Investing in Our Future

Investing in Our Future

Investing in Our Future

Tamika Heard | Contributor

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30

MARCH, 2017

Young Voices

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A “Kidpreneur” is a young person who monetizes their gifts, skills, talents and/or services. I began 901 Kidpreneurs because I knew there were kids in the city of Memphis who would love to showcase and sell their products if they were given the opportunity. I want to be in a position to pour the knowledge that I have into the lives of the young people who are already ambitious and hard working. If it’s in them at 5 years old, it’ll be with them at 35 so we may as well start early.

I began 901 Kidpreneurs because I knew there were kids in the city of Memphis who would love to showcase and sell their products if they were given the opportunity.

Makeda’s Cookies Downtown has opened its doors for Kidpreneur Marketplaces this year. We allow the Kidpreneurs to come out to set up and sell their products at no cost to them. This past Saturday, we had our 1st annual Kidpreneur Spring Extravaganza. We also had a 901 Rocks table set up for kids to express themselves creatively, there was face painting, a dancing Cookie Monster and a DJ. It’s all about allowing kids to express themselves, sell their products and have fun. We had 10 Kidpreneurs displaying and selling their products and they were as follows: Angels and Tomboys (Body Spray and Lotions for tweens) Irokie Creates (Jewelry) Designs by Gabbi (Jewelry) Racin’ Designs (Vintage Jewelry) Blastade (Energy Drink) Sweet Petite’s by Stacee (Cookies) NJ3 (Young girl group from West Memphis) Neeka’s Face Painting Kid Dj Sik Fernandes Photography

The ambition and drive of these 901 Kidpreneurs inspire me to keep going because I know they’re looking at us as examples.

This is our 3rd Kidpreneur event since the Downtown location re-opened in March of 2016 and more parents are becoming interested in investing in their child’s future as an entrepreneur. We also have an educational piece to provide our Kidpreneurs with the information that will help them as they grow as entrepreneurs. At our first event, we had Yasmeen, The Frugal Genie. She talked to the youth about the importance of budgeting and managing their money. Tramica Morris and Moziah Bridges (Mo’s Bows) spoke words of wisdom and encouragement to the Kidpreneurs last December. This past Saturday, Rachel Lawson, of Anna Julia Cooper Educational Services, spoke to the youth about their purpose, being chosen and integrity. It’s important that we pour as much wisdom into our youth as possible. It is our responsibility to make sure that they are prepared and ready to become productive citizens.

Tamika Heard

Tamika Heard

Co Owner at Meekies Munchies

  • PR Rep at Makeda’s Cookies Downtown
  • Forklift Operator/Material Handler at Federal Express
  • Studied Professional and Technical Writing at University of Memphis

Still grinding…THINKIN #MUNCHtastic thoughts

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Why Publicize The Pledge In School, But Not Prayer?

Why Publicize The Pledge In School, But Not Prayer?

Why Publicize The Pledge In School, But Not Prayer?

Lyrikal Rose Ruth Jenkins | Contributor

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28

MARCH, 2017

Young Voices

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As a 16 year old high school student, the idea of making a promise to a “not so American flag” concerns me. I will elaborate. In my opinion, it is less patriotic to retain the display of the “American flag” if it was manufactured in another country. You see, I believe the pledge and the flag are contradicting.

I previously used the phrase “not so American flag” because an ample amount of flags that are being utilized in the U.S. were created in a country that is 7,233 miles away. This country is China. Why does China assemble our American flags? Well, according to my research it is cheaper to have flags imported from overseas than it is to create an actual American flag here in the U.S. However, our government would rather disburse money on other things that are highly irrelevant. Alright, now I will go back to the topic of the Pledge. Did you know that before it was called the Pledge of Allegiance it was known as the Bellamy Salute in 1892? You’re probably wondering what the difference is. Well, I’ll show you.

Bellamy Salute (from Wikipedia)

Pledge of Allegience (from TBO.com)

Wait a minute. Does the Bellamy Salute remind you of anything? That’s right. Hitler and his followers. For those of you who may not know Hitler, he was the leader of the Nazi party. Basically, he was the cause of World War II and the Holocaust which consisted of about six million European Jews who were killed by the Nazi Germany and other Nazi supporters.

Why does China assemble our American flags?

