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Editor’s Note

I first and foremost want to say thank you to all the people who were involved with this first issue including my graphic designer, the writers, the contributors and the people whose stories were told in this issue. I hope that this issue finds those who are curious about applying for college, pursuing a business, a record deal or even a position in office. Planning for the future is just the first step, but it is the most crucial one! We are surrounded by inspiration everywhere we turn. It is important to never forget that, regardless of the situations we may be in. We here at Modern Muse hope that you just don’t find yourself on this journey through life, but that you create yourself. We also hope that the stories of the people in the issue are just as motivating for you as they were for us. Thank you again and I hope you enjoy this issue,

Kesi Clarke Kesi Clarke

“When you can’t change the direction of the wind, change the direction of the sails.” –H. Jackson Brown Jr

CONTENTS 1

Editor’s Note

3

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

4

Fashions by Gabrielle

5

Artist Spotlight: Pharaoh

7

Fashion for the Office

9

Student Profile: Selorm Quist

10

Hair Care

11

The Campaign: Rashawn Davis

13

Humble Beginnings: Iyea Brandy

15

Holiday Recipe

17

Poet’s Corner


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n Sunday, October 20th citizens of Newark and people from other cities in New Jersey came out to participate in the 14th annual Making Strides against Breast cancer walk. There were seniors, children, and colorfully dressed dogs ready to participate in the walk. The park was decorated with different colored balloons and large white tents and the pink balloons were formed as an archway to welcome walkers when the walk began. Walkers were woken up with music to get them pumped up and ready for the walk while there were Dunkin Donuts stands selling coffee in the park to boost energy. Cheerleaders were assembled and practicing routines on the side streets near the park with pink ribbons in their hair to show support.

More than 16,000 people marched in different shades of pink to support the cause, the people who have been diagnosed with the disease or for their loved ones who have passed away. The walk began at 10 a.m. and the tents were set up for registration by 8 a.m. in Lincoln Park. The registration lines stretched across the green grass so there were volunteers who came around to hand out registration forms. The walk took place downtown on Broad Street, one of the busiest streets in Newark and roads were blocked off

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to vehicles. According to NJ.com, organizers were able to raise $375,000 to aid in the funding for breast cancer research and screenings. “This is a very important cause to a lot of people. I know a lot of people who have lost their mom, their aunt, their cousins, their friends to this disease and I knew that there would be a lot of people here today to support the cause,” said Jasmine Hill, 21, and a Rutgers Newark student studying biology. According to Newark Patch, “To date, the American Cancer Society has funded more than $400 million in breast cancer specific research—more than any other non-government organization.” Approximately 6,960 people were diagnosed with breast cancer in New Jersey in 2012, according to the Cancer Society. Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in African American women which is why it is crucial for women to receive annual breast exams by a doctor. It is important to get annual screenings so that Breast cancer can be detected early on before it is spread. Check out some facts and figures about Breast Cancer for the 20132014 year on the American Cancer Society’s website here. To join efforts in the fight against Breast Cancer check out the National Breast Cancer Foundation. By: Kesi Clarke

f

GABRIELLE

14th Annual Event

FASHIONS BY

Fashions by Gabrielle is a new experience for the stylish fashionista, full of chic costume jewelry to make you stand out and coming soon glamorous costume pieces to turn heads! —Pandolfi.

A determined, young, entrepreneur started her own hand-made jewelry making business at 21 years old after taking a Chain Weaving course offered at her school. Gabrielle Pandolfi, a senior and Fashion Design major at Centenary College, started her online business, “Fashions by Gabrielle” in 2012 which was just after her sophomore year in college. Fashion is her passion and is what she wants to focus her career on. Pandolfi wants to become an entrepreneur because she likes developing innovative ideas and wants to be accredited for her own work.

