact and have become close friends with a student from my first year teaching. To me, my job is so much more than just teaching academic subjects, it is teaching my students life skills as well as social emotional learning,” she said. “I always start the school year, usually the very first day, reading the book Thank you, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco, as there are so many

lessons that can be gleaned from it. I refer back often to this book as it is not only extremely motivating, but also because it discusses the challenges, academically and socially that the main character (who is also the author and illustrator) faces. I talk to my students about how school wasn’t always easy for me, that I want every student to walk into my classroom and feel safe and cared for.” She says that being a single mom of a 7-year-old certainly has its challenges alongside the many positives. One challenge for Teresa is not having someone to say, “Tag, it’s your turn to deal with this situation because I am spent.” “I will say though, that I have an amazing support system of family members, friends, and neighbors that have become close friends to call upon when I am having a tough time with things, to vent to, to bounce ideas off of, and who so often offer to jump in and help out,” Teresa says. “When you are a single parent, you have to be willing to accept the assistance of others. That can be tough to do, but it is so very important as I truly feel that it takes a village to raise a child and to keep your sanity as an adult.” The thought of becoming an athlete was foreign. “For years, while driving I would see runners alongside the road and think, ‘I wish I could do that.’ I had tried track for one day in high school. We had to run up and down the three flights of stairs in our school building and it was pure torture. The next day, I could barely walk, which left me discouraged and not wanting to go back to practice with the team,” she recalls. “I spent years thinking or worrying that I was ‘fat’ and my weight fluctuated like a roller coaster. I had a ‘light bulb moment’ while I was pregnant. I knew that I needed to stop asking my ex-husband if I looked fat, as I did not want to raise a child, especially a daughter, hearing me say those things about myself, because my worth is measured not by my size, but the way I treat others and myself.” Five months after Nora was born, she mentioned to her sister, an avid runner, that she wished I could run. “My sister responded that I could run and that she would help me by creating a training plan for me to follow. I was skeptical at first, as I felt like I couldn’t run to the end of my driveway. Luckily, I had a treadmill in my basement at that time that I could hope on and track my time and distance run. It was February at the time, so I didn’t want to start running outside and be discouraged by the cold! Once the warmer weather hit, I started to take my running ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH 2018


{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES } “One must be open to reflection and really take the time to embrace the success that they have achieved, even if it isn’t what they originally set out to attain.”

outdoors. I can recall having my training plan posted on the fridge and calling my sister for advice and encouragement.” “For my first 5k, back in 2011, my sister created a training plan based off of Hal Higdon’s 5k novice program. My sister also had me pick out my first 5k very early on in my training so that I had a goal to strive for that was around the time that I would be finishing up the training program. I chose to do the Jungle Jog that began in Seneca Park and went through the Zoo a bit,” she said.

wildest dreams would I have imagined that I would be lifting barbells, doing box jumps (a fear I have had to conquer and am still working on being consistent!), and various functional movements.

What’s up next for this busy mom? “This coming July I will be turning 40! Back in December I created a 40 till 40 list of things I wanted to do, accomplish, visit, and venture out to. Having this list gives me the motivation to stop procrastinating, get out and do things, as well as makes me stop and reflect on the experiences I want to have before turning 40,” she says with enthusiasm.

“I began to focus on being healthy and that made a huge difference in my mindset and attitude towards myself. Being healthy, to me, is not just about eating well to fuel your body, but also taking the time to exercise and move.”

“In addition, the last two or three summers, my daughter and I have created our Summer Bucket List of the various things we want to do, experience together, and places we would like to go. I find that I accomplish more when I have a list that spans a short amount of time. It feels more manageable and attainable compared to a bucket list that spans the length of my life.”

From that first race in July of 2011 to the following May, she completed four more 5ks. At that point, she was ready for another challenge, to complete her first 10k. “I found that when I signed up for my second 10k in 2014 that the Couch to 10k app was extremely helpful. I encourage anyone who is thinking of getting out there to run for the first time or getting back to running after time away to try out a few different plans to find the one that best suits them.”

She is also dating again after a few miss starts. “I have met a man that I have built a solid foundation and friendship with prior to us exclusively dating. And where did I met this wonderful man, well, at Crossfit where we both work out,” she laughs. We asked Teresa after all these life challenges how she defines success.

In April, she says she went out on a limb and tried Crossfit. Now she’s a big fan. She tells women “you are capable of so much more than you think you are! The Crossfit community is one of the most supportive communities I have ever belonged to. No matter what size you are or how old you are, Crossfit is for you. You are never made to feel like you can’t do something. Never in my 102


health and fitness, and meet some of the most encouraging and supportive individuals around. And this is coming from a gal that never played organized sports in my earlier years. You can do more than you think. Don’t let fear stop you!”

“At Boomtown the focus is on training to be your best self which you certainly feel at each and every class,” Teresa raves. “I can’t think of a better focus or a better place to put yourself out there, try something new, improve your

“Success to me, is very personal, meaning that each person measures their success differently and as we age, we may change how we measure success based on life experience and the specific goals we set for ourselves. Sometimes it isn’t necessarily reaching a goal you have set for yourself but knowing that you put your all into what you are trying to attain, gleaning the lessons that came from your efforts,” she said.


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Meet Willa. Willa came to Rescued Treasures Pet Adoptions emaciated and pregnant. Despite her suffering, Willa delivered 7 healthy babies. All the puppies were fully vetted and adopted to local homes right here in Rochester. Rescued Treasures is a non-profit run solely by volunteers who have a passion to help society’s abandoned cats and dogs. You can help us by adopting… If you can’t adopt, foster. If you can’t foster, donate. If you can’t donate, volunteer.



Hello Rochester Woman Online! I’m Rochesterian and writer, Leslie C. Youngblood. One year ago, I landed a publishing deal with DisneyHyperion for my middle grade series Love Like Sky. It’s a writer’s dream come true!

from other works-in-progress that are still files in my computer. Middle-grade fiction isn’t my first genre. I’ve written literary and mystery. But the bottom line

As many writers know, the path to publication is difficult, to say the least. Whether you self-publish, or go the traditional route, like I’ve chosen, writers face similar challenges: How do I find the time to write? How do I overcome rejection or negative reviews?

a little about my middle grade novel Love Like Sky. Love Like Sky follows eleven-year old Georgie (G-baby), and her six-year old sister, Peaches. Georgie and Peaches are still getting used to their “blendedup” family. They live with Mama and Frank out in the suburbs, and they haven’t seen their real daddy much since he married Millicent. G-baby misses her best friend back in Atlanta, and is crushed that her glamorous new stepsister, Tangie, wants nothing to do with her. G-baby is so preoccupied with earning Tangie’s approval that she isn’t there for her own little sister when she needs her most. Peaches gets sick-really sick. Suddenly, Mama and Daddy are arguing like they did before the divorce, and even the doctors at the hospital don’t seem to know how to help Peaches get better.

How will the public receive my work? Am I ever going to make a living at this? I still face all of those questions and more, but my advice is “Don’t give up.” Okay, not that original. But for me, “Don’t give up” encapsulates the only way to make it as a writer. I usually share a quote from James Baldwin with other writers: “…Beyond talent lie all the usual words - discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance.”

It’s up to G-baby to put things right. She knows Peaches can be strong again if she could only see that their family’s love for her really is like sky. Preorder your copy of Love Like Sky, today! [Live Amazon link]

Writers have no control over how others perceive our work. What we can control is our efforts, our hustle. On my Facebook page, and website (www., I often share sampling of my rejections. Hundreds! These are not all from Love Like Sky, but 106


is I kept writing. RWO, I love sharing my story. Please stay-tuned for a more in-depth feature on my writing journey in an upcoming edition of RWO. Here’s

Sincerely, Leslie

Thank you, RWO, for your support. It’s good to be home!






I don’t mean the gentle “wow, I need to change this one thing and I will” kind of irritation. I mean the kind of stuck that sucks the life out of your life. What do you do? I ask my friends that question and they mostly respond with the hands up in the air shrug that says, “What can I do about it?” This may be accompanied by a sheepish grin or a flippant comment. Or, someone else looks very sad and resigned. Another person has a different way of expressing the emotion but the responses all center around the feeling of this is just the way life is. Being stuck makes it feel like it will never end. I was stuck. I have an ideal life in so many ways. I’m finally in a wonderful marriage. I have great friends and family. I’m really good at my job. Each time I would think, maybe I need to make changes, I would talk myself out of actually doing anything. I kept thinking that there are so many people who really struggle, I shouldn’t complain. I would never talk to someone else the way I talk to myself. Then the questions, the doubt, and resignation: Who 108


am I to want more? Maybe the back half of my life is supposed to be like this. What if I’m too old to start another new career? What if I look dumb or stupid or silly? Why change the status quo when there’s nothing hugely wrong? Maybe that fearless and bold girl of years ago is gone. That made me unbelievably sad. Sadness combined with resignation is awful.


Four things happened last summer that changed my life.


I use my background as a journalist to tell stories. For many years, I’ve been ghostwriting blogs and being behind the scenes as others are in the limelight. While I still love to design and execute ghosting gigs, there was a part of me bubbling up that wanted to speak in my own voice and under my own name. I want to reclaim my voice. My nephew and brother came for a visit. I couldn’t physically keep up with either of them. I was more than 100 pounds overweight. This isn’t about body image. I simply was exhausted, obsessed with food, unable to walk long distances and generally unable to be fully present with them. I want to be fully present with people.


I ended up at the chiropractor’s office for a severe back strain. I h a d n’t d o n e anything. I had just leaned over and bam! After a couple days, it took me 10 minutes to even


{ VISION TO REALITY } Now, I’m on a mission. I want to help other women live by design rather than by default. I want to help people create vision boards and then guide them to find the structure to make those dream come true. This a community that supports one another. Together we will tap into the genius, power, and magic of making a bold commitment.

get out of bed. The chiropractor said I should plan on more back pain because of my weight and where I carry my weight (belly). I’m not ready to give up my physical self.

to opportunities that might have been there all along but that I couldn’t see. The value of the vision board is that it becomes a constant reminder that pulls me into the future. Things begin to shift.


Make no mistake about it. Doing a vision board or dream board doesn’t mean things just happen without taking action. I didn’t lose more than 80 pounds

The Nazi rally and violence in Charlottesville was the event that brought everything together. I watched the news, heartbroken and mad. I thought to myself, “I’m going to go to the next march and stand up to hate.” My next immediate thought was, “Yeah but my feet hurt all the time and I’m too fat to run from Nazi’s.” That made me realize I need body, mind, and spirit to work together if I am to live in alignment with my principles. Getting a wakeup call in those four areas of life at the same time combined to create the epiphany that made me realize that I was stuck. It was no longer the nagging but easily ignored refrain running like a background program. I had to re-boot. Maybe I needed a whole new operating system. I didn’t know what I was going to do but I knew drastic changes had to be made. When I realize I’m stuck but don’t have clarity about what to do about it, I make vision boards. The process always works to get me thinking creatively. It unlocks the Universe so I become open 110


looking at a collage of fit, strong, vibrant women. I had to take actions but having that vision caused me to go looking for the action plan and then stick with it. I know the power of this quote by Goethe: “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely

commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” Doing the vision boards begins the act of commitment. Here are the results to date. I have removed the equivalent of three of the huge bags of kitty litter and am nearing my goal weight. I’m now part of an amazing group of women entrepreneurs. I’m communicating in my own voice thanks to Rochester Woman Online. I’m seeing positive changes across all four areas: professional, personal, physical and principles. Now, I’m on a mission. I want to help other women live by design rather than by default. I want to help people create vision boards and then guide them to find the structure to make those dream come true. This a community that supports one another. Together we will tap into the genius, power, and magic of making a bold commitment.






Bishop Eulah M. Jackson-Nelson, the founder and chief-overseer of the Bibleway Healing Assembly,Inc. of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, was born in Andrews, South Carolina. Bishop Nelson was educated in the Andrews Georgetown School District.

led of God, to share what I received from that experience.” As a result of her super-natural healing, Bishop Nelson began praying for people to be healed. God anointed her as she found hurts

She furthered her education majoring in General Business at Carver Vocation School and Religious Studies at Moody Bible Institute and Michigan Bible and Arts Seminary. She received her Honorary Doctorate of Theology Degree from Beacon Bible College and her Doctorate of Divinity Degree from Aenon Bible College. Bishop Nelson accepted the call to ministry over 60 years ago at the age of 16. Her mother, the Late Pastor Alice Wallace-Jackson was her greatest inspiration. She traveled for many years preaching and teaching, and was a well-known International Evangelist and Gospel Singer before coming to Rochester, New York. Although she never desired to pastor, she has always had a love for all God’s people. Bishop Nelson’s ministry centers on helping to heal hurting humanity. It began over 45 years ago, when she suffered a heart attack and was given one year to live by her physicians. She said, “While in the hospital, I experienced a healing and when I came out, I was impressed, 112


and healed them by the Power of God. Bishop Nelson’s life exemplifies “Faith in God” and holiness. In 1966, Bishop Nelson founded Bibleway Healing Temple, Inc. It began with her

preaching and teaching in her living room to 11 members, and later moved on to 57 Bartlett Street. In 1974, the congregation purchased the old Leiderkronz Club at 660 West Main Street, which underwent a major renovation process and later the name was changed to Bibleway Healing Assembly, Inc. After approximately 30 years, Bishop Nelson again was directed by the Lord and Bibleway is now housed in its present location at 4831 West Henrietta Ro a d . Ou t o f t h i s Ministry, the vision to “Prepare People to Change the World” was given and Bishop Nelson is the Founder and President of the Bibleway School of Ministry. Bishop Nelson’s ministry has graced the airways via radio and television. She has been recognized in publications such as the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Pittsford Post, About Time Magazine and the Christian Outlook. It was the National Enquirer that published the great healing miracle of the Late Wilma Lloyd of Multiple Sclerosis, which astonished her attending medical team of doctors. Bishop Nelson has received many awards and accomplishments. To name a few, member of the Aenon Bible College Board of Directors, Assistant Chairman of the New York State and Ontario





District Council (PAW), member of the Executive Board of the New York State Council, the Most Outstanding Woman Pastor in Rochester, New York, ICWA Award for Meritorious Service in Kingdom Building. Bishop Nelson can be found recognized in the Marquis Who’s Who in Religion in the World, the IBC Cambridge World’s Who’s Who Among Women and World’s Who’s Who of Women. It was in 2010 that Bishop Nelson was elevated to District Elder in the New York State Council and, exactly one year later, the elevation to the office of Suffragan 114


Bishop was bestowed upon her. She is one of 3 Women in the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World to hold this great prestigious office. Bishop Eulah M. Jackson-Nelson is the wife of one Elder I.V. Nelson, “the wind beneath her wings”, the mother of three daughters, Joyce, Carmelitta and Mi’Chelle, and eight Grand-Children, some of whom assist her and are active in the ministry. Bishop Nelson’s unique ministry has led her throughout and to the far corners of the World. Her message is the same to every Nation and it leaves audiences without a doubt that “God is

Alive and His Power is Present to Save, Heal and Deliver.” A mentor to Women in Leadership, a Shepherd, Compassionate in Faith, Prayerfulness, Humility and Love, Preaching, Teaching and Living the Life, Lifting Fallen Humanity, Finding Hurts and Healing them, Bishop Nelson gives God all the Praise, Honor and Glory. She is known to be heard saying at anytime and anywhere, “Having therefore obtained help from God, I continue unto this day!”



CREATING A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE CONNECT AND BOND Camp Get-A-Way is a not-for-profit, 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to the mission of strengthening and supporting families of children having an emotional, behavioral, or mental illness. The concept for camp was developed by parents living in the Western New York area. Camp Get-A-Way offers families in New York State the opportunity to participate in recreational and skill-building activities in a traditional summer camp environment. These activities help them rediscover the joy of being a family and teach them to better communicate with each other, without worry of discrimination or the stigma of being associated with mental health issues. Wendy DeRouen, Board of Directors President recently sat down with Rochester Wo m a n On l i n e Magazine and shared with us her passion and the important role Camp Get-AWay plays in our community where a group of committed individuals have created a place where people connect and bonds have been strengthened with one another through shared experiences. What has contributed to the success of 116


Camp Get-A-Way? Parenting with parents and agencies to address the needs of families in services in an atmosphere that a family feels supported and not judged. What unique challenges and rewards come from being involved with Camp Get-AWay? Seeing a family that has struggled being a family, the look when you see them enjoying activities as a whole unit. What are some of your future goals for Camp Get-A-Way? To be able to reach more families across New York State. To be able to bring light to what mental health really means in a family setting.

How much they really struggle having a normal vacation or being in part of an event. Who are some of your influences today? My mother was a big influence in my life to be strong and advocate for change. In the mental health world, I would have to say Colleen Ruffino and Pam Brannan. Growing up, several strong minded women included my sister Karen and aunts were also role models. What are your three (3) biggest achievements? Creating a strong family unit, adopting my four children and adding it to my other five and giving them stability, taking over Camp Get-A-Way in the last three years and making it grow. What is your favorite quote and why? It is not a quote to me but it sums up what the real feelings about raising children whether they are biological or adoptive and their different personality. “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you they belong not to you, You may give them love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts.”

{ FOR A GOOD CAUSE } “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you they belong not to you, You may give them love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts.”





I am proud to say that my Great Great Grandfather Albert R. Stone was the original staff photographer for the Rochester Herald I the 1920’s and 30’s, and during that time he amassed a collection of over 14000 picture’s of historic Rochester, along with many notable figures of the day such as Mae West, Winston Church hill, and a pioneer of women’s right’s and women’s sufferage Susan B. Anthony. I’ve taken a particular interest in the working relationship between Al Stone and Miss Anthony as March is Woman’s Histor y Month. S t o n e documented s e v e r a l important incidents in the life of Susan B. Anthony from her arrest from her home on 17 Madison Street, to her final resting place at Mt. Hope Cemetary. Claiming The Right To Vote: Women tried to gain the right to vote, some pushed for a federal amendment to the United States Constitutitiion. Others focused on securing rights at the state level. 120


Frustrated by the slow pace of progress many suffragists took a new approach in the 1870’s called “The New Departure Strategy”. The strategy was based idea that women already had the right to vote according to the definition of citizenship that was included in the fourteenth amendment. Passed by congress on June 13, 1866, and ratified on July 9.1868.

The fourteenth amendment stated: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state where they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privilege or ammunities of citizens of the United States: Nor shall any state

deprive any person of life,liberty, or property, without it’s jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. In November 1872 Susan B. Anthony, and her three sisters, as well as several other Rochester women took a very brave step. They convinced local officials that all citizens, women included, had the right to vote under the Fourteenth Amendment: they registered then voted in the presidential election of 1918. Unfortunatley, Susan B. Anthony passed away 5 years before the amendment became law. See the women of 1918 standing at her grave at Mt. Hope Cemetary. In closing during this month of March where we celebrate womens rights, Im very proud of the fact that my Great Great Grandfather had a hand in capturing such an important time in our city, state, and Nation’s history, and I invite everyone to view my Great Great Grandfathers complete photo collection at:






Spring vacation and summer are around the corner, and we have to think about bathing suits and summer clothes! Are you ready or do you have a stubborn fat bulge that gets in the way? You may work out and eat right but the bulge doesn’t budge. Is Coolsculpting the answer? The Coolsculpting fat freezing procedure is the only FDA cleared “non-surgical” fat reduction treatment that uses controlled cooling to eliminate stubborn fat that resists all efforts through diet and exercise. The results are proven, noticeable and lasting. Not everyone is an ideal candidate, to



know for sure you will need to schedule a consult with a coolsculpting clinician for a one on one consultation. The doctor or other medical professional will evaluate and determine if you are indeed ready to have the Coolsculpting procedure. Coolsculpting addresses fat in targeted areas, for example the love handles, submental area, abdomen, bra fat, lower buttocks and upper arm. The procedure is safe for any adult male or female. It is not a weight loss solution and not for the obese. Coolsculpting works by attacking the fat cells by freezing (cryolipolysis). The fat cells then die and are removed by your

body naturally. Once the fat cells are gone, they are gone for good. The Coolsculpting treatment can be thirty-five to forty-five minutes long and sometimes you can do more than one area at a time. The first five-ten minutes you may feel pulling, tugging, and mild pinching. During the treatment you can nap, email, read or watch television. After the treatment you may return to normal activities, work and the gym. There are no special garments to wear and no restrictions. It is encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle prior and after your

Side effects may include temporary redness, swelling, bruising, firmness, tingling, stinging, tenderness, itching, and skin sensitivity. The side effects are not common and not permanent. Price for coolsculpting depends on the number of areas treated and your ultimate goal. An average treatment is between $2000-$4000. It is not recommended to treat one area, to achieve good cosmetic results it will be best to treat multiple areas. 124


The results of your Coolsculpting treatment can be seen as early as three weeks. The most dramatic results are after two months. Your body will continue to flush out fat cells four-six months after your treatment. If you are not a candidate for Coolsculpting you may need a weight loss program, liposuction or abdominoplasty. These are different treatments that are more invasive but right for you.

