Interview with Emile Cambry, Jr of BLUE1647

Hey everyone! Joshua here! If you are reading this, I hope you are having a positive and life changing day! Today I had the opportunity to interview one of the most amazing, inspiring and hardest working men in entrepreneurship and tech – the one and only Emile Cambry, Jr.! Emile is the founder and leader of BLUE1647, he is also a social entrepreneur, film maker and business professor! Emile has a very inspirational work ethic and seeing his daily successes in helping the world be a better place is motivation to me! I am happy that he took the time to do an interview with me and provide some insight into how he is following his PASSION, making an IMPACT and living the #DoWhatYouDesire lifestyle!

I hope you all enjoy this interview!

Joshua
#DoWhatYouDesire

Good day Emile! I would like to thank you for being a part of my People Who Will Inspire You To #DoWhatYouDesire interview series! Tell me how things have been going with you?

Thing have been going well, just balancing all things BLUE1647, but I couldn’t be more proud of the work our team is accomplishing and what we have on deck moving forward. Our goal has always been about economic justice, and in the 21st century, our work is essential.


Okay Emile can you take us back to your childhood! Tell us what inspired you to do what you’re doing today! Take us back to those formative moments in your childhood that created you!

Funny enough, my first memory of a computer was our Commodore 64, that my dad brought home. I had never heard about a computer before then, and funny enough, we learned how to operate and some small coding with the MS-DOS operating system. My brother and I did everything together, so we’d play around with the computer and try and figure out how to get more games on there. We didn’t have any special manual, just an interest, and getting access to it at a very young age, which is what we’re trying to equip all children with. And moving forward, when Prodigy and AOL came out, we were first on there, exploring wha the internet provided, and my brother even formed a hacker group where he learned to code, and did some fun things with the group to connect to an outside community over computers.

Currently you are the CEO and Founder of BLUE1647. I have seen and heard very positive and inspiring things about your organization! How did you create this company? What made you decide to pursue this on such a massive and inspiring way?

Honestly, this company came about from a side project. I was teaching at a local university, and I noticed that many of my students needed jobs and internships, but didn’t get them, especially my minority students. I started to think about the next generation and the idea of apps had just launched. I thought it would be cool if kids could build apps, and imagined what they’d be like 10-15 years from now if they started early. They could build my products and services, and they could be the Lebron James of technology. We launched a pilot program, which was extremely difficult, but some students really loved it. They kept at it. And their parents kept asking what’s next, so we realized we needed a space for them to build, make, and continue to learn. So we’ve evolved our organization as a result of what’s needed by the community and it went from a side project to ten jobs in one.

I follow you on Social Media and I know that you are very passionate about technology and entrepreneurship! What are your thoughts about the current state of entrepreneurship and technology in the black community and other communities as well? What actions and initiatives need to be implemented for us to become knowledgeable and profitable in business?

I’m very passionate about technology and entrepreneurship because we haven’t had the narrative around us being a part of the innovation economy. Billions and billions of wealth is created through technology companies, and if we don’t start them, we probably don’t benefit from this growth. If we can’t work for these companies because of the skills divide, we can’t inspire the next generation. That’s why I’m big on showing our successes, and keeping the narrative alive, because we are at a critical point in our history, where we could be left out completely, if we don’t do what’s necessary to participate and start our own.

You have many programs and events produced by BLUE1647 that cater to different communities/ages/ethnicities! (I also see that you work with Creative Cypher, which I am a member of!) Can you tell us about some of the programs that you have created?

We created programs based off need. We realized we needed to do more for women in tech, so we created 1919 to cater to that demographic. We found that some women prefer to learn tech around other women, and they can get started that way. Not to segregate anyone away, but make it a better starting point for some folks. The same thing with our Latina Girls Code program, or our BLUE5050 program, which is targeted towards folks over 50 years old. We connect folks who finish the program to our outside community within BLUE, but we do all we can to find easy, safe places for folks to get started in their journey.