When asked about her future plans for her website, Pandolfi said, “I soon plan to start adding exquisite costume pieces to my website in December. I plan to add a section where you can custom order a costume piece that I will make as well as the costumes I am currently making that are going to be New Year’s Eve themed,” she added. “If all goes well I plan on making a bunch of different, unique costumes. I tried to build my brand as girly and stylish and able to turn heads and make anyone who wears FBG feel like the center of attention.”

folks. “I have actually done repairs for someone wanting to rescue their mom’s jewelry,” she admitted. “People can come with their own gems or heirlooms and use them for the jewelry they want.”

Being able to afford antique and oneof-a-kind jewelry and items is difficult, especially for a student in school and Pandolfi understands that. The prices of her items range from $1-$35, not because the products are cheap or poorly made but because Pandolfi likes to give her customers special rewards. As Pandolfi progresses through school she hopes her new business will progress with her. She would also love all the support possible for her new endeavor, but she is willing to put forth the effort to turn her business into a success. She is not afraid of stepping outside the box.

From selling costume jewelry, costume head pieces, and pairing gowns with aluminum, Pandolfi is able to restore older pieces of jewelry as well.

For her spring 2014 semester, Pandolfi is working on her senior collection, which is themed after her idle, the late, great Marilyn Monroe. Along with her upcoming collection at Centenary, she is also able to juggle her internship at Screaming Queens Entertainment, her busy class schedule, and her presidency of the schools Fashion Group program. This 100% Italian fashion designer from Wappingers Falls, NY, is one that is sure to take the fashion industry by storm!

The young designer has worked on some pieces that hit close to home for some

“People should buy my jewelry to help me grow my business because my items are

cute, stylish pieces that will help a fashionista stand out!” If you would like to help an entrepreneur such as Gabrielle Pandolfi get her business off the ground, please do so by visiting www.FashionsByGabrielle.com and hopefully making a purchase. You can also follow her booming fashion business on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram. By: Dominique Waldron

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A r t i s t

S p o t l i g h t

o n:

Pharaoh

P

haraoh is a buzzing name that’s making noise from the DMV. He is a Baltimore-based up and coming artist that has also created his own music group called Class Gang Entertainment and is also the cofounder of a company called IVIO Entertainment.

time more because if I was ever late for a studio session he would send me home. Plus my dad was really into music because he was a DJ back in the day, so it’s in my blood

Pharaoh sat down with Miss Muse to share who he is as a hip hop artist and to promote his latest mixtape, “V.O.G.U.E”, which stands for “Visions of Greatness Unleashed Every day,” which was released on October 3rd of this year.

Pharaoh: Growing up in Baltimore definitely influenced my music that I create because Baltimore is home of Club and house music. So we get a big mix of hip hop and R&B. Being from the east coast made me focus more on lyrical rappers. We listen to music from the south, north, mid west, and the west coast so it made me expand my musical creativity. What I want to show the world is that Baltimore has talent.

MM: What made you decide on the name Pharaoh? Pharaoh: What made me decide to take on the name Pharaoh was my infatuation with the old Egyptian culture. My 3rd grade teacher used to say I looked like the late great King Tut; the richest and youngest king of Egypt at his time. Also when it comes to being lyrical I’m the king of bars. I’m from the west side of Baltimore, Maryland so I’m a DMV native. What made me want to make music was my love for the craft. Before making music I was a fan of all the lyricists from the 90s. Also, I enjoy the thought of joining people together for something positive and not negative made. MM: How did you start your career in music? Pharaoh: I started writing when I was 9 just writing baby bars then when I got older my uncle said that I could use his professional studio for recording time. He made me value

MM: How has growing up in Baltimore influenced the type of music you create?

