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The Official Magazine of Focused Radio

March 2017

March madness:

College is more than Basketball 1 The Focus

#ExclusiveIndie Charts inside

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focus points 8. A View from Mecca-Change in Seasons 11. Cover Story: College is More that Basketball 16. Roanoke Independent Artist Spotlight 28. The Heart of the Matter 30. Fashion: Fashionista Roanoke 38. Exclusive indie

Editor in chief: TommyP content supervisor: Erica Jenkins lead visual artist: naadir love Each month “The Focus� spotlights small businesses, entrepreneurs, community events, political topics fashion and the arts, we are poised to stay relevant and to influence what people are talking about and doing.

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From the Editor Call it “The Ides of March”, “March Madness”, or w h a t e v e r, we got you covered of with what has been going on in the Star City. A great night at Hoot and Holler, showed me that their is a collective a great movements happening. We also get to go inside the craziness of making decisions on college and the experience that comes with that. Please continue to stay up with the hottest music that comes out by tuning in to Focused Radio daily. Our #ExclusiveIndie artists are decided by you requesting the artists music so that it plays more. Along with all the brand new artists that drop (We had the Nicki Clap-back first, lol) we truly give you the best of both worlds. We truly thank you all for rocking with us for this long and we look forward to continue feeding you with dope content in The Focus Magazine and our YouTube Channel NFETv. It’s because you show love, we do our best to bring you what every other big city has, which has been missing in the Star City. As Always, #StayFocusedMyFriends TommyP 4 The Focus

Funny, insightful, and the perfect way to get your day started...

Weekday Mornings 8a until Noon only on

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Change in Season

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by Mecca G of the Tommy P N Da’ Mornin Show

A View From Mecca As we Spring Forward to a new season, the flowers are starting to bloom, the days are longer and getting warmer. I must admit I’m more of a winter person, maybe it’s because I grew up in Ithaca NY. I love snowy days and most of my best childhood memories revolve around snow and sleigh riding from early morning until the street lights would come on.  However in life there is one thing we can surely count on and that is change. So this year I’ve decided to welcome spring and all that it brings.  Many people have a spring ritual called spring cleaning.  We clean out our closets, basements and attics, we scrub our floors etc., but are we doing a Spring Cleaning of our lives?  Are we scrubbing our lives not just of dirt and dust, but of people and things that are non-beneficial to us? Shouldn’t we be digging deep into the closets in our mind and throwing out that old box of junk that we have been holding onto? For what?      This change in season is bringing about a change in me.  My thinking, my perceptions and my acceptance that sometimes change is necessary for growth and it doesn’t have to take years to change your life, circumstances or your conditions.  All you need to get started is the desire to change, and then put one foot in front of the other and step into the future.  I recently read a quote that reads, “No matter how long you have traveled in the wrong direction, it›s never too late to turn around» *Unknown Author*      This spring, God Willing, I will be a year older.  I feel blessed to see another year, so with a spring in my step and the sun shining on my face I›m ready. Not quite sure of what’s around the corner, and I›m okay with that because I›ve taken an inventory of the things I need and I›m letting go of things I no longer need. I know most people make New Year’s Resolutions in the beginning of the year, but why wait? if there’s something in your life that you want to change, Change it! I’m starting my spring cleaning Right Now! When are you going to start yours?

                                                                               Peace and Love

                                                                              Mecca G

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All participating donors at community donor centers and mobile drives are eligible to receive a thermal tote bag with the month’s campaign art, while supplies last. Limit one tote bag per donor.


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Joe Denfield is a Senior at Rutgers University and he definitely understands the craziness surrounding college life and decisions within

March Madness: College is More Than Basketball It all happened in the fall of 2015. I went from attending a community college to transferring to an actual University. Two years have never went by so fast. My new alma mater would be Rutgers University, which is conveniently located in my hometown. 11 The Focus

