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“I have such a large following now and it’s so many other people doing the same thing, so I have to be creative.” —KC Clark
KC CLARK on Dreams, Desires & Laughter
7 Sex In The Summer COVER AND THIS PHOTO SHOT BY Myron @5yvemedia
Photo Credit: hilton.com
Get A-Way To Summer Fun Get-A-Ways
Vacay for $1,000 or Less
Photo Credit: soulofamerica.com
Balancing Work and Fun
Photo Credit: earthjustice.org
Words From The Wise: How To Get Out The Game
FROM THE EDITOR Happy colorful June! It’s the time when the flowers blossom, temperatures heat up and summer time rapidly approaches! It’s an exciting time. In this season, most find themselves dreaming of relaxing at attractive destinations and desiring some much needed enjoyment after weathering long winter months. Well, that time is now! Welcome to the fun issue where you will find tips on places to visit and advice on how to navigate through the warmer months, in one piece. You can use this source as a guide to remember to enjoy life. It is always good to work hard, but it is also important to breathe and welcome a taste of joy in your life. Researchers say living a balanced existence helps to reduce stress. Finding ways to accomplish a harmonious schedule can be quite the challenge. Instagram comedian KC Clark can bear witness to that, as he opens up about his struggles with balancing school, work and pursuing his passion in the arts.
Chief Editor Cryss Walker Managing Editor Britney Embry
As always, this too can be conquered! Make June your month to find time to do what you enjoy! Every individual is different, maybe you want to fly away, take a road trip or just laugh a little more, don’t forget to treat yourself! If you have an extra 15 seconds to chuckle in your day, don’t hesitate to visit Clark’s Instagram page @versatilenstyle and catch up on the latest adventures of his character “KeKe”. While you break free and indulge in some “me time”, take a journal with you, just in case you come up with some good ideas; I’m sure it will help you to write your plans, make them clear, and get motivated!
Photography Michael Vandiver
Art Director Tyrone Owens, Jr.
Cover Photo Myron @5yvemedia Contributing Writers Antoine Moore Bria Brown Ryan Whaley Eric Thompson Leslie Fields Mohammed Luwemba
Sales Inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org 248-783-6037
Cryss Walker Chief Editor @iamtopflight email@example.com
THE FUN ISSUE 5
SEX in the Summer:
Protecting Your Heart and Your Body
Photo Credit: @eccentricdanny
Words by: Bria Brown
alance plays a major part of everyday life. Though some balance more than others, there are different aspects one can often overlook that can throw off their equilibrium. Having sexual relations is more than just a physical act. Surprisingly, there are mental and emotional elements that come with pursuing the decision to be sexually expressive. A representative with the Department of Human Services says there are multiple things to consider from a mental and emotional standpoint when deciding to engage in a sexual relationship.
•Maturity levels play a major part There’s a saying that ‘age is nothing but a number’ when it comes to maturity, but professionals say it does play a role. Dealing with difficult maturities makes it hard to understand if one is ready to take the next step in their relationships. •Trying to find completeness in it THE FUN ISSUE 7
Social workers deal with a lot of foster children. Most of the children come from broken homes, abusive parents and suffer from other voids. One common void- filler is sex. Through sex comes the false fulfillment of being loved, wanted and confirmed. Once relations are complete, one sees the truth in another person and then feelings are hurt. Some feelings that were not fulfilled from parents to help them deal with certain situations, they try to find in their partner.
•Abusive homes Molestation is common in a lot of families. Abusive, neglectful and unfit parents are risk factors for children to be molested. If the parents don’t care about themselves or their children they can’t protect them from this tainted encounter of sexual relations. For many, molestation is their first experience with sex.
•Your most intimate world Women are emotional beings that carry a lot of love and sometimes apply that too fast and too hard in undeserving relationships. When you let someone into your most intimate world, you share a piece of yourself that you can never get back. As you continue having sexual relations, you become more and more attached. When the two finally break up, it creates one of the deepest sadnesses known to man; a broken heart. Many people seep into depression from bad break- ups. Depression rates are higher in girls 16 and older. As you age, depression increases.