We all experience downfalls and greatness in our lives. I feel these are things that help shape us, these key periods in our lives. What have been some of your biggest setbacks in life? How did you overcome them?

I’ve had tons of setbacks, so many to name. Everything from being rejected by another incubator when I wanted to bring my youth program there. Because of that rejection, I started my own space! I applied to PhD programs because I wanted to better study equitable global supply chain models, but most of my work now includes elements I would have just been studying, not changing. At first, it was tough to be rejected when you put all you can into it, but I’ve always found better ways to improve myself and be competitive moving forward. Anyone that knows me knows I have a massive chip on my shoulder, and all because of these defining moments.


What have been some of your greatest achievements? Can you take us into your mindset at that point and how you achieved?

The biggest achievement is just how our team has grown to multiple cities and a center in Haiti. I would have never thought that was possible. The individual awards are cool, but to be able to change lives every single day is just surreal. I still can’t believe it at times.

My mantra and brand is #DoWhatYouDesire – what does a statement like #DoWhatYouDesire stand for in your words?

It means just go for it. You are the CEO of yourself, and your decisions matter. Every small, incremental move in the direction of your path, will lead you to greatness, if you put in the work.

How can we find out more about you and your organization? Website? Facebook? Instagram? Twitter?

We’re at blue1647.com, backslash blue1647 or blue1647 chicago on social media. Follow us because we post a lot, provide some content, and try and change the narrative of our communities.

 

About BLUE 1647

BLUE|1647 is a technology and entrepreneurship innovation center focused on technology education (through classes and workshops), workforce development (through apprentices and internships), and economic development in technology and 21st century skills.

Biography –

Emile Cambry, Jr. is a business professor, filmmaker, and social
entrepreneur born, raised and still calling Chicago home. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Chicago and his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Emile gained experience in Investment Banking for J.P. Morgan Chase as well as teaching as he was a Professor at North Park University and recognized as one of the Top 50 Business School Professors. Perhaps Mr. Cambry’s largest project to date was founding the technology and entrepreneurship incubator, BLUE1647, expanding to several different locations across the Midwest.

Emile has Produced films that have been licensed by HBO and Cinemax, as well as Showtime. Emile is the President of the Chicago International Social Change Festival which showcases films that heighten public consciousness. Rounding out Mr. Cambry’s experiences include being named on
Ebony Magazine’s Power 100, The Root Power 100, Chicago Crains Tech 50, a Top 100 Innovator in Chicago by the Chicago Tribune, Techweek 100, and a 40 Game Changer Under the Age of 40 awarded by Verizon Wireless, and awarded
the Community Service Award by the South by Southwest Conference. Emile is also a recipient of the 2014 Impact Award by the Social Enterprise Alliance, and sits on the boards of Depaul University’s Social Enterprise Collaborative, a Commissioner for the Cook County Social Innovation Commission, the Forbes Nonprofit Council, and a Board member for Accion International. Emile is also a Global Services Association Fellow, to increase entrepreneurship and innovation around the Globe.

Interview with award winning entrepreneur and author Dr. Erin Albert

Hey everyone! Joshua here! If you are reading this, I hope you are having a positive and life changing day! As some of you know, I am currently working on a series entitled “Women Who Will Inspire You To #DoWhatYouDesire! Today I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Erin Albert, award-winning entrepreneur, writer, health outcomes pharmacist, attorney, coach, and podcaster. She is the founder of two companies (Pharm, LLC and Yuspie, LLC), and a health outcomes pharmacist for Myers and Stauffer, LC. She has penned over a dozen books on a range of topics. Her books have been featured in The Huffington Post, the BBC, NPR, Entrepreneur.com, DanPink.com, Forbes, and The New York Times. She also has been quoted on pharmacy practice in The Wall Street Journal. After meeting her at a book presentation and signing for “The S(He) Guide To Mentoring” which she co-authored with Dr. David Borst, I knew I needed to persuade her to take time to tell us about how she lives the #DoWhatYouDesire lifestyle!

