Urban Sentinel (June 2020 Edition)

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JUNE 2020 EDITION

TRENACE' CARTER

NEXT LEVEL MINDSET

THE

TAMRON HALLEFFECT CONTAGIOUS CARING

TOY ADDINGTON

THE JOURNEY TO CEO

ARLINDA MCINTOSH

SOFISTAFUNK, THE SKIRT COMPANY


EDITORIAL

From The Desk of The Editor Another month has passed, and June 2020 is upon us. Today we

Reginald Kearney Editor

release our June edition of the Urban Sentinel magazine. This month’s magazine is complete with engaging articles that cover

Corretta L. Doctor

Brandon J. Jolly

a wide variety of topics. Our cover story features Tamron Hall.

Business Manager

Layout Designer

Hall is an American broadcast journalist and current television talk show hostess of the Tamron Hall Show. Hall was formerly a national news correspondent for NBC News, day-side anchor for MSNBC, host of the program MSNBC Live with Tamron Hall, and a co-host of Today's Take, the third hour of Today. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic and under social distance measures, Hall

Yvonne Medley

C. NaTasha Richburg

Writer

Writer

continues to deliver great shows daily. May was another tough month for our country as we battled the COVID-19 virus. The death of George Floyd of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the entire situation surrounding his incredibly sad death sparked a global reaction as protests and riots erupted from city to city.

Musa Bangura

Anita Davis-DeFoe

Writer

Writer

On behalf of the staff here at Kearney Media Group, we extend our sympathy and deepest condolences to the family and friends that have lost a loved one to the COVID-19 virus. In addition, we send our most sincere appreciation to the frontline and essential workers and those positioned in support roles to care for I invite you to join in our united stand for global peace, health,

Cameron Posey

and safety.

Writer

The Urban Sentinel Magazine Address: 102 Discovery Ct. La Plata, Maryland 20646 Phone: 301-661-3989 Editor Reginald Kearney Advertising Inquiries Phone: 301-661-3989 E-mail: reginald.kearney@marylanddailyexaminer.com Website: www.urbansentinel.com

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Please feel free to email me at reginald.kearney@marylanddailyexaminer.com to give feedback on the articles within this edition of the magazine. If you would like to get information on Advertising in the magazine, send an email with ADVERTISTING in the subject line. I hope that you enjoy reading this edition of the Urban Sentinel magazine and we invite you to bookmark and follow our website at www.UrbanSentinel.com .


SUMMARY

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Meet Sofistafunk, The Skirt Company

Let's Talk Weight Loss

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Rod Lopez Director/Filmmaker/ Producer

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The Journey to CEO: The Toy Addington Story

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Are You Armed Against COVID-19

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My Tribe

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Three Sites to Help You Make Extra Cash, Using Your Home as a B&B

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Observing National Insurance Awareness Day

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Next Level Mindset

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Is Your Career Working for You?

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The Tamron Hall Effect: Contagious Caring

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A Happy Franky Forliano Father’s Day

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CoESL Complementary Capitalism Model

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Eliminating Generational Toxicity

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Atlanta Teen, Brooklyn Taylor on The Art of Music and Animation

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Penning the Dream... One Word at A Time

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Willassae’s Agency for Vision and Empowerment: The Legacy Lives on

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Chase Kernick Loves Music!

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Keep Thriving

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Cystic Fibrosis Community Shares Their Respiratory Health Secrets to Prevent Lung Complications From COVID-19

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Don’t Let the “4Ps” Rule You

URBAN SENTINEL MAGAZINE | JUNE 2020

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THE JOURNEY TO

THE

T

Toy Addington

STORY

by corretta l. doctor for the urban sentinel

oy Addington is a magnificent, bold, and smart businesswoman. Starting out in life as an emancipated youth at age 15, she broke major barriers of expectations and stigma for a young woman of color. She survived. Let me say that again. Toy survived and she did it, amidst being a teenaged, single Mom. She was the first in her family to beat poverty, complete high school with her diploma, graduate from college with a Psychology Degree, magna cum laude and a Natural Science Degree, magna cum laude. Armed with no option to fail, a solid education, and an impressive suite of professional licenses and certifications, Toy Addington is now the Founder and CEO of ‘I Can’t Coaching, LLC’, a six-figure company that is the parent company to ICC Life Coach Institute, LLC and ICC Life Coach Institute, LLC Online Business School. From a homeless teenager to a thriving Chief Executive Officer, Toy does so much more than wear a well-deserved title. Toy is embarking upon her sixth successful year in business.’ The mission statement for ‘I Can’t Coaching, LLC’ is to transform leaders and businesses owners mind, mood, and money to invoke permanent change to get permanent results. The motto is: I Can’t Let Anything Control My Mind, Mood, or Money. Toy is a Master Certified Professional Life and Business Coach, Transformational Coach, motivational Speaker and in the early fall she will release her book, ‘The Serotonin Junkie’. Let us peel back the layers and understand how someone with so much burden to carry and the one that they counted out, quickly became the one that so many count on today. Toy is child number three in the birth order of six children born in Memphis, Tennessee. Toy doesn’t count her bad days as failures, or a lack of good luck, she treats those lackluster days as fuel towards her pursuit of greatness. It is not easy to forget a painful past, but the rewards of Toy’s hard work demonstrate that her undying passion to win was worth the journey. At a critical time of a high school student’s life, the tenth to twelfth grade years are supposed to be filled with beautiful memories of prom, football games, graduation, senior trips, and of 4

CEO

course college touring and the ultimate choice of prepping for the future-choosing a college. Toy has another memory bank filled with a different deposit of high school stories that seemed to get worse month after month after month. Toy was embarrassed and filled with anger. She was smart, she knew what life was supposed to look like, she had a vision. Her idols came through the television screen; namely she favored The Cosby Show, A Different World, and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Her role models were the teachers and her high school principal. Her young dreams were limited. At 17 years old, Toy found herself sharing her future with her first unborn child. She was a pregnant high school senior, that battled back and forth in her mind whether to stay in school or dropout of school. She used her faith and stuck with the plan to graduate with just a month left in her pregnancy. Sixteen days after receiving her high school diploma, Toy gave birth to her first child, her son Tyler. Two great choices culminated into a starting point for Toy to begin life as a Mother. Mom and baby did not sit around and ponder in sorrow, instead Toy took life by the horns and wrote up a plan. She put her visions on paper and began to accomplish each goal, one by one. Toy started college when Tyler was two months old. She had little to no help from family and she looked for no excuses at all. Toy tells Urban Sentinel, “I had no parents, guardian, siblings, or anyone; my Mom was hooked on drugs and my dad sold drugs. My belief is that my family did not have the capacity or the knowledge to properly guide me to greatness, so I knew I had to be the change. Just before I was set to walk across the high school stage, and after seeing me pregnant and homeless, my oldest Sister took me back in for a short time until I got my first apartment when I started college.” She never gave up. Toy was afraid to stop because she feared failure more than the many other fears she was about to face. Life for most successful people is perceived to be a pretty picture of smooth sailings and beautiful carriage rides to the top. For the most part, we are taught to see success through the rosiest of glasses. Sure, we are constantly told about hard work and maintaining focus while preparing for our careers, but what happens when we pause and let love in? Love that


leads to marriage, and in an expedient way. Sometimes it works, this time it did not. Toy moved on with her plans to get through college and she became a homeowner at age 19. Love knocked on her heart and she answered by becoming a wife at age 20. One year later, Toy, Tyler, and her new husband welcomed a set of twins, Camren and Carland. Life was moving fast for this determined young mom, college student, and wife. Toy was not slowing down, she had purpose and fulfilled it with every decision she made to keep pressing forward. Though she wanted to become a Doctor, she opted to work as a Cardiovascular and Metabolism Sales Specialist in the pharmaceutical industry. Seven years after her twins were born, she and her husband added a fourth child to their family, Carleigh. Toy continued her way to the top of her industry by working harder, although she carried the responsibilities of being so much to so many at a young age. Life gives us no more than we can handle. Toy proves this to be true. The journey to CEO continued.

PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT: GREG MOORE

The lights were shining bright on Toy now. She was just under 34 years old and had a beautiful family of four children, a husband, and little to no regrets. She forged a path that many would have gotten lost on. Toy shed several tears as she told us details of her struggle to keep the pace with her peers and industry cohorts while fighting to keep her private life intact. She needed a dose of her own medicine, she needed to be given a few words of motivation and transformation. Her mind, mood and money were about to make a shift, and not as she had intended. “The more I grew, so did the insecurities. I struggled to keep my marriage as I stared into my future of becoming a divorced, single mom once again. This time, I had quadrupled my responsibilities of mouths to feed, backs to clothe and futures to secure.” Toy crept up on dangerous emotional breaks as she became less of what she taught others to be and more of what she worked so hard not to become. She understood the importance of maintaining her position of a successful entrepreneur, even while learning to accept the bruises from her fall while climbing to the top. Falling and staying down was not a part of her plan so she stayed on her feet. She kept moving. She made every precise decision by thinking about her children, her business endeavors, and most importantly, herself. She remembered self-love and she stayed the course. Toy advises, “Sometimes you have to switch proximities to gain prosperity. I learned how to control the controllable URBAN SENTINEL MAGAZINE | JUNE 2020

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and to keep going anyway. I stepped out on faith.” Toy was divorced at age 34. She was stalled, but not stolen. Her principles were intact, her vision remained clear. She had lost in love, but not in spirit. Her savvy and colorful spirit bounced right back in stride and she was laser sharp in her emergence back to her plan of success. Toy shares this wisdom, “Pressure does two things well, burst pipes and make diamonds. You have whole and absolute control of the mindset behind the choices you make. To all emerging women in business, those that are starting out with pressures coming at you from every angle, just read my story and take inventory of my achievements. My testimony is not a bargaining chip for you to decide what is right or wrong for you, but it is a true story of a little girl that lived life at the velocity of light during some dark days.” We asked Toy to tell us how she made it, how she pushed ahead and landed at the head of a thriving business that offers everything she once needed herself. “Stability matters most to me in life. I knew I needed to properly serve my children in a stable environment. My heart lies with my kids. Knowing that they will never have to look for a warm bed to sleep in or food to eat, like I did as a child, makes my heart sing”, Toy told our team. She continued, “If I were to dig into my soul and paint the interior, I would use a high gloss topcoat that is clear because it would represent my transparency. My stress, struggles, and success all made life worthwhile for me. I do not show off my bags, shoes, and cars; I show business 6

strategies, tips, and I teach the value of transforming your mind, mood, and money. I show my journey to show my pride. I am not proud of my dark days and I am not ashamed of them either.” Toy has made an impeccable mark, built a legacy for her children, and is teaching many business owners what to do to yield multiple streams of income and change the blueprint on how to succeed. ‘I Can’t Coaching, LLC’ and its subsidiaries offer a series of certifications, not limited to, but including Professional Coaching Certification for Life, Business, Personal Development, and Wealth coaches in three day live-sessions. Toy’s company ‘ICC Life Coach Institute, LLC is a global institution with coaches in six different countries and 28 states that are globally accredited through the International Coach Federation and the Association Coach Training Organization. Toy also teach others how to become six figure earners through her 6 Stream to 6 Figures Three- day Live course. Business Planning, Social Media Marketing, Business Funding, Financial Literacy, and many more courses are offered online. Toy Also offers “Coaching the Culture” for larger organizations that need to present employee development training to midlevel-executive leadership and their staff. Toy went from looking for $37 to get a meal and some pampers for her child, to earning over $37,000 in a single month, which marked her biggest financial success as an entrepreneur, just over four years after being an entrepreneur. Her community efforts are a big part of her philanthropic mantra. Her company has given over 1000 backpacks full of supplies to underprivileged and disadvantaged kids through her nonprofit organization, ‘Mrs. Budget Boss Academy” over the five years that she has been in business. The journey to CEO was filled with challenges for Toy Addington. She does not stand alone. Many successful CEO’s have journeyed through some mighty tough roads and never gave up. Add Toy Addington, and the many clients that she is coaching, to that list of successors. She is living her dream while building alongside many that have trusted her to propel them and their businesses forward. Find strength in the testimony of others and remember you have everything you need to succeed. Fuel your fears with a passion to win and your battle will be won every time. Toy Addington resides in Tennessee. She is an International Speaker, highly sought-after Mentor and a Savvy Business Coach and Trusted Advisor. Toy welcomes the opportunity to network with you. Visit www.ICCLifeCoachInstitute.com or email info@icantcoaching.com to learn more and connect with Toy Addington.