MM: Who are some of the artists you are inspired by? Pharaoh: The artist that inspire me are Big L, 2 Pac, Biggie Smalls, Marvin Gay, Chris Brown, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Jay Z, but the list goes on and on. MM: What type of music do you create? Pharaoh: The type of music I create is Hip Hop and R&B based. I have a wide range for my music though because I have songs that people can party to, turn up to, make love to, and chill to with good lyrics. MM: Describe your creative process of creating a song or track? Pharaoh: I listen or make the beat first. Then if I’m feeling it I decide a concept for the song. When the concept is mapped out I start writ-

ing. Then I go back over what I wrote to make sure I wrote the best bar I could. MM: If you could choose one word to describe your latest mix-tape what would it be and why? Pharaoh: Epic. I say this because it’s one of those mix-tapes you can listen to over again and still love it. MM: What’s your favorite song on your mixtape and why? P h a r a o h : My favorite song on my mixtape is “Millions” because it’s dedicated to one of my favorite singers, Aaliyah. Plus, I love that song so much because it took the longest to make. I did a lot of research before I made the song. I listened and studied over 40 r & b songs to make Millions, I wanted to pay homage to the artist before me but I wanted to make it my own at the same time. MM: What is Class Gang Ent. and IVIO Ent? Pharaoh: Class Gang Ent. Is a music group that I created that consists of my team and artists that have

the same goals and ambition that I have.  (C.L.A.S.S.) stands for Creating Life as Artist with Serious Sounds || IVIO Ent. is a company that me and Simmie (Guy from the 93 Till video) started and it’s 410 the area code for Baltimore in Roman numerals. MM: How would you describe your personal style? Pharaoh: I would describe my personal style by saying its creative urban fashion. I’m into the high end of fashion but I like to make it my own. I mean I can take the craziest looking jacket or hat and make it look fresh because of my swag and style cuz it’s all in how you roc it. My grandpa always told me it’s not the clothes that matter but the guy that’s in them. MM: Who would you most like to open for? Pharaoh: Jay Z, I say this because he’s a talented dude that’s been in the game for a while. Plus I’m a fan of his music. I still listen to his first album “Reasonable Doubt.” With the

type of talent he has, he’s ahead of his time. MM: Where would you most like to perform?  Pharaoh: I have a tie between Madison Square Garden in New York and Staples Center in LA. MM: Do you have any new videos or collaborations in the works? Pharaoh: “Face Down” Music Video drops in December, also we just started working on the “Millions” video. When the links go up you guys will be the first ones to know.  If you want to stay connected with Pharaoh, check out his website here. There you will also be able to download his latest mix-tape, “V.O.G.U.E.” Follow Pharaoh on Instagram and Twitter @thereal_pharaoh  Pharaoh’s Facebook: Facebook. com/therealpharaoh  Interview by: Kesi Clarke


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$50 ZARA.COM Blue Zip Pocket Blazer $44 Wallisfashion.com Beaded Collar Ribbed Blouse $22 Yesstyle.com Mango Cotton Trousers $50 Mango Structured Success Bag $65 Modcloth.com Carolee Material Girl Clip On Stud Earrings $34 Bloomingdales.com CLAUDIA GHIZZANI NINA Black Patent Ballerinas $40.27 pret-a-beaute.com

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$40 Uniqlo.com PREMIUM BY JACK & JONES Premium Trousers Black $125 JACKJONES.COM Tommy Hilfiger Mens Tonal Cardigan Pure Black Sweater $108 TOMMYHILFIGEROUTLETONLINEDENIM.COM Michael Kors ‘Mercer’ Large Chronograph Leather Strap Watch $225 NORDSTROM.COM BLACK BROWN 1826 Menner Monk Strap Brogues $110 LORDANDTAYLOR.COM Gucci Grey And Light Grey Gg Pattern Silk Tie $185 GUCCI.COM

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Student Profile:

Selorm Quist M

eet Selorm Quist, the Silver Springs/Germantown, Maryland native who is making a name for herself in the city of Newark, NJ. Representing for the new millennial, Quist attends Rutgers University in the College of Arts and Sciences (School 21). When asked about selecting Rutgers University post high-school graduation, Quist said, “I guess it chose me haha. I couldn’t see myself fitting in Nursing or Business for example, but the wide variety of majors in School 21 drew my attention and allowed me to keep my options open.” Quist is majoring in Sociology with a minor in Political Science and is expecting to graduate in 2014. When asked why this major, Quist said, “I have a really deep interest in social interactions, in race and ethnicity, in sex and gender; you name it, and so Sociology is very appropriate for me. I like exploring these topics, and I want to work to create a more equal society. I minored in Political Science to have a grasp on the mechanics of government so I can see the opportunities available and barriers to making change at an institutional level.”