I can understand why the alternation of the hand placement occurred, but I am still bewildered about the reason of why we as Americans say the pledge. Honestly, it is just a semantic satiation. I truly believe that the Pledge of Allegiance has lost its meaning because we have been programmed to say it an ample amount of times over the years. Think about it. Children begin saying the pledge as young as 3 years old and continue it throughout elementary, middle school, high school, and so on. But do we even know what we’re saying. I mean yeah, we can hear the words coming out of our mouth, but do we truly understand that we are making a promise to a flag, a country, an entire nation?! I wonder what would happen if those young children ever broke that promise. Will they be penalized? Would we be penalized? Reciting the pledge of Allegiance is like expounding a script or speech that you have read over and over and over and over and over and over again. Eventually, it will become tiring. Similar to saying the pledge. I’ve seen an ample amount of students, including myself, who dragged their words and could care less about saying the pledge, but we said it anyway because we felt as though we are obligated to. However, I stopped reciting the pledge after doing my research and realized that it was not benefiting me in any way, shape, or form. This brings me to another question. Why keep the pledge, but get rid of prayer?

Lyrikal Rose Ruth Jenkins

Lyrikal Rose Ruth Jenkins

Student | Artist | Business Owner

Daughter of LaTrossica Wilson and stepdaughter of Shon Wilson. She is a 16yr old Creative and Performing Art student at Overton High School. Lyrikal is an artist who has been honored to have her artwork featured all over Memphis, such as First TN Bank, The Brooks Museum, and Memphis College of Arts. Lyrikal is one of the youngest entrepreneurs in Memphis to have owned her own business (Amazing Creations by Lyrikal) since the age of 12. She creates duct-tape crafts, paintings, drawings, and photography. Hobbies (a short list): sewing, skating, and spending time with family. Lyrikal’s dream is to become a well-known actress and artist inspiring children and teens all over the world to make their dreams a reality.

As a Christian, I am a witness of the effects of prayer and how it can influence the lives of many, but I cannot say the same about the pledge. I know there are a variety of religions in the world, but being exposed to other religions gradually decreases the stereotypes of individuals who share an opposing belief. Prayer in schools can also be an opportunity for students, teachers, principals, and others to promote religious tolerance and acceptance. In my opinion, inviting prayer may allow more students or even adults to feel more comfortable about publicly displaying their faith. I say this because many individuals may be embarrassed and tend to shy away from their religious beliefs due to the lack of religion exposure. However, if prayer is allowed to be publicly displayed in school and vocalized over the intercom similar to announcing the pledge, then students will most likely feel more confident about their beliefs and they might even develop a closer connection with their God. With that being said, there may be less teen crimes, drop outs, and other negative activities involving the youth if we weren’t all bullied into saying the pledge regardless of our own individual beliefs.

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A Word of Encouragement

A Word of Encouragement

A Word of Encouragement

Christopher Wilson | Contributor

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28

MARCH, 2017

Young Voices

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For most students, they have returned from their Spring Break vacations and have already been swamped in a workload that would make your head spin. Although it may be the last quarter of the school year, you would assume that everyone would grind even harder so that it will be worth it in the end. However, this is not the case. For many of us, we have already given our extra ten percent for this school year and have decided to relax for the remainder of this school year until Summer vacation.

The reason why I have decided to write on this topic would be to encourage everyone—students, parents, even myself— not to give up on their goals that they have set for this year, but to continue giving it their all, even if it seems as if they have no energy left to do so.

“I am here to accomplish, not merely think on the matter” – anonymous

Some of you may be thinking right now: Why should I listen to him? He doesn’t know half of the things that I have to do in a single day! If you are one of those people, I would agree with you because I would not know what you accomplish in a day, let alone in an hour! But, I can empathize with you on how exhausted you must be.

Encouragement, to most people, may sound like an easy thing to do. or #Don’tWhineJustGrind!

One thing that would remedy that amount of exhaustion would be: encouragement. Encouragement, to most people, may sound like an easy thing to do. All you are simply saying to yourself or others are words that will motivate you or that other person to continue doing whatever it is that is positive. In my opinion, it is not as easy as it seems if you do not believe that your circumstances will get better. For example, I have worked extremely hard on a Sonatina for my piano festival that is at the end of this month. After returning from Spring Break, I noticed that some of my skills that were not as perfect as they were before I left for break. I remember sitting at the piano and contemplating over whether I should give up or if I should just make up for lost time because I had come too far to give up now. It was in that moment that I realized how far I had actually come in my piece and that I could not abandon it with a lazy excuse.

