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the orange & blue magazine

spring 2018 issue

Ticket For One: Learn to adventure alone

25 Best

Fashion Tips to Boost Confidence Friends Fur Life: How Dogs Serve Our Community



christy pina art director

teal garth art director

ashleigh braun photo editor

michelle tapia multimedia director

isa perez social media director

taylor mclamb social media director

brianna duncandieujuste marketing director

brooke bajgrowicz

carly breit copy editor

klarizza aggabao

copy editor

rhina garcia copy editor

jayna taylorsmith copy editor

brooke steinberg blog editor

natalie rao blog editor

elayza gonzalez blog editor

stefano ferreyros

marketing director

blog editor

meet our staff

letter from the editors When trying to decide on the theme for this issue of the Orange & Blue, a lot of different ideas were thrown around. One common trend we all fell back on was how inspiring our role models were, and how inspiring we as individuals can be when we live up the challenge. That led us to look at the one thing that summed these people up: power. The dictionary definition of power is the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events. But we grew up in a world in which power has a much more subjective meaning. Each person has their own idea as to what power is, what it entails and who it applies to. For some of us, power is about following our dreams or taking risks. For others, power is about accepting ourselves and embracing who we’re meant to be. In this magazine, power represents all sorts of things. We feature everything from power recipes and powerful relationships to the importance of power naps. We know that power is a broad term, and in this magazine, we made it our mission to highlight what it can represent in as many ways as possible. As a staff made up entirely of students at the University of Florida, we all have had powerful leaders and professors who inspired and shaped the way in which we work during our undergraduate career. We took inspiration from those powerful role models and chose to expand on it. This magazine explores Gainesville and where its hidden

powers lie. We spoke to students, locals and everyone in between to show how diverse our little town is. Our staff of 18 people has worked day and night to show readers where we believe all the things that make our city unique are found. Every Wednesday night we made ourselves at home in the J-School and worked on this issue under the watch of our incredible adviser, Nicole Irving, who showed us how to be the best #girlbosses in town. Through the experiences we’ve had creating this issue, we’ve learned about the power inside Gainesville and ourselves more than we ever could’ve imagined. We are so proud of this issue of the Orange & Blue that we’ve created, and we’re so excited to share it with you. Every page has a little piece of our hearts in it, and we invite you to turn the page, read what we think makes Gainesville powerful and, in turn, find your own definition of power, too. Sincerely yours,

Alyssa Weiss

Alyssa Weiss Renee Castro

Renee Castro 3




48 FLOURISH 8 Good Morning, Gainesville! 10 Boxing: The Ultimate Knockout 11 The Remedy 12 Turn the Ordinary into Extraordinary 14 Gaining Strength in Losing Pounds 15 Power Naps 16 Powerful ME 18 Love the Skin You’re In 20 The Hold That Hunger Can TakE 22 Power Throughout the Day




26 Boss, not BOssy 30 Does Privilege MEAN Power? 31 4,060 Miles 32 Overcoming the Stigma 34 Shoot your shot 36 A Quiet Strength 37 Finding Happiness in Success 38 Sustainabilty 40 KNowledge is Power 42 Picture Perfect

46 47 48 54 55

Men in Makeup Power pouts Flower Power Lady in Red PROTECT YOUR FACE — WITH PLANTS





Lifestyle 58 60 61 62 64 66

Acts of Service The Power of Words From Social Media into Society Meet the Cover Model Students Making Miracles Riding Solo

70 72 73 74 76 78 79

Putting the Heart in Heartwood The Magic of Music Dear Dance, Thank You 7 Timeless Films Let’s Laugh Together Obsessions over Brand Names Professionally Playing Pretend

Journey 82 84 86 88 90 92

A Work in Progress A Higher Power Coming to America Becoming a Woman The Power of Memory (or lack thereof) An Alzheimer’s Tale The Real ME 5



good morning, gainesville!

Power through the day with these caffeine-filled favorites story and photos by brooke bajgrowicz Gainesville is commonly known as the birthplace of Tom Petty and the Florida Gators, but it’s also home to a flourishing coffee scene. Here are a few of the best places to grab a drink before taking on the day: Wyatt’s Coffee Wyatt’s Coffee opened a trendy downtown location in February. Since its opening, guests have flocked to Wyatt’s for nitro cold brew. Created using the Japanese method for cold brewing, this specialty drink features the flavor of hot coffee combined with the silky texture of traditional cold brew. If cold brew isn’t your style, Wyatt’s also serves up coffee via French press, pourover and immersion.

Coffee Culture Home to open mic nights and handcrafted espressos, this coffeehouse has been a cozy spot serving fresh grounds for over 15 years. While it has the perfect culture for studying or listening to a few tunes by some of Gainesville’s best musicians, it also creates quirky latte flavors every month. From peanut butter-apple to banana-marshmallow-mocha, there’s always something new to sip on.

Bay Islands Coffee Co. It may be small, but it serves a lot. Located in the center of the Butler Plaza parking lot, this coffee hut serves an array of smoothies, teas, lemonades and espresso drinks. The breakfast sandwiches and baked goods are also popular among residents. The convenient location makes it easy to hit up after a long day of shopping, too.

Maude’s Classic Café Maude’s is far more than just coffee – it’s a community. Stockpiled with board games and a full food menu, it’s the ideal location for hanging out. Maude’s wide selection of coffees and lattes pairs perfectly with its sweet desserts and savory sandwiches, making it the perfect place to bring the friend who isn’t coffee-obsessed.

C.Y.M. Coffee Co. Priding itself in using locally roasted Strongtree Coffee, this coffee shop has served flavorful lattes from peanut butter and jelly to lavender white over the years. Whether it’s served as a drip brew or cold brew, this coffee shop captures the authentic flavor of the coffee bean. Combine that with a comfy atmosphere, and C.Y.M. Coffee Co. is a win.

Karma Cream Known as an organic ice cream café, this place is a dream for the health-conscious coffee lover with a sweet tooth. All the coffees, teas, baked goods and ice creams are made from natural, organic ingredients. This means guests can grab a vegan berry chocolate donut and an organic vanilla latte on the way to work without feeling too guilty for indulging.


Pascal’s Coffeehouse A coffee shop housed in a Christian study center means a homey location and comforting cups of joe. With inviting staff, classic drinks and two floors of chairs, books and tables, there are few places better to chill and chat. Word has it that the Cuban espressos from Pascal’s are pretty killer. Miami natives, rejoice! Volta Coffee Volta has more than just coffee to brag about, it has chocolate. Offering both liquid chocolate and exotic chocolate bars, this modern coffee shop serves authentic sweets every day. Volta also offers cupping, which is the practice of observing the taste and smell of brewed coffee. Free to the public on most Saturdays, coffee fanatics can take their expertise to the next level through this Gainesville-only experience. Opus Coffee Nitro cold brew is a crowd favorite at Opus, but the Ginger Lime Cold Brew Fizz also gets visitors talking. Available seasonally, this tangy drink’s flavors complement each other well, especially on a hot Florida day. With Opus’ eighth location opening downtown in June, it will be easier than ever to try this signature drink in summer.


boxing: the ultimate knockout Much more than a workout story and photos by isa perez For many, working out can be a daunting task. No matter how many different ways we try to approach it, stepping foot into a gym will always come second to just about anything. But just how can we trick our minds into making a routine? Try out group fitness — and according to Lee Gladden, owner of the Gladden Boxing Club in Gainesville, Florida, try boxing in particular. Boxing typically involves one to three minutes of highintensity interval training (HIIT). This form of peak performance conditioning contains alternating short periods of intense exercise followed by less intense recovery periods. Implementing cardio during a boxing circuit directly correlates to benefits in health. The idea behind HIIT is that in just minutes you can have the same gains as those of a 45-minute, less intense workout. Most boxing classes result in sweat-drenched participants. Instructors keep students moving throughout the entire workout. Heart rate and blood circulation speed up, strengthening cardiovascular fitness. Your heart rate remains elevated as you jab, cross and hook your partner or punching bag. According to Gladden, boxing has many benefits beyond the physical aspect. It develops confidence, self-defense skills and an increase in strength. However, unlike other sports like baseball, basketball and football, boxing is methodical. One wrong move and your opponent gets the upper hand.

“You can’t just fight with your fists,” he said. “You have to fight with your mind as well.” Gladden said another underlying benefit of the sport is its ability to help increase mobility and muscle memory. Because boxing revolves around punching, classes are handicap friendly and widely beneficial for people with Parkinson’s disease and other related disorders. If that doesn’t seem all-inclusive enough, children can begin to train as early as age 5 as well. “The gym really is so diverse,” he said. “I’ve had clients from all different countries around the world.” The way Gladden’s boxing gym is set up in particular is to provide structure and discipline with the option to fight in competitions. However, while most of the people at his gym don’t compete, all of them get trained as if they were. Five to six days a week are dedicated to targeting arms, legs, cardio, abs and just about everything in between. Starting his own gym was similar to how he started his boxing career—for fun. Since its opening in 2014, his main goal has been to make it an outreach program and provide a place where people enjoy going to just like he had. “People genuinely love to come to the gym,” he said. “Any way that I can be a service to someone, I am.” With routines revolving around upbeat music and highenergy participants, you’re bound to walk away feeling motivated and powerful!


the remedy

how medical marijuana is changing lives around gainesville story and photo by natalie rao It’s green. It’s sticky. Its smell is unmistakable. You can smoke it, you can eat it and you can even use it as a topical cream or ointment. And now it’s legal in some forms for some people. In 2016, registered voters in Florida voted “yes” on Amendment 2, which legalized medical marijuana for patients with “cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/ AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder” and a handful of other conditions, according to the Florida Department of Health. In a landmark decision that defied federal laws, the vote allowed thousands of people suffering around Florida to treat their illnesses with natural remedies. Although a bill was eventually added to prohibit the actual smoking of marijuana, vaporizers, drops and edibles are allowed. And the law is changing lives in Gainesville. Benjamin* is a Gainesville resident who experiences the power of medical marijuana daily. With chronic back and neck pain from various car accidents, irritable bowel syndrome and anxiety, Benjamin used pharmaceuticals like Xanax and Valium before finding a one-size-fits-all treatment in medical marijuana. “I was taking various pills for a lot of things,” he said. “I was like, I can just use this and it does the same thing for everything, and it doesn’t make me feel bad.” For Benjamin, medical marijuana gets him “over the hump” if he’s having a particularly painful day. When asked about the power of medical marijuana, Benjamin thinks of the people who suffer from intense seizures and other paralyzing diseases all day, every day. “I have a really bad back twist or ache right now and it’s like, shit, it’s so debilitating. It sucks everything away from you,” he said. “So if you’re that messed up and all of a sudden you use something that’s natural and all of a sudden you’re almost fine… that’s pretty crazy.”

legality), pays a $75 application fee and is approved, employees like Jessica help them pick out products that fit their needs. From relaxing Indica strains to energizing Sativa strains to different forms of ingestion, patients have the freedom to experiment and choose what’s right for them. For Jessica, seeing constant change in patients’ lives is powerful. “I think that when you have chronic pain you can’t really get anything done, unfortunately–it just takes away all your energy,” she said. “With medical marijuana, it honestly is life-changing. Someone just came in this morning and said that she only had energy to go into work and go home [before], and today she hiked six miles for the first time…Every single patient has a crazy story like that.” (* Denotes person chose to remain anonymous)

Jessica* is an employee at KNOX Dispensary, located at 3400 SW 34 St. She sees this phenomenon daily. After a patient finds a doctor who makes a “recommendation” (medical marijuana is not referred to as a prescription because of its federal


turn the ordinary into extraordinary 5 Simple Recipes That Are Sure To Wow Your Guests story and photos by renee castro Turn these ordinary store-bought items into delicious dinners your whole party can enjoy. The ordinary: Cheese Pizza The EXTRAOrdinary: Roasted Garlic White Pizza

The ordinary: Tacos The EXTRAOrdinary: Pulled Barbecue Chicken Tacos

What you’ll need: 1 can pizza dough 1/4 cup minced garlic 3 strips of bacon, cooked 2 cups whole ricotta 2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 handful of spinach Garlic salt (to taste) Oregano (to taste) How to do it: 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 2. Stretch out pizza dough on pizza sheet and drizzle with olive oil. 3. Spread ricotta on dough. 4. Top with 2 cups of Italian blend cheese followed by minced garlic and bacon. 5. Top pizza with a handful of spinach, garlic salt and oregano. 6. Bake pizza for 20 minutes or until edges are brown and crisped. Enjoy between 4–6 people.

What you’ll need: 1 box of hard/soft tacos 3 chicken breasts, raw 1 bag shredded lettuce 1 package sour cream 2 cups Mexican shredded cheese 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 cup barbecue sauce 1 tablespoon honey 1 slow cooker


How to do it: 1. Season raw chicken breasts with garlic salt and pepper. 2. Place raw chicken breasts in slow cooker. Pour in barbecue sauce, honey, brown sugar and garlic. 3. Cook on high for 3–4 hours or on low for 6 hours. 4. Make sure chicken is completely cooked through. Use two forks to pull apart chicken. Toss chicken with barbecue sauce in the slow cooker. 5. Make your tacos! Pack each taco with your favorite toppings and enjoy. Enjoy between 4–6 people.

The ordinary: Rotisserie Chicken The EXTRAOrdinary: Southwestern Chicken Salad What you’ll need: 2 heads romaine lettuce 2 cans Mexican fiesta corn, drained 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded 2 canned black beans, drained Southwest chipotle ranch dressing 1 avocado, diced 1 cup tomatoes, diced Cilantro (to taste) How to do it: 1. Chop and rinse heads of romaine lettuce. 2. Shred rotisserie chicken. There should be no skin left on the chicken. 3. Drain canned corn and canned beans. Set aside. 4. Assemble the salad, lettuce, chicken, corn, beans, avocado, tomatoes, and cilantro. 5. Toss salad with your dressing and enjoy! Enjoy between 4–6 people. The ordinary: Tortilla Chips The EXTRAOrdinary: Ahi Tuna Nachos What you’ll need: 1 bag tortilla chips 1 bag Asian salad with ginger dressing 2 tuna steaks, raw 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 avocado, diced 1/4 cup tomatoes, diced 1 teaspoon olive oil Sriracha mayonnaise (to taste) Cilantro (to taste) Sesame seeds Salt Pepper How to do it: 1. Heat one skillet pan with olive oil 2. Season raw tuna steaks with salt and pepper. Coat entire steak with sesame seeds. Place steaks (one at a time) in skillet when oil is hot. Sear on either side for 2 minutes. Steak should be raw when cut open. 3. After searing both steaks, cube the tuna. In a large bowl, mix tuna, 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce, drizzle Sriracha mayonnaise and empty contents of ginger dressing from the salad. Mix contents, cover and place in the refrigerator. 4. With remaining soy sauce, soak Asian salad for a few minutes in a bowl. 5. Assemble nachos! Tortilla chips on the bottom followed by a layer of salad, tuna, avocado, cilantro and tomatoes. Top with more tortilla chips and repeat the process again. Enjoy between 2–4 people

The ordinary: Alfredo Pasta The EXTRAOrdinary: Creamy Pesto Pasta What you’ll need: 1 box bowtie pasta 1 can garlic alfredo sauce 2 tablespoons of refrigerated pesto 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1/4 cup shredded Italian blend cheese How to do it: 1. Cook pasta as shown on box. 2. Heat can of garlic alfredo sauce on stovetop. As sauce warms, add the minced garlic and Italian blend cheese. 3. Add 2 tablespoons of pesto to alfredo sauce. Whisk mixture until blended. 4. Toss pasta in pesto sauce. 5. Serve pasta with garlic bread and grilled chicken! Enjoy between 6–8 people.


Gaining strength in losing pounds Family health history changes woman's lifestyle Story and Photo by Klarizza Aggabao

Every January you can expect your neighborhood gym to be packed with members new and old exercising and shedding pounds toward their desired weight. As months pass, the crowd lessens, usually because their motivation and determination has depleted. In a recent survey by Cision on Statista, 45 percent of people said they would like to lose weight or be in shape as their 2018 resolution. Dr. David Katz, M.P.H., a preventive medicine doctor at Yale University and public health guru, said people’s determination to lose weight decreases as time passes. They often use only their willpower to continue. He suggested that to successfully lose weight and keep it off, people should use their “skill power” instead of willpower. "It takes skill to turn what you know into what you can do," Katz said. In his book, “Disease Proof: The Remarkable Truth About What Makes Us Well,” he said having the right mindset, limiting variety of foods, conscious eating, avoiding sweets and multitasking muscles are the five skills people need to successfully lose weight. Samantha McLennan, a University of Florida English student, started 2018 with a cliché goal of “new year, new me.” She tells herself this every year, but this year was different. Now McLennan counts calories, has a gym membership and thinks twice before putting anything in her mouth. “My goal is to lose around 100 pounds,” Samantha said. “It sounds like a tremendous amount, but looking at my height-to-weight ratio, I would still be overweight with that


significant amount of weight loss. I don’t want to do this to be skinny. I want to do this to be healthy.” Health issues, like diabetes, run in Samantha’s family. Her brother lives with it, so she’s aware of the signs and symptoms. One day, Samantha noticed her sister becoming extremely dehydrated and urinating often. She knew it was time to check her sister’s blood sugar. It was 485. This was Samantha’s wakeup call. “We had already talked about losing weight at the beginning of the year for her wedding in 2019,” Samantha said about a conversation she had with her sister. “But we didn’t take it seriously. After this incident, I made a pact that we would diet and exercise together.” Samantha’s sister motivates her to power through losing weight. She also keeps in mind her family’s health risks and her sister’s upcoming wedding. So far, Samantha has lost 20 pounds and feels a change in the way her clothes fit. “Seeing the difference in my sleep patterns and my immune system during flu season are huge motivations as well,” she said. “I didn’t have the willpower until I felt and saw a difference in my body.” Since her decision to live a healthier life, Samantha has noticed little differences like running longer and lifting more than she initially could. Every Sunday is her weigh-in day, and sometimes the numbers don’t change. But that’s okay, it’s all about baby steps, she said. “You’ll never know what your body is capable of until you prove your doubts wrong,” she said. “The power in me is that I am stronger than I believed, and I find myself becoming stronger every day.”

Power Naps

How a Few Minutes of Shut-Eye Can Help You Get Through the Day story and photo By Elayza Gonzalez We’ve all been there: It’s just after lunchtime, your eyelids are beginning to feel heavy and all you can think about is resting your head on the nearest pillow. If you can relate to this struggle, then power naps are the solution to your midday blues. “Naps are regarded as sleep that occurs outside of one’s preferred major sleep time, also known as the period of the day when one spends the most time sleeping,” said Dr. Scott Ryals, a sleep medicine physician with University of Florida Health. “Power naps are known as short naps where one feels particularly revitalized afterwards.” The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night for all healthy adults aged 18 to 60 years old. Napping is the body’s way of restoration and recovery, but naps also serve as a sign of inadequate sleep, Ryals said.

What are the benefits of a power nap?

At its most basic level, sleep allows the body to repair itself, strengthens connections in the brain, removes waste products of metabolism and restores energy, Ryals said. Power naps do more than just give you an energy boost. Studies have shown how power naps can improve your cognitive performance and sustain attention or alertness. Ryals said these studies, which were done on populations of people who were experiencing an inadequate amount of sleep, showed power naps improved the working memory, the consolidation of memories and the ability to process and retain new information. In other words, when you snooze, you actually gain.

How long should power naps be, and when should you take them?