•Emotional roller coaster Just as a roller coaster twists, turns, rises and falls, changing your reaction with every curve, sex has the same effect. It can put you in a state of euphoria, yet make you feel like the scum of the earth (depending on who it’s done with and how). Emotions between partners change with a blink of an eye. As you share part of yourself, you take on the habits, feelings, and burdens of your partner. They become a part of you and you of them. Sex is very much physical as it is emotional. Physically the body undergoes many changes. For example, women may see changes in their menstrual cycles as for men, their PH levels can begin to alter. The biggest factor of the physical side of sex is sexual health. Don’t be afraid to discuss sexual history with your partner and get tested together. It’s your sex life. Take control.
between exposure to chlamydia and the start of symptoms—the incubation period—may range from days to months.” Symptoms for men include: painful urination, cloudy urine, watery or slimy discharge and crusting of the tip of the penis. Symptoms in women include: painful urination, cloudy urine, abnormal vaginal discharge, irregular menstrual bleeding, lower abdomen pain and genital itching.
•Sexual preventions Condoms are a line of defense to help prevent STIs and unwanted pregnancies. Male condoms and female condoms are available for use. There are non-latex condoms available for those with latex sensitivities. Birth control is another contraceptive. Birth control pills, shots, patches and insertable vaginal rings are just some of the options accessible to women.
cause a miscarriage or abortion. In other words, it does not stop development of a fetus once the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. So it will not work if you are already pregnant when you take it.” Sex is an important and life changing decision. It is by far one of the hardest decisions to make- because of all of the consequences. The summer time brings out the best in people. If you’re going to make the decision to be sexually active, be sure to consider all the side effects that come with it mentally, emotionally and physically. One should never feel pushed into sexual activity if they’re not ready. Everyone has the right to make their own decisions and they have to live with the consequences. You can always say “no”. Protecting your heart and your body are the most important things.
•Sexual health Sexual health is essential for partners. Regular check- ups and testing prevent the unknown spread of diseases. Known as both STIs and STDs, Sexually Transmitted Infection symptoms show in men faster than in women. According to Planned Parenthood, testing includes screens for: Bacterial Vaginosis (bv), Chlamydia, Genital Warts, Gonorrhea, Herpes, HIV and Syphilis. Chlamydia is a very common STI cured by antibiotics. •Sexual symptoms According to WebMD, “The time
•Plan B Plan B is an emergency contraceptive and comes in pill form. Commonly called the “morning after pill,” this contraceptive can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. WebMd states, “Plan B One-Step can reduce the risk of pregnancy by up to 89%. If you take Plan B OneStep within 24 hours, it is about 95% effective.” Plan B works in two ways, it can either prevent ovulation or interfere with egg fertilization.“Plan B One-Step is not the same as RU-486 which is an abortion pill. It does not 8 IAMTOPFLIGHT.COM
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“LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO WORRY ABOUT STUPID THINGS. HAVE FUN. FALL IN LOVE. REGRET NOTHING, AND DON’T LET PEOPLE BRING YOU DOWN.”
All Photos in this spread shot by Myron @5yvemedia
On Dreams, Desires & Laughter Words by: Bria Brown
THE FUN ISSUE 13
ach person has dreams and goals. Whether they be long or short term, everywhere you place yourself is a stepping stone to acquire your desires. Despite the fact it may be a tough journey, it takes someone with skill to encounter the voyage with a laugh. Social media has the power to make or break you. Last year, one of the biggest apps introduced its users to adding videos on their profile; because of it, KC Clark has grown popular through the social network Instagram with 342K followers. Celebrities like K.Michelle, Kevin Durant and Teyana Taylor, have gravitated towards his Instagram page to
relatable she is. Prior to debuting KeKe to Instagram, @Versatilenstyle’s page had about 4K followers. “I really appreciate the love,” said the social-media star. Although his dream is to one day become rich and famous, before the popularity, Clark would jokingly state how he wanted to be at least ‘Instagram famous’ so people could see his many talents. Having the natural ability to make others laugh, the versatility of his gifts go far beyond that. Tapping into his acting skills, Clark has made a full production out of the once 15 second clips and has recently worked with professional videographers to capture his skits. “It was so much
Without pressure there is no diamond. Clark takes on the pressure by viewing it as fans wanting more which helps him get back to the drawing board to bring new material. “When they want more, that means they like my videos.” There are pros and cons to everything. With the massive following comes backlash from certain people. Negative comments make their way on to @ Versatilenstyle page, but he takes the simple route by deleting the negativity and keeping it moving. “I don’t get offended by it, I just block and delete. I knew when I started this it would be people that didn’t like me or
“My videos are giving me cool opportunities and have gotten me auditions. I say if I keep doing videos maybe I can really get somewhere.” get a laugh from his hilarious videos, varying in creativity to display real life scenarios. Beginning with videos on Vine, the first notarized video from Clark was him portraying a female in an argument answering her own questions. It all started with an idea and a friend’s wig to complete the sensation of the character “KeKe”. “KeKe came out of no where. She’s every female’s ratchet side. I don’t care if you’re from West Bloomfield, Southwest Detroit...” All of Clark’s fans know of KeKe and love how
harder than I thought, because I normally just go off the top of the dome and improv and say anything. I was in front of a lot of people and it wasn’t the same.” Sometimes different ideas for videos come to him as he’s riding in the car and he makes sure to write them down. With more followers, comes more demands of videos. “It’s actually a lot of pressure,” he explained, “I have such a large following now and it’s so many other people doing the same thing, so I have to be creative.”