Upon reading this, an initial reaction would assume that I was thrilled about this. Being able to attend a school in familiar surroundings. However, my feelings were actually quite indifferent. I loathed the area where I grew up in, but at the request of my mother, an admissions application was sent over to Rutgers. When I got accepted, nothing but congratulation messages and warm wishes were given to me. I, on the other hand, blew everything off and took my acceptance with a shrug. I felt trapped in a place where I did not belong. My ideal college setting would have been in a major city where 12 The Focus

adventures could happen at any minute. Not in a town that felt so small and unexciting. Summer passed and I began moving out of my house to an on campus apartment. Now, everyone questioned why such a move was made when commuting was the more affordable option by a long shot. Again, the answer was my mother. She thought that it would be a good experience for me to meet and live with new people. I felt extremely nervous and hesitant about it. What if I didn’t get along with my roommates? Or if they would accuse me of something that I

complaints there. Getting through the first day of classes may sound easy because it’s just listening to the professors introduce themselves and telling us what to expect from the courses. What makes this day difficult though is the bus system. Rutgers is composed of four campuses, making it a lot larger than your average University. To navigate to each campus, a bus must be taken unless you have a parking pass. Unfortunately for me, I did not have a car. It was so confusing trying to figure out what bus drove a shorter distance to my destination. The buses were didn’t do? When I finally met always packed with students too. them that night we had a long I would consider myself lucky if conversation to break the ice I were able to fit inside one. If I and get to know each other. didn’t then waiting for another It turned out that we had a lot bus would be very upsetting since in common such as a love for you never knew how many people scary movies, staying up late, would be on it. In short, finding and sleeping with fans on. That classrooms were easier than ridlast part was a big concern for ing the bus. me! I love the white noise that a fan provides and so does my Moving on to the part that makes roommates. This made the first college life fun, the social aspects. Rutgers usually have a student night of living together someinvolvement fair and Greek week. what more comfortable. FurThese are resources for finding thermore, the apartment was outdated but functional. We got out more information on student air conditioning, a feature that clubs, sororities, and fraternities. Rutgers alone has over 100 of some of the other on campus these organizations all together. housing didn’t have. So, no 13 The Focus

Transfer students are required to take a class that gives them direction on what Rutgers has to offer. You also meet others who are in the same situations as you. Little did I know I would be meeting one of my future best friends? Lastly, it would be awful if I failed to mention my fraternity, Delta Lambda Phi. I rushed then pledged my first semester. Rushing consisted of different events where I got to meet and hang out with the brothers. Some of the events included bowling, playing games, and an information session to learn more about the fraternity and what it stands for. When this was over and the attendees (aka rushees) are seen as interested, a bid is given. After that, a ceremony is held to be inducted into the fraThe Pines apartments in Roanoke, VA is ideally situated to give ternity then the to pledging actually quite you easy access the bestprocess of whatbegins, the areawhich has towas offer. doable and accommodating. While I can’t say much about this topic due to confidentiality, there was no hazing or abuse involved, making the experience a lot more enjoyable. With that being said, I am happy to say that the choice to pledge was a well-made decision. I have met some wonderful people and are glad to call them my brothers and friends for life.  Looking back, I do not regret choosing Rutgers University as a place to continue my education despite its location. This is due to the friendships that I have made along the way.

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Have your taxes prepared by Wesley Pughsley Jr. & Associates and mention the Renaissance Academy, 5% of your prep fee will be donated to this great organization!

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Roanoke Merchant Spotlight

Makin Noise

Telling Stories 16 The Focus

Longevity is in Style

Scrolling through my Facebook as I always do I came across an old friend whose page was filled with events she gives called Hoots and Hollers. With a name like that I had to see what that was about. So As I continued scrolling through the her page I thought “Wow� this is something I should check it out. 17 The Focus