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This type of understanding would allow for Quist to be in many organizations as well. Quist is a part of The Honors College and LIGHT organization which a group that partners with

the Honors College to make presentations on global, social and political issues. She also works as an educator at the Newark Museum. She added, “I’ve also worked as a private tutor for almost six years, I’ve been a classroom aid with a local Newark charter school, and I’ve held a volunteering position with the Newark Public Library.” As the Vice President of TANGLES, Quist explains how her involvement began when the current President, Jensine Wright brought the idea to her in an elevator. TANGLES was founded at Howard University on November 20, 2010 and recently became a branch at Rutgers-Newark in January of 2013. Quist explains this process as “It all happened fairly unexpectedly, but I’m so glad it did!” What exactly is TANGLES? T.A.N.G.L.E.S stands for Transitioners And Naturals Growing, Learning and Educating Students. “TANGLES” aims to ‘detangle the myths’ about natural hair. So many people with naturally kinky and curly hair are deciding to wear their hair in its natural state, but there’s still a bit of mystery behind maintaining it, behind the social and professional ramifications it may or may not have.” – Selorm Quist Quist also added, “At both the Howard and RU-N branches, we want to provide a space in which people who wear their hair in its natural state, people who are interested in doing so, and those who are just interested in learning about it can comfortably engage in dialogue and exchange ideas to love and take care of themselves.” The warm-spirited Quist describes her

future aspirations as wanting a career in international affairs, based around in international development and sustainability or human rights in sub Saharan Africa. Quist wants to keep active in the domestic sphere, working with young women and men of color on education and identity development. As far her short term goals, Quist recalls, “Get a pizza, make some good memories, and get my degree! And in doing so get a job set for myself after graduation that will allow me to pursue my career goals before pursuing a Master’s degree. In the short term, I also just want to do the best job I can with TANGLES, with other organizations and efforts I’m involved in, and leave a positive mark on the school that has given me so much.” “My primary long term goal is to be happy and to use whatever capabilities and capacities I have to make others happy. Cliché, I imagine, but truthful nonetheless.” –Quist As far as the future of TANGLES, Quist leaves us with “I think TANGLES has an extremely promising future. People have shown a lot of interest at both branches. General interest for exploring natural hairstyles and engaging in conversations on beauty and identity seems to be growing every day. It would be great to see the organization emerge at other campuses across the country in the next few years. I can’t see why it wouldn’t!” Look out for Selorm Quist, as she will be travelling the world and helping change the lives of those around her!

By: Kiermoni Allison

Co-wash your hair with a cheap conditioner that allows your hair to have some slip for easy detangling. Deep condition your hair after co-washing to replenish the moisture lost in your hair and to help strengthen fragile strands or to maintain healthy hair. Limit the amount of heat used on hair. Challenge yourself to only use heat once or twice a month. Your hair will thank you for it later. Moisturize and seal those ends! Moisturize you hair with a cream or a leave in conditioner and seal it with an oil like coconut, olive, argan, grape seed, castor or any oil of your choice. Make sure you get a trim at least every three months to get rid of split or damaged ends. Do some research and learn how to do hairstyles that require low manipulation and low maintenance. Try out twist-outs, bantu knots, buns, braids, sew ins, or any kind of style that will keep your natural hair protected from the elements and snagging on clothes.

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conversations with young people who are planning runs in cities like Chicago and New York City and I am happy to say in a little way I was an inspiration for them.”

the

Campaign: Rashawn Davis, Newark’s Next Councilman

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rowing up in the Georgia King Village in Newark, NJ, Rashawn Davis was raised by his mother who worked hard as a single parent, sometimes working 2-3 jobs to help support her family. Before the age of ten, Davis had been exposed to the murder of his cousin’s death and also the killing of one of his elementary school friends. He has witnessed the struggles that the people of Newark face because of the socio economic dynamics and he is working hard to change the stigma associated with Newark. The future of the younger generation sparks many comments amongst the older generation and African American males are not always represented in the best light but Davis, 21, is here to combat the opposition.