Coolsculpting is an excellent non-invasive procedure to treat stubborn fat with no down time. It is definitely something to explore before we are laying on the beach!







When a medical student came into our salon and told me about an article he wrote about restoring women’s virginity, I thought he was kidding. My initial reaction was “Why the hell would anybody want to do that?” Considering that the first time usually hurts a lot, I couldn’t imagine any woman paying to have a surgical procedure to go through that “first time” again.

Making Your HooHa Pure Again

He proceeded to explain how vital it was for women in many different cultures around the world to be a virgin when they got married. Blood on the sheets on the wedding night is revered and celebrated. In fact, in some cultures, the bloodied sheet is hung outside for the community to see. Once he explained that to me it made sense, although the idea of recreating your virginal state still seemed absurd. Even if I had my hymen replaced, it wouldn’t be enough to restore my body to its pre-coital state. Would it? I was raised as a Catholic and, in our religion, premarital sex is frowned upon. It is not, however, a reason for excommunication. I can’t imagine how a young woman would feel if she was disowned from her family or incapable of getting married because her hymen was no longer in tact. Proving your virginity to others never occurred to me, because that practice isn’t common in American culture. Many religions expect the woman to be a virgin, but I’ve never heard of anyone in the United States hanging their sheets outside on their wedding night for everyone to see. It baffles my mind to imagine any person being disowned simply because he or she succumbed to a moment of passion. There are young women living in a variety of cultures around the world who are spending roughly $2,500 to have their hymen restored. Although the moral and ethical implications of getting this done can be insurmountable, the shame of not being a virgin on the wedding night can disgrace not only the woman, but her entire family as well. Many women feel compelled to lie to their future husbands in order to protect their reputation. The notion of lying is less frightening than the fear of embarrassing their family.

Traditional Arabic cultures believe that a woman who enters a marriage without her hymen in tact has no identity at all and is considered to be a “non-person.” It may seem ridiculous to a Westerner, but it is a practice they value and a belief that they live by. Religion is not the only reason women are choosing to have this procedure done. There are women who have lost their virginity during some form of sexual assault who want to make their first consensual encounter memorable and less horrific. Recreating their “first time” with someone that they love can be therapeutic and actually act as a form of healing. In this scenario, I can understand the desire to have the surgery and applaud any woman with the strength to try to overcome a tragic experience with a more positive, loving one. Interestingly enough, the surgical procedure isn’t complicated. The surgeon will either stitch the frayed ends from the original hymen or add a patch of tissue from the vaginal wall to create that barrier. The surgery usually only takes about a half hour and doesn’t pose any serious health risks. When I told my husband I had the ability to become a virgin again, he simply asked, “Why would you want to do that?” I hesitated before I answered because I couldn’t imagine any reason why I personally would want to have that done. But then I realized why I was fascinated by the idea. “Because I can,” I told him. As a woman who believes in the empowerment of women and our right to have control of our body’s, I like the fact that I have the option of becoming a virgin again, even though I have no intention of doing it. Every woman should be able to do whatever she wants with her body. It is not up to any of us to pass judgment on what she does or doesn’t do. I don’t belong to a strict religious community, so I can’t say what I’d do in that situation. All I know is that I found the idea of this procedure fascinating and had to share. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY 2018












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This recurring column by Dave Jenkins of Rochester Personal Defense, LLC will explore different areas and methods of personal protection and self defense. Topics will range from using specific tools, techniques, or even yourself and your mind as the weapon. The goal is to create a more aware and safer you! Questions or suggestions are welcome! Good girls don’t yell. Good girls don’t say rude things. Good girls don’t hit. Good girls sit quietly and listen, don’t draw attention to themselves, don’t make waves. Are you a “good girl?” Indoctrination of societal beliefs don’t happen overnight. They happen over generations, over centuries. They are passed down in the subtle and not so subtle ways that men and women interact in private and in public. As incredible as it might seem, some traits that are traditionally considered those of “good girls” can be traced back to Victorian Era gender roles and societal beliefs. While men of this era were heralded for their intellectual strength, action, bravery, and independence, women were thought to be governed by their sexuality which led society to conclude that women were emotional, irrational, shy and weak. Not to mention demur, sensitive, passive, dutiful, dependent and submissive. Feelings such as anger, assertiveness or impatience did not conform to Victorian society’s concept of the ideal woman. Victorian era women were conditioned to believe that they could not raise their voices, speak out against bad behavior directed toward them, or physically defend themselves. Sound like a “good girl?” Women were not allowed to vote, sue, or own property. They had no legal standing and could not divorce their husbands regardless of 150


how they were treated or mistreated. Society told women that men would protect them because they were weak and meek. But who would protect these women if those same people were the ones preying on them? Each generation has seen incremental shifts in society’s perception of what it is to be a woman. In the 1920’s women finally received the right to vote. They had increased access to education and jobs outside the home which helped usher in an acceptance that women could wait longer to marry. The “New Woman” was born and while many of these advances addressed the notion of what we, as women, could do, it did little to change the deeply ingrained societal attitudes of traditional (Victorian) gender roles. Once married, women were expected to give up their lives outside the home to serve their husbands, homes and children. Through the 40’s and 50’s more women were

leaving the home to work in jobs previously held by men. Although the numbers surged during the war, for many women it was a return to business as usual once men came home. Some women welcomed the return to the familiarity of their pre-war life but for many others, the genie was out of the bottle and women were exerting greater influence in business, politics, healthcare and education. Yet the image perpetuated in movies and television was of a smiling domesticated woman, cooking and cleaning or subservient and scared who needed a man to provide for her and protect her. Think Father Knows Best and Leave it to Beaver. The 1960’s brought deep cultural changes for women. While more women were entering the paid workforce and attending higher education, deep seated patriarchal beliefs sought to keep women in the same subservient societal roles as during the Victorian Era. Unmarried women couldn’t get a credit card and required their husband’s signature to obtain one if she was married. It wasn’t until 1974 that it became illegal to refuse a credit card to a woman based on her gender. The 70’s also saw the end of the Head and Master laws which permitted the husband to solely manage all household decisions and jointly owned property without his wife’s knowledge or consent. The push for criminalization of marital rape began in the 1970’s and was finally recognized as a crime in the 1990’s. Sadly, as recent as 2014, there were states that still had marital rape exemptions or prosecuted marital rapes differently. Although women’s public roles have evolved, privately the Victorian views of the “good girl” still exist. The notions that women should be weak, meek, quiet and subservient are handed down



from generation to generation. Many of the societal norms from previous decades can be categorized as predatory behaviors by today’s definitions. They are rooted in one individual exerting power and control over another. The patriarchal society of our Victorian Era sisters programed them into believing that they were unable to make their own money or possess their own property which we now understand to be economic abuse or control. They didn’t have the right to make decisions about their own bodies and were seen as a possession rather than a partner or what we now call using male privilege. Using the marital children to intimidate the 21st century woman harkens back to those earlier times when the Victorian Era mother would lose her children to her husband in the unlikely event of a divorce. How and where do we break the cycle? It starts inside each of us. Learning the signs of predatory behavior, then calling it out. Teaching our young girls and boys to listen to their little inner voice that warns them 152


something is wrong. Teaching our young ones how to show and receive affection. The next time one of our children tells us they are being picked on our response shouldn’t be, “He (or she) is picking on you or hurting you because he (she) likes you.” Modeling loving, respectful behavior within our own families and when we talk about strangers. Teaching our children and learning for ourselves how to set boundaries. Do you have physical contact boundaries for the workplace or out in a club or at the gym? How about when you’re visiting relatives? Taking control of our personal safety doesn’t just happen outside the home. It starts inside the home and inside us. It starts with mindset and building a toolbox of defense tools for self-preservation. Personal defense comes in many forms because predators come in many forms. The ultimate tool for self-defense is a concealed handgun but it is not the only tool and it is not the right tool for every situation or for every person. It can be a very effective part of a self-defense system but not the only part. We need to arm ourselves with knowledge about the predatory mindset and behavior. We need

to hone our skills on situational awareness and unarmed self-defense. We need to explore the options that we can feel confident and comfortable using, then practice, practice, practice. The women’s training division at Rochester Personal Defense focuses on a variety of group and private training options. Unarmed classes, pepper spray, edged weapon, and custom classes for specialized groups. We need to break the cycle of the “good girl.” We need to find our voice and find our strength. Instead of “AFRAID” let’s be “PREPARED.” Instead of “WEAK” let’s be “BOLD.” Instead of “GOOD” let’s be “FIERCE!” Dave Jenkins is the founder of Rochester Personal Defense, LLC, Rochester’s personal protection experts. Come join the other women that have learned how to be safe, keep their family safe, and how they became their own bodyguards. You can reach Dave and his team of instructors at www. or 585-406-6758. You can even email them at rpdllctraining@


{ THE “O” TALK }






March is Women’s History Month, and this occasion has helped me pause to think about our history as a whole, and the history of trans women in particular. The common themes seem to be that of struggle, overcoming, and continuing to fight. Women’s history and fight does not have room for complacency. That history informs our present, and it is important to know what those before us faced, as we still must struggle with some of the same obstacles and mindsets. There is much to be proud of. Strides, both monumental and incremental, continue to be made. The courage to stand up for ourselves has been evident in our words, and in our marches. We are able to identify those who would seek to control us and we push back. We owe a debt to each woman standing alongside us in the fight for equality. Our accomplishments are not made alone, and it is important to recognize all women who fight. In addition to the barriers placed in front of us by others, it is important for us also to confront the barriers that come from within us. This includes movements that explicitly excluded, and some that continue to exclude, women of color, trans women, and indigenous populations. If our feminism and fight for equality isn’t intersectional, we’re doing it wrong. I will not attempt to speak for women of color and indigenous populations, other than to say “thank you”. Your hard work is noticed, valued, and stands on its own ground.


Speaking more specifically to the trans community, I want to thank the women who came before me. Icons, both visible and invisible, have paved the way for me. They have informed my fight. I’ll share a brief story with you. As I was writing many of my coming out emails, I sat on a worn couch in a coffee shop and decided to reach out to one of my idols, a trans woman author. I sent this email into the ether and hoped her publicist might let her know that someone wrote her an appreciative email. What I did not expect was to receive a reply within an hour. In addition to some comforting and inspirational words, she also left the impression that it was now my job to do for others whatever it is I felt she had done for me. And what had she done for me? She is visible, she fights, and she writes. I hope to live up to her expectations. At a very low moment in my life, another trans icon reached out to me on Twitter. Her words helped me through a difficult time, and I was

fortunate enough to meet her a few years later. In tough times, I have seen the community of women rally around each other and lift each other up. Throughout my journey into visible womanhood, something I have noticed is that women continuously step up. We do not suffer indignity, many of us seek to lift other women up with them, and we are forced to fight some slight or aggression at most turns. The fierce strength of the other women in my life has not surprised me, but it has inspired me. Our history belongs to all of us, and we also have our own personal histories. While my personal history as a woman is somewhat different, I feel the need to acknowledge and celebrate the role that other women have played in my story. My grandmother taught me more, and loved me more, than I ever could have hoped for. If I can emulate any one of her qualities, others will be very fortunate to see some of her light through me. My mother has acknowledged my femininity, supported me, and cared for me through a difficult transition. My extended family has welcomed me at all times, and were some of the first to help me through some very trying years before I publicly transitoned. I can’t begin to say enough about my friends. Sure, I lost a few along the way, but most women have stuck by my side, included me, and loved me. They continue to get me through the inevitable tough times, pick me up, push me forward, and help me fight. I owe them nothing less than to continue the fight. My colleagues at work are a big part of my history, and have exhibited acceptance I didn’t know I would have. When I came out at work, I received about 40-45 emails of support from them, in addition to welcoming smiles upon my return to our halls. I enjoy my work, and the acceptance of my colleagues plays a large role in that. This is all to say that I owe other women so much. All women. Our history, and the actions of many others towards me, has shaped who I am today. The cisgender women who exclude trans women have made my resolve stronger. The supportive women have given me hope. I endeavor to do justice to the women of our shared history and my personal history. I want others to know that whatever I accomplish and whatever help I am able to give is done because I have been able to build on the strength of others. Thank you. To all women. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH 2018




Imagine waking up one day, a convicted felon rotting in a 6 x 9 jail cell, and your whole life flashes before your eyes, because you were just convicted of a crime you did not commit. Your loved ones, your worldly possessions, everything you worked for, your entire life is now a thing of the past. It can happen to you and it has happened to many people. They sit in prison with little or no resources to try to prove their innocence. Basically, once you hit that gate in a NYS prison, life as you knew it, vanishes before your eyes, no one cares, and you will choose to give up or fight for your life. The sad reality is, you will serve most if not all, of your sentence before you even get another shot at freedom. If you even do. In the last few years, in Brooklyn alone, 23 cases were reversed due to tainted convictions (1). Where is the accountability for prosecutors who break the law to get a conviction? Coaxing witnesses, withholding evidence from the defense, etc. How is it that these government officials basically have immunity for anything they do, in the course of their employment? Police officers set people up with the mindset, they are criminals they’ve done something, let’s get them off the street. Brooklyn, recently discovered a series of murder convictions all involving retired detective Scarpella, which were wrongful convictions. This is issue is so prevalent in NYS, 160


the Bar Association published a report analyzing the phenomenon. In studying 53 cases, they found the root of wrongful conviction stemmed with six issues; government practices, identification procedure, mishandling of evidence, false confessions, jail house snitch testimony, and defense attorneys who fail to represent their clients zealously. (2). So basically,

the entire process is flawed. Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature in the past few years are beginning criminal justice procedure reform. It is not enough. Any day someone sits in a prison cell for a crime they did not commit is a day too long.

One of the problems with seeking exoneration is that many of the wrongful convictions do not involve DNA (2). According to the Innocence Project, NYS presented with the largest number of wrongful convictions in cases where they could use DNA to prove innocence (3). This was based on a 2009 report and only Texas and Illinois had more (3). In 2018, we are starting to see some movement in the direction of reform, interrogations will now be recorded, standardized procedures will be mandated for line ups, and other measures will be taken to prevent false confessions and eyewitness wrongful identification (4). But is this enough? There currently are 224 cases which were overturned in NYS (4). That is way too many innocent people going to prison. Nothing that is done after can ever make this issue right for those people. You cannot give them back the many years of their lives they lost. While, these reform provisions are a step in the right direction, they ignore one of the biggest problems failure to hold prosecutors accountable for their role in all of this. Recently, RWO editor Cheryl L Kates-Benman Esq. travelled to Albany, NY to attend the minority caucus hearings. Here reformists gathered to hear testimony from a panel of experts on police and prosecutorial misconduct. Cheryl works frequently with two of the panelists, H. Bosh Jr, and Jeffrey Deskovic. H. Bosh Jr. is one of the few people in NYS who after spending




{ IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU } It Could Happen to You is an organization which is located in Rochester, NY and run by William Bastuk, an additional wrongfully convicted individual. Jeffrey is an advisory Board member of ITCHY. This organization is state-wide and is made up of a coalition of many criminal justice reform organizations, individual advocates, exonerees, falsely accused but acquitted and other concerned citizens.

$200,00 on legal fees was able to prove his innocence, earning an acquittal, when being prosecuted for an arson he didn’t commit. Jeffrey convicted at age 17 of a rape and murder he didn’t commit, was not so lucky. He spent close to two decades in prison before he was able to win his acquittal. The men now reach back and help to exonerate others.

happen to him. He spent 16 years behind bars from the age of 17 to 32. He was convicted despite a pre-trial DNA test which clearly proved he was not the perpetrator. The DA continued in their

Additionally, they work tirelessly to assist in shaping reform efforts in NYS to prevent others from experiencing the awful circumstances they did. Jeffrey, after proving his innocence went on to start a foundation to help others and he enrolled in law school. He is currently in his 2nd year. Jeffrey attended the hearing in his role at the “It Could Happen to You” Coalition. It Could Happen to You is an organization which is located in Rochester, NY and run by William Bastuk, an additional wrongfully convicted individual. Jeffrey is an advisory Board member of ITCHY. This organization is state-wide and is made up of a coalition of many criminal justice reform organizations, individual advocates, exonerees, falsely accused but acquitted and other concerned citizens. Jeffrey believes in the work he is doing and he is committed to it, as it did 162


real perpetrator, confirming what the prosecution already knew, Jeffrey was innocent. His conviction occurred as a result of, prosecutorial misconduct, fraud on behalf of the medical examiner, and an inept public defender. This experience is instilled in Jeffrey and he is now on a life mission to assist others fighting wrongful convictions nationwide. Jeffrey began this quest as an individual advocate, He spent 5 years while attending school assisting people. He began engaging in public speaking engagements to spread the word… this can happen to you. Once Jeffrey received financial compensation, he decided to take this to the next level. He started his organization by donating 1.5 million dollars. This marked the birth of The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice. Jeffrey is proud to announce the Foundation has assisted 6 people to gain their freedom.

prosecution despite knowing this and Jeffrey was convicted of raping and killing someone. He was exonerated later after a DNA test identified the

Jeffrey wants us to know currently there is no oversight of prosecutors, no deterrent and no punishment. Every profession has oversight even a barber. The grievance committee established to review attorney’s conduct is ineffective in Jeffrey’s opinion in addressing prosecutorial complaints.

. Evidence clearly shows prosecutorial misconduct plays such large role in many of these wrongful convictions. The bill Jeffrey and other advocates are pushing, currently has bi-partisan support. Senator DeFransico sponsored the bill in the senate and Assemblyman Perry sponsored it in the Assembly. The purpose of the hearing at the minority caucus was to further this agenda. There were representatives from many agencies providing testimony and the Bronx, NY District Attorney was present in the audience to share her views that NO additional oversight was needed. As the editor and as an attorney I pointed out the picture being missed is that the entire

criminal justice system in NYS needed an overhaul and it included the entire process from police, to DA’s, Public Defenders and the NYS Parole Board. If you would like to get involved in this movement to seek justice for those who are wrongfully convicted there are many things you can do. Reach out to the agencies fueling the work. Donations are accepted by individuals and corporate giving to help the foundation in their work exonerating people. Jeffrey Deskovic can be reached at the Jeffrey Deskovic Justice Foundation, 3148 Tremont Avenue, 2nd floor Bronx, NY 10461 or by email info@deskovic. org. Bill Bastuk and It Could Happen

to You can be contacted at 1900 Empire Boulevard #337 Webster, NY 14580 or 1. Feuer, A. (August 8, 2017) Wrongful Convictions are Set Right, But Few Fingers Get Pointed, The New York Times. 2. NYS Bar Association (2009), Final Report of the NYS Bar Association’s Task Force on Wrongful Convictions. 3. Salzberg, A. (2009). NY Leads Most States In Number of Wrongful Convictions, Innocence Project Report. 4. Innocence Staff (2018). NY Passes FY18 Budget With Powerful Reforms to Prevent Wrongful Convictions. Innocence Project. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH 2018




I never thought in a million years, I would hear a story where a man’s life was ruined because an insurance company did not want to pay out a policy. That’s exactly what happened to H. Bosh Jr. In 2005, Bosh was the owner of the largest minority moving company in upstate NY. He had 12 workers and 3 trucks in service. His company grossed a-half-amillion dollars in sales. He was a successful businessman and a respected man in the community. In April 2005, his house caught on fire. He lost everything. You can only imagine how devastating it is to lose all of your memories, your personal belongings etc. If anything remains imagine most of it is ruined by water damage from the fire company. We all know when a disaster happens we usually don’t have to worry insurance covers the damage. The loss still affects us, but we know if we pay the deductible we will be able to buy new things etc. That is not how it went for H. Bosh. A month later, he was arrested and charged with 3 felony counts; Arson, Insurance Fraud and Indifference to Human Life. The maximum penalty he was facing was 35 years in prison. He could hardly believe this was happening to him. He was a hardworking man. He provided for his family. He was shocked, bitter and in utter disbelief. Two years later, after an 164


upwards of $ 200,000 in legal fees, and after a four-week trial, he was acquitted and found innocent of all charges against him. But this was something he would NEVER forget. What about all the people this happens to who can’t afford an attorney? This experience changed the direction

of H. Bosh Jr’s life and business forever. He was faced with starting over and reinventing himself. He now speaks, educates, and brings awareness and exposure to what happens to people who are wrongfully convicted. He emphasizes

on the need to have legislation in place to protect against prosecutorial misconduct. He is also a radio personality, with an emphasis on particular shows, highlighting wrongful convictions and prosecutions. H. Bosh Jr’s current career is working as a speaker, entrepreneur and radio personality. He serves as the President of Made to Believe LLC, which is a personal and professional development company which empowers people to make productive and significant changes in their life by overcoming adversity. He defines himself as an overcoming adversity specialist. He’s also a very active community organizer. He reaches out to local and state-wide politicians often to share his story. Hi s e x p e r i e n c e i s different from most as he was able to provide the means needed to fight his arrest. This experience gave him a purpose to try to change things for people who come after him. H. Bosh Jr. hopes the bill in Albany passes for a commission to be in place one day to protect all people and their rights from being wrongfully prosecuted and convicted. The bill is important because it creates a commission to oversee prosecutors who up until this point had no oversight. The commission will create a place to evaluate mistakes and force review of these issues.







