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E N T E R TA I N S ,




Volume 9 – Number 29 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017





A new film covers a tough topic that often leaves victims and families in disarray




contents 7 ONYX Salutes Billy Jones and Alonzo Adams 8 Homework help at the library 10 Shutting down the bully 13 Why learn a second language? 14 Funding college is a click away 16 Alternatives to a four-year degree 20 On the Quad 22 Make your kid’s lunch healthy 26 Florida Scope 28 ONYX on the Move 32 24-year-old author inspires young Americans 34 Arts & Entertainment 37 Travel to Turks and Caicos 39 Money Matters


42 ONYX Profile - Beverly Kuykendall 44 ONYX Profile - Djuan Rivers 46 Food and Wine






FROM THE PUBLISHER PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Richard “Rich” E. Black EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Marianne Eggleston, M.B.A. MANAGING EDITOR D. Shenell Reed, M.B.A. ASSOCIATE EDITORS Laura Dorsey Gail Andrews Sharon Fletcher Jones



SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 Wow! Can you believe it? The summer has ended and now our students are preparing to return to their educational endeavors. This is an exciting time for most as students are excitedly selecting their classes, deciding which clubs they will join, and choosing the sports they will play. If they are anything like my son and godson, they also are checking for which tennis shoes and complementary gear will be profiled as they pursue their educational matriculation. Yes, this is an exciting time for most; however, school can be a nightmare for others. In our cover story, we introduce you to filmmaker Sean Roberts who deals with the issue of bullying in his new film titled “Amrak.” Not only is bullying an issue, but also many students often need additional assistance with their homework. This issue introduces you to the Orange County Library System’s free online tutoring program. This issue was created for those of us who are diehard football fans. We present the football schedules of the most popular colleges and universities in Florida. Thank you to all our athletic directors, colleges and universities for participating. Now ONYX reader, we need you to go to work. Visit us on Facebook (ONYX Magazine) and vote for the best-looking football schedule ad. We will list the winner in our Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) issue. Finally, thank you all for your unwavering support of ONYX Magazine over the past 20 years. Founders Lester and Lillian Seays laid the infrastructure for creating a publication that would celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of African Americans and those of the African diaspora. Today we remain true to their vision and mission as we provide you material that continues to entertain, inspire and inform. Enjoy.



PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR Brandi Jordan BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Matt deJager CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Keisha Boyd Gigi Brooks Laura Dorsey Sharon Fletcher-Jones

Kathey Porter Sarah Sipek Roniece Weaver Eloise Woods

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Nancy Brown ONYX ADVISORY COMMITTEE Deidre Parker, Chair Michelle Tatom, Immediate Past Chair Bob Berryhill Dr. Lavon Bracy Bryon Brooks Hon. Mable Butler Dr. Cynthia Chestnut James Clark John Crossman

Tony Hill Alma Horne Rodney Hurst Ann Jenkins Larry Lee, Jr. Zita Steglich-Ross Margaret J. Thompson

Gail Thomas-DeWitt Hon. Alan Williams Carla Williams Dr. Samuel Wright Lady Dhyana Ziegler


Lester and Lillian Seays ONYX Magazine is published by ONYX Media Group, LLC, Address: P.O. Box 555672, Orlando, Florida 32855-5872 Phone (407) 451-2891, or (407) 298-0544. Subscription rate is $19.95 for six issues. For subscriptions and notification of address change, contact ONYX Magazine at the above address or e-mail us at Letters to the editor are encouraged. Copyright 2017 by ONYX Magazine. All rights reserved. No part of the publication may be reproduced without written consent of the publisher. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the writer or interviewee and not necessarily those of the publisher. Manuscripts, photos and art should be submitted with a self-addressed stamped envelope. The publisher does not assume responsibility for any materials not submitted in manner advised. Unsolicited materials are not subject to payment from ONYX Magazine.




The Lives and Legacies of William “Billy” Jones and Alonzo Adams By Marianne Eggleston

William “Billy” Jones

Alonzo Adams

William C. Jones, affectionately known as “Billy” to friends, was born May 2, 1952, in Pittsburgh, Penn. He was the oldest of six children born to William and Dorothy Jones. Billy entered in to infinite peace on July 11, 2017. He was raised in New Jersey and had resided in Orlando over the past 15 years. In the late 1970s, Billy embarked on a career as an actor, however, soon discovered he had a talent for modeling. He was the first top African-American male model. Throughout his career, he modeled for Elite and Ford Modeling Agencies, and graced the covers of prestigious magazines and fashion catalogs. His portfolio ranged from Gentlemen’s Quarterly (GQ) Magazine, New York Times men’s fashion section, Glamour Magazine, Revlon Hair Care Products, Ebony Magazine cover (March 1979), JCPenney and Sears catalogs as well as numerous outdoor billboards across the country. In New York, Billy was a top photographer for celebrities and fashion and beauty models. He had launched his newest photography studio, Billy Jones Pro Studios, in Downtown Orlando. The studio provided an array of services from photography, videography, in-house makeup consultations as well as his own line of designer ties, accessories and premium cosmetics. Billy also worked as ONYX Magazine’s staff photographer. Billy is gone from us but, his legacy will never be forgotten. He will be truly missed by the entire ONYX staff.

Elder Alonzo Adams, a resident of Florida, was born on January 18, 1952, and transitioned from this life on July 20, 2017. He was associate minister at Victorious Living Fellowship Church and owner of Masterpiece Clothing in Downtown Orlando. Alonzo had been an entrepreneur at heart from his very humble beginnings. He and his partners, at the time, had several stores in and around the Orlando marketplace. However, Alonzo never gave up on his vision of operating a men’s clothing store, and it was due to his passion which lead to Masterpiece’s success. He had built one of the most meticulous men’s clothing stores in the area, using only first-rate fabrics and the highest quality materials. Many celebrities, officials and corporate executives would come to have their tailored suits and shirts made. Masterpiece Clothing prides itself on making custom suits and providing custom fittings for its customers, and Adams was always there to help give that custom fit to all clients, no matter their size, no matter their taste, no matter their style— all with a personal touch which was unique to each person. Everyone who knew Alonzo will surely miss him around town, because he kept everyone sharp and tailored to the max.