The sweet spot for power naps is 25 to 30 minutes, Ryals said. If you nap any longer than that, you might fall into a deeper sleep causing you to wake up feeling groggy and more exhausted than you were before. Ryals also said naps are most common between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., which is the period where most people experience a natural circadian dip. During this time, the circadian alerting signals that wake us up in the morning begin to wane just as the signals for pressure to sleep begin increasing. There is no specific time that is best for power naps. However, people should consider that napping in the evening is more likely to make it harder to fall asleep later at night. As a result, Ryals recommends avoiding power naps after 6 p.m.

Are power naps better than coffee or exercise?

Like naps, caffeine induces energy boosts, but the effects and benefits are not as long lasting as those of a nap. Ryals said one of the body’s signals of sleepiness is due to the accumulation of adenosine, a byproduct of energy metabolism. The greater the signal, the greater the urge to sleep. Caffeine helps mute the signals by blocking adenosine receptors, but it only stays in the body for six to eight hours after consumption, and it can impair learning. Exercise can help make some people alert, but ultimately it should not be used as a way to avoid or replace sleep. “Simply put, there is absolutely no substitute for sleep,” Ryals said.


powerful me natasha's battle with crohn's story and photo by renee castro Natasha Awad gripped the bottom of the chair tightly as her friend counted 10 seconds out loud. Her shut hazel-colored eyes opened with panic, and she let out a cry when her friend removed the needle from the outer part of her thigh. It had almost been 10 months of the biweekly shots, yet Natasha was still not comfortable with the amount of pain her medicine gave her each time she was injected with the EpiPen-style shot. The needle was the length of her entire hand. However, she was grateful that the pain was temporary and she could indulge on her favorite foods almost immediately after. Crohn’s disease defined her, but she was sure that she would never let it ruin her life. “Your whole digestive system just swells up. It hurts the colon, the esophagus and your stomach. It can start with one or two bad spots but no matter what you do, it will just keep getting worse,” she explained. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory disease that manifests itself throughout the digestive system. “I was diagnosed in 11th grade,” she said, thinking back to the times in which her blood was constantly tubed up and sent off to physicians. “I had to do a colonoscopy and an endoscopy, and sitting in the waiting room of the follow-up appointment was one of the scariest moments in my life.” At just 2 years old, Natasha’s father had been diagnosed with the same disease. “He always told me, I hope you never get this.” Then she did. In elementary school, Natasha’s parents filled out forms to keep a bottle of pills in her backpack. At the time, she had a diagnosis of cyclic vomiting and weighed less than any fifth grader in the Miami-Dade area. She had struggled with her weight for a very long time. Any time Natasha’s emotions were altered quickly, or she ate things that upset her stomach, she would not stop throwing up until she was in the hospital with an IV poking out of her frigid arm. As Natasha grew up, her disease did too.


At 16 years old, she was underweight at 98 pounds and she monitored each one of her meals. She’d face the lunch line every day. Her friends were eager to run and get in line for chicken tenders or pizza, while Natasha’s weak body reminded her that she had to choose an option that would not send her running to the bathroom immediately after the meal. This limited her to vegetables and salads. Many, many salads.

“My colon will begin to bleed.”

“And that’s when the surgeries begin.” Natasha knows that her battle with Crohn’s disease is never-ending. She has taken every pill on the shelf and is in her first round of injections. She is prepared to continue injecting until she can’t. As Her doctor eventually made a diagnosis, with Natasha and her mother for what is to follow, Natasha continues to find ways to have in the cold waiting room of the pediatric gastroenterologist, crying and better thoughts. asking why. “I have this idea that by the time the pills stop working, doctors will Crohn’s Disease was the root of her problems, and it will be for the rest have found a medicine for me that works,” she said, with a small gleam of hope shining through her eyes. of her life. “My dad always says, ‘You can replace a lot of things in your life, but Natasha’s battle with Crohn’s will be lifelong. It took her until she was almost 19 before she began fitting into clothing of the average 11-year- you can’t replace your colon,’” she laughed. “That has always stuck with me and motivated me to see life and this disease as positively old at 100 pounds. It took nearly four years to find a medication that was right for her barely working stomach. She tried staying away from as I can.” chocolate, caffeine and fried foods. Her diet was good, but her body Although Natasha struggles with her disease, she makes it a point didn’t believe it. to distract others from the pain they endure. During her first two years of college, Natasha volunteered with the Footprints program In 2017, Natasha spent a night at UF Health Shands Hospital because through the University of Florida. She’d spend a few hours once her Crohn’s disease decided it wanted to fight with her, despite the constant battle they'd been in for years. She ended up being prescribed a week with children in the oncology unit at UF Health Shands Hospital. This made her grateful that her disease was still letting her the self-injections just a few short months later. live life as normally as possible. Natasha compared swallowing food to feeling the tube in her throat Her career path in the future also includes helping others. Natasha expand in a way it wasn’t meant to. hopes to be a speech pathologist; she wants people to be confident in the way they speak. “I found out that the Crohn's had spread to my esophagus,” she said, remembering the panic. “It’s scary to know that this disease is inside Natasha continues her fight with this invisible disease and she of me growing quietly and without my knowing.” hopes to make a difference in the future for families like her own. Natasha wants to open a Crohn’s and Colitis foundation. This meant her battle was becoming harder. “I’m not saying that I needed to get that diagnosis, but it did change As time goes on, Natasha will have to struggle with the intensity of my outlook on life,” she said. “It made me more self-aware and her disease. As she pushes her mind to ignore the pain, her digestive system on the inside weakens by the day. aware of all the different invisible disabilities as well.” “The pills stopped working.” “The injections will eventually stop working.”


love the skin you're in

A look into how three women define body positivity and what it means to them story and photo by isa perez To many, body positivity means being comfortable with what you look like — despite what anyone else thinks. However, being happy with your physical self isn’t the only aspect of it. According to, being truly body positive means valuing what makes you unique and turning selfhatred into positive changes within your life and community. The sooner you identify where the negative energy is coming from, the sooner you can take steps toward true body positivity. In many cases, the effects of a negative self-esteem can be damaging in the long run. According to the American Association of Suicidology, low self-esteem is one of the leading factors of teen suicide along with mental illness and substance abuse. I sat down with Alexa Ferrer, Kayla Rodriguez and Veronika Vernachio, three University of Florida students of different shapes and sizes, to see where they stood on body positivity. Here’s what they thought: o&b: What does body positivity mean to you? A: Body positivity means loving and taking care of yourself. Going to that yoga class. Taking a hot bath with Epsom salts and a glass of wine.


Being OK with your limits and your body type. Everyone is different and beautiful. K: Body positivity, to me, means feeling comfortable in my own skin and being happy with how I look and feel. I would say it involves having a good self-esteem. V: It means being able to wake up in the morning and love what I see in the mirror. It also means being aware that it has a different meaning to different people. What one wants is what another doesn’t necessarily favor. o&b: Would you say you are a victim of other people’s words when it comes to your body? A: I'm the spaghetti-noodle, stick-skinny girl from middle school. I was always told by boys I liked that they would like me if I wasn't "too skinny." That was rough. I always hated how skinny I was in middle school and starting high school, but now in college, I am really comfortable with my body, eating habits and exercise routines. I'm also a signed model now, so being naturally skinny has paid off, and I'm so blessed to be able to do what I love for a living and meet amazing people and travel. What was my biggest curse has become my biggest blessing, and for that, I am very grateful.

K: I have definitely had moments where I struggle because my body type doesn't necessarily match what media portrays as the favored body type. I am on the thicker side and definitely more muscular than what people think is "feminine" or "pretty." I usually don't think about it, but it definitely does affect me when I go shopping and the clothing happens to be tailored more toward body types that are more petite than I am. V: I've struggled with self-image for as long as I can remember. Even when I was an athlete at my skinniest, I still thought I was fat. My biggest insecurity throughout my life has been having big boobs, even when society would tell me it was attractive. I never was able to fit into the things my friends would wear. However, the older I get, the more I've come to acceptance with my body. I tried to remember that I'm the only person that is me, and the way I look is okay. o&B: Do you think social media only represents a certain body type? A: If you would have asked me this question five years ago, I may have said yes, but I truly believe things are changing in the right direction and many more body types and ethnicities are being put in the limelight.

K: I think that it has come a long way and there’s definitely been some sort of improvement, but I do think media mostly represents and supports a certain type of body. V: I think the media has done a better job in trying to represent other groups of body types that usually don't get represented. However, I do think that society still has this unrealistic expectation for how a woman's body is supposed to look. If you don't have a big butt and big boobs with the smallest waist, you're probably not good enough. Social media is a great outlet to stay connected to people, but it can also be used as a tool for comparison, which can trigger negativity. For the past few years, popular media outlets and marketing campaigns have taken a step toward the right direction in supporting the body positivity trend. In 2015, Women’s Health banned the use of the phrases “drop two sizes” and “bikini body” from its cover titles. The following year, Sports Illustrated featured plus-sized model Ashley Graham in their annual Swimsuit Issue. Plus, both Dove and Aerie have created marketing campaigns solely based on body positivity. At the end of the day, you’re always going to want what you can’t have — so it is important to focus on what you do have. Doing more of what makes you happy and surrounding yourself with people who love you are just two steps in the right direction towards a healthier and happier you.


the hold that hunger can take

How the effect of hunger takes on a powerful grasp in our daily lives story and photos by rhina garcia Imagine sitting down to do a task. Picture yourself at your computer ready to read an article, opening a textbook to study for an exam or arriving at your desk to finally reply to the copious amounts of emails sitting in your inbox. When you finally settle in to complete your task, your stomach grumbles. All of a sudden you lose focus because you are hungry. You become tired, cranky and unmotivated. It is not until you eat something that you feel rejuvenated and energized. As it turns out, there is a science behind that. According to an article written by Miami-based neurologist Dr. Julia Schwartzard, hunger is directly tied to the body’s blood sugar. When it reaches a low point (below 70 mg/dL), the result can be fatigue and low energy levels. These factors can directly affect the ability to focus, causing agitation and a change in mood. Unfortunately, the lack of access to food and food insecurity is a growing problem in several parts of the country. In Alachua County, many agencies attempt to distribute food to areas where the 51,910 (as of 2015) food-insecure residents are in need.


“People don’t realize the need [for food,]” said Loretta Griffis, the Community Outreach Director for Bread of the Mighty Food Bank. “It’s not just the homeless population; it’s the working poor. It’s the person who has kids and works two jobs and still can’t afford to feed them.” Griffis works with the food bank to help distribute food across five counties in North Central Florida including Alachua, Dixie, Gilchrist, Levy and Lafayette. These areas are called food deserts because they are so spread out, and many residents are left without food access. Last year, the bank distributed 7.4 million pounds of food. The American Psychological Association describes being food insecure as a household that “at some point during the year, the household had limited access to an adequate supply of food due to lack of money or other resources.” According to the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, 22 percent of children living in the United States were living in food-insecure households in 2010.

Childhood food insecurity can have drastic effects on school performance. According to the APA, students who go to school hungry perform lower and are more likely to repeat a grade. These same children experience conduct issues such as fighting, aggressive behavior and not following directions. Access to food improves students’ mental and physical health, which can affect their academic performance, how they socialize with other students and their after-school activities. “If there are kids [in school] that are hungry, they can’t concentrate,” Griffis said. “Sometimes they are bullies because when they're hungry, they get angry.”

Meunch said that the pantry began in 2015 after a survey revealed that 10 percent of university students at some point in their college careers were unable to afford food. After its initial opening in September 2015, the pantry received over 950 visits in just over one month. Nationally, the rate of hunger is just as high, if not higher. Feeding America, a nonprofit working to end hunger in the United States, released their Hunger Report in 2014, which stated that roughly two million of its clients who had trouble affording food were college students.

“Food insecurity is something that can be chronic or it can be a one-time situation,” Meunch said. “It can be something Agencies like Bread of the Mighty Food Bank work to ensure you experience every week, or you may get a smaller that people in these food deserts have equal access to food paycheck that is not enough to cover all of your needs that week.” and other personal products, especially when it comes to children who are still developing and learning in school. Not being able to afford food can put someone in a The agency has helped set up pantries in five of the grade compromising position. Oftentimes, students are forced to schools in Alachua County. They have a representative from Eastside High School’s athletic department who picks choose between food expenses and school expenses. Things like missing a shift at work due to illness or emergency car up food to feed the athletes, which in turn improves their maintenance can drastically affect a student’s food budget, performance during practice. leading to decreased academic performance. Food insecurity can also have emotional and psychological “The main thing is that a good meal makes for a good effects. Many people who experience food insecurity student,” Meunch said. “Not being able to eat anything and often hide their socioeconomic status because they fear trying to focus and study for a calculus exam is not going to being stigmatized. This can lead to chronic stress, anxiety, go down as well as if you had the nutrients that you need.” depression and low self-esteem, according to the APA. The Field and Fork Pantry at the University of Florida recognizes that food insecurities are present at an alarming rate among university students. Like the food bank, the Field and Fork Pantry operates as a pantry that provides donated foods to students and faculty at UF at no cost. This focus on university students allows people who are in need of food and nutrients to concentrate on their schoolwork while working towards a healthy physical and mental state.

Hunger is something that affects everybody in different ways, and being food insecure is not limited to just the homeless population or the working class. One month of emergency bills or illness can drastically affect how you can recieve your nutrients. The unequal distribution of food across the United States has larger effects than just not being able to eat. Over 42 million people all over the country face a number of emotional and physical issues from just being hungry.

“If you’ve ever tried to study when you’re hungry, it’s very difficult,” said Stephanie Meunch, the coordinator of Field and Fork.

“You can’t put a face to hunger,” Griffis said. “People don’t realize that something like this is going on unless you are affected by it.”


power throughout the day foods that pack a punch

story and photos by ashleigh braun


All food gives you energy, but not all foods are created equal when it comes to their enhancing powers. Kick start your morning or push through a sluggish afternoon with these easy, healthy snacks that will give you a natural burst of energy to power through the day. Instead of reaching for a jittery cup of coffee, choose snacks like these that are high in natural protein, fiber, or healthy fats to provide long-lasting energy that will leave you feeling alert and energized. Oatmeal M&M Energy Balls

Power Smoothie Bowl

Energy-Boosting Breakfast Toast

With ingredients like protein-rich peanut butter, hearty whole-grain oats and nutrient-dense chia seeds that are high in fiber and Omega 3’s, these energy balls pack a powerful punch.

This bowl is packed with healthy ingredients to make you feel good, like bananas for potassium, Greek yogurt for protein, kale for fiber and flaxseeds for Omega 3’s.

Did you know avocados act as a “nutrient booster” by allowing the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, K and E?

1 cup dry oatmeal ½ cup peanut butter ¼ cup honey 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes 1/3 cup ground flaxseeds 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ½ tablespoon chia seeds ¼ cup mini M&Ms ¼ cup dark chocolate chips

1 small, ripe banana ½ cup of blueberries ½ cup fresh-chopped kale ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk 1 container plain Greek yogurt ½ tablespoon ground flaxseeds 1 tablespoon hemp or protein powder 1 tablespoon acai powder ½ tablespoon chia seeds 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Stir all ingredients together in a large bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to harden. Shape into 1-inch balls (makes about 20-25 balls). Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

2 slices of Ezekiel bread 1 whole, ripe avocado ½ teaspoon lime juice 1 pinch salt and pepper ½ tablespoon alfalfa sprouts 1 teaspoon goat cheese crumbles ½ ripe tomato, diced

Toast 2 slices of Ezekiel bread in the toaster until golden and crispy. In a small bowl mash the avocado, lime juice and salt and pepper. Spread the toast with the avocado mixture. Add alfalfa Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. sprouts, goat cheese and tomatoes on top. Enjoy! Top with cocoa nibs, granola, chia seeds and fresh fruit.

Chocolate Almond Protein Bars One small handful of antioxidant-rich almonds contains 6 grams of protein, 3.5 grams of fiber and high levels of magnesium, helping lower blood pressure. 1 cup oats, rolled into a fine powder-like flour ½ cup quick oats ½ cup crispy rice cereal ½ cup almond butter 3 scoops vanilla protein powder 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons honey ½ cup crushed almonds 1 pinch coconut flakes 2-3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips for melting Line an 8-inch baking pan with wax paper. Set aside. In a medium bowl, combine oat flour, quick oats, protein powder, crushed almonds and crispy rice cereal. Mix well. In a small pan over medium heat, mix the almond butter, honey and vanilla extract until smooth. Remove from heat and pour into the dry mixture, stirring until fully combined. Pour mixture evenly into prepared baking pan, pressing down firmly. Melt chocolate chips in microwave on high for 20 second intervals until smooth. Drizzle over the mixture and sprinkle coconut flakes on top. Place pan into fridge and allow to harden for 30 minutes before cutting.




Boss, not bossy

Local Women Entrepreneurs Take Over the Gainesville Business Scene story and photos By Elayza Gonzalez

In Gainesville, women mean business — literally. According to the American Express’ 2017 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, women’s entrepreneurship has been on the rise in the United States for the past 20 years. Gainesville is just one of many thriving cities all over the country that is contributing to the overall growth of women entrepreneurs and business leaders. Whether they are trailblazing the way in education, fitness, housekeeping or any other industry, we can no longer ignore a woman’s might, especially when it comes to business. Here are a few of Gainesville’s very own powerful women:

Kristen Hadeed When Kristen Hadeed started her own business at 19 years old, her gender wasn’t an obstacle. But her age definitely was. The founder of Student Maid, a local cleaning service that employs primarily students, said she felt as if no one took her seriously at age 19. As a result, she spent her Friday nights at the bookstore learning everything she could about business and leadership. “I learned that if you believe in yourself, everyone else will, too,” she said. “You have to believe you deserve a spot at that table, no matter your age or gender.” By 21, Hadeed had scored her first major cleaning contract. She sat back and kicked her feet up in the air-conditioned clubhouse while 60 of her employees worked all day cleaning filthy apartments. After a couple of days, 45 people quit on her. “That moment changed the whole trajectory of my life because it made me want to be a better leader, and it made me determined to build a company where people wanted to be.” Today, Hadeed helps develop students by enrolling her employees in leadership courses and equipping them with the skills necessary to be successful. In October 2017, Hadeed launched her first book, "Permission to Screw Up," a story of how she learned to lead by doing everything wrong, which she hopes will inspire people to embrace failure and learn to lead by acting and trying. She also does speaking and consulting work for other companies with the hope of helping them create environments where people thrive. “I believe it is my calling to empower people and help them realize their potential,” she said.

Photo Courtesy of Kristen Hadeed




“I think the most powerful people are authentic. They don’t say what people want to hear. They say what is on their mind and in their heart.”

Jodi Hunt Jodi Hunt has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. She grew up in a house with a working mom, so it was second nature for her to want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. “Being in business was never a question for me,” she said. “I love to see women feeling empowered to do anything men can do because we can.” In high school, Hunt remembers asking her mom if she could take over managing the birthday party sector of the business because she saw opportunities for success where others didn’t. While in college, she also owned a small, home-party sales business. Now, Hunt is the director of marketing and operations for Sun Country Sports Center, a business that focuses on building children’s self-esteem and keeping them fit and active. “Our sports, activities and programs help kids build self-confidence, learn teamwork and discipline and how to set and reach goals,” she said. “These are all things they can apply for the rest of their lives.” In 2017 alone, Sun Country Sports Center helped raise a total of $29,000, which was donated to local nonprofit organizations. This year, they created their own nonprofit, which will raise money by putting on events at Sun Country to donate to organizations focusing on children, families and education. “I want my staff to see that I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty and do the same things they do every day,” she said. “My mom likes to say, ‘If you love what you do, then you’ll never work a day in your life.’”


