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Girl Talk w/ Freedom Fighters

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I had the chance to sit down for Girl Talk with a group of free thinking, intelligent, funny and highly driven young ladies who go by the name of Freedom Fighters. Freedom Fighters is known as a unique after-school program that focuses on empowering female high school students but after our talk, I’ve realized they are so much more.

Founded and led by Jaclyn Sicilia, a part-time tutor and substitute teacher in the Clark County School District as well as a student of UNLV working toward her masters degree in education. Jaclyn assists the ladies in building social and cultural awareness, achieving academic and personal goals, and preparing to attend and graduate from a four-year university. In fact, they are gearing up to take a 21 day road trip to 20+ Colleges and Universities across the U.S. this summer.

Freedom Fighters first started out as an after school book club. She was looking for the students who weren’t the best students and who weren’t the worst students either but those who showed a lot of potential. In the beginning some of the ladies were a little skeptical but took a chance. They agreed that in the beginning things were slow and boring but then it picked up once it became a habit and the rest is history.

“IN THE BEGINNING WE WERE STRANGERS AND NOW WE ARE SISTERS” – Hilda

The more that we talked and laughed, I was dying to know, since all of these girls get along and are friendly, very respectful and super mature for their age, what brought them to this point and what has been the biggest hurdle so far? Jaclyn didn’t hesitate to answer but I was a little surprised to learn that it wasn’t any one individual or lack of money or conflicts, the biggest hurdle was simple.. balance. Now when you think about it, balance is something that a lot of us have a difficult time dealing with within our every day lives. Balance is the one thing that can make or break us, whether it’s the discipline to find it or the lack thereof. Jaclyn went on to explain that learning each of the girls personalities and adapting to them took time because what motivated one necessarily didn’t work for another. And while one doesn’t need motivation, she may need exposure. I thought it was cool to hear this being said out loud because this is the basis of any relationship. Another hurdle was the understanding and support from the families which is completely understandable. Because all parents raise their children differently and while we don’t always trust just anyone with our child, we have to trust that we still make the best decisions for their growth.

HOW HAS FREEDOM FIGHTERS BEEN BENEFICIAL TO THEIR LIVES? READ BELOW TO FIND OUT!

HILDA – prior to Freedom Fighters – C/D student to now a A/B student and Vice President of the Key Club. Her motivation behind becoming a better all around person was setting the example and becoming a positive role model to accomplish becoming the first in her family to attend college.

JAMIYAH – prior to Freedom Fighters, Jamiyah paid attention in school but didn’t really care. She just wanted to pass and get out of high school. Jamiyah admitted to caring more about her friends than her actual work but being around a better environment and being around the other Freedom Fighters who (in her words) had goals in life, it changed her mindset and outlook on life. She wanted more for herself.

TAMIA sets the example for her younger sister to be a better person instead of just the average high school student. As the “golden child”, Tamia is well on her way to becoming the first of her siblings to attend college.

JENNIFER has always wanted to go to college but Freedom Fighters served as an extra push thanks to the exposure and different environments Jaclyn has introduced them to. From the colleges tours to the volunteer work, it shared a broader perspective to look forward to after high school.

STEPHANIE – Freedom Fighters taught Stephanie that she can do more than what meets the eye. She also soaked up the differences from the environments in which the group has been exposed to. Freedom Fighters taught Stephanie that she could still accomplish her goals regardless of what odds and limitations are against her.

FUN FACTS ABOUT FREEDOM FIGHTERS 

  • They have each serviced a minimum of 40 hours of Community Service and actually enjoy the process as well as the results of giving back and serving the surrounding areas they call “home”.
  • They started out as a Book Club reading a new book every two weeks followed up with a presentation on the book.
  • With no previous interest prior to Freedom Fighters, they are now each involved in 2-5 clubs and organizations and enjoy it.
  • They all want to be remembered for helping others and being looked to as a role model amongst their peers and younger generation.

What can we do to help Freedom Fighters? Jaclyn’s greatest wish is for more exposure. She believes that if more women (like you and I), knew about groups such as Freedom Fighters that it could possibly encourage us to create our own groups and to take young adults who have potential and expose them to more possibilities. All it takes is an idea followed by action. Young ladies such as Freedom Fighters can make a difference not only in our local communities but in the nation. Their stories can help motivate others to want to do more and be more.

SENDING A HUGE THANK YOU TO JACLYN FOR MAKING A DIFFERENCE AND EXTENDING YOUR HAND TO MAKE OUR COMMUNITY AS WELL AS OUR WORLD A BETTER PLACE. The moment you can take leadership over a group of young adults and mentor them, teach them socially and economically can make a huge difference in what’s next in their lives. I see so much greatness in each of these girls individually and I look forward to seeing them grow.