BULLY A new film covers a tough topic that often leaves families in disarray By D. Shenell Reed


“Mommy, I owe them, I owe them,” Kelly* insisted. “What do you owe them,” Cheryl* questioned. Kelly never explained. The 15-year-old was very upset about some nude pictures of herself that popped up on social media. When Cheryl went to check on her daughter, she attempted to open the bathroom door but it was jammed. Then, she looked down to discover a scene that nearly took her breath away: a puddle of blood. She busted through the door and behind it lay her beautiful little girl in that puddle on the floor, still. Cheryl desperately applied pressure, trying to stop the blood that was spilling from Kelly’s head. But her daughter died from the self-inflicted gunshot wound. “I tried to save her,” Cheryl told reporters. About three hours before Cheryl came upon the gruesome scene that changed her life last year, her daughter discovered she had been violated by a friend while she was taking a shower. The friend captured video of Kelly bathing and posted it on Snapchat. Thousands of viewers watched the video and began name calling and bullying the Central Florida high school freshman. The pressure was overwhelming and Kelly’s reaction was fatal.

Nancy Brown


Members of the Amrak cast.

Unfortunately, Kelly’s story resembles too many others’. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 4,400 young people in the U.S. commit suicide each year, and many do so after enduring endless mean-spirited taunts from peers. They often believe death is the only escape from the pain and humiliation they feel. A new film project is under way to firmly address this issue and show anyone who considers suicide that life has value. Executive Producer Sean Roberts and team are embarking upon “Amrak,” a short film that shuts down bullying and gives power back to the victim. The word Amrak is the word karma spelled backward. Roberts explains the significance. “You have to be careful of what you do, because it’s going to come right back at you and that’s the twist of the word,” he says. “The [boomerang] arrow (in the Amrak logo) is the significance of your actions. If you put out good, good is going to come to you. If you put out bad, bad is going to come to you. You attract what you want to attract. These kids are feeling low, down… and if they continue to feel that way, eventually they’re going to harm themselves. So, I’m introducing the opposite, something positive…to empower them.” Interestingly, the film was inspired by a bullying experience Roberts, 46, had just a few years ago. He stood up to someone who constantly diminished his talents and took credit for his work. However, he believes that it is critical that the film center on children, “because you have to start at the foundation; teach them now, because eventually these kids are going to be adults,” Roberts says. Each young actor in the film is a victim of bullying in real life, so they bring deeper authenticity to their roles than others might have. Importantly, the story is told from the perspectives of both the victim and the bully. Most stories about bullying focus solely on the one who was hurt. Often, we miss that bullies also have been hurt and want to feel important, so they prey on the vulnerable. Through both vantage points, the driving messages are resounding.

Some Warning Signs Your Child Is Being Bullied: • Unexplained injuries • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry • Frequent headaches or stomach aces, feeling sick or faking illness • Changes in eating habits, skipping meals or binge eating; coming home hungry because they did not eat lunch

Some Warning Signs Your Child Is a Bully: • Get into physical or verbal fights • Have friends who bully others • Are increasingly aggressive • Get sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently

“Don’t kill yourself. You are greatly valued,” says Roberts. “We have 8-, 10and 15-year-olds killing themselves and so many are attempting to do something to stop this, but often they glamorize the efforts. I really want to help them.” The media has long been tapped as the culprit for glamorizing tough topics. A Netflix series based on a book by Jay Asher, “13 Reasons Why” centers on a teenage character and the reasons she killed herself after being bullied. She details her explanations in a set of cassette tapes which she mails to her classmates. Critics of the show say it glamorizes suicide, but others say it has opened up a healthy dialogue among parents, teens, schools and mental health

advocates around the difficult topic. The show is rated MA15+ for raising awareness of the issue. The next message is for the bully. “Utilize your talents to do something other than hurt someone else,” says Roberts. Experts at write “young people who bully may be very comfortable with their own actions and some traditional counseling techniques may not help…. Once the young person is able to recognize problems with his or her behavior, mental health professionals can help them set and work toward goals for change, help them track their progress toward new behaviors, and feel pride about those changes.” The response to the Amrak project has been very positive and Roberts says he continues to get calls from parents thanking him for his work and asking for solutions. “There’s a silence within people who are suffering and a lot of people don’t know what to do, Roberts says. “We’re building the kids’ self-esteem through this project and the parents’ self-esteem, because parents are feeling low like ‘why is my child being bullied? What did I do wrong?’” Roberts wants to eventually take the project to schools, churches and other venues on a national and international scale. The time will come. Until then, the film will be unveiled at the Orlando Urban Film Festival Nov. 10 – 12, 2017, at AMC Theater Orlando Universal Cineplex 20. “This is needed and I am willing to do what’s needed to be done,” he says. “It’s amazing, because God has selected me to do this thing. I’ve just been blessed.”

For more signs, visit *The opening story was reported by several news outlets. The names were changed. ONYX MAGAZINE 11


Why Learn a Second Language? By Great Schools Staff


sk an American adult about whether she speaks a language other than English, and you’re likely to get an answer something like this: “I took French in school, but I can’t speak it.” That’s no longer an acceptable response. Not to government leaders worried about the lack of Chinese or Arabic speakers in a post-9/11 world. Not to business leaders concerned about America’s ability to compete in the global marketplace. And not to the parents and students who understand the competitive advantage that knowledge of another language and culture provides. This pressure to teach students to communicate in a second language has drastically changed methods of instruction in the best language programs. “What a lot of Americans remember is language as an academic pursuit,” says Marty Abbott, director of education for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. “They learned a lot about a language, how to conjugate every irregular verb. Today, the emphasis is on developing students’ communications skills — what they can do with a language. That’s a radical departure.” But lots of students still aren’t getting this kind of language instruction. In most states, language class is an elective not required for graduation. Language teachers are in short supply nationwide. Language programs are in continual peril of being cut in financially strapped districts concerned about students’ test scores in reading and math. Research supports the practices of many European nations: Children learn a second language more easily when they are young. As a result, language immersion programs have increased in elementary schools. In these classes, children learn the content of subjects such as math or science in the second language. But that doesn’t mean it’s too late for older kids to benefit from language instruction. Students learn a second language best through context, research has shown. See-

ing posters, newspapers or magazines in the second language; talking about the food; and listening to the music of a particular culture gives them that context. Video clips of native speakers can familiarize students with the gestures and other nonverbal communication clues commonly used in a particular culture. Learning a second language has been correlated with improved reading ability in sixth-graders, to improved scores on the ACT and SAT, and academic success in college for high school students. Many colleges require two years of a

second language. But as the College Board notes, taking more language shows that a student is willing to go beyond the basics so they may prefer more. Check with your child’s counselor and the colleges he or she is interested in for more information. Students interested in studying abroad while in college should research these programs as part of their college search. But the good news is that most colleges allow students to participate in other institutions’ study abroad programs, so most students enjoy a wide variety of options for foreign study. ONYX MAGAZINE 13

EDUCATION Some tips to remember when searching for scholarships. 1. Check with your prospective schools about money they offer 2. Ask your academic advisor for resources 3. Dig into your network like church or civic clubs 4. Check out scholarships online

With the rising cost of college, finding enough money for higher education is getting tough. But, there are some online sites that can help ease the burden of paying for school. Check out some of these funding resources that may help college years go by without money woes.