Joshua
#DoWhatYouDesire

Interview with award winning entrepreneur and author Dr. Erin Albert

I would like to start off by asking, how is everything in the world of Dr. Erin Albert?

Busy! But always have time for new friends.

I am grateful for you being apart of my Women Who Will Inspire You To #DoWhatYouDesire interview series! Can you please tell me more about who you are? What would you tell a stranger who struck up a conversation with you…

Thank you for this opportunity, Josh! I usually reply with “It’s complicated,” when people ask me what I do and who I am. I used to try and only do one thing professionally, but I stopped fighting that. Now, I grow strength and talents from doing multiple things with my career – teaching/precepting, being a pharmacist, researching like a lawyer, writing, speaking and creating and designing my own universe through my books. I actually have a book and a label for this, the ‘Multipational.’  The book is entitled, Multipationals: The Changing World of Work, and How to Create Your Best Career Portfolio.  I really noticed that I’m not alone in this portfolio career menagerie this spring when I spoke at SXSW…there are many, many really cool multipationals out there doing awesome work!

Can you take me back to your childhood, you being a child in school, being a student in college, you know, growing up…what do you remember about it? How did it shape you into what you are today?

As a kid, I was and continue to be a bookworm.  My favorite thing was going to the library once a week with my mom and brother and filling my book bag full to the brim of books.  The love of reading has led to all the other things that I do professionally – writing, researching, speaking, teaching, podcasting and creating.  Subsequently doing research on why other women choose STEM or STEAMED careers, the one commonality women had across these professions was their love of reading when they were girls.


I know that you have numerous skills and have done numerous things, such as an award winning entrepreneur, writer, health outcomes pharmacist, attorney, coach and podcaster! Can you tell me how you juggle all of these different responsibilities? Which one is your favorite?

I’m ruthless about protecting my calendar, and if it is not on the calendar, it doesn’t exist. I’m also very sensitive to time overall – I don’t like wasting others’ time, because time is a finite resource; you never get it back. Sometimes I get accused of sending email that should have been completed in a meeting, but I detest meetings, and most of them are a waste of time. In regards to my favorite gig, I really love the variety of everything that I do – it creates cross-pollination of ideas across my various tasks and functions. I write about career development for Pharmacy Careers magazine, and podcast about career development for The Pharmacy Podcast Network.  These two streams merge a lot of times.  Interviewing someone about their career can lead to a really cool article or idea for a career column, and vice versa.  The secret sauce is the variety for me.

You have written numerous books on an array of subjects, from a new book about mentorship and women to three different children’s books! Can you tell us more about how the most recent book “The S(He) Says Guide to Mentoring” was created and what can readers gain from it?

The S(He) Says Guide to Mentoring is a collaborative project with Dr. David Borst and myself. He is a mentor of mine, from business school.  And, we’ve kept in touch throughout the years. Now that he is semi-retired, he reached out and asked if we could collaborate on a project together – and I know books.  But, he started a women’s mentoring program in Milwaukee, WI, and I started a couple of different mentoring programs in Indianapolis, so we thought it would be fun to provide a his & hers perspective on mentoring women.  My ideas are different from Dr. B’s about mentoring, so we literally created 2 books in one for the event.  There are 3 types of readers: 1. Potential Mentors (male and female), 2. Potential designers of mentoring programs, and 3. Mentees.  All three have knowledge to gain from reading this book. I also invited one of my mentees, Dr. Lauren Steinbach, to contribute to my side of the book about developing her own mentoring program this past year.

Can you tell us about what “STEAMED* Education” represents and what is it about? I saw that your theme of the children’s books involve the Princesses from Planet Stem. Can you tell us what Planet Stem is and what The Princesses do?!

Sure. The acronym of STEM – science, technology, engineering and math is incomplete. I use STEAMED – science, tech, entrepreneurship, art, math, engineering and design. These three editions to the acronym are critical in my mind, because without them, innovation has a much harder time of occurring. We need the entrepreneurial spirit to drive innovation and big ideas with small infrastructure, and we need art and design to make things elegant, better and more useful.  In the children’s book series I created, The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM – I have 20 princesses who have a variety of STEAMED careers in the stories and activity books. Book one is the story, book two is a hands-on activity book, and book 3 is a coloring book. I’m working on book 4 now. They basically save their planet from a plague of…ignorance!