Mental Health... The Stigma, Labeling and Disparities in The AfricanAmerican Community

What is crazy? Crazy is a label society gives to anything outside the norms of what is expected. This society is particularly known in out casting anything or anybody who is different. To conform is to be accepted. To live outside the norm is something people are afraid of. Another issue in this society is the reliance on drugs to feel good. We overmedicate the population. Don’t forget, there is always the disparity for people of color. This is what America has evolved to be made of. Often times, ignoring mental health leads to substance abuse, as people self-medicate and more than not this is combined with criminal activity. In many cases, someone gets hurt. The prison system then becomes an alternative for a mental health treatment program. It is a never-ending cycle. People are afraid to get help. They ignore that they need help. Or help is not available. Nationally, the prevalence of mental illness is 1 in 5 people, or (2011) 46 million people were diagnosed with mental illness (3). The problem with these numbers is that many people do not


seek assistance due to the stigma associated with being labelled mentally ill (3). In 2007, it was estimated through a study only 38 % of people with serious impairments were seeking treatment (3). The U of R began researching the barriers to treatment to improve Monroe County’s delivery of treatment (3). The U of R indicates in their 2016 Community Health Assessment, the population of Monroe County is 740,857 (2014) (1). Fifteen percent or 112,479 of those people are African-American and 73% of the people reside in the city (1). Socioeconomic factors correlate with race when evaluating incidence of mental health (1). Poverty and low education levels correlate with decreased health and this is also tied to the ability to seek adequate health care (1). Between the years 2010 and 2014, this study indicated the Rochester area’s poverty level was the 5th poorest city in the nation with 15 % of the people living below the poverty level and 50% of the children lived in poverty (1). Only 50% of the children graduate from high school (1). ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH 2018


{ SHIFT+CONTROL } “You don’t have to be rich or living somewhere good to get help. The only stigma that you need to release is the one you have for yourself. No one is untouched by mental health problems.”

When people suffer from mental illness it is often a life-long struggle (2). Often barriers prevent patients receiving the proper diagnosis (2). Lack of insurance, lack of the consistency to take medications and the effects of the prescribed drugs play into this (2). People in America expect immediate results for everything (2), The drugs prescribed for mental illness often present side effects such as feeling in a zone, weight gain, and sexual dysfunction leading to many people stopping their meds (2). Suicide is a major issue in the United States, where it ranks as the 8th leading cause of death (4). The mental health crisis and lack of appropriate care, is definitely a public health issue. The mental health crisis is even worst when we examine our NY inmate population. In 2014, there was 5,800 people in NYC jails and 8,200 in NYS prisons classified as suffering from mental illness (5). NYS began decreasing the mental health population in mental health facilities over past decades. Beds went from 96,664 (1955) to 3,300 (2014) (5). The administration of inpatient mental health care has changed drastically, making services hard to obtain for those seeking help. The overflow of these people are ending up in the jails and prisons. It is estimated between 15 % and 20 % of incarcerated people suffer from mental illness ( 5). Understanding the stigma and labeling process may assist us in understanding the challenges in seeking treatment when affected by mental illness. Jennifer Lapson Rosenberry watched as her mother suffered from mental illness and then she herself was also diagnosed. Jennifer’s mom was diagnosed with mental illness (Bipolar and PTSD) in the late 80’s. She treated with therapists for decades and was also taking Lithium. Many people shy away from treatment because many 168


cultures believe what happens in the house stays in the house and everyone is discouraged from sharing any of the family’s private business even if it is in a confidential context as going to a therapist. Jennifer’s mom succumbed to her illness and hung herself in the family basement where Jennifer’s father found her. She did not leave a note. Jennifer herself was diagnosed with PTSD after her mother’s death. She was prescribed multiple anti-depressants throughout the years. She felt

best friend or your pastor. I have felt as an African-American woman, I am not allowed to ask for help. Stigma means label and labels are judgment. Judgments are opinions. We can not focus on what others say. It’s too much weight for anyone to carry. Seeing a therapist or needing some meds to get to your true self is not a sign of weakness. It’s the first step, out of a very dark hole that a lot of people are too afraid to talk about. Getting help is strength. Mental illness doesn’t have to be a less than death sentence”. To solve our mental health crisis, it is important providers recognize all of these factors play together and must be reviewed when evaluating an individual. We, as a society must free our minds from judging others and create an atmosphere where all people are not afraid to seek help. Nothing should stop someone from seeking medical care f they deserve it. Mentally ill people do not belong in prisons and we, as a society must recognize mental illness is a medical condition and disability. The stigmas and labels must not be a determining factor in whether someone seeks treatment.

as an African woman, there was a stigma and disparity about receiving mental health treatment. Jennifer wants all people to know, it is a lot different than it was in 2001. “You don’t have to be rich or living somewhere good to get help. The only stigma that you need to release is the one you have for yourself. No one is untouched by mental health problems. It’s your family member, your sibling, your

Resources (1) Monroe County Joint Community Service Plan 2016-2018, (2016). 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment. (2) Macaluso. Tim L., (2014). Mental Illness: Roads to Wellness, City Paper. (3) Macaluso, Tim , L. (2014). Mental Illness: Smashing the Stigma, City Paper. (4) The Semicolon Project and Suicide Prevention ( 2018). Mental Health Association. Retrieved from February 20, 2018. (5) Torrey, Fuller, E., (2014). Shunning the Sick: New York’s Neglect of its Mentally Ill, New York








Mental Health, The Stigma, Labeling and Disparities in The AfricanAmerican Community

Essential to the discussion of mental health and mental illness within the AfricanAmerican community is understanding there are a variety of interpretations deeply rooted in value judgments that are diversified across cultures. Mental health (or mental illness) is contingent on context and can only be comprehended by examining the mutual relationship between the person and his or her environment. Furthermore, mental health for people of African descent may in fact look quite differently from other racial or ethnic groups due to the pervasiveness of race in U.S. society. Western psychology, but more specifically, the Euro-American perspective on psychology, more so historically focused on a universal definition for mental health, when in actuality it arose from, and is based on, their cultural context and viewpoint. To conclude universality with the omission of cultural

values outside one purview is an example of a bias mental model, which inherently creates disparities within communities that is perceivably integrated. To understand the individual and community mental health by people of African descent, it is imperative to comprehend the culturally specific perspective via the “larger social context, its social institutions, and the nature of the social environment” (Myers, Young, Obasi, & Speight, p. 13). A critical factor one must investigate is the impact racism has on African-Americans’ mental health. The deliberate restriction of socioeconomic mobility, creating conditions of concentrated poverty; discriminatory institutional implementation; and the implicit feelings of inferiority, due to historical trauma; are primary examples. Thus, positive mental health for people of African descent relies heavy on resilience and the effective management of racism. However, there is a likelihood that the aforementioned could result in a public health condition called “John Henryism,” which can be defined as “a strategy for coping with prolonged exposure to stressors such as social discrimination by expending high levels of effort which results in accumulating physiological costs” (James, S. A). These physiological costs may include (but are not limited to) cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and even cancer. In other words, oppression is highly correlated to several health risk factors; it is not exclusive to poor mental health. These factors indicate there is a difference providers must recognize when providing services and the failure to do so may result in disparate treatment.

Resources Myers, L. J., Young, A, Obasi, &Speight, S.L. (2003). Recommendations for the psychologicaltreatment of persons of African descent. In Council of National Psychological Associations for the Advancement of Ethnic Minority Populations (Ed.), Psychological treatment of ethnic minority populations (pp. 13-18). Washington D.C.: Association of Black Psychologists James, S. A.; Keenan, N. L.; Strogatz, D. S.; Browning, S. R.; Garrett, J. M. (1992). “Socioeconomic status, John Henryism, and blood pressure in black adults. The Pitt County Study”. American Journal of Epidemiology. 135 (1): 59–67 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH 2018






Its Moe Betta, an up-and-coming artist in Syracuse, NY, popping out on the local and national music scene. RWO got the excusive interview and sat down to tell her story. She is a stay-at-home mom. She is engaged to an awesome man who supports her in every way. Moe completed a college degree but never ended up working in her field. She loves being home with her kids and being able to be involved in their school work and extra-circular. Moe has a great interest in the higher arts, such as literature, astrology, science and art. Music was always a part of Moe Betta’s life. She only recently began taking her talent seriously. She is a phenomenal woman, who in her life-time overcame suffering from depression, being a victim of domestic violence, and sexual abuse. Moe feels as she is an inspiration to others and wants to be a support system for women going 172


through similar things.

Moe indicates her children are the most influential people in her life. They give her purpose and motivation. Moe thinks about her children in everything she does. She wants her actions to be something her children look at and feel that no matter what they can make it through.

Moe spends her time developing her craft as an artist. She believes God is in charge of her path, so she does not worry too much about the future. She believes the only way to truly succeed in the world is to figure out what God wants for you to do and do that. Being a female in the rap industry is very challenging. RWO asked Moe how she handles this and she replied: “It’s much harder. Men are biased and don’t always

want to give you a chance. They think because you are a female rapper that you do not have any lyrical substance. They expect that bubble gum pop. So, when I come and hit them with real bars they are always shocked at first, but then they show respect”. Moe Betta feels her mission is: “Inspiring others and encouraging them to search for their own true purpose. It may be rapping or it may not. You can do anything! Your purpose may be anything. It may be something you never saw yourself doing!

To learn more about Moebettathagoddess, check her out on her Instagram page under that name.









IT’S BENZIEE IN DA HOUSE It’s Benziee in da house. I first met Benziee, several years ago when I was on tour with Limitless Records. The venue was a spot just off the thruway near Coxsackie, NY. She and her best friend Finesse Mula were performing. They were on the ticket with a bunch of 518 gangsta rappers. I was loving the fact that they were not intimidated in the least. Benziee stuck out in the crowd for me for her awesome fashion sense and she had on a pair of sparkly stiletto boots to die for. That night went down in my memory bank as women owning the stage and doing their thing. We of course celebrated after sipping Moet… Benziee is out of the 518. She began her love for music as a child following in the footsteps of her older sister who was always up on the latest music and trends. Benzie began appreciating her love for music singing, because she is multi-talented. She was a teen when she began perfecting her craft as a female rapper. Benziee cites her mother being the most influential person in her life. She remembers her Mom always, as being a woman of determination and no matter what came her way she never gave up. Benziee indicates going through struggles while growing up and coming from a large family , is what gives her a great hunger to succeed. She says: “I want to be the foundation

for the next generation of my family. I feel obligated to do something big so I can take care of everything and create residual income and royalties for years to come. Within the next five years, you can expect to see improvement. I am working on my sound quality, visual performance, stage presence and the use of creative sets, props and wardrobe. As an up-and-coming artist you have to make some investments in your music career in order to give your projects the maximum opportunity to prosper in the mainstream. I would like to generate income off of my music, so I’ll be taking the steps to hopefully see that happen in the next five years”. Benziee juggles it all. She is a full-time single mother of three beautiful, smart children. She is also a cosmetologist, (make-up artist/nail tech). She is doing whatever she can to reach success. The best advice Benzie has for anyone trying to enter the music industry is: “Work hard and never stop. Set goals, make plans and follow through. Achieve your goals and then repeat. Never stop being hungry, network, network, network. You need people. But also remember to be loyal to your self first. Never sell out and stay humble”. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH 2018


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Mendon 64


SPARKLES LIKE A DIAMOND Mendon 64 is not a diamond in the rough, but a sparkling jewel of a restaurant nestled in Mendon, New York. This true gem serves outstanding cuisine Tuesday-Saturday 4:0010:00 p.m. While diamonds take years to develop, Mendon 64 has achieved its sparkle in less than one year as of February 2018! Mendon 64 can be booked for private functions Monday-Saturday for lunch, and Sunday and Monday evenings. The bar seats up to thirty persons, restaurant up to 65, a small private dining area can seat eight to sixteen persons. Summers lend themselves to comfortable outdoor seating, with couch areas, fire pits and a long seating area with stools looking out onto Rt. 64. The décor is American Contemporary and is described as casual elegance. Regular dinner guests enjoy sitting in front of the fireplace, which has been named the “VIP” area. The whole front dining room was an original part of this home built in the late 1800’s. A few custom wooden tables have taken up permanent residency in the bar and dining areas. Artist Steven Tubbs from the Mendon/Honeoye Falls area is credited with developing full planks of wood in crafting these beautiful tables. They say three times a charm, and this, the

third restaurant that Hilary Stott owns is brilliant. Hilary also has two other successful restaurants, owning Mendon 64 and The Penfield Pour House with Mike Sassone, and the Cottage Hotel herself. Hilary’s husband Dave Stott owns and manages all three properties. Hilary and her business partners know what they are doing! This restaurant has top notch food, beverages, entertainment, staff, service, and a wonderful atmosphere, and gives back to the community. First Tuesday of each month Mendon 64 hosts an artist’s reception, from 4-7pm in which guests meet and greet the artist. Art is hung and placed in the entrance way, bar area, main and private dining rooms. Complimentary hors d’oeuves are served in the bar and guests can meet the artist, and see some of their works. The art hangs all month. Like what you see? You can privately purchase from the artist. March is scheduled to show works from Wendy Gwirtzman and Alex Hatzigiannidis. April come to see Bonnie Gamache and Loni Titus’s traditional works. Guest Chef night has been developed once a month to highlight a local chef ’s fare, with proceeds going to the charity of the chef’s choice and have been a success since




{ PLATTER CHATTER } starting several months ago. It’s a winning situation in which the chef shows off their talent through menu of choice, separate from the restaurants regular offerings. Guests eat fabulous foods, speak with the guest chef, and give to charity. Hopefully those that attend, get to experience a wonderful feel from this brilliant restaurant, and will return to enjoy the restaurant’s exceptional menu. Also, just started are private wine pairing events. Give Mendon 64 a call at 585433-9464 to ask about getting tickets for future events, to dine or to book a special party. Look up their web site, mendon, stop in at 1369 Pittsford Mendon Rd. Pittsford NY, 14506, or find them on face book. Mendon 64 employs some fabulous, talented people as well. Since the age of 16 Molly, Hilary’s now daughter in law, has worked in restaurants. Years ago, Hilary’s five-year-old used to like frequenting a local pizza shop. Molly would take the time to draw a smiley face on the pizza box. Soon Molly was employed by Hilary, who felt that Molly would be an absolute asset to Hilary’s restaurants. Molly Babigian is currently the General Manager and has a love for the Mendon community. Also working for Mendon 64 is Hilary’s father, Tod, whom is Maître d, on Saturday nights. Tod not only adds charm but is truly Hilary’s mentor. Hilary’s daughter Amanda is a Server’s Assistant and is a model in the teen division with the Mary Threase Friel Modeling Agency, as well as myself. Kevin Reilly is the Assistant Chef and works diligently alongside Head Chef Kevin Toole. Brett Ballard is in his first year of Apprentice Chef and is doing very well. All the team in the kitchen, the bar and dining room areas are friendly and knowledgeable about what the restaurant has to offer, and professional. Three times a charm also applies when it comes to Mendon 64’s head chef. Kevin Toole has a rich history in our community with his many positions he has worked within to achieve excellence in culinary arts. He is their third chef, since opening and boy did they make

a very important decision when hiring him! This restaurant has been blessed with Kevin’s extensive knowledge of food, and kitchen management, for five months now. Chef Toole is given artistic freedom in what he presents from the kitchen! The positions that he has held are an impressive list! Chapel’s, Strathalyn, Rochester Convention Center, Marriott Throughway. He also has been Food Service Director at a senior living facility. He is credited with helping St. John’s in presenting pureed foods, to soft food limited patients, so that the foods served, look more appealing to the residents. Kevin is a Certified Executive Chef with the American Culinary Federation and is a member of its board of directors. He was the “Chef of the Year” in the Greater Rochester area in 2015. He is a master of his craft, exceptionally gifted and talented. It was a pleasure and honor experiencing the food from the menu that was presented to me. Cocktails from the bar were exceptional. I sipped the Lefleur Martini and the Mendon French (64). They have a polished selection of cocktails, wines and beer. Join them for happy hour Tuesday-Friday 4-6 p.m. to enjoy 2 for 1 beer wine and well drinks. They also have an impressive Pub menu. The food, wow! The presentation of each plate offered to me to sample was beautiful, artistic, colorful, appetizing and delicious. Chef Toole believes and practices farm to table fresh produce from nearby farms, as well as fresh poultry from a nearby vender. Avocado Toast had bacon, cured on sight, avocado, Icicle lettuce, heirloom tomato, and was topped with a quail egg. It all was carefully placed on toasted bread and had a green goddess dressing with a hint of tarragon. My eyes were delighted before my mouth was, and there was no disappointment there. Highly recommended, as all other foods I sampled that evening. Breads for all use are made on the premises. Crab and Mango Tower was topped with an abundance of lump crab meat, and was molded with chunks of avocado, mango, frisee lettuce, mango salsa, pickled onion, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH 2018





The food, wow! The presentation of each plate offered to me to sample was beautiful, artistic, colorful, appetizing and delicious. Chef Toole believes and practices farm to table fresh produce from nearby farms, as well as fresh poultry from a nearby vender. and arugula micro greens. Cocktail sauce, balsamic reduction, and herbed olive oil were artistically added to this refreshing, outstanding salad. I boasted so much about it. Exceptional value. Faroe Island Salmon had a fennel yogurt puree, along with another smear of butternut squash honey puree. It was served with crisped capers and there was a totally delightful dusting of crystalized fennel. Too many restaurants over cook the salmon, very disappointing, but here the salmon was cooked perfectly and danced with its sauces. Tournedos of Beef and Prawns was a true surf and turf style winner. You know a kitchen knows what they are doing if the fillets come out cooked perfectly as ordered. My angus beef fillets were very tender and cooked to medium rare as requested. The prawns were delicate, and

I enjoyed the shiitakes mushrooms and red wine demi glaze. So so good! Ah, time for dessert. I was already in my “happy zone”, then was presented with Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Cake with homemade Chocolate Almond Ice cream. This dessert, was made with almond flour and crème an glaze. A chocolate lovers dream. I was so impressed by the fact that even though I knew they made everything from scratch, that they also made the ice cream! I ended my culinary stroll with a second dessert. Apple Crisp had extra touches like mango papaya, and dried cranberries. It was heavenly and not your usual apple crisp. To sum it all up, you need to dine at Mendon 64. This diamond of a restaurant dazzled me! ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH 2018




These days we have more choices than ever when it comes to adult beverages. A quick trip to our local liquor store gives us ready access the world’s finest wines, champagnes, cordials, and luxury spirits. The Rochester beer scene is booming with innumerable craft beer choices as well as some of the world’s best cider. Our city is a leader in the resurgence of cocktail culture, with talented and dedicated bartenders expertly mixing drinks using spirits from local craft distillers as well as flavors from all around the globe. We enjoy a world class local wine scene. You could go to a different winery, brewery, distillery, cider works, beer hall, cocktail bar, local pub, or innovative restaurant every week for years and never repeat a single one. But Rochester Drinks is here to make a case for becoming a “regular” at your favorite watering hole. Most of us in Rochester have a favorite grocery store, but too many of us can not name our favorite local restaurant or bar. When the question comes up, “Where should we eat” or “Where should we go for a cocktail” we are stumped. But if we really put our mind to it we can remember a truly exceptional experience and the venue that helped us form that memory. Experimentation and exploration are great, but once you have found that special place, make it a point to go there often and get to know what makes that place so inviting. More often than not try to go there when the place is not packed. Get to know the staff when they have time to really talk. Service professionals are by nature outgoing, sociable, and hospitable. Take time to get appropriately personal with your server or bartender. 184


When the chef comes out of the kitchen, let them know how much you enjoyed their creations. Tell them in person what you liked and if there was anything that did not meet expectations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The best hospitality pros dedicate their lives to making each and every guest’s experience truly exceptional. They want you to come back and come back often. When you do return with regularity you will realize that there is nothing that can replace having that one spot where you know the staff and the staff knows you. There is a comfort and ease that comes from familiarity. Regulars and servers often become close friends. A close knit staff functions like a

family and the best customers become part of that family. The patrons and staff at your local restaurant or pub are friends and family you choose to hang out with. Once you are a regular you’ll get to know the other regulars and their personalities. You’ll develop an instinct for the best times to go, the best staff to order from, and even the best place to sit. Regulars are in invaluable part of any successful operation and the best operators give regulars special treatment because they know they can count on these friends to support them with dollars spent, tips given, and word of mouth. Good or bad word of mouth can make or break a restaurant or bar. Once you are part of the family let others know about your favorite joint. Beyond the money you spend your support can be an integral part of the long term success of your chosen place. Give them a good review. Take pictures and create posts on social media about your latest experience. Take out of town guests there. Your efforts will pay off. You will find yourself getting out more often, and having more fun when you do get out. You may even make a friend for life. When you pop into your favorite stop on a busy night and the bartender is as busy as can be, your loyalty will pay off again. Recognition of you and what you typically like to order may help you get a round of drinks more quickly. It feels great to be welcomed by name and taken care of like a VIP, with prompt and courteous service. This may be the best perk of all because nobody likes to wait too long for a cocktail.