FASTWEB Fastweb, a subsidiary of Monster, hosts more than 1.5 million scholarships that amount to more than $3.4 billion dollars. And it’s all so well organized! The search platform’s filters make it hard not to find exactly what you’re looking for.

UNCF The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) has hundreds of scholarships to help students get to and through school. To apply for a UNCF scholarship, you must apply through the on-line application process. As many of the UNCF scholarships require that the scholarship recipient apply for Federal Student Aid, it is recommended that applicants complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

CAPPEX Cappex has a large scholarship database and they’re not afraid to brag a bit: “We’ve Got More Than $11 Billion in Scholarships.” Cappex sets itself apart with its “What Are My Chances” tool, which attempts to calculate the odds that you’ll get into a certain college before you apply.

PETERSON’S Peterson’s is a one-stop scholarship resource with a number of great and free resources. The site boasts $10 billion in scholarship awards and has an impressive collection of articles, test prep resources and more. It also has the tools and tips you need to start your search — and its search filters make navigation simple. UNIGO When it comes to scholarships, Unigo offers both profile-based matching as well as easy-to-browse categories. Perhaps best of all is its user-friendly interface, which is somewhat reminiscent of a photo-sharing site. It makes finding scholarships simple. 14 ONYX MAGAZINE

CHEGG With scholarships totaling over $1 billion, Chegg’s interface is simple and the mandatory sign-up process is well worth the time. What’s more, it has a “top scholarship picks this week” category, which highlights opportunities you may have otherwise missed. THE COLLEGE BOARD As with all of the best resources, The College Board offers much more than an extensive list of scholarships. It also has test prep, articles and college search tools, among others. And its “scholarships, other financial aid and internships from more than 2,200 programs” totals nearly $6 billion.

NICHE Formerly known as College Prowler, Niche is one of the easiest sites to navigate. It’s neatly organized into categories that make it simple to start finding and applying for scholarships. You can browse by categories – including, but not limited to, sports, interest area, career and major — but it can be tricky to filter outside of these preset groupings. Still, with no required sign-up and a userfriendly design, Niche is a simple and powerful resource. SCHOLARSHIPS.COM is one of the largest scholarship databases and is updated daily. You can browse by category, but if you really want to navigate the extensive list of opportunities, you’ll need to make a profile. COLLEGENET.COM Despite its somewhat unusual interface, Collegenet has an impressive number of scholarships. You can search by keyword or create a personalized profile to get filtered results. From there, you can create, manage and save lists that you can return to later. SCHOLARSHIP MONKEY Scholarship Monkey offers three search options: personalized search, search by keyword and lists of scholarships. Results from any of these searches can then be further filtered by college. It’s a great tool with a huge database of scholarships.

Funding College May Be Only a Click Away

5. Be keenly aware of scholarship deadlines


Four-Year Degree Not For You? There are Alternatives. By Sarah Sipek

1. Start a business. There are 27.9 million small business owners in the U.S. And the barriers to starting your own business have never been lower. A storefront—with expensive rent, utilities and employees—is no longer necessary to sell goods or provide a service. A computer and an internet connection are all you need to start a business from home. 16 ONYX MAGAZINE

2. Attend community college. Community college is emerging as not only a good value, but also a promising way to land a job. The programs offered are often a direct response to the needs of the current job market. In just two years’ time, students can earn an associate degree or a certification as a veterinary technician, a dental hygienist, web designer or even a winemaker. Community college also affords you the option of transferring to a four-year college after receiving your associate degree. The first two years of most bachelor’s degree programs are comprised of the same set of classes—including entry level English, math and science courses—but often at a fraction of the price. 3. Explore technical training. Technical colleges specialize in careerdriven courses that teach skills that apply

Adobe Stock


arning a college degree is an impressive achievement—but it’s not for everyone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, just 33 percent of adults 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher. If you’re a member of the 67 percent without a four-year degree, don’t worry. Completing a bachelor’s degree isn’t the only way to launch a successful career. If a traditional four-year college isn’t the right path for you, check out these eight alternatives:

Adobe Stock

to specific careers, such as carpentry or electrical work. Unlike a four-year college, you aren’t required to take classes that aren’t related to your career focus. This option is great if you already have a career in mind and want to go directly into it. In addition, there is a growing domestic demand for high-precision skills. Skilled trade workers are a disproportionately older population. As they begin to retire, there will be a large number of jobs to fill. Technical college will prepare you to take on those roles. 4. Try an apprenticeship or fellowship. Apprenticeships offer the opportunity to learn a trade in an in-demand field. And unlike many internships, you get paid. Programs offer on-the-job training from experienced professionals. If you go this route, you’ll likely be working with your hands. The construction industry currently makes up two-thirds of apprenticeship programs in the U.S. If you have a great idea but don’t want to wait four years to execute it, consider applying for a fellowship. For example, the Thiel Fellowship—launched by Pay-

Pal founder Peter Thiel—offers $100,000 to skip college and pursue a business idea while being mentored by the world’s top scientists, researchers and business leaders. The program is competitive, though. Only 20 candidates are selected each year. If you don’t get in, there are several other programs to pursue, including Echoing Green, Enstitute and UnCollege Gap Year.

the U.S. The federal agency works to strengthen America’s nonprofit sector and addresses the nation’s challenges through service. The Conservation Corps—an initiative descended from the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corp—provides conservation, infrastructure improvement and human service projects identified as important by communities across the U.S.

5. Join the military. There are many practical benefits to joining a branch of the military. In addition to a competitive salary, free health care and little-to-no living costs, the military will pay your tuition while in service. Soldiers have access to a variety of online learning options and there are satellite classrooms on many bases. Once your service is complete, you can also use the GI Bill to pay for part of your tuition. The military also offers retirement with benefits after 20 years of service.

7. Apply for RightSkill. If you’re looking to develop skills to pursue a certain type of job, consider enrolling in RightSkill, a partnership between CareerBuilder and Capella Learning Solutions. The program helps job seekers gain in-demand skills through non-degree learning courses, then helps facilitate job interviews with local employers that are actively hiring. Career paths include assistant restaurant manager, recruiter and front-end web developer. Choose your career, learn and practice the skills it will require and prepare for interviews. And everything is done online.