“I think that people who have a clear vision of what they want to achieve are passionate about what they do and have the ability to motivate others tend to be those we look to as powerful.”



Kristin Birdsey Klapp Kristin Birdsey Klapp and Krista Frey were both raised by single moms, so they know from experience that women are not less capable or not suited for a task simply because of their sex. Since 2010, the childhood best friends have grown into business partners and have become co-owners of Education Station & Preschool. “I’m grateful for the women who came before me and helped make it possible for me, as a woman, to open a business before I’d turned 30,” she said. Both Klapp and Frey hold degrees in education from the University of Florida. They created ES&P with the goal of serving as facilitators, which she believes only enhances the experience and outcomes for the child, the family and, ultimately, the community as a whole. Klapp’s talents aren’t best used as a financial planner, a diabetes researcher or even as a fitness instructor like some of the parents who use her services are. However, she’s glad her talent is to give parents a place where they can feel confident their children are safe and engaged in learning. “I tell parents and caregivers all the time how grateful I am that they trust me to do what it is that I do best for the world, so they can go do what it is that they do that’s best for the world.”

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“For me, power is all about leadership. You can’t make anyone do anything, but you can motivate, inspire and lead them to accomplish their goals and your own, if you do it right.”

Carol Doak Athletics had a huge role in instilling Carol Doak’s strong work ethic. Growing up, she was always involved in sports and pushed herself to the max. She also was very determined to keep up with her older brothers because she knew that if they could do it, so could she. “If I am considered to be a successful businesswoman, I do hope I can inspire other women to be blind to limitations,” she said. For 24 years, Doak has been the owner and CEO of Mini Maid, a housekeeping and maid service. With a staff of 18 to 20 people and a list of more than 300 clients, Doak’s goal has always been to give support and solve problems. She said she feels her main purpose is to provide the tools to impact the lives of Alachua County residents by giving them time for the important things in life. One way she does this is through Mini Maid’s Cleaning For A Reason Program, which regularly provides free cleanings to women who are going through cancer treatments. “If I can do my best in helping set up a great culture, my staff will be successful and more clients will be impacted,” she said. “I hope I always set my priorities on doing the most good for the most people, even if it doesn’t always make the most sense from a financial standpoint.”


“Powerful: Having the quiet strength and holding to high standards no matter what.”



does privilege mean power? How one’s status and privilege can affect their outcome in life story and photos by rhina garcia The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines privilege as “a special right, advantage or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.” These rights can be very prevalent, such as financial status and race or gender, or they may be more discreet, such as sexuality or family background. The idea behind it is that it skews certain advantages and benefits to some and not others. “From a sociological perspective, privilege can go beyond financial or economic resources,” said Dr. Constance Shehan, a faculty member in the University of Florida’s sociology and criminology and law department. “But they certainly play a major role in people's life chances and experiences." Shehan describes how people fall into certain categories, which can put them ahead of others. As a result, those who have not been granted a certain form of privilege may have to work harder to achieve the same amount of success as those who have. “Sociologists emphasize the idea of social stratification,” Shehan said. “That means that people in a population are

first categorized by gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, socioeconomic status, etc., and then ranked according to their ‘value.’” This rank has grand effects on how one views success and the work they do to achieve it. Perhaps one of the most eloquent explanations of privilege is described in the book, “The Meritocracy Myth,” where authors Stephen J. McNamee and Robert K. Miller, Jr. liken financial privilege to a relay race. “Children born to wealthy parents start at or near the finish line, while children born into poverty start behind everyone else. Those who are born close to the finish line do not need any merit to get ahead. They already are ahead. The poorest of the poor, however, need to traverse the entire distance to get to the finish line on the basis of merit alone,” McNamee and Miller said in their book. As humans, our perception of the future and success is viewed through the lens that we have been granted early on, and because everyone has different experiences, each lens varies with each person’s privilege. Recognizing how one may have privilege is a powerful tool in breaking the social stratification system. “Privilege becomes one’s status,” Shehan said. “And that status is associated with power.”


4,060 miles

A love story powerful enough to span across the world by alyssa weiss, photo courtesy of shelby lublin In her freshman year of college, Shelby Lublin sat on the floor of a Broward Hall dorm room and joked with her friends that American boys just weren’t her type. Now a junior at the University of Florida, she couldn’t have been more right about herself. She’s in a happy, committed relationship of just under two years with her boyfriend who lives in Dublin, Ireland. Shelby met Oisin de Burca when she was 17 years old and he was 20. He was visiting Orlando for the summer on a work visa, and, whether it be fate, timing or luck, mutual friends brought them together. Their connection was instantaneous, and though the summer was short- lived, their relationship was anything but. They messaged daily, video chatted weekly and thought of each other constantly. By the time she was 19 and he was 22, they were falling for each other. When they started dating in 2016, they quickly realized their relationship would require much more patience than that of a regular couple. A distance of 4,060 miles, packed class schedules, part-time jobs and different time zones have always been stacked against them. It hasn’t been easy — or cheap. In the 19 months they’ve been dating, they’ve spent a combined total of $2,600 on 24 one-way tickets to see each other. Because their entire relationship is based mostly on messages written online, a text message for an anniversary was no longer special; add on another $25 for stamps, envelopes and cards to mail across the ocean. Due to the limited time they get to spend together in person, every moment has to count; therefore, each visit’s

activities cost them a few hundred dollars, whether it’s for nice dinners or entrance fees into museums. According to a 2017 study conducted by the Statistic Brain Research Institute, about 32.5 percent of U.S. college couples identify themselves as being in a long-distance relationship. It was also reported that the average longdistance couple is separated by 125 miles, making Shelby and Oisin’s 4,060 miles of separation 32.48 times further apart than the average. They knew going into their relationship that it wasn’t always going to be easy, but they also knew they were right for each other. And after all these months, that’s proved to make all the difference. The strength of their relationship can be accredited to the strength of their communication skills. Shelby said the having a successful long-distance relationship is based on trust, honesty, communication and an immense amount of love. “If you asked me four months into dating what the best part of our relationship is, I would’ve said just seeing him,” Shelby said. “But now, it’s the way we’re able to build our relationship. We’ve dealt with it for so long that we’re able to have great communication and respect for each other.” Love is a powerful thing. It can survive fights, tempers and challenges. And, as Shelby and Oisin prove, it can even survive a distance of 4,060 miles.


Overcoming the Stigma

Continuing the conversation surrounding mental health story and photo by Michelle Tapia Avaneesh Kunta can pinpoint the moment his life changed forever. It was the summer before his senior year of high school, and Avaneesh had just returned to his home in Orlando. He had participated in a summer research program at the University of Florida but was switching gears to focus on his final year. Everything was supposed to carry on as normal. He was set to begin his last year of high school like many seniors, with the worry of college applications, AP classes and standardized testing. But Avaneesh loved school. He was the self-admitted productive type who socializing with friends. However, when the school year started, a new Avaneesh wandered the halls. Avaneesh battled an incessant fog and


heaviness in his mind; he lacked the motivation to get out of bed, eat or brush his teeth, much less go to school or save his declining grades. Each morning he would wake up to bouts of pressure and anxiety — his only escape was sleep. This downward spiral continued for about three months until Avaneesh mustered the courage to approach his parents and seek help. After just one appointment with his psychologist, who also happens to be his uncle, he was diagnosed with depression and depersonalization disorder (DPD). Avaneesh’s mental health was suffering. “I was experiencing life like a movie — through a foggy mist. I didn’t know exactly where I was. It was an emotional numbness,” Avaneesh said.

DPD is a type of dissociative disorder that affects approximately 2 percent of the population, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. It affects 6.5 million people in the U.S. alone, and those who suffer from it typically experience periods of involuntary escape from reality. There is a disconnection from one’s mind and body and a void of emotion. It has been described as living on autopilot or observing yourself from outside your own body. Depersonalization episodes can last anywhere from a few minutes to several years. It’s also not uncommon for mental illnesses to be comorbid, which means that one or more additional diseases occur at the same time. That’s because something like a depersonalization episode can often lead to issues with depression and anxiety, as was the case with Avaneesh. However, he is aware his situation is different from many Americans suffering from mental illness. He was not only lucky to have an understanding and supportive family to help him through his recovery process, but his own uncle also served as his psychologist. Avaneesh was also fortunate he caught the warning signs when they came. Although he said he didn’t pay much attention to mental health before this incident, he was able to very quickly realize something was wrong. According to Mental Health America, 1 in 5 adults have some type of mental health condition. That’s over 40 million Americans. In its annual state of mental health report, MHA said youth mental health has also been on the rise in recent years with rates of severe depression increasing from 5.9 to 8.2 percent in 2015. Avaneesh’s uncle told his nephew that he diagnoses DPD to someone Avaneesh’s age at least once a month. For Avaneesh and many others, the hardest part of overcoming mental illness is seeking help. It’s pushing past the stigma, the judgements and the inevitable feeling of isolation. There’s the worry that others, especially those from older generations, would see it as a cry for help or an excuse. Avaneesh was concerned his own friends would view him in a different light. He began to question his sanity. “I couldn’t tell you the countless number of nights I spent tossing, turning and crying. ‘Am I crazy?’” He would ask himself. “I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy.” After several months of treatment involving medication and lifestyle changes, Avaneesh was able to fully recover from his DPD and depression andgraduate as salutatorian of his class. He is now a freshman at the University of Florida, and although he has experienced depressive episodes

since, he now feels confident he has the tools to work through them. He wasted no time in finding mental health communities and organizations like NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. However, it was that very passion for encouraging a conversation around mental health that led him to join NAMI’s Ending the Silence initiative where he and other young speakers travel to surrounding Gainesville schools to give presentations about their own stories. “The hardest part is reaching out for help and accepting what you have. If you overcome that stigma, I have the utmost respect for you. It’s not easy, and I know what that’s like,” he said. Through NAMI and his biomedical engineering degree, he hopes to change the way mental illness is treated in the future. After having been initially prescribed olanzapine and fluoxetine for his DPD and depression, he had to manage additional medications in order to balance out the side effects. He took Zenzedi to perk him up and clonidine to calm him down, as well as an appetite suppressant to counteract the appetite stimulant. According to Avaneesh, this is very common. Treatments are currently heavily based in trial and error, so he hopes to someday develop a better drug delivery system that limits these harmful side effects. Avaneesh may still be young, but he feels like he finally has a passion to streamline his talents into. And although the conversation surrounding mental health has only improved over the years, Avaneesh hopes it continues for years to come. “This is your quality of life we’re talking about,” he said. “Fight that stigma. Get the help you need, and move on from there.”

[ ] For Avaneesh and many others, the hardest part of overcoming mental illness is seeking help. It’s pushing past the stigma, the judgements and the inevitable feeling of isolation.



Photographers Share Their Best Tips for Powerful PictureS Story and photos BY CARLY BREIT Looking to up your Instagram game? Or create an album full of precious family memories? You don’t need an expensive camera to take stunning photos like the pros. In fact, all you’ll need is a phone, or even a disposable camera. Take a page from the books of these Gainesville photographers, and you’ll never miss another Kodak moment.

Francesca Levy “If you want 10 really good pictures, take 100 pictures,” said Levy, 22, a former teacher at the International Center of Photography in New York City. The best way to learn what kind of photos appeal to your eye is to practice and play. After filling your camera roll or memory card, look through your photos and take note of what made your favorites stand out. When it comes to snapping shots, quantity will lead to quality, Francesca said. See her work on Facebook at Francesca Levy Photography.

Alaina DiGiacomo Alaina remembers being “that girl in middle school who always had a digital camera.” Now a college senior, not much has changed. Her number-one tip? “Anticipate the moment.” If you see the perfect shot in your camera or phone screen before you’ve clicked the button, you’ve missed the shot, she said. You never know when that genuine smile at a photoshoot or perfect swing at a baseball game will come, so you — and your camera — have to be ready before the action occurs. Follow her on Instagram at @AlainaDPhotos.


Dakota Williams For Dakota, the work isn’t over after the camera clicks. You can really bring your photos to life by editing them after the shoot. “Please, don’t just slap a filter on it,” the 20-year-old photographer said. Take the time to adjust the exposure, highlights and shadows using a free app like VSCO or Adobe Lightroom. For portraits, your edited photo should look like a polished, enhanced version of your original — make sure it doesn’t look like another photo altogether. See his work on Facebook at @DakotaWilliamsMedia.

Carly Mackler For Carly, a 21-year-old photographer, timing is everything. After years as a graduation photographer, she’s found that the best time to shoot outside in Gainesville is about one hour before sunset. “Movement makes a photo,” she said. Use the rays of natural light as components in your pictures, and tell your subject to walk, twirl or move his or her hair. As you photograph, the sun will come through at surprising, beautiful angles. See her photos on Instagram at @CarlyMacklerPhoto.

Kayla Tuckerman Kayla, 21, has turned her high-school hobby into a business. If you love photography, and you can invest in some quality gear, you can do the same. But you have to start somewhere: “Create as much content as you can of the type you want to do for your clients,” she said. Think you might want to shoot weddings one day? Ask your friends in relationships if you can photograph them with their significant others. With practice, you’ll find ways to elicit those genuine, tender moments that will one day make frame-worthy wedding photos. Find her on Instagram at @ KaylaTuckermanPhoto.


A quiet strength

How your sensitivity can become your biggest strength story and photo by rhina garcia As humans, it is not uncommon to hear the phrase “thick skin” every so often. We are taught that we need to be strong and tough-minded. Some people are told they may be too fragile for this world or that they are too sensitive. While fragility and sensitivity can often be seen as weaknesses, what many people don’t realize is that these traits can carry a silent power. If you’re sensitive, you might consider yourself an overthinker. You spend a lot of time in your own head and overthink every detail in every conversation, interaction or confrontation. This penchant for detail, however, is a trait not many people have and, in turn, is a special one. The ability to analyze every detail in a situation and assign meaning to it is one that can lead to a bigger picture.

Guevarra stated that her tendency to care strongly about people taught her a great deal about empathy. She recalls comforting a fellow student who was affected by the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The ability to aid somebody in his or her time of need is something she attributes to being a naturally sensitive person. “I wasn’t there personally, and I have no connection to them, but I can imagine myself in that situation,” she said. “It just comes naturally to me.”

People like Guevarra are all around. They use what is widely considered a weakness and turn it into a superpower in their professional and personal lives. The truth is that highly sensitive people have a lot to bring to the table. In her 2016 According to Psychology Today, sensitive people tend to have a high emotional intelligence. They are able to discern certain Forbes article, “Your Sensitivity Is A Career Superpower. Here's How To Use It,” master coach Melody Wilding talked problems and issues and pay special attention to them. This about the various ways sensitive people thrive in their can develop into a better understanding of why someone may professional lives. She stated that companies need workers feel a certain way. This trait allows some people to come into with “intuition, creativity and empathy,” and sensitive situations with a penchant for understanding every detail, leading them to find new and creative ways to reach a solution. people thrive in workplace situations where others may have a harder time. This can include teamwork and communication. Many sensitive people consider themselves caretakers. This was the case for 19-year-old Gianne Guevarra. As a selfWhether it is implementing this in their personal proclaimed sensitive person, her experiences have led her to or professional lives, highly sensitive people carry a discover a trait that can be very hard to come across at superpower unlike any other. The people who seem times: empathy. to be the most emotional or meek can be the ones to bring creativity and empathy to any situation. Power is “One of the strengths of being sensitive is that you can an interesting concept, and finding it in your own quiet connect with other people very strongly,” Guevarra said. “I strength holds more power than you can possibly imagine. try to put myself in other people’s shoes because I consider myself a sensitive person.”


Finding Happiness in Success professionals in Gainesville share their keys to success Story and photo by Michelle Tapia According to Raye, success doesn’t have to be any single thing; it’s whatever that journey means for you. It doesn’t have to be money, and it doesn’t have to be about being smart or lucky. It’s a personal journey, which will most likely be riddled with its share of failures anyway. “Someone who has learned who they are at their core, acted on this knowledge to engage with their surroundings creatively, this person is a success, whether the money is part of the equation or not,” Raye said. Dianne Farb views success in a similar manner. Farb practiced law in the General Counsel’s office at the University of Florida for 15 years and founded a nonprofit foundation called The Climb for Cancer Foundation. When she and her husband are not raising funds to support programs for cancer patients, she is writing awardwinning novels under the pen name Rebecca Heflin.

When most people think of what makes a person successful, similar themes tend to pop up. Some think success means the big promotion, the corner office, the name on the door or the seven-figure salary. It’s the conspicuous car or expensive mansion. It’s the American dream so many parents wish for their children. However, so many people work their entire lives pursuing these symbols of success only to be left feeling empty upon arrival. Why is that? The problem with this conceptualization of success is that it is limited. If you view success as a destination someone else can set for you or as a way to seek validation from others, then you probably never experience true self-satisfaction. After speaking with successful professionals in Gainesville, the one key takeaway they all promoted was defining success not by objects or milestones, but by things that would bring personal happiness to their lives. Satchel Raye, owner of the popular and unique Satchel’s Pizza, said the key to success is discovering what will give you happiness. When he married his wife 20 years ago, he was a 30-year-old man working as a dish washer and making art as a hobby. He remembered being content, laughing and adventuring with his wife.

Farb said that perceptions of success differ from person to person and even within different stages of life. But for her, success has been about finding happiness and balance in her life. “Success is working in a job I enjoy, where I am appreciated and respected, and where what I do makes a difference. It is also giving back to my community, whether it’s through my nonprofit foundation or other community activities,” she said. “It’s feeding my creative side by writing and publishing books I hope my readers enjoy. It’s my 23year marriage to my best friend and close relationships with friends and family. It’s those things that give my life balance and meaning.” Raye and Farb each shared their top three keys to achieving and maintaining success. Raye urges everyone to learn from their mistakes, use their time efficiently and always try to become a better person. Farb says everyone should learn to play to their strengths, work hard and be kind. In essence, success seems to be a deeply personal journey that is impossible to constrain to one simple definition. Can it mean the seven-figure salary and big promotion? Of course. However, it could also mean simply being with your family or loving your job. At the end of the day, it all revolves around your happiness, so set some goals and go get ‘em.

“Even though there was an appearance that I was not successful because of my career in restaurant work, I feel that I was a success because I lived a fulfilled life,” Raye said.


Sustainability A new outlook on life and the things around us Story and photo By Stefano Ferreyros



he word sustainability has been linked with taking care of the environment, but a

holistic approach of sustainability contains factors that are environmental, social and economic.

Ron Chandler, an interim director of sustainability studies and visiting professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Florida, practices a model of holistic sustainability, which puts human dignity at the center. The model is surrounded by water, food, energy and commerce—all of which relate back to psychology. Chandler believes that if holistic sustainability is practiced, every time that we think about being more sustainable, we should focus on how our processes affect human beings. According to Chandler, sustainability can be as easy as practicing being conscientious because it benefits the sense of self and human dignity. How we treat ourselves and each other has a direct relationship with how we treat the planet. In his psychology of sustainability course, which he’s been teaching since January 2015, Chandler explains that a Fresnel lens––the lens system used in lighthouses made of glass and metals––has pieces of lenses that are each equally as important as the others. If one of them breaks, the whole lens would not be useful, and that’s how we should view sustainability.