{ ROCHESTER DRINKS } Regulars are in invaluable part of any successful operation and the best operators give regulars special treatment because they know they can count on these friends to support them with dollars spent, tips given, and word of mouth.



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Choosing a Personal Trainer for your fitness and wellness goals can be exciting and daunting. As a woman, your search may be a bit more challenging. This is NOT to say that women in general have difficulty in securing personal trainers as their coaches. This is to say that there are factors to consider that specifically relate to women and your future Personal Trainer should be able to professionally address them. As a Personal Trainer since 1994, I have certainly worked with and met hundreds of trainers who are exceptional! However, when it came to working solely with women, the opportunities for women to secure such a trainer dropped significantly. Let it be known, your prospective Personal Trainer need not be female in order to address, coach, challenge you effectively and with quality support. Personal Trainers in general have different approaches to their profession and as such, so do the clients who seek them out. When considering a trainer, be attuned to their responses. In other words, are you heard? This may sound silly, but does the Trainer acknowledge you by re-stating your goals, concerns, accomplishments as well as acknowledging the challenges you face. Does he/she hear how your schedule, your family responsibilities, your hormonal imbalances, your recent surgery, your year’s long dieting efforts have been unsuccessful and left you physically as well as hormonally imbalance? Is she/he aware of the numerous health issues specifically affecting women ~ menopause, amenorrhea, POS, breast and ovarian cancers and your subsequent incredible road to full remission? Is there clarity of potential heart conditions that can exhibit in ways such as being unable to improve cardiovascular fitness, so as not to exert MORE conditioning efforts but rather to encourage a visit to your health practitioner? 188


Certainly, hiring a Personal Trainer is an incredible statement to oneself that you are open to being coached, to learning what you can do to improve, enhance, and implement professional and individualized recommendations into your daily routine. A litany of certifying associations exist. This also allows the client to review what core focuses such associations have and how that relates to the certifications they award. From highly attuned physical therapy modalities to

10 Things to Consider Before Choosing a Personal Trainer By Jamie Walker 190

Congratulations! You’ve decided to take the next step on your fitness journey and work with a professional who can help you reach your health and wellness goals. Not only does having the support of a personal trainer keep you more motivated and accountable when it comes to weekly workouts, but he or she can also play a role in helping you maximize your time at the gym, prevent injury and see more consistent results. But there’s a fine line between making a sound investment in your future fitness success and simply throwing money out the window on something that doesn’t work. The difference? Knowing how to choose the right person who will help you set the correct goals to achieve your desired results. Therefore, it’s crucial to do your due diligence as you go about choosing a trainer; all it takes is a little legwork to determine whether or not someone will be a good fit for your needs. After all, it’s called “personal” training for a reason — working closely together creates a bond that will help you to stay engaged and motivated throughout the process.

group fitness instructors, certifications and continuing education are readily available for the Personal Trainer. Weekend training ‘intensives’ in which a certification is provided after an 8-15 hour clinic are not ideal. While they may bode well for the seasoned and highly educated Personal Trainer, in terms of gleaning more knowledge on the offshoots of this incredible health and fitness industry, it would not provide the Trainer with the specific education needed to work with the female population.

Still stumped? Take into consideration the following 10 criteria they next time you’re selecting a personal trainer. Credentials. No ifs, ands or butts, a trainer should be able to show you a fitness certification in their particular area of expertise. To become certified, personal trainers must pass an exam through accredited organizations such as The American Council on Exercise (ACE), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) or the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). This ensures they’ve met certain

{ RW FITNESS } As a Personal Trainer since 1994, I have certainly worked with and met hundreds of trainers who are exceptional! However, when it came to working solely with women, the opportunities for women to secure such a trainer dropped significantly.

standards of professionalism and competence from a trustworthy organization. Experience. Practice makes (near) perfect, so a trainer who has been around the block a few times has likely tested and perfected his process for providing the best cues to help you get the most out of every single rep. So unless you’re okay with playing guinea pig, it might be best to resist the urge to cut a deal with a freshly-certified trainer in favor of one who has some previous experience.

think about your budget. And if hourly solo sessions are currently beyond your means, don’t despair; some trainers offer semi-private sessions or a discount for buying in bulk. Availability. Because consistency is key when working with a trainer, it’s a good idea to inquire about his schedule. How many clients does he currently have — e.g., is he booked

Progress. In addition to a personalized training program based on your goals and fitness level, your trainer needs a method for tracking your progress so you can see, incrementally, that your hard work is paying off. Benchmarks such as PRs, weight loss, strength gains and other achievements can help you not only stay on track, but also ensure that your trainer is doing her job.

Personality. What motivates you? Some people do well with positive reinforcement peppered with cheerleading, while others like to get screamed at and scared into doing a few extra squats. Either way, talk to the trainer and get a feel for her style to see if it jives with what works for you. Philosophy. This is a subtle — yet critical — point of differentiation because it can end up making or breaking your experience. How does the trainer develop his program, and on what beliefs will it be based? Is it gym-based workouts or meant to be done outside? Will you be using machines or sticking solely to free weights? Ask about philosophy and see if it makes sense for your goals and preferences. Specialties. Ever heard the saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none?” Well, if you’re looking for something specific — say, hitting a new 5k PR — you’ll want to work with a trainer who specializes in running over, say, Olympic weightlifting. Not only will they have more expertise in your desired area, but chances are she’ll be more passionate about it if she knows the nuances of the sport and has a vested interest in it, as well. Cost. Just as experience, personality and philosophy can range vastly between trainers so can their hourly rate, depending on certifications, specialty and location (sometimes as much as hundreds of dollars). So before you begin your hunt, sit down and 190


preference, so consider your habits and tendencies carefully. Are you willing to drive 20 minutes across town, or do you need something within walking distance to stay motivated? And where do you like to train? Some people get inspired by seeing others in a traditional gym setting, others like the one-on-one approach of a fitness studio, and others prefer to work out in the privacy of their own home. The good news is that there’s a trainer for every type of location!

Reputation. The best compliment a trainer can receive is a referral, but having people see results of their clients firsthand comes in a close second. Getting people to achieve their goals (especially if those goals are similar to what you’re wanting to achieve) is the ultimate proof here, and good trainers will happy to share success stories, testimonials and references.

solid without much wiggle room? Does he like to book them at the same time each week, or is it more of a floating schedule that changes regularly? How far in advance will you need to book appointments, can you make up missed ones, and what is his cancellation policy? Location. This is another area of personal

Although you might be feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of choosing a personal trainer, it’s important to note that the criteria above are just guidelines — not hard and fast rules. If you feel strongly about some items and don’t have a preference on others, it’s not a problem; you can streamline your search by keeping one thing in mind: Above all else, trust your gut. Look for a knowledgeable and experienced personal trainer who feels like the most natural fit. That’s the one to hire because she’ll not only help you reach your goals, but will also keep you feeling comfortable, motivated and inspired throughout the process. Follow Jamie Walker on Twitter: www.

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On this journey, boxing isn’t the hard part for me. I love boxing. I love leaving the office and letting it all out. Sweat drips from my face as I fumble my way through more difficult combinations and nail the simpler ones. Jab, cross, front hook, rear hook. Jab, jab. The act of boxing is easy for me now. As I progress in both my training at Title and my half marathon training, I can feel my body getting stronger. I don’t have to plead with myself to keep going. Instead, it’s the thing I look forward to in the morning and afternoon.

adamantly. But when you’re boxing, that strategy doesn’t work. When you don’t understand a combination, the key isn’t to fake your way through it at breakneck speed. No, the brave and necessary thing to do is slow down. Take it a punch at a time. Learn the combination and make sure your wrists aren’t bent, ensure your thumbs are in the right place to prevent injury. Once your form works? Then by all means: hit that bag a breakneck speed.

But now that my mind doesn’t have to focus on showing up, there are other difficulties I’m encountering. And while they’re outside the arena of boxing, I’m learning more and more that everything we do is connected. And when we’re passionate and vibing when it comes to one area of our life, the others where we’re struggling become painfully and clearly apparent. And from there, you sometimes find yourself staring in the face of your own failures. That’s where I’m at right now. And for me, my immediate response is to up the intensity and go harder. Punch faster, do more, say yes more often, commit more 192


reasons. Walking away feels like failure, it feels like pure terror. But how am I supposed to know what’s best for me if I never slow down and say no to the things that don’t serve me? How am I supposed to succeed if I don’t let myself fail first? A few weeks ago, David was leading an intense class. Like I’ve mentioned in previous columns, every class at Title B ox i n g C l u b i s different. No two instructors are the same, and their workouts are hard for different reason. David focuses on speed, agility, and endurance. It’s easy to want to give up in his classes, particularly at the end of the eighth round. As I sweat my way through a particularly difficult 8th round of combinations, his voice rang out amidst the swinging bags:

I’m taking the time to slow down areas of my life in the face of my own perceived failures and it’s making me realize that my own perfectionism is standing in my way. I have an accomplished career on paper, but the more I say yes to the things that make me buzz with excitement, the more I realize I’m doing it for the wrong

“Keep going guys. You can do this. Remember: failure is not an option here. It’s a requirement. I want you to try until you fail. It’s the only way you can get better.” So I did it to my bag and I’m doing it in my life. I’m facing my failure head on and I’ll be damned if I don’t go down without a fight.







Why I Have Become A Believer & a doTerra Advocate!! Essential Oils? How could that be of any help? Let’s be honest – I was not sure about using oils and was nothing but skeptical about this whole idea until I was introduced to them and actually started using them and educating myself on all the benefits. It first started with – “here try some peppermint to clear up your stuffy nose and allow you to sleep better.” I was surprised it worked and yes – I did SLEEP! But still wasn’t completely on board. Until my 7 year old got really sick and when there is only so much you can give your little one to get better and try to ride it out- I decided to try some oils. That is when I knew these were amazing! Not only was I rubbing oils on my daughter, but diffusing some in the air and I was so amazed on how she responded to them and how much better she woke up. From that moment on, I was hooked and needed to find out how to use these and what they could do for me! 2017 was a year of many changes and different levels of stress. With that being 196


said I started to use different oils that helped with stress level and anxiety. What a lifesaver and knew this was something I wanted to really get involved in and spread the word. Not only was it helping my children in more ways then one; to myself as well as amazing for your skin! I found out that these oils are used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used

Internal: Certain essential oils have a rich culinary history and can be used as dietary supplements for targeted wellness. I became very interested in doTerra Essential Oils because I had heard so many great things and from myself using them I knew they worked. I learned that doTerra was built on the mission of sharing therapeutic-grade essential oils with the world! With the meaning of doTerra being “Gift of the Earth”, they are bond to set forth the purist and highest quality oils. Once I star ted learning more on how each oil can be used for specific things here are a few of my favorites:

as single oil at a time or in complex blends in one of three methods: Aromatic: Certain essential oils, when diffused, can be very stimulating, while others can be calming and soothing. Diffusing essential oils can also cleanse and purify the air of unwanted odors. Topical: Essential oils are easily absorbed by the skin and can be safely applied topically.

• Peppermint– We use it on feet for nausea or fever, in homemade cleaners and soaps, and in the diffuser. For congestion, I add a few drops of Peppermint and other oils to a pot of steaming water and breathe in the steam to help open the sinuses. • Lavender– I use it in skin care recipes and as calming oil when needed. It is naturally antibacterial and I also add Lavender to bath water to help me relax at night. I also love adding a couple drops to my pillow to sleep! • Lemon, Lime and Orange– These citrus essential oils are astringent and



{ SOCIALLY | FASHIONABLY | YOU } It first started with – “here try some peppermint to clear up your stuffy nose and allow you to sleep better.” I was surprised it worked and yes – I did SLEEP!

antiseptic and are thought to stimulate the immune system. They are uplifting and considered cleansing. I have added lemon drops to my water and have added Orange to my vents to cleanse the air. • Frankincense– I use topically for my skin. Has helped for itchiness and rash. • Rosemary– I add a drop to my shampoo to increase hair growth and improve scalp health. • Melaleuca – I add this to natural cleaning products as it is naturally antibacterial and smells great when mixed with a citrus oil or lavender. 198


I am about helping others – and one thing I LOVED was that doTerra has a non-profit charity. It’s called Healing Hands and members, employees and the executives fund it. When placing an order for your oils you also have the option to donate a dollar (or more). They also fundraise in other ways, such as events or selling special products. Healing Hands has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and changed many lives. I can say that I have been thankful in learning about and using these oils for so many different ways. I have now passed along some ways for my mother to use these oils as she suffers from Lupus – an autoimmune disease. I have been able to help her with joint pains and she loves

diffusing the oils! If you want more information and learn about these can help you and your familyreach out! I would love to chat and educate. You will be surprised on what you can do and use and replace out with one of these oils. I started off very skeptical and now I am a firm believer! Let me help you revolutionize the way you manage yours and your family’s health. Cheers! Denisse



I knew I had to write my March No Excuses column four weeks ago when I submitted the February column. So I basically had a month. Now it’s due in two days… and I just sat down to write it. My name is Julie and I’m a SERIAL PROCRASTINATOR. We all procrastinate from time to time. Sometimes for me it’s the mundane things, like doing the dishes after dinner. I often let them sit in the sink until morning. I often put off getting my oil changed for weeks (a mechanic friend said that’s actually ok so I went with it). Sometimes it’s a major thing, like when I put off a mammogram for three years when there is a history of breast cancer in my family. Or waiting to call in a refill on a prescription until I take the very last pill. My accountant knows I usually schedule our tax appointment for April 14th. Even when I am getting money back. That makes no sense at all. Procrastination is almost always counter-productive. I come up with all sorts of creative excuses why now, today, just isn’t the right time. Too busy. Too broke. Too stressed. Too risky. Too inexperienced. Too old. Too young. Too tired. Occasionally those reasons are valid. But more often they are simply excuses for doing the real work and experiencing the emotional discomfort inherent in making meaningful changes in our work and lives. But since I write a column inspiring women to give up excuses in their lives and go for their dreams, I decided I better call myself out for this exceptionally bad habit. Perhaps we can all break it together. We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put 200


off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier. The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life. I found lots and lots of articles about breaking the procrastination habit. So I waded through them all to bring you the most common ideas to help you if you also procrastinate.

1. Break your work into little steps. This works

psychologically because part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the goal too overwhelming. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!” For example, I was putting off writing this column. However, when I break it down into phases such as – (1) Deciding the topic (2) Researching the topic (3)

Creating the outline (4) Drafting the content (5) Proof reading the content (6) Selecting artwork etc, (7) submitting it for publishing, suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next. This advice is given time and again, but most of us procrastinate trying it. TRY IT. It does really work for me. You’re reading this column aren’t you?

2. Create a detailed timeline with specific

deadlines. Maybe you’ve broken your goal down into little tasks and you still don’t feel like starting. Perhaps you are deadline motivated. And that’s ok, it just means you have to give yourself a specific deadline for each small task. This way it creates the urgency to act. Some people just can’t get motivated with a deadline, so go ahead and give them to yourself.

3. Eliminate your procrastination pit-stops. If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate. Personally, in order to write a column I must close my email, my facebook page, turn my cell phone on silent and ignore texts and calls for a while until I am done. If it’s talking to coworkers put earphones on and listen to music while you complete your work. Now if your are procrastinating working out and getting in shape, and you are procrastinating because of your job, you can’t eliminate that. So this step doesn’t work for everything.

4. Get a buddy. Having a

companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other. Me and my best friend always

share our goals with each other. We regularly ask each other about our progress in achieving those goals. Right now we are both trying to lose weight. She moved too far away to work out with, but I still ask about her workouts and her diet. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action. Maybe you and a work friend both hate the company you work for. Inspire each other to take an online class or update your resumes and LinkedIn profile.

5. Tell others about your goals. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Post your goals on social media. Not only will this help you find buddies (see #4), but now whenever you see your friends, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects. It’s a great way to stay motivated.

6. Seek out someone who has already achieved the

outcome. What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. There are people who have written books. People who went back to college. People who have quit smoking. People who have lost weight and gotten fit. Seeing living proof that

your goals are achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

7. Ditch Perfectionism. If perfectionism is

one of the biggest reasons you procrastinate, make a date with a therapist. Seriously. In your case, procrastination is just a symptom of a bigger problem that you must deal with by freeing yourself from perfectionism. Your whole life will change for the better and your procrastination will be cured.

8. Reward progress. Set up a reward system to ensure you celebrate progress and small successes as you go along. Whether a fun activity with friends, or a treat for yourself, make it something that acknowledges your progress and effort.

Some psychologists say fear is the cause of procrastination. That potent and instinctive emotion whose reason for being is to protect us from pain and urge us away from anything it perceives might threaten our sense of self, injure our pride, or rattle our world. However, left unchecked, those fears can drive us to cling on to the hope that if we procrastinate long enough, our situation will improve, or our

misgivings will magically evaporate and be replaced with newfound clarity and courage. We tell ourselves that ‘one day’ we will be ready to make a change, or take a chance; that ‘one day’ the timing will be better, our confidence stronger, our circumstances easier. Unfortunately the reverse is generally true. As the days roll steadily by, our fears grow larger, not smaller, until they eventually lead to a burial ground for unfulfilled dreams and untapped potential. All the time, our procrastination can exact a steep toll on our finances, career, business, relationships and health. We are loath to admit it, but in electing to put off today what can be done tomorrow, we inadvertently sell out on our happiness – both today, and in the many tomorrows that comprise our future. You can stop procrastinating. In the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Get a grip and just do it. Follow these steps and break the habit. No excuses. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH 2018






Katrina Busch, a wife and mother of 2 boys, is Senior Vice President, Group Account Director at Partners + Napier, an integrated advertising agency. She works with big company clients like Xerox Corporation, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and non-profits like the Seneca Park Zoo. Katrina works on building long lasting relationships with her clients and for her clients. She works hard and plays hard and the three words that describe her best are, “Bring it on!” How did you end up at Partners and Napier? KB: This is an interesting story. From a very young age I knew I liked being around people, and felt like I had a knack for influencing behavior and opinions of others in a positive way. I felt like I had a gift for relationship building. I attended St. John Fisher College and studied Communications/ Journalism. I always wanted to work at an advertising agency. My first job was at the American Cancer Society, which was an awesome place to learn absolutely everything about a non-profit. Then I got a job at Roberts Communications, an advertising agency here in Rochester, NY, and I loved it. After working there for a few years, I was lured to Eastman Kodak for a few years, but ended up back at Roberts Communications, where I became President. Most recently, about four months ago, Roberts was acquired by Partners and Napier. Was there a childhood incident or

event that had a significant impact on you? KB: My entire childhood. I was very fortunate to grow up in a household where my father and mother were partners. My mom was a school teacher and my dad was a business man. He would go to work in a suit and come home and put on a pair of dungarees to work on the family farm. We had horses and cows and I am a country girl at heart. It was a great lesson for me, that I could be professional in business and still come home and work with the earth, craft things and really be whatever I wanted to be. I can work hard and play hard. What was your first paying job and what did you take away from it? KB: I was fifteen years old. My mom’s father owned a company called Built Rite. Later it was purchased by Wegman’s and they called it Chase Pitkin. They had a store in Canandaigua and my parents said this would be your first job during the summer. I didn’t want to be a cashier; I wanted to work in the Garden Dept. For two reasons really: 1. I love being outdoors. 2. I liked hanging out with all the guys, because I was a little bit of a tom boy growing up. I absolutely loved working there and continued throughout college, when I transferred to the East Rochester store which was right by St. John Fisher College. One of my earliest lessons was that it’s okay to not always know the answer, I would have people ask me how to make

their grass greener or what chainsaw they needed. At the ripe age of sixteen, I had no idea. Some answers I knew and some I didn’t. When I didn’t, I would say, “Let me go ask someone and I will be right back.” That was a really great lesson, because I feel people today feel like they have to know the answers, so they fake it. If you fake it, people can see it. You have to be open, honest and authentic and I learned that first at sixteen. What are your hobbies? KB: Sports were a hobby as a kid and now with my athletic sons. As I have gotten older, I have grown to love doing what my father would love to do and that is crafting with wood. I have made desks, end tables and pictures frames out of pallets. I love distressing wood. What I love about it, is that it reminds me of my father, who has since passed, and it gets me in a different kind of creative mind. I am also getting my boys involved and they love it. I’m even thinking of doing a little Esty shop. Stay tuned about that. Where is your favorite place – foreign or domestic? KB: My favorite place in the whole world is Canandaigua Lake.