On March 7, 2017 that’s exactly what I did I went to a venue called the Phoenix and was introduced to Lee Hunsaker’s, Hoops and Hollers. The Phoenix was jam-packed there were no seats at all. As I was waiting for Hoots and Hollers to start I lined up for some Sangria. I must say, I’ve lived up North for many years and have had some great Sangria but The Phoenix had the best. So I’m drinking my Sangria and the stories began. I was in” Awe” of these people telling their stories. Upon, listening to all the wonderful stories, I thought how brave to stand up there and share a part your life with people. What a great idea? What inspired Lee to come up with this? Well hmm it’s only right I ask her these questions myself... INSPIRATION My inspiration for Hoot and Holler came along in bits and pieces. It started with loving all of the story podcasts like The Moth, Mortified, Story Corps, and This American Life to name a few. From there, I would seek out storytelling events in cities where I traveled such as New York, Austin, and Santa Fe. I was always electrified by the feelings that these live events would stir in me and it made me realize that there wasn’t anything like this going on in Roanoke. I was looking for a way to find my footing in town and to utilize my background in creative writing and theater. As a Roanoke native who moved away for more than 25 years and returned 6 years ago, I felt excited to witness the cultural and artistic growth that is happening here. This area is filled with stories and storytellers and is so rich with history and characters. I decided to just experiment with an event and to see if there was any response. I knew exactly the way I wanted it to feel and I decided not to wait and hope that someone else would create something that I knew in my heart was meant for me to try. The response was immediately positive and I knew that I was onto something that feels important and worthwhile.  The name: I love words and puns and idioms. I love playing with double meanings of words. The name Hoot and Holler says exactly what I want to emphasize for a live storytelling event. My main goal with this is to encourage all to own their story. I want people to have a safe platform to share those events that shaped them as human beings. I want the storytellers not just to find their voice but to use story as a means to empower themselves. “Hoot” is the communal, lively, warm, familial aspect of the events and “Holler” is the power to shout out truths, claiming your experiences, good and bad, and having the guts to tell it out loud. The name is also a nod to these mountains and the surrounding areas and a celebration of its people.  Do I tell stories? We have had 5 events so far as of March and I am yet to tell a story. I am

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planning to finally tell one in at the next event April 13th.  I only started Hoot and Holler this past October and I think that since this endeavor is literally only me, I tend to get so caught up in the logistics leading up to the events (from securing folding chairs, social media promotion, booking the food truck, helping the storytellers, and emceeing) that I haven’t felt prepared. Now, as we are finding our groove, I think I am ready.  The next level: I have so many hopes and goals for H:::oot and Holler. My dream is to continue reaching far and wide into our communities, neighborhoods, schools, churches, shelters, etc. My main goal is to empower all people with the encouragement to believe that their story matters. Stories, no matter our backgrounds, race, religion, gender, connect humans to each other and we need that now more than ever. My goal is to give voice to our marginalized communities- homeless, LGBT, African American and Latino, refugees, veterans, bullied teens, addicts and alcohol abusers, critically ill, etc. I want to reach out and offer all an opportunity to speak up, to Holler it out.  Everyone has a story to tell are you ready to Hoot and Holler your story out loud???? If so contact Lee Hunsaker on Facebook. I am also planning to facilitate some creative writing and storytelling workshops which will give those that are feeling tentative in their stories the opportunity to come workshop them in a supportive and inspiring environment.  We are likely going to need to find larger venues for our live events, and

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I want the word about the good that this is doing to continue to spread and grow. : What do I look for: My main objective since starting this is helping a storyteller define the parameters of their story. Does it have a beginning, middle, and end? What compels them to want to tell this particular story? How does it relate to the given theme?  What are the juiciest relevant details? What are the concrete emotions that they can convey? Tell me sensory details- what were they wearing, eating, and listening to? I look for a story to be able to place the audience into the setting and time frame. Mostly, though, I look for raw honesty, humor, and humility. How did they change or what was learned? I also stress that not every story has a happy ending and that is ok. My main lesson is to be authentic in the telling. Contact: For right now, until I can procure a website and afford printed materials, the best way to keep up with Hoot and Holler is through Facebook. There I list upcoming events as well as writing and storytelling workshops that are coming up. Messages there will come straight to me. I am always looking for new voices and am happy to hear pitches and ideas. ( Next Event: Our next scheduled event is for April 13th at Sweet Donkey Coffee. It will be outdoors with fire pits, a beer garden, food truck, coffee and tea. It is a wonderful environment and it brings neighbors and strangers together in an almost summer camp kind of feeling. The theme is “My Brush with Fame,” which should bring out some great tales. Announcement: I am working now to secure a location for the writing and storytelling workshops which will be announced very soon.