6. Volunteer. Volunteering isn’t just a way to give back. It builds character and gives you access to experiences outside of a formal educational setting that will be useful when you enter the workforce. The Corporation for National and Community Service is a great option for high school graduates looking to stay within

8. Consider a gap year. You don’t have to make a decision about your future right away. Consider traveling and dedicating yourself to finding your passion. Making a career choice is a big decision. It doesn’t have to be rushed. ONYX MAGAZINE 17

Leading Students to Success Orange County Public Schools welcomes 13 new and renovated schools, including: New • Innovation Middle • Laureate Park Elementary • OCPS Academic Center for Excellence (ACE)

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• Timber Springs Middle • Westpointe Elementary • Windermere High Renovated • Mollie Ray Elementary

Replaced • • • • • •

Carver Middle Englewood Elementary Ivey Lane Elementary Meadow Woods Elementary Oak Hill Elementary Rock Lake Elementary

FAMU Receives Grants to Enhance STEM Students

QUAD BethuneCookman University Interim President Named Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) has appointed its general counsel retired Judge Hubert Grimes as interim president. Judge Grimes also serves as the director for the Center for Law and Social Justice at B-CU. Judge Grimes made history as the first AfricanAmerican County Judge of Volusia County in 1988. Judge Grimes assumed the role shortly after President Edison O. Jackson, Ph.D., announced his retirement.

Florida Memorial University Appoints Interim President Michelle Howard-Vital, Ph.D., has been named interim president at Florida Memorial University. She has more than 35 years’ experience in higher education and has served in a range of roles including senior fellow for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Howard-Vital is the former president of Cheyney University (2007-2014). She replaces Roslyn Artis, Ph.D., who is now the president at Benedict College.

B-CU Partnership to Bring Change for Black Men Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) Office of Chaplaincy is partnering with the Florida Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys as the organization’s first collaboration since its inception in 2006. B-CU will assist the Council with the development of research to empower communities and inform the development of legislation to improve opportunities in the state of Florida. The Florida Legislature established the Council to study conditions negatively affecting black men in our state. The Council has concentrated its efforts on developing programs and services based on sound practices that will improve the lives of black men. The Council is bringing awareness to minority youth disparities and socioeconomic issues to encourage similar community partnerships throughout the state with local communities and grassroots organizations.

Edward Waters College to Receive Upgrade Funds Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry announced that one of his Safer Neighborhoods investments will include more than $8 million to support the Edward Waters College (EWC). EWC President Dr. Nat Glover approached the mayor earlier this year to request support for two challenges he believed were impeding the growth and progress of the university. Dormitory conditions resulting in mold and unhealthy environments were affecting recruitment and retention efforts. Also, the long-time absence of an on-campus athletic field required the university to leave its campus and community for football games, played at local high schools. A new community field with a track will be a resource to Health Zone 1, a community wrought with health, safety and education disparities.

Benedict College Gets New President The Benedict College Board of Trustees announced that Roslyn Artis, Ph.D., will become the 14th President of Benedict College on September 1, 2017. She will become the first female President in the College’s 147-year history. Artis brings to the Midlands College an impressive mix of higher education and corporate experience. She previously was the president at Florida Memorial University.


Judge Grimes photo courtesy of Michael’s Photography & Video


Florida A&M University (FAMU) has been awarded a four-year, $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) to help broaden the participation of minority graduates in the nation’s science and technology workforce. The grant supports FAMU’s HBCU-UP project titled “Science Community of Active Learners to Enhance Achievement and Retention” to increase student success rates in FAMU’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degree programs. FAMU also announced it is receiving a $550,000, three-year grant from Intel Corporation to expand pathways for more women and underrepresented minorities to enter and succeed in tech fields.


Make Your Kid’s Lunch Healthy Just as your family is getting out of summer mode, for many, September marks back-to-school time By Roniece Weaver


e encourage parents to become familiar with the school meal programs which require serving more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and gradually reducing sodium over 10 years. Studies have shown that students who eat school meals are more likely to consume milk, fruits, and vegetables during the meal times. School meal participants have better intake of some key nutrients (e.g., calcium, fiber) than non-participants. But if your student brings lunch from home, parents can be mindful of packing a healthy lunchbox. Between teacher “meet and greets,” school supply shopping, and getting back on a routine sleep schedule, lunchbox packing tends to be last on the list. But, what your child eats for lunch matters more than you might realize.


Don’t Pack the Salt A recent CDC report found that about 90 percent of U.S. school-aged children consume too much sodium each day. To put that into perspective, if there are 20 kids in your child’s class, 18 of them will be eating too much sodium each day. Which group does your child fall into?

The report also found that one in nine children ages 8-17 has a blood pressure that measures too high, putting them at risk for heart disease. A healthy, low sodium diet can have an important effect on a child’s blood pressure and heart health now and later in life.



About 43% of sodium eaten by children comes from just 10 common food types! • Pizza • Bread/rolls • Cold cuts/cured meats • Savory snacks • Sandwiches • Cheese • Chicken patties/nuggets, etc. • Pasta mixed dishes • Mexican mixed dishes • Soups Source: What we eat in America, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, United States, 2009-2010

One way to reduce the amount of sodium in your child’s lunchbox is to stick to lower-sodium options, such as cold cuts (marked low sodium), dinner leftovers such as grilled chicken or lean meat, and fresh fruits and vegetables as snacks. Identify the top sources of sodium in your child’s lunchbox. How to Beat the Surprising Sodium Sources You may be surprised to find out what the top sources of sodium are in children’s diets (see chart). If you can’t eliminate these items from your child’s school lunches, at least try to choose lower sodium options. Here are some tips to help tackle high sodium in your child’s lunchbox: • Identify the foods contributing the most sodium to your child’s lunchbox and find lower sodium options. Just like the lower-sodium cold cuts that are now offered at most delis, many snacks and prepared soups are also cutting the sodium. To find lower sodium packaged food options, read the nutrition labels and compare the sodium amount in similar products, then choose the option with the lowest amount of sodium. For example, some varieties of bread can vary from 80 to 230 mg of

sodium per slice. That can make a big difference in lunch-time sandwiches. Your kids may not even realize the difference! • For a healthy snack, pack fresh fruits and vegetables with lunch every day, like a small bag of baby carrots, snow peas, or grape tomatoes. • Encourage your child to get involved. Let them help pack their lunch, and talk about ways to make their favorite items healthy or lower sodium. Let them put their snack packs together or pick what they want for lunch the next day based on what healthy, low-sodium leftovers you have in the fridge. Take these tips beyond your child’s school lunchboxes and apply to planning and preparing food for other school activities, such as parties, sporting events, and extracurricular activities. Pack-and-Go Snack and Lunch Recipes Need inspiration for easy pack-and-go snack and lunch recipes that are lower in sodium? Check out recipes on the What’s Cooking site: www.whatscooking.fns.usda. gov for USDA / Food and Nutrition Team. By packing a lower sodium school lunch for your children and creating an environment with lower sodium food options at home, your children can develop healthy, low sodium eating habits that will last

throughout their lives and help improve their heart health. Back-to-School List Get involved in “extracurricular activities” for your family to have a healthy school year. • Kickball, swimming, tennis, soccer and much more. Just move!! • Join the conversation! Form text messages with other parents to share meal plans for your kid’s lunch. • Ever wonder what your child eats when they purchase lunch at school? Visit your children’s school and have lunch with them this National Take Your Parents to School Lunch Day. • Put healthy surprises in your kid’s lunch box that are heart healthy such as baked chips, fruit kabobs, low-sodium pretzels. Hope you had a great summer break. Plan ahead and let’s start the Fall on the right steps to Health! Pack the following recipe below in your child’s lunch box for a healthy treat that taste good and is healthy.