You have been a two time entrepreneur and also have worked in education! How different are those two worlds? Do you prefer working for yourself as opposed to working a 9-5?

Entrepreneurship can be radically different from education, because most formal education has been around now for thousands of years. It can be slow to change. I think higher education is realizing they need to change faster now, however, so it’s getting better. I like the creativity and research parts of education–they really can be very entrepreneurial and innovative.  As for working for myself vs. a 9-5, I honestly like parts of both of these options. I like creating and working by myself on new ideas and it helps me to get things done.  However, I also like regular paychecks, healthcare and a 401K at the 9-5.  The 9-5 uses a different part of my brain vs. my entrepreneurial self, so if anything, I’m probably an intrapreneur – someone who acts like an entrepreneur, but serves companies.  At the end of the day, we are serving each other, whether or not we are running the show with our own customers, or serving customers through another organization. We’re all in this together!

What are your thoughts on the current wave of entrepreneurship and the “gig economy”? I know that you, like myself are a fan of Gary Vaynerchuk and the word “hustle” (which is the primary word of the hip-hop culture I was raised in). How important has “hustle” been in your career and building your personal brand?

I am a firm believer in the gig economy shaking up how we work in this country, and I worry that when I teach, I’m not preparing students enough for this coming tsunami of change.  I’m very thankful to my entrepreneurial parents who were business owners and taught me at a very young age of the ‘hustle’ concept – working hard, responding quickly to market and customer changes/requests, and getting things done. I’m not sure hustle is something one can teach, however–it’s something one either has or does not have, I think. Hustle is EVERYTHING in my book – because as Gary says, ideas are sh*t. It’s execution that wins. (And yes, I love @garyvee! I’m trying to get him on The Pharmacy Podcast!)

I wanted to do these type of interviews after going to women’s empowerment conferences and meeting many entrepreneurial and powerful women at them. One thing they discussed is that women still are not on equal ground with men and that more men need to advocate for equality in gender. Can you tell me how men should advocate for equal treatment, equal wages and equal respect for women not only in the workplace, but in our society as a whole?

Yes, so I call men who advocate for women “Manbassadors.” We have events and programs through a non-profit I serve, the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, on this topic (and in fact, an upcoming 6/13 event for our chapter of HBA may be the only time all 3 authors of the mentoring book are in the same room for autographs–registration is here!)  If women just keep on talking to other woman only about the topic of gender parity and pay parity, we’ll leave out half the population, and the half that is honestly currently leading many companies, Congress and boards.  We have to include everyone in the gender parity conversation. Other than reading our new book, men should definitely step up and mentor/sponsor other women in their organizations and out. I had a couple of podcasts on this topic too over at Pharmacy Podcast – a session with one of my former sponsors, Dr. Harlan Weisman, and of course Dr. Borst on the new mentoring book. Both are found and playable here: http://erinalbert.com/blog/?p=8662.

In life, we all face greatness and heartaches in every avenue of life…can you tell me What have been your biggest accomplishments? Biggest setbacks? How did you overcome them?

Biggest accomplishments: starting my first business, writing my first book and being not only a first generation college graduate in my family, but also going to grad school 3 times in addition to my undergraduate degree.  Most important, I paid (or my employer helped me) with grad school all 3 times.  Of all the things I’ve accomplished, I still think starting a business was the hardest of all.  Biggest setbacks: wow. Divorce. Not passing the bar exam the first time I took it. Being laid off from a job. I’m a big believer in everything happening for a reason, however, and even though these all frankly sucked, they were each great teachers. I always say, the train to Awesometown goes through Suckville. You have to fail, because failure is an inevitable part of life. It’s also an amazing teacher.  Each time I face an adversity, I get myself back up, dust myself off, and keep on trucking. I’m not a past-dweller either. Onward! One of my former bosses used KMF – Keep moving forward!