would take offense to it, all in all I’m just like ‘what can I do’,” he continued, “it’s nothing I can do but do what I do. Obviously it’s not about making you happy so I’m going to continue to do it more. Why not?” Clark doesn’t take what he does so seriously. He approaches it with a positive attitude and most of all fun, “I’m just really having fun, being silly. That’s all it’s about.” When asked about his goals, he passionately responded, “My goal and dream is to be rich and famous and I’m going to be 14 IAMTOPFLIGHT.COM
both.” Clark revealed his dreams of wanting to become an actor and dance his way to Broadway. “I also want to own my own store, like a boutique for men. Men don’t really have a lot of stores where we can be fashionable or really creative with our style, it’s more boutiques for women. I want to give men that opportunity. I want to do a lot.” A person can’t have dreams and not have any plans on how to accomplish them. The visionary sees himself demolishing the first
“When they want more, that means they like my videos.” steps to his long term goals by uploading more videos to Instagram. “My videos are giving me cool opportunities and have gotten me auditions. I say if I keep doing videos maybe I can really get somewhere.” Instagram has accompanied Clark with the leverage for people to see small parts of his talents. “It’s cool for right now. This shows my talents somewhat but not for real. It’s a really good stepping stone to where I want to be and I’m blessed to have it because last year I was in Georgia trying to follow my dreams and going to school at the same time and it wasn’t working out.” THE FUN ISSUE 15
On a more serious note, the aspiring actor explained how attending college, dance classes, juggling school and work (and being home-sick) was hard for him living in a different state. Even though he didn’t finish, he attested that attaining his degree is a priority. “It was hard for me. I’m really not a school person, I get good grades but to get good grades I have to work my butt off. I have to study and buckle down to read chapters and go over and beyond than an average student to get good grades. I wasn’t focused. My mind wasn’t there. I am going to get my de-
gree, that’s one of my goals.” Clark makes sure to move in a positive direction daily, to make his dreams a reality. Each stepping stone he comes across raises him that much closer to where he wants to be. One thing’s for sure, whatever KC Clark does with his talents, his fans are right behind him. The continuation of his creative videos and bringing laughter to life situations, while showcasing his other artistry will take this dedicated talent far beyond his expectations. ♦
“Creativity is Intelligence Having FUN” –Albert Einstein
Know Where To Go!
Summer Fun & A Little History… By Leslie Fields
he summer is all about new beginnings and first times! It’s the perfect time to travel, maybe within your own city (by discovering something new), visiting places you may have never seen, or exploring places you’ve only dreamed about! What better opportunity than right now? It is said you only live once, so why not make this summer memorable by getting motivated and taking the summer vacation that you’ve been thinking about. Here are five fun & flirty summer destinations with historical roots that you can explore in the heat!
1) Orlando, FL “O-Town” Photo Credit: hilton.com
com, the legendary Wells’ Built Hotel was the only place in the area that African Americans (including the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Thurgood Marshall, and Jackie Robinson) could lodge at during the era of segregation. This historic museum is a must see while in Orlando. • Gator Land 14501 S. Orange (Gatorland.com) Young or old, Gatorland is strictly for the adventurous at heart with exciting things to do for everyone such as zip-lining, rookie wrestling, working with an alligator trainer for the day and there are an assortment of love shows for entertainment. Gatorland is a must see if you love animals.