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2541 Monroe Ave. Rochester NY 14618 | Equal Housing Lender | Licensed Mortgage Banker NYSDFS | NMLS#3254 Premium Mortgage Corporation does not intend to solicit business away from other mortgage banking professionals. If you are currently working with another mortgage banking professional, this communication is not intended for you. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH 2018








It won’t be long before the snow melts away and the flowers and warm weather of spring arrive. This is consistently one of the most active times of year for real estate transactions. As a mortgage loan officer, I can offer unique perspective to those planning to purchase a home this season. I’ve been part of countless real estate transactions, and I’ve personally witnessed the good, the bad, and the bizarre! This spring there is a challenging dynamic in the real estate market. Inventory is much lower than the demand for housing, resulting in a very competitive market. With federal mortgage rates poised to rise, buyers will need to be in good financial position to achieve success. But I’ve come up with a 4-part strategy for optimizing your place within the market. While no one can guarantee that you won’t be outbid or that you’ll definitely close by Memorial Day, by following the guidance below, you will put yourself in the most advantageous place possible. Below are 4 tips to prepare yourself to enter the real estate market:

4 Tips to Prepare for Buying a Home This Spring

1. GET YOUR FINANCES IN ORDER Some people are able to pay for a house in cash. For the other 99% of us, a mortgage is necessary to pay for a home. You’ll need to first qualify and want to secure the best rate and terms that you can, so you’re not overpaying for your home in the long run. In order to qualify, you will need to gather a significant amount of documentation to give an accurate and complete financial picture to your lender. Before you begin house shopping, check your credit report and make sure there aren’t any errors that might affect your score. Make sure to pay off any delinquent bills, and make sure all your utilities, credit card, and other bills are being paid on time! Reduce any other debts you owe so, which will make your debt-toincome ratio (DTI) more favorable. Your goal is to look as appealing to lenders as possible, so that you get approved and get the best rate on your mortgage. 2. GET A PRE-APPROVAL Before you begin your home search, please get a Pre-Approval! I cannot stress this enough. You’ll have no idea how much home you can afford until your lender reviews your finances. It would be devastating to find the home of your dreams only to find that you won’t qualify for the mortgage. With a pre-approval from a qualified lender, you will get an accurate price range that you can afford. Not only that, but any Real Estate agent will take your offer much more seriously if they know that you already qualify to purchase. You can also get options for a loan that can be catered to meet your individual needs. Come see me at Premium Mortgage in Rochester or give me a call to set up an appointment. You’ll be glad you did!

3. CHOOSE THE RIGHT REALTOR® Unless you have years of experience making offers, negotiating repairs, and identifying errors on an HUD-1 (what’s that?), you will need a Real Estate agent on your side. A qualified and experienced REALTOR® will present your offer along with your mortgage qualification, down payment amount, and other information that can make your offer more appealing, and will identify potential problems with your deal before they happen, so things don’t fall apart days before closing. Choose a REALTOR® who is a good fit for you. Ensure they communicate adequately, are able to answer your questions, and that you can trust them with such a large financial transaction. REALTORS® are people, and each of them has a different personality, so make sure to choose the right agent. I am happy to make some wonderful recommendations for some of the top agents in the area! 4. BE PREPARED TO PAY It’s no secret: home prices in most of the country are at an all-time high. The best properties are all getting multiple offers, sometimes in cash. Nearly every home is going for very close to, if not over, asking price, and if that wasn’t enough, the Fed has been slowly ticking up interest rates, and isn’t planning to stop. Attempting to place a low offer may not cut it in this spring’s Real Estate market. So it is imperative that your finances are in order, and you have a realistic idea of how much you can afford to pay. As the last of winter begins to fade, it is time to actively plan for this step in your life. Only the most well prepared of buyers will achieve success in this market. That being said, the additional time, effort and sacrifice made will be more than worth it. Homeownership has many benefits, not only in significant financial worth, but also as a place of security, learning, growth and love for you and your family. Whatever your circumstances, I am happy to sit down with you, discuss your options, and find the perfect financing program to get you into the home of your dreams! To learn more about our services and current mortgage rates, call give me a call at (585) 314-8511, or visit our website to find your nearest location and apply for a loan: You can also connect with me on Facebook (/ MtgageGirl )and Twitter (@MTGAGEGIRL) Phyllis Haberer (@MTGAGEGIRL on Twitter) Senior Loan Officer | NMLS# 58078 (585) 241-0000 x104 Premium Mortgage Corporation 2541 Monroe Ave., Rochester, NY 14618 Equal Housing Lender | NMLS# 3254 | Licensed Mortgage Banker NYSDFS



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I sat in front of the computer, with my chin resting on my two hands, contemplating what you are now reading. My wife, Judy, looked at me and asked, “What are you doing?” “Thinking,” I replied,. And within the time it takes my atomic clock to reset (exactly one one-thousandth of a nanosecond for those of you who aren’t up on your space-time quantum theory), she said: “Oh! ... So that’s what it looks like.” Now I like to play newlyweds as much as the next guy, but the truth is we’ve been together for 35 years, so the possibility that she’d never seen my brain cogitate, or perhaps even engaged before, is a little more than troubling. That might not bother me as much if I didn’t have to ask her for help all of the time. She teaches English. If you see mistakes in my column, it’s not that she doesn’t know, it’s because I didn’t ask. While writing this column I asked her what she likes most about teaching. “Summer vacations” she jokes, but then she immediately corrects that and states the obvious truth, “my students.” She gets ninth graders to love learning. She gets them to love Shakespeare. Sometimes we are even stopped in line at Wegman’s by former students of hers who proudly proclaim that they actually changed their career path because of her classes. What a great accomplishment. What a legacy. I’ve seen her refuse to take sick days because “her kids” need her. She will never get paid or even get comp time for those extra days, but she did it anyway. I’ve seen her spend all of Christmas vacation correcting papers, only to later learn that she is intending to do it all over again after the students see her comments and then re-write the essays. “These are good students, and this is the only way they will really learn this,” she explains. She tells me that because this she spent years teaching, she enjoys things much more, knowing that this is the last “walk-through,” so to speak. That’s just one more thing she has taught me — to try my best to eschew 210


the never-ending everyday pressures and to more fully appreciate the value of living the moment we are in. Unfortunately, I’m not the worlds’ best student at that. I wrote and often air an editorial on WHAM asking people to contemplate how

they would live their day if they knew it was their last. I should listen to it with the insight she has now given me, seeing how she is maximizing her year, and not merely a day. In fact last year she asked if I could make sure I got home early for a Friday night Valentine’s dinner, if she made the reservations in advance.

“What are you doing?” “Thinking,” I replied,. And within the time it takes my atomic clock to reset (exactly one one-thousandth of a nanosecond for those of you who aren’t up on your space-time quantum theory), she said: “Oh! ... So that’s what it looks like.”

After I assured her I could, she asked if I was sure I could be home by 7 p.m. I realized immediately that there was something wrong with that picture. She shouldn’t have to ask about an early arrival on a Friday night weeks in advance, and consider 7 p.m. to be early. She taught me

yet again, but not by nagging, just by a comment that spoke volumes. I’ve been working on that. I really have. Despite the best of intentions, over the years I’ve failed miserably at living up to my goals of being gender neutral at home,

and equally available for child rearing, and housework. She’s taken the brunt of it. We joke about it — but she doesn’t really complain. She just gets it done. So you see, she didn’t just help me get through a rough time starting today’s column, over the years she’s helped me get through a rough anything and everything. She’s the objectivity I lack in preparing a case I’m wrapped up in. She’s the last place I can turn when I need comfort or just moral support. She allows me to speak my fears without reprisal, but with a firm and realistic response. Sometimes she’s the confidant that no one else could be. She’s helped me think through little dilemmas, and she helped me deal with life’s biggest crises. So, while she’s been a full time teacher, and full time mother, and home engineering supervisor, she’s also had another full time job — taking care of me! She’s just always been there for all of us, and also, in many ways, continually teaching us, as well. So even though she soon retires from teaching school, which she certainly deserves, she’ll be getting no gold watch from me — I just plain need her too much. Robert L. Brenna Jr. is a drummer with a day job. He is a Partner partner in the Rochester law firm of Brenna Boyce PLLC, which his father founded. He is a past President of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers, A Fellow of Litigation Counsel, of America chosen by Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, etc. and concentrates his practice in the areas catastrophic personal injury, general Litigation, and estates and trusts. Brenna also hosts a popular Sunday morning radio program entitled ‘The Brenna Boyce Law Forum,’ on WHAM 1180 AM and online at 8 a.m. throughout the Country on iHeart radio.





Tomorrow! There’s always tomorrow! You’re only a day away!” As a young child I was obsessed with the movie Annie, and the way she went from having nobody to having a family. Something about it resonated with me into adulthood. Why must orphans wait so long to be adopted? Why are some orphans never adopted? Surely there are enough families in this world, why aren’t they stepping up? In our country we don’t use the term “orphan”. Instead we refer to children needing a family as a “foster child freed for adoption”. There are currently 108,000 children in the United States that are needing an adoptive family. It was for this reason that my husband and I chose the path of foster child adoption. We had the house, the beds and the love. We just needed the child. Little did we know then that we would end up with seven children in seven years! It’s been a whirlwind of chaos, fun, laughter, loudness and love. Little did we know that by adopting children in need, we would expand our family to include their biological families. I had no idea! I had no idea the impact that saying YES would have on my life. These kids made me a Mom; my biggest dream come true. These kids, they amaze me. They’re inspiring, resilient, forgiving. 216


{ WOMAN ON THE RISE } Has it been easy? No….. of course not! If life were easy we’d be bored. Has it been worth it? Absolutely! A full house is a full heart.

They’re ambitious, compassionate, and enthusiastic. They love life. They love family. They don’t take anything for granted. Has it been easy? No….. of course not! If life were easy we’d be bored. Has it been worth it? Absolutely! A full house is a full heart. If you’ve felt the calling to adopt from foster care, don’t wait for “tomorrow”, because TODAY there is a child out there waiting for you. They already exist. They’re in this world, hoping for someone to step up and say yes. Every orphan deserves a Happily Ever After. For more information on adopting from foster care contact Children Awaiting Parents/Donald Corbett Adoption Agency, at (585)232-5110 or www. To follow in our foster-adopt journey check out littbradybunch/ Alicia Dougherty Pittsford, NY 14534 (585) 750-4267 *Photo credit to Melissa Siena at A Snap In Time Photography*





As we celebrate Women’s History Month in March, it’s a great time to recognize some the many amazing women who call Rochester home, and who are helping to build up the next generation of female leaders in our community. Women like Leslie C. Youngblood, an author who recently signed a two-book deal with Disney-Hyperion. And N’Jelle Gage Thorne, cofounder of FuturePointe Dance, an international dancer and educator that has worked extensively throughout the United States, Africa, Central American and the Caribbean.

for our students,” said Principal Barbara Zelazny. “Some of the students make such a connection with their speaker that they keep in touch after the program’s over. It could lead to opportunities for mentoring, internships, maybe even a job down the road. You never know!” During her workshop, author Leslie C. Youngblood enthusiastically shared her college experiences: “What took many people four years to complete, took me more than twelve.

These were just two of the 30 women from nearly two-dozen different career fields who visited Young Women’s College Prep Charter School on February 16th for its sixth annual “Cool Women/Hot Jobs” Career Day. It’s a career awareness program sponsored by Thomson Reuters for students in 9th-11th grade to help inspire the students to explore both traditional and nontraditional career fields.

The program consists of students rotating through four workshops, followed by lunch together with the professional women to allow time for networking and relationship building. “We hope that this leads to a greater connection 218


N’Jelle Gage Thorne brought her three-month old son to the program with her, who slept on her shoulder throughout most of the workshops, even as she demonstrated different styles of dance. She shared her experiences being a working mom, and one who wears many hats, from dancer and choreographer to business owner. YWCP Junior Phaja Walker was inspired by Gage Thorne. “She was so energetic and entertaining, and she showed us that you can be a mom and still have an incredible career.” The program also increased Walker’s interest in philosophy after attending a workshop hosted by Tokeya Graham, an assistant professor in the English and Philosophy Department at Monroe Community College. “I didn’t think I would like it at first, but I really did,” she said. And Freshman Chadeja Barnes stated, “I was shocked because it’s my first year doing the program and I was put into the Architectural Design workshop and now it is something that I am interested in. The workshop really made me think about going into that career field.”

Women from career fields including engineering, sign language, fashion, education, speech therapy, business, marketing, and more shared both their educational and career journeys with the students, providing them with an understanding of what a typical day in their job is like and what kind of education or training is needed to achieve their position. “This is one of my favorite days of the year,” said Camille Zitz, assistant principal of the high school. “I love it because it really opens up our students’ eyes to the possibilities that are out there. Maybe they don’t personally know someone who works in banking or finance, so they don’t know what a career in that field looks like or feels like. Well, now they know, and they can decide if that’s something they are interested in pursuing.”

later. Yes, people thought I was crazy!” The girls attentively listened as Leslie shared her hardships and her success, reminding them that it’s not always about the speed, but about the work involved and the final outcome. Youngblood will release her first book, “Love Like Sky,” a middle grade fiction novel, in the fall.

Sometimes I worked two jobs while completing my degree. I started out at Morris Brown College, then completed night school at Georgia State University, and finally achieved my Bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing while minoring in African American Studies. Then, after all that, I went back to school for my Master’s degree a few years

The program concluded with a keynote address delivered by Rochester native Ebony Miller-Wesley, Interim Director at the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship at Rochester Institute of Technology, who talked about defining what success means to you, and reminded students, “The level of success that you will accomplish throughout your life does not have to be defined by your zip code.” An important message to be engrained into our girls, who we know in the future, will become Cool Women with Hot Jobs, too!

An important message to be engrained into our girls, who we know in the future, will become Cool Women with Hot Jobs, too!





My husband and I are blessed to have four children, all of whom were under four at the same time. Fast forward to adolescence, and all four were ready for college at about the same time too. Oh, did I mention that the first two kids were a set of twins? Believe me, we were clueless when we began the college choice process , and we painfully travelled without a map or a guide Bad information and not enough good choices led to an unhappy freshman year and transfers for both twins. Eventually, I applied my Master’s degree in psychology and sought professional training to become an independent college admissions counselor. I have learned, personally and professionally, that college choice is not a race to an imaginary finish line; it is a thoughtful process to discover how students can maximize their potential. In fact, I tell the families I work with that it may be the most fun they have ever had! Fun? Is that really possible? College choice has always been an important task, but in recent years, it has become increasingly complex. Standardized testing? When? Which test? How often? How soon? AP courses? How many? What about Dual Enrollment? What extracurricular activities will give a student the advantage? How should they spend their summers? How many schools should they apply to? The list of questions goes on and on, and in the process of answering them, we can lose sight of the most important task of all: encouraging our children to grow, explore and develop. In truth, we may be creating pressure where none is warranted. While the grapevine may support the rumor that “it’s impossible to get into college today”, the reality is that the average admissions rate, at four year schools across the 220


country is about 66%, according to the National Association of College Admissions Counselors. The numbers may be discouraging or even terrifying for schools that are extraordinarily selective, but the reality is that less than 50 schools admit fewer than 20% of their applicants. Most schools have seats to fill, and they are looking for reasons to say “yes”. A wise student I knew once said “Just because it is the hardest school to get into doesn’t mean it is the best school for you to go to”. Success and satisfaction will ultimately depend on making a best fit college choice. A best fit should involve

4 key factors: 1. ACADEMIC FIT: a. Consider the way that a student learns best. Is s/he a passive learner, enjoying lectures and individual activities, or are they an active, handson learner, who thrives on group projects and using information provided to enhance their understanding? b. What kind of grading best represents their efforts? Schools where a student is evaluated by a midterm and final may not work for students who shine when they are involved in discussions, papers, and participatory activities.

c. What are the problems the student is interested in addressing/solving? The question should not be “what do you want to major in?” In reality, there are far more subjects offered at college than what an 18 year old has already been exposed to, and the jobs that will be available after graduation are likely to not even exist yet. It is also noteworthy that estimates of how many students change majors range from 33-75% 2. FINANCIAL FIT: a. Do not succumb to “sticker shock”. The old maxim that state schools are more affordable than private ones is not a universal truth. Families need to look beyond the published price of attendance. It’s not just loans: fewer students are paying list price than ever before, with merit and grant monies available to offset that breath-taking published cost. b. Graduation rates (four and six year) should be considered when calculating costs. According data from the federal government, a significantly greater percentage of students complete college in four years if they attend a private, not-for profit college. Even the six year completion rate is lower at public institutions. Add in the potential loss of wages for the extended time spent earning that degree, and the price differential closes a bit more. c. Loans differ and families need to be able to evaluate the various types of financial aid they are being offered. No student should ever graduate drowning in debt, regardless of their intended field of study. 3. SOCIAL FIT: a. Size matters. Some students will thrive on campuses where they know most of the people

{ BEST FIT COLLEGE CHOICE } Fun? Is that really possible? College choice has always been an important task, but in recent years, it has become increasingly complex.



While the grapevine may support the rumor that “it’s impossible to get into college today”, the reality is that the average admissions rate, at four year schools across the country is about 66%, according to the National Association of College Admissions Counselors. campuses where they know most of the people they see every day, others are looking for the chance to meet new people everywhere they go. Remember, the size of a college is not just how many other students are on campus; it includes how many students are in the class with you as well as how far you may need to go to get from your dorm to the library.

events or attending concerts? Students craving an urban vibe may find it hard to adjust to rural life and vice versa.

b. Look at the kinds of activities students engage in on campus. Is the school deep into Greek Life? Are athletics the way the student body comes together? Are lectures by leaders in their fields strongly attended by students? Look at the activities offered on campus and consider how they fit your interests-past, present and future!

As a family, our first week-long college visit trip is remembered as the “No, I will NOT get out of the car here” adventure. None of the schools were remotely a place where either of the twins was going to be happy. But eventually, they found their match, as did the two younger siblings. As have the each of students in my practice. There is no single school that is the only place a student will thrive. A carefully constructed college list will be filled with multiple exciting options and opportunities. Carefully gathering information, considering a variety of possibilities, and providing encouragement and

4. CULTURAL FIT: a. Location is an important consideration, and culture is a part of that. Is the student someone who is passionate about seeing first run movies, attending professional sporting 222


b. Is the availability of a faith community important to a student? If so, check on campus faith based organizations to be sure that need is met.

support can make the college choice journey the trip of a lifetime! Jodi Rosenshein Atkin, MA, LLC is an independent college admissions counselor. She is a proud member of the leading college admissions organizations, including National Association of College Admissions Counselors, Higher Education Consultants Association and Independent Educational Consultants Association. Since opening her practice, she has visited 100 colleges in 10 states, and her bags are packed for another 30+ in 2018. For more information, check out her website, or send her an email at

Roche s

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& Dog Walk


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Pet Fest





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Races, 5K &10K





Saturday, June 2, 2018 Rochester Animal Services, 184 Verona St.