Roniece Weaver, MS, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian.

Yogurt Bars ¾ cup all purpose flour ¾ cup whole wheat flour 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground ginger 1 (6 ounce) package mixed dried fruit, coarsely chopped cup chopped walnuts (optional) 1 cup plain fat-free yogurt or 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt 1 large egg ¼ cup apple juice concentrate 2 tablespoons oil nonstick cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Add dried fruits and walnuts. In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, egg, apple juice concentrate, and oil. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients until blended. Coat a 9 X 13 inch pan with vegetable spray, spread batter in pan. Bake 45-50 minutes or until done. Cool 10 minutes before slicing. Slice into 8 servings. Freeze in individual portions if desired.



Rattlers and Tigers Face Off in Tampa By Keisha Boyd

Football season is upon us and the State of Florida has a new classic game to look forward to. The FAMU Tampa Classic will debut on Saturday - September 16th at the Raymond James Stadium. The Florida A & M University (FAMU) Rattlers and the Marching 100 will face off with the Tennessee State University (TSU) Tigers and the Aristocrat of Bands. The two haven’t met to play in a classic in several years since the dissolution of the once popular Atlanta Classic. Tampa previously hosted the Florida Classic and has been yearning to get a classic back in its city. One strong advocate was Commissioner Les Miller. In a recent meeting, Commissioner Miller spoke on the importance of this upcoming game. “This city misses the vibrancy that the classic once brought here. I am so glad to see the FAMU Tampa Classic debut here in Tampa and I am going to do all that I can to make sure that it is a success.” FAMU partnered with Hillsborough County, the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, Visit Tampa Bay and the City of Tampa

to make this classic a reality. Athletic Director Milton Overton is already looking into the future. “This first game is going to set us up for greatness. In order to build the revenue needed to support our programs, we have to explore ownership. This game is certainly a step in the right direction,” says Overton. Fans from both FAMU and TSU can look forward to a host of events around the game. There will be a team luncheon at the downtown Hilton; an anticipated Battle of the Bands prior to the game; an alumni association boat ride and several receptions. The game will kick off at 6:30 pm on Saturday, September 16th. Tickets start start at $29. For more information, please visit www.

BET Founder to Buy Popular Hotel in St. Pete BET Founder Robert Johnson is close to acquiring a new property. His publicly traded real estate investment trust, RLJ Lodging Trust, will purchase the Maryland-based FelCor Lodging Trust, which owns The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, a historic resort in downtown. FelCor, which recently announced a three-year plan to make $50 million in upgrades to the property, bought the Vinoy in 2007. Upgrades include building a new parking structure, a new 200-seat restaurant, and renovating the 26 ONYX MAGAZINE

spa, fitness center, golf course and clubhouse, according to TBO. With this purchase, RLJ Lodging Trust will expand to the West Coast adding to its portfolio hotels across the country, including a few Embassy Suites in South Florida and a DoubleTree Suites in Orlando. RLJ Lodging Trust currently owns 122 hotels with more than 20,100 rooms in 21 states. It will also create a $7 billion company with stakes in 160 hotels across 26 states and Washington D.C., making it one of the largest public hotel real estate firms in the country. Johnson will oversee the merged companies as executive chairman. The all-stock transaction is expected to close by the end of the year. A sales price and other terms were not disclosed.

The architects rendering of Pendana at West Lakes comes to life as framing began on the first buildings last July.

Pendana at West Lakes Takes Shape in Orlando Contractors Look to Fill Jobs

Photos courtesy of LIFT Orlando

By James Woelbern Construction on Pendana at West Lakes, the centerpiece project for the Communities of West Lakes and LIFT Orlando went vertical earlier this summer marking a significant milestone for the development and the community. The $40MM, 200-unit, mixed-income apartment home development is slated to begin full leasing by Spring 2018. Pendana at West Lakes represents the largest investment in housing in the area in decades. Pendana at West Lakes contractors have been active in the community looking to hire residents to work on Pendana as well as other projects across Central Florida. Ella Reid-Drummer has lived in the Communities of West Lakes, all her life. A 1981 graduate of Jones High School, Reid-Drummer began her business, EAC Cleaning Services in 2012 after many years of experience in the industry. The business has grown from its early roots in residential cleaning and now specializes in all sizes of construction project cleaning. Her business has employed nearly a dozen residents in the last six months and this past July she hired a resident for a management position. Her personal and business philosophy are focused on helping the communities she is working in, having a positive impact on her employees and hiring from within the community. Another contractor, Sandra Godwin Robb, is president of TBPM, Inc., the Tampa-based plumbing contractor for Pendana. The 30-year old family-owned and operated company

has a long history of growing their employee base from within local communities. “We are very proud to be a part of the Pendana at West Lakes development and community revitalization and are always looking for new employees to support our growing business,” said Robb. “We’ve hired from within the West Lakes community already and are looking to add more local employees for Pendana and other projects. If you’re willing to work, we’ll train you and for those who wish, we’ll pay for an accredited, four-year Association of Builders and Contractors (ABC) apprenticeship,” continued Robb. Visit and see the career tab for more on job opportunities. “I love my community,” said EAC’s Reid-Drummer. “[I] learned about Pendana at West Lakes through an entrepreneurship program my pastor, Bishop Wiggins hosted at Hope Church,” she continued. “I was persistent, attended any meeting I could and called the general contractor constantly to compete for the contract at this development which I’m thrilled to have won. I’m looking to hire more employees including residents from my community.” EAC Cleaning Services is a subcontractor for the City of Orlando at both the Camping World Stadium and Amway Arena venues and recently won contracts for projects at Orlando International Airport. For employment opportunities with EAC Cleaning Services inquiries can be sent to or call (407) 990-1881.