If you’re interested in connecting with Freedom Fighters, please check out their website HERE, feel free to email Jaclyn @ lionheart923jcs@yahoo.com  and follow their social media accounts – Twitter , Instagram – where they will be documenting their Cross-Country College Tour starting June 14.

FASHION FRIDAY || Celebrity Roundup – Black Girls Rock Edition #Vote

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This weekend we bring to you Celebrity Roundup from the Red Carpet of The 2015 Black Girls Rock Award Show. Taking place over the weekend, these ladies graced the Red Carpet with style and class. With some amazing looks from head to toe and some, not so great looks, we are leaving it in your hands to vote for your favorite look of the week.. Happy GOOD Fashion Friday! Black Girls DEFINITELY Rock!

CIARA
CIARA

JADA PINKETT SMITH
JADAPINKETTSMITH

JANELLE MONAE
JANELLEMONAE

JILL SCOTT
JILLSCOTT

LOLA OGUNNAIKE
LOLAOGUNNAIKE

REGINA KING
REGINAKING

TRACEE ELLIS ROSS
TRACEEELLISROSS


Hello Spring! – New Month, New Goals + Inspirational Blogs

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Hello Spring! Hello April. It’s a new month, a new season and a new shift in energy. The sun is out, the dresses became shorter and the nights became longer. Hopefully some of you have sat down to do a little spring cleaning whether it’s of your home, your circle or yourself. Those are some things to consider as we slowly but surely run through yet another year. With a new quarter and season, there are new goals to follow. What are some of your goals you hope to accomplish this quarter of the year? Feel free to share in the comment section of this post. Below are some great posts to help aid you in some areas of your life that you could be working on during this time.

HEALTH + FITNESS | SPRING TIME TONING [No Boiz Allowed]

PERSONAL GROWTH | KIMBERLY LUXE’S 3 MONTH LIFE RESET [KimberlyLuxe]

HEALTH + FOOD | HOW TO SURVIVE ALLERGY SEASON [No Boiz Allowed]

CAREER + FINANCES | 9 INSANELY SIMPLE STEPS TO FIX YOUR FINANCES [BUZZFEED article by MyFabFinance]

EDUCATION + CAREER | HOW MY FRIENDS AND I GOT BETTER GRADES THIS SEMESTER [FromAWildflower]

FASHION | BEST SPRING DRESSES TO FLATTER YOUR SHAPE [HerCampus]

HOME DECOR + DIY | 25 BEDROOM ESSENTIALS FOR A SPRING REVAMP [PasteMagazine]

POLITICS + WOMEN IN BUSINESS | EQUAL PAY FOR WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH [LaurenUnscripted]

PERSONAL GROWTH | 10 HABITS YOU HAVE TO DUMP BEFORE TURNING 30 [GoodLooknOut]

Women’s HERstory Series – Christina Aldan

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Christina Aldan is a highly successful media maven, with over 9 years’ experience in the digital advertising realm. She is regarded for her advanced skills in web design, social media and creative content for small and micro businesses. In addition to operating her own digital advertising business, Christina also teaches a broad spectrum of courses, ranging from utilizing the full potential of a personal computer and applications to building web pages and social media campaigns.

Christina is constantly in demand as a public speaker by corporations, small businesses and specialty groups. She has presented various aspects of her expertise at such prestigious events as: CataylstCreativ, The AT&T DevSummit, Geek Girl Conference, 1 Million Cups, The Sage Summit, Bloomberg Radio, Beasley Broadcasting, Lotus Broadcasting, BCNtalk, PR Connections, The Crown Me Queen Conference, The Downtown Podcast and several live local news shows. She also makes time to serve local community organizations, including Project AngelFaces, Never Give Up Foundation and OCA Las Vegas.

Q1 My woman’s intuition. Learning how to listen to my inner voice has saved my butt countless times. One of my favorite quotes is from C.S. Lewis:
“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” I try to remember that when listening to my woman’s intuition. I check in with myself to make sure my motive and intent are not strictly self-serving or motivated by fear and then I move forward with brevity and integrity in making decisions, using the best tools I know.

Q2 I am not able to think of any responsibility I would hand over with no problem; not to a man, or anyone else. I think both sexes have their challenges, and I wouldn’t wish my challenges on anyone else, nor would I feel equipped to take on anyone else’s experiences of the world. We all have a unique perspective. Influencing factors such as ethnicity, education, culture, sex, etc. are a part of that unique worldview which shapes our society. I celebrate the differences between men and women (and ethnicities, education, cultures) and I think that by integrating their strengths and challenges into a workable system, our society will be able to overcome obstacles faster and live more harmoniously. With the state of our American society today, we are witnessing the “traditional” roles and responsibilities of men and women to be fairly interchangeable (albeit, with some exceptions like childbirth), based on the interests of the individual. For example, in technology, if women want to become coders, then the tools and resources are available for them to hone their skills. They might stand out in fields that are traditionally male-dominated, and they may face a different set of company culture challenges, but the tools are resources are still available and the opportunity to shift “traditional” roles exists. If men want to be stay-at-home dads, then we are seeing many women in our society become the breadwinners of the family. Again, this may pose a different set of challenges, but if the family is able to make it work for them, then I think it’s a great example of integrating the strengths and challenges of individuals involved, regardless of sex, ethnicity, education or culture.

Q3 -Love themselves unconditionally so they may love others unconditionally.
-Judging themselves for not being perfect and therefore, the judging the world around them as never being good enough. Ladies, we must bask in the light of imperfection and be grateful for the resources around us and within us.

Q4A Journey more interesting!

Q5 Some fabulous ladies I look up to are:

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler because they are hilarious, frank and they pushing the boundaries for mainstream, female, comedic writers.

Directors Jennifer Siebel Newsom & Kimberlee Acquaro for their documentary “Miss Representation” which is a great depiction of how women are represented in the media today, without being hateful towards men.

Marie Forleo, because she teaches actionable steps to empower small business owners (“Create a business and life you love!”) and her brand messaging is authentic, positive and creative.

Pema Chodron, because she teaches that life is messy and it’s important to get into those dark places and shine a light on them, because that is where transformation happens.

Keep In Touch w/Christina on Twitter: @luckygirliegirl web: LGDsgns.com phone: 702.900.3419 email: LG@LGDsgns.com

Women’s HERstory Series – Featuring Lauren Brooks

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Lauren Brooks-McClinton, born and raised in Los Angeles, California, now prides herself as being a long time resident of Las Vegas, Nevada.  She earned a Bachelors of Arts in English and Mass Communications with a concentration in Journalism from Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She started her career in Broadcast news as an intern, but was quickly promoted to Associate Producer for NBC 13 (WVTM) in Birmingham, Alabama. After years in the South, she found her way back to the West coast in 2006 as an Assignment Editor for KSNV News 3. Shortly after learning her way around Las Vegas, she worked her way up to Assignment Manager at the FOX affiliate, KVVU. As one of the news team managers, Lauren supervised a staff of reporters, photographers, editors and coordinated news coverage for the local newscasts.

Lauren’s next step led her to Public Relations and Marketing at R&R Partners.  Lauren assisted with publicity for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, where she worked on some of the city’s largest projects including Camp Vegas, What Happens Here Stays Here and The World’s Largest Pool Party. It was Lauren’s community involvement and volunteer efforts that turned into a political career as Campaign Manager for Aaron D. Ford, State Senate Candidate for Las Vegas District 11. With a successful campaign and Lauren’s expertise in media, she was then invited to work in the state capitol in Carson City as the Legislative Assistant to Senator Aaron D. Ford and Committee Manager for Senate Natural Resources for Nevada’s 77th Legislative Session. Her responsibilities included day to day management of the Senate office, overseeing all operations of the Senate Natural Resources Committee while maintaining and tracking deadlines on all original bill draft request and bills.

Now as a public relations and media consultant, Lauren’s client list has grown to include,  Assemblyman, Urban Chamber of Commerce, Bombard Renewable Energy, International HIV/AIDS activist Hydeia Broadbent, CheeseCaked Dessert Bar, Fashion in the City charity event, along with many others. Lauren maintains balance as she makes a personal commitment to Victory Missionary Baptist Church and the community. She teaches couponing classes and also enjoys reading and sewing.

Q1 What I love about being a woman is how far we have come and where were are going. Women today are achieving much more and standing up in ways like never before. Women today are really “running the world”.

Q2 God designed us this way for a reason. I am not sure I would feel comfortable with a man taking on “women” responsibilities. We do too much. We Got This!

Q3 I wish women would be more supportive towards each other. I wish women would be less degrating each other for attention (reality television).

Q4B Think Like A Winner. Keep it classy and act like you have already made it.
Which should help you become more mindful of everyday life choices.

Q5Aja Brown – Mayor of Compton, California ran for Mayor at 31 years old. It took an great deal of courage to take to reinvent the City of Compton. This beautiful, young black woman, is turning around a city with so much negative background.

Shiela Johnson – co-founder of BET, CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts, managing partner, of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and the first black American female billionaire. Mostly known as the wife of Bob Johnson, she doesnt get as much credit as she should for building Black Entertainment Television. Shiela is the perfect example of a successful business woman, supportive wife (remarried) and a fighter. Shiela Johnson is someone to look up to for so many reasons (other than being a billionaire).

Keep In Touch w/Lauren on IG: LaurenMichelleBrooks ,Website: Lauren Unscripted