Pet Festival & Contests • Live Music • Food Trucks • FREE Clinics Race Registration begins at 7 am • 8 am: 10K Start • 8:15 am: 5K Start • 8:30 am: Walk Registration • 11 am: Walk Start

$20 for 5K and $25 for 10K before May 31, 2018 • $25 for 5K and $30 for 10K after May 31, 2018. • Free tech shirts for first 300 registered runners. • Runners can raise $50 to receive an aluminum water bottle. • Walkers: $25 registration fee includes a cotton t-shirt if registered before June 1, 2018. 5K- Top male / female finishers each receive a baseball hat; medals will be awarded to the top male and female finishers in each age group. 10K- Top 3 male and female finishers receive a $100, $75, or $50 Fleet Feet store voucher; store vouchers for $15 - $40 are also awarded to top 3 male and female finishers in each age group. Plus great new fundraising prizes!

Questions? Call 311• ars of Dou Ye

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Register at TY





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1818 2018

Lovely A. Warren, Mayor Rochester City Council



Growing up I would say that I was a tomboy. I did not play with dolls but instead played all kinds of sports with my male cousins who lived across the street. My Italian grandparents lived with us so there was always homemade Italian food on the table and essentially available always. I guess that you could say that I was a foodie from birth. My childhood was very active and was spent skiing and swimming at our summer cottage, swinging on vines, jumping in the small pond, playing baseball, kickball, and climbing trees among many other outside activities. We went out outside in the early morning and came home when the dinner bell was rung.

among other things. I was on several medications and was not happy about needing them, but I also needed the help. They did help somewhat, but I was nowhere near my previous self. We ultimately had to close the boarding business and my husband took on the care of our own horses and barn by himself. I rarely even visited them, let alone ride due to fatigue and pain. It was a dark period of time for us. My daily routine consisted mostly of sleeping. My husband carried the weight of his career as well as handling what should have been

My attention was not on my diet. Grandma was always saying “mangia” and trying to feed me. You don’t refuse in an Italian home when you are a child. Thankfully I was a slender but not thin girl and we did not have all of the knowledge about food then that we do now. I ate what I wanted and health wise everything was fine. In my adult life I continued to stay active but of course in different ways. I went to school, married, had children, and worked as an RN at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Unfortunately I sustained a substantial herniation in my lumbar spine which started a change and decline in my overall health. Five years later, when I considered myself able, I began riding and doing competitive local horse shows. Once again I sustained injuries in a freak accident when my horse actually fell on me. I had a severe concussion and was unconscious, broke my ribs, injured my shoulders, neck and needed an ankle reconstruction. I did eventually need a rotator cuff repair because of it and last year a total hip replacement. None of these injuries stopped me from starting a horse boarding business with my husband and I loved it. We also adopted a son who is now ten. We gradually noticed a decline in my health manifesting itself by extreme exhaustion, brain fog, lack of interest and severe fibromyalgia, 224


I sent away for a weeks’ sample, and took it consistently. A few days into it my husband started noticing a significant difference in me energy wise, and I was not needing my narcotic medicines for pain. I felt so much better and was feeling so much more like my old self. When the week’s supply was exhausted, I did not have immediate access to more, and not taking it was even more telling. My pain came back even worse than it had been before, and I was not feeling as well. My body had been through a lot, and was responding to my attempt to heal it, but then responded negatively when it was not receiving the Plexus. I immediately found the quickest way to obtain more and have not stopped taking it since. That was four years ago. I, without actively trying, lost 28 pounds by healing myself and naturally wanting to make better food choices. I lost my Coke addiction and very large sweet tooth. I felt better and became more active again. It all fits together. Our immune system is dependent on our gut. It is the very place that needs to be healthy in order for the rest of our bodies to be strong and to be able to fight off opportunist disease. Plexus is a patent pending state of the art product that supports our Microbiome and fights dysbiosis. Plexus Slim is vegetarian, gluten free and non-GMO which is very important to me and so many others.

my responsibilities here. I would cry and pray every day for an answer and for help. I believe that God was sending it to me but I wasn’t hearing it. I thought that I had exhausted every potential option after “trying it all” and visiting several specialists. A friend had used Plexus and kept telling me that I should try it. I said no for a year. I was not going to try one more supplement and waste one more dime, let alone get my hopes up that it would help in any way. I finally gave in, and figured that it was just one more thing that would not work. I expected nothing.

For me and thousands of others it has provided the health tool to turn our lives around, greatly improve our health and therefore our lives. To say that it gave me my life back is not an exaggeration by any stretch. I am happy, healthy and am a better wife, mother, friend and pet mom. I can now give so much more of myself to others and to the charities that I hold dear. I no longer am in the nursing world however I am still out there helping people improve their health as a Plexus Worldwide Ambassador. Health and happiness is once more mine. It can be yours too.

“For me and thousands of others it has provided the health tool to turn our lives around, greatly improve our health and therefore our lives.�




Women inspire. They lead with grace, dignity and courage. These fine women channeled their life experience through art. No limitation was large enough. Open your mind, read, and be inspired to create!

Marian began singing as a child in the church choir. Her strength of character and compassionate heart were not hidden. During WWII, she acted as a goodwill ambassador, entertaining troops in hospitals and airbases throughout Europe.

MARIAN ANDERSON African-American Opera Singer (1902 -1993)

Ballet is beautiful. It is undeniable. It requires endless hours of dedicated practice. The abs of a ballerina are the abs of steel. If you’ve ever practiced ballet you can attest to this. And if you’ve ever practiced modern, well, there’s a difference. You might describe it as linear vs. circular.

Regardless of her talent, many doors were closed to Ms Anderson until her voice broke through the very doors of The Metropolitan Opera. In 1955, she was the first African-American to perform on its prominent stage.

I love Modern Dance. It is so much fun! It’s creative. And by Ms. Duncan’s description, sacred. There you go. No wonder I love it! It brings theatre to the body. Full expression of the imagination without sound.

Racial prejudice in the 30’s became an obstacle too difficult to maneuver in the US, however. She found a home in Europe where her voice was revered, touring to enthusiastic crowds wherever she went.



ISADORA DUNCAN American Founder of Modern Dance (1878 to 1927) Dancing barefoot without wearing a leotard may not seem progressive today. But it was yesterday. Isadora Duncan is synonymous with free-form movement. She threw away her pointe shoes and tights, and pulled a toga over her head. Along with the ballet slippers went the skilled precision of repetitive movements. Running, skipping, falling, and rolling all but took their place!

Beautiful. Magnetic. This is, after all, the opera! Marian broke all barriers with her contralto voice, singing in a low range filled with sincerity and drama. Many female opera singers are soprano, with the beautiful high pitched siren of a gifted angel. Hers was that of a soulful spirit, soaring beneath the clouds.

Despite the prejudice of the time, our very own First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt coordinated an open air concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to showcase Marian’s voice. Several years later, she was awarded the Spingarn Medal for distinguished achievement, just the first of many more to come.

May her natural talent of singing and courage inspire you to push through all barriers to share your gifts with the world!

Ms Anderson was invited to return to the White House, this time within its walls to sing for the inauguration of President, John F Kennedy.

Isadora broke the mold but in doing so, couldn’t find work in America. Yet again, one of our creative geniuses was embraced by Europe where she thrived as an inspirational dancer and teacher, opening schools in Germany and Paris. She also founded a school in Moscow, Soviet Union.

At the age of 89, she was recognized with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Her creative style inspired many visual artists including Auguste Rodin.


{ {MIND, SHIFT+CONTROL BODY & SPIRIT } } Feelings may surface. Place them in the light of your heart chakra as well. Allow both the memories and the feelings to melt away.

Ms Duncan’s personal life was filled with romance, excitement and despair. She lost two children in a tragic automobile accident, and one as an infant. She lost her own life in a car accident riding as a passenger when her silk scarf became caught in the wheel of the tire, strangling her.

and yellows, while Catholicism can often be seen in themes. What stands out most in her paintings is her emotional struggle with physical

Her fabulous, innovative and shocking life is depicted in the 1968 movie, Isadora. Have a watch. May her bold, creative genius inspire you to tap into yours!

Art was initially Frida’s hobby, then her lifeline. Her shows were exhibited from NYC to Paris, where she was the first Mexican artist to be featured at the Louvre. Her painting, The Frame may still be on view there today.

FRIDA KAHLO Mexican painter (1907-1954)

Frida’s story has been produced in several films, the most recent in 2002 starring Salma Hayek. Love, broken love, regained love. Physical and emotional suffering. It is all there for the viewing.

We all know her. The woman with one eyebrow. The artist whose self portraits are stern, pretty, colorful - and exhibited all over the world. One such painting is called Roots. Frida paints herself as a beautiful, stern, colorful woman (with one eyebrow) reclining on large leaves wearing a long red dress. A golden vine is growing out of the center of her chest and abdomen. The tree of life, the desire to give birth, the sacrifice of Christ’s blood - are all suggested themes in this painting that sold for nearly $6 Million. Inspirations from her heritage, her religion, and her very real physical limitations are portrayed with an overarching theme of emotional pain. The influence of Mexican Folk Culture is vibrant in the use of her palette of reds 228


In her portrait, The Broken Column, Frida displays this physical pain. Her surrealist style almost allows one to observe the painting without getting hurt i.e. feeling her pain. Again, the center of her body is ripped open and in place of her spine is a marble column. Nails are stuck all over her body.

Connect with her inspiration to move through all obstacles. Release your pain and create!

pain. She suffered polio as a child, which she conquered only to face a debilitating accident at the age of 18. Her dreams of becoming a doctor we’re shattered along with her spine.

Alana Cahoon is a Natural Health Professional who offers creative coaching to professionals in transition, leadership & entrepreneurship. Her signature program, ‘Mindfulness for Professionals’ trains the mind to achieve calm, clarity and balance. Her group program, ‘Body Mind Connection’ provides a holistic approach to weight loss and body image. She can be reached at (585) 953-0503 - alana@alanacahoon. com -

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Who doesn’t want a wonderful, pampering ,and relaxing facial? I ask because very little of us want a facial that is harsh and full of noise and distractions. We can be told that we don’t need to have a facial even in our late teens. . I’m here to tell you that that is not true in the least. Every person who can have a facial should, even those with the most beautiful skin. In previous articles I have talked about the benefits of receiving a facial. Some of you have had one, or many, and kudos to you, while others can be skeptical about ever getting one or have never tried one for other reasons. Can a facial alone be the “miracle” you need to look and feel younger or be on the path for clearer skin? Maybe but doubtful also. Receiving a spa facial is awesome for your skin wellness, but one need a great home regimen and a consistent schedule of treatments. Some individuals may benefit with an upgrade to their facial to give a greater look to their skin. One way



to do that is to add Oxygen to their skin care wellness. If you are a smoker or wear a lot of makeup or are in an unhealthy environment can lead to lack of oxygen to the skin. How can an oxygen facial help you? Allow me to tell you. Americans have had around 20,000 oxygen facials. An oxygen facial is a wonderful way to provide many benefits to your skin’s wellness. It can be used during the whole facial or at the end even. Oxygen facial are Who doesn’t want a wonderful, pampering ,and relaxing facial? I ask because very little of us want a facial that is harsh and full of noise and distractions. We can be told that we don’t need to have a facial even said to combat visible signs of aging linked to poor conveyance of oxygen from subcutaneous capillaries to the surface of the skin. They address the deficiency by delivering highly concentrated oxygen

molecules directly to the epidermis so you can put your BEST face forward. Oxygen facials can be used with a stream of high-pressurized oxygen infused with botanicals, vitamins, mineral, and nutrient extracts is applied to the face and neck. The oxygen absorbs the moisturizing agents into the skin for a smoother, plumper look, providing a healthy glow. Oxygen facials are becoming more popular and hip in the spa industry, appearing on many spa menus. These type of facials have become most popular when celebrities started being treated in the spa with oxygen. They boated about their ability to create plumper, and smoother skin, hiding imperfections and resulting in a more youthful appearance. This type of facial is a popular treatment to indulge in prior to a big event, and can be performed on all skin types.

Every person who can have a facial should, even those with the most beautiful skin.

Oxygen facials, as stated can be a beneficial add on conjoined with your facial. This will nourish the skin and stimulate new collagen growth. Oxygen infusions can include antibacterial, brightening, green tea, Vitamin C, and collagen. Oxygen facials are said to range from thorough pore cleaning to lightened hyperpigmentation. Oxygen is said to strengthen skin’s elasticity and help eliminate acne-causing bacteria as well as reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and even out skin tones, and diminish pores. Oxygen facials can be dome on both men and women and promises to offer benefits such as firming the skin, making expression lines less obvious, and improving blood flow and circulation to give your face more color and an improved complexion. Many people who experience the non232


surgical oxygen facial treatment see an immediate change in their appearance. Effects of this type of facial are said to last about two days..for best results, many spas will recommend a series of six treatments along a six week timeframe, followed up by monthly touch up visits.

good for your skin, then applying it directly to the surface of the skin is even better.

One of the major benefits of doing exercise is that it oxygenates your body, in which, in turn, then improves the health and appearance of your skin by providing cells with the oxygen they need to carry out their metabolic functions. Since the air we breathe is composed of 18% oxygen, you therefore oxygenate your body and skin with every breath you take. Oxygen facials are delivered to your skin through mist, mask, gel, or facial cream, and work on the basis that is oxygen in your body is

So by helping to restore the oxygen levels, you can help improve the health of your skin and delay the signs of aging. During the whole month of March, The Best You Spa and Life Coaching is offering a 6 treatment facial series with an Oxygen add on for only $350. That’s only $58 a treatment which is $30 off each treatment. Please contact us to book and reserve your appointment with The Best You Spa, as at The Best You Spa and Life Coaching, we want You to be the Best You that You can Be!

Some claim that if you want to remain looking young for as long as possible, then applying it directly to the surface of the skin is even better.


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Let me start out with one of my favorite quotes: “The scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love. Don’t give the scale more power than it has earned. Take note of the number, then get off the scale and live your life. You are beautiful!” – Steve Maraboli Too often we give into this invisible power that the scale somehow holds over us. I have worked with hundreds of women looking to get more fit, and the common theme for many of them is hitting this magical number on the scale. Our society has put such a pressure on us as women to look a certain way, and we naturally attach a number to how that looks. Just as the quote above states, take note of the number, then get off the scale and live your life. It is a simple measure. I have always believed there was more than meets the eye when it comes to weighing ourselves. This really started to sink in for me as a young competitive gymnast. I lucked out and had wonderful, informative coaches who explained to us that the scale is useless. If our performance started to decline, we were instructed to take a look at our 234


diets. Once I hit my growth spurt, this became even more evident to me. I had a tall physique from an early age and found energy to be a problem in our longer, more grueling practices. This was what sparked my early interest in understanding the impact that food can have on performance and also realizing that eating enough of the proper foods wouldn’t make me fat and would instead propel me through my practices and meets.

Not everyone has had the pleasure of having that same experience as I had growing up. In fact, it seems just the opposite. We are trained to think weight loss is all about eating less and moving more. To an extent, that may be true for some; however it can get much more complex than just that simple formula. Without getting into the complicated science behind it, there are many factors that can contribute to weight gain. Proper

sleep, hormone balance, stress levels, and age are some of the big ones. As we start to understand all of the pieces to the puzzle, we can start to focus on them and adjust as needed. Body composition is something we pay much more attention to with our members at Webster Fit Body Boot Camp. What is body composition? ‘Simply put, it is what your body is composed of! Looking at the ratio of body fat weight to lean weight and how that begins to shift is much more valuable than stepping on a scale. I have witnessed it several times where a client says, “The scale isn’t budging, but I am fitting much better in my clothes!” That indicates a shift in body composition. Lean mass may be starting to make an increase, while fat mass is lowering. This is ideal for maintaining results long-term. The biggest hurdle to overcome with this is the mind. Convincing clients that they are on the right track, even though the scale doesn’t reflect a change is happening. I often tell them just keep going! Your body loves muscle. It is a very metabolic tissue and can contribute to a much higher calorie burn on a daily basis. The more muscle we have, the easier it is to



{ FITBODY WITH MEGAN } What is body composition? ‘Simply put, it is what your body is composed of! Looking at the ratio of body fat weight to lean weight and how that begins to shift is much more valuable than stepping on a scale.

drop body fat, as well as obtain a more sculpted, toned physique. Side note – this is typically why men drop weight faster than women. They naturally have more muscle on their body. Not fair, I know – but the good news is that we can do something about it! Use more body resistance or weights! And not the dinky 2 pound ones either. Pick up something heavier for a change of pace. Make sure your form is not compromised by doing so to avoid

injury. Even in our high intensity interval workouts at WFBBC, we encourage the members to go outside of their comfort zone and go heavier, faster, stronger, etc. All while checking form and ensuring we are safely performing each exercise. With the ever increasing influences of social media these days, it is more important now than ever to understand the difference between body composition and just jumping on the scale and judging yourself

by the number you see. So maybe ditch the scale for a bit and grab a simple tape measure or just go by how your clothes are fitting. Body image and acceptance is a whole other topic, and a very important one, but starting here and understanding body composition and why we are working out and taking care of our bodies is a fundamental step in achieving overall fitness success!



Normally I fill my articles with healthy eating tips that are also layered in humor and jokes to keep us all light hearted. This article I wanted to get serious for a moment and its regarding the future of our world-the children. Obesity is a huge problem. The numbers are rising. The folks that are overweight are staggering and its not only affecting those people that are obese and unhealthy but also the little people around them, their children. As I continue to eat healthy and exercise throughout my pregnancy, I am researching more on things to avoid or ways to exercise that are better as I get farther along. My main goal when finding out I was expecting was to be even healthier than I was before and really clean my life of any bad habits! I wanted to avoid all toxins and I am planning on continuing that even after the baby is born. Freeing myself from caffeine or other chemicals has been liberating and again I will continue this lifestyle after the birth of my child. I watched an amazing but shocking and scary documentary on HBO. It was called Healthy Mom-Healthy Baby. It was explaining how women who are overweight even before conceiving a baby, have pretty much set the path for the children, health wise. These children are more likely to have a higher body mass index if their mother also has a high-unhealthy body mass. These are not just accusations- these are factual statements. I wanted to list some quotes from this documentary for you all to read. They interviewed doctors and also mothers who were obese. Most of these women were shocked and did not think they even had a weight issue or that they could affect their baby-not just themselves. 238


I felt I needed to discuss this topic so strongly after watching this documentary because I can’t help but think that most women do not realize they are not only affecting themselves but the future of their child. I think watching something like this could help some try to change their lifestyle because they know it could negatively affect their child’s life and the children’s future health. Again, these are direct quotes from the HBO Documentary “Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby.”