Christopher Wilson

Christopher Wilson

Student and Writer | Overton High School

I see myself in the near future pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems at a prestigious
university and being a New York Times best-selling author of my own novel series.

Just those minor, but powerful words caused my skills to strengthen tremendously and now, I can rest assured of how I will do at the upcoming festival. So, similar to how most people make New Year Resolutions, I want to challenge everyone— including you— to motivate another person to not give up because they are tired, but to keep going so that in the end, it will pay off in a positive way.

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Reading takes him places he may never see

Reading takes him places he may never see

Reading takes him places he may never see.

Shera Cantrell | Contributor

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24

MARCH, 2017

Young Voices

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Peighton and Bryson are always looking for something to do and they have a passion for reading that often seems unusual for children their age! They have somehow mastered the art of truly enjoying what they read. They love to tell anyone about their newfound knowledge, after completing a book. Bryson has said several times that reading takes him places he may never see.

While listening to them discuss the books available in the school library and the reasons some children don’t pick certain books, I suggested that they do book reviews online. This way other children can get an idea of what a book is about from the point of view of a peer. Peighton expanded that idea into having a book club in hopes of encouraging every child to read more and understand that reading is even more enjoyable outside of a required task for school. As usual, they took a small suggestion and turned it into “Book It 4 Life”! As their parents, we feel it is our duty to encourage them and help them pursue the goals they step out to obtain. If they work hard for it, we work just as hard for them. They cannot do it by themselves.

They love to tell anyone about their newfound knowledge, after completing a book.

We cannot predict where “Book It 4 Life” will lead Bryson and Peighton, or if it’s simply a stepping stone their next heartfelt mission, but that is what makes me especially proud of them.

“Book It 4 Life” book club information can be located on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. We currently meet one Saturday per month to discuss an assigned book. At the end of the discussion the children do an activity that is related to the book (that’s the fun part)! It is NEVER too late to join us. Our goal is to build the book club up to 12 attendees per session within the age range of 7-12. As we grow, our meeting location will rotate, which is why it is so important to follow us @BookIt4Life on Facebook or Twitter for the book club information.

Shera Jones Cantrell

Shera Jones Cantrell

Being a mom is the most amazing gift!

“Book It 4 Life” book club information can be located on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. We currently meet one Saturday per month to discuss an assigned book. At the end of the discussion the children do an activity that is related to the book (that’s the fun part)! It is NEVER too late to join us. Our goal is to build the book club up to 12 attendees per session within the age range of 7-12. As we grow, our meeting location will rotate, which is why it is so important to follow us @BookIt4Life on Facebook or Twitter for the book club information.

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Student Leadership Symposium

Student Leadership Symposium

Student Leadership Symposium
Christopher Wilson | Contributor

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11
MARCH, 2017
Young Voices
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“Should I just call-in and pretend to be sick or should I get up?” That was the only thought that was alive in my brain as my ear-piercing alarm clock rang.
With a deep sigh, I hopped out of bed and went straight to the bathroom to get ready for the student leadership symposium I had committed myself to; however, I did not forget to turn off my alarm clock before doing so.
Christopher Wilson is a student at Overton High School, CAPA Creative Writing Program. He also serves as the Ambassador for the JustMyMemphis Young Voices Channel
Recently, TFA, Teach for America, hosted its annual Student Leadership Symposium. It was held Saturday, March 4, 2017 at Memphis Scholars Raleigh-Egypt Middle School, where students signed up to either be student facilitators or attendees for this event. The symposium kicked off with a welcome from TFA’s Athena Turner, who is currently the Executive Director for TFA. One of the guest speakers who came out to speak to everyone was the CEO of Mo’s Bows, Moziah Bridges. While he was speaking, it was encouraging to see another young, African-American man that had accomplished his dream and was continuing to walk in his purpose. Although I am known for doing many great things, people tend to forget that I too can be discouraged because when you are living life always on the go, you sometimes do not have a chance to appreciate the simple things that you once used to.
One thing that I will always remember will be the comments I received from my audience about how my presentation helped them to become a better leader

Once the sessions began, my friend and I watched our other friend, Desiree’, present her presentation on S.M.A.R.T. Goals. I truly learned what the acronym S.M.A.R.T.- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time- Bound- meant and how I could apply it to my lifestyle. After block one was over, the second set of sessions began, which meant that I was not able to support my other friend, Octavia, who was about to present at the same time that I was too. Octavia’s presentation dealt with the proper ways to handle certain situations without overreacting. Although I was not able to physically be in the room with her, I helped her practice the things she needed to say before everyone was released to the opening rally and made sure that she was comfortable in her room afterward.

Nevertheless, it was now my turn to present my workshop on leadership development entitled: Follow the Leader? My workshop discussed the meaning of leadership, the different ways to accentuate those leadership skills, and lastly, the reasoning why communication is key to any organization. At first, I was worried that I would not receive a lot of participation from my group of students because it was still early that Saturday morning, but it surprised me when everyone did; including the adult facilitators who were there to lend a helping hand! The discussion-based questions I posed to my audience truly made them think about their answers and it incited many other topics to stir. The amount of preparation it took for all of this to come together could not have been done without the help of the College Initiative.

Christopher Wilson

Christopher Wilson

Student and Writer | Overton High School

I see myself in the near future pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems at a prestigious
university and being a New York Times best-selling author of my own novel series.

Aside from the nice gift packet TFA gave to its presenters, the experience and memories I gained from participating at this symposium inspired me to do more presentations to any given audience. One thing that I will always remember will be the comments I received from my audience about how my presentation helped them to become a better leader.

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It’s Hard to Overcome an Instinct of Survival

It’s Hard to Overcome an Instinct of Survival

It is Hard to Overcome an Instinct of Survival

Hayden Parsons | Contributor

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6

MARCH, 2017

Young Voices

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Part 2 of Hayden’s Story
He stopped paying for my private school education.

I saw that it would be a huge burden on my mother and my stepdad to try and pay for my tuition and my sister’s as well. She also went to the same private school as I did, but with some financial help. I never fit in at that school. I was bullied all the time because I wasn’t country or a football player. My sister was also bullied.

JustMyMemphis took Hayden out for a photo shoot. Here are a few of the shots!

In my opinion, all of those kids, who bullied us, knew that we were different and better than them. So they tried to keep us down. They thought that we were made of money because my grandparents own a limousine company. What those kids didn’t understand is that if those limos were in the drive way, then there was no money coming in the mail and there was little that we could do “money-wise”.
I have always looked up to my grandparents as well as my mom. All three are super hard workers. And they would work themselves to death if it meant that my sister and I would benefit from it. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. After my mother divorced my dad, while he was in jail, we moved in and lived with them for three years. I remember that and loved it. I spent all day with my Nana and my Grandad.

That’s why today it is very hard for me to socialize with my generation.

I didn’t have a lot of interactions with other kids though. Later on when I did, they bullied me or I was getting hurt up or beating them up. That’s why today it is very hard for me to socialize with my generation. I grew up always having to watch out for kids my age trying to bully me or beat me up. I’m way more comfortable around female adults. Reason being is that a woman has never hurt me, mentally or physically. I think that’s why I find it hard to talk to girls my age because I feel as though I am still a little kid, who is watching over his shoulder and trying to survive. I hate being in a room filled with all boys or grown men. There is somewhat of a survival instinct that comes over me and I want to rip every guy’s head off that I am in the room with. It’s not that I hate men and show it, but it’s hard to overcome an instinct of survival that has been in me since the age of four.

I didn’t have a lot of interactions with other kids though. Later on when I did, they bullied me or I was getting hurt up or beating them up. That’s why today it is very hard for me to socialize with my generation. I grew up always having to watch out for kids my age trying to bully me or beat me up. I’m way more comfortable around female adults. Reason being is that a woman has never hurt me, mentally or physically. I think that’s why I find it hard to talk to girls my age because I feel as though I am still a little kid, who is watching over his shoulder and trying to survive. I hate being in a room filled with all boys or grown men. There is somewhat of a survival instinct that comes over me and I want to rip every guy’s head off that I am in the room with. It’s not that I hate men and show it, but it’s hard to overcome an instinct of survival that has been in me since the age of four. To this day, I do not have a single friend who is within 5 years of my age. They are all older. I can socialize with them because of spending so much of my time around adults, mainly women. I love women with a deep passion. My mother makes fun of me because my favorite show is the Golden Girls. It just reminds me of the funny older women who have been in my life. It’s’ not a sexual thing, even though I am very much attracted to women. Women have just been nicer to me than men have.

HAYDEN PARSONS

HAYDEN PARSONS

Student, Fighter, & Journalist | Arlington High School

Student and Community Supporter. He will either be the next big name in boxing or the next big name on ESPN!

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