Is there anything else that people may not know you are passionate about that you’d like to let our readers know about?

I’m also very passionate about advocating for those who can’t speak – i.e. animals. All my pets came from Humane Societies, and I contribute to Humane Societies. I try to advocate for those without a voice amongst the humans.

My mantra and brand is #DoWhatYouDesire – what does #DoWhatYouDesire stand for in your words?

I guess I’d modify it with #DoWhatYouArePassionateAbout, or #DoYourWhy. Why are you here? What are you here to do? We’re all here for a purpose. Best days for each of us are the day we are born, and the day when we discover why we were born. Discover and do your why!

How can we find out more about you and your work? Facebook? Twitter? Website? Instagram? Snapchat?

On Twitter, I’m @ErinLAlbert, my companies are @pharmllc and @yuspie.

My website (where readers can sign up for my newsletter and vlog) is www.erinalbert.com.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erinalbert/

Instagram: @ErinAlbert.

Snapchat: @ea6603 (but I admit, I don’t know what I’m doing at Snapchat).

As for Facebook, I have various pages there, including pages for the following books:

The S(He) Says Guide to Mentoring: https://www.facebook.com/SHeSaysGuidetoMentoring/

The STEM Princess Trilogy: https://www.facebook.com/STEMprincess/

Single. Women. Entrepreneurs.: https://www.facebook.com/SWEntrepreneurs/
Multipationals: https://www.facebook.com/Multipationals/

Plan C: The Full-Time Employee and Part-Time Entrepreneur: https://www.facebook.com/PlanCTheBook/

Law School: A Few Short & Plain Statements: https://www.facebook.com/LawSchoolAFewShortAndPlainStatements/

Can you provide us some last words of wisdom or advice for a woman who has faced hardships, set backs or loss?

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.” – Japanese proverb, and one I use on myself every time I fall down. ; )

Interview with Brenda Campbell of Make A Difference – Wisconsin

Hey everyone! Joshua here! If you are reading this, I hope you are having a positive and life changing day! As some of you know, I am working on a series entitled “Women Who Will Inspire You To #DoWhatYouDesire”! Today I had the opportunity to interview Brenda Campbell of Make A Difference – Wisconsin! Brenda helps empower youth between the ages of 16-18 with knowledge about finance! I am happy that she accepted my interview reqeust because I believe that money, credit, budgeting and financial literacy is something that most of us don’t understand. When I saw that she was making it a priority with Make A Difference and involving financial industry professionals in Wisconsin to help teach, I knew it was something that I wanted all of you to learn more about! I hope you all enjoy this is as much as I did!

Joshua

#DoWhatYouDesire

Interview with Brenda Campbell of Make A Difference – Wisconsin

I would like to start off by saying welcome Brenda! How is everything going in your world?

It’s going very well. Thank you for having me and offering me the chance to share more about myself and the exciting work we’re doing at Make A Difference – Wisconsin.

I am grateful for you being part of my Women Who Will Inspire You To #DoWhatYouDesire series! Can you please tell me more about who you are? What would you tell a stranger who struck up a conversation with you …

I would tell them about a young woman who inspires me! Fefe is a freshman at DePaul University in Chicago. In high school, Fefe was like a lot of teenagers: working her first job, not saving and unsure about how to plan for her future. Her teacher brought one of our volunteers into their Milwaukee high school, and Fefe soaked up the information like a sponge. She said she learned how to budget, why she should save, what it means to have debt and loans, “important subjects that all teenagers need to know.” Most importantly, she put these good money habits into practice. Now living on her own and attending a prestigious university, Fefe said she uses this information every day to stay on top of her finances and to live her dreams.

That is the essence of what we do and what makes me so excited to go to work every day – we empower teens to take control of their financial futures.

Can you take me back to your childhood, you being in school, you know, growing up…what do you remember about it? How did it shape you into who you are today?