“Being overweight coming into a pregnancy can actually have a lot of metabolic implications for the mother which is an increase risk of pre-eclampsia which could cause seizures in pregnant women and possibly resulting in still born babies. “A mothers weight also contributes to her child’s risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes” “The higher the body mass index of the woman, the more likely the child will be obese”

“The impact actually begins before conception. It starts with the preconception health of a woman before she even gets pregnant.” Overall I can’t help to think that with the increase of women struggling to conceive, even at ages under 35, that weight and health does not come into play with these figures and the issues they are now commonly having. With the increase of obese women and men, there is a connection. I never thought a baby would be affected negatively by an overweight mother. I thought if anything it would only be after they are born and follow bad eating habits and become less active if the parents are also that way. I never thought these children would also be impacted before they are born and again while their mothers go through their pregnancy term (preconception and during conception). I hope you all take the time to watch this documentary. We need to make our health a main focus in our lives. Eating right and exercising is so crucial in your well being but also the children you plan on bringing into this world. The only way to learn more about our own issues is by research and teaching ourselves how to better the lives we live. Finding ways to make small and also big changes to be healthier. To try to eliminate those things that are hurting our good progresses or negatively impacting our health-mentally and physically Please take care of yourself and know you only have one body and one life. We should be treating our body as if it is the most valuable possession, because it is! Much love and well wishes to you all!! Tracy~





History is defined as a “series of past events connected with someone or something.” I was somewhat surprised to find that the word HERSTORY is present in renowned dictionaries with a definition of “history from a feminist perspective.” The use of “feminist” struck a chord with me, due its stereotypical use. There were no courses in Women’s Studies as I was progressing through the educational system. They were unnecessary as I lived through that era. I experienced the corporate inequalities, the comments of ignorant males and females and occasional bias being a single working mom.

it was merely a string of day after day routine, though I truly enjoyed raising my daughters and seeing them become the strong women they are today. I think many of us live the same way, thinking our days are not extraordinary

A memorable few years of my life were chronicled in my book, Fox in the Box – Memoirs of a Carnie Ticket Seller. I chose to put these memories on paper as a legacy for my two daughters who experienced this life with me, and found the telling of these memories cathartic. As a tribute to my father, I published under my maiden name, K.L. Stone. Now, fourteen years later, I find that many who have read my stories want and expect more, and the process of capturing the years before and after the carnie life is underway. Feedback from readers ranged from “This was you?” to “I don’t know how you did it.” As I ponder other phases of my HERSTORY, I realize I heard that same “I don’t know how you did it” time and time again. I always thought my life was normal, nothing at all remarkable. Yet others find it interesting, often amusing and sometimes inspirational. To me, 240


Sites like are extremely popular. The desire to learn about our heritage is still growing. But the DNA background will be so much more meaningful decades from now if there are stories written by those who lived them. I feel it is imperative that women record those pieces of their personal HERSTORY for future generations. If you have the energy and inclination to draft your autobiography, then do so. If your ambitions are not so driven, think of a few phases of your life that are important to you – birth of a child, loss of a child, death of a loved one, career successes, whatever you choose. Talk to your children and see what tales they remember you telling that interested them. If you don’t want to type them, then speak them into a recorder. But create them. Make your personal HERSTORY a legacy for those you love now and those future generations that will never meet you but want to know you.

at all. We are putting one foot in front of the other, moving along. It is only as we look back that we realize we have some astonishing moments in our personal HERSTORIES and I encourage each of you to capture them in writing or voice recording as a legacy for your children.

March is National Women’s Histor y Month, with International Women’s Day on March 8th as the focal point. International Women’s Day has existed for a century or more, but National Women’s History Month has an origin in the 1980’s in the US. It is up to all of us to support one another, encourage the telling, retelling and documentation of our HERSTORIES. I for one, would treasure a smile from a grandchild generations from now who might come upon my HERSTORY.

{ A WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE } International Women’s Day has existed for a century or more, but National Women’s History Month has an origin in the 1980’s in the US. It is up to all of us to support one another, encourage the telling, retelling and documentation of our HERSTORIES.





This month I want to discuss the differences in foundations in hopes it’ll help everyone find the best fit for them. The key thing to remember is that, as women, our skin is always changing (thanks hormones). Each time of the year we may need a different foundation and moisturizer dependant on your needs. Please note that for any type of skin, you need to be moisturized; the most moisturized skin is the best skin.

CC cream, Color Correcting cream or Cover and Correct cream. They have all the same benefits of a BB cream but a little more coverage to correct blemishes or dark spots on the skin. This product coverage is best described as the step before foundation. I find anyone can

Let’s start with tinted moisturizers, BB creams and CC creams. Tinted moisturizer is exactly as it sounds, a tinted moisturizer. Its main purpose is to moisturize the skin with very little coverage. Some even have an SPF so it’s a nice addition to someone with minimal issues on blemish control or skin imperfections. BB creams or Beauty Balms are almost an all in one stop shop. It moisturizes with some brightening properties, primes, has SPF and a fuller coverage than tinted moisturizers. They have more tone ranges like foundations do. BB creams are for someone that still wants a lighter coverage but has more concerns with every area of their skin and might need a little more coverage in certain parts of their skin. Lastly is the 244


concerns going on or in the summer months when I want the least amount of product on my skin. Foundations are also made with different types of coverage. But, lets start out learning about powder foundations. Powder foundations even out the skin and really help absorb oils our skin produces. This foundation needs to be used with a sponge or brush. If you want to use a sponge or kabuki brush you can build this coverage to more of a medium coverage whereas a fluffy brush will really provide a soft coverage on the face. This type of foundation is ideal for oily or young skins as powder settles into fine lines and wrinkles, only making them stand out more. Or if in the summer you need a little help during the day, brush a swipe of this on and you are oil control covered.

use this product, but it’s popular with anyone who might have acne concerns or oily skin concerns as it really tries to correct it. I personally use all these products whenever I don’t have skin

Medium coverage foundation is typically in the “liquid foundation” family. What is amazing in this day and age of beauty, they have full coverage liquid foundation as well. I still find it takes a few layers to really build to that full coverage, but I love the feel of a liquid on my




{{ LET’S LET’S MAKE MAKE YOU YOU BLUSH BLUSH }} Think about your age, your skin concerns, and you’ll find the right product for you in any season.

skin. The beauty of liquid foundations is also that so many brands have skin care jam packed inside. I sometimes notice with my entire skin care routine, I’ll try a foundation and my skin starts to get even better. If you have oily or dry skin, brands have come up with a solution for you in the liquid foundation department. Anti –aging concerned? Yep, liquid foundations for you too, if you feel like you need more of that medium coverage. Lastly, cream foundations are the highest 246


coverage foundations. They aren’t so popular anymore and this is why. Concealer and foundation are actually the same product. They are both cream and high coverage. But, with the way our industry needs to make a product for everyone (overall sales driven), over time we have dumbed the product down to liquids, powders and moisturizers. When I am working on a bride or special event, I actually only use cream. I use the same palette for foundation and concealer giving my client the highest coverage to last all day. I really don’t recommend this

foundation anymore unless you are in need of ultimate coverage and for a look to last all day. It is harder to work with, and thankfully we have so many other products now to meet anyone’s needs. I hope this guide helps you understand more of the foundation world. There are so many options now when you walk into any store that it can be overwhelming. Think about your age, your skin concerns, and you’ll find the right product for you in any season.


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6 Ways to Fashion Jewelry Health BY CHRISTINA WOFFORD

Since I started my business in fashion Jewelry aka costume jewelry. I always wondered how to take good care of my costume jewelry now that I am a business owner in the Jewelry industry I have a renewed sense of how to exactly do that. Let me share with you six easy not so common-sense steps that I found to be very helpful.

your skin from scratches, discoloration, and possible injury.


As silly as this may sound you need to to keep the costume jewelry clean them, or at least wipe them down with a soft cloth to remove product residues and sweat that accelerates oxidation. Avoid


Yo u w a n t t o remember to keep your jewelry dry and clean. Make sure to always remove your jewelry before applying creams, perfume or when you wash your hands. Whether it is a necklace, ring, bracelet or earrings, exposing fashion jewelry to any type of cream, lotion, perfume, oil or even water is an undeniable accelerator of tarnishing.


2. Since the costume

jewelry is relatively affordable. You want to give your Fashion Jewelry from time to time a break, for it is not meant to be worn every day. This will slow down on the discoloring. With this in mind, you may consider purchasing multiple pieces in different colors and style to go along with your every changing daily wardrobe.

3. .Remember to remove your costume

jewelry if you no longer have a need to wear it or change your pieces at the end of the day. You never want to sleep with your jewelry on. You want to protect 248


not be a thought but it critical to the care and longevity of your fashion jewelry. Ways to store your jewelry: In jewelry boxes, pouches, loose in a drawer. We do not always know, but the best way to prevent tarnishing, chipping, knots in chains and breakage is to store fashion jewelry individually, for example in cotton or velvet pouches. Fashion necklaces should vertically hang on hooks and the pieces of costume jewelry should not be in contact with one another and especially not with your precious jewelry that could suffer from corrosion. If you have a large jewelry box or a jewelry armoire, perfect, if not, choose another system.

at all cost avoid cleaning in your jewelry, since cleaners may be used that contain acid, alcohol, vinegar or ammonia, they can damage your jewelry, and always make sure that your jewelry is completely clean and dry before storing!


Storing your costume jewelry may

Ok, one last tip: Remember hearing this “ coat your costume jewelry..� We l l , t h i s m a y actually do more harm than good. The BEST way to coat your costume jewelry is to use clear nail polish (like a top coat) on the inside of your fashion rings to protect them. This is a personal preference, of course. Christina Wofford Owner of GlamorousJewelz Independent Consultant Paparazzi Accessories



Acupuncture has been around for a long time. The practice of using needles, pressure, massage, and heat to treat disease and improve health began in China over 2,000 years ago. From there it spread to Korea, Japan, Vietnam and eventually to Europe. Acupuncture has been practiced in the US since the 1800’s. Today professional Licensed Acupuncturists (LAc) who have completed at least four and a half years of training and passed a national examination provide acupuncture services.

that help the acupuncturist understand your situation from a holistic point of view are asked. The acupuncturist will take your pulses, examine your tongue and press on the acupuncture points and channel pathways to understand how best to treat your condition. The acupuncture needle itself is very fine with a



Acupuncturists will also stimulate the points with heat (using lamps, hot packs or other methods), or with pressure and rubbing. Cupping, which provides therapeutic suction to free tissue and restore circulation is also used. After the treatment you’ll be encouraged to stay warm and out of drafts and to take it easy for the rest of the day.

What is acupuncture? Traditionally acupuncture is based on the idea that a vital substance “qi” (“chee”) flows throughout the body along with blood. Qi and blood provide nourishment and energy to all the body systems. When a disease or injury affects health, this flow can be disturbed, diminished, or restricted. Acupuncture is used to restore the normal healthy flow of qi and blood. Through trial and error about 360 acupuncture points were discovered and described 2000 years ago. Each point has specific functions based on the idea that it can influence the flow of qi and blood within the body. Additionally, acupuncture is thought to influence the “spirit” or the patient’s psycho-emotional state. From a modern perspective we know that acupuncture can affect the circulatory system, the endocrine system, the immune system and the behavior of muscle tissue. Acupuncture can help tight muscles relax and cause weakened muscle tissue to become more active. While acupuncture is well known to treat pain, acupuncture also can benefit the digestive system and the respiratory system and produce useful changes in the brain and nervous system. What happens at an acupuncture treatment? The Licensed Acupuncturist will take a health history and ask you many of the questions that a doctor would ask. Additional questions

using low voltage electric current or warming them. These techniques can be very effective for reducing pain and improving the body’s function.

tapered tip. It is not as thick as the needle used for injections and unlike the injection needle it does not cut the skin. Inserting the needle can be painless or produce a slight pricking sensation. Where the needles are inserted depends on the condition being treated. Once the needles are in, the experience can be very relaxing. Some patients will fall asleep. Depending on the situation the needles may be stimulated by gently twisting them,

What can acupuncture treat? Many conditions can be helped by acupuncture. Consultation with a qualified acupuncturist is the best way to understand how acupuncture can help you. The following is a short list of conditions where there is research supporting the use of acupuncture: Allergic Rhinitis Asthma Cancer pain Cancer related fatigue Chronic Fatigue Fibromyalgia Constipation IBS Headache Migraine Obesity Restless leg syndrome

Anxiety PTSD Insomnia Depression Menstrual Pain Irregular Menses Labor pain Back or pelvic pain during pregnancy Menopausal hot flashes Perimenopausal & postmenopausal insomnia Neck pain

From a modern perspective we know that acupuncture can affect the circulatory system, the endocrine system, the immune system and the behavior of muscle tissue.

TMJ pain Shoulder pain Elbow pain Low back pain Sciatica Heel pain Is there science behind acupuncture? Acupuncture has been the object of rigorous scientific investigation for over 40 years in the US. Over 4000 clinical trials have been conducted and reported. There is strong evidence to support acupuncture’s role in pain, mental health and wellness as well as other conditions. The Department of Veterans Affairs recently produced a report on acupuncture research. publications/esp/acupuncture.cfm

What about “herbs”? Many Licensed Acupuncturists are extensively trained in the use of herbal supplements and natural products with a long history of medicinal use. Your clinician will advise you if herbs or supplements would be useful. They will conduct a medication history to be sure that drug-herb interactions are avoided. Herbs can be taken in pill or powder form or prepared as a tea.

of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) has a “Find a Practitioner Directory” This lets you find Licensed Acupuncturists who have met the standards for national certification. You can use the New York State Education Department’s verification service to check that an acupuncturist is licensed http://

Finding a Licensed Acupuncturist Going to the webpage of the Acupuncture Society of New York and using their “Find an Acupuncturist Service” find-an-acupuncturist/#!directory will help find an acupuncturist in your area. The National Commission for the Certification

How much does it cost? Acupuncture visits can range from $70 to $200 depending on the services provided. Some acupuncturists accept different types of insurance. Dr. Marnae C. Ergil, MA, DACM, Dipl. OM (NCCAOM) LAc


6385 State Route 96 Suite 210 Phoenix Mills Plaza Victor, NY 14564 Call: 585 210-8796 Follow me on Facebook Book online: Dr. Ergil is a New York State Licensed Acupuncturist. Marnae has practiced acupuncture and Chinese herbology for 20 years. Marnae holds a MS in Oriental Medicine and a Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. She is a Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, Board certified in Acupuncture and in Chinese Herbology by NCCAOM. Marnae works with all types of patients. She has advanced training in treating women's diseases, children, skin conditions, and pain.

Acupuncture can help with: · · · · · · · · · · · ·

Allergic Rhinitis Asthma Cancer pain Cancer related fatigue Chronic Fatigue Fibromyalgia Constipation IBS Headache Migraine Obesity Restless leg syndrome

· · · · · · · ·

Anxiety PTSD Insomnia Depression Menstrual Pain Irregular Menses Labor pain Back or pelvic pain during pregnancy

· ·

· · · · · · ·

Menopausal hot flashes Perimenopausal & postmenopausal insomnia Neck pain TMJ pain Shoulder pain Elbow pain Low back pain Sciatica Heel pain

Bring out the family to walk, run or just cheer!

2nd Annual

To benefit the Autism Council of Rochester and law enforcement autism training programs.

Saturday, April 21, 2018 Registration starts at 8:20. Race starts at 9:00. Public Safety Training Facility 1190 Scottsville Road, Rochester, NY 14624 $30 to pre-register - REQUIRED Kids under 16 are a $15 donation (kids 5 & under are free).

REGISTER TODAY AT Questions? Email us at



It’s a new year, let’s move on! Your past, what does this mean? Your past is what shaped you, taught you and brought you to this very place right now. Your past absolutely had to happen in order for you to be who you are, good or bad. Some people can’t grasp how that is a good thing, but trust me, you will see that without your past, you wouldn’t have gotten to this point in your life. Let’s say you had a perfect past, daisies and butterflies all the time. You never felt pain or discomfort and life was a dream. Although this may seem ideal, it would not have taught you anything. You must learn to feel pain in order to grow as a human. You must know how to feel it, accept it and move past it so that you can become a stronger person in the face of adversity. What if your past was horrible and painful? Your life was sad and scary with no sign of happiness. Does this make you a better or worse person than the person who had the perfect past? It simply makes you who you are. You will likely be stronger than the person who have never felt pain or sadness. You decide what kind of person you will be, not anyone else or anyone’s behavior can determine that. These are questions only you can answer. You have the power to change anything you want or don’t want to happen in your life. Just remember, as my Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo says, “Your past is over. The only way your past exists at all is in your thought about it now. Otherwise, it doesn’t affect you in 254


any way. Your thought right now about your past does affect you.” And what she means is that if you keep recycling your past thoughts, you will end up in a spin cycle of negativity. Past thoughts cause past results, over and over, if you let them. Your past is your story about your life and the past is over, but your thoughts about your past are what live on. Remember, each person’s experience about how their life played out is different

than the next. If you have any siblings, you can talk to your brother or sister about things that happened in the past, and they may be like, “what are you talking about? That never happened. That wasn’t my experience of it at all.” Each person’s experience is based on how they perceived the event. You, however, may be recycling your negative thoughts from the past and putting a negative spin on an event that someone else may not have found as bothersome. Another person may see it differently because they could be looking at the

same exact experience in a positive way, pulling out only the things that made them feel good about it. So, it is a new year and a new opportunity to create your life in the way that you want it to be. Try thinking new thoughts about every situation. Try shaping your future in a way that feels good and makes you happy. Realize that other people’s lives and troubles do not belong to you. Each person must be responsible for their own life. Only you can be in charge of your own life and how you live it, how you think about it and how you choose to handle it. As I have said before, can you image if depending on other people’s behavior determined your happiness… happy would you really be? That is why YOU must be in control of yourself and your life. I am a firm believer in writing things down. Use sheets of paper or a journal, but write down your thoughts, plans or desires for your future. Somehow, putting pen to paper and reading what you have written down makes it more valid. It is almost like a contract. Even reading what you wrote the next day changes your thought about it. Thoughts are fleeting and get lost many times. But having your thoughts on paper can be very useful and a recipe for success! If you want to learn more about this concept, check out my web page and sign up for the free mini session. We can chat about how I can help you.\

{ SPECIAL FEATURE } Realize that other people’s lives and troubles do not belong to you. Each person must be responsible for their own life.













I’ve been a Licensed Massage Therapist for the past 9 years and have watched the alternative medicine world change from “Woo Woo” medicine to “Don’t Do Surgery Till You Try An Alternative Treatment.” It’s an exciting field to be in at this point in time. The polls from 2016 say that 90% of people turn to massage for pain relief over the relaxation benefits of massage. In 2017, the American Medical Journal announced that the number one cure for low back pain was alternative medicine, including massage therapy. This is a major step in medicine. I’ve done close to if not more then 15,000 massages in my massage career and the number one reason that people come in for is upper back, neck and shoulder pain. The second reason people come in for is low back and sciatic nerve pain. For both issues I tend to look at them as one entity, because they play off of one another because of the myofascial slings of the body. When one part of the body moves another part of the body must compensate for that movement. With that being said, the goal of the massage therapist or any manual therapist is to find the piece that isn’t functioning correctly. A lot of the body’s pain can truly be traced back to the center of the body, the core muscles, not just any core muscles but the deep and centralized core muscles. Three in particular, the psoas (major and minor- missing in 50% of the population one or both sides), the iliacus, and the quadratus lumborum. The psoas major is divided into a superficial and a deep part. The psoas originates on the transverse processes of T12-L2 and the lateral aspects of the discs between them. The insertion is the lesser trochanter of the femur. The psoas major joins the upper body and the lower body. This is the only 258


muscle that attaches the appendicular skeleton to the axial skeleton. This muscle helps with hip flexion and extension and hip internal and external rotation. This muscle attaches with the iliacus and forms the iliopsoas. The Iliacus originates on the upper two thirds of iliac fossa on the interior side of the hip bone, and from the region of the anterior inferior iliac spine (AIIS). It inserts on the base of the lesser trochanter of the femur. This muscle helps in upper left flexion, like walking, jogging, running, or marching. This muscle causes pain in the medial low back along the spine into the gluteal region, the upper front portion of the thigh, it has also been noted to cause pain below the patella. The other major muscle that causes a lot of low back pain is the Quadratus Lumborum (QL). The QL is a posterior abdominal wall muscle. It is the deepest of the abdominal muscles but it is commonly referred to as a back muscle. The origin of this muscle is the posterior border of the iliac crest. The insertion is the inferior border of the 12th rib and iliolumbar ligament and the transverse processes of L1-L4. The QL is responsible for four different movements: lateral flexion of the vertebral column, extension of the lumbar column, fixes the 12th rib during forced expiration also assists in inhalation, and elevates the ilium. The QL is a common source of low back pain because it connects the pelvis to the spine. The pain pattern of the QL is the medial lower back along the spine in right into the medial portion of the gluteal region to the attachment site of the hamstrings. The pain will also wrap around the hip region to the front of the groin. As you can see with looking at the pain patterns of all three muscles they actually overlap one another, which can make it

difficult to figure out which muscle is the culprit. I personally find that each one plays off of one another and its usually all three that are the problem at one point or another. If those muscles aren’t the culprit or if they aren’t the only culprits in a particular case, I will also start looking out farther into the gluteal muscles, because of course those muscles pain patterns are very similar to the above muscles. I will also treat the hamstrings, hip flexors and adductors and maybe even the abductors just to cover the basis of the leg pain. I will also start going upwards in the erector spinae group (spinalus, longissimus, iliocostalis). There are 15-20 different muscles that have a specific pain pattern that could be cause the low back pain. It all depends on where the pain is being felt by the client and trying to map it back to its origin. This tends to take multiple sessions, with each session bringing the pain to a more centralized location. There are multiple tools that can be used like trigger point therapy and myofascial release techniques or muscle energy and stretching techniques. I tell my clients that pain management is a job and a life style change. You have to find the pieces that fit into the puzzle. It may mean getting a massage every week or every other week for a few months and getting to a nice maintenance program of once a month. Or going to a chiropractor and have the joints manipulated. It might mean going to a physical therapist for an exercise program to help strengthen the muscles. There might also be an easy solution as fixing your desk set up at work, or putting a pillow behind your back when sitting, or a pillow between your knees while sleeping. Finding the pieces that fit the puzzle and sticking with those pieces is key to pain management of any kind.







