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Archive for May 2010

tomorrow is a big day…it’s the third year that myself and three other Yale alumni are hosting our Y-Apply workshop.

Y-Apply is a dedicated to encouraging high achieving students from low income families to consider applying to ivy league and selective colleges www.y-apply.org

as busy as things can get, i’m committed to giving my time on this issue because we have so many youth in our communities who just need an opportunity to make it out of their circumstances.  that was the case with me; a young black girl living in low income housing, attending an urban public school.   i was a good student but my teachers never encouraged me to apply to ivy league schools.  

one day i got a postcard in the mail inviting me to a reception about Yale. that’s when i realized, wow they may actually want me to apply.   so i did and the rest is herstory!

all it took was a little guidance from someone who had made their way and that’s what we do at Y-Apply.  the workshop has been a huge success.  the students who have participated in the workshop have gone to great colleges.   we have worked hard to create a program that is warm, welcoming, fun but most of all educational. 

the main theme of the workshop is to celebrate yourself and showcase the real you.  youth leave with tools to make their fabulous selves stand out.   that’s why i was not surprised when last year’s workshop participant, Zora Howard, was admitted to Yale University this spring.  Zora is new york’s first youth poet laureate and she uses her craft to spit truthfully. 

we all have a lot to look up to and learn from her and the other remarkable students who have participated in the Y-Apply workshop.   they stay true to who they are but are open to learning how to best showcase it.

only when you show up and truthfully express the amazing person you are does success comes calling…  

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  • Comments Off on Hot off The Press: hip hop has heart

 i’ve had many a heated debate about the state of hip hop.  most folks will say they are sick of the $ mongering, woman bashing and pants saggin’.  i am not ashamed to say i’ve been a fan of hip hop since the early 80s and have seen it go from power movement to gangster clappin’ and now cartoonery. with all the changes, i still remain a fan because i see its potential to effect change.

the power to change is what led me to plan the ‘empowering communities through hip hop’ (ECHO) summit at st. john’s university last fall.  ECHO summit focused on showcasing how hip hop is being used to positively impact youth across the country.  one of our speakers, che ‘rhymefest’ smith, had the crowd on their feet. he was honest, to the point and passionate about his mission to stay true to the art form. 

rhymefest is a grammy award winning writer/ hip hop artist and could easily spend his time laid out in a studio braggin’ about money and women.  but instead he has been committed to a grassroots movement dedicated to inspiring youth.  

 

last week he started an online discussion group for high school students to share their thoughts about hip hop, the state of & what’s important in their lives.  i encourage young ladies to be a part of the discussion. too often our voices are muted or we are spoken for in ways that are not flattering.  

 

so b-girls speak out and let che know what’s on your minds:

 http://groups.google.com/group/independentthinkers?pli=1


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