Growing up in north-central Wisconsin, I didn’t have a lot of exposure to the topics we teach. My parents were good savers, but we didn’t talk about where they put their money and why. We didn’t talk about investing. I am a first generation college grad and my parents were unable to help finance my education. Through trial and error (and many painful mistakes), I learned to budget, save and live independently. When I became a mother myself, I made it a priority to help my kids understand these concepts and put them into practice. For instance, with a lot of urging from mom, both of my kids opened a Roth IRA at teens with savings from their first part-time jobs. We all take our own paths, finances included, but it’s an incredible benefit to have someone who has been through it to help you along.

Can you tell me more about the organization you lead, Make A Difference – Wisconsin? What inspired its creation? What are some of the programs that you have implemented? What have been some of your biggest accomplishments?

We were founded in 2006 by Lloyd Levin, a local businessman who responded to a dying friend’s call to get involved in the lives of young people. From that initial interest, we’ve evolved into a nonprofit that has empowered more than 55,000 teenagers through nearly 800 volunteers at sites across Wisconsin and into Chicago. We have two primary programs: Money Sense shares financial fundamentals around budgeting, banking, saving and credit; in Money Coach, a select number of at-risk teens work with financial mentors throughout the school year on everything they’ll need to live independently.

Beyond the quantity of our lessons, I’m very proud of our quality, which we keep track of through regular surveys and evaluations. For instance, 81% of students in Money Sense use savings and money management tips they learned from the program. In Money Coach, 99% of teens continue to use a bank account and even two years out of the program, 93% of participants tell us they’re still tracking expenses. It’s clear that our lessons have become habits that these teens take with them into adulthood, leading to lifelong financial capability!

I know that you are very passionate about helping teens understand financial literacy. Can you tell us why there seems to be a severe lack of education for the youth about finances and how it works? What have you found to be the best methods of reversing the lack of knowledge and empowering teens with information?

There are a lot of underlying reasons. Many parents or guardians don’t feel comfortable talking about money with their kids. One study said parents feel more comfortable talking about sex or drugs than money! Parents, guardians and other family members may also not have the best track record with money. As for the schools, most states do not have a mandate to teach financial literacy. There are many other mandates and, of course, limited resources and time in the classroom. This leaves many teenagers in a position to find out for themselves, which can make it hard to establish good behaviors or even know the right questions to ask.

One thing teens don’t lack is the thirst to learn about money. It’s so relevant to their lives – they’re getting their first paychecks, preparing for college and careers. So, when you bring a mentor and basic lessons on money to their classroom, students truly respond. From what I’ve seen over the past decade in financial education, teens are ready to learn about money and eager to put it into practice. Teaching them around 11th and 12th grade, there is a “just-in-time” effect on their ability to learn about financial concepts and put them into practice right away. We just have to give them the chance.

I wanted to do these interviews after going to women’s empowerment conferences and meeting many entrepreneurial and powerful women at them. One thing they discussed is that women still are not on equal ground with men and that more men need to advocate for equality in gender. Can you tell me how men should advocate for equal treatment, equal wages and equal respect for women?

It’s about taking action and walking the walk. Men and women in power benefit when there are initiatives in place to enable women to be involved in leadership roles. I heard a great talk recently from Jonas Prising, chairman and CEO of Manpower. He was describing their successful model for expanding opportunities to everyone in the organization, particularly women. One part of the model involved reaching across department “silos” to give women exposure to P&L and operations. This is so critical given that the lack of operational experience is why so few women are seen in the top jobs. This is the type of thing that can happen on a broad scale and would work greatly toward inclusion.

In life, we all face greatness and heartaches in every avenue of life. Can you tell me what have been your biggest accomplishments? Biggest setbacks? How did you overcome them?

My biggest personal accomplishment is raising two children who have become responsible adults with a keen appreciation and commitment to social and racial justice and gender equality.

Professionally, I am very proud to lead an organization committed to our youth and giving them an opportunity to become financially capable. There have been many challenges along the way, but I have overcome them by being open to change, focusing on quality, measuring outcomes, carefully listening to stakeholders, taking some risks and staying true to the mission.