DOGS & HOTS WHAT COULD BE BETTER? Mike and I are out on the hunt for small diners in Rochester, this year, that if you don’t know that they are there you would never know that they were there. As we all know, Rochester is well known for being the birth place of the garbage plate. Anyone who lives in Rochester has at least tried one or two in their lifespan. Some of us love them and some of us hate them. I person do not like mixing my food, but Mike is all for them. Garbage plates are all about mixing home fries, mac salad, burgers and hot sauce, sometimes you can get them with hot dogs as well. We were out late one night and trying to decide where to eat and who would be open. We both started listing off places that we knew of and then I remembered a place that I hadn’t been to in 9 years, dogTown! Mike had also been there probably around the same time. We aren’t normally in the area of Monroe Ave looking for food, but we couldn’t pass up seeing how the place had changed over the years. We pulled up in the parking lot to a full parking lot, which I remember was always full when I went there. We found a spot and made our way into the very familiar diner to thankfully find that it had not changed. Even the menu was exactly the way I remembered it. You walk in to a packed diner with people chit chatting and having a great time while they ate their food. The walls are plastered with pictures of people’s pet dogs. You can drop off a picture of your dog and they will hang it up on the walls.

As you can imagine by the name dogTown that this place would be serving hot dogs, and you are correct, but not any kind of hot dog but a foot-long hot dog on and crispy roll with pretty much any kind of topping you are looking for. I call this a real hot dog garbage plate. My favorite part of their menu is that all of their specialty hot dogs are named after dogs. You have the Cincinnati Red Dog that is the classic chili cheese dog. Then you have the Rhodesian Ridgeback that is a hot dog with coleslaw, grilled tomatoes and melted provolone. There’s the Greek Stray, the Irish Setter, the Coyote, they have 18 different specialty dogs. My absolute favorite is the Boston Terrier. This hot dog has 2 strips of bacon, baked beans, and their specialty dogTown sauce. I am not one who enjoys mixing my food, but I will always make an exception. Yummy is all I have to say about that. DogTown also serves what they call a Junkyard Dog Plate, White hots, Soups, Sandwiches, and they have a full vegan menu including grilled Portobello sandwich and a three-bean veggie chili. So if you are looking for a garbage plate, a hot dog, or vegan friendly place to eat, Mike and I suggest taking a drive to Monroe Ave checking out dogTown. No matter what you order you will not be disappointed. dogTown 691 Monroe Ave Rochester, NY 14607




No Task (or Cast) Too Small: Avery the Baby Chinchilla BYASHLEY ZEH

There is no task, or as it would happen, cast, too small for the clinic to tackle at Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester. Avery, a 1-month-old baby chinchilla, arrived at the shelter in early February. This tiny critter, already delicate due to his age and size, was in rough shape. His admitter decided to surrender Avery for his own safety. Avery was bred at home and sadly, his mother had been rather rough with the baby and had a history of biting him. A few days before coming to Lollypop Farm, Avery’s hind foot had been severely injured, and several of his tiny toes were missing. He was also underweight, even for his size. “Avery came to us malnourished – he was unable to get the milk he needed from his mother,” said Dr. Ann Marie McNamara, Veterinarian at Lollypop Farm.

Scared and likely in pain, Avery clung to a small fluffy hedgehog toy in his cage for comfort. He had several small puncture wounds on his thorax and abdomen that were already in the process of healing. Avery would need to be anesthetized in order to examine the extent of his injuries and attempt to clean his damaged foot – a process that can be potentially dangerous for an animal of his size and age, the fear being that they might not successfully wake back up. Once under anesthesia, Avery’s tiny foot was carefully cleaned and bandaged. “It has to have been the smallest cast I’ve ever done,” said McNamara. Avery made it through his first procedure, and his second. Now his bandages are changed weekly to make sure that his foot continues to heal. Because of how delicate and sensitive

Avery is, he has to be put under each time his bandages are removed and his wounds are examined, a process that continues to be tenuous for him. Every pet, no matter how small, deserves a second chance. While Lollypop Farm is still uncertain what the future holds for Avery, the veterinary team is doing everything in their power to give him the best care possible, and try to get him out of the woods. Once Avery is strong enough, he will go into foster care with an experienced chinchilla owner while he continues to grow, and maybe one day will be ready to find a happy home of his own.




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Julie Donofrio (Julie Dee) is a comedian and writer. Her advice is for entertainment purposes, and is generally not helpful or useful. Follow it at your own risk.


Dear Julie Dee, I have lost four pounds since January, six times. The pounds go, but always come back. Last week, I decided I needed more exercise, so I went to the gym three times. Now I have gained back five pounds! I can gain pounds just sitting on my couch and binging on Netflix and snacks. Should I quit going to the gym or what? How can I make the weight get off and stay off? Chubby in Chili Dear Chubby, What did you do when you lost the four pounds, any or all of the six times? I suggest you do more of whatever that is. Going to the gym seems like a lot of work, and I agree that binge watching Netflix and snacking sounds like a better option for gaining weight. This is a great weigh gaining tip, thank you for sharing it. There’s always a slim chance that someone might want to know how to do such a thing. Dear Julie Dee, We want to have another child, but aren’t sure if we’ll be able to afford it. My wife is an only child, and feels strongly that our 2 year old son should have a sibling. We both have good jobs, and very little debt besides our mortgage. My mother is retired and provides free daycare; she has already offered to watch both of the kids if we have another baby. I just want to be 100 % sure that we’ll have enough financial security to provide for our children in the future, and since I can’t predict the future I don’t know how to make sure that we’ll always have everything our family needs. How do other people make sure that they can afford all of their children? Cautious in Clarkson Dear Cautious, Only have kids who have jobs or trust funds. These are the only known foolproof ways to ensure that you only have children you can afford. However, if you can’t find a baby that



comes with a trust fund or a job, free grandma daycare is the next best thing. Dear Julie Dee, My neighbor is constantly in my yard when I’m not home. He rakes leaves into my yard, shovels snow from his driveway into mine, and helps himself to vegetables in my garden. The nice, elderly lady across the street, Mrs. Kravitz, has told me that she saw him in my yard several times, but since he only does his trespassing when I’m not home, I don’t know if I should confront him, or what to say if I do. Can you help? Invaded in Irondequoit Dear Invaded, He might deny that he’s been in your yard, or become defensive if you confront him directly. I recommend that when you see him outside, politely ask him if he’s seen anyone near your yard, as you suspect someone has been trespassing (which is a great word, and also lets him know that you know there’s a law about this). If he claims not to know anything, simply say that you’re installing a new surveillance system but would appreciate it if he lets you know if he sees anything from now on. Also let him know that you have other neighbors keeping an eye on your property. If he still wanders into your yard uninvited, you can always get a big, scary dog and an invisible fence. Dear Julie Dee, I like fresh vegetables, and my stingy neighbor has a nice garden with tons of veggies and lives by herself. I don’t see anything wrong with taking a few things when I want a salad, and am actually doing her a favor. All those extra vegetables might go to waste if it wasn’t for me. The nosy old lady across the street says that I shouldn’t go into anyone else’s lawn without permission, but I think she should mind her own business and let me be helpful and also let me enjoy a good salad once in a while. What do you think? Irritated in Irondequoit Dear Irritated, I think I got a lot of mail from your neighborhood. Please give my regards to Mrs. Kravitz. Oh, and stay in your own yard. Haven’t you ever heard of trespassing?










All one has to do is go into any fast food restaurant and you will no longer see a person, but a machine. Simply touch the screen and customize your sandwich. This isn’t a new idea, its been around for a few years. It really started at some of the bigger box stores. In order to keep costs down, they cut back on cashiers, and have 4-6 registers open, with one person helping out when a problem arises. They have an additional person at the door checking your cart to make sure everything is paid for. We go from 6 people to 2. Not a bad cost savings for the company. But what is the cost of lost customer service? We can go back even further and discuss the lack of an operator when you call a 1800 number. You end up getting so frustrated you continually hit the pound button or 0 hoping you will eventually reach a real live person. To add insult to an already frustrating situation, when you go on a website and look for a phone number, and only find a contact us email link. No phone number, no person to actually speak to now, just an email. We as a humans need to be heard, we want to reach out and discuss our problem or issue while we are frustrated. We don’t want to sit on it waiting for a response, getting more and more mad. Just handle it and we will be happy, but when we have to search and search for the ever elusive live operator we just become even more annoyed. Now don’t get me wrong, the next generation of consumers has no idea what a live operator is, to them this is an extinct animal to be seen on google. They are tech savvy individuals who prefer to just text or instant 270


message their concerns verses actually speaking to someone. They were raised on technology, it is their friend. But with The Silent Generation, Baby Boomer Generation, Generation X (Baby Bust),and Xennials, all these generations born 19251985, did not grow up using technology. To

them change can be difficult and frustrating. They need to be taken care of not in the most convenient way to the company, but in the most convenient way to the consumer. If they continue to be ignored, disaster will happen, lost customers. Remember Me?

Author Unknown I’m the person who asks: “How long is the wait?” You tell me ten minutes…. but it gets very late I’m the person who sees: The whole staff loiters While my waitress does everything But take my order. I’m the person who says: “That’s not what I ordered… but its O.K. I’ll eat it anyway.” I’m the person who calls: To see if my lost item was found And all I get is a run around. I’m the person who leaves: With a slight frown Cause the hostess is nowhere to be found. I’m the person who should: Write a negative letter But feel it wouldn’t make anything better. Yes, you might say that I’m a good guy… That I understand that you kind of try. But, please read on and you will see… That there’s another side of me. I’m the person who Never comes back Because of something you tend to lack. It amuses me to see you spending Thousands of dollars on ads never ending

{ SHIFT+CONTROL } We as a humans need to be heard, we want to reach out and discuss our problem or issue while we are frustrated. We don’t want to sit on it waiting for a response, getting more and more mad.

In an effort to get me back into your place When you hardly even remember my face.

Instead of just offering one cashier, keep four or five lines open.

In order to keep me as a guest I have but one simple little request… When I am here all you have to do Is giving me the service I’m entitled to.

On your website, prominently display your phone number, let us call you from time to time. In the restaurant or store, let us know who the management is, don’t hide in the back office, stop at our table and ask us how we are doing. Walk around and engage the shoppers. If we are busy our body language will let you know, but we will appreciate you making the effort. You see unlike the newest generations who have yet to grasp the idea of loyalty, we were raised on the belief that if you treat us right, we will stay forever. A quick answer from you on how you can fix the situation will garner you a customer for life. Listen to us, solve our problem that is all we ask. We are from the generations who

Simply put, in order to take care of us, do not make it difficult for us to communicate with you. Yes you can still have your automated selfcheck outs, sometimes we like to run in quick and skip the line. But we also want to option of having someone else look up the number for our banana’s. We miss the chatting with the cashier as he or she is ringing up our salad, especially when we want to know what’s in that salad because of our allergies, or dislikes.

went to the same dentist for years, the same store to buy our favorite loaf of bread. Yes we use the internet and can shop far and wide, we still crave the human experience. Give it to us and we will always come back. Angella Luyk is a national award-winning business owner at Angella Luyk LLC, Midnight Janitorial, and One Stop Janitorial and Office Supply. She understands what business owners go through and wants to help end the struggles with proven techniques. For more information check out her website or send her an email Bring her donuts and she will provide the coffee. Connect with her today and start taking your business to the next level.





My son sent me a card many years ago, which for me is priceless. He wrote: “Mom, you have successfully transformed yourself so many times with great success. Sure, there were times you stumbled and even failed but I’ve never known you to quit anything. It’s amazing! I am proud to have you as a role model. Thanks for what I’ve learned from you.” I cherish this personal testimony. Perhaps that was my first TURN to begin living my passion as life coach. I’ve taken several paths on the road to life coach that enable me to uniquely relate to and support a client’s needs. I have transformed myself many times. That’s why I understand uncertainty, challenges, and the importance of living your values and passion. I’ve gone from food stamps to a graduate degree and started three businesses. In between, I worked for large and small companies and been fortunate to provide domestic and international coaching and training. I have a passion for working with people and sharing a plethora of tools and experience I’ve acquired over many life turns… • a “first” female police cadet • administrator of a women’s work release center • taught in higher education • delivered career outplacement services • conducted management coaching • survived & thrived after divorce • consulted & implemented workshops on: assertiveness, stress management, communication, negotiation, interviewing, behavioral styles (DISC), career change, faculty teaching development, teambuilding, leadership, humor, time management & more • earned recognition in real estate sales I found purpose, success and reward but certainly faltered in many of those endeavors. Yet, it was not as meaningful as what I hoped to embrace. In hindsight, I realize I wound up in a lot of different places because of what other people thought I should be doing. 272



Things took a major TURN when I found fervor and started as a life coach in 2000. I discovered meaning purpose and passion. It was my TURN to live my passion…my TURN to live my values and do what I want. You are entitled to YOUR TURN, too. Maybe it’s YOUR TURN to make a career shift or perhaps it’s YOUR TURN to become more assertive or YOUR TURN to take a new path. Maybe you’re not sure what it is. Together we can find YOUR TURN! One thing I know for sure, it’s about YOU, not me I’m deeply passionate about life coaching, which

and energy from my tiny, mighty, mother who always worked a full time and part time job and came home to wallpaper a room or read a classic novel. A lot of people know me as a top producer for Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. I’ve represented and serviced many of the most wonderful people in the world! Some have become close friends. It’s not just selling houses. Annually, I dress up for Santa’s visit to our Pittsford office and delight in engaging believers. I have as much fun as the lil’ ones when I ask their name and tell them, “Santa was asking if Max would be here tonight.” Then they shiver with excitement. Joy! One of my other passions is Flower City Habitat for Humanity - Women Build. My team, The Hammerheads, builds a home, along with other women’s teams. The selected prospective homeowner(s) also builds and must qualify for a mortgage. It’s the best, and the hardest work you ever do! Give me shout about joining our team, Hammerheads, and/ or donating. It’s a hand up, not a hand out!

I’ve engaged for 20+ years. And, fiercely excited about online group coaching in which there is a different topic every 4 to 6 weeks. It’s highly affordable and convenient on a software platform where we all see and engage each other as if we were in the same room. You can be at home on your laptop, in your jammies, or anywhere on a device to participate. Currently, I’m offering a series on Productive Conflict. Upcoming series will be on “Life Balance,” “Getting What You Want Without Being a Jerk,” and more.


Two revenue streams have been common for me and never conflicted. I inherited that model

It’s YOUR TURN! If you want to make a change in your life now, it’s in your hands. Currently offering a four-week Group Coaching on Productive Conflict series which includes completing an online assessment and a 30 minute individual session with me. To find out more visit my website Curious about one-on-one life coaching? Contact me for a complementary discovery session to determine the possibility (PHONE NUMBER or EMAIL address) Brag out time: I am fortunate to have several faves: my beautiful Rochester daughter, son-inlaw, perfect granddaughter and perfect grandson and my California son and upcoming daughterin-law, whose upcoming wedding takes us all to a Hawaiian paradise location this April.

{ SHIFT+CONTROL } “I’ve taken several paths on the road to life coach that enable me to uniquely relate to and support a client’s needs. I have transformed myself many times. That’s why I understand uncertainty, challenges, and the importance of living your values and passion.”





INTENSITY-VULNERABILITY-GROWTH On March 1, 2018 we entered the last full moon phase of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Our wheel of life has come full circle. We are at the beginning of a new karmic cycle. What dreams and goals do you want your theme to be for the next 365 days? New love, new career, spirituality, being physically fit? We have all new possibilities to create what we want this month. Let’s begin: The Virgo full moon is in charge of release & elimination. This moon can be looked at symbolically as a “detoxifying moon”. Virgo has a deep obsessive need to set things right. There is a prominent theme this month, learning to develop an accurate sense of self. Emotional sensitivity will be heightened, asking us to challenge ourselves, to be objective in situations as they are brought into the spotlight. It will be asking us to step out of our comfort zones and move forward with confidence. The beginning of the month will have many of us feeling a disconnect from the heart and soul. Be careful not to wallow here my friends, this energy can sometimes immobilize us. Message? Don’t buy into your own self sabotage, your inner critic will be screaming at you to stay put where you feel comfortable and safe. Instead work on healing, we must recognize that universe will start slamming doors on us without notice, leaving us with a sense of rejection. Do not take this personal. Whatever the rejection might be, it’s not about YOU. The universe is telling you that you must start holding yourself in higher regard. It will be a time for growth. Life will always throw things at us, making us feel hostage to our situations as we start to feel down, rejected, angry, insecure, depressed, but we too often buy into these negative thoughts and they become our identity, we start to attract what we feel and think. It is the fluid movement 276


of universal energy, attracting back to you what you put out. We are being challenged here, so remember to be gentle on yourself and don’t allow your inner critic to persuade you to hold on to feelings that no longer serve your higher good. A time to go within and question… ” How do I feel about me”? “Do I truly know my own value”? “Do I practice enough selflove”? Recognizing your truth can be daunting at times, but you must absolutely feel this truth of self and confidently say…~I LOVE AND APPROVE OF MYSELF, I KNOW I CAN AND I WILL! I AM CONFIDENT IN ME! Hot tempers could also be a theme this month with loved ones or people you work closely with.

Ask yourself, “what is really bothering me”? We often forget what the original insult was and simply react to our unresolved anger about a situation. When attitude meets difference of opinion, the energies will inevitably spark intense communications. This is a valuable time to take a breather, and gain clarity on the situation, literally stop in your tracks and think. What do you want the outcome of this situation to be? Reflect, reflect, reflect! Because the energies will be wild, crazy, passionate and unstoppable. One person might be intent on a mission to prove their point and the other will be saying “bring it on”. Be authentic, release your egos and gain solid clarity before approaching. And finally, Romance. This will be a month of

endings and new beginnings for many. It will be a month of fast action paced energy with swift communications charging full speed ahead. Some will be reconnecting with past relationships and others will experience new love. Whatever the case may be, enjoy every moment of it. You deserve it! Love is what makes life worth living, it makes the world a better place. We can dream big here, to know that it is safe to love. It’s about having faith again that even though things are not always perfect, and you get your heart broken, love always restores it abundantly. 3-Card spread for March: THE FOOL, THE MAGICIAN & THE EMPRESS My friends the journey begins with the Fool...let go of all that doesn’t serve you. The universe is asking you to step up and take a leap of faith. Go off on your grand adventure in life, leave the baggage behind. As you encounter the Magician stay humble and know that the UNIVERSE is on your side. You will be given the tools you need. As long as you believe, you have everything at your disposal. The UNIVERSE is telling you that they have your back. And finally, the EMPRESS, oh so beautiful and strong she makes an appearance stating so elegantly...I AM HERE, I AM ALIVE, I AM STEPPING INTO MY POWER. My life is rich & ripe with WONDER. My world is filled with infinite possibilities and it is magnificent! This is a time to BE STILL & JUST KNOW. It’s time for you to walk the way of DIVINE GRACE, with trust, passion, simplicity and AUTHENTICITY. Happy adventures my friends! Remember love makes the world a better place. Love fiercely & freely!




Restricting your fat intake may be holding you back from reaching your health goals. Healthy plant based fats are an effective tool for weight loss. Nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut oil and high-quality olive oil (not heated) actually burn fat. There are still some fats that will cause you to accumulate unwanted body fat and must be avoided. A few oils to avoid are vegetable, canola, grapeseed, safflower,

sunflower, cooked olive, soybean and corn. Also avoid margarine and fatty cuts of meat.


The fat on your body and the fat you eat are two entirely different things. Include healthy fats in your diet if you want to increase fat burning, cut hunger, build muscle and reduce fat storage. When you deprive yourself of fat, where does the remainder of your daily calorie intake

come from? We usually turn to carbs. Eating more carbs spikes your blood sugar, releasing excess insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin stimulates fat storage and increases your appetite. Consuming healthy fats lowers your levels and stabilizes your blood sugar allowing you to use fat as fuel, not store it, and decreases your appetite.










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