ARE YOU ARMED AGAINST

COVID-19?

by bridgette alfred for the urban sentinel Many of us here have served in one of the branches of the military. During training for any branch of service one of the most important lesson is how to fight the enemy. This training consists of identifying your enemy, different tactical moves, and the proper way to wear your tactical gear. This training is for a physical human enemy. Currently the world is fighting two enemies not seen by the natural eye; one natural and the other is spiritual: A. Enemies: 1. Physical: COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. 2. Spiritual: Ephesians 6:10-12 reads “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his great power. Put on the full armor of GOD so that you can fight against the devil’s evil tricks. Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world.” B. Tactical Gear: 1. Physical: Wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Stay at least 6 feet from other people. Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.

2. Spiritual: Ephesians 6:13-17 reads “That is why you need to put on God’s full armor. Then on the day of evil you will be able to stand strong. And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing. So stand strong, with the belt of truth tied around your waist and the protection of right living on your chest. On your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong. And also use the shield of faith with which you can stop all the burning arrows of the Evil One. Accept God’s salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” C. Tactical Moves: 1. Physical: Cover coughs and sneezes. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectant will work. Monitor your health by watching for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. Take your temperature if symptoms develop. Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen. Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop. 2. Spiritual: Ephesians 6:18 reads “Pray in the Spirit at all times with all kinds of prayers, asking for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready and never give up. Always pray for all GOD’s people.” D. Conclusion: We need to pray for our country and the world. Nothing you could ever face including what’s happening right now is beyond God’s control or concern. He is greater than all of it and you can trust him to take care of your every need because he cares for you. You’ll never walk through anything alone. URBAN SENTINEL MAGAZINE | JUNE 2020

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BUSINESS

MEET SOFISTAFUNK T H E

S K I R T

C O M P A N Y

by corretta l. doctor for the urban sentinel

PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT: LUCAS PICTURES NYC

in the “The Gathering” and immediately it evokes the inner phoenix of its wearer. It is an entrance maker and it highlights the upper echelon quality of detail and versatility with the easy day to night transitional ability. The cuts are simple and sophisticated while the colors and styling are 100 percent uninhibited and funky. The zero waste skirts are complimenting to all body types, and the purpose is unlimited. Getting in and out of the skirt is achieved without great effort; and that is in line with the customer testimonies. One client tells the story of how easy and comfortably Sofistafunk skirts accompany her to Chemotherapy sessions, another tells of her comfort and ease of use in wearing the skirt while breast feeding. There are numerous comments about the empowerment that the skirt conveys in the boardroom while also making the ladies feel like a princess on any old random day.

S

imple. Sophisticated. Uninhibited. Funky. Given the preceding four adjectives and a super talented industrial technician who masters her gift of sewing, you will discover Sofistafunk, The Skirt Company. Arlinda McIntosh is the Creative Director and Founder of the Sofistafunk label. Born in North Carolina, Arlinda grew up in New Jersey and makes the Garden State her home. The New Jersey state motto is liberty and prosperity; those are two words that naturally fit in with the number one seller at Sofistafunk. ‘The Gathering’, described as “One skirt, endless possibilities. Hand crafted from fine fabrics…since like forever”, is Sofistafunk’s signature skirt that provides a free-flowing liberty with its versatile lengths and definitive textile colors. The bestselling item also channels the upscale side of your fashion sense by instilling feelings of pride and prosperity with its rich fabrics and unique patterns. One spin 8

Arlinda is an ICON in this era; life is moving right along, swift and upbeat and things change often over time. If her life were a color, chartreuse (a combination of yellow and green), would describe Arlinda’s artistic soul. Yellow is a feelgood color that evokes happiness, hope, and empowerment. Green represents the earth’s birth, a renewal. The soul speaks to Arlinda in her design process. The soul goes through changes, yet it remains the same. One thing remains constant and that is the desire for a good-looking wardrobe. She has created a timeless piece of art that reminds us of a vintage time, representing elegance and classiness for today’s clientele. The vision came from her childhood dreams along with following in her mom’s footsteps as a seamstress. Arlinda made her first skirt prototype from a passion and idea that came to her at age 12. Arlinda took down her Mom’s kitchen curtains that were flowing from a window over the kitchen sink. The curtains were black and white gingham check with a black, white, red, and yellow rooster printed border. The curtains were beautiful, with two levels of frills and a uniquely


memorable pattern that served as a common traditional look for those days. Young Arlinda, with her entrepreneurial spirit, created the first concept of a Sofistafunk skirt out of those curtains: a vivid statement of fashion that has grown into a successful global business. Today Arlinda has surpassed many milestones in her business. The wonderful part of her business is the exchange of the experience. Just as she receives a gracious experience when she interacts with her clients, she also gives each buyer a unique buying experience. She does not just sell, she equips. You are shown various ways how to wear your skirt, given ideas of color and accessory pairings, and always made to feel welcome as a part of the Sofistafunk family. The global pandemic fallout from the COVID-19 Virus shook us up dramatically as a nation and as a universe. Even our global view from the International Space station shows a dramatic new look of the earth and that means our ground level vantage point will shift in many ways. The way lives are lived is different. Its so new that all we can say right now is…… different. With this major shift, businesses must pivot. Sofistafunk is positioned to meet the new normal of fashion and accessory. In addition to their addition of a Menswear line, they have added a variety of couture face covers to the existing label. To add to our new normal of finding things to help us alleviate stress and reduce boredom while staying entertained, Arlinda is curating a series of fun little trivia games named ‘You Match It with Arlinda’. Arlinda’s games cover fun facts about fashion trends, dance styles, color theory, and all sorts of subjects that are interesting. She will be adding new quizzes regularly. Visit www.YouMatchIt.com/arlinda to join in the fun. Arlinda McIntosh is a modern-day living legend who has contributed her masterful skill in making extraordinarily beautiful clothing that is driven by her heart and soul. She pours herself into her work and it shows on the hem of every person that adorns the pieces of craftsmanship we know as Sofistafunk, the Skirt Company. Arlinda had a dream and put every wheel under that dream into motion. This gives confirmation that the adage ‘follow your dreams’ is valid and time tested once again. When you can see an unfolding story such as this take flight, you take note. Arlinda is more than a business of beautiful skirts and accessories. Arlinda is a brand. Unique and ever present, she uses her inner spirit and emotional guidance when naming her pieces. Taking in account culture and the change of seasons, Arlinda focuses on what she feels, and it transcends into the beauty of her craft. Visit www.Sofistafunk.com to choose your skirt story.

myTribe

by stacey henry-carr for the urban sentinel

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bout a year ago I had what some people would call, a spiritual awakening. It happened while I was writing my book—Live your truth and Break the Cycle—and contemplating exposing my true self to the world. All this time I had been living an escape life and it had finally caught up with me. You know, the kind of life where you mask your pain with ambitious feats. It was time to elevate and grow from that space. There was no more room for pretense. My mind, body, and soul were screaming for authenticity. It was fitting that I started with some drastic self-development to help me discover myself, a part of this development led to the West Coast for a conference. You must know that attending a conference with hundreds of creatives authors, writers, coaches, speakers, and everything in between, was different than the corporate training I was used to; but I needed to discover a part of me that I knew was there. I could feel my better self and it was finally time to show the world. As the saying goes, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”, I was not about to continue down the path to insanity, so I chose differently. At this conference, there was a room filled with people of different races, nationalities, cultural backgrounds, and different countries, yet it was obvious that all the individuals in this room had at least one common goal. We were in search of something new, in search of ourselves. It was in that room I met my tribe. Some I connected with right away and others, months after the event through social media. The convenience of social media and technology has kept many of us connected. This connection has served as a pillar of support and strength especially during this intense time that our world is experiencing. Instead of lamenting at the idea of the dramatic changes within our lives, we chose to spread light and hope to each other. Our online platform became more pronounced and more useful than ever. These people who were once strangers were now a family, a tribe of orators, and healers. We had a goal. A goal to serve others and help them to become the better version of themselves. As I watched and supported my tribe of creators and selfless souls, some of their stories resonated and lingered in my heart; but there were two of my tribe members that (continued on next page)

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stood out, I met them when I traveled across the country in 2019 and they stuck to my mind, and continued to fill my heart with hope. Their stories permeated my psyche as if they were quenching my thirst. It was my yearning for knowledge, connection, and spiritual growth that led me to them. It was their messages to love, hope, and freedom that kept us connected. Since social media has been our primary way of connection, I had learned their platform names before I was introduced to their birth names. It was @negrospiritual121 and @stepstep_jump where I started diving into the part of their worlds that they use to serve others.

BAXTER'S STORY Richard Zobon Baxter is a Freelance paralegal in Tulsa, OK. He does legal research and training for criminal defense clients and their attorneys. He is the founder of a non-profit organization http://www.racismstinks.org/, created on June 19th, 2015. His organization hosts educational and awareness programs such as “Race against Racism” and “Fight for Fatherhood Summit”. Baxter, as he likes to be called, did not start his journey on a smooth road. He has a less than stellar past, with many hills and valleys. A different journey than mine, yet our path met on that November day in California. I am not sure if it was the red baseball cap with the words “negrospiritual121”, the fact that he taught me the proper way to take a selfie, or his testimony on the last day of our conference, but he made an imprint in my mind. Baxter’s interest in the law was ignited when he decided he had to be his rescue. He used The Georgetown Law Journal to study the law and prove police misconduct and secured his release after being handed a 121-year prison sentence. I was curious about what this young black man felt when he was handed a sentence of that magnitude. When I asked, he said he had turned his back on God before and knew he had to figure out how to regain that relationship. Nothing had gone as planned since he stepped into the young adult world of eighteen years old. We dialogue about whether he had done the deep dive into why he took the wrong path. I believe he has been too busy moving forward that he had not peeled the layers. He shared how he had two working parents and should have done better. He did talk about being the only black family in his church and felt like “a project” versus an equal member of the congregation. This tribe member told his story with full ownership and remorse. One of his regrets and guilt came early at the age of 19 years old after he was kicked out of the United States Army for 10

attempting to steal two CDS. The country he had signed up to defend was under attack with the unfortunate devastation of September 11. Baxter remembers feeling disappointed and guilty because he was unable to be on the front lines to help remove people from those rubbles. These events sent him in a bad space that led him down a rocky journey with bumps, bruises, and prison bars where he learned there was “no right way to do wrong”. But when I asked my tribe member who are you today? He said, “I am a community activist fighting for justice for all people. Fighting for ourselves, not fighting against anyone. Fighting the miseducation, we have ourselves”. Baxter stated that he drew his inspiration when he attended former President Obama’s inauguration in 2012, it was then he realized his next chapter. And that red cap with negrospiritual121, I had to ask, what message do you give when you wear that hat? His response was clear, “it represents freedom and the struggles and trials it took to get there”


ANNABEL'S STORY As Baxter was using his spiritual connection to his ancestors to gain his freedom, Annabel was “step, step jumping” for her life. Eighteen years before we met, my other tribe member thought it was just another workday. Her only worry that day was that she was running late and wanted to make it to work before her boss since they had to be ready for the stock market. However, it turned out to be less than an ordinary workday, because on that day United Airlines Flight 175 hit her building. Born to Ecuadorian parents and raised in Seattle, Annabel Quintero is a holistic mindset coach who believes we are all citizens of the world. Her diverse experience as a leader, educator, entrepreneur, and public servant are connected by a common thread: positively impacting people’s lives. Her own life was irrevocably changed on September 11th, 2001 when she narrowly escaped from the 46th floor of the World Trade Center’s Tower One, during the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Ever since that day, she has devoted herself to empowering people and advancing the world around her through community engagement, continuous learning, and championing social change. My attraction to Annabel was her warm infectious smile and the soothing voice that she uses to spread love and light. She shared with me that the building shook her to her core and had her trapped in a trauma smothered with survivor’s guilt. She shared that as she was descending, she passed the firefighters ascending to their destiny. Annabel was working on Wall Street, break dancing at night and highlighted on a billboard as a model. She was living her dream life in New York City until that day brought about a lifelong nightmare. But the woman I know has used her trauma to spread love, compassion, hope, and healing. She continues to work on being the best version of herself, seeking the higher part

PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT: MOXIE

of what God intended for her. I asked this beautiful soul to describe who she is today and she stated, “ I found out I am good at loving, now I am dedicated to living out the question: can my voice change hearts”? It was that craving for knowledge and a deeper understanding of herself that led her to California last fall. Three souls with different backgrounds brought together because of a search of self and connected because of the will to serve others. I am delighted to have my tribe, every day as we support each other on our social media platforms, we give each other the strength to push away from the pain and pull towards our dreams, from which we serve people.

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TRAVEL

Three Sites to Help You Make Extra Cash, Using Your Home as a Bed and Breakfast by alison figueroa for the urban sentinel

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wning a summer home in an area where families and individuals love to spend their vacations can be financially beneficial to you. The scenery and atmosphere around your home can be relaxing and rejuvenating or it can be adventurous and entertaining. Whatever vacationers are looking for, if your home sits in the middle of it, it just might make you some extra cash.