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Studying at Georgetown

University and majoring in Government with a minor in Justice and Peace Studies Davis is expected to graduate in 2014. Davis is also involved in the NAACP serving as the Co-President, while also running for the Male Development Association and Candidate for Newark, New Jersey’s City Council for the West Ward. Newark is composed of many Wards, primarily related to its rank as the largest city in New Jersey. Newark has admirable features and is proving to be the city to be. When asked why Davis is running for West Ward Candidate of Newark, he said, “Growing up in Newark and seeing the persistent lack of change and quality of leadership really frustrated me to get involved. Moreover, if you look at the problems that Newark faces whether it be crime or poverty, they overwhelmingly affect peo-

ple under 30. Nearly 33% of Newark is under the age of 30, and we have to make sure that those people are being represented in city government.” Davis’ campaign has allowed people who may not necessarily believe that they’re opinion matters to voice their opinions on issues that hit close to home. “There are so many false assumptions about what it means to be an African American male from Newark, or a young person in general from this city that are mostly negative. Our campaign is not only showing the world, the power and agency of Newark’s young people, but we are also giving young Newarkers hope that they are and can be decision makers in our communities, that they are a part of the solutions, and most importantly that they are respected in this city.” – Rashawn Davis

Davis’ campaign focuses on 3 issues which are public safety, economic development, and civility. Davis wants to take a public health approach to violence and treat the public safety issues as you would with any other disease. His team also wants to create mini marketing plans to sell the diversity of individual communities in Newark and to prepare the citizens for the influx of business being brought into the city. He wants to provide residents with the tools, classes, and support they need if they want to start their own businesses. Davis’ goal is to involve as many people in Newark in the public policy process as possible.

connected to their government.

He has also thought of an idea to create a mobile application that allows residents to do everything from requesting a pothole to be filled to sending an email to their councilperson so that people can be directly

By using social media Davis has been able to connect with people outside of New Jersey and has influenced young people to make a difference within their own communities. Davis said, “I have had phone

The mission of the Davis for West campaign is bounded amongst an indescribable, yet focused agenda. Davis chimed in with this to say “Its’ hard to really sum up our mission, because it really means so many things for everyone involved. But as the underdog, our campaign really involves empowering folks, and giving people a sense of agency and power that they haven’t been given in the past or forgot they even had. Our campaign works with all types of people, from all walks of life, and to that extent we are truly grassroots.”

When asked about the future of the campaign, Davis said, “We hope the future involves a seat in City Hall, but it’s about much more than that, it’s about permanently empowering young people and making them apart of the solution. Our work is not complete after the election on May 13, 2014, we have to keep pushing and keep fighting for a Newark that we can be proud of, that we can make better, and that we can believe in.” As much as we can appreciate Davis’ passionate work ethic, people reading this article must know what he likes to do for fun. Davis mentions Rush Hour 2 is his favorite movie and he can watch it over and over again. Moreover, he says, “Whenever I am not campaigning, I am hanging out with friends. We do everything from pick-up games of basketball to going to really cool concerts. We usually use “We Are the Loop” to find stuff to do. ‘We Are the Loop’ is a mobile application some of my friends made, that is great for finding stuff to do on weekends.” The movement the Davis Campaign is leaving is pretty substantial when it comes to how the younger generation is using social media. The mantra, “#ChangeNewark,” commonly known as a Twitter hashtag has become pretty popular over the course of the campaign. Davis says, “I started the hashtag #ChangeNewark

because I wanted people to understand that my campaign was not just about winning a seat, but changing the very dynamics that dictate Newark politics. We want to do away with the extreme nepotism in our city, the notion that you can only get elected if you come from a known family, or that City Hall is a place that is full of gridlock. Our campaign is all about putting the “New” back in Newark. New ideas, new leadership,

and new thinking. #ChangeNewark is a hash tag that helps us spread that message, it’s a mark that people can use to denote their successes in the city, their hopes for the city, and even their complaints with it.” Visit www.davisforwest2014.com for more information or to get involved in this movement to help change Newark. By: Kiermoni Allison