Erica Kane

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#GetThewordout Since March 2014, Faith 4 A Cure and Virginia Blood Services has partnered together to “GET THE WORD OUT” about Sickle Cell Anemia. In order to do so we have used a diverse range of settings, such as: • Higher Education • Faith-based Organizations and forums • Community Engagement • Media/Broadcasting • Health Fairs • Public Service Announcements • Blood Drives At some point in their life, Sickle Cell patients will need a blood transfusion. In many cases blood transfusions are routine treatments. Because of this fact, the primary focus in getting the word out is through hosting blood drives throughout the state of Virginia. It doesn’t just stop here. Faith 4 A Cure is on a mission to create awareness and education not just in Virginia but globally through the use of social media, web presence, radio and television, speaking engagements, educational forums, and much more.

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What’s Your Purpose! 26 The Focus

Social Institution for like-minded entrepreneurs, tradespeople, and small business who aspire improvement for themselves and their community. Fueled by forward thinking, creativity and resilience our mission is to provide our members with feasible solutions that will lead them to success. 27 The Focus

If you were to ask the remnant of Jesus’ followers who were present at His death on that very first “Good” Friday, each could tell you of some personal connection they had to Jesus! There’s John, the beloved Disciple, Mary, Jesus’ mother. Lazarus and Martha; as well as Jesus’ friends from Bethany. The woman taken in adultery is also there, as well as dozens of others. Each of these individuals has a personal connection to Jesus; and as he is about to be crucified on the cross, some remember healing. Others, His life-giving Words by the shore of Galilee. Yet, others recall a second chance the Master extended to them. If we were to ask, what is your connection to Jesus Christ today? What would your answer be? Are you one who has only heard about Jesus, but do not know Him? Or maybe, you’ve heard and not made a decision to accept Jesus in your life. Like many at the Cross on Good Friday, most of those whom observed the death of Jesus, did not have a true connection to Him. Only a remnant of his followers remained, most abandoned Him. The same is true with how we celebrate this holiday that many call Easter! As we approach the Easter Holiday, I’m reminded of the importance of getting to the Heart of this season. Many celebrate with bunnies and egg hunts. But for believers, this season is an opportunity to revisit the Heart of our Worship in the person of Jesus Christ, His final days on earth, His death and His Resurrection!! Join us on “Getting to the Heart of the Matter”, as we get to the Heart of this holiday season! Peace and Blessings!

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The Heart of the Matter Sundays 10a-12n

Pastor Williams

Elder Otey

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Saturday, May 13 10:00am – 4:00pm The Historic Lawson Building Bloodmobile

401 Gainsboro Rd., NW

Sign up at

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Help us continue to increase that number by signing up to donate at a Virginia Blood Services hosted Blood Drive or at a local Donor Center.

The Law Offices of

Darren Haley

We are dedicated to providing experienced, aggressive and compassionate advocacy for all of our clients.

Criminal Law Personal Injury Family Law Employment Law 855-45HALEY

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Wedding Fashions Are Here

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Terrisa Vaughn of Her Perfect Day Boutique & Design Studio showcased her work at this years “Women in Community Fashion Show 33 The Focus

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Get your wedding, prom, and Learn more about April other formal occasion wear from:

Ward’s designs and other fashion creators by visiting Fashionista Roanoke on Facebook 511 S. Jefferson St. Roanoke, Virginia

Call (540) 892-7112

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Skip of WELOOSE: Miami Emcee, producer, and videographer Skip of WELOOSE has been giving hip-hop heads music to smoke to for a while now. His latest single “None of Them” is this month’s #1 Airplay single.

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Exclusive Indie airplay 1. “None of Them”- Skip of WELOOSE

2. “Money Callin”- Craig-O WHAM 3. “Leave” - Tripp 4. “Party”- Star-Citi 5. “Man Down”- S. Type 6. “Say Oh”- M.L. Hardy 7. “Need That”- Kimbro feat. Chris Prythm & Young Observe 8. “Experimental”- Joon D 9. “I Need You”- Jeremy Wilder 10.”Best of Me”- T. Soul

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The Focus March 2017  

"College is More Than Basketball" takes us inside a college student's process of choosing the right school, the ups and downs, etc. Pics of...

The Focus March 2017  

"College is More Than Basketball" takes us inside a college student's process of choosing the right school, the ups and downs, etc. Pics of...