Struggling to understand

Struggling to understand

I must have watched the video of Alton Sterling’s son cry on the internet five times when it first appeared on my Twitter feed. I could not help but watch it over again, and try to understand what just happened and why. To see Cameron Sterling become the man of the house so suddenly, and in such a terrible way, was heartbreaking. I wanted to be one of those men patting him on the back, embracing him and offering some kind of comfort. This young man would remember Tuesday, July 5, 2016 not only as the day that he lost his father, but the day when he would never trust a police officer again. Still, after watching the video a few more times I found myself trying to understand the “fear.” That fear of a darker or lighter skin, that seems so ingrained. Is it ancestral? Is it taught? Or is it something more? I waited and watched the barrage of news coverage, the media...
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Looking forward to better days

Looking forward to better days

The last image that I saw of my dad, was when he was laying in his casket. He looked so peaceful and it was at that moment that I realized I would never hear from him again. Prior to that I had only seen him twice before, when he was being pushed into an ambulance with a bloody patch covering his forehead and when I had given him my last hug on Father’s Day 1999. It’s a story that I’ve told a few times and each time I tell it, it feels as if the terrible events happened just yesterday. It’s a common scene and an unfortunate story that is told too often while trying to live and thrive in the city of Philadelphia. The amount of gun violence that Philadelphians experience is nothing new, but the question that keeps coming up at each crime scene and each vigil is what will be done to address the ongoing problem? The situation is dire...
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Robotech: The Complete Series [Review]

Robotech: The Complete Series [Review]

I was always curious as to what the anime Robotech was about. Sure, the name Robot is in the title but I always assumed that it was more to it. Could it be similar to other anime shows that deal with robots as mechanized weapons of warfare? Or could it be a letdown that did not live up to the hype that I was hearing so much about? It’s true, I’ve never watched the show. As a child I was too consumed with watching Dragon Ball Z, Gundam Wing (another anime involving giant robots), and Sailor Moon. The latter of which was talked about heavily at recess. Robotech was never mentioned but only occasionally brought up. Over the years I have seen the many shrines to it in action figures and model sets, but still decided to pass on the series. One day while perusing Amazon.com I found the complete set for a reasonable price and decided to purchase it. I was hesitant at...
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Reflections Of A Temple Grad II

Reflections Of A Temple Grad II

I remember when walking across the stage on graduation day, just last May, and how uncertain I was about entering the “real world” with a bachelors in journalism. Would I be accepted in the field? Would I be able to obtain a job? What challenges would I be facing next? I never expected to obtain a job right out of college. It had already been explained to me and other graduates in my class over and over that obtaining a career in journalism would be somewhat slim and difficult. Most do not know that I am a barista at a café at the Free Library of Philadelphia, so I was never too worried about being unemployed out of college. People like their coffee, and I make a pretty mean cappuccino when given the chance. Still, there are times when I just want to leave the café and the smell of coffee behind for a career in my chosen field. Click here to read...
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Reflections Of A Temple Grad

Reflections Of A Temple Grad

  Even though it happened just a few months ago, graduation for me was almost a complete blur. I do not remember much of what was said to me on that day except the word "congratulations." That word was repeated a lot, especially by those who saw me walking to school wearing my cap and gown. I remember arriving somewhat early to the ceremony, so early that there were not too many graduates in attendance yet. The final touches were still being taken care of and I was told to simply wait. Later, as the ceremony began and I sat amongst my graduating peers and scrolled through my phone, I could not help but think of how far I had come. It had been a rough couple of years. There was still one class that I needed to complete for my major. The class was statistics, and it would start the following week and continue for five more additional weeks. Click here to read the...
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My Trip To The New York Times