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Humble Beginnings

son was diagnosed on the autism scale even though it was mild and he was very high functioning. I knew other parents suffered as well. I launched my first business, the daycare, because I wanted to offer nurturing and a professional setting for my child to grow, explore and play with other children whose parents wanted the same. Then I started a STEM program called Build n Blocks because I believe STEM jobs are going to be the wave of the future. Children with Autism spectrum disorder do very well in STEM and I wanted to show parents how successful it can be. M.M: Who is your biggest role model and why?

from Iyea Brandy

R

M.M: What drives your passion to help people?

ecently Iyea Brandy made move to Laurel, Maryland. It was an unexpected decision considering that she was successfully running her tutoring company Build n Blocks in Livingston, New Jersey. It is a tutoring center that focused on STEM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills. Brandy wanted to focus on nurturing the future minds in those four fields, so that those minds would be the future innovators in America. Growing up from humble beginnings, Ms. Brandy knows what it’s like to have little to nothing, but despite that she has remained steadfast in her passion to create the change she wishes to see in the world today. She is constantly remaining open to different opportunities to promote self growth as well as assist people in growing whether it is in education, business, or personal ambition. Never wanting to settle on what she has accomplished, this businesswoman is constantly searching for new avenues to educate and innovate various ways to be successful in any career. There are many bumps in the road to success, and Ms. Brandy has experienced them firsthand. She sat down for a chat with Modern Muse to give some insight on how she got to where she is today.

life. By high school I had been skipped two grades and was one of the youngest girls in my ninth grade class at 13 years old. I would get on the train sometimes and just look out the window as the train would move through different cities. I would take my cheap camera and take pictures of beautiful scenery in nature. I knew one day I was going to move away.

M.M: What was life like for you growing up?

Ms. Brandy: I have a few aunts that are college graduates so that moved me to be like them. I looked at their lives and said I can do this as well. My family values education so we were always pushed to do better, seek more and learn more. I also wanted to help care for my maternal grandmother because she raised me partly. I asked God to please spare her life long enough that I can give her a little piece of the love, attention and things she gave to me. This inspired me to continue even when everything seemed to fall apart.

Ms. Brandy: I grew up in an African household. Even though my family and I lived in America, it was in Monrovia, Liberia in our house all the time. I grew up in East Orange not even a few steps from Central Ave but it was never my world. My parents were hard workers and we were pretty poor but we rarely noticed. Education, respect, responsibility and love for family were the pillars I grew up with. My father always said, “I work in a factory so you would not have to work in the factory as well.” He always stressed education as being my passport to a better life. I worked hard in school and had lots of chores around the house like cooking, cleaning and caring for my two younger siblings. I was always a dreamer and wanted a better

Ms. Brandy: I don’t really have a role model. I take different aspects of all the people I meet in life and put it together. My dad has the most influence because he has been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember. He learned a trade and started a business on very little. He has had challenges but never gives up.

M.M: Were there any challenges that inhibited you from dreaming success for yourself? Ms. Brandy: I didn’t see success or what it looked like as a child. All I knew was one day I was going to make it. No one around me drove a nice car, owned a big beautiful house or wore very expensive clothes. I figured success would be glamorous and successful people always had money. The only challenge was getting into college. I didn’t have the proper documentation to get in college so I knew that would be the only challenge for me. Mentally I was ready. M.M: How has your family inspired/motivated you to stay on your path of success?

