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WINTER/SPRING 2014

YOUMEDIUM WINTER/SPRING 2014 | Volume 1

YOUMEDIUM

chess tournmanent an undefeated win for YOUmedia teen, favour nkwocha video game club constructive criticism for our favorite interactive stories VOLUME 1

music video release party Youth become "stronger" through their music brandon in g.a.c. graphics arts takes off with a brand new club


Table of Contents 3-4 Behind YOUmedium 5-6 favour wins in Library's chess tournament 7-8 a debut: graphics arts club 9-10 Stronger: the music video release party 11-12 video game club 13-14 OP-Ed: Music reviews 15-16 OP-ED: Technology review


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Behind YOUmedium Thank you for reading the very first issue of YOUmedium -- a literary magazine of

YOUmedia Miami. The idea for this magazine came about when I wanted to bring another aspect of journalism to interested teens in the Journalism Club. The following pictures and statements are of the teens who created the entire magazine, page by page. While I played the role of Editor-in-Chief, I am especially proud to say that aside from this introduction, all the content in the magazine was produced by these 6 teenagers who endeavored to create a project of this depth and magnitude. Our plans are to continue to create a seasonal magazine -- so please enjoy Winter/Spring 2014, Volume 1. As the Librarian in YOUmedia Miami, I am privileged to see, teach, and interact with the registered teens day-in and day-out. They inspire me every day. Thank you to all who made this project possible! -Ricci Yuhico, Editor-in-Chief

Terence Brock I am a bright and upcoming graphic designer and as some would say, a jack-of-all-trades.

graphic designer Deborah Dixon I am in the Visual Arts department at New World School of the Arts. I love fashion!

writer/reporter Terence julius I am an extroverted, laid-back type of guy. I am a singer, songwriter, rapper, dancer, poet -- and now journalist.

writer/reporter 3


Marion MOORE Born in Jacksonville. The first time I played video games I was 10 years old and I was inspired to do videos by watching YouTube.

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jessica PESTANO I am a freshman at Miami Carol City Senior High! I am a very creative person and am not afraid to be myself.

WRITER/REPORTER Juwan SPICER I am a very simple person. Born in Jacksonville. Have an afro. I play video games a lot. ... And that’s about it.

GRAPHIC DESIGNER/WRITER David paez I make videos. On the Internet. (David is the YOUmedia Miami film/photography mentor.)

editor santiago acosta I am a designer, filmmaker, artist, biking enthusiast, and visionary. (Santi is the YOUmedia Miami graphics arts mentor.) 4


Chess Master: It is proven that the game of chess can noticeably expand mental function and was designed to improve critical thinking

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OUmedia Miami teen, Favour Nkwocha started playing the game of chess a little over two years ago in the summer of 2010. While browsing his home computer, he scrolled across the game and started playing. He would play about five times a day to improve his "Chess Chops", and had to work hard to get from level to level because it was difficult to get the hang of it. In 2013 Nkwocha discovered that there was a Chess Club at the North Dade Regional Library and was excited to join. There, he got the chance to challenge other chess players. After getting trumped by some of the more experienced members, he wanted to improve. Nkwocha would often challenge other players and consequently got better. For about eight years, the Miami-Dade Public Library System has been teaching children and adults how to play the game of chess. “If you teach [the children], mentally, they will do better in math and other subjects,� says Steve Salmon, one of the Chess Masters/ Coaches here at the North Dade Regional Library.

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Favour Nkwocha (right) receives his trophy for winning First Place amongst Teens in the Chess Tournament from Librarian Patrick Noel (right).


Favour nkwocha

By Deborah Dixon

Library’s Chess Tournament, proving that practice and dedication can lead to success… and a shiny trophy. Now a senior in high school, Nkwocha plans to start a chess club because he believes that it is something that is essential for the developing mind of a teenager. He wants to give his chess set to a 10th grader when he graduates so that after he leaves, the club will continue. ------------------------

Salmon tells us that different libraries around the county would create teams and challenge each other to tournaments. “Favour asked to join the North Dade team, but he was not good enough,” said Salmon, “We had to train him and have him practice until he got better, and he did! He finally won the Chess Tournament.” It is proven that the game of chess can noticeably expand the mental function and was designed to improve critical thinking. So it is needless to say that Nkwocha is a very sharp young man. At the age of 16, Chess Master, Favour Nkwocha finally won the North Dade Regional

---DID YOU KNOW… According to the America's Foundation for Chess, there are 169,518,829,100,544,000,000,000,000,000 ways to play the first 10 moves of a game of chess.

Adults competed in five rounds during North Dade Regional Library’s Chess Tournament

Chess Master Steve Salmon (left) coached children as they competed in the Chess Tournament.

"..We had to train him and have him practice until he got better, And he did!" - Salmon

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A Debut: Graphics Arts M

iami Carol City Senior High’s very own Brandon Forde (17) goes to the North Dade Regional Library to attend an after school program called YOUmedia Miami, a teen technology space. Every Monday, Mentor Santiago Acosta (19) teaches Graphics Arts Club, of which Forde is a member. Acosta teaches the teenagers at YOUmedia to create unique visuals and to learn how to draw on the computer with different types of programs and techniques. “I started Graphics Arts Club because I didn’t have a club in YOUmedia,” admitted Acosta, “So I

felt that I should start my own initiative… Our goal in Graphics Arts Club is to have a professional portfolio so that they could go out into the world and get freelance work, and develop themselves as individual designers.” Forde enjoys the Graphics Arts Club because he gets to design unique images. “So far I’ve produced a Mario [from Nintendo’s Mario and Luigi] from scratch with lines and shapes,” stated Forde. Forde’s friends that participate in the Graphics Arts Club have goals such as: being a game designer, a comic designer, becoming an animator. Forde’s own goal is to become a computer engineer, but he still plans to be able to apply what he knows

“The kids in the G.A.C. are awesome... they have drive, they’re creative. They’re individual, as a designer should be." -Acosta

Santiago Acosta (19) explains to Graphics Arts Club members the resources and organizational chart on Trello, a free online tool for project organization.

(Back to Front) Juwan Spicer (17) and Marion Moore (16) trace paths on Adobe Illustrator to practice their technique with the pen tool.

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Club

BY Jessica Pestano

Brandon Forde (17) shows off some preliminary sketches prior to crafting his logo in the Graphics Arts Club meeting.

“I want to apply graphics arts to computer engineering." -Forde

from Graphics Arts Club to his future career. “I’ve applied what I’ve learned in Graphics Arts Club doing little shortcuts, tools, and his [Acosta’s] teachings and everything,” Ford said, “I want to apply graphics arts to computer engineering.” Aside from learning, Graphics Arts Club is fun. Forde and the rest of the other teens that participate in the Graphics Arts Club enjoy Acosta’s presence. “The kids in the G.A.C. are awesome – they’re such good students, they’re so willing to learn, they have drive, they’re creative. They’re individual, as a designer should be,” stated Acosta. The feelings are mutual between Mentor and teens: “Santi is my mentor, he is a fun guy and he is very friendly with the group of people that helps us out,” stated Forde.

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Stronger: Music Video T

he music video, Stronger, is about overcoming adversity such as, bullying, school issues, or even family problems. Its message is meant to uplift any youth viewer. Because it takes one person to change their mentality and their way of living, if the song motivated just one more person, then the production crew, Young Musicians of Miami, made a difference in their community. Music Record Label Club of YOUmedia Miami found that they could not let violence, racial profiling, or hate be the future of the community. They saw that the city of Miami, particularly Miami Gardens and surrounding communities were being negatively impacted due to violence and drug activity. Together, the teens of Music

Record Label Club, under the guidance of mentor Ariel Pottinger and Library Media Project Coordinator Marlon Moore, rebranded themselves and founded the Young Musicians of Miami. In the Young Musicians of Miami, different talents were brought to the table by the members for their first track, Stronger: Taurus Anderson (18), wrote the rap piece; and Randy White (17) and Deborah Dixon (17) wrote the video script and produced the video using Adobe Premiere Pro. Myiah Kalu (18), Tiffany Grey (15), Terence Julius (19), Daquan Lamey (17), and Imani King (16), sang the vocals. The songwriting was an entire collaborative effort by nearly everyone in the group: Taurus Anderson, Khaleel Bailey (19), Joevon Carey (14), Deborah Dixon, Imani King, Precious Williams (18), and Bonita Williams (20). On the evening of December 17, the music video finally debuted. In the Video Release Party, Young Kenny Placide (left) on the acoustics and vocals with Rafael Martino (right) on vocals perform their original song, “My Life.�

Taurus Anderson (left) plays an original track he produced himself, while Andre Mauldin (right) performs an original rap.

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Release Party

Some of the cast & crew of YMM, (left to right) Khaleel Bailey, Deborah Dixon, Taurus Anderson, Jessica Pestano, Tevin Polycarpe, Katherine Mesa, Randon White

Musicians of Miami spoke about the issues in the community. Jessica Pestano (14), stage manager and singer of the video release party, said it was a lot of hard work planning the event, which involved some delays. “We planned to have musicians, a lot of poets, [and] artists showing off their artwork…We’ve worked very hard to actually plan this video release party, … It was a very long project to film, [and] make…” But the production crew got the project done with perseverance and included all of the planned items. On top of that, there were special guest performances from professional poet, Rebecca “Butterfly” Vaughn who spoke inspirational words about being a positive contribution in society, and library staff member, Michael Brown, who performed a comedy skit with his troupe. Carl Ferrari, professional musician, also played the guitar for attendees. “Stronger” and the video release party received positive reviews from the attendees. In regards to the future of Young Musicians of Miami, Mentor Ariel Pottinger said, “The future of YMM is endless. The sky isn’t the limit, its too low – lets think [of] galaxies!” You can find the music video on YouTube by visiting YOUmedia Miami’s Channel and Facebook.

by Terence Julius

“The future of YMM is endless. The sky isn't the limit, its too low – lets think [of] galaxies!" -Pottinger

Deborah Dixon (left) and Katherine Mesa (right) were Masters of Ceremonies for the Video Release Party

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Press Start: Video

Juwan Spicer, founder and leader of Press Start examines graphic design tools for any gamer who wants to take their skills into game development

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ress Start Video Game Club: a club by a gamer for gamers. Video Game Club is a place where games are appreciated and praised as art, not just flashing lights and time wasters. Teens join this club because video games are their passion and favorite thing to do. Club members like video games because the feeling when they play is unexplainable. “When we run through the Dungeons in The Legend of Zelda, we feel like explorers…When we go through forests with animals and beasts, we feel like we have entered another world. Video games give us so many feelings, and it makes us feel happy playing with our closest friends. It not only brings us together, it also makes us brothers. Video games give us that power, that undying drive that helps us plow through any level at any speed,” says video game club member Joevone Vernet (17). Video Game Club began as a simple suggestion, just a thought, since playing video games within YOUmedia was criticized for not being constructive or productive. It was suggested that teens create a club that talks on nothing but video games, its importance in learning, and why it is

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constructive in the environment of YOUmedia Miami. Their founder, Juwan Spicer (17), plans to go into the field of video game design. He loves video games as an art and cares for the future of this art. “Video games help you think and function properly while giving you the chance to pick up on how it works,” says Spicer. “I’ve been playing video games since I was in 1st grade and video games have help me act faster and complete things using methods that I’ve learned from just playing video games.” Everyone in the group has a past that involves video game playing. “Inner peace is found in playing video games. When you are mad, just pick up a controller and just play,” says video game club member Marion Moore (16). “Video games are not just a thing that you play with, it is something that I love and cherish with all my heart and soul,” says club member Terence Brock (18). Press Start is a place where all video game lovers can talk and appreciate video games as art and as a foundation of something greater.


Game Club

by Juwan Spicer

Left: Teens compete on YOUmedia’s Playstation 3 Console. Right: Harry JeanCharles (18) often plays computer games rather than games on the Xbox360 or PS3.

Left: Jawuan Jenkins (15) reviews game footage to analyze the strategy used by other players. Right: Terence Brock (18) can usually be found playing League of Legends, a popular MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Area).

Left: Marion Moore (16) and Sydney Cesaire-Valrey (16) compete on the Xbox360. Right: Juwan Spicer reviews gameplay and strategy with other Press Start members, Alan Odom (18) and Myles Cowell (18).

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Opinion: Music Review

By Terence Julius Rihanna Unapologetic Release Date: 11/19/2012 Genre: Pop Overall: 5 Stars This album is one of Rihanna’s best albums to date. It shows off her fresh new sound with special guest features from Future , David Guetta, Mikky Eikko, Eminem, and Chris Brown. Once again her vocal growth and musicality stands above the rest. Unapologetic introduces the listener to two contrasting sides of the infamous pop star. Delving into a range of styles from pop, EDM, dub step, hip-hop, soul, reggae and new wave, Unapologetic is definitely a force to be reckoned with. She takes the listener on an emotional journey from rebellious, to naïve, to obvious confidence. The first part

of the album showcases a life of the party side of Rihanna while the other half of the album is an open window to her soul and her love life. This happens to be her first non-overt sexual album since Loud and Talk that Talk. One of the top two songs on the album is “Numb” ft. Eminem, which is a hip-hop track citing Middle Eastern influences. It is a good track for both listening and dancing. The second track I really enjoyed listening to is “Love Without Tragedy,” a reggae new wave influenced track that talks about her relationship with Chris Brown its dynamics, up until its ending. She says in one of her lyrics: “Who knew the course of this one drive/injured us fatally…you took the best years of my life/ and I took the best years of your life.” This is one of Rihanna’s best albums since, Good Girl, Gone Bad in 2008, Rated-R in 2009, Loud in 2010, and Talk That Talk in 2011. Disclaimer: All album images on this spread belong to their respective production companies.

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Brandy Two Eleven Release Date: 10/12/2012 Genre: R&B, Hip-Hop, Soul Overall: 3 stars Great album, wrong comeback. The comeback was rushed and felt like it should have been released a year earlier. I guess she was trying to make up from the disappointment from 2008’s Human. While the Two Eleven album has shown some growth with her R&B roots at her best, some tracks sound somewhat immature, lacking creativity and personality. For example, the song, “Put It Down” ft. Chris Brown seems too juvenile and materialistic. She finds herself in the crisis of trying to be too young and ends up as a grown woman singing mushy love songs. The top two songs from the album is “Without You,” and “Wildest Dream.” The album for sure will give you a flashback journey of the 1990’s with a laidback touch of hip-hop and soul. P!nk Truth About Love Release Date: 9/14/2012 Genre: Pop/Rock Overall: 5 stars This album was P!nk at her best with fun hip songs tackling themes of feminism, social exclusion and sexual prowess. It’s rock and soul

combine into something different. P!nk never fails with musicality. It is quite unique from the other projects with the maturity, musical growth, vocal ability and songwriting from the songs such as “Slut Like You,” which describes sexual liberation and promiscuity in a very witty and hip type of way. In the song “True Love,” P!ink even talks about her true love being a jerk at times. The Truth About Love is available for free via Freegal, a Sony Music Database which can be accessed with your library card from the Miami-Dade Public Library System website, www.mdpls.org. Frank Ocean channel ORANGE Release Date: 7/10/2012 Genre: PBR&B, Neo-Soul Overall: 2 Stars This album had potential, yet came out to be very bland, trendy and unoriginal. It sounds too similar to today’s music. He found the right beats and sound to fit his monotone voice and lack of emotion. As a debut album, it seemed to be just a publicity stunt for him to come out as a gay man, and bam!, taking ideas from Madonna to use your sexuality as a staple to make you star through a somewhat bland album. Perhaps “Bad Religion” and “Thinking Bout You” could be the best songs to hear despite the lack of vocal ability.

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Opinion: Tech Review

By Deborah Dixon

Creative Cloud vs. Creative Suite 6

The latest updates for Adobe Suite are available! Creative Cloud and CS6 both have raving and… not so good reviews. To those that are not so in tune with Adobe CS updates and products, both Creative Cloud and Creative Suite 6 seem one and the same. With a closer look, however, each have their own distinct features that are worth consideration Creative Cloud, “CC” -Over 100 updates on all the Suite programs like Photoshop and Illustrator -Offline access to Creative Cloud applications -20 GB of cloud storage for individuals and 100 GB for teams -Build and publish websites, mobile sites, iPad apps, and other content for any medium or device Annual plan for US $49.99 per month

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Creative Suite 6 -Blazing-fast 64-bit native support and GPU acceleration -Intuitively create stunning 3D artwork and vibrant videos -CS programs are now more precise; one can now give more attention to detail in projects One payment of US $2,599.00 Other than the different purposes, you may also see a difference in dollar signs. Even though CS6 has a big number behind the dollar sign, it’s only one payment. CC on the other hand has monthly payments. Depending on how long you are planning to have the Suite, either would be a rational investment. Whether or not you want the whole Suite or just certain applications (like Photoshop or Illustrator) should also play in a role in what you are willing to pay for. The deciding factor is honestly up to the creator. Choose wisely. Disclaimer: All icons on this spread belong to their respective companies.


Xbox One vs. Playstation 4 In 2013, two of the biggest releases to ever hit the gaming world were made available to the public: the PS4 and the Xbox One. The new features of the consoles are almost magical to gamers everywhere. Whether you’re a die-hard PlayStation fan or an Xbox junkie, you will have to come to grips with the advantages and disadvantages of either system. Xbox One -Add as much extra storage as desired through external HDD -GAMES – the launch Window games for Xbox One contains loads of exclusive titles: Ryse, Forza, Titanfall, Quantum Break, D4 -Voice and gesture commands and seamless integration of all sofa-based entertainment: Skype, fast switching, multi-tasking -Games launched instantly without disc switching due to installs

PlayStation 4 -No worries or hassles about online requirements, used games, long term ownership -Much smaller box, more discreet in entertainment center -Slight power advantage could allow some unique experiences later in the generation, and could lead to superior PS4 versions of cross platform games -About $100 cheaper than the Xbox One Price: $399.99 Whether you’re a gamer or you just like entertainment systems. Theses two consoles could be a worthy investment in anyone’s life. But both the Xbox One and the PS4 are not for everyone, some find the Xbox One to be more for entertainment while the PS4 is more for gamers. Some find the PS4 to not have nearly as exciting features and storage space as the Xbox One. The choice is yours.

Price: $499 (including Kinect 2.0)

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YOUmedium  

YOUmedium is the first Literary Magazine of YOUmedia Miami, featuring the work of our registered teens! Read about our latest and biggest e...

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