My Trip To The New York Times

This past summer I was given the opportunity to visit The New York Times with a friend of mine, Ben Harris, and sit in on the paper's evening Page One meeting. It was pretty interesting and I was just blown away by the entire experience. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be sitting in on a meeting at the Times. What stood out to me the most when I first arrived was that every cubicle in the newsroom seemed to be filled, slightly different from the visits I've done with the Philadelphia Inquirer or Philadelphia Daily News. I know there have been layoffs at the Times but it didn't seem like it to me. You could really feel confidence in the room, if that makes sense. Michael Slackman, who was then Deputy Foreign Editor and now Head of the Foreign Desk, was our tour guide for the day. Michael is a pretty awesome guy and knows his...
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Reflections of a CCP Grad, Part IV

Reflections of a CCP Grad, Part IV

So, how’s Temple? Funny, last year at this time, I graduated from the Community College of Philadelphia and asked the same exact question of students I knew at Temple University. Now, when I visit CCP, I get asked the question. So far, Temple has been great. It is challenging at times, but I wouldn’t change it. CCP prepared me to know what to expect of college-level work and how to best tackle it. CCP taught me those skills I was lacking a few years prior. The transition into Temple was smooth, even smoother than I had expected. Perhaps it was because I had visited Temple before and remembered some of the university’s layout. Maybe it was the enthusiasm and excitement of my orientation and then convocation, where I was able to learn Temple’s pep rally chant. One day, I’ll actually make it out to a game and will be able to proudly chant along with my fellow Owls. I knew that in my first semester...
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Graduates entering the workforce should be proactive

Graduates entering the workforce should be proactive

As graduation is quickly approaching for seniors, many are anticipating finding their dream job in an effort to succeed in the ever-changing job market and fluctuating economy. The Associated Press analysis of available government data, reported that about 53.6 percent of Americans who have bachelor’s degrees and are under the age of 25 are unemployed or hold lower wage jobs. This is a bleak outlook for those who are preparing to enter the workforce. But, Gayle Christensen of Employment Entrepreneur Specialist at the Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs offers some advice to graduating seniors. “Well, I think it’s a little bit easier this year than maybe a couple of years ago, but I think we’re still under the recession so my advice would be to network as much as you can in many possible ways,” Christensen said. “Let people know that you are coming out of school and you’re job searching, or going to job fairs and different kinds of events.” Read...
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Reflections of a CCP grad, part 3

Reflections of a CCP grad, part 3

When I received my letter from Temple University accepting me into the dual admissions program, I was ecstatic and slightly nervous. I entered the Community College of Philadelphia with the goal of transferring to Temple University to complete a degree in journalism. This has been my dream for some time. I have been writing and regarded as the "community journalist," but I never had a formal education in the field. I wrote by modeling past afterschool instructors. When I received that acceptance letter, I knew I could not only continue with my goal, but also finally get a formal education in journalism. I was ecstatic that after finally graduating from CCP I would be able to continue with my plan. But I was nervous because I was not convinced at first that I would be accepted into the program. Surely something would go wrong and I would be turned away from the university once more. Both my English professor Eleanor Cunningham and  my college counselor...
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Warm Hearts offers help, warmth for the homeless

Warm Hearts offers help, warmth for the homeless

Fareeda Mabry, founder of Operation Warm Hearts, recognizes the need to keep Philadelphia’s homeless warm this winter through organizing blanket drives. Last year, Philadelphia native Fareeda Mabry, 33, started a grass-roots organization known as Operation Warm Hearts with a simple goal in mind: Help those who cannot help themselves. The organization is seeking to collect and distribute 1,701 blankets across the Philadelphia region for those who are unfortunate enough to find themselves trapped in the cold this coming winter. The organization was formed by Mabry with the help of Justina Shaw from the nonprofit organization, OPPORTUNITIES, and friends Carl Daniels, Nakisha Peterson and Tarisse Iriarte. “They helped pushed this initiative on the ground by taking donations and playing a major role in the street team,” Mabry said. “We meet people where they are. If they are living on the streets, we go to them.” Currently Operation Warm Hearts is looking to maintain the relationship that they have with Shaw, by working with OPPORTUNITIES. They ...
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