ONYX ON THE MOVE Miss Florida A&M, Amberly Williams, center, mentors two young girls at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Thursday, June 22, 2017. Williams is one of ten Campus Queens from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) who was celebrated as one of EBONY’s Top 10 Queens of 2017 at the Walt Disney World Resort. The Florida native participated in a mentoring program with young girls, modeled for an EBONY magazine fashion shoot and served as grand marshal for the Magic Kingdom Park parade.

Photo by David Roark

Disney HBCU Queens

Photo by Matt Stroshane

EBONY’s Top 10 HBCU Campus Queens serve as grand marshals of the Festival of Fantasy Parade at Magic Kingdom Park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Thursday, June 22, 2017. Left to right, Jasmine Merlette (Xavier University of Louisiana), Chelsea Bosley (Dillard University), Symone Daniels (Mississippi Valley State University), Geniquiva Merideth (Albany State University), Astra Watts (Grambling State University), London Knight (South Carolina State University), Destiney Lawrence (Jackson State University), Corinne Vaughn (Southern U and A&M College), Amberly Williams (Florida A&M University) and Germika Stewart (Southern U at New Orleans). The queens also participated in a mentoring program with young girls and modeled for an EBONY magazine fashion shoot.

Photo by David Roark

Miss America 2004 Ericka Dunlap (bottom row, far right) speaks to EBONY’s Top 10 Queens of 2017 during a special “Tea with the Queens” program at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. on Thursday, June 22, 2017. The queens spent the morning inspiring, mentoring and sharing special moments with little princesses from two Central Florida organizations, Girls Inc. of Lakeland and Frontline Outreach of Orlando.


Florida A&M University student Amberly Williams was one of 10 Campus Queens from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) who were celebrated at the Walt Disney World Resort June 21-23. The Florida native participated in a mentoring program with young girls, model for an EBONY magazine fashion shoot, and serve as grand marshal for the Magic Kingdom parade. ONYX Magazine was the only other magazine invited to participate. Disney brought its own brand of magic to the Campus Queens program, which was created by EBONY to celebrate black collegiate women and provide a platform for them to serve as ambassadors for their schools and promote public service throughout the country. The ten accomplished young women participated in an exciting line-up of activities. Miss America 2004 Ericka Dunlap served as Mistress of Ceremonies for a special “Tea with the Queens” program at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The queens spent the morning inspiring, mentoring and sharing special moments with little princesses from two Central Florida organizations, Girls, Inc. of Lakeland and Frontline Outreach of Orlando. The queens offered tips and tools to help the elementaryand middle-school girls tap into their inner princess. The queens then moved their celebration to the Magic Kingdom, where they served as grand marshals of the classic Festival of Fantasy Parade. Rounding out the queens’ Walt Disney World experiences was a chance to enjoy some of the resort’s new additions including Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the nighttime fireworks show, “Happily Ever After,” at Magic Kingdom. The queens also participated in a series of fashion shoots for EBONY’S Back-to-School issue that publishes in September. Queens included Amberly Williams (Florida A&M University), Corinne Vaughn (Southern U and A&M College), London Knight (South Carolina State University), Symone Daniels (Mississippi Valley State University), Geniquiva Merideth (Albany State University), Germika Stewart (Southern U at New Orleans), Astra Watts (Grambling State University), Chelsea Bosley (Dillard University), Destiney Lawrence (Jackson State University), and Jasmine Merlette (Xavier University of Louisiana).


24-Year-Old CEO, Award-Winning Author Inspires Young Americans By Eloise Woods


t only 18 years of age, RJ Tolson became CEO of a multi-divisional corporation, founded an international charity, Forever Trust, and published an award-winning young adult fiction book, “Zephyr The West Wind.” In fact, while still attending high school at Cheshire Academy in Cheshire, CT, Tolson began posting chapters of “Zephyr The West Wind” to, a YouTube equivalent for writers. Tolson’s fan base grew rapidly and in less than a year Universal Kingdom Print signed the then 18-year-old Whittier College freshman to a five book “Chaos Chronicles” series with “Zephyr The West Wind” the first in the series. Within a year of signing, “Zephyr The West Wind” garnered Tolson Finalist Award in the 2013 Beverly Hills Book Awards and National Indie Excellence Awards. At that same time and only 19 years old, RJ launched a national literacy campaign. Traveling from New England to Florida and across the West, he urged teens to excel chiefly through the skills of reading and writing, and participate in community service. His impressive campaign garnered an endorsement from Emmy and Tony Award-Winning actress Cicely Tyson. Tolson thereafter was a guest at the Cicely Tyson School of Performing & Fine Arts in East Orange, N.J. His commitment to inspiring teens to “be limitless” and think globally resounded throughout his visit. “I was particularly impressed when he discussed the importance in our students preparing themselves to live in a global world and to think beyond the walls of East Orange,” said Educational Media Specialist Lora Tazewell. Now with nearly half a million online fan club, Limitless Fan Club, thousands of Twitter followers and Facebook Likes, and appearances on Telemundo interna-


RJ spoke to young men who participate in Congresswoman Frederica Wilson’s 5,000 Role Models of Excellence Project at Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High School in Miami.

tional television show “Un Nuevo Dia“ and CBS, NBC, FOX and ABC affiliates, this young American continues not only his efforts to inspire Americans, but also expand his fantasy genre ventures. Upon the release of his “Zephyr The West Wind” illustration edition, “Art of the Chaos Chronicles,” Tolson shared “I’ve received countless emails from fans telling me how much they could relate to Zephyr and his struggles and asking if the story could be done in an illustration and graphic novel version. Staying connected to my fans and

honoring their requests when possible is important to me.” “True Life,” the first in his manga adaptation series of “Zephyr the West Wind,” titled “Legends of Tye,” has been as well received by his fans. Tolson, a gifted lyricist and composer, did what few award-winning fantasy genre novelists have done and composed an Amazon best-selling soundtrack, “Zephyr The West Wind” original soundtrack. Tolson’s soundtrack upon release reached a high of No. 11 on Amazon’s Best-Selling New and Future Releases list.




ne critic described Cassandra Wilson, twotime Grammy award-winner as “a singer with an unmistakable timbre and attack who has expanded the playing field”. Throughout her career, which spans more than 35 years, she has managed to rank as one of jazz’s leading female vocalists of all time. Not only that, her versatile ability to flow into several genres, to include blues, country and folk has expanded her music into worldwide recognition. Recently, I sat down with Cassandra Wilson, for our third interview over the years to discuss her upcoming performance at the Blue Note Jazz Festival here in New York City. Also, a project dear to her heart, and take a look back at the re-release of her 1996 recording “You Move Me,” which she was commissioned to write and record for the now cult classic movie, “Love Jones.” What is it about the Blue Note Jazz Club that keeps you returning to perform? The Blue Note is an iconic venue, with a very special energy. Many greats have performed there. Steven Bensusan, the owner and I are great associates. That’s always been my spot, my home in New York. I also have another home that I’ve recently discovered that I love to perform in...the Irish Arts Center.