Going on vacation is an exciting time for most individuals and families. During this time no one cares about waking up to go to a job—they don’t even care about making up their beds or getting the kids ready for school. But as with most vacations, money plays a factor in those accomplished goals. When planning a vacation, the budget includes: lodging, transportation, food, activities, souvenirs, and don’t forget the always untimely “just-in-case” allowance. These items can get pricey, leaving the vacationer with no other choice but to cut certain “wanna-do12

bucket-list items” from the budget. One of the above-mentioned items that vacationers tend to skimp on is lodging. So…if you own a home in a tourist spot (and this could especially be the case for retirees and/or for those who work from home), you can benefit from the mindset of a multitude of frugal vacationers—looking for fun in your backyard. Hotel rates tend to fluctuate, yearround, but especially during the peak seasons. However, the average family only uses a hotel for a place to sleep, store their luggage, and, perhaps for a good sit-down place to grab some food. As much as they want to have a goodnight’s rest, they are not looking to spend their hard-earned vacation money in these areas. To avoid the overpriced hotel, hours are exhausted by the vacationer, searching online for the best deal, which includes: - A good bed, - Internet access, - All-amenities included, - Parking,

- Close to activities and, - Affordable dining. Your home, like a hotel, has all this, year-round, and more. Because your home, unlike a hotel, has a full kitchen, private rooms, Internet access (some hotels charge per day), and the feel of home without being home. It also has you—a private heart-warming individual who is an expert on the area and can provide the best knowledge about where to shop and/or to have fun. And your specialized knowledge will come, minus the heartless touristy advice that hotels spew out, attached to a high price tag, and could even be unsafe. The main thing a vacationer loves is a stable lodging price, which you can also provide. These benefits just might make you the top choice when vacationers are looking for great places to stay. There are specific sites that cater to people who use/market their homes as a Bed and Breakfast for vacationers. Here, we’ve recommend a top three:


1

Vrbo.com

This site is strictly for those who use their home as a vacation rental.

2

Booking.com

This site has everything to plan a vacation and is one of the major sites people look on, so you definitely want to be in their listings.

3

Travelocity.com This is another site that travelers

book with. It is especially good for

those looking for places of adventure or relaxation. You can advertise a

great itinerary based on the activities surrounding your home.

At the end of the day, there is no price on hospitality and great customer service. The more you offer, the more vacationers will tell others about you, and will always hashtag your greatness on social media.

URBAN SENTINEL MAGAZINE | JUNE 2020

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by raquel tillman for the urban sentinel Insurance is a word that comes to the forefront of discussions these days. A lot of unexpected tragedy is happening around all of us and with great sadness in our hearts, I extend sympathy to those that have lost loved ones to the COVID-19 illness or have had a major financial set back. National Insurance Awareness Day is observed each year on June 28. This day was created as a day to review your insurance coverage. Insurance is one of those things you don’t think about unless you need it. When an unplanned event, accident or injury occurs, insurance is designed to protect your life and lifestyle by providing financial compensation for the loss. So, utilize this reminder and take time to review your auto, home including renters or condo, life and business insurance. When reviewing your insurance policies with your insurance agent or broker, here is a list of things to make sure you understand or know the answers: - What insurance coverages do you currently have in place. Can you access your policy information (paper or digital) quickly? - What coverages do you currently have on your policies? Do you understand what they cover (or exclude) and the limits? - What are deductibles? Can you tolerate a higher deductible (and will it save money)? 14

- What optional coverages are available that I do not have and what are the cost if I added them? - What has changed in your life since your last review of the policy? Are there coverages you no longer need or coverages you need to add? Completing this review should give you peace of mind that you have insured the things you love properly. You can rest assured through the summer and the remainder the year that your insurance house is in order. Don’t overlook the need for flood and water back up as we enter the rainy season in most parts of the country. So, add National Insurance Awareness day to your calendar on June 28th. For your insurance needs, let my agency be of service to you and your family as your trusted insurance advisor. At the core of my business values is to help each family and business owner be informed and equipped about their insurance protection. I am available to provide information and offer suggestions for the appropriate insurance coverage you need. Please visit my website at www.tillmaninsuranceadvisors.com for more information.

PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT: PHOTOGEEK PHOTOGRAPHY

OBSERVING NATIONAL INSURANCE AWARENESS DAY


PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT: DARRIN STEVENS PHOTOGRAPHY

NEXT LEVEL

MINDSET

by corretta l. doctor for the urban sentinel Every action, reaction, decision, habit, practice, and plan are a choice. It is the belief of Trenace Carter, Founder and CEO of ‘1 Authentic Woman’, that some of the things that happen to us are tied to our choices and our choices are made based on our mindset. Trenace teaches the practice of establishing a ‘Next Level Mindset’ filled with positive, thriving thoughts. 1 Authentic Woman is an organization formed to nourish and nurture authenticity, reset, renew, and breathe life into stalled dreams, and when necessary, embrace the new normal. Trenace uses her platform to teach and enrich young girls and women to build a synergetic approach in reaching their next level. Trenace’s mission is to help those struggling in life to change their mindset and focus on the next level. Meeting her clients where they are in life is her first step in achieving success with her coaching practice. She does not force change or a renewed mindset until she empowers them from their starting point. Sometimes her clients come to her with nothing more than themselves. They do not have a plan, a mission, or a view into their next big thing. Trenace teaches them how to discover, or rediscover, their authentic self and start the process from there. With a finite focus on young women, age 15-21, Trenace looks at trends in behaviors and reactions to current affairs.

Looking closely at teenaged pregnancy rates, self-inflicted adolescent illness/injury, juvenile imprisonment, and premature emancipation of minors, Trenace identifies a need to address these specific areas with the young women and their parents/guardians. These areas of concern can grow at an alarming rate in inner-city low-income areas and suburbs that have inadequate resources, or even in communities that have the best of everything that is needed to ward off these social issues impacting society. A lack of information does not discriminate. No matter how many books, pamphlets, or classes that become available, many of these young women also need a dedicated hand-holding partner to see themselves out of their situations. Trenace knows all too well how important it is to have a role model, not just a community or religious leader or a good friend, but someone that truly has a vested interest in the success of a young teen preparing to enter the career workforce, society, and experience a positive life cycle through adult years. Trenace lends her talent and passion to mentoring, in the capacity of trusted advisor and skilled consultant. She pairs her experience with the specific situation and allows her experience to guide her when coaching these girls and their families. There is a saying, “people want to hear from someone that has been through some things”, and they surely respect people that transparently share their real-life situations with them. It is helpful to see another person’s success with coming

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out of a situation that you were once in yourself. Trenace was given an upper hand in her life because she was raised by women that became her roadmap to thinking positive about what was ahead of her in life. Raised on the west side of Chicago, Trenace had the strongest support system a young girl could ask for. Trenace was raised by three generations of women: her mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. Trenace was reared in a two-parent home, with her two younger sisters until her parents divorced when she was seven years old. The family lived in an apartment building owned by Trenace’s grandmother. Just 15 minutes away her grandmother owned a two story, multifamily building and lived on the first floor; her great grandmother occupied the second floor in the building. Trenace and her siblings visited their grandmothers daily after school. The children learned different lessons from all three women who spanned decades apart in age. Some things were taught, and some were an inherent transfer of knowledge through conversations held among the grandmothers and granddaughters. Trenace’s mother made sure she and her siblings had a great education. Trenace would often travel with her school for various activities that gave her cultural experiences outside of her community, city, and state. Everything Trenace encountered as a student helped to expand her knowledge base and social skills that culminate into the woman she is today. Social skills and the ability to network effectively were important to Trenace at an early age. She was in 4-H Club, played softball and interacted with students at her Catholic school, staying involved and learning everything she could. Her ability to identify and mitigate social issues among young women today helps Trenace remove emotional barriers that are halting her client’s emotional well-being. Talking saves lives and Trenace uses open communication to bring out the issues being held within. Often a person will reveal their feelings to someone outside of their home, so seeking assistance is an option that families must not be afraid of. Many homes maintain an iron clad rule about “what goes on in this house must stay in this house” and that limits the expression of feelings and problems that may exist. Old ways of doing things have to change with the times. Trenace’s grandmother always told her to be socially adept and know when to say what. That statement resonates profoundly because not everyone is equipped to listen with the capacity to help heal. As a listener, you may not know what to say, or when to say it but it is important to allow people, especially youth, to freely expel their pain. Trenace’s great grandmother was a great storyteller and she taught Trenace the importance of sharing. Not just sharing physical and material things but sharing in the exchange of emotions and situations.

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If you find yourself unable to help someone, never turn them away, just refer them to a coach or counselor that is specialized in life coaching. Many of us have heard a variation of ‘sayings’ that tell us how broken children, without therapy and emotional rehabilitation, become broken adults. There is a level of truth in that statement, and there is also an opportunity to break that generational threat by focusing on the young interrupted mind of a broken child. 1 Authentic Woman is firm in their process. Trenace Carter identifies the seed of any issue by asking questions and listening carefully to understand the root of the problems. She is determined to provide answers on how to manage the core issues that her clients are facing. She cannot guarantee that she will find answers to every problem, but she can teach her clients how to manage the information they have and use a healthy approach to balance the cards they are dealt. They work together to focus directly on the problem without shying from the pain. She understands how to remove the emotion to be able to start healing. It is a gradual process that results in clients leaving her appointments feeling empowered. Empowered women know how to affirm their greatness by loving their authentic selves and living their authentic life, without regret. Trenace uses her ability to engage in effective communication. She hosts a series of diverse conversations with men and women on her talk show, “Next Level with Trenace”, a podcast that airs each Saturday at 5pmCST. The show talks to guests that have faced a myriad of childhood trauma, sexual trauma, abuse, addiction, and have since overcome. She also talks to entrepreneurs that are working to take their businesses to the next level. She talks to business owners and authors that have reached success and share their experiences with her audiences. Her vast array of guests show how a person can be their best version of themselves and be highly achievable in their efforts to live their best life. Everyone can see more, be more, and do more. The next level is right there waiting for you. Trenace is a five-time published Author, talk show Host, Mentor and Life Coach. She has recently appeared on television on PCTV-21, as a guest on “Inner City Perceptions” a community-based show that focuses on topics that impact all communities. Additionally, Trenace has been interviewed on the BJ Murphy Report, a Charlotte, NC based talk show where she discussed moving your business to the next level and she appeared on Awesome God Radio hosted by Antoine Jefferson discussing “Authenticity”. Trenace loves seeing others succeed, but she loves helping them to succeed even more! Visit www.1AuthenticWoman.com to connect with Trenace Carter and join her email list to stay connected.


PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT: PAUL M. WATSON

Is Your Career WORKING FOR YOU? • Do you dread the end of the weekend because your work is not fulfilling, challenging, and/or financially rewarding? • Have you found yourself looking at job postings and thinking, "Maybe it's time to make a change?" • Does your salary meet your qualifications? • Is there room for advancement at your current company, or is it time to seek other career opportunities? If you answered “yes” to one or more of the questions above, let’s talk! Let me begin by introducing myself. My name is Lynette Harley, and I am the Owner/CEO of Career Corner Services, LLC. My company prepares workers and jobseekers with the skills necessary for them to find and secure their ideal career. I have always been passionate about helping people, particularly when it comes to educating them in workforce development. With this passion comes over 25 years of career preparation, exploration, and transition/ re-entry assistance. I am a certified professional in business and employer services (DWCP-ES) and have successfully completed the Community and Economic Development Program in my local area. I, also, received a certification of appreciation for Leadership, Dedication, and Collaboration within my state’s workforce system. I am a wife and mother of two teenagers. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and am currently pursuing my Master’s Degree in Workforce Education. Based upon my years of experience and qualifications, I am the one that can assist you with your career needs so that you, too, can find your passion. To learn more about my company, contact me at 404.913.2755 or at info@ careercornerservices.com. You may visit my website at www.careercornerservices.com. URBAN SENTINEL MAGAZINE | JUNE 2020

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THE

TAMRON

EFFECT

C ON TA G IO U S C A R I NG by yvonne medley for the urban sentinel

T

amron Hall redefines her niche of giving a voice to people, underserved and overlooked; and a platform for issues, seldom revealed or discussed. During the Global COVID-19 Pandemic, Hall dispenses information, inspiration and empowerment—all while being sheltered in place.