As an example, Chandler mentioned one of his students who went to Africa to work at a nonprofit in order to help women and children. During her time there, she discovered that the source of their struggles was the mining of metals used in technology. The metals that are mined in parts of Africa are used for computers, phones, microwaves and other equipment. Because of this, companies buy land to mine, and the families that live in the area are removed. According to Chandler, this leaves the families with two options. The first is to starve to death, and the second is to leave the women and children behind in the village for days, weeks or months with no way to fend for themselves, which then leads to the trafficking of the women and children, in order to mine. When his student came back to the U.S., she worked for a nonprofit that focuses on building a recycling agenda for these metals in order to diminish the harmful effects on human beings. In 2000, Chandler founded the Conservation Initiative for the Asian Elephant because he wanted to help the elephants that were being killed and removed from their homes because of companies like Oil Palm India Ltd., which were creating plantations in their natural habitat. Although the idea and desire to want to do something came two years prior, Chandler found he could not save the elephants alone. He explained that corporate agriculture displaces hundreds of thousands of people on a yearly basis.“If something’s terribly happening for elephants, something’s happening terribly

for people there. They’ve been misplaced, they’ve been put into the corridor or moved to the corridor because they got pushed out through some civil unrest,” he said. Since then, he began working with the local people of Meghalaya, in northeastern India where the elephants live, and found that the Garo Hills region had barely been touched by humans. Though the area has been targeted by mining companies like the Indian Green Tribunal, which was able to get a mining moratorium to keep other companies from coming into the area in 2016, CIFAE began sponsoring a series of summits to form a UNESCO World Heritage Site for Meghalaya and Garo Hills so the elephants’ habitat would remain safe.

How we treat ourselves and each other has a direct relationship with how we treat the planet. For those interested in environmental sustainability, Chandler recommends to start looking at where products are from before they buy. He believes actions like switching to LED lights can make people feel good about doing something that helps the environment. These actions cause a snowball effect that will lead them into doing more environmentally sustainable things. He also recommends buying local, in-season produce because they will bring down the individual’s carbon footprint. “Most of the grocery stores, even in Gainesville, have a sign––even Publix has a sign on [that says] ‘Florida-grown.’ Look for those,” he said. Not only would the items be local, but the money would also go back into the community, and according to Chandler, the more the dollar stays local, the more that dollar is worth, making it both environmentally and economically sustainable.


knowledge is power

a first-generation American man’s parents give him an opportunity they never had story and photo by ashleigh braun Growing up in the isolated, rural jungle of Laos, a small country in Southeast Asia, Brian Nguyen’s mother never had the opportunity to receive a formal education. Going to school was simply not an option. Similarly, his father, who grew up in Vietnam in an area so primitive, running water is considered a luxury, was never afforded that chance. Instead, they worked tirelessly just to put food on the table and help support their families. In the 1970s, Brian’s parents moved to the United States brimming with aspirations for a better future. After relocating to Minnesota and meeting through a mutual friend, the pair created a new life together, building a Chinese restaurant from the ground up. Mr. and Mrs. Nguyen worked hard doing everything from the cooking to the restaurant management and eventually amassed a successful customer base. By common standards, they were living the idyllic “American dream.” Their story was tangible proof that hard work pays off, but despite their accomplishments, they wanted better


for their children. They wanted Brian and his sister to have an opportunity they never had: the ability to receive an education. “That inspired me because my parents wanted their children to go to school and have the opportunity to have an education, so that in itself is the reason why I wanted to go to school and further my education,” Nguyen said. And further it he did. Today, after four years of undergraduate study at the University of Florida, multiple years working as a health support technician at the UF Student Healthcare Center to gain clinical hours, two years of physician assistant school and final testing and certifications, Brian, now 29, is a licensed physician assistant at UF Health Family Medicine. After visiting his older sister, Brenda, who attended UF, he applied for college in the swamp and never

looked back. “I’m essentially a lifelong Gator,” Brian said with a grin. From a young age, he had a strong work ethic instilled in him from his parents. During his childhood, after school, his and his sister’s routines consisted of doing their homework and then spending the rest of the evening helping their parents at the restaurant. “I kind of gave up some parts of my childhood because I was helping with my parents, but I don’t regret it,” Brian explained. “I think all that hard work and responsibility at such a young age helped me throughout my life and has shown me that hard work does pay off.”


Brian understands the power of education — and doesn’t underestimate the impact it can have on someone’s life. As a first-generation American, he has seen education open doors, which has put him in a position to achieve things he thought he never would, like accomplishing his dream of becoming a physician assistant.

According to the Migration Policy Institute, “Vietnamese immigrants tend to have slightly lower educational attainment compared to the overall foreign- and nativeborn populations. In 2014, approximately 25 percent of Vietnamese immigrants (ages 25 and over) had a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 29 percent of the total foreign-born population and 30 percent of the U.S.born population.” Brian beat these statistics, proving the importance of education his parents ingrained in him.

As a child, he was fascinated by clinicians, and he combined that interest with a spark within him that wanted to help people, which culminated in his eventual decision to become a physician assistant. “As a kid, I would get excited to go to the doctor’s [office] because I wanted to see what they would do,” he explained. Brian is passionate about having the ability to change someone’s life. That motivates him to do his job and makes all of the grueling years of school worth it. Brian is extremely grateful for his parents inspiring him and giving him the opportunities they didn’t have by giving him the tools to succeed in getting an education. Having seen the stark contrast firsthand, he realizes in America, people take for granted that education is thrust upon us so freely and easily. When he was just 10, Brian traveled to Vietnam and Laos, where his family is from, and it gave him a newfound respect for the life his parents enabled him to have in America. “Going from a first-world country to a third-world country, you immediately see the drastic differences… It’s humbling,” he said.

education is so important because it not only gives people opportunities, but also empowers them.

helping his family travel to fill buckets of water each day, which they would use for showering and cooking. In the rural jungles of Southeastern Asia, Brian learned many important lessons: first, to be grateful and appreciate the opportunities he had in America, and second, to become fluent in Laotian—officially making him trilingual. According to the Postsecondary National Policy Institute, “First-generation undergraduate students who are predominantly non-white and from low-income backgrounds face myriad financial, academic and social barriers to entering and completing college as the first in their families to navigate college admissions, financial aid and postsecondary coursework.” As a first-generation student, Brian fought against the odds and statistics stacked against him and pursued not only an undergraduate degree, but also many additional years of education to achieve his dream of being a physician assistant.

“To have the ability to go to school… that in itself is pretty amazing,” Brian explained. “I always think of my mom—she’s a brilliant woman, but she wasn’t able to go to school, and I can only imagine the things she would have done if she had been able to have that opportunity.” Education is so important because it not only gives people opportunities, but also empowers them. When you understand the things around you, it changes your perspectives and allows you to see things in a new light. “I think that’s what the power of education is,” Brian stated. “You get opportunities, you see things in a different light and it helps you open your eyes a little bit.”

He was shocked by the primitive living environment with no showers, bathrooms or running water, and he remembered


Picture Perfect Instagram life isn’t always a perfect life Story and Photos by Brianna Duncan - Dieujuste

Ping! Seconds later ‌ Ping! Most people know the sound of that classic signal when the photo you posted begins to receive likes, hearts and the occasional laughing emoji. Then that sound spreads to just about every other electronic device you have in arms reach. Everything from laptops, watches and tablets have the power to inform you who just double-tapped. But in a broader sense, those devices held so near and dear to your heart also keeps you informed about the world, the community, friends and family.



The pressure to remain authentic in an atmosphere where you can “buy” followers is something to remain aware of.

Neilson research has even shown that 74 millennials, people ages 22 to 37, feel that new technology makes their lives easier, and 54 percent feel new technology helps them be closer to their friends and family. “There are definitely cons to social media but there are also so many pros,” said Sunny Khan, a lifestyle and fashion blogger with nearly 4,000 followers. “It’s amazing how the world has become because of it. You can reply to someone’s Insta story or slide into someone’s DM. Before [advanced social media] you would have never had the chance to contact them.” You may not find landlines attached to walls in kitchens or hear the sound of dial-up while starting a computer anymore, but electronics bind you to the rest of the world and every one in it. According to Pew Research Center, internet usage has increased from 50 percent to 89 percent over the past 18 years. This strongly correlates to the increase in social media usage. “It gets to the point where you’re overly connected,” Dr. Gregory Webster, a University of Florida associate psychology professor said. “Spending so much time online can have an effect on some of your real-world relationships. It can be addictive where you lose sight of those face-to-face conversations.” What was once used to connect with friends from your hometown has spiraled into a phenomenon, one that millennials and Generation Z have not lived without. It’s the force behind an evolving culture while also being a sense of creative expression and the platform to boost some careers. “It started off by accident,” Kahn said. “When I first started posting content, people began to find me through hashtags and micro-influencer bloggers began following me. Growing my brand has happened slowly over time and all I do is post what I like.” Being driven by ‘likes,’ is now a part of so many lives that even the act of simply posting a photo can become a major aspect of one’s life.


“It’s a lot of work,” said Kristin Coffey the fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger behind For The Love Of Coffey. The pressure to remain authentic in an atmosphere where you can “buy” followers is something to remain aware of. “That’s not the way to go,” she said. Coffey’s millennial pink grid where she displays her real life draws in nearly 24,000 Instagram followers. “People like to look at that perfect everyday life, but people want to hear that they’re not the only one’s going through stress, anxiety even breakouts - all the little things.” While Coffey credits herself as only a part-time blogger, she knows the importance of staying active outside of the filtered world. “Attending events with other influencers and meeting other bloggers, just lets the audience know you’re real.” The experience isn’t always picture perfect though, and taking a step back is easier said than done. Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are designed for users to look at advertisements, get addicted and refresh their feeds. “They’re fun but could we exist without them,” Webster said. "Yes we certainly could." Both Coffey and Kahn find themselves taking a step back some days. “I have to catch myself. I’ll go on Instagram and scroll through just to refresh the page two seconds later,” Kahn said. “Every person experiences FOMO (fear of missing out) because of social media. You know what everybody’s doing all of the time, which can be difficult at times. You don’t want to compare yourself or your life, but it happens sometimes.” Escaping the use of the internet is near impossible in the 21st Century. Some have made careers out of it, but taking breaks can help from the burnout of having to always be picture perfect.




Men in Makeup One man’s journey in the BEauty industry Story and photo by Michelle Tapia Sam Dugger, like many children, grew up knowing little about makeup. His knowledge of the art was limited to what he saw his mother, Raleigh, do in front of the bathroom mirror. It wasn’t until his love for acting brought him to the Ocala community theater that he was exposed to the world of theatrical makeup. His fascination with using the medium for transformation coupled with an extensive YouTube video binge led him to apply for a job at Sephora his freshman year of college. Although Sam started with very limited experience, he managed to get promoted from cashier to makeup artist after six months of carefully watching coworkers and practicing on friends. Sam is a bit of an anomaly when it comes to the makeup world. Not only is he a man in an industry targeted primarily at women, but he’s an artist who does not wear makeup himself. It’s this same unique perspective that allows Sam to see the powerful effect makeup has had on his clients and on people in general. “Makeup to me is just like a fancy dress; you feel good in it. When you put on a face full of makeup you feel empowered,” Sam said. “It’s annoying because of the society we live in that [makeup] is a necessity in certain places. If [women] come into work without makeup it’s considered unprofessional, which is such a double standard.” It’s that same conflicting relationship with makeup that Sam found came up frequently with his clients. There were those who viewed makeup as a means to an end–a purely functional aspect of day-to-day life like getting dressed or brushing one’s hair—and there were others who loved the


art but were criticized for being “fake” or falling into societal norms. Sam noticed that part of this judgement even came from other women as well. Female clients would request him because they feared the silent judgement they would receive from female makeup artists. Sam was perceived to be a less intimidating and more approachable option. Here was a man who didn’t wear makeup and wouldn’t make you feel guilty about not being perfect. Not to mention, some told him if he was willing to fight societal norms to pursue his passion at Sephora, then he must know a thing or two. The societal perception of men and makeup has slowly transformed over the years. YouTube gurus like James Charles and Jeffree Star have been making waves with brand deals and product lines, respectively. According to Statista, in 2016 the U.S. cosmetic industry—skin care, hair care, makeup, perfumes, toiletries, deodorants and oral cosmetics—generated approximately $84 billion in revenue. As beauty companies become more inclusive and societal expectations shift, that number is only expected to increase. Thus, the inevitable conversation of its importance and role in people’s lives will progress. As that discussion continues, Sam wants others to take away that makeup should never be about pleasing others. For him, makeup is an avenue for self expression and individuality: it’s a superpower that gives wearers a sense that they can accomplish anything. “The power of makeup is confidence. Does it come from a vain kind of place? Yeah, but it’s kind of reclaiming that,” Sam said. “It’s reclaiming something you’re forced to do and making it something you want to do.”

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Pandemonium : $20,

Ardell Matte Whipped Lipstick in Sizzling Orange: $9.99,

Color Cream Mehron L.I.P Palette: $35,

Merle Norman Creamy Lipcolor: $15,

power pouts

Merle norman lip pencil plus in sweet marmalade: $14,

9 lip colors to embolden and empower your beauty routine story by ashleigh braun, photos courtesy of manufacturers

Forget diamonds—a bold, pigmented lip color is a girl’s new best friend. Whether bright pink is your go-to power color, or a rich, deep red makes you channel your inner Beyonce, or a daring purple hue brightens your smile, your power lip color is uniquely yours and helps you look—and feel—like you can conquer the world.

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in EZ: $17,

Urban Decay Hi-Fi Lip Gloss in Big Bang: $20,

L’OrEal Paris, Colour Riche Shine in Sparkling Rose: $9.99,

Ardell Beauty Ultra Opaque Lipstick in Pleasing Bliss : $9.99,

Mehron L.I.P Color Cream Singles: $5.95,


flower power Turning a ‘70s trend into a modern day look story and photos by alyssa weiss The fashion statements in the 1970s were bold, interesting and colorful. Bright, bell-bottom pants got paired with a patterned top and the outfit was complete. Recreating those looks today may seem daunting, but take it from these men and women: it’s totally possible. With a little enthusiasm and a lot of creativity, ‘70s-inspired ensembles can be a stand-out, powerful look for any generation. Models from left to right: Cali Newman, Sam Dugger, Lauren Robinson, Wildlin Pierrevil, Brittany Bennett.


Outfit: Free People jeans and PacSun top. Brittany’s vibes: Pairing colors that normally wouldn’t work may be all you need to take your outfit to the next level. Mix colors that don’t totally match and watch your outfit come alive! 49



Wildlin’s style: Get a statement piece that’s versatile and fun. A leather jacket can go over a patterned button down to complement the look and bring you the edge that takes it from day to night. Outfit: vintage clothes from Flashbacks.



Lauren’s looks: Do your parents still have clothes from their 20s hanging in the back of their closet? Use them! Their memory-tinged castaways can be the vintage pieces that tie your look together. Outfits from left to right: Lauren: Free People jeans, PacSun shirt, American Eagle shoes. Cali: birkenstocks, Forever21 dress, Urban Outfitters belt. Brittany: vintage skirt, Urban Outfitters top, American Eagle shoes.




Alyssa’s advice: Don’t be afraid of patterns! The men and women of the '70s didn’t hold back, so, why should you? Brittany (bottom left): vintage denim shorts, Urban Outfitters top, American Eagle shoes. Cali (top): Forever21 pants, PacSun top, American Eagle shoes. Sam (middle left) and Wildlin (middle right): vintage clothes from Flashbacks. Lauren (bottom right): Forever21 shirt, vintage denim shorts, Birkenstocks.


lady in red

a pop of this power color for every outfit


story by isa perez, photos courtesy of manufacturers

Energy, passion, action – these are just some words that describe the color red. No matter the season, the attention-grabbing color never seems to go out of style. Here are some of our top picks to make you feel #confident.


1 4 7 8


6 9

1. Ruffle Bikini Top in Italian Matte: $58, 2. Le Specs x Adam Selman Last Lolita 49mm Cat Eye Sunglasses: $119, 3. Faux Suede Thin Heel Booties: $69.90, 4. Kate Spade New York Yours Truly Chocolate Heart Mini Bag: $358, 5. Comme de Garcons PLAY Stripe Cotton Tee: $156, 6. Beaded Tassel Earrings: $29.90, 7. TOPSHOP Pamela One-Piece Swimsuit: $38, 8. Eric Javits Floppy Straw Hat: $350, 9. Saint Laurent Monogram Wallet on a Chain: $1,650, 54

PROTECT YOUR FACE — WITH PLANTS 7 Skin Care Items that come from Mother Nature story by Stefano Ferreyros, photos courtesy of manufacturers We can change the way we look physically by going to the gym or starting a new diet, but the skin on our faces is forever, so let’s treat it right. Ditch the harsh chemicals and go all natural with these products that will help you get in touch with nature while keeping your skin clear and hydrated.

Eye Cream: CAUDALIE Resveratrol Lift Eye Lifting Balm

Cleanser: FIG+YARROW Palmarosa Charcoal Cleanser

This cleanser is recommended for normal, sensitive and acne-prone skin. The sulfate-free foam will deep clean your skin while helping with cell regeneration, moisture retention and eliminating acnecausing factors. Palmarosa will help with skin damage while providing an uplifting, sweet and floral aroma. $19.99,

Toner: Botanics Organic Toning Spritz

This toner contains organic rose water, which purifies and refreshes skin after cleansing. It will remove traces of makeup, as well as soothe and moisturize the skin. Just spray this toner on your face and wipe it off with a cotton pad. The toner is recommended for combination, normal and oily skin. $9.99, Photo by Stefano Ferreyros

Moisturizer: Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Day Lotion

This moisturizer has been clinically shown to provide intense hydration, and it’s enhanced with probiotic technology. This fastabsorbing lotion revitalizes dry skin leaving your skin feeling soft. It doesn’t contains any parabens, phthalates or petrolatum. $7.19,

Treat yourself to this eye balm that helps lift the look of eyelids, reduce puffiness, lighten dark circles and smooth the appearance of wrinkles. The texture is silky and melts into skin without the use of synthetic emulsifiers. It’s good for any type of skin, and it can be used around the eyes and lips. $62,

BB Cream: 100 Percent BB Cream with SPF 15

This full-to-medium coverage BB Cream will give you a natural finish, while giving your skin thousands of lightreflective pigments that give your skin an incandescent glow. This BB Cream has SPF 15 to protect your skin from the sun’s harsh rays. $41 in 10 Luminous, 20 Aglow,

Face Mask: Mask of Magnaminty This mask might look a bit odd at first, but it will leave your skin feeling great. The kaolin clay and peppermint oil will leave your skin tingly, yet clean. Ground aduki beans will exfoliate flaky or dry skin, vanilla absolute will calm redness and honey will soothe and moisturize your skin. $14.95-$28.95,

Sunscreen: Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Face Lotion Protect your face from the sun’s harmful rays with this lightweight, non-whitening, water-resistant SPF 30 face sunscreen. This non-GMO and vegan sunscreen contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to protect you physically, providing broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. $14.99,




Acts of service

The power of therapy and service dogs in Gainesville story and photos by natalie rao With honey-brown eyes, chipped teeth and a pink tongue, Sam looks up at her owner, McKenna Schaar, with the closest thing to a smile a dog could give. Sam, an 8-year-old Labrador retriever, has been a part of McKenna's family since she was a puppy. As Sam grew and her puppy antics matured into an obedient demeanor, McKenna's family knew she had the potential to be more than a family pet. When McKenna, who is now a junior at the University of Florida, was in high school, her family got Sam an emotional support vest to start her journey of becoming a support animal. McKenna describes the process as “extremely easy to do.” According to the United States Dog Registry, she only needed a recommendation from a doctor and an identification kit for Sam. Through working with UF’s Dance Marathon, McKenna realized Sam had true potential to be a therapy dog. “All the kids fell in love with her everywhere I went,” McKenna, who is a Dance Marathon captain, said.