M.M: Were there any struggles during the process of building your company from the ground up? Ms. Brandy: I failed at the first business; I opened a one on one

Ms. Brandy: I love people. I believe my life is in service to others. I think we all have a purpose in life and this is mine. My life is supposed to be an inspiration to others. tutoring center in Irvington, NJ. I spent a lot of money getting the space ready, buying computers, printing out flyers, etc. NO one showed up to the grand opening and for 3 months there were no clients. Finally I lost my house due to foreclosure in the process of running a business. My credit score went down severely. I was mentally and emotionally drained all the time. I was spending more money out than was coming in. I never lost the passion for why I was doing what I was doing however. M.M: How did you come up with the idea to star your own business? Ms. Brandy: I have been an entrepreneur since middle school. I always have ideas so each business was a personal decision. I have successfully launched 3 businesses. The daycare was because of my son and my need to spend time with him and know he was in a loving and safe environment. The tutoring company because it is second nature to me as an educator to help students and make sure they understand their subjects. The STEM center is because I am passionate about education and believe the STEM fields is going to make or break this country. M.M: Does being a mother inform your work with working with children and adults? Ms. Brandy: The birth of my son changed my focus. I was already a teacher before he came along. I was almost finished with my Masters in counseling before he was born. However, the challenges of being a new mother and the personal issues I faced helped me to create programs to help other families. My

M.M: If you could describe your life in one sentence, what would it be? Ms. Brandy: Everything happens for a reason! Build n’ Blocks’ STEM program is an enrichment program that focuses on children from ages 2- 14 years old. The children are taught problem solving and critical thinking skills, and they also learn how to work in groups with other children. The children are introduced to science, math, engineering and technology while creating and having fun at the same time. These concepts are very important to grasp with the demand for creative minds for the future. According to the quote from National Center of Education Statistics located on the Build n’ Blocks website, “With only 26% of high school seniors in the U.S. scoring at or above “proficient” in math, and only 21% of seniors rating at or above proficient in science, it is clear that STEM learning must begin early to give children the best start.” Ms. Brandy is helping children by giving them the tools that they will need for the future in this world that will eventually be revolved around technology. She is also currently in the process of creating a business strategist consulting firm and we wish her the best of luck! For more information about Ms. Brandy and the STEM center located in Livingston, NJ, check out the Build n’ Blocks website: http://buildnblocks.com/ By Emmanuel Freeman

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Recipe for the Holidays Hugs and Cookies came up with this delicious recipe which was adapted from Ina Garten’s Pecan Bar recipe. This is a neat take on the traditional pecan pie. Try it out for yourself! Pecan Pie Bars Dipped in Chocolate Crust: 1 1/4 pounds unsalted butter, room temperature 3/4 cup granulated sugar 3 extra-large eggs 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt Topping: 1 pound unsalted butter 1 cup good honey 3 cups light brown sugar, packed 1/4 cup heavy cream 2 pounds pecans For dipping: 10 OUNCES CHOCOLATE FOR DIPPING (DARK OR MILK) Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. For the crust, beat the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and the vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Press into an 18 by 12 by 1-inch baking sheet lined with nonstick foil and build up the sides a bit. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is set but not brown. Cool. For the Pecan Filling: Put butter, honey, brown sugar in a saucepan. Cook on low heat until melted. Raise heat and boil 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in heavy cream and pecans. Pour over the crust carefully. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Remove and chill to cool. Cut into bars and dip half of each bar into melted chocolate! Adapted from Ina Garten

14 Photos and Recipe is from HugsandcookiesXoxo.com


Dominique Waldron I am Proud I am PROOOUUUD To be a writer For I am the lyrical genius behind the Top charters Club smashers Record breaking Songs The playback button is too familiar with And everyone sings along to my shit

Scott Nisley Luna the Showgirl Alyzza Umali YOUNGER DAYS

Yes, artists get praised for my words But they praise me behind closed doors I am PROOUUD To be a writer

Shawn Hankerson Judge First

For I am the brilliant screenwriter behind the Block Buster Hits Box office smashers And Critics Choice Movies We try to make our lives out to be

Think about life. Are you the one that’s carrying a knife? Think about how you are feeling. Are you the one doing the killing? Are you the one fighting over colors? But fail to realize that we are all sisters and brothers. Are you the one not taking heed? Really, do you want to succeed? You just rather bleed? Believe in God and He will be on your side.