I read there is a lack of awareness of what the Irish have contributed to jazz. Yes. It is an ongoing research project of mine. It started when I attended the Irish Arts Center gala. I took a DNA test and discovered my Irish ancestry. It made me very curious about the stories we’ve been told. There is a correspondence in terms of the dance, tap dancing and Irish step dancing are closely related. There’s also a tie in the music of Appalachia. The music that comes from Appalachia and travels down into the deep south is a story upon the story of jazz that hasn’t been told. It’s a fascinating story and I’d like to be a part of revealing it. I’m sure many of us would like to see this bloom. This is news to me. You’d be surprised. They say the percentage of African Americans who have Irish ancestry is near 33 percent. We have been told about our slavery and how most of the planters and paddy rollers victimized us, and that’s why we have that bloodline. I think some of that is Hollywood. There’s a hidden story. Many Irish people came to America as indentured servants, and worked alongside us, so many of our connections with them were natural without rape. The project will begin in Ireland the end of October. We have a few performances there and then go to the studio. This project is straight from my heart.

Photo courtesy of Cassandra Wilson

I’m looking forward to it. Tell me about “You Move Me” from the movie “Love Jones.” How did it all begin? Theordore Witcher was the writer and producer, he called and said, “I need a song.” He came to my apartment in Harlem and I sat down on the piano and played a sketch I was working on, and he listened to it and said, “That’s it! Don’t do anything else to it!” [laughs]. It is a beautiful song! The bass line is rich. Did you watch the film and write to the clips? That’s Lonnie Plaxico. My right-hand man for many years. They sent the clips without music, so I wrote to the clips on my video recorder. No Pro Tools back then! [laughs] - I think I might add another lyric to give it some wisdom after 20 years, then we’ll call that “You Move Me” the redux.

PLACES TO GO, PEOPLE TO SEE FLORIDA 21st Annual Epcot Food & Wine Festival Aug. 31-Nov. 13, 2017 MAXWELL Mahaffey Theater St. Petersburg, FL. Sept. 1, 2017 MAXWELL Tom Joyner Family Reunion Orlando, FL. Sept. 2, 2017 Rogers & Hammerstein’s The King & I Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center Walt Disney Theater Sept. 12-17, 2017 Dr. Phillips Center Jazz Orchestra Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater Sept. 15-16, 2017 On Your Feet! Broadway Musical The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center Walt Disney Theater Oct. 17-22, 2017 New! Miles Jaye’s MANHATTAN Jazz Cafe & Lounge feat. Miles Jaye Jazz Experiment 38th Clearwater Jazz Holiday Clearwater, FL. Oct. 19-22, 2017 (The Temptations, Michael McDonald) Orlando Ballet Season Starts! Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center Walt Disney Theater Oct. 27, 2017-May 6, 2018 International Ballet Festival of Miami Sept. 2-17, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. AREA The Yellowjackets – Blues Alley Sept. 14-17, 2017 Rachelle Ferrell – Blues Alley Oct. 12-15, 2017 Najee – Blues Alley Oct.20-22, 2017

Gigi Brooks is a jazz radio personality and journalist.

Filene Center I Love The 90’s feat. TLC, Kid N’ Play, C&C Music Factory, Snap – Sept. 3, 2017 11th Annual Capital Jazz Super Cruise Sept. 24-Oct. 1, 2017 38th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival Sept. 1-4, 2017


JOIN OUR TEAM ONYX Magazine celebrates 20 years of entertaining, inspiring and informing African Americans throughout Florida. Join our team as we continue to expand. We are seeking experienced and enthusiastic Sales Representatives and Writers. Send your resume’ and writing clips (for writers) to or call 407-451-2891.




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he Turks and Caicos is a tropical Atlantic archipelago that’s located 575 miles southeast of Miami. The country is a British Overseas Territory with a population of about 30,000 spread over nine inhabited islands. There are about 100 named islands and cays in the Turks and Caicos. As the country’s name suggests, there are two island groups: the Turks Islands of Grand Turk and Salt Cay to the east, and the larger Caicos Islands group of Providenciales, North Caicos Middle Caicos, East Caicos, South Caicos and West Caicos to the west. The 20-mile wide and 5,000 foot deep Columbus Passage divides the groups. The majority of the population of Turks and Caicos resides on the island of Providenciales. Grand Turk supports the second greatest population, as well as the nation’s capital city of Cockburn Town. Unlike many Caribbean countries, the Turks and Caicos has one of the lowest annual rainfall average in the region, and consequently a high percentage of sunny days and great weather. The islands in the Turks and Caicos are

generally quite small, with low-elevation terrain. Drought-resistant tropical dry forest and marine mangrove wetlands make up the majority of vegetation in the country. Getting There The Providenciales International Airport welcomes all scheduled international flights to the Turks and Caicos, with arrivals from over two dozen cities across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and the Caribbean. Grand Turk also features an international airport, yet only regularly sees domestic flights. Airports and airstrips can be found on nearly all other inhabited islands. The flight times from many major U.S. east coast cities isn’t great, which is a significant convenience for many travelers. Miami is less than two hours away. Car rentals and taxis are the main forms of transport throughout the country. Road navigation is simple due to our small islands, and a simple map suffices as a guide. Cruise Ships Grand Turk also features the country’s only cruise ship port, which sees about

12 cruise ship arrivals per week. Carnival Cruise Lines runs an expansive cruise center complex that features shops, dining and shore excursions. Grand Turk is a great cruise stop. The island is small, so it’s easy to explore, there are great beaches, as well as several minor yet interesting historical attractions. On the typical Caribbean route, it offers the best beaches and is the best destination for simply exploring by rental car. Grand Turk also offers a limited market for overnight stays, with small hotel and colonial villa rental options to choose from. Tourism Seasons Like many tourism destinations, the Turks and Caicos experiences predictable peaks and falls in visitor arrivals throughout the year. The winter “high season” is the busiest time of the year, and the end of summer and fall months experience the fewest arrivals. The rates and availability for local accommodations and activities reflect the different seasons, and it’s possible to save quite a bit with visits during the low season. Temperatures in the Turks and Caicos range from 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. ONYX MAGAZINE 37