After Sam passes three observational tests through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, she can visit medical buildings and provide children and adults with emotional support. McKenna's goal for Sam is to have her work in pediatric medicine because the ability to “interact with something that’s not your species” is the most powerful part, she said. “Being able to connect with an animal in that way… that gives me power, being able to have that animal,” McKenna said. “It gives others power by being able to interact with her, and I think she has a lot of fun with it, too.” UF agriculture communications junior Blake Geary is also no stranger to this connection. He got Quesadilla, an 8-month-old golden retriever, from New Horizons Service Dogs, a central Florida-based nonprofit that breeds and pairs service dogs. The organization paired the two through its Puppy Raiser program. Unlike therapy animals, service dogs are raised with a much stricter process from the time they’re puppies. Blake's role is to socialize Quesadilla by bringing him around campus, to class and into restaurants.

[] "It gives others power by being able to interact with her, and i think she has a lot of fun with it, too."

Quesadilla, with his golden hair and warm eyes, also has a puppy smile on his face most of the time. Although he’s rambunctious off the clock, he knows when the forest green “Service Dog in Training” vest goes on, it’s time to behave. Blake thinks that Quesadilla will work with autistic children. From what he understands, most of New Horizons dogs end up in that field. Of course, this depends on how Quesadilla performs after a three-year training process. In about a month, Blake will give Quesadilla up to a prison training program. After that, Quesadilla will go to another trainer before his final test. Although parting will be hard, Blake knows it’s for the best. “I knew it would be hard ‘cause he’s like my best friend,” Blake said. “He wants to help people. They’re bred and trained and grow up on that. He knows that he’s not just a regular dog.” Blake knows the power a service dog like Quesadilla will eventually hold when he gets paired with someone who needs him. “Once he’s fully trained, doing his job…he’ll enable that person to live a more regular life, which I think is mostly the reason I’m not so sad that he’s leaving,” Blake said. “He’ll help people be better.”


the power of words Quotes to inspire and motivate story and photo by brooke steinberg As author and speaker Yehuda Berg once said, “Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity.” The arrangement of certain words together can create an influential message that evokes emotion in a person and sticks with them, inspiring them to want to make a change either in the world or in their personal lives. Below are some inspiring words that may change your mood or spark something within you. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” - Anne Frank You don't have to wait for something to happen to start making a difference. If you feel like you need to make a change, do it. And do it now. “You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.” - Glinda the Good Witch in L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” - Martin Luther King Jr.

Everyone has the power to do anything they set their mind to, but they might not know it. Realizing you can do anything you want is a learning process.

The only way to stop the hate in this world is by spreading love and kindness to everyone. Fighting hate with more hate isn’t going to get rid of the hostility.

“The most common way people give up their power is thinking they don’t have any.” - Alice Walker

“I’ve heard of nothing coming from nothing, but I’ve never heard of absolutely nothing coming from hard work.” - Uzo Aduba

Until you realize your abilities in life, you’re abandoning any power you have. It’s important for everyone to realize his or her potential in order for them to show the world what they are capable of.

If you don’t try and apply yourself, nothing is going to happen. You cannot expect to get what you want without putting in work. When you work hard and try your best, something will come your way. “You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.” - Rosa Parks If you believe you are doing the right thing, don’t be afraid to speak up and stand out. There is no reason to be afraid when what you are doing is morally right. The quotes listed above are quotes that I have personally found to be words of wisdom throughout my life. They are little pieces of advice that make you stop and think that maybe you could be doing something different in your life or you can make a difference in the world. Sometimes all it takes is a few words to make people come to these realizations. Words can leave a legacy, and words can be your legacy. No matter how recent or how long ago these quotes were, they still resonate with people all over the world.


From Social Media into Society The power of Millennials in the workplace story and photo by Jayna Taylor-Smith Society teaches little kids not to name-call. It is mean and can make people feel left out. However, society is quick to criticize anyone born between 1981 and 1996. The people in this age range are known as “millennials.” Though society didn’t label this group with malicious intent, many negative stereotypes come with it. But as millennials enter the workplace, are they supposed to shift their entire approach to life, or should older generations adjust their perspectives?

From a performance management perspective, Richardson said once a year won’t cut it anymore because of the frequency millennials need acknowledgment. ADP, a payroll service provider, now has an app that sends out two questions to every employee at the end of the week asking if they feel like they accomplished everything they needed and how they feel about their job. According to Richardson, new technology will help supervisors work more cohesively with the millennial generation, which they’ll have to do, because millennials are currently the largest generation in the U.S.

Megan Richardson, the vice president of Dynamic Corporate Solutions Inc., a full-service human resources consulting firm located in Fleming Island, Florida, said that supervisors will need to learn how to adapt.

“If [supervisors] can’t change their skill set to better work with millennials, then they’ll have that constant turnover, and with that comes lack of productivity,” she said.

“It’s an education for front-line supervisors and hiring managers that just because it’s a different generation doesn’t mean it’s a bad generation,” Richardson said.

However, considering what older generations can do to adapt to millennials rather than the other way around is quite a “millennial” way of thinking, said Richardson. So what can millennials do for their elders to curb negative stereotypes?

After teaching classes on how to manage different generations and working in human resources for 15 years, Richardson found that major stigmas surrounding millennials entering the workplace are that they expect flexibility in their schedule, lack loyalty to staying in one job and need more personal attention. However, wanting to be acknowledged and treated as an individual is something she said every generation wants. “[Boomers] need praises just like everyone else,” Richardson said. “But they’re so happy when they get it in performance reviews once a year. That’s what they need to be fulfilled.”

Based on Richardson’s research, the most important things boomers want is respect. For millennials, the best approaches are to respect the time senior-level employees have spent in the company, have a physical presence in the office and have a drive to learn. With baby boomers, Generation Xers and millennials coming together under one roof in the workplace, there are many skill sets to feed off of. Millennials can teach boomers to have work-life balance and boomers can pass on the knowledge they’ve learned from years of experience. Labels and titles don’t say who people are, they’re just ways for society to try to understand each other.


Meet Desirae Lee ~

story by christy pina, photo by Vanessa vlandis

About our cover star Desirae considers herself a creative spirit and soul who started off modeling because of her interest in photography. She sees herself as a writer at heart before anything else. Follow her @kalei_des_scope.

What does power mean to her? "Power means strength." "Power is knowing that you’re comfortable in your abilities, whatever that task, whatever that situation may be." "Being powerful also means you’re in control of a situation and you’re able to handle whatever it is that you’re doing." 62

"I feel powerful when I can make people understand me in whatever medium that is, ‘cause then you can create empathy between people."


students making miracles How students at UF come together to help save lives story by brooke steinberg, photos courtesy of Dance Marathon at UF Students have the power to do anything they set their minds to, and the students involved in Dance Marathon at the University of Florida are currently using their power to change and save the lives of children. DM at UF is a yearround fundraising effort leading up to an annual 26.2hour event at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center benefiting the patients of UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville, Florida. The organization is the second largest student-run philanthropy in the nation and the most successful student-run philanthropy in the southeastern United States. The support and energy for the organization from the school is a large reason why the fundraising event is so successful. “It takes an army for an organization to be successful and to make a change in the community,” said Rachel Auld, the external communications manager for DM at UF. “It is all in the recognition of the students on campus.” This year, DM at UF had over 1,600 students involved with 19 overall directors, 489 captains, 198 emerging leaders, 80 FTKrew members (staff) and 825 dancers, as well as delegates across campus and general fundraisers. Together, these students were able to raise over $3 million, a threshold that has never been broken before. One hundred percent of the total raised for DM at UF goes to UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, with 48 percent going to


research, 10 percent to education and 42 percent to patient care. The students involved in Dance Marathon at UF came together for a cause greater than themselves and used their power to make 3 million miracles for the children at the hospital. The organization would like to expand throughout the whole campus and get as many students involved as possible, Auld said. Auld had the fortunate opportunity to dance in the 26.2-hour event her freshman year and stand for those who cannot. She believes that a lot of people want to get more involved in the event after dancing in the event for the first time. “It has this kind of magical effect,” Auld said. “When you’re up standing for 26.2 hours and you hear family after family speak and share their stories, it motivates you. You catch the Dance Marathon bug, and it motivates you to fight.” For Auld, it was at the event her freshman year five years ago that made her catch the DM bug. Standing with 825 students together for one cause creates a powerful energy. Throughout the event, multiple Miracle Families come to speak and share their stories. This helps the students realize why they are fighting. The students of DM at UF have had an extremely dominant impact on the organization, not just by fundraising and

physically showing up, but on the Miracle Families’ lives as well. Auld shared that she has spoken to many families that expressed their gratitude for the students involved in Dance Marathon. “I think some of the best things you hear from families is not just that they can have hope for their children, but more importantly they have a family they can connect with and a family they know will support them during these hard times,” Auld said. Jessica Maier, the mother of one of Dance Marathon at UF’s miracle children, Owen, said the students involved in DM at UF have inspired her to be a better person, to give more and to show more compassion. The most important thing students have the power to do when involved in the organization is give these Miracle Families a support group that they would not otherwise have. It’s hard for people to understand what these families are going through from the outside, but the students of DM at UF are there to give them the encouragement they need to know that there is still hope. Dance Marathon is more than just having the power to help find a cure and fundraise for equipment and research, it’s having the power to be a family. “Dance Marathon has showed me that my child will never stand alone,” Maier said. “I know that he always has this group of students fighting for him, and I am not in this alone.” Auld told the story of a family relations captain who graduated last year that had such an impact on her Miracle

Family’s lives, the parents made her the godmother of her miracle child. This is just one example of the effect students have on these families going through hard times. The love for the families then becomes a ripple effect and the awareness raised then turns into funds raised, but it all begins with the students’ love for the families and the cause. Maier works in the same office where DM at UF is overseen and said she specifically remembers buckets of change being brought into the office to be counted. The students don’t stop fundraising no matter the circumstance. Students actually get some donations one penny at a time, and it miraculously adds up to these large number donations. “The students see our children and make a personal impact with them, and that impact drives them,” Maier said. “That’s their driving force. They keep going for our kids.” When students first start out with Dance Marathon, they are already powerful and ready to make a difference. But being involved in Dance Marathon pushes everyone to be even more powerful than they were when they started. Dance Marathon at UF has the power to bring a student not only closer to the cause but also to the school because it empowers students across campus. For Auld, Dance Marathon at UF made her into the leader she is today. “It taught me a lot about myself,” Auld said. “It opened my eyes and made my college experience a lot more powerful than I was expecting.” If you would like to get involved in Dance Marathon at UF as a student, visit for more information.


Riding Solo What I Learned Traveling Alone Story and photos By Carly Breit “How many?” asked the waitress at the small pizza restaurant just off St. Augustine Beach. It wasn’t a difficult question. I’m not sure why I froze. Finally, I answered: “Just me.” The waitress and I gave each other soft smiles as she picked up a menu and led me to a table with four chairs. I wondered what she, the couple sitting two tables over and the group of friends by the window thought when they saw me sit down. I wondered if it was similar to what I think when I see someone, especially a woman, sit by him or herself at a restaurant. She’s probably so lonely. I ordered the $6 special: two slices of pepperoni and a Diet Coke. I ate it anxiously while scrolling through Twitter, avoiding eye contact with other patrons and trying to disguise my discomfort as business.

But that confidence shriveled as quickly as I ate my pizza at that table for four. Many people shudder at the thought of being and feeling alone. We all jump to judge, or even pity, people without company, despite the fact that solitude is incredibly beneficial. According to Forbes contributor and psychotherapist Amy Morin, spending time alone increases productivity, sparks creativity, builds mental strength and helps people get to know themselves. In theory, that all sounds great. In practice, though, it makes us feel insecure and stressed.

Many people shudder at the thought of being, and feeling, alone. We all jump to judge, or even pity, people without company, despite the fact that solitude is incredibly beneficial.

I felt a strange wave of relief when another woman, some years older than me, sat down by herself at another table. I paid for my lunch and walked toward the beach. Recently, I realized that I was 21 years old and had never taken a trip alone. I was about to graduate college and embark on a new adventure and job in New York City, and I had never even gone to the next town, much less a new state, by myself. I consider myself a confident and adventurous person, never the type of girl who needs someone glued to


her side at all times. So, I decided that my lack of solo travel needed to change. I packed a bag, downloaded a podcast and left for St. Augustine. Just me, myself and I in a new place, I thought, smiling as I headed east.

For me, those negative feelings started to fade when I left the restaurant and stepped onto the beach. I inhaled a breath of salty air, and although the sky was overcast, it felt kind of nice to be in a place I’d never been, even if it was “just me.” In that moment, surrounded by small crowds of families and friends, I realized it was time to face my fears, without hesitation and without worrying what other people thought. I knew I didn’t need to rely on other people for comfort, support or travel companionship. In fact, with the freedom to choose my own itinerary, I was ready to go.

A small store offered entrance to a pier overlooking the Atlantic Ocean for $1. I paid the woman behind the desk, and before I left, I asked her what spots she recommended for a day trip in the city. She handed me a map and traced her finger around it as she named museums, festivals, exhibits, historic sites and a brewery. Trying to keep up with her excitement, I furiously typed her suggestions in my phone. “Have fun in America’s oldest city!” she exclaimed as I headed for one last walk on the sand. The cold gusts of wind seemed to tell me I wouldn’t be tanning with a book by the ocean that day—I’d be exploring. After a walk on the pier, my next stop was the highlyrecommended brewery, partially because it was walking distance from the also highly-recommended St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum. I chose a red ale and sat in the partial sun on a bar stool. No phone this time, I decided, and instead I pulled out my map to plan the rest of the day. As I scanned the glossy page, I overheard the table of men next to me discussing the bachelor party they went to the night before. I laughed. A perk of traveling alone: eavesdropping. My next stop was the lighthouse. Granted, it was a tourist attraction, but one that was definitely worth visiting. I walked the 219 steps up the spiral staircase briskly, remembering that my vacation diet so far had consisted of pizza and beer, and attempting to burn some of the calories. When I reached the top, out of breath, I

stepped out and saw the “majestic view” advertised on my map. Looking at the city and the ocean from 164 feet up, I knew I’d never forget how powerful I felt as I turned off the voices of insecurity in my head and faced my fears of loneliness. Now that I’d done it once, I thought about how next time I’d take myself to Spain, or France, or more likely on my and stepped down the spiral staircase. I looked back at the map to pick my next destination, but before I could choose, I looked up to see the clouds had finally parted and, for the first time that day, the sun was shining. I put the map back in my bag, remembering that I was both the tour guide and the tour group. I didn’t have to stick with the itinerary. Just another perk of being alone, I thought, as I turned up the volume on my playlist and started driving back to the beach. Until sunset, I spent the rest of the day with my trashy romance novel and tacos from a truck. I thought about the woman in the pizza place, who came in by herself as I was about to leave. She ordered the same thing that I did—two slices of pepperoni and a Diet Coke. I realized then that none of us are alone. At least not really. On the dark drive home, I thought about what I’d learned on my trip. I learned that people who are alone aren’t necessarily lonely. I learned that traveling alone gives you the freedom to see everything you want to see at your own pace. Most importantly, I learned that the best way to overcome fear is to make an adventure out of it. And I can’t wait to do it again.




putting the heart in heartwood

Heartwood Soundstage is putting power back into the community and the artists story by natalie rao, photos courtesy of Red Hot Pepper Studio Music thrives where you would least expect it: in an unassuming gray-on-gray building off Main Street on the edge of downtown Gainesville. Folk and funk artists take to a stage where their acoustics ring out rich like a good wine. Listeners pour in for the opportunity to turn off their phones and open their ears. A camera crew films meticulously while a video and sound director live cut and edit the raw product in the next room. At the end of each show, the musician leaves with the memories, maybe some cash, new fans but most importantly, a live-produced video of their craft. This is Heartwood Soundstage, and it’s changing Gainesville’s music scene for the better. Founded in February 2017 by partners Bob McPeek, Dave Melosh, Paul Pavelka and Hoch Shitama, Heartwood just recently celebrated its first birthday. With indoor and outdoor stages, the venue is equipped for intimate recording sessions inside and on the lawn for bustling festivals with big crowds. The magic of Heartwood, however, lies in the jaw-dropping acoustics of the video production soundstage. With four simple, tree-like pillars and a glowing wooden floor, the décor fades to the background each time an artist strums their guitar or hums into Heartwood’s top-of-the-line microphones. Every show is a full production dedicated to giving musicians masterful videos of their work that would normally cost somewhere around $5,000. “That alone is valuable to musicians either living here or travelling through here,” Benny Cannon, drummer of local group Locochino, said. “A lot of times something that a band


is missing is a high-quality video to be able to give them a solid image. People want to see you live.” Locochino are masters at the art of the jam, playing out for eight, nine, even 10 minutes in perfect harmony. With a self-described “progadelic funk jam” signature, the fourman group has gone through a handful of changes before reaching their current lineup of Brian Johnson (the only original member) on guitar, Ryan Hiers on bass, Cannon on drums and Blake Briand on keys and, occasionally, vocals. In the same way that Gainesville has transformed with the introduction of venues like Heartwood, Locochino’s sound evolves with each change. “It’s interesting how Locochino itself and the sound of music has shifted, shifted, shifted, and it keeps modifying very slightly as you add a new flavor of a new personality and a new person,” Briand said. “It always feels cool.” The band recently recorded a lively rendition of their release “On My Feet” at Heartwood. The result is an expertly-cut live video that pans from artist to artist in the same way an official music video would, with the grins on their faces uniting with the fervor in their sound. “The fate that could have saved the day got on a plane and flew away, Colorado state,” Briand croons into the mic while his bandmates lay down a funkified groove. “Now I got to get up on my feet, there’s nothing left for me to see.” Locochino’s connection to Heartwood Soundstage runs deeper than performing there. Briand himself used to own a venue in Gainesville called The Jam. The name spoke for itself as music fans enjoyed a place for bands to jam out and

have fun. Many affectionately called The Jam their home, and a self-dubbed “Jam Fam” developed as a result. Due to leasing troubles, The Jam was forced to close in May 2016. Even so, the Jam Fam found a new home of sorts in Heartwood, which bolsters the same community vibe while stepping things up when it comes to the infrastructure, production and acoustics. “I will also add I was pleased, narcissistically, that people were calling it ‘the fancy Jam’ in the very beginning,” Briand said. “I felt a little bad because a place like that, it’s almost a slight. More than anything, they’ve made their own mark in a really great way.” With initiatives like Friends of Heartwood, a collective of local investors that believe in what the venue is doing, and weekly Creators Nights for locals to learn about anything from production to videography, Heartwood owners emphasize the community in making their vision come to life. This makes for a group of fans that are as passionate for Heartwood as those who breathe life into the business. “People that go to shows at Heartwood truly care about the music. It’s important to them,” Dave Johnson, Locochino’s manager and an employee at Heartwood, said. “People go there for an intimate way to experience it that you don’t get anywhere else.” Beyond those who physically attend, Heartwood gives music lovers around the world an avenue to see concerts via livestream technology. Each show has the potential to be streamed anywhere around the globe. For Johnson, the fact that this sort of venue exists in Gainesville is a huge motivator.


“One thing that I was really happy about with Heartwood is that it showed someone really willing to invest in the city,” Johnson said. “For them to throw down as big as they did on that place and to make it as high quality and unique, and a place that nobody in the whole region could offer, and you can point to Gainesville and say ‘Look, look what they’ve got,’… it’s inspiring to me, and there is a power that comes from that because it inspires others as well.” The most compelling thing about Heartwood, however, could be the fact that the possibilities are endless for the young space. With just a year under its belt, the venue’s potential influence is just beginning. “The power of Heartwood is yet to be discovered because a venue is like a vessel, and it takes time for the community to figure out what they’re going to do with it,” Briand said. “Whatever it is they think they’re going to accomplish, they’re going to be taken in different directions whether they like it or not, and it’s probably going to be awesome.”

With just a year under its belt, the venue’s potential influence is just beginning.


the magic of music how the Arts Help Patients at UF Health Shands Hospital Story by Taylor McLAmb, Photo Courtesy of Rossana Passanti The perfect question to ask anyone if you want to get to know them is, “What’s your favorite song?” It seems like such an easy question, but it’s probably the hardest one to answer. Music can be so personal. It’s our comfort during a bad breakup, motivation during workouts and an escape from the stresses of our daily lives. What can’t music do? Scientists say the power of music is endless. In fact, music has made its way from concert halls into hospital rooms. Studies have strongly suggested that music can help patients suffering from a variety of ailments, including chronic pain, dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Lee Bartel, Ph.D., and music professor at the University of Toronto, led a study to see whether sound vibrations absorbed through the body could soothe the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia and depression. The rhythmic pulses of music can drive and stabilize this disorientation, and Bartel said low-frequency sound might help with these conditions. Bartel’s study used vibroacoustic therapy, the usage of low-frequency sound, to produce vibrations that are applied directly to the body. The study was done on Alzheimer’s patients. “We’ve already seen glimmers of hope in a case study with a patient who had just been diagnosed with the disorder,” said Bartel. “After stimulating her with 40-hertz sound for 30 minutes three times a week for four weeks, she could recall the names of her grandchildren more easily, and her husband reported good improvement in her condition.” Ferol Carytsas, the volunteer coordinator for UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine (AIM) is a violinist who used to perform at patients’ bedsides. She had a patient who was in obvious pain and reluctant to listen to music, but eventually agreed to listen to something soft. Carytsas


only got through a third of her song when the patient told her to stop. “He had kidney stones,” Carytsas said, “And he said, ‘I just felt one of my stones shift. The vibrations I think shifted the stones.’...He was like, ‘If I could just hook up your violin right here and feel the vibrations, I think that would really help. Do you know if they make something like that?’” Carytsas’ ill father inspired her to find a profession in AIM. “I was playing the cello, and he was in and out of a coma… when I would play, they would see the changes in his heart rate,” she said. “That kind of stirred my interest in the whole, ‘Huh, music kind of has this whole effect on us, and that’s really interesting.’” UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine, founded in 1990, has programs including various art mediums from visual, literary to performing arts. According to their website, all focus on transforming healthcare environments through the arts and provide leadership for hospital arts programs. AIM also includes programs that integrate music into the patient’s daily regime. Examples include AIM Together, which brings world-class artists to Gainesville; Brown Bag Café, where patients enjoy live music in the North Tower Atrium during their lunch; and live bedside music performed by UF Health Musicians in Residence. “You can actually see music take someone out of the room,” Carytsas said, “All of a sudden it’s like you’re not in a hospital anymore you’re enjoying music together. It’s like this one-on-one moment, and it’s just a passing moment but…it’s just a really beautiful experience to be able to provide that for someone as well as witness that process.”

Dear Dance, Thank You. the impact dance has on the youth of gainesville Story and photos By Jayna Taylor-Smith

Dear Dance, You take form in more ways than imaginable. You are classic like ballet, spunky like tap and worldly like hiphop. You are a language that translates across cultures yet still has a different meaning for everyone. In Gainesville, you empower adults to inspire children, and here are a couple of their stories. On a Tuesday evening after the work day is done, the Reichart House collects its dancers. The members of Gainesville’s chapter of Smooth Flava Dance file in, chatting and laughing. Wanda Llyod sets up the music and gets everyone warmed up. Basic step, basic step, half turn, onetwo-three. Wanda teaches the third grade at Talbot Elementary School and is a swingout dance instructor for the Smooth Flava adult class. When the school year ends, though, she teaches at a summer school camp called I AM STEM and hosts a dance class afterward as an extracurricular. However, Wanda realized some parents didn’t have money for expensive camps with extra activities.

Her solution? Begin a fundraiser to provide money for the kids to go to camp. The concept is simple: adults pay for a dance workshop called Teach Me To Dance and proceeds benefit the camp scholarship she founded called BLSSD Future. She raised $3,200 last year. “Some of our kids, African-American kids, they historically lose a lot during the summer,” she said. “So if we can keep them academically entertained and their minds stimulated, that’s a win-win for them.” Keeping the youth of Gainesville interested in school activities and dance is important for their mind and body, but only if they believe their life is worth something. For Michael Davis, dance saved his life and now he brings purpose to the lives of others with dance. In a one-room studio off of Williston Road and 42nd Street called Dance!nk by Davis, Michael passes the power of dance to a younger generation. Davis grew up in a single-parent home, was teased in school and felt like he didn’t have a voice. That was until he started dancing at 8 years old. It began after watching dance videos by Janet

Jackson and Paula Abdul. Dancing became the way he spoke, not with words but with his body. Michael said people don’t understand how dance helps individuals, especially when social media obsession and body shaming can detriment teenagers. “I’ve had incidents where there were kids who were going through situations but took it to another level,” Michael said. “I’m very thankful that they are alive today, and knowing that dance had played a part in saving their lives — that’s amazing to me.” Michael believes his gift is opening his studio doors to kids, teaching them everything will be okay and how dance can translate into something bigger. “That’s important these days, especially with a lot of the events and things going on in the world,” Michael said. “Dance can actually heal some of the craziness going on, and that’s just the power in itself.” So thank you, dance. For giving our community an outlet for education, expression and excellence.


7 timeless films

A selection of classics that have impacted generations story by brooke bajgrowicz With over 1.2 billion movie tickets sold in the U.S. last year, it’s no surprise that films impact the world we live in. While some movies are enjoyed for a time, others have the power to shape generations. Here are seven movies that have continued to impact culture long after their releases: “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) Alongside colorful landscapes and singing Munchkins, “The Wizard of Oz” explored themes of friendship, courage, virtue and home. Because World War II began just days after its release, the movie served as a glimmer of hope for the country. While the musical fantasy didn’t profit off of its theatrical release, its once-a-year broadcast from 1959 to 1991 captured the hearts of viewers everywhere and quickly became an anticipated family event. The film was first shown in high-definition in 2006. As cable began to dominate, the annual showing morphed into multiple broadcasts. “The Wizard of Oz” remains popular for its cultural impact and beloved cast of characters. “When I watch the part at the end where she sees the hot air balloon get away from her, then when the lion and scarecrow are crying and don’t want her to leave – I still shed tears to this day.” -Vernon Griffin, 45 “The Sound of Music” (1965) Adapted from the 1959 stage musical of the same name, “The Sound of Music,” starring Julie Andrews, has become well-known for its popular songs, enchanting


setting and charming love story. Like “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Sound of Music” was released right when it was needed — during the Vietnam War. Old-fashioned ideals like the ones depicted in the film were coveted during this booming cultural revolution. The musical became the highest-grossing film of all time when it was released and received multiple Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It’s been 50 years since its release, and Andrews has remained popular for her appearance in newer films including “The Princess Diaries” and “Despicable Me.” This has allowed younger generations to fall in love with her acting all over again, helping cement “The Sound of Music” as a classic. “I like ‘The Sound of Music’ for the way the music develops throughout it. Alongside the storyline, it all comes together very well.” -Michelle Lawson, 27 “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” (1977) In a galaxy far, far away (also known as the 1970s) George Lucas’ “Star Wars” wowed movie-goers with a new sci-fi world. While the special effects were top notch at the time, the space opera’s good-versus-evil storyline and relatable characters are what kept fans coming back. Several feature films, animated series and spinoffs have followed the “Episode IV” release, and the cultural impact of “Star Wars” has stretched even further. The classic “hero’s journey” narrative encouraged people to reach for their dreams during a time full of technological advancement, and fresh storylines have continued to inspire audiences. New

“The Princess Bride” (1987) As one of the most quotable movies of all time, “The Princess Bride” remains a classic. Combining romance, swordfighting, an elaborate cast of characters and a quirky sense of humor, it appeals to a range of viewers. It might be “inconceivable” to some, but the movie didn’t smash box office records when it first released in 1987. That said, the romantic comedy gained a cult following after it came out on VHS. It retains that following today and continues to rule the internet through popular memes. “It’s such a classic love story. Yes, it’s an adventure movie with pirates and tricking people and killing the guy who killed your dad, but it’s also just a love story at the heart of it.” - Valentina Herrera, 20

films in the series continue to dominate the box office, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios is even opening an entire Star Wars-based land in 2019. “I enjoy it because it’s the classic hero’s journey, but it’s set in space. The music score goes well with it, and the visuals are astounding.” -Theo Kocher, 13 “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981) Not long after Harrison Ford appeared in “Star Wars,” he took another starring role in “Indiana Jones” as one of the most iconic movie heroes of all time. Named after George Lucas’ dog (who was also the inspiration for Chewbacca in Star Wars), Indiana Jones embarks on a daring journey to find the Ark of the Covenant in the first film. He takes many more adventures in sequential movies as part of the “Indiana Jones” franchise. The heroic spirit of the titular archaeologist resonated with movie-goers in the ‘80s as they watched society progress before them. Today’s culture is also full of social movements that have required the world to act with the same fearless spirit. Ford himself, who will reprise his role in the fifth film planned for a 2020 release, described both “Indiana Jones” and “Star Wars” as being the type of family films that will continually be introduced to new generations. “It’s action and adventure. It’s kind of a throwback to the past serials that came out in the ‘40s. I like that it involves mythology, like when they’re in Egypt finding the hidden caves. That’s cool.” -James Kocher, 47

“Toy Story” (1995) Long before Steve Jobs was putting the iPhone into the hands of every American, he was investing in the first ever fully computer-animated feature-length film. With a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, “Toy Story” is loved by audiences of all ages. Children who grew up watching this classic now introduce it to their own children. The two sequels following the initial release were also successful, and a fourth installment of the franchise, set to feature many original cast members, is scheduled to be released in 2019. “I remember watching it as a kid. The animation’s really good, and the storyline is definitely classic.” -Annette Harris, 26 “Titanic” (1997) While Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t quite reach far enough for an Oscar with his role of Jack, this historical romance grabbed 11 Academy Awards, the most given to a single movie at the time — tying with the films “Ben-Hur” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” Mixing love and tragedy, the film explored themes of societal class, loyalty, perseverance and freedom. While some people still question why Rose didn’t “just move over” to make room for a dying Jack on the floating door in the water, “Titanic” remains one of the top grossing romance movie of all time. The film is also a frequent topic of internet conversation. It’s known for having critics who love to hate it and for fans who remain charmed by its fleeting love story. “The moment where Rose comes down the stairs has stuck with me. The acting, the lighting, the directing, it’s all good.” -Noelle Ward, 31


Let’s Laugh Together How laughing through generations has impacted lives and health Story and Photos By Brianna Duncan - DieujustE

Emelie Matthews and Joan Imler gather in the kitchen of the Alachua Woman’s Club, preparing food for a swing dancing event that they’ll hold later that night. Imler, president of the club, stirs a bowl of spinach dip while Matthews reviews her red calendar notebook that holds all the upcoming events the club will hold later in the month.

distraction from everyday worries.The club is a great example of this idea.

In between moments of setting out food in the tea room, they find time to laugh.

Being a part of the club for over a combined 20 years, the laughs they’ve shared have stood the test of time.

The Alachua Woman’s Club was founded in 1912 and has been a place for women in the community to form friendships and reflect on all stages of life.

Between marriages, retirements, children, grandchildren and loss, laughing has temporarily enhanced the the moments in life that bring them joy and even those that burden them, distancing pain and worry while at the same time making them feel safe.

Its motto: laughing does your physical and mental health good and can be the best medicine. Laughter is one of life’s greatest joys and a universal language. The sound of a deep belly laugh that ripples through a room has a way of making everybody feel connected and bound by a boost of energy. Research has shown that laughter releases hormones that calm nerves. reduce stress, ease pain and offer a


“This is about community and women of all ages, young women and old. We just want people to know they have someone to talk to no matter what stage they are at in their life,” Matthews, rental manager, said.

A few years ago, Matthews was diagnosed with breast cancer. She now has bone loss in her spine and can’t walk far distances. She thanks her club family for helping her through tough times. “It doesn’t matter what kind of day I’m having, good or bad, I know I can call one of them up and brighten

my mood,” she said while sitting on her walker in the tea room as more members trickle in. “I won’t be able to dance tonight, but I like to watch them have fun.” Sharing moments and memories are part of our autobiographical memory, which, according to Dr. Susan Bluck, a professor in Psychology at the University of Florida, are the memories of events in one’s life. “The notion of sharing a common past experience helps us connect with other people in a positive way,” Bluck said. “Remembering happy times with brothers or sisters, or fun things you did with your mom, those moments together often involve laughter.”

These pockets of memories can happen across your lifespan with the people you’ve always loved to those you just met. “It doesn’t matter if you’re young, mid-life or aging, you can always make connections that’ll make you laugh and smile,” Bluck said. If you want more laughter in your life, spend more time with other people. At the very least give that old friend you haven’t talked to in ages a call. Chances are they also need to reminisce about the good old days.

The sound of a deep belly laugh that ripples “We don’t see each other every through a room has a way day, but I know at the end of the all I have to do is give them a of making everybody feel day call,” Imler said. connected and bound by a As more women and their families boost of energy. pile into the clubhouse, Matthews

Past memories – whether good or bad – spur emotions and bonds with other people. Laughing doesn’t have to always occur, but it’s more of a connecting method with health aspects.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old,” Bluck said. “When you’re socially bonding and creating social intimacy, there are benefits. Older adults have greater well-being, focus on positive affect and have less depression.”

and Imler sit by the open doors and chat about their days. Matthews pulls out her cell phone, flips through the photos and shows Imler a picture of her and her great nephew. “Oh my, don’t I look skinny in that photo?” she asked Imler with a chuckle that could be heard across the room. Imler agreed and they both laughed. Laughter, the simple intrinsic part of all lives, is about the connection that can last for generations.


Obsessions Over Brand Names

A look at where the love for your favorite brands started Story and photo By Jayna TayLor-Smith Picture the silhouette of a person dancing behind a neon-colored backdrop. Add upbeat background music. You notice a small white block in the person’s hand. Imagine this scene circa 2003. Do you know what you’re watching? One of the very first iPod commercials. No dialogue. No catchy jingle. Just the music, the user and the product.

with a visual identity, including color palette and typography, is essential to success. Nicole Yucht, the assistant vice president of University Communications at the University of Florida, said that building a brand experience like Starbucks or Nike takes “enviable” budgets.

Companies like Apple have cultivated their brands and shaped themselves to fit into everyone’s lives, making consumers obsess over them. But why do people prefer iPhones over Androids? Or Nike over Adidas? Companies generate power over consumers by creating images and evoking emotions their customers want to be a part of. It’s human psychology.

According to its 2017 Form 10-K, an annual expense report, Nike spent $3.3 million on branding and advertising. Starbucks spent $282.6 million in 2017, according to its financial report. Meanwhile, according to UF’s 2017 financial report, about $2.84 million was spent on marketing.

“The more branding professionals understand human psychology and the archetypes of personality, the better their branding work will be,” said Matt Steel, creative director of Parisleaf, a web design and branding agency in Gainesville. Brand loyalty is the trust customers have when buying Starbucks over the cheaper 7-Eleven coffee. “If you think about the most loved brands of the world, the reason why people love them isn’t so much what those brands create…as it is the reason why they do what they do,” Steel said. When discussing how a Gainesville business starts branding, Steel said there are a number of “nice-tohaves” and “must-haves.” Not every company needs a tagline, he said, but a strong mission explaining its "why"

Yucht said branding became easier with social media for companies without such lavish budgets, but companies can not ignore other mediums. “You certainly have more channels available to you, but other channels don’t go away,” she said. “It makes it a little bit more expensive in some ways because your television advertising doesn’t disappear because now you’re doing social media promoted posts.” Steel quoted building a basic website for a Gainesville business, the biggest cost variable, between $10,000 and $30,000. Establishing a mission and vision could cost between $35,000 and $50,000, and spending $60,000 to $75,000 would be the price of a discovery process. The discovery process at Parisleaf means understanding what motivates people and why they love certain things. It includes interviewing company stakeholders, audiences and partners, Steel said. Parisleaf sometimes gives company leaders an Enneagram personality test to get a deeper understanding of the company. “The idea is that their personal values and attributes and characters…[Parisleaf] pours those into the corporate identity,” Steel said. While users think companies can call a catchy slogan and pretty colors “branding,” what they don’t know is companies spend immense financial resources and time formulating their brand. Branding is psychological mind game making consumers want products they never knew they needed.


Professionally Playing Pretend

Gainesville Actors On Why They Chose To Pursue The Imaginary Story and photos by Carly Breit For many of us, made-up characters were hallmarks of childhood. We would travel from magical worlds of princes and princesses to dungeons and dragons, all from the middle of our bedrooms. We were free to drop everything and become someone else, if only just for a minute. For most of us, that freedom ends before we turn 10, as school schedules allocate less time for play, and after-school schedules are filled with more regimented activities. But a small percentage of the population will hold on to that freeing feeling of using their bodies, words and emotions to tell stories. They chase the excitement they felt from their bedrooms as kids into the world of professional acting. They, my friends, are actors. Every actor has his or her own reason for pursuing a career in, essentially, the pretend. Three Gainesville actors sound off on the power in playing someone else — and explain why their real lives wouldn’t be complete without the imaginary.

Brittney Kelly “I used to use this little step in our Jacuzzi as a stage and put on shows for my family,” laughs Brittney, 26, a musical theatre singer, dancer and actor who lives in Gainesville. She’d sing, dance and improvise lines. “I was a big ham.” At 7 years old, Brittney scored the role of Annie in a production of the show at the Gainesville Community Playhouse. By the end of the first rehearsal, she was immediately in love with it. Since her GCP debut, Brittney has played a range of characters from a mentally ill woman to Mary Poppins. As her roles became more demanding, she delved into character work, spending time researching her characters and why they do what they do. This helps her authentically tell their stories, she said, and that’s a rewarding feeling that keeps her going on the most challenging days.

Shayna Leigh Silverman Shayna, 21, an acting major at the University of Florida, said you’re not supposed to look into the audience while you’re acting. She does it anyway. “I get so much of a kick to see people’s faces in the audience,” she said. Their reactions vary from captivated smiles to tears depending on the show. For her, though, it’s more about how the audience feels after the performance than during it. She wants everyone to leave with a new perspective on life outside the theater. Through acting, she wants to help people understand each other. Even when playing characters that seem evil or unlikable, she asks herself, “What is the love through this person’s eyes?” By the end of the show, she hopes the audience can see it too.