Yes, actors and directors get the recognition from audiences But we get recognition from the industry itself I am PROUD To be a writer For I am the creator of Worlds you can escape to Characters you love to hate, and hate to love Famous quotes you can’t get enough of Dialogue you wish you can be a part of To be a writer One must be humble Resilient, charitable To not be in the spotlight But to give it To not have a full dose of fame But to share it as offerings To be a great writer one must be proud

Sebastien Francois God’s World, Devils Paradise Our lifestyles are frigid, no matter where we’re livin’ Suburbs the streets, these issues are still vivid Everything we are forced to witness, we’re all victims Just a bunch of witness on the government’s hitlist It’s hard dealing with life’s hard realities Occurs so often we accept is as normality Injustice and poverty, the current state of our economy No one is thinking logically, we’re focused on designer jeans Restore the faith there’s a change is in the making Bad times are behind us, humanity will replace it

Who would have guessed it’d be Luna offering cold comfort at a time like this? Some nights she’s like a little girl playing hide and seek under the bed sheets, poking her head out from Younger Days... Back seat of the Toyota Corolla, It was cotton an 89 model maroon, I remembered so well, the laughs behind blanketed balls ofofwhite. made under moon. Other nights she’s a lusty yellow spotlight in the dyingthe cobalt sky, beaming down with a carefree smirk. I told the man driving, “Play this! Play this!” He went on, pressed forward, and the track went like She’s all grown up now, all paled and squinty--But still tiptoeing around the schoolyard showing off this… her wild “ABC, 123, do-re-mi...” I sang to the danceable melody, side, her along abandon. talented Inspired in me. Opening upFive her young heart for you tomen, see one night,and andbrought leaving the youtalent aloneout in the dark the next. Problems, stress, Never existed Beautiful and knowing it--Unafraid of mom n’ pop walking in within to seethese what years, she does in there behind her bedIt was all fun anddoor games, Now it’scumulous all blood, clouds. sweat, and tears. room of shadowy A great of my hearted--And own childhoodthey waswatch--Transfixed--As described by this song, While darkness settles downexample on the lonely she dances that tightRest in peace to the man driving, rope of a thread across the night. Nowclose my younger are gone Like a lover in orbit, almost enough days to touch, but far too removed to kiss. And paralyzed by too much jaded fear to cut the vein.

Alyzza Umali Scott Nisley DAYS YOUNGER Luna the Showgirl Younger Days... Back seathave of the Toyota it’d Corolla, It was an 89cold model of maroon, I remembered Who would guessed be Luna offering comfort at a time like this? so well, the laughs made under the moon. Some nights she’s like a little girl playing hide and seek under the bed sheets, poking her head out from behind blanketed I told the man driving, “Play this! Play this!” He went pressed forward, and the track went like this… cotton ballson, of white. 123, do-re-mi...” sang along to the danceable Other nights she’s a“ABC, lusty yellow spotlight in Ithe dying cobalt sky, beaming melody, down with a carefree smirk. Five young talented men, and brought talent out in me. off her wild side, her abanShe’s all grown up now, all paled and squinty--But stillInspired tiptoeing around the the schoolyard showing Problems, stress, Neverdon. existed within these years, It was funyou and it’sand all blood, and in tears. Opening up her heartallfor togames, see oneNow night, leavingsweat, you alone the dark the next. A great example of my own childhood was described bythere this song, Beautiful and knowing it--Unafraid of mom n’ pop walking in to see what she does in behind her bedroom door of shadRest in peace to the clouds. man driving, owy cumulous Now my younger days are gone While darkness settles down on the lonely hearted--And they watch--Transfixed--As she dances that tightrope of a thread across the night. Like a lover in orbit, almost close enough to touch, but far too removed to kiss. And paralyzed by too much jaded fear to cut the vein.

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