You are the leader of a very well respected and successful non-profit organization. How important is it for people and businesses to be involved in helping in our communities? Why do you think that many of us don’t realize the importance of investing in the youth?

I continually come back to the value of what our organization does in the community. One of the rewarding aspects of our mission comes from community partnerships. Our volunteers come from the business and professional world, but they may not have been in a high school since they graduated. Our education partners are vigorously involved in teaching youth, but may not get a lot of external support. We bring these two groups together in a really proximate way around shared financial futures. People are aware of the issues and they want to be able to do something about them. What we’ve done is create a unique opportunity for people to get involved and be part of the change. So, if you’re reading this out there and want to get involved – as a volunteer, as an educator, as a supporter, as a student – we want you to help lead this movement!

My mantra and brand is #DoWhatYouDesire – what does #DoWhatYouDesire stand for in your words? 

I love that! This means so much to me and I think often about whether I am doing what I desire. It boils down to this question I ask myself frequently: Am I living in a way that allows me to prioritize my time for the people and the causes that are most important to me?

How can we find out more about you and your organization? Facebook? Twitter? Website? Instagram? Snapchat?

We’re always looking for new people and organizations who share our passion for teen financial empowerment. You can find more from us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and YouTubeOur website is updated regularly with inspiring stories and insight on financial literacy trends. And if you are looking to join our movement of financially empowered teens – as a volunteer, in your school, as a supporter – please contact me directly at brenda@makeadifferencewisconsin.org

Can you provide us some last words of wisdom or advice for a woman who has faced hardships, setbacks or loss? 

Regardless of the pain and challenge, my advice is to keep moving forward. Accept what has happened, and then plan and take action. Surround yourself with positive people who care about you and believe in you. One way to stay positive is by practicing gratitude. Take a few minutes every day to acknowledge who and what you are grateful for. And remember to be kind to yourself.

 

Brenda’s bio

Brenda Campbell has led Make A Difference – Wisconsin since its inception in 2006. Campbell has years of experience in program development, management and evaluation in the areas of financial literacy, education, workforce development and child welfare. She has been a regular source of insight on financial education to Wisconsin media and was honored as one of Milwaukee’s Women of Influence by the Milwaukee Business Journal in 2010. Brenda’s ongoing passion for teen financial literacy comes from the powerful changes she has seen teenagers make in using financial savvy as adults.

 

Interview with Jenny Christian

Hello everyone!

My name is Joshua Scarver and I am the man behind the scenes here at #DoWhatYouDesire! Throughout my personal life and since the beginning of #DWYD aka #DoWhatYouDesire – I have always been supported by WOMEN. The people who have #DWYD tattooed on them are WOMEN, the people who have supported the #DWYD apparel are WOMEN and the people who have the overwhelming majority of supporting my Toy & Book Drive are WOMEN and WOMEN OWNED businesses. In my time of interacting with women from a diverse group of backgrounds, the one thing I have noticed and also have been told by women is that there are not many men who are advocating for them in the workplace and even in society in general. After realizing how much I am supported by women and after hearing countless stories of this lack of men, I have decided to dedicate my time and resources to seeking out women from all walks of life who want to tell their stories to the world via interviews. I have decided to name this “Interviews With Women Who Will Inspire You To #DoWhatYouDesire” – cheesy, maybe, but inspiring, YES!

My first interview is Jenny Marie Christian who has been featured here before! Since her last interview she has grown even more as a person and is inspiring more people than ever by just being herself and letting her natural talents shine through. I feel that Jenny Marie Christian and what she does in her life will inspire many young women and girls to pursue their talents and go all in on there calling, no matter what the obstacles are! I hope that you enjoy reading about her and take some time to learn about what she does and be inspired to #DoWhatYouDesire!