Hall also continues her segments of relatable fun facts centered around pop culture and entertainment, featuring big-names and ordinary heroes. It brings audiences in. But Hall keeps to her hard-hitting news roots, too. Her secret sauce is the delivery. She reports news with a palatable touch to land a pivotal point at ground zero—that in this world, people, governments, cultures, companies and organizations must be passionate about caring for others. Like most news and talk shows, The Tamron Hall Show spotlights both current events and consequences concerning COVID-19. Her interviews cover the need for testing, the bravery of first-responders, the need for hospital space and medical equipment, and the need to shelter-in-place as well as the critical statistics of those who have fallen ill and those who have succumbed.

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ON HALL

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PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT: COURTESY OF THE TAMRON HALL SHOW

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But she also digs deeper by covering the gross injustices and acts of systemic racism that serve to compound the lack of medical and financial outreach, and the inhumane treatment of hundreds of individuals due to fear and misinformation about COVID-19. On major network news programs, little attention is given to such facts. Hall has interviewed health and science experts, and government officials from hotspots around the world to ask poignant questions to hopefully wash clear solutions. And, oh what seems like a lifetime ago… The Tamron Hall Show debuted on September 9, 2019. Though it seemed like the show’s birth announcements had been disseminating on social media for a while with everyone asking just when was that baby due—when the blessed day did arrive, Hall hit the ground, running. She and her team, tagged Team Tamron, sculptured a unique one-hour timeslot, shining spotlights on seldom discussed issues, often centered around families and how differently they can take shape. From its beginning, Hall offered her in-studio audiences a person-to-person feel. They were not just voyeurs but invested participants. Hall spent as much time chumming with folks who came to see the show as she did, sitting in her interviewer seat, talking to her in-studio guests. On any given taping of the

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show, a line to get into midtown New York’s ABC Studios could snake from its entrance door, down the block and around the corner, while the streets, bustled with honking NYC yellow cabs, double-daring each other, or hedging delivery trucks and slow-moving sightseers. To hold on to the hope of getting in, fans needed to get there early. The proof of happy compliance would be evident by the sight of comfortable shoes and the contagious chitchat, spreading throughout. Pressed in a line of close quarters, airborne exchanges of interesting life stories and newly accrued contact information seeded fresh acquaintances. Once fans were guided inside, and separated into two lines for fast security vetting, cheery members of Team Tamron

ushered folks inside a waiting room that could quickly fill up, seat-to-seat. However, the wait was doable, probably due to the hearty avail of snack foods and drinks. Finally, clusters of folks would be directed onto The Tamron Hall set, a bright, colorful and cozy studio, and led to their seats. It was getting to be the norm for out-of-towners to make a special New York trip to see the show. Karen Wink, an English professor, who has made the short trip from Connecticut several times, commented, “I love the total experience.” The folks seated behind her were giddy South Carolinians. Before showtime, a member of Team Tamron comes out to greet and warm-up the crowd. A couple of lucky fans, not able to be in the studio, are selected to virtually appear on the show’s big screen.


Hall loves fashion, so audience goers are encouraged to “dress to impress”. Hall also loves to give little known and/or up-andcoming fashion designers and beauty professionals a platform by allowing them to dress her and do her hair and makeup. Hall makes sure she gives them onscreen kudos by often dedicating segments of her show to them. Never forgetting how hard it is to make it in broadcast journalism, Hall freely shares nuances of her ladder-climbing experiences, and she often lends a helping hand to others. A graduate from Temple University in Philadelphia, she remains involved in the school. Back to Hall loving fashion, unbeknownst to the in-studio crowd, one fan, deemed bold, charismatic and fashionable, is selected to briefly meet Tamron, backstage; and on camera, they

get to hand Hall her cue cards as she struts her stuff on camera. During the show, that person, and perhaps a few others, are spotlighted—in the name of fashion. It is Hall’s opportunity to be one-on-one with a fan. For that lucky chosen one, it’s 15 seconds of fame and a lifetime memory. Hall often admits that the fashion highlight is difficult to make. Because every audience takes its best-in-show, seriously. Effectively, throughout the show, Hall keeps close contact with the audience by walking through the audience tiers and conducting some segments there as well. The show will often feature question-and-answer segments. These audience-host exchanges are meaty, and sometimes unpredictable. But Hall’s smooth handling of such, brags her professional journalistic prowess, her ability to handle people with dignity and her gift to remain cool—if a situation gets sticky. She appears to be fearless when it comes to approaching touchy topics or sharing about her personal life, on-air. Her fans love to hear about her journey of becoming a new wife and mother. Hall shares about navigating the terrain of trying to have it all— facing the same uncertainties shared by millions of parents. It’s nothing for her to say, “I had an argument with my husband …,” making audience goers feel like they’re casually sitting with Hall on her sofa. Or casually refer to her ongoing friendship with NBC Today Show’s Al Roker. Or

joke about the fact that she had been, “… unemployed for three years.” Her unemployment came due when she abruptly resigned from her positions as MSNBC Live with Tamron Hall anchor, fill-in news anchor on NBC’s Nightly News and co-host of the third hour on NBC’s Today Show. The gutsy move demonstrated how the beautiful black Barbie Doll from Luling, Texas, who grew into an award-winning journalist—don’t-take-no-mess (forgive the double negatives). Hall’s total journalistic journey has taken her to several network stations, and opportunities to interview interesting folks and notables, including Mr. Barack Obama before he announced his intention to run for president. She is a staunch advocate for domestic violence awareness, and recently launched a fund, christened The Tamron ❤Renate Fund in honor of her sister, who lost her life as a victim. Warmth is what radiates from Hall’s delivery whether she is in the studio or hosting, sheltered in place at her home. But … ahhhhh … alas, to commingle in that onset space, again, will depend on the future of our nation and our world’s new normal—destined to come.

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L E T ' S

TA L K

WEIGHT LOSS by corretta l. doctor for the urban sentinel

Guthrie Bonnétt lives by the motto that no one can ever deny you the results of the work you put into something. In a candid discussion with Guthrie, he explains to Urban Sentinel Magazine that his journey to a healthy life began with a frightening reality; he was overweight. A medical diagnosis showed that he was on the path to a shortened life expectancy unless he made some immediate changes. He shares his story to encourage readers to make good choices that lead to improved longevity and a better lifestyle. Urban Sentinel Magazine: What is the message that you want readers to take away from your story? Guthrie: My journey to a healthy lifestyle started with setting a goal to reach and maintain a healthy weight. With each passing day there are obstacles and hurdles that African American males encounter and there is always a lesson to learn. Weight loss must be taken seriously. Each lesson has taught me that I must always follow my heart and put God in front of every decision, no matter how difficult the journey becomes. Through my weight loss journey, I learned to trust my heart to overcome fear. I never lost hope when faced with adversity. It’s important to believe that “NO ONE CAN EVER DENY YOU THE RESULTS OF THE WORK YOU PUT INTO SOMETHING and remember that “#DreamsAreMeantToBeLived!” Urban Sentinel Magazine: Why did you begin your weight loss journey? Guthrie: In December 2016, I almost lost my life due to being overweight and diagnosed with heart disease. I was also diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Urban Sentinel Magazine: How much weight and how many inches have you lost? Guthrie: When I started my weight loss, I weighed 356lbs and wore a size 50 in the waist. I am currently weighing steady at 200lbs, but my lowest weight was December 2018 at 197.5lbs. Urban Sentinel Magazine: What was the easiest part of your fitness and lifestyle journey? Guthrie: Just believing that I can continue to live a better 22

life no matter what I believe to be true. I have my own belief system and life experiences when I feel stagnated. It was easy for me to change my mindset and start working on myself. Urban Sentinel Magazine: What was the hardest part of your journey and what made you stay the course? Guthrie: Getting through the setbacks can be tough. It is hard to continue doing anything when it seems like it’s not working as planned. I have continued to give myself consequences when I get off track and treat myself when I stay on course. A treat can be a healthy food that I have craved, of course keeping in mind the portion size. At first, keeping the weight off was exceedingly difficult, it required a drastic change in lifestyle and commitment mentally, physically, and economically. Urban Sentinel Magazine: What has the weight loss done for your health, physically and emotionally? Guthrie: It gave me my life back, and that means I am living and not just existing. I am feeling like I can now fully live my dreams. Weight gain has the tendency to makes us more prone to feeling depressed or prone to show anger instead of happiness. Urban Sentinel Magazine: Tell us about your passion and hobby for photography. Guthrie: Photography adds so much value to my life, it allows me to record special events, people, or places, as well as helping me learn and grow as a person. It allows people to share their life and experiences in more meaningful ways via images, either online or printed and given as gifts. My business is “Photos By A Taste of Chicago” and the website is www.redcarpetconciergeofchicago.com Urban Sentinel Magazine: What is your greatest accomplishment in photography? Guthrie: Making the media list as a photographer to cover The Red Carpet for The Oscars, New York Fashion Week, and LA Fashion Week were big moments in time for me! I must add that having my photography used on the book cover for “I’m Still Standing” by Mildred Muhammad, the ex-wife of the DC Sniper was a career highlight and honor.


Guthrie Bonnett pictured after losing 165lbs with nothing more than diet, exercise, and a positive mindset.

Guthrie Bonnett Waist Size Reduction from Size 50 to Size 32mindset.

Photo Credit www.BlackMenInAmerica.com

Guthrie Bonnett has changed his way of thinking about his personal weight goals and the results show a more confident person

Urban Sentinel Magazine: What are your goals for your photography business? Guthrie: I have always wanted to be able to provide my services around the globe, especially to families that want to create memories although they may not have a budget to do so. Although my photography is a business, it is also very much a passion and often it becomes a labor of love. Urban Sentinel Magazine: What is your favorite quote? Guthrie: “Dreams Are Meant to Be Lived!” Urban Sentinel Magazine: How has the COVID-19 Quarantine impacted your photography business? Guthrie: Not being able to travel and make unexpected financial adjustments has been challenging. Urban Sentinel extends a word of encouragement to the people reading this article that are battling weight loss and offers words of encouragement to those dealing with emotional issues tied to their challenges with obesity. We hope this encourages you to see the benefits that a few healthy choices can make, such as monitoring your food portions, making healthy food choices,

Guthrie Bonnett is a runway model and positive influence for men and women on a weight loss journey. With his 165 pound weight drop, he says that a positive mindset and a healthy weight led to limitless possibilities for his life.

having a positive mindset, and having a meaningful hobby. The best reason to lose weight is your personal choice to lead a healthier lifestyle for an improved quality of life. Thank you, Guthrie Bonnétt, for your story.

“NO ONE CAN EVER DENY YOU THE RESULTS OF THE WORK YOU PUT INTO SOMETHING AND REMEMBER THAT DREAMS ARE MEANT TO BE LIVED!” URBAN SENTINEL MAGAZINE | JUNE 2020

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ROD LOPEZ DIRECTOR | FILMMAKER | PRODUCER by C. NaTasha Richburg, MBA, MIS for the urban sentinel Not only does Rod work on projects customers bring to him; he also has movie projects of his own such as his most recent movie project in which he is the screenwriter and director of the short film “The Arrangement.” Ultimately, Rod would like to do at least one feature film each year and complete at least one music video each month along with maintaining his commercial business. Rod’s company motto is “New style of filming with old school principles.” This means that new business opportunities will arise as long as old-school business principles of honesty and loyalty are followed. Rod is a quite gem in the Towson community with a profession that expands the globe. Tell the reader about your background before becoming a director/filmmaker. I was born in the Dominican Republic. Then I came to the US when I was a young teenager. I went to school to play baseball on a baseball scholarship. Before that, I lived in New York City for some time before I eventually moved to Maryland. While living in Maryland, I attended Essex Community College and played two years of baseball. I eventually got signed to play Minor League Baseball with the Baltimore Orioles, where I played a couple of years. I got an injury that permanently sidelined my career, so I decided to go back to school.

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isiting the office of Rod Lopez, President/CEO of New Style Independent Pictures and Video Production, Post-Production was like returning to the residence of a lifelong friend ready to share his life story with the world. A devoted husband to Mariely and doting father of two young children, Rod is a family man who spends quality time with his loved ones. Located in Towson, Maryland, Rod’s office is adorned by artwork and awards from his directorial/filmmaking projects. Rod is a friendly yet focused businessman with a passion for the art of filmmaking and loves what he does for a living, although filmmaking is a difficult business. In spite of the difficulty of maintaining a successful filmmaking business, Rod takes a motivated view of filmmaking that allows self-expression knowing that “with any art, it is consistently evolving so your job is never done.” 24

What University did you attend? I went to Towson State University. I really didn't know what I was going to do at that time, but I decided I'd just take a bunch of intro classes and different things, you know, I thought maybe I'd become a lawyer or a forensic scientist or a psychologist. I really didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. I took the class Introduction to Film. I remember that beginning where on the first day in that class, I decided filmmaking was going to be my new career. The process of filmmaking instantly captivated me. I remember my professor Tom Brandau showing some behind-the-scenes of a film he made; “Cold Harbor,” I was hooked. Then I went to the New York Film Academy. I majored in filmmaking and concentrated on directing and cinematography. I've been working in the film industry and television ever since. Where are some of the places you show your commercials? Videos, movies, and obviously, a lot of my commercials are shown on television. Recently, I was at a hotel and walked into the bar and as I walked in, one of the commercials I had filmed was playing on the television. It’s very satisfying to see my work on television in public or when I'm home with my family. Several of my films have played at film festivals. On course, most of my work is featured online. I've had a couple of films that I pray will play at movie theaters. My first film, a feature film called “Pizza Palace”, played in Baltimore, Florida, and Atlanta. I’ve had an Ipad film. For the most part, my films play at festivals. I've been lucky to have a number of


award winners that were well received. I have many online videos. What is the greatest challenge you face in today's filmmaking industry? The biggest challenge, I guess, depends on when you say filmmaking, if we're talking about making films, the biggest challenge is rising funds, or getting the money. Other challenging aspects of filmmaking when making music videos and corporate videos is how to stay creative and how to stay ahead of the game when it comes to technology. Obviously, we live in a very technological world, and filmmaking is no different. There are different software types and different cameras coming out every six months. I focus to stay ahead of those technological innovations and stay on top of what’s big nowadays. How is the filmmaking scene in Maryland? Filmmaking in Maryland is good. There are a lot of people working on a lot of different projects. We do, however, get some Hollywood projects here, but it's mostly locals making independent films. One of the biggest things that challenges us is there should be more people doing stuff together. There are groups of people do things together to the exclusion of others. I think maybe expanding and maybe doing more stuff together would be good. How has the filmmaking business changed? Nowadays filmmaking is all digital. Ten years ago there were no digital films or digital cameras. Actual film, as we know it from the original days of filming, is old now. Digital is currently used to shoot, edit, and distribute movies/videos. When I first got started, I had to literally cut the film with my hands with an actual machine that would cut it. Nowadays DVDs and stuff like that are now digital. From time to time people ask me for a DVD, and I have to show them how to retrieve a digitized version of their movie/video. Some people are not aware that most computers nowadays have neither a DVD drive nor a CD drive. What advice can you give to other upcoming filmmakers? The main advice I always give people is don't go into the filmmaking business, or any business, just for the money. If you want to be a storyteller and you want to tell stories, do it

for that. Definitely don't do it because you want to make a lot of money. It’s very unlikely you will make a lot of money. For the most part you have to be a great storyteller and you have to like filmmaking and editing. My second piece of advice is that you have to make films you know. Whatever it is, films, music, and videos, whatever, you have to continue to work in film, keep doing stuff even if it's a little film with your friends so you have to continue shooting. Shoot things you know and things you don’t know, that's how you’re going to develop. I think that has worked for me, though that’s been hard. The more work you complete, the more you learn about filming, which allows you to learn from your mistakes. Eventually, you’ll learn what works and what doesn't work. What inspires you to write your next movie script? You know, inspiration really comes from all sorts of places. Inspiration will sometimes come from what I read, television or a book. It could be just something that happened to somebody that I know like family, friends, or standing in line at the grocery store. I might hear something in a song. There isn’t just one place inspiration can come from. Inspiration can come from anywhere. Recently I had an idea come into my head out of the blue. I will pursue an idea that keeps coming back. Good ideas keep coming back, and I don't have to write them down because I know it’s okay to pursue that idea. What projects have given you the greatest sense of accomplishment? My first film ended up going national. I've filmed a PSA (Public Service Announcement) on bullying. I have filmed many music videos, and each has given me a great sense of satisfaction. I’m pretty satisfied with all of my projects, and I see them from start to finish. I don't just shoot a film or produce it without passion; I'm very handson from conception to final edit. That gives me a great deal of satisfaction. Of course, the award winners bring me a lot of satisfaction. Where can we reach you? Rod Lopez, New Style Independent Pictures Film and Video Production, Post-Production, 17 W. Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 503, Towson, MD 21204, (410) 662-3521 Mail, Newstyleip@gmail.com, http://newstyleip.com/ URBAN SENTINEL MAGAZINE | JUNE 2020

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A HAPPY FRANKY FORLIANO FATHER’S DAY by corretta l. doctor for the urban sentinel HARRY AND RUTH ALEMAN SUBMITTED BY: FRANKY FORLIANO

Franky Forliano is a daughter with a message. If you did not know her you would be able to pick her out in a crowded room as her pride speaks volumes. She is a woman with a super-sized personality and her bold confidence whispers loudly across rooms. Franky has an endearing spirit that fills the air long after she exits. You will see loyalty in all that she does and says. Trust is a word that people throw around loosely, but trust matters to Franky. Growing up in the 1970’s era in an Italian family riddled with notoriety, trust was a word that sounded bells and alarms within the Aleman home. You know a great deal of her story if you know her father, but her message differs greatly from the story that the world knows. Franky Forliano is the daughter of the notorious Harry “The Hook” Aleman and the beautiful Ruth Aleman. As the world gets ready to celebrate Father’s Day this month, Franky reminds us what this widely celebrated day means to her. She publicly honors her father every day through her ongoing mission to tell the world about the side of her father that many did not see. On Franky’s 26

accounts, H a r r y Aleman and F r a n k y ’s mother Ruth provided her with love, and they were good parents. They ate dinner together and held table-top dis c ussions every night. The evening mealtime in the Aleman home was the vintage look into what traditional family values looked like back then. The dining room table was a place of refuge, a safe place to talk, and the designated meeting place where the family grouped together to share laughter and small talk. The conversations were open, candid but never did the family talk with strangers around their table, that was a no-go under all circumstances. The Aleman’s knew what family bond meant and they demonstrated love in the home, even with strict rules, love was at the forefront of every decision made in the home. That is a hard story to sell to anyone that knows the criminal life of Franky’s father. None of that matters, Franky knows her heart’s truth and will never stop sharing her story of “a daughter’s love”. Problems can face us in various ways. Franky does not deny that she is a fighter and by many emotional threads, she witnessed a lot of trauma in her lifetime. She was raised by parents that demanded her to be strong. Something small can turn into something big very quickly. The spin on a family’s life is often judged by its leader, especially when the leader of Franky’s family was constantly setup

for public opinion. The life of Harry Aleman during Franky’s childhood, specifically in the media and the gossip chain, snowballed faster than torrential downpours of water falling from the sky. Franky was faced head-on by every obscure angle you could think of from her peers, childhood friends, and people that shared similar family legacy stories. Franky was a member of the supporting cast on “Mob Wives of Chicago” which aired on VH1 in 2012. Franky’s eyes often fill with tears when hearing stories about her father. She does not cry long; she uses her pain to fuel her passion to be intentional on leaving her children and grandchildren with a softer story about their ancestors. A story of love, compassion and parental gratitude that must be told to memorialize the true sentiments of her own childhood. Franky will go at any length to stifle the verbal blows against her Father’s legacy, particularly when it is about her father’s leadership in their home. Franky wants to continue sharing HER story of love, positive messages and her truth. No matter what the world witnessed, she cannot take away the fact that her Father had a heart. Franky has a happy place; it is an extension of the love she received as a child. She is the sweet apple of the eyes of her grandchildren and children. She credits her friendship that spans greater than 45 years with her closest friends and her dear Aunts that give her positive energy. In May 2016 Franky released a book titled “They Can’t Hurt Him Anymore”, which gives a perceptive look at her father. The book has a five-star rating on Amazon and the verified customer reviews immediately support Franky’s efforts to paint the world with a prettier vision of her father’s undying love for his family. Franky intends to release a new book in 2021. To request Franky as a Guest on Virtual or Live Conferences contact Ambassador Talent at (312) 641-3491. Follow Franky on Twitter @FrankyBSLs.


by Marcia Brandon for the urban sentinel The Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods (COESL) and Approved Preferred Partners (APP)and the communities they serve, practice the complementary capitalism model (Csquare(2) model) laid out in the pictoral. The model is based on developing people. CoESL and partners work with 7 distinct categories of people. These are: • Young male and female MSME entrepreneurs • Mature male and female MSME entrepreneurs • Social entrepreneurs i.e. charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organizations • Private sector Corporate social Responsibility (CSR) programmes and Governments’ social and economic development programmes • Business Development Organizations, including SBAs and other NGOs, Government and Private Sector driven entities • In-school and out of school youth • International development organizations social and economic development programmes

The model works within a framework of a community of people who have committed to work together for the common good of making their societies a better place based on the quadriple bottomline philosophy. The shared benefits of working together can be based on traditional systems inclduing batering or any other payment system in addition to the man-made capitalism system. The collaborative approach is one where each member of the community is secured in the knowledge that each one hires him/herself. The philosophy is one of working together to strengthen each other’s weaknesses and enhance each other’s strength, bolstering their collective opportunities and threats, and making money together, rather than none on their own. The competition philosophy is replaced by one of complementing. The community is built on shared values which include reciprocity, responsibility, rights, respect, honesty, self-management, leadership, fairness, justice and partnerships. CoESL practices its C2 model within the framework of its 4Ps concept. These Ps are:

• Developing PEOPLE so that they can create their own sustainable livelihoods • Maintaining PEACE • Preserving the PLANET • Building strong, durable, credible PARTNERSHIPS At CoESL we strategize (TOGETHER) to help create a better world one where everyone aims for long-term prosperity, through equitable distribution of economic benefits and effective management of ecological resources; one that is economically viable and resilient to both external and internal shocks; self- directed and not driven by external agendas or funding opportunities and self- reliant based predominantly on domestic production and investment, one that is Pro-poor and which generates decent jobs and working conditions that offer opportunities for self -advancement for regional people. (CANARI, brief – Green Economy). Anyone interested in utilizing this tool can reach out to us at mbrandon@ coeslye.org.

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ELIMINATING GENERATIONAL TOXICITY A toxic relationship is a relationship between people that includes at least one person that evokes physical, emotional or other types of abuse to the other. When you add generations of toxic people to an equation you get years and legacies filled with layers of pain, problems, and pitiful stereotypes. The world is standing still because of the quarantine orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Families are forced to be together; communication is extending beyond the door thresholds and we are lonely people, yearning for familial bonds. Now is when we realize what it means by the adage, “blood is thicker than water”. We see more of what we belong to. Some reunions are met with excitement, balloons, smiles, and tears of both joy and pain. Yes, pain. Samantha Jackson is on a mission to teach men and women how to eliminate those ‘hand-me-down’ fables and habits that lead to issues that plague decades of people with pain. She chooses love and peace as her roadmap to helping people grow together and remove generational nonsense. She coaches people with the intention of fully healing their hearts and minds. The beliefs of our elders have new meaning in these modern times because with each new day we grow in our understanding. We take in account that years ago it was easy to fall victim of society. Today we have rights that effect our circumstance. We have a vivid shot at believing in the changing of the times. Change brings about new ways of doing and seeing and believing and dreaming. Our parents teach us what their parents taught them, and so on and so on. Good character comes from remaining true to our beliefs like integrity, behavior, and good traits that are followed up with actions that reflect our character. Not every lesson from the past can carry through to today. Hostility, unjust privilege, negative attitude, and poor character should be abolished and never displayed. Lessons of pain and habits of displaying those bad characteristics are passed down through generations without uttering a word. The actions shown are emulated, and this is where the bad can overshadow the good. Racism and abuse are two common words that rest in the forefront of our minds when we talk about generational toxicity. Culture and environment play a role in how we shift the paradigm and stop leading our generations toward our past credence. If your great, great grandmother stayed with her abusive spouse it could have been because her resources 28

PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT: ED “SNAPSHOT” BROWN

by corretta l. doctor for the urban sentinel

were limited, her choices were few and her mind was tainted with the understanding that women just didn’t leave their homes, regardless of the pain that lived within the their home. Today, we remove those barriers to healthy relationships by the freedom to be protected under laws against abuse, having access to resources and counseling, and by teaching those that come behind us to remove old ways of living behind and live a life going forward filled with healthy choices. There is always a choice. Samantha writes about real life issues where families heal from generational curses in her book, ‘Toxic Side Effects’, and follows through on this topic in her latest release, ‘Raw & Real: How to Live Your Best Life’. Samantha is an astounding breath of strength and encouragement when she graces


stages, airwaves, and in her coaching sessions. She leaves listeners with the reflection of what it looks like to really break away from things that just aren’t good for them. She drops the mic on all things negative, she leaves you wanting more of her positive experiences and education on surviving the pitfalls of generational downfalls. Samantha credits her mother and grandmother for their positive infusion into her life, and for teaching her how to live her best life. Samantha witnessed unapologetic love and wisdom from the two leading ladies in her life. Her grandmother always told her to love people even when they do not love you back. Samantha’s mother afforded her the opportunity to see many of life’s pleasures and fortunes by traveling with her, teaching her business at an early age, encouraging her to write and to get a solid education. Samantha’s mother never forgot how her own mother loved life and this helped her keep Samantha on track with good qualities as a growing young lady and a more than favorable outcome as a successful business woman with a solid profession and an impressive literary career. Samantha was reminded by these two women to always go after what you want in life and never feel bad about it. Samantha is evidence that her generations impressed upon her in a positive manner. Not everyone is as fortunate, but do not let that deter your plans of living your best life. Samantha lives in a peaceful world. She self-evaluates often and stays focused on her processes to continue being great at her craft. Samantha suggests that during this quarantine period, take the time to work on your generational issues. Work through the communication gap, bridge the missing connections, and learn how to connect with people that you love and miss. Give up on accusing and blaming and focus on healing and coming together. Samantha recommends hiring a Life Coach that can work with individuals and/or groups to help promote healthy family relationships. Samantha leans on her favorite Bible verse, Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”. Samantha now understands the “why” behind the “what” as she reflects on her failed past relationships and life challenges through loss, grief and sickness. She is an overcomer. She can teach you how to bring back your happy days, your peaceful restoration, and discover your road ahead. Samantha is accepting new clients under her coaching business. Samantha Jackson is a Life Coach, Author and Successful Business Professional with a solid Career. She has this thing called life under control and wants you to succeed! Contact Samantha Jackson at authorsamanthaj@gmail.com.

ATLANTA TEEN

BROOKLYN TAYLOR

ON THE ART OF MUSIC AND ANIMATION

by corretta l. doctor for the urban sentinel Children are our future. I think back to the beginning of my own educational course over the years. I take into consideration all my experiences, and I recall the gestures of kindness and encouragement from a plethora of adults throughout my young life. My childhood was filled with advice, ideas, experience, and stories of why life was the way it was. As an adult, I am proof that the grown-ups knew what they were talking about. Armed with their support and my willingness to never stop working hard toward my goal, I have arrived. I am living my dream. A child without a dream is an adult without a journey. A child with a dream is going to be an adult fulfilled, especially if they have support along the way. Meet Brooklyn Taylor, a very articulate and talented young teen that has discovered her creative potential. Brooklyn loves art, in the form of both music and animation drawing. With every breath that she blows into her clarinet she demonstrates her passion for music. If you can imagine a room filled with freestyle art and creative illustrations, you will envision Brooklyn’s love for drawing. Brooklyn’s dreams include being a professional performing clarinetist and a highly sought-after animator. Both are within reach and her family is supportive in helping her reach both goals to fulfill her dreams. Brooklyn is 14 years old, a student in the Atlanta suburbs and is working towards her future with clarity. She started playing the Clarinet in her music class and played in her school band for three years. Brooklyn says she enjoyed practicing the flute and the trumpet in the beginning of her music lessons, however she gravitated to the clarinet once she became more familiar with it. Brooklyn says, “I saw the ease and lack of complexity, so I started to like it more”. The high notes give her some challenge because of the intricate flexibility required with the hand coordination, but she doesn’t let fear overcome her abilities and she plans to continue playing her clarinet with the idea that practices make perfect. ”Practice makes a man perfect is a proverb which indicates that practice brings perfection in any work we are doing whether sports or academics. Regular practice leads us towards success by correcting all the mistakes and errors. Each and every target, whether it is sports or education, needs different way of training in order to build strength as well as remove errors to get perfection”. This is a good way to think about any goal you set out to achieve. In seventh grade, Brooklyn received an award for “Most Improved” as a Clarinet Student. Nakeitha Taylor, Brooklyn’s mom, says that when Brooklyn started middle school, she did not want to join the band. “I told her to try it out and see if she likes it (continued on next page)

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and if not, she can drop the class and take something else”, her mom tells Urban Sentinel. Nakeitha continues, “I never force my kids to do something they don’t want to do. I want them to try it and go from there”. This is important when helping our children make decisions that can impact their future. Children, especially at the middle school level, are searching and assigning their desires with their needs. They are preparing for their final stretch of school and need to be free to think about what really appeals to their personality and character. Brooklyn is focused and loving her journey with the clarinet these days while also making her Mom, Grandparents, and her entire family immensely proud.

of her daughter’s artwork throughout their home. Nakeitha tells us, “Brooklyn favors cartoon animation and is inspired by Jaiden Animation and Rebecca Sugar”, and supports her daughter whole heartedly in her aspirations. Jaiden was originally known for animating for YouTuber ‘iHasCupquake’, but has gained subscribers on her own due to her comical animated videos, such as stories about school, why she doesn't like high heels, and other awkward stories. Brooklyn is in her fifth year of practicing her efforts as an animator and with her dreams in hand, she is armed with support from her family and school system to exceed all of her goals in the field of art animation, and music alike.

Every child would likely give an affirmative YES! to go on a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Not only did Brooklyn go to Disney earlier this year, she performed her clarinet there along with her band. When I asked Brooklyn to tell me about her most exciting moment as a Clarinet player, she said, “The trip to Disney would have to be the most exciting for me. This was a trip that the middle school band takes every year with the high school band and it was good to perform in front of a different audience, meaning we performed for an audience that did not consist of teachers, family, and friends that hear us play all the time. It felt good to have a crowd that has not heard me play and to see them enjoying it was a good feeling”.

Brooklyn, like many students are being educated remotely, at home, and away from her friends and school family. She continues to practice and learn new things in music and art. She is a bright student with good grades and understands the importance of maintaining a good scholastic record. She is a kind spirit with a contagious and friendly personality. Her smile is as big as this world and she leaves an impression upon everyone she encounters. Kudos to Mom for being a superstar role model and allowing Brooklyn to experience life without blinders. Giving students a say in their education, which includes extracurricular activities, leverages their willingness to continue and do their absolute best.

Brooklyn has another interest; she loves drawing animated art. She draws as a form of relaxation and expression. Animation is a career that is in demand and she has thought of new, original designs through her creative spirit. According to an article on Game Designing, there are many job options to choose from in the animation industry. Game Designing is a website established for the purpose of helping aspiring game designers of all levels to find the best (and quickest) path to becoming a professional video game designer. “The video game industry needs animators to help render concepts both inside and outside of their games”. Brooklyn belongs to an art club in her school where she learns about art and perfecting her drawing skills. Her inspiration comes, partly, from watching memes on social media and throughout the internet. Brooklyn also ties characteristics into her drawings. She could be watching a television show and determine that one of the characters needs a different persona, so she goes to her work area and brainstorms while drawing. She quickly realized that she was interested in producing her own design concepts and started using Autodesk to capture her digital creativity. Nakeitha proudly displays some

Our world is changing. The world is filled with doubt, uncertainty and often we hear these conditions coined as ‘a new normal’. This is nothing familiar to any of us and while many struggle to accept the social distance and shelter in place requirements that we are forced to adhere to, home has become our safe zone. The COVID-19 quarantine has taught everyone something new. We each have a place in this world and we must make our mark with our skills, experiences and education. Most of all, we must leave our creative footprint and use our craft to be seen and heard across the digital streaming platforms that are now our windows to the world. This is a time to promote your child’s dreams. Show them every bit of normalcy that you can muster up while providing them a free and safe space to expand their beliefs and imagination. Brooklyn, continue to take flight in your vibrant and bold creative space. Let us allow our children to grow with the change and be expressive, free, and content with their choices. Brooklyn states her short-term objectives clearly. There is no doubt that we will see her name again, doing what she loves most and being recognized for it.

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Penning the Dream...

ONE WORD AT A TIME

by corretta l. doctor for the urban sentinel

to be released. She is an International Speaker, a Playwright, the Founder and Editor in Chief of I Pen Magazine, and as a retired sergeant of Law Enforcement in N.J., Nanette delivers highly soughtafter messages of hope, perseverance, and career longevity. While gracing the many stages of her speaking career, she delivers a ‘wow’ factor. The message is different depending on the audience, but it always serves as a reflection of self. Nanette teaches an important message of acceptance. “If you accept who you are today, then you are better prepared for your tomorrow and your past can not hold you back.”

Nanette M. Buchanan has been married to the lead of her support system, James Buchanan for twenty-five years. She wears the title with the utmost pride and respect as she tells most he has been her inspiration. As the mother of two amazing adult children, a son, and a daughter, her blessings include five of the most beautiful grandchildren you have ever seen! With a loving family, it is no doubt what fuels Nanette’s passion for building a glowing legacy filled with the light of love, lessons, and leadership. Nanette aligns her spirit with moving forward, moving up and higher as she continues to her next level. If she were a crayon her color would be green because it symbolizes growth. She explains, “The greener the grass, the better it grows. There is a never-ending feeling of peace when looking across a rolling green pasture in the calm of the day.” Reflect on that. It is peaceful. Nanette is growing her family legacy with a strong presence in the literary world. She is the author of eleven published books. Her writings include children stories and poetry yet

Nanette instills a strong desire of hope in her mentees as she talks to them about letting go of barriers that stunt their intellectual growth. Barriers such as fear, doubt and criticism can shorten the path to success. She encourages everyone, including the people she mentors, to replace negative emotions with confidence and perseverance. “When writing is your freedom, work to perfect your work. Focus on delivering quality work which should be easily understood. Your writing will never fail when you keep your audience in mind. Write boldly, present your information, and support your theory. Cite your work and be fair with any criticism. Write from within, let your passion fill your pen and go for it! Write and write and write more. Great journalists and readers recognize the importance of effective creative flow.” Nanette is a primal leader in her community. She has a shortterm goal of getting involved with community based literary awareness programs for children and adults. Seeking to add adaptations of her novels, or create stage performances, she hopes to reach all levels of entertainment. Creating what she calls, “Reality Fiction” she has put a fantastic platform together. She has a Podcast, Blog, and is focusing on her upcoming global tour. She’s seeking to speak her story and help others follow their dreams to pen their stories. As a writing coach, Nanette can help you publish your book. Consider this to be your green light. It is time to go get started. Contact Nanette @ www.nanettembuchanan.com URBAN SENTINEL MAGAZINE | JUNE 2020

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WILLASSAE’S AGENCY FOR VISION AND EMPOWERMENT T H E

L E G A C Y

L I V E S

O N

by corretta l. doctor for the urban sentinel two other businesses, were founded by Charlise.

When all you know to do is pray, praying is what you do. It will get you through. Pennsylvania native, Charlise Smith, knows what life looks like through the eyes of a three-year-old child that witnessed her Mother being murdered right in front of her, within inches of what could have easily been Charlise’s own death place. Her life was spared. Today, Urban Sentinel magazine looks at how 32

this frail, innocent girl pressed ahead, and although she made it, she endured many more of life’s hurdles along her way. Not allowing fear to paralyze her future, Charlise jumped right into doing the work of establishing a legacy that is reminiscent of the love and compassion that her Mother, Willissae, was known for. Thus, the organization WAVE, an acronym for Willissae’s Agency for Vision and Empowerment, along with

WAVE is both, a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and a Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) certified Non-Profit organization. Charlise works intently to help low income families. WAVE provides housing counseling services to individuals that rent, or may be at risk, in lower income communities. So many members of low-income communities think they do not fully qualify or meet requirements to purchase a home. WAVE changes their mindset by providing tools, resources, and relationship with the client to not only teach them but empower them to be able to fulfill the dream of home ownership. They also provide education and counseling to homeowners that need to level up into investments. It is not fair practice to help a family out of an unfavorable situation, and not provide them with the resources and training to maintain their new socioeconomic standing. Therefore, WAVE also provides its clients with credit restoration, education on financial empowerment and provides HUD state approved certificates that qualifies them to receive up to $50,000 for them to use towards down payments through community financial assistance in second soft mortgages. Charlise and her staff provide classes about life skills modules and they teach clients how to maximize assets within their home, such as informing them how to utilize their residential square footage for a home based business and adhere to the proper tax laws, taking advantage of the benefits associated with the allowable tax credits. WAVE received its first grants in 2018, totaling $25,000 for a two-year period that allowed WAVE to train clients and WAVE had over $1.9 million in real estate


sales from the clients who participated in the homeownership program. In 2019, WAVE had an additional $500,000 in sales from the participants. This means the efforts of the organization to remove lower income individuals from their current situations and move into home ownership was working. Success is evident; WAVE was granted a six-figure budget for 2020. Charlise is the Owner of ‘C Wisdom Management’, a Property Management Firm that is approved to manage PHFA and HUD properties. They service HUD multifamily properties and manage non-government residential property. Charlise provides a safe, thriving environment for men coming out of incarceration to work through her cleaning company and management company. Charlise paused with an emotional sigh as I congratulated her for the organizational success of WAVE. Although Charlise is successful and is filled with her Mother’s undying spirit of loyalty, good service, and fair favor, we strive to help you see why Charlise knows she is appointed by a higher calling in this race to do the work she does. She is on a crusade to win against a community of people with a povertystricken mindset. She wants them to see everything that is in store for them to shift their thinking. We asked Charlise if she could talk to her Mother now, what would she say to Willissae? She spoke with a calm, level tone, and an evident lump in her throat as she told us these words, “Mother, if only you could see me now. Mom, I told you I would not let your name die, you protected me from that man that tried to hurt me in a most devastating way.” Many stories of rape and molestation unfold where young girls fight to get their parents to believe their cries for help. Mothers have been known to turn against their daughters in disbelief, and so many victims are belittled for coming forward against their accusers. Within 36 hours of discovering that her three-year-old child had been sexually traumatized by her husband, 25-year-old Willissae made a plan to save her only child

from further abuse. With some phone calls, a few adjustments to her business matters, Willissae and toddler Charlise were planning to head away from their Florida home, forever, to never return to the home nor husband that had hurt her baby in such a damning way. The moment of her departure became the moment of her death. The accused, Willissae’s husband, killed her and left poor Charlise there to watch her Mother slip into her eternal life, never to be seen alive again. As if that is not enough pain to carry, Charlise was soon to face the unthinkable tragedy, again. What we have learned is that Charlise works hard, and she serves from a place of pure desire to see lives improved. Somehow, pain found her even while she worked and walked in faith. She relies on her faith in everything she does. She does not take credit for her sustainment; she gives God full credit. “Coming from each stage is a fight. Sometimes you fall. My fall may not be your fall, I don’t pass judgment.” On October 23, 2012 Charlise, then a Regional Property Manager, returned to work after being off to celebrate her new marriage. She was brutally attacked in her workplace and stabbed five times by a resident that was being evicted for non-payment of rent. The resident had severe mental health issues and non-payment of rent was the least of her worries. A transfer of worry took place as Charlise fought for her life. This is not what life was supposed to look like for a peaceful, hard working woman that loved her job and took pride in everything she done in the way of supporting those in communities of need. Just months before the stabbing, Charlise’s life took a prideful journey toward the pulpit in early 2011. Throughout her life, living lonely without a mother, not knowing her father, and having no siblings, Charlise never questioned God’s plan. There was no extension to her family tree, she was it. She did cry, she did stumble, but more than anything, she prayed about every decision she made. She lived right and overcame struggles some of us only

read about. She always knew that there was something, a need to live and not die. Charlise went on to be licensed as a Minister in 2014 and in 2016 became an Ordained Elder. Charlise sings to the heavens, “There is a higher calling on your protection when you have faced death and trauma, yet were saved from each one”. Lilac fields that stretch for miles to meet up against snowcapped mountains paint the backdrop for a peaceful retreat for Charlise. Imagine cool breezes against your face as you take in the lavender aroma and your eyes see lilac for miles. Every mind needs a visual escape that brings about instant calmness. In the summer, you can find Charlise lounging quietly on her ground level deck that sits parallel to a peaceful waterfall that is adorned by sun flowers. Charlise closes her eyes and sees the lilac fields in her mind. The Water sounds so peaceful. She reflects on her work and the overwhelming joy that it brings to her knowing that she is preserving a legacy for her own children. She has given her life a purpose that could never be taken away because with every good deed her work affords her, she is adding more to the story of her generational inspired Blessings that will one day be handed to her children. Charlise Smith is without a doubt a phenomenal businesswoman and leaves no stones unturned in her quest to take her businesses to the next level. Her tragic beginning did not dictate a tragic ending. Charlise stands firm in her Mother’s legacy building and commits to continuing WAVE and all of her work to improve lives. In doing so she is focused on her endeavors to maximize her experience as a woman of God, a mentor, and a Transformation Business and Life Skills coach. Charlise is married; Charles is her husband and best friend. They live in Pennsylvania and both have adult children. Charlise Smith is available to counsel and strategize by appointment. Visit www.CharliseSmith.com and Email Charlise@CharliseSmith.com to become a part of Charlise’s community of greatness!

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CHASE KERNICK L O V E S

M U S I C !

by corretta l. doctor for the urban sentinel a message that comes from the song. Music truly does communicate on behalf of so many people. In December of 2019 I was experiencing an emotional loss. I didn’t tell many people because I didn’t know how. It was the Christmas season and a joyous time for my friends and family. I tucked away my issues and decided to smile through it all, letting it play out quietly in my mind, like a song. A good friend that is a well-known Psychotherapist in the Pittsburgh area invited me to a holiday party in her home. That is when I rediscovered music as therapy. A Saxophonist performed for the 50+ guests that were in attendance, and unknowingly to him or anyone in the room, he played directly to my soul. 10-Year-old Chase Kernick played his saxophone and reminded me that music is therapeutic and calming. He reminded me that perfection is not required, and that life pauses for a great sound. The partygoers gathered in front of the massive Holiday tree in one of the most beautiful decorated homes I have ever been in. Decorated with festive florals and gifts under the tree, the priceless décor’ came in the form of bright smiles, hugs, laughter, delicious food, warm conversations, and an ambience that welcomed everyone.

M

usic communicates for us. When we cannot find words, or when we find ourselves lost in an emotion, happy or sad, we lean into the sounds of music. A song can make you dance when no one is watching. It can remind you of better days. It can send a melodic message when you do not know how to verbalize your feelings. Wedding songs, funeral songs, and birthday songs are chosen for their meanings. Some like the music, some like the lyrics, a combination of both presents 34

While Chase positioned himself in front of the room and conducted a sound check, the crowd moved into the large open room that had high ceilings and multilevel flooring. With Chase center place, he transitioned the room into a grand performance space. This small boy and his saxophone were the biggest attractions of the room. The family room of this home would become Chase’s concert hall for the evening. Some us of were sitting, many others were standing, but we were all attentive. I sat, poised, and prepared to hear Chase. He commanded his space and looked the part of a seasoned performer. He was ready, and then he paused. He told the audience he needed a moment, and he took it. He started and stopped again, and once more he said, “just a moment” as he needed to regroup. I thought, how good is this? At an early age, this young performer understood the importance of appropriate timing and good delivery. He took a moment to ensure his music was delivered with precise perfection, you could tell he was good at what he was about to do. I


was already impressed with his stage presence long before the music started. There was a big lesson being taught that I so often forget. Nothing matters when you own your space and know your craft. Chase was unbothered by his initial delays. Then it happened, Chase Kernick delivered a quality performance that was well worth the wait and made everyone in the room respect the artist he displayed himself to be. Everyone applauded Chase upon completion of his excellent performance. I had to thank him personally. I applauded his Mom too. She and I networked and promised to remain in touch. We did. Melissa gleamed with pride, rightfully so. Chase was so articulate and graceful. I knew we would meet again. If not in person, through his music, we would connect. This 10-yearold had reminded me to sing out loud, on my own terms, and to appreciate all the moments that I owned. For this writing, I interviewed Chase and his mother Melissa Johnson. I learned that in addition to playing the saxophone, his first taste of instruments was the drums. Chase has been playing the drums since he was seven years old. Chase started taking drum lessons at the School of Rock. Melissa told us “School of Rock is a phenomenal place because they allow you to try multiple instruments so you can pick the best fit for you.” Chase is energetic and spends time playing his favorite video games, Minecraft and Pixark, however his mother saw that his interest in drums was truly where his creativity bloomed. Chase frequently listens to ‘Queen’, a British rock band formed in 1970 in London. Chase told me that he has two all time favorite musicians; “I’d have to say Queen and Michael Jackson are absolutely my favorite” Chase said. No wonder young Chase loves the sound of Queen as much as he loves playing his drums; Queen’s drummer, Roger MeddowsTaylor was recognized early in his own career for his unique sound. When Chase was asked about his music class, he said “My teacher Dr. Tabler has the best humor and overall, that is the best part of class. I like when he gives us new sheet music because we come into the room listening to the sound of what we are getting ready to learn”. "I recognized early in the school year that Chase has outstanding musical potential: he was always singing, and he would come to lessons having learned songs that I had never taught him before. He has a great ear and takes pride in figuring out music that he hears online, on the radio, on TV. Quickly I knew I needed to advance him to the 5th grade band, as his skills were a year ahead of most other beginners. Can you imagine where he'll be in a few years?" - Roger Tabler, Music Teacher Melissa reached out to a friend, Matt

Vaughn, who is a drummer and owns a recording studio. Melissa shares how Chase became a student of musician Matt Muckle, “I knew that my friend had many contacts in the music industry in Pittsburgh. He referred us to a phenomenal drummer named Matt Muckle. Chase used to go to the recording studio to get his lessons from Matt which was an incredible experience Chase had. This music studio had every instrument imaginable from vintage to current day. Chase now goes to Matt Muckle’s house weekly for his drum lessons”. Chase had a case of nervousness before he went on stage at this year’s talent show to perform on the drums. The closer the date for the talent show, the more he expressed his nervousness and desire to drop out of the show. The night before Chase was to go on stage, he begged his mother to let him drop out. This was his toughest challenge to overcome and mom knew just what to do. She listened and she encouraged Chase to go forward with what they both knew to be a dream of his. Chase loves to perform. Mom helped Chase to see that fear can disable a dream, but courage fuels it. Chase agreed to go on stage at the talent show. He performed a song by Queen titled, ‘Under Pressure’, (Continued on next page) URBAN SENTINEL MAGAZINE | JUNE 2020

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and he wasthe hit of the show. Not only did the audience love Chase’s performance, he did too! Parents, the best thing you can do is listen, observe, inspire, and encourage your child. You will know the desires of their heart and while you protect their dreams, let them write their own story, and dance to the beat of their own drum; intended pun! Chase dreams of going on a world tour as a musician. When I asked Chase to tell me a few things about his love for music, he spoke candidly. “I would have to say the most memorable time of my music performances is the time when EVERYONE liked my performance. I listen to music to settle me down when I need to relax or calm down a bit. When playing the saxophone, my favorite song to play is Plaza de Toros.” I could really feel Chase’s excitement when he described his experience attending the Imagine Dragons live music concert at Hershey Park, he ranks that as one of his best experiences E-V-E-R! Chase is such a well-spoken, talented, and handsome young boy. I have no doubt that his favorite experiences as a child will be a part of his own musical journey as he grows into adulthood. His parents offer him the opportunity to explore naturally, to choose, learn, and mature with his own character and personality. In addition to music, Chase has been ice skating since he was three years old. He loves to golf with his father, and Chase is an avid skier. While mom sticks to the beginner trails, dad and Chase hit the black diamonds. With the quarantine restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many musicians are giving impromptu performances for neighbors and on social media. Chase has not let the quarantine stifle his routine. He has gone outside of his Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania home and played his saxophone with his fellow band mates. On Mother’s Day each child played from their porches as a tribute to their mothers. He has also taken it upon himself to take his drums outside and play in the driveway where he quickly gets an audience of people yelling and cheering. Chase has built a following, already establishing his memorable footprint as a musician. Music is a gift. The joy of music is a reason to sing and to celebrate with others while following your dreams. That is what I gathered from this interview. Congratulations Chase for your great accomplishments thus far and we wish you the best of success in your music endeavors.

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KEEP T

by corretta l. doctor for the urban sentinel Sandra has never been told “no, you cannot do it” and believed that to be the end of the story. Well, not at least her story. At a bustling 70 years old Sandra decided it is time to memorialize her life in a perfect coordinated effort of words and feelingsa book. She has written her first book, a gripping read that details a part of her life, to be released this summer. A sweet and sometimes very sour life that is told from the beginning when Sandra was born. Assigned a nickname “Lou”, the story begins when she entered this world. In this upcoming new release, we get a deep look into some of her accomplishments while learning about her fears, the hard times, harder times, and times that none of us ever want to face. The book takes us along Sandra’s rocky ride through her amazing, winding, and sometimes barricaded, yellow brick road where she stands firm in her walk of perseverance and steadfast courage to succeed. “Lou”, as her mom affectionately called her, successfully turns her life into what I call a dream come true. Sandra was a 19-yearold widowed Mom of four young children, living in an inner city and struggling emotionally and otherwise. Fast forward to today and I introduce you to Sandra Lee Kearse-Stockton, LTC (Ret), United States Military, serving a total of 30 years in the U.S Army, U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Reserves. In the 1940’s and 1950’s men ruled the home in a much different way than the households are managed today. When domestic violence and marital issues arose back in the days, the police stayed clear of those domestic issues, and when they did come on the scene, the man was viewed as the king of his castle and was not removed from the home. Sandra watched her father beat her mother with little to no recourse. She vowed to never fall victim to the things she witnessed as a child. She broke that vow as she fell victim and experienced physical and emotional abuse, far too many times and too many ways. Sandra tells Urban Sentinel that her four children are the reason she made it. At 19, not knowing what she could do and being told that no one would ever marry her with that many children, she knew she had to improve her situation and make a good solid life for those little people that called her mommy. Sandra looked at her children, mustered up every piece of energy (and money) that she could find and made her way to the military. She worked to hold on to everything that belonged to her, she fought her trials with the strength of an ox and the heart of an


THRIVING

l

angel. She knew what she had to do, and she did it. The opposition that women routinely face is far worse when it is compounded with tragedy and trauma. Women have a different fight than men in this world. When something bad happens to Sandra, she learned how to remove the emotional shock by disassociating herself from the trouble. Emotional detachment became her coping mechanism. Sandra says, “our journey is already set, and I am going to be ok with it”. Understanding that God plans our steps, Sandra has learned to pivot on her initial belief that it is better to stay busy and not focus on the issue. She now looks at things differently and faces each challenge for what it is. Distracting your mind from a problem is a temporary fix. Just deal with it, get past it, learn from it, and heal. She refuses to fail anymore and says that “One must have unfaltering determination to succeed”. The deck was stacked against Sandra from the start, but she played her cards right. Sandra is surely a testimony that our childhood experiences do not have to break us; in fact, they can make us stronger. It is about choices and perspective. The choice to see past the pain is not easy. You will always remember the things that interrupt your happiness. Dwelling on those things and continually looking backwards at an unresolved problem is unhealthy. Sandra recommends that you face forward and heal your hurt, shield your thoughts from negativity, and avoid triggers while channeling your positive energy towards living a better life. For a woman once faced with figuring out how to raise her own four toddlers, all while grieving the loss of her young husband, and just at a budding ripe age of 19, Sandra had a big problem. She figured out how to make a good life out of all the things she was juggling. She continued to cry, sometimes she shook her head in disbelief, but wiping her eyes and holding her head up high, she saw her way out of trouble and mended her own fence. She put her plan in motion and she did it. Sandra is now a living work of resilience. She is now happily married to Aaron Stockton and has been Blessed with a beautiful family, to which she dedicates all her loving heart to. Instead of leaving money and riches, she chooses to fill their lives with memories that will teach them the way life should be. They will

have a blueprint of their Mother’s life to reflect on and see that no matter what, they will always have a choice. The choice to thrive is in their hands and they can do anything they want in this life. Sandra Stockton is a woman to watch and learn from. Over 100 foster children have been raised by Sandra and Aaron. She came a long way with her life and knows how to reach others where it counts the most, in their hearts. Sandra L. Kearse-Stockton is an inspirational speaker that has a lot of positive information to share, especially to young women that are facing some of life’s toughest decisions. She understands so much of today’s problems and she has the heart to share her full story, which includes her testimony on how she healed. Let Sandra be your next Keynote Speaker and leave your audience inspired to do anything they want to do, with whatever they must do it with. Sandra reminds everyone that you are already equipped with everything you need; you just have to believe it. Sandra has appeared on television and is now making frequent appearances on a variety of radio and podcast shows. For Booking, Media and PR email Portia@TheAListInc.com . Keep thriving!

URBAN SENTINEL MAGAZINE | JUNE 2020

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T

Cystic Fibrosis Community Shares to Prevent Lung Complic

he cystic fibrosis community is at high risk for serious complications from COVID-19. Through a recent survey of the online patient and caregiver CysticFibrosis.com community (200+ participants) conducted by the non-profit CFTechnology. org, we discovered that CF patients are faring quite well at home. This is in great part because they are the original experts at avoiding germs and maintaining respiratory health. It is worth noting that the CF population live with some of the world’s most threatening bacteria permanently inhabiting their lungs. From a survey responder (a patient from Wisconsin) we learn that “the rest of the world is now being asked to live how we live every day so I'm able to have different and more valuable conversations with people.” The survey revealed insight from this community with extensive experience with respiratory illness that could help all of us survive this pandemic. By following these protocols, here are some proactive ways you may be able to prevent serious complications from the virus.

1

SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19

Any of the following: loss of smell, dry cough, intense chills, headaches, fever, diarrhea, shortness of breath, ear pain, intense chest/back body aches.

2

KEEP FEVER UNDER CONTROL

A cold compress (for sweating), blankets (for chills), and lots of liquids (for dehydration) can be helpful in allowing your fever to naturally run its course which evidence shows may help boost your immune system. Follow the guidance of your doctor to keep your fever under control so that you feel better, upright and 38

3

STAY ACTIVE

Pneumonia thrives in inactivity. Get up and walk outside (with distancing and a mask) or exercise at home. Between naps try to move as you did before you felt ill. Do not allow yourself to just lay around all day. Prop yourself up on many pillows and change positions multiple times per hour. This will help avoid secretions from pooling in certain areas of your lungs. Consider laying on your stomach so the greatest areas of your lungs on your back can still expand or even inverted. If possible, get up and get your own food and drink. Your lungs need the movement. Breathing deeply as one does during exercise and engaging your diaphragm allows your lungs to open up and helps keeps your airways clearer.

4

BREATHING EXERCISES

Use this breathing technique to keep airways clear - Take a deep breath in through the nose and hold for 5 seconds then exhale through your mouth. Do this 5 times and on the 6th exhale as far as you can until you cough. Repeat this process 2 times. Sit or lay and for 5-10 minutes every couple of hours and do deep breaths from your diaphragm (belly up and down) to get air into the smallest of airways deep within your lungs. www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlRYWKMUi4Q

5

HUFF COUGHING

Do not take cough suppressants or antihistamines unless directed by a physician. You want to be encouraging your body to cough not suppressing it If you have a dry cough or itchy throat drink tea or use a lozenge. If you have a wet cough, attempt to cough up secretions removing them from your body. Learn to huff cough - it’s more efficient than the typical method of coughing because it keeps your airway open. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VI92MA9gHM


Their Respiratory Health Secrets cations From COVID-19 6

STAY HYDRATED TO DISCOURAGE PNEUMONIA

Aim for half your body weight in ounces each day. This will help keep your airway secretions thinner and more likely to be mobilized. Consider adding electrolyte powder in it with some carbs is fine as you likely aren’t eating as much and this will give you energy. It will also cause you to have to get up to go the bathroom. Movement is good! You want to keep your lung tissue and secretions hydrated in order to discourage pneumonia.

7

MAINTAIN OPEN AIRWAYS

Consider a hot steamy shower to help open your airways or use an inhaler every 4 hours or as prescribed by your doctor. Perform sinus rinses. Get a netipot, sinus rinse bottle or aerosolized saline and clear your sinuses where viruses try to hang out.

8

SUGAR

Eat healthfully but most importantly try to eat even if you have no appetite. Resist the urge to eat sugary treats. Bacteria thrives on sugar and consumption raises your blood sugar level. Lungs circulate blood and it’s better for your blood to not have a large sugar supply for bacteria. Though COVID-19 is caused by a virus secondary bacteria infections can be involved in pneumonia.

9

GLOVES, MASKS AND DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE

When going out in public use this protocol to avoid germs. How to use gloves and mask - and get in the habit of using the inside of your shirt or a tissue if you must touch your face. N95s are best but anything is better than nothing. Consider purchasing a fabric mask from your local town Facebook page. www.youtube.com/watch?v=FV1uLcEf3Ds

10

TELEHEALTH

Contact your doctor when you first notice any symptoms. COVID-19 has brought about much needed changes for Telehealth. Insurance rules have changed and your physician and other health care providers now may get paid for phone and video conferences. Ask for it! Strides are being made with best practices for COVID-19 treatment and your doctor may have additional recommendations for you.

From our survey we found that 88% of our CF community already utilize remote telehealth and video conferencing options. Says Jeanne Barnett founder of the on line CF community in 1996: “The CysticFibrosis.com community is pre-dominantly tech savvy, familiar with telemedicine and are also used to pulling together, supporting one another, sharing advice and medical information; it is second nature to them.” We, as a CF community are doing everything to stay healthy and our mission is to have patients be able to access and follow their data, give permission for its use, and be compensated when it is used for research. We believe this is a 21st century job. Now, with the pandemic of COVID-19, as some are “donating” their plasma in hope of helping find a cure, it is becoming clearer that HUMAN DATA ECONOMICS needs to be researched and resourced. To find out more about our work at CFTechnology.org, please email us at info@cftechnology.org Submitted by Jeanne Barnett, President and Founder of Cysticfibrosis.com and the non-profit: CFTechnology.org Lauren Brenneman with CF, VP, Director of Operations CFTechnology.org to Urban Sentinel Magazine

URBAN SENTINEL MAGAZINE | JUNE 2020

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Don’t Let the “4Ps” Rule You

S P I RI T UA L N O U RI S H M E N T B RO U GH T TO YO U BY THE URBAN SENTINEL AND UPSHIFT GLOBAL

by dr. anita davis-defoe for the urban sentinel

A

s we journey to success, challenges will provide us with a steady dose of life lessons that contribute to our growth. Learning, growing, exploring and working to understand self is a life-long process, and if it is not, it certainly should be. Self-knowledge opens the door to a better awareness of life dreams and personal goals. Without this self-knowledge, it becomes more difficult to achieve our goals or acquire the skills we need to claim the personal successes that we desire. If you find that you are not progressing professionally or personally, as you desire, make sure that you are not being plagued by one of the “4Ps”. What are the “4Ps”? The “4Ps” are beliefs, attitudes, and habits that hinder our personal growth or cause us to sabotage ourselves. One common “P” is prejudice. Generally, when we think of the work prejudice, most often we associate it with racial issues, or our feelings and values about persons, places and things. In far too many instances, our deepest prejudices relate to self. Some of us are our own worse enemies, and we walk around filled with constant feelings of inadequacies. We tell ourselves, “I’m Not Good Enough,” “I’ll Never Achieve My Dreams,” on and on we go, verbally abusing ourselves nonstop. After a while, 40

we start to listen intently to this “inner critic” and we falsely grow to believe the negative self-talk that selfdoubt and self-loathing can create. Sadly, in the end,


far too many of us allow self-prejudices to stop us from moving forward. Practice learning to love and accept yourself; recognizing that you are unique and realizing that you have been blessed with a unique talent that is your responsibility to discover. If that is not bad enough, some of us toss a heap of pessimism into the mix. No matter what the situation, we expect and just seem to know that the worse is going to happen. This constant feeling of doom is so much a part of some people’s being, that when others see you coming, they just know that the conversation is going to be filled with nothing but negativity. If this describes you right now, work to change your attitude to a more positive mindset. Put the Law of Expectancy to work for you, after all we receive what we expect. Being purposeless haunts some people. Purposeless people have few goals, very few concrete plans and can often be heard bragging that they are “just going with the flow.” Going with the flow or having a bit of spontaneity in one’s personality is great, but even with that, you still need some direction in your life. We have all seen it played out too many times. Without a vision for one’s future, achieving very little becomes relatively easy. No Vision…No Dreams….No Goals….No Where

of waiting for tomorrows that never come, that habit of saying “I’ll get to it.” This “P” is that old dream crusher who is also poor time management’s best friend; procrastination. Procrastination is a learned behavior and through diligence you can overcome it. Procrastination often results from being uncertain about what to do, having unclear goals to start with, having a negative attitude, feeling overwhelmed, waiting until the last minute, or planning but never doing because you’re waiting for the right time to come along. To combat procrastination, prioritize the things you need to need, do the things that contribute to accomplishment of your goals, and use your time wisely. Jakes asks the question in his book, Maximize the Moment, “What are you doing with your dash?” It is a simple statement that forces us to accept that our time on earth is not unlimited and the statement reminds us that we have no time to waste. We all have a day of birth; we all will have a day when we are transformed from the physical to the spiritual; and we all have a period of time, the dash, our dash, the precious time we must use to live our lives to the fullest. Don’t let the “4P” rule you, don’t let the “4Ps” steal your joy. Dare to dream my friends, pledge to soar.

Recognizing and embracing one’s divine purpose in life provides a sense of personal satisfaction that is beyond compare. Identifying this purpose comes easy for some, while for others deciding what to do with their lives is more difficult. Regardless, this discovery is one of our most important life journeys, for an individual without purpose is vulnerable to opinions, self-doubt and selfsabotage. Listen to the yearnings deep within your spirit, there you will find your life’s purpose. The fourth “P,” and this one can be a constant challenge for even the most ambitious individual, is that habit URBAN SENTINEL MAGAZINE | JUNE 2020

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