Money Does Matter Make your money work for you By Laura Dorsey


ost goals and dreams in life - funding a child’s college education, purchasing a home or retiring in comfort — require that you have a sound financial strategy to achieve them. One of the problems is that there is no magic answer to a sound financial strategy. But what is the best answer for you? No one way of preparing for the financial future is right for everyone. No matter what your goals are, it is important to take control of your money now and make it work for you. Money does matter! If you want to achieve your dreams, your tomorrow must begin today. We have always been told that ‘knowledge is power’. However, we agree with Eric Thomas who said that ‘knowledge isn’t power, applied knowledge is power’. The real answer is that choice equals power which is why you cannot be limited to just one solution. We also know, that to form the correct solutions, you must first be aware of the problems. There are many challenges that you must consider when planning for your financial future. You must know the concerns as well as obstacle that can get in the way of your financial security. Let’s look at a few of the concerns: credit card debt and savings. First, credit card debt is a concern for many families. Statistics reveal that the average debt per American household is $5,700. However, those same statistics indicate that Black households have an average of $6,172 of debt which is higher than the average American household. This is even more disturbing, because Blacks do not fall on the higher end of the income curve. Credit card debt is increasing; however, salaries and wages are not increasing at the same rate. Unfortunately, we are not as good at saving money as we are at spending it. Too many American households live paycheck to paycheck. According to a Federal Reserve report, nearly half of Americans could not cover a $400 emergency expense without borrowing the money or selling something.

No matter how much you plan in life, the unexpected happens. More than half of the households have less than one month’s worth of income in a readily available savings account, far from the six-month emergency fund experts recommend. The outlook is not full of doom and gloom. Many Americans are realizing that they need to prepare for their financial future. If you were sick, you would want the best doctor to treat you. You want the best educators in the classroom with your children. If you are working, you want to work for the most family-friendly employer. In the same instance, you cannot always resolve your financial issues alone. You should enlist the services of a good Financial Advisor. There are advisors for every end of the economic spectrum that you might find yourself. Just like the solu-

tions, there is not one that fits all. Once you know your goal, or even if you have not figured it out yet, consulate a Financial Advisor. Most will have a no fee consultant overview to help point you in the right direction. Your money does matter! Take back your power financially by preparing for the financial security that you and your family deserve. Make your money work for you instead of you always working for your money.

Laura Dorsey is a retired assistant vice president of Comerica Bank and current associate editor of ONYX Magazine.





Beverly Kuykendall is president of Government Business for American Medical Depot (AMD) in Mirimar, Fla., and leads its expansion into key areas aligned with the firm’s long-term strategic goals. She has a background in relationship development and government contracting, and brings a facilitative approach to understanding and proposing solutions to difficult economic issues. Kuykendall has demonstrated her expertise through her work with firms such as Proctor & Gamble, American Hospital Supply, Xerox and Herman Miller. She also served as president and CEO of Federal and Commercial Contracts, Inc., (FCCI) which was acquired by AMD and set the stage for the company to experience record-breaking growth. At AMD, Kuykendall has P&L Responsibility for the Government Unit and in September 2015, AMD was awarded a government contract to work with the United States Agency for International Development and the Defense Logistics Agency to provide more than 1 Million Adult Hygiene Kits and Regular Hygiene Kits in response to the Syrian Refugee


Effort. In March 2016, AMD was awarded a $1.2 billion dollar contract for the provision of medical supplies to more than 60 VA Medical Centers from Florida to Maine. A sought-after speaker and a recognized guru on government contracting, Kuykendall is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 50 Most Powerful Minority Women in Business, Supplier of the Year by the Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council, 2013 Small Business Champion of the Year by the Los Angeles District office of the U.S. Small Business Association, Entrepreneur of the Year by the Black Business Association of Los Angeles, and Advocate of the Year by the National Association of Minority Contractors of Southern California. Most recently, she was recognized by Legacy Magazine as one of South Florida’s 25 Most Influential and Prominent Women in Business and Leadership for 2015. Beverly has a BS in Business Management from Cal Poly University in Pomona, Calif., and an MBA from Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.



DJUAN RIVERS Djuan Rivers has been vice president of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park since September 2014, where he leads a cast of more than 5,000 creating one-of-a-kind Disney experiences for millions of guests every year. Under his leadership, the theme park recently underwent the largest expansion in its 17-year history including the opening of Pandora—The World of Avatar on May 27, 2017. This new 12-acre, highly interactive land takes guests to a world 4.4 light years from earth, and may be the most detailed and closely themed land ever constructed in a Disney park. Prior to coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Rivers was the Vice President, Hotels and Conventions at Disneyland Paris. In that position, he was responsible for defining and implementing the strategy necessary to achieve the objectives of the Hotels division while also enhancing products and services. With more than 25 years of leadership experience, Djuan started his Disney Management career on the opening team of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa in 1988. Since that time, he has assisted with the opening of six resorts in Florida, three resorts at Disneyland Paris and the first Disney vacation destination in Hawaii. Some of his past Walt Disney World Resort positions include being Director of Operations for Disney’s Reservation Center, the General Manager of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort and Disney’s All-Star Resorts. Rivers also expanded his diverse operation background as the hotel Director onboard the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. Rivers’s first vice president position brought him to Downtown Disney Operations where he was instrumental in leading and developing the Downtown Disney team. He also held the position of Vice President, New Business Development where he focused on International Development Opportunities for Theme Parks and Resorts. Rivers was selected to lead Disney’s offsite Hotel Business as Vice President of Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, Hawaii. In his role, he provided leadership and set direction for the operation of the resort, including Guest, Disney Vacation Club Member and Cast satisfaction, while delivering overall financial performance. Rivers holds a degree in economics from Emory University in Atlanta and is a graduate of the executive management program from the Crummer School of Business at Rollins University. Rivers prides himself in being a world traveler and avid sportsman. He has traveled across 50 different countries and is attempting to climb the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on each continent. In October 2008, Rivers was one of the first people to participate in a high-altitude skydive over Mount Everest, incidentally making him the first African-American to do so. Most recently, he completed his first marathon in Antarctica.




CHICKEN WINGS INGREDIENTS • 3lbs chicken wings • 1⁄2cup Dijon mustard • 2teaspoons olive oil • 4garlic cloves, minced • 1⁄4cup soy sauce • 1⁄2teaspoon ground ginger DIRECTIONS 1. Cut the chicken wings into three pieces and discard tips. 2. Mix remaining ingredients into a bowl. 3. Add wings and stir. 4. Cover and marinate for 45 minutes. 5. Place pieces on the grill and brush with remaining mixture. 6. Grill over medium-hot coals about 15-20 minutes, turning once.


September/October 2017  

Shutting down the bully