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JENNY MARIE CHRISTIAN – INTERVIEWS WITH WOMEN WHO WILL INSPIRE YOU TO #DOWHATYOUDESIRE

I would like to start off by saying welcome back Jenny! Its been awhile since we have last talked! How is everything going in your world?
Hiiiii!!!! Yeah it’s been a while, but that’s okay!!! I know you’ve been busy and still got my back!! Lol

I am grateful for you being apart of my 52 Women Who Will Inspire You To #DoWhatYouDesire! Can you please tell me more about who you are? What would you tell a stranger who struck up a conversation with you…

Well first thank you for considering me, it’s truly an honor that I appreciate to be selected.

Whenever some says “tell me about yourself”, I say “what specifically do you want to know”.. lol

I answer that way because oddly I get awkward when rambling about myself. I never want to sound boastful or self-absorbed.

A little about me, I’m an author, speaker, on air/ media personality, blogger, actress and most importantly an ambassador for Christ.

Can you take me back to your childhood, you being in school, you know, growing up…what do you remember about it? How did it shape you into what you are today?

My most memorable or impactful memories from childhood is mostly being with my parents. My life was quite sheltered and I was either with my mom or my dad at all times. Because of that I realized how both of my parents enjoyed what they did for a living. My father a blues singer, my mother a preschool teacher and Sunday school teacher, my stepfather a navy man and realtor.

What I realized early from them is that I wanted to do what I loved and I wanted to somehow have an impact on others.

Tell me more about your work with speaking, moderating & hosting events year! What have been some of the things that you have done? What are your future plans?

Well most of my work is in the field of radio and media correspondence because of that I’ve been blessed to be invited to speak at events to empower women, sit on panels for empowerment tours or promote my books. It’s rare that I host events because that’s not my thing. Thus far I’ve only moderated one panel discussion. However I expect much more in the near future. More books, more blogs, more acting, more shows and more speaking engagements.

I know that you are very passionate about religion & spirituality! Can you tell us more about how your faith has helped you in your journey in life? How do you keep faith in times of darkness?

I’m not necessarily passionate about religion per se, but I’m on fire and full of faith in God. My faith in Jesus and his plan for my life has been what’s holding me and pushing me to continue to succeed with joy and hope. More of my faith based writings and story can be found on my website http://fillhealrestore.com/

In times of frustration and distress I’ve learned to hope in God and trust in his plan for my life.

I wanted to do these interviews after going to women’s empowerment conferences and meeting many entrepreneurial and powerful women at them. One thing they discussed is that women still are not on equal ground with men and that more men need to advocate for equality in gender. Can you tell me how men should advocate for equal treatment, equal wages and equal respect for women?

There is a great deal of truth that men are often paid more, respected more and valued more. We’d need Men to first see a woman as an equal before they can effectively create a strategic and effective plan to advocate on our behalf to bring about true change and equality.

In life, we all face greatness and heartaches in every avenue of life…can you tell me What have been your biggest accomplishments? Biggest setbacks? How did you overcome them?

My biggest accomplishments have yet to come. I’ve had some moments that have made me quite proud of myself, but the best has yet to come.

As far as how I deal with setbacks, it goes back to my faith and God. God doesn’t waste pain or pressured moments. Setbacks I look at as setups for comebacks. Every storm is positioning you perfectly for your purpose.

Is there anything else that people may not know you are passionate about that you’d like to let our readers know about?

My passion is to pour into people and love on people. I’m a hope dealer. As long as you have hope, you have enough to keep going. So everything I do and in every genre you’ll feel my passion to push others.

My mantra and brand is #DoWhatYouDesire – what does #DoWhatYouDesire stand for in your words? 

Do what feels right for your journey and your path.

How can we find out more about you and your books and your events? Facebook? Twitter? Website? Instagram? Snapchat?

IG|Twitter|Facebook @jennymchristian

Website: http://fillhealrestore.com/

Can you provide us some last words of wisdom or advice for a woman who has faced hardships, set backs or loss? 

Cast your cares, concerns, hurts, and frustration on God. He will fill every void. Heal every hurt and restore everything that was lost.

Interview with Corey Demon – Creator of Stolic Kidd

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Good day Corey Demon! How is every thