21 Things I’ve Learned in 21 Years!

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On August 5, 2014, I finally celebrated my 21st birthday! I am officially “adult” in the eyes of the government (of course my mother always see me as her baby). I can go to Miami Beach with a purpose, bar hop like the cool kids on TV, and buy my own drinks at Applebee’s. Some see it as getting old, but I consider this milestone the beginning of a thrilling journey. I plan to travel, take tons of pictures, work hard, and live to my heart’s desire. I made it this far, so there’s no turning back now. Throughout the years, I’ve picked up on a few lessons worth noting. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Education is important- especially the things that your textbook can’t teach you. Seek knowledge on your own and you will be wise.

2. Be resourceful!

3. Things may not always go as planned. You have to learn to readjust and make the best out of your situation.

4. Kindness leaves its trace.

5. It’s just hair. Cut it, dye it, wear it big enough to reach the heavens! Especially while you’re young without a job that restricts those choices.

6. Live in the moment (with the future in mind)!

7. Keep a tight circle. Hold on to the friends who’ve been there for you from the jump.

8. Why so serious? Have some fun! Laugh! <—- like I need to remind myself to do this!

9. Make time for your family, they love you.

10. Money matters!

11. Dress to impress- YOURSELF! When you feel good in some new clothes, you’re unstoppable.

12. Do workouts that are so fun, you forget you’re working out.

13. If you want something, go get it!

14. If you don’t know how to express something, listen to music. Chances are, someone out there said it for you.

15. Stand up for yourself.

16. Positive > Negative Energy

17. Always continue to work toward your dreams.

18. Remember who you are, always. Embrace your unique qualities; no one can be you better than.. YOU!

19. Never turn down what may be the greatest adventure.

20. Eating great food is amazing. Creating great food is magical.

21. Pray & praise! God got me this far and I thank him for every moment!

Beyonce’s “Flawless” Remix is life in 3:55

As if her surprise December 13th album release wasn’t enough.

Beyoncé teamed up with rapper Nicki Minaj on the latest version of her hit single, Flawless, which dropped late Saturday night. The track previously featured Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, whose now famous TEDtalk served as an empowering introduction for the confidence-boosting song.

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Procrastination: Life’s Biggest Catch 22


Procrastination is something that students across the world have been accustomed to. It is the reason behind the success of websites like BuzzFeed and Tumblr, late homework assignments, and countless missed deadlines. Procrastination exists as its own entity. It is a twisted force that dwells in the corners of the mind, growing in strength with continuous practice. Soon enough, you are captured in a spiral of negative behavior until your life crumbles around you, wondering, “How did I get here?”

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Dean Baquet Named Executive Editor of The New York Times

Photo Credit, livawards.org

TALLAHASSEE, FL-  The New York Times will replace executive editor Jill Abramson with its current managing editor, Dean Baquet, as announced on Wednesday. 

Abramson served as the paper’s editor since 2011. A ‘Times’ representative states, “the reasons for the switch are note immediately clear.” Dean Baquet will succeed Abramson, becoming The New York Time’s first African-American executive editor its its 162 year history. “It is an honor to be asked to lead the only newsroom in the country that is actually better than it was a generation ago,” he said, “one that approaches the world with wonder and ambition every day.”

 

Baquet, 57, is a Pulitzer Prize recipient and former editor of the Los Angeles Times. ‘New York Times’ publisher Arthur Sulzberger describes Baquet as “an exceptional reporter and editor with impeccable news judgment who enjoys the confidence and support of his colleagues around the world and across the organization.”

The change in leadership is effective immediately.

By, Joyce Philippe

With contributions from nytimes.com and npr.org

Photo, livawards.org

Video, The New York Times

EDUCATE YOURSELF:

Abramson Replaced As Editor

Dean Baquet First African-American Editor

Baquet Named ‘Fierce Advocate’

Facebook: The New York Times

Twitter: The New York Times

“Black Girls Code” Aims to Break Racial and Gender Barriers in STEM

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Photo Credit, fastcoexist.com

TALLLAHASSEE, FL – Black Girls Code is a non-profit organization that  educates young girls of color in STEM-related skills. The San Francisco-based initiative, founded in 2011, works to break down racial barriers in the technology field for African-American women.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Founder Kimberly Bryant studied electrical engineering as a young college student. As she continued her studies, she began  to feel culturally isolated, usually being the only African-American woman in her classes.The National Center for Women & Information Technology says black women comprised only 3 percent of the computer workforce. Bryant sought to educate girls to break the stereotypes that women of color have no interest in technology careers.

McKeever E. Conwell, an instructor at the non-profit organization Code Fever understands the reasoning behind the minority representation in STEM fields. “It’s not that Black or minority children aren’t smart enough, [it’s that] their school systems aren’t good enough.”

Schools in low-income areas are often given second hand materials and books from highly ranked schools that are often outdated. Kimberly Bryant’s goal is to reach into communities that lack resources to promote digital education.”The scarcity of Black women in this field has little to do with lack of interest and more to do with lack of resources and opportunities and she wants to be able to provide a space where these resources and opportunities are available.”

Sandra Horne, staff  at Black Girls Code says that although getting students motivated may be a challenge, with the proper approach and care, they can be cultivated into great leaders.

“My favorite part about working with Black Girls Code is the look on a girl’s face when she first learns something new,” Horne said. “We teach girls to value themselves first, so they can be confident in their skills. Learning to code is like holding the key to endless possibilities in technology. Coding turns people into creators, where they can make their own worlds and in turn promote a positive, sustainable change. That’s the message we aim to send with each session here at Black Girls Code.”

Last fall, a web series was launched to introduce Black Girls Code and the type of projects they complete. Through the documentary, viewers can follow the Black Girls Code team as they teach young girls to code and build websites. The lessons help students become fluent in programming languages, preparing them for the rapidly growing demand in computing careers.

Bryant also states, “There is an ever-present need for educational reform, as many students in low-income communities are being crippled by the need to pass standardized tests as opposed to being nurtured by a well-rounded curriculum.”

Many hope the web series will boost awareness of the initiative. The organization plans to continue its expansion. It hopes to make a greater impact in schools around the country.

By, Joyce Philippe

With contributions from Theatlantablackstar.com and blackgirlscode.com

Photo, fastcoesxist.com

Video, Black Girls Code

EDUCATE YOURSELF

Black Girls Code

Does Black Girls Code Promote Racism?

Demographics on Technical Women

Facebook: Black Girls Code

Twitter: Black Girls Code 

The Beginning: My New Canon T4i

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I took the plunge and bought my first DSLR as an early Christmas gift, and I have no regrets.

The first thing I thought when I opened up the box was she’s so beautiful, she needs a name! [*name pending] It’s a Canon Rebel T4i, a great camera for beginners, price & performance-wise. I got it because I wanted absolute control. With my own camera, I won’t rack up any more late fees from the school’s media loan program (if they even HAD cameras available!). I will be able to produce my own videos and images on my clock, and I love that power. This means I also have no excuse to not be constantly creating. I had all this time to plan, and come spring semester, it’s all about execution.

I still look at my camera with starry-eyed wonder, thinking of all the amazing shots to come. I’m already looking at lenses to purchase, especially the Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM prime lens. It’s low aperture allows for crisp images and leeway in low-light environments, which is a must. I’ve taken a few runs with her so far, and they came out beautifully. I just can’t wait to get the technicalities down so I can get to the creative aspect of photography. What interests me the most is the development of a personal style. What separates one photographer from the next? I guess some things are better learned by experience.

New Years Resolutions: 2014 Edition

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Without further adieu, my resolutions for 2014. This should be fun. 

1. Read more news.

2. Take more photos.

3. Write about everything, instead of thinking “that would make a good post” & moving on.

4. Fight for your spot (jobs, internships, lunch line, etc.)

5. Expand your music catalogue.

6. Show up on time.

7. Know you you are & what you have to offer. Now show it.

8. Dress up more; if you look good, you feel good (*proven fact)

9. Budget & save that cash! Nice things cost money.

10. More home cooked meals, its healthier & easier on the pockets.

11. One up ‘Yonce. (Shoot for the stars, right?)

12. Random acts of kindness