Rikki Baynard Rikki, 23, knew that if she didn’t pursue acting, she’d always regret it. So at 17, she decided to give it a try. She was shy everywhere except the stage, where she became “the person I wish I was all the time.” It felt like home. After getting her certificate from Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City, Rikki moved back to Gainesville, where she grew up, to keep performing and training the next generation of professional pretenders at the Star Center Children’s Theatre. The best part for her? “When a child comes up to you and tells you they want to do theater too.”




a work in progress how learning to ask for support helped me in my recovery story by Taylor McLamb, Photos by Taylor McLamb and Ashleigh Braun Recently, I sat in the University of Florida’s administration’s office lobby obsessively clenching and unclenching my fists, wondering if I was making a huge mistake. This was the third time I visited the office in the last week. In past visits, I always made a beeline for the exit, clumsily leaving behind a few miscellaneous possessions before my name was called. A favorite pen, a bright blue hair tie and a bobby pin was the trail of unwanted items that showed signs of my presence. This time, the bubbly receptionist, a girl who probably had caffeine rushing through her veins, unexpectedly called my name. I didn’t have a second to even freak out. Let’s just get this over with, I thought. My adviser smiled at me as I entered her office. “So, Taylor, what do you need help with?”

After spending three months in a coed treatment facility for anorexia nervosa, and successfully being in recovery for three years afterward, I thought I was golden. I had done it, I had beat anorexia, right? I could give myself a pat on the back without actually feeling the indents of my protruding spine. Where was my trophy? Unfortunately, mental illness is like your loser boyfriend from high school. You know, the one who creeps from a distance. He’ll like months-old photos on your Instagram and message you to “check in.” He’s always waiting for the right, often unexpected, time to make his move, and it’s always when you’re most vulnerable. It’s when you’re sad and lonely that he’ll text you, “hey, u up?” As you look down at your half-empty bottle of wine and think “yes, I am up” and “only this once.”

Well, wasn’t that a loaded question? What didn’t I need help with would’ve been a better question. I needed help regaining control of my life. I needed help feeling like a normal person. I needed help not feeling like it’s so exhausting just to exist. I wanted to be able to juggle the stress of school and work without having to rely on unhealthy coping mechanisms. As I sat down behind my adviser’s desk, I responded with something she actually could help me with.

Then, somehow it’s three months later and he’s moved in and leaving Dorito crumbs in your bed. This is not personal, I swear.

“I’ve been going through a bit of a rough patch lately,” I admitted. “Due to this, I’m falling behind in my classes, and I don’t know what to do.”

My eating disorder came back with a vengeance, completely consuming my mind until it became too hard to focus. I couldn’t even sit through class lectures without deafening thoughts blocking out my professor’s voice.


The scary thing about recovery is that it’s not a simple, straight road. Recovery is full of deadends, bumper-tobumper traffic, detours and pervy backstreet-drivers. There are good days and days where you won’t even have the energy to get out of bed.

“Do you know how many calories you ate today?” “You shouldn’t have had that whole sandwich. You’re such a failure.” “Everyone can tell you gained weight. Everyone’s looking at you.” I wanted it to be over. I wanted to be able to eat like a normal person and be satisfied with myself, my body and my thoughts. To reach this point, I didn’t think I could do it on my own and realizing that was incredibly terrifying. “You know, one thing a lot of students have a hard time seeing is that it’s important to put your health first,” my adviser said. “If it would be beneficial to your health, you could always medically drop a class.” Growing up, I’ve always been a perfectionist. My grades, my schoolwork and life had to be free of any blemishes — flawless. This struggle to maintain perfection ate me alive and deemed even the possibility of dropping a class a failure. I felt like I should have pushed myself harder. Otherwise, I was taking the easy way out. If I was more successful at conquering my eating disorder, I would have been able to find a way to juggle it and school, but I couldn’t even do that right. My life began to slip through my fingers. I’m still having difficulty pinpointing when it officially started to teeter downhill. Was it the stress of schoolwork, the resurgence of an abusive old flame, the fear of failure? Whatever it was, it caused food to once again be a liability. The difficult thing was, what brought me the most anxiety and what I feared the most, was literally what I needed to survive — food. As a recovering alcoholic is instructed not to enter a liquor store because just the sight of alcohol could trigger a relapse, I struggle just going into a grocery store. Every brightly colored bag of candy, every buyone-get-one free container of Oreos, every slice of pie, caused my skin to crawl. I became a recluse, hiding in my apartment with the familiarity of my barren refrigerator of organized Tupperware containers of meals that I prepared beforehand. I planned so I didn’t need to think. Everything was done to satisfy my eating disorder and make sure my mental illness was as comfortable as need be, not actually putting myself

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first. I hated my fear of things not going according to plan. The small amount of control I had over my life began to dwindle. Then my adviser gave me some advice that opened my eyes. “The University of Florida will always be here,” she said. “School will always be here, but if you don’t put your health first, you may not.” It was true. I had to realize that needing help was OK, that asking for extra guidance did not make me a failure. I looked at my adviser, my severe lack of sleep causing her facial features to blur into an indecipherable blend of line and color. I needed to take power back from my eating disorder and regain the part of me that once gave me comfort and joy. I wanted to feel happy and free. I’ve struggled with an eating disorder for such a large portion of my adult life, that I wasn’t sure who I’d be without it. Eventually, I had to face this uncertainty because life is not preplanned like the meals I prepped in my fridge. Life is unpredictable, messy, chaotic and can be downright horrifying. Realizing this and accepting this helps me lessen the power I give to my eating disorder. Since the meeting with my adviser, I dropped a class and have come out to numerous people about my recent relapse. I am not ashamed anymore. Every time I tell someone about my struggle or admit to myself that I need help, I get more control over my eating disorder. If I want to move into a world without my anorexia, I must understand that life isn’t going to be fair. I won’t lie and say that recovery isn’t a daily struggle. Some days I still force myself to eat because I know if I give in, it’s much easier to slip back into relapse. Even when my mind is screaming at me to “Look at the calories! Look at the calories!” when I’m trying to force down a snack, I have to remember that I’m worthy of living and deserve to be healthy. It’s okay to mess up in your recovery. There is no such thing as failing, only roadblocks that you’ll one day overcome. You are not a failure, you are a work in progress and that’s completely OK.

Everything was done to satisfy my eating disorder and make sure my mental illness was as comfortable as need be.


A higher power bringing faith back into focus story and photos by teal garth

“I never thought that it would happen to me,” she said, looking back on the particularly awful morning when she realized she had lost sight of the person she thought she was. Some people have trouble pinpointing the exact moment their life changed forever, but it was easy for Ally Colangelo. It was spring semester of her freshman year at the University of Florida four years ago when she realized she needed to turn her life around, and for that she turned to her faith.

“It’s hard when you’re in the moment,” she said. “Freshman year when you get to school it’s such an exciting time, and there are so many things going on, and it’s all so new.” She slid into the pattern many college students fall into – going out to the bars or to parties, underage drinking and doing drugs. Looking back, she says she realizes now that those nights only brought temporary fulfillment. “I was drinking when I wasn’t 21 yet, and I knew I shouldn’t be doing that,” she said, “but everyone else was doing it.’” She knew she should be getting involved in a church on campus or doing something to pursue that relationship she promised herself when she first got that acceptance letter, but she kept putting it off. She put it off through all of the summer B semester, the fall semester and she might have even made it all of spring semester if not for one night that changed everything.

One thing that got her to a better place was knowing that she was still loved by God and that she would be forgiven.

Ally, a bubbly blonde with a smile that won’t quit, grew up in Jupiter, Florida, in a religious family. In her words, her mom “raised her in the church,” and that upbringing instilled the Christian values she still holds today. She knew all throughout high school that UF was the college she wanted to go to, and she remembers praying to God while she waited for decision day, saying she would accept His choice for her no matter what, even if it meant not getting into her dream school. “God, if this is where you want me, then okay, make it happen,” she said. “But if not, that’s totally fine, too.” After getting accepted to UF, Ally said she knew that she needed to work on pursuing a relationship with God and went into her first semester of college expecting to do just that, but things didn’t quite go as planned.


It was a normal night. She went out with a group of friends to midtown. They were drinking. They met some people from out of town who were visiting Gainesville, and they made friends. She said this was the last thing she remembers before she realized she had been sexually assaulted. Ally blacked out, got separated from her friends and woke up the next morning with a phone full of panicked texts from her

friends and a stranger she didn’t remember going home with. She was in shock when she woke up and realized what had happened. “I got out of bed and I went to the bathroom and I just started crying,” she said, her constant smile wavering for a moment. “I looked in the mirror and I literally did not know who I was. I had completely lost the person I thought I was, the person my family thought I was, and I just thought, ‘This is not what I wanted.’” Ally said it was hard to recover after her assault because of the guilt and shame it brought on. One thing that got her to a better place was knowing that she was still loved by God and that she would be forgiven. It took her a little while to work up to telling her family, but when she called her older sister, she was reminded of her original intent when she came to UF. “I told her what happened, and she was like, ‘Ally, you know better than this. You know when you got into this school you were so excited because you said you couldn’t wait to see how God would use you at this campus. I don’t even know who you are right now, but this is not you. You are a daughter of the Lord, and you’re loved so much,’ and that kind of just hit me,” Ally said. Through counseling and renewed dedication to her faith, Ally found a better version of herself. As for her support system now, she’s a member of Doulos, a Greek ministry, Greenhouse church and she volunteers for Sira, a crisis pregnancy center. She also attributes a lot of her successful comeback to the positive

influences she found through her sorority, where she led the chapter bible study for a year and a half. “I started praying for a strong community,” she said, “and God definitely provided that through our house bible study and also through Doulos, and He’s also allowed me, as I’ve healed from it, to share my story with other people, so that’s been really cool.” The counseling Ally received after her assault not only helped her recover from that traumatic event, but also helped her discover her calling. It wasn’t until she was applying to graduate schools for speech pathology that she realized it wasn’t what she wanted to do. Her mom mentioned counseling, and she immediately knew that was exactly what she wanted. She was accepted to Palm Beach Atlantic, a private Christian school where she hopes to learn how to pull her Christian values into her counseling. Reflecting on her transformative journey, Ally said, with her ever-present smile, “There’s been a lot of hard times and a lot of sad times, and now there’s still sad times, but it’s nice to know that I have the Lord to go to. All my joy and strength comes from Him.” If you think you have been a victim of sexual assault, call the UF Crisis and Emergency Center at 352-392-1575 to schedule an appointment with a counselor or receive 24/7 support via phone. If you are not a student, the Alachua County Crisis Center number is 352-264-6789 and is also available 24/7.


Coming to America it's their home, too


Story and photo by Christy Pina The country they were brought to against their will as children housed them, but now some want to kick them out. In 2012, President Barack Obama introduced DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), a measure that would keep children who were brought here before the age of 16 from being deported; a policy that is renewable two years at a time. It allows those children who didn’t have a choice in leaving the only home they had ever known a chance to remain in the country legally, receive work permits and pursue higher education. DACA recipients are often referred to as Dreamers, named after a similar law called the DREAM Act, which was introduced in 2001 but never passed. The law would’ve given its recipients a path to citizenship had it been passed, which DACA does not offer. In September, the Trump administration announced that it would be revoking DACA altogether. The president called on Congress to come up with a replacement — which they’re still working on—so the Dreamers aren’t in danger of deportation just yet, but it is in the works. Unlike the question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” it is clear that DACA came to be as a result of parents who immigrated into the country, whether it be legally or illegally, with their children. “I feel like people who want to better themselves should be given the opportunity to do so if they are bettering the community, if they’re giving back,” said University of Florida senior Eyleen Izaguirre. “To me that’s something that’s important. If someone wants to go to school, wants to better themselves, wants to become a professional, they should be allowed to do so.” In 1966, the Cuban Adjustment Act was passed. It allowed anyone who fled Cuba and made it to the United States to pursue residency a year later. Come 1995, the policy was updated and became known as "wet foot, dry foot," which said if people who were trying to flee Cuba were intercepted in U.S. waters, they would have to be sent back. However, if they stepped foot on U.S. soil, they would be allowed to remain in the country and receive expedited legal permanent residency. But in January 2017, the Obama administration ended the policy.



" If someone wants to go to school, wants to better themselves, wants to become a professional, they should be allowed to do so.”


While "wet foot, dry foot" made it much easier for Cubans to immigrate into the U.S. than anybody else. Citizens of other countries had to rely on luck. In some Latin American countries, you had to win a lottery to be able to leave and establish yourself in the U.S. legally. Eyleen and her family won the visa lottery in Peru in 2005 and were told they had about five months to be completely done moving or their visas would no longer be valid. Eyleen got to Miami when she was almost 11 years old and jumped right into school. “I think the only main shock was going from such a small school to a bigger school. I was kind of shy because I didn’t know anyone, and my English wasn’t as well, but once I got more comfortable, it was okay,” the 23-year-old said. She added that because she moved into a very Hispanic city, it didn’t take long for her to adjust to her new world. While Eyleen’s family left Peru for a better life, some people had to leave their countries for more grave matters. “My parents fled Venezuela because of the rising political uncertainty at the time,” said University of Florida student Neosman Flores. “Since my grandfather was involved in local government and did not agree with the rising Chavista regime, my whole family would receive death threats. Without thinking twice, we migrated to the U.S.” Neosman was 7 years old when he and his family had to get up and leave. The hardest thing he remembers having to overcome was not knowing English the way his classmates did. “I would come home crying every day after school because I didn’t understand anything my peers or teachers were saying,” he said. As a DACA recipient, the 23-year-old said that his backup plan if the policy is revoked is to find residency in a European country. Similar to the hardships Neosman dealt with when he came to the United States, Jaime Zelaya, a Gainesville resident, had his fair share of adjusting to do, as well. “At first, it was a little weird. I came from doing a lot of things at once to doing nothing for about six months while my work permit came in, and I tried to normalize my new life,” the 45-year-old Salvadorian immigrant said. “In that time, while I wasn’t doing anything, I was tending the house, cleaning, making food. Those things can make your experience a little negative at first.” Jaime moved here in 2006 with his wife, who was an American citizen. He said that DACA is not a solution, it is a part of it when you don’t have anything else. But it’s not the end game. In regards to immigration, he feels like there is no point in trying to fight the fact that there are immigrants who get wrapped up in crime, but they are not. On that note, Rosy Calvo said that DACA recipients should not be targeted, but the men and women who are here illegally and committing crimes should be. “I think they should work on something with all these students, the ones called the Dreamers, so that they can stay and obtain legal status and be productive citizens of this country. Those aren’t the ones that I think should be targeted.”


becoming a woman

A look into the ways different cultures celebrate coming of age story and photos by alyssa weiss

All around the world, different cultures celebrate becoming a woman. Girls and women in China aged 15 to 20 participate in Ji Li, a hairpin ceremony. Filipino girls have a debut at the age of 18, and Indonesian girls and women who have had their first period participate in Mepandes, a teeth-filling ceremony. Two ceremonies that often take place in North America that celebrate becoming a woman are a bat mitzvah and a quinceañera. Bat Mitzvah A bat mitzvah is a Jewish coming-of-age ceremony that takes place after a girl’s 13th birthday. The process began in North America in 1922 when a rabbi performed the service for his daughter, but it was a much smaller process than that of its male counterpart, the bar mitzvah. It wasn’t until the end of the 20th Century that Jewish girls were given the same treatment as boys when it came to their coming-of-age ceremonies. The word bat mitzvah directly translates to “daughter of the commandments,” meaning that a girl’s 13th birthday begins her following of the 10 commandments of Judaism. When a girl becomes a bat mitzvah, it signifies that she will be taking on the responsibility of being a good Jew in the synagogue and community. The service involves the girl becoming a bat mitzvah by leading prayers for the congregation, reading or chanting a portion from the Torah, and delivering a Haftarah, which is a speech about the Torah portion delivered that day. A separate themed party with decorations, food and music follows the service. Many different traditions take place at the party, like being raised on a chair during the celebratory Hora


dance. But a favorite tradition of the party is the candle-lighting ceremony. The ceremony features 14 candles; 13 for the birthday and one for good luck. Each candle is dedicated to a family member or close friend who will help the girl light it. Brooke Abzug, a 21-year-old biology and psychology dual major at the University of Florida, had her music themed bat mitzvah in March 2010, two months before her 13th birthday. She received her bat mitzvah date three years in advance, which is common in the Jewish religion. Her parents chose the venue a year in advance, and she, her mom and a party planner decided on all the decorations beforehand. Each table represented a different genre of music and decorations included music-inspired centerpieces. Brooke was enrolled in Hebrew school since the third grade and underwent tutoring for her Torah and Haftarah portions six months before her service began. She felt a combination of emotions when the day finally came. Nervous, excited and proud feelings all fluttered in the back of her mind. Most Jewish children spend the majority of their childhood thinking about their bar and bat mitzvahs, and it was finally her time. “There wasn’t one moment that made me feel as if a transformation had occurred,” Brooke said. “I was proud to have read from the Torah and was excited to be raised on a chair for the tradition.”

Quinceañera A quinceañera is a Latina coming-of-age ceremony for 15-year-old girls. In the 1500s, quinceañeras celebrated a girl’s 15th birthday and presented her as a prospective wife, as it indicated a girl was ready for marriage. Prior to the 1960s, a quince was a ceremony reserved for the upper class. But as Latinos began to immigrate to the United States, the ceremonies morphed into a celebration for any girl in the Latin American community. Every year, an estimated 400,000 Latina girls in the U.S. turn 15 and have a quinceañera, according to the book “Once Upon a Quinceanera: Coming of Age in the USA.” The ceremony celebrates a girl’s transformation from childhood into young adulthood. A quinceañera begins with a religious ceremony and ends with a reception. The event is filled with traditions and customs that vary within each Latin culture. A quinceañera features the girl’s court that is made up of damas and chambelanes (girls and boys) who are her close friends, classmates and family members. The court wears matching dresses and tuxedos and is part of the official quinceañera waltz. A quinceañera also shows off a dress, usually compared to that of a wedding gown or a princess dress. Though a quince dress is typically white, it can really be any color. The dress is usually floor-length and filled with tulle to give the ball-gown effect, and it’s sometimes sparkly with sequins or rhinestones. The dress is often an important and favorite part of the quinceañera preparations. Natalie Carvo, a mass communications masters’ student at UF focusing on web design and online communications, had her quinceañera in 2011 on the night before her 15th birthday. At midnight, she and all her friends celebrated her finally turning 15. Her quince was Disney themed, specifically Cinderella, and she said if you know her, you knew that was the logical way to theme it. Natalie’s dress was a light blue, matching Cinderella’s iconic ball gown, and she and her court walked into the room to the Main Street Electrical Parade’s song. Natalie began planning her big day almost a year before it happened. She danced in nine courts and had attended many other quinceañeras by the time hers came around. At each party, she and her mom would take notes of what they did and didn’t like so they could incorporate it into their own plans. At 8 years old, she was already picking out dresses; though she had no concept of money yet and had her heart set on a $10,000 gown. Natalie didn’t have a moment during her quinceañera celebration where she thought, “okay, now I’m a woman.” “In Cuban culture, you’re almost never a woman,” Natalie said. “You’re almost always your parents’ little girl. But it was something that I had been looking forward to for a long time and something I always knew I was going to have… My quince was magical for me.”

Pictured above: Some of our Orange and Blue girls celebrating their Quinceañera.

[] “There wasn’t one moment that made me feel as if a transformation had occurred.”


The Power of Memory (or lack thereof) An Alzheimer’s Tale


Story and photos by Christy Pina Four years ago, I began to lose one of my favorite people in the world. Today, she’s gone. The ironic thing is, she’s still here, but she might as well not be. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. It is the only top 10 cause of death that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. Almost six million Americans are living with it, and the rates are steadily rising. By 2050, as many as 14 million Americans may be living with this most common form of dementia. Every 65 seconds, someone across the country develops Alzheimer’s. All these scary statistics never occurred to me or to my family, until one day this was Tuta’s reality, which in turn became our reality.

She has been hospitalized a couple of times for falling because she forgets to step. Subsequently, she was Baker Acted because she was a danger to herself. Today, she cannot hold a conversation or walk around without a diaper. It is the saddest thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. “I feel like she died when nobody was looking, so there’s this weird in between space where I feel I’m not as sad as if she really did die because she died when I wasn’t paying attention,” David said. “Had she died in a car accident, I would’ve been sad, but because I wasn’t in Miami when she got sick, I didn’t witness her degradation. At this point I feel like we’re just waiting for her to die because she’s not there anymore anyway.”

"by the time we started asking why she had gotten kind of calm and started doing the tests, it was shocking to find out it was more than just your typical memory loss.”

Tuta is my tia abuela (great aunt). She is my grandmother’s sister on my mother’s side, and she was my world as a little girl. She was the cool aunt who let me do whatever I wanted. We would have Dunkin Donuts every morning down the street from her beach apartment. Come the afternoon, we’d have Chinese food for lunch and then again for dinner. As a child, I had a list of whose favorite my brothers and I were. My eldest brother, Chris, was my grandma’s favorite. My second older brother, David, was my mom’s favorite. And I was Tuta’s favorite.


Today, she barely even remembers who I am. Sadly, she barely remembers who any of us are.

When we do try to hold a conversation with her, the most we get back is one-or two-word responses that usually consist of “no se,” or “I don’t know” in English. Her new word now is “envidiosa,” which translates to envious. The last genuine memory I have of her before she got extremely ill was my high school graduation. She still had her fiery red hair and her fashion sense, complements of careers at Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret. Soon after, she started losing

job after job because she wouldn’t show up to work due to her forgetfulness. I’m about to graduate college, and it pains me to think that this time around she won’t be there to watch me cross the stage, and she doesn’t even know it. “The natural course of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or disease progression is considerably variable amongst different individuals,” local geriatrics doctor, Uma Suryadevara, wrote in an email. “In general, the average length of time from the onset of symptoms to being diagnosed is two to three years. From the onset of symptoms until death averages around 9 to 12 years. Prognostic prediction is especially hard in patients with Alzheimer’s because cognitive decline over a six month or a year period does not predict the rate of decline at subsequent time interval.” Sometimes, the signs of memory loss are there, but we write it off as just aging. By the time we start to see an extreme difference, it may be too late. “I guess my biggest shock came from seeing her go from the life of the party to somewhat subdued, and then by the time we started asking why she had gotten kind of calm and started doing the tests, it was shocking to find out it was more than just your typical memory loss,” my dad, Alicio, said. My mom, being the optimistic person that she is, turned to the positives of Alzheimer’s or rather not necessarily of the disease itself, but how it changes the relationships people have with each other. “It changed her,” my mom, Nirma, said. “In a way it kind of calmed her down. Of course, how she was was awesome, but I saw a relationship between Ama (her sister) and her, in some weird way, even closer. It makes the people around her softer and more considerate, so it kind of has that power. It’s very difficult to see the change in her, but I can’t deny the good also because good can come from anything. I feel like she’s at peace.” One of my friend’s grandfather had severe Alzheimer’s disease and it caused his personality to do a complete 180. He was always extremely serious and never really laughed or smiled very much when he was healthy. When he got sick and his Alzheimer’s disease got really bad, he changed. He started to always laugh and smile and though you could no longer understand him when he spoke, he never stopped trying to get his sentences across. While it’s an extremely sad disease and there is no cure (yet), sometimes there is a positive side of it. Sometimes it can bring families closer. Sometimes it can cause a drastic change in personality that allows for the person diagnosed to be someone they never were and maybe deep down always wanted to be. Regardless, it comes with the price of knowing you’re losing someone you’ve grown to love wholeheartedly. “Although my great-aunt's Alzheimer's is somewhat surreal and certainly saddening, we still share moments of joy as we eat, talk, reminisce on great times, joke, laugh and, of course, we will always love her dearly,” Chris said.


the real me

out of the closet and into his best life story by teal garth, photos courtesy of garrett scott When people feel uncomfortable, we tend to blurt things out without thinking in an effort to remedy the situation. If you have ever been a victim of this blurting phenomenon, also sometimes referred to as word vomit, you can relate to Garrett Scott. Except most people’s blurts probably don’t trigger a chain of events that will ultimately change their lives completely. Garrett’s blurt did. It was late April 2017, and Garrett was a sophomore at the University of Florida. The night it happened, he was at a party at his fraternity, Delta Tau Delta, with his best friend Jenna. She had been his closest friend throughout college, but to him, their relationship was nothing more than just that – a good friendship. He remembers they were talking at the party, arguing about something, then all of a sudden she started confessing her feelings for him. What he said next surprised them both.

This wasn’t just the moment he decided to come out to someone, it was the moment he was finally able to admit it to himself. “Before I told Jenna – before I told anyone – I always had thoughts in the back of my head that I might be gay, but I told myself it was just a phase,” Garrett said. “It was a very huge denial stage, and I think that part of that, or most of that, was due to the fact that I was in this very heterosexual environment. There were no gay guys or girls at my high school or in my fraternity, so it was just pushed to the back of my head, but once it finally came out, I started to realize this is who I am. This is real.”

“I got an overwhelming amount of support and love from my friends, and people who I haven’t talked to in so long were texting me, calling me and commenting on my post.”

“I had no idea what to say, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, I might like guys,’” Garrett said, recalling the first time he told anyone he was gay. At first, she didn’t believe him. She thought he was just saying that to get out of telling her he didn’t feel the same way, but he assured her it wasn’t an attempt to get out of an awkward situation, it was the truth. It was the truthful blurt that led to Garrett’s official coming out six months later.


He said looking back, he probably should have picked up on it sooner. When his friends would talk about girls, he would find himself coming up with different excuses for why he wasn’t doing the same things they were doing. “I still enjoyed my freshman and sophomore year. I had a great time, but I was definitely confused with what I was doing,” he said. The prolonged state of confusion Garrett was in led to a seemingly abrupt and unexpected coming out. “It was actually really funny,” he said. “I literally had no intention of telling anyone, not even her. It was just a spur of the moment thing, and I just said it, then we didn’t talk about it for about a week.” When the two

doesn’t exude the feminine or flamboyant stereotypes some have come to expect of all gay men. When Garrett came back to UF for his junior year, he repeated his summer coming out process with his school friends, and while there were more shocked reactions, he had an overall positive experience. On October 11, National Coming Out Day, Garrett publicly came out through a post on Instagram. “I got an overwhelming amount of support and love from my friends, and people who I haven’t talked to in so long were texting me, calling me and commenting on my post,” he said. “I was not expecting that much support and love, and I got so much. It was really great.” He said the only negative reaction he got was from some of his fraternity brothers, but he’s not one to let things get to him easily. “There are guys that are great, and there are guys that aren’t, which I expected, so it’s fine,” Garrett said. Despite the few unaccepting brothers, he said he also had the support of a lot of friends in his fraternity, and he ended up taking his now-boyfriend, Nick, on their formal weekend this year.

finally reconnected and got to talking, it turned out that he had picked the perfect first person to come out to. Jenna connected him with a good guy friend from her hometown who was also gay, and he became Garrett’s mentor throughout his coming out process. “That was honestly probably the best thing that could have ever happened to me,” he said. “Whenever I had issues, or concerns, or questions or anything he’d always be there to text me like, ‘Yeah, this is alright. This is normal,’ so I really appreciated that.” When his sophomore year came to a close, Garrett went home to Virginia Beach, Virginia for the summer and began the process of coming out to his friends and family. “I was kind of experimenting, but I still tried to keep it very low-key,” he said. “Then after a month or so, I started to tell my friends at home.” In July, three months after he told Jenna, he came out to his family on their trip to Europe. He said his mom thought he was kidding at first. Garrett found that this initial reaction of disbelief, from Jenna and his mom, was not uncommon when he started to come out to more people. “Literally no one knew,” he said. “Everyone was shocked because I’m not like your stereotypical gay, and I’m not feminine. There was this one girl who I had talked to for a little bit, and I had to convince her. I had to show her my dating apps and show her that it was on guys not girls, and then she was like, ‘Oh my god, you actually are.’” He may wear his jeans a little tighter and his shirts a little brighter now, but Garrett definitely


The two met on Tinder and have been dating for four months now. “I’ve always wanted to be in a relationship in college, and I would always be trying to talk to girls and find a relationship there, and I obviously couldn’t,” he said. “Now having a boyfriend has been exactly what I wanted for so long.” Since coming out, Garrett has become comfortable enough to start dressing how he wants and show off his new boyfriend, but those aren’t the only ways he’s found to express himself. He loves music festivals, and this spring he got the chance to go to Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival, where he, in his own words, “went all out.” “I wore a pride flag and everything, and it was so much better than other festivals I’ve been to,” he said. “It was so much more fun that I was able to do that because there was no reason for me not to. There’s no reason for me to hide it.” All in all, Garrett has had an almost unusually positive coming out experience. He attributes part of that to college students being so accepting of the LGBTQ community. He said he’s also been able to make a lot of new friends now that he’s out. “Every college girl thinks you’re trying to hit on them, so they’re more reluctant to talk to you, but then once they find out I’m gay, it’s like, ‘Oh my god, I love you!’ and so I’ve made so many more friends, especially girl friends, that I’m really close with, which has been great,” he said. Along with his new group of friends, new boyfriend and newfound freedom to express himself, Garrett has also found a cause he’s passionate about. Through a program called Two Hands, he mentors two college students – one in California and one in Louisiana – who are struggling with coming out. “It’s something I really benefited from when I was still in the closet, and so I’ve been doing that for a couple months,” he said. “I’ve definitely helped them out with different things by texting and calling them and just being there when they needed me, which I’ve really enjoyed.” As for anyone else struggling to come out, Garrett’s advice is to just take your time. “There’s no wrong way to come out,” he said. “It’s really on your own terms, and how you want to do it and when you want to do it. Take your time and do whatever you need to do to figure yourself out until you’re finally comfortable enough to where you’re ready to tell everyone.” Garrett’s coming out experience may have been unconventional, but then again there really is no conventional way to make a decision that will change the way you live your life. “I don’t regret how I lived my life beforehand because I still had a great high school


experience and a great college experience for the first two years, and I loved every second of it,” he said, “But I’m also loving every second of how I am living right now.” Visit to learn about the local LGBTQ community and resources in Gainesville that can help those struggling with coming out. To learn more about LGBTQ support groups nationwide, visit

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POWER The word power across the globe



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Teal Garth: power is taking risks, speaking up, seizing the day, and loving yourself.Christy Pina: Powe being fearless and loving with everything you have. Ashleigh Braun: power is being unapologetically y the strength to do what most people are scared to do. Elayza Gonzalez: Power is about speaking things influence, inspire and lead. Alyssa Weiss: power is not being afraid to follow your dreams. Klarizza Ag Power is having the strength in courage to make a difference, live life to your full potential and chase y way. Natalie Rao: True power is the acceptance that things won’t always go as planned, and th knowle yourself, and being comfortable owning that. Michelle Tapia: Power is knowing all your ugly parts and with the world around you. Isa Perez: Power is worrying less and living more. Brooke Bajgrowicz: Pow within yourself with love, with life and with your body.. Teal Garth: power is taking risks, speaking up running with it like a champ. Renee Castro: power is being fearless and loving with everything you hav what you want. Jayna Taylor-Smith: Power is having the strength to do what most people are scared to autonomy. It is about knowing what you can do to influence, inspire and lead. Alyssa Weiss: power i no puppies and kittens at a pet store. Brooke Steinberg: Power is having the strength in courage to make what you want no matter what obstacles stand in the way. Natalie Rao: True power is the acceptance th Stefano Ferreyros: Power is being unapologetically yourself, and being comfortable owning that. Mich Dieujuste: Power is remaining engaged and in love with the world around you. Isa Perez: Power is wo forward. Taylor McLamb: Power is finding acceptance within yourself with love, with life and with you Pina: Power is taking whatever life throws at you and running with it like a champ. Renee Castro: pow unapologetically yourself, having confidence, and doing exactly what you want. Jayna Taylor-Smith: Po about speaking things into existence. Rhina Garcia: Power is about autonomy. It is about knowing wha dreams. Klarizza Aggabao: Power, to me, is not adopting all the puppies and kittens at a pet store. Bro potential and chase your dreams. Carly Breit: Power is chasing what you want no matter what obstacle planned, and the knowledge that everything will be okay despite that. Stefano Ferreyros: Power is bein all your ugly parts and loving yourself regardless. Brianna Duncan-Dieujuste: Power is remaining eng Brooke Bajgrowicz: Power is being brave, staying strong and pushing forward. Taylor McLamb: Power taking risks, speaking up, seizing the day, and loving yourself.Christy Pina: Power is taking whatever loving with everything you have. Ashleigh Braun: power is being unapologetically yourself, having con what most people are scared to do. Elayza Gonzalez: Power is about speaking things into existence. Rh lead. Alyssa Weiss: power is not being afraid to follow your dreams. Klarizza Aggabao: Power, to me, is strength in courage to make a difference, live life to your full potential and chase your dreams. Carly B power is the acceptance that things won’t always go as planned, and the knowledge that everything w comfortable owning that. Michelle Tapia: Power is knowing all your ugly parts and loving yourself reg you. Isa Perez: Power is worrying less and living more. Brooke Bajgrowicz: Power is being brave, sta love, with life and with your body. Teal Garth: power is taking risks, speaking up, seizing the day, and champ. Renee Castro: power is being fearless and loving with everything you have. Ashleigh Braun: po Taylor-Smith: Power is having the strength to do what most people are scared to do. Elayza Gonzalez: knowing what you can do to influence, inspire and lead. Alyssa Weiss: power is not being afraid to follo store. Brooke Steinberg: Power is having the strength in courage to make a difference, live life to your obstacles stand in the way. Natalie Rao: True power is the acceptance that things won’t always go as p being unapologetically yourself, and being comfortable owning that. Michelle Tapia: Power is knowin engaged and in love with the world around you. Isa Perez: Power is worrying less and living more. Bro is finding acceptance within yourself with love, with life and with your body. Teal Garth: power is takin throws at you and running with it like a champ. Renee Castro: power is being fearless and loving with and doing exactly what you want. Jayna Taylor-Smith: Power is having the strength to do what most pe 96

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a: Power is taking whatever life throws at you and running with it like a champ. Renee Castro: power is etically yourself, having confidence, and doing exactly what you want. Jayna Taylor-Smith: Power is having g things into existence. Rhina Garcia: Power is about autonomy. It is about knowing what you can do to rizza Aggabao: Power, to me, is not adopting all the puppies and kittens at a pet store. Brooke Steinberg: chase your dreams. Carly Breit: Power is chasing what you want no matter what obstacles stand in the knowledge that everything will be okay despite that. Stefano Ferreyros: Power is being unapologetically arts and loving yourself regardless. Brianna Duncan-Dieujuste: Power is remaining engaged and in love cz: Power is bein brave, staying strong and pushing forward. Taylor McLamb: Power is finding acceptance king up, seizing the day, and loving yourself.Christy Pina: Power is taking whatever life throws at you and you have. Ashleigh Braun: power is being unapologetically yourself, having confdence, and doing exactly cared to do. Elayza Gonzalez: Power is about speaking things into existence. Rhina Garcia: Power is about wer i not being afraid to follow your dreams. Klarizza Aggabao: Power, to me, is not adopting all the to make a difference, live life to your full potential and chase your dreams. Carly Breit: Power is chasing tance that things won’t always go as planned, and the knowledge that everything will be okay despite that. at. Michelle Tapia: Power is knowing all your ugly parts and loving yourself regardless. Brianna Duncaner is worrying less and living more. Brooke Bajgrowicz: Power is being brave, staying strong and pushing with your body. Teal Garth: power is taking risks, speaking up, seizing the day, and loving yourself.Christy ro: power is being fearless and loving with everything you have. Ashleigh Braun: power is being mith: Power is having the strength to do what most people are scared to do. Elayza Gonzalez: Power is ing what you can do to influence, inspire and lead. Alyssa Weiss: power is not being afraid to follow your re. Brooke Steinberg: Power is having the strength in courage to make a difference, live life to your full obstacles stand in the way. Natalie Rao: True power is the acceptance that things won’t always go as r is being unapologetically yourself, and being comfortable owning that. Michelle Tapia: Power is knowing ing engaged and in love with the world around you. Isa Perez: Power is worrying less and living more. b: Power is finding acceptance within yourself with love, with life and with your body. Teal Garth: power is hatever life throws at you and running with it like a champ. Renee Castro: power is being fearless and ing confidence, and doing exactly what you want. Jayna Taylor-Smith: Power is having the strength to do ence. Rhina Garcia: Power is about autonomy. It is about knowing what you can do to influence, inspire and o me, is not adopting all the puppies and kittens at a pet store. Brooke Steinberg: Power is having the Carly Breit: Power is chasing what you want no matter what obstacles stand in the way. Natalie Rao: True thing will be okay despite that. Stefano Ferreyros: Power is being unapologetically yourself, and being self regardless. Brianna Duncan-Dieujuste: Power is remaining engaged and in love with the world around ave, staying strong and pushing forward. Taylor McLamb: Power is finding acceptance within yourself with ay, and loving yourself.Christy Pina: Power is taking whatever life throws at you and running with it like a aun: power is being unapologetically yourself, having confidence, and doing exactly what you want. Jayna nzalez: Power is about speaking things into existence. Rhina Garcia: Power is about autonomy. It is about d to follow your dreams. Klarizza Aggabao: Power, to me, is not adopting all the puppies and kittens at a pet to your full potential and chase your dreams. Carly Breit: Power is chasing what you want no matter what go as planned, and the knowledge that everything will be okay despite that. Stefano Ferreyros: Power is knowing all your ugly parts and loving yourself regardless. Brianna Duncan-Dieujuste: Power is remaining ore. Brooke Bajgrowicz: Power is being brave, staying strong and pushing forward. Taylor McLamb: Power r is taking risks, speaking up, seizing the day, and loving yourself.Christy Pina: Power is taking whatever life ng with everything you have. Ashleigh Braun: power is being unapologetically yourself, having confidence, most people are scared to do. Elayza Gonzalez: Power is about speaking things into existence. Rhina 97

thank you We would like to thank our wonderful adviser Nicole Irving, Ted Spiker, Dean Diane McFarlin, Spiro Kiousis, Martha Colleda and Hal Herman. We also extend a huge thank you to our beautiful cover model, Desirae Lee, and our talented cover photographer, Vanessa Vlandis. Orange & Blue is published semiannually by the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications students enrolled in Applied Magazines. This issue was printed by Publications Printers. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any means without written permission. Orange & Blue is protected through trademark registration in the United States. Send letters to Box 118400 College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.


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Orange & Blue magazine - The Power Issue - Spring 2018  

Orange & Blue is a student-run magazine produced by students enrolled in Applied Magazines at the UF College of Journalism and Communication...

Orange & Blue magazine - The Power Issue - Spring 2018  

Orange & Blue is a student-run magazine produced by students enrolled in Applied Magazines at the UF College of Journalism and Communication...