2) Memphis, TN “Home of Blues and BBQ” Photo Credit: archerpaper.com
• Wells’ Built Hotel, 511 West South St. Built in 1921, Wells’ Built Hotel and is now a museum. This building is a major part of history. According to blackenterprise. THE FUN ISSUE 17
• National Rights Museum 450 Mulberry St. One of Memphis’ many historic sites is the Sweet Lorraine Motel, which marks where Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. In 1991, the once infamous motel was turned into The National Civil Rights Museum and is still one of the many tourist attractions. • Blues City Cafe 138 Beale St. (memphistravel.com) When visiting Memphis, Blue City Cafe exhibits everything the city is about; the fuse of food and music. According to memphistravel.com, they have been featured on the Travel Channel’s “A Taste of America”, The Food Network’s “Bobby Flay Show” and in the “Bon Appetite” BBQ issue.
Photo Credit: seadogcruises.com
3) Chicago, IL “The Windy City” • Seadog Speedboat Tours, 401 E. Illinois St., Ste 310 Located at the Navy Pier in Chicago, this is an excellent way for someone new to experience Chicago’s sky lines or a great way to rediscover the Windy City. Photo Credit: soulofamerica.com
• TasteFest Grant Park If you love festivals and food, then you don’t want to miss Chicago’s Taste Fest which takes place in Grant Park with food from all over. Since 1980, Chicago has held the event for all food connoisseurs. This event takes place July 9-13.
4) Detroit, MI “The Motor City” • Pictured Rock Cruises 100 City Park Dr. Located by Lake Superior, this summer location is for those that love the outdoors. This attraction offers cliff jumping, cabins, fishing and an assortment of cruises to brush you up on the history of this beautiful location. • Charles H. Wright Museum 315 E. Warren Ave. Located in the heart of midtown Detroit, The Charles H. Wright Museum will open your mind to various exhibits that is focused on the history of African American culture, such as the “And Still I Rise” exhibit which takes visitors on a journey about the Atlantic slave trade. ●
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Vacay for $500- $1,000 Tips for Summer Traveling by Nationwide Travel International By: Ryan Whaley
hen you think summer what do you think? Sun, fun, party and beaches? You’re not the only one. The best part about summer is vacationing. At Top Flight we believe every motivated man or woman deserves a break; so we’ve talked to Cheryl Thompson at Nationwide Travel Intl, Inc. for a list of destinations you can visit on a budget, ranging from $500- $1,000. Who said vacationing had to be expensive?
Chicago Starting at $500
Traveling Secrets & Tips 1. Tuesday & Wednesday are the least busy days of the week to travel. 2. Always be conscious of the season’s weather patterning where you are traveling. 3. High seasons are usually when kids are out of school for summer vacation, holidays, and school breaks. For more information on affordable vacation spots, or to book a trip contact one of the agents at Nationwide Travel Intl., Inc. located at 15928 W. 10 Mile Rd, Southfield, Mi 48075.
Flight & Hotel 3 day stay is less than $300.00/person
Washington, DC Weekend Trip for two people starting at $600 Hotel & Train
Niagara Falls or Toronto Weekend Trip for two people starting at $700 Hotel & Train For less than $1,000 you can take a cruise for one week. 20 IAMTOPFLIGHT.COM
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Words From The Wise: Young Men, Get Out The Streets and Get Motivated! The Wisdom of LaRonn Harris By: Eric Thompson
Photo Credit: earthjustice.org
aybe I have a greater purpose other than being another statistic.” These were the words that LaRonn Harris remembers thinking after escaping a near death experience. In an attempted carjacking when he was just 19, Harris recalls a bullet being lodged in his vehicles windshield. Harris’ father was murdered when he was just seven years old and consequently, he dealt with depression throughout his adolescent years. Harris has experienced many hardships and losing friends at an early age definitely took its toll. Photo Credit: @eccentricdanny
“One thing I learned is that the streets don’t love nobody.” Just like a lot of impoverished young men, he didn’t have a plan for his life; he never thought he would see the age of 18. He was gifted academically, but he rarely applied himself. LaRonn Harris eventually got his life together and enrolled into Wayne State University. In college, he was an intern for Radio- One and also became a very popular party promoter. After working at Radio- One for six years, Harris became a label representative for Atlantic Records; a job he’s currently held for the past sev-
en years. By 27, Harris ran into another near death experience. After working himself into exhaustion, he was hospitalized and later placed on bed rest for two months. It was at that moment that he realized he wasn’t fulfilling God’s will for his life. He had plenty of time to reflect. Harris ultimately decided that he wanted to make a difference. “I wanted to be one of those guys at the forefront of erasing the stereotypes and perceptions of what it is to be a young African American male, especially in Detroit.” Harris wanted to use the platform that his job provided him to help people from his community. He then developed C.O.I.N. (Circle Of Influence Network) Handlers. C.O.I.N Handlers LLC is a full service management and marketing company. They specialize in developing small brands and making them attractive to an international audience. Harris is an example of turning nothing in to something. “I think young black men are misunderstood and I also think we often misrepresent ourselves.” Harris believes that in order for young men to turn their lives around they need a mind-set renewal.
great ones. • Recognize that every opportunity is not for you. • In life you can be a garden or a forest, it all depends on what seeds you plant. • You have to be strategic; you can’t be all over the place. • Sometimes you have to say “no”. • Take ownership. • Learn to fall in love with hard work. • Know that pain is temporary; stay strong. • Everyday matters • In business return every phone call. • Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do. • To get what you want you must do things you don’t want to do. • Know what you don’t know; seek qualified people for the areas that you’re weak in. • Respect the commodity of persistence • The more successful you become, the more humble you should be. • If you respect someone’s success, don’t feel ashamed to imitate their successful behavior.
LaRonn Harris’ Rules Of Engagement: • Sometimes you have to pass up good opportunities in order to get 24 IAMTOPFLIGHT.COM
“We’ve been carrying on, having fun, enjoying life.” –Greg Adams
THE FUN ISSUE 25
WORK HARD. HAVE FUN. MAKE A DIFFERENCE
THE FUN ISSUE 27
Balancing Summer Fun & Work
Photo Credit: fromheretothere-blog.com
By: Ryan Whaley (of the “Ambitious Girl’s Club”) All work and no play, that’s no way to live a good life. A good life forces you to become a skilled juggler. You don’t want to blow off your responsibilities just because it’s 85 degrees out, and you also don’t want to waste these next couple of months everyone in the nation have been waiting for sitting behind a desk or burning yourself out working. While summer time means, “Fun! Fun! Fun!” for some, well, motivated hearts have that certain “je ne sais quoi” to make time for work & fun!
Accomplish A Work & Fun Balance There is no easy way to accomplish the perfect balance, but there are a few key things you can start doing today to make a work-life balance more attainable in your life. Prioritize. At the beginning of the day you should know the most important tasks you have. Work on that first. Creating a to-do list that orders your tasks from the most important to least important is a great way to stay focused on what is important in one day. Knowing what can wait until tomorrow is imperative (in case you want to clock out early for a BBQ or a family fun day). Practice self-discipline. Selfdiscipline is the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it. Being able to say “no” to yourself when all you want to do is say “yes” is
an honorable trait. Practicing self-discipline will allow you to accomplish more of what needs to be done and leave you more time for what you want to do. Learn to say “no” to other people. You don’t have to accept every assignment at work and over-loading yourself with responsibilities you can’t handle. It is ok to say, “No, I’m sorry, I can’t do that, I don’t have the time.” Wouldn’t you rather be honest in the beginning than potentially burning out and letting someone down because you were too afraid to just say no in the first place? Learn to be flexible. As important as planning is, a successful work-life balance requires you to be able to adjust to the needs of the moment. (Speaking of adjusting to the needs of the moment) Practice living in the moment. When you’re enjoying downtime let your mind relax, it’s a difficult task at first, but try putting your phone on silent, stepping away from technology and really just living in the moment you’re in (It’s amazing once you get it down). If it doesn’t seem like there’s enough time in the day to actually enjoy the day, you should start scheduling something enjoyable on your calendar like you would a meeting. Block out at least 20 minutes a day for fun and don’t break that commitment to yourself. Understand that this downtime is as important as any other time in your day.
is room to delegate, do it. Start thinking about the pay-off of letting someone (who is skilled to do so) take something off your hands; (think of this, you’ll have more time to do more of what you love, isn’t that time priceless?) Virtual assistants are great for such delegations. Why a work-life balance is important Every person whom has ever yelled “team no sleep” clearly doesn’t understand the benefits of having a balanced life. Acquiring a work-life balance will reduce stress levels, increase focus, motivate and overall, create life satisfaction. A work-life balance can also increase creativity and productivity. Depriving yourself of a good time does more harm than good. This summer make it your priority to enjoy your personal life without compromising your professional life. “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” –Dale Carnegie
Delegate when you can. If there 28 IAMTOPFLIGHT.COM
“WHAT’S THE POINT OF BEING SMART IF YOU’RE NOT HAVING FUN?” –COLIN WRIGHT
THE FUN ISSUE 29
Watch motivating video interviews about successful people doing what they love or catch up on the latest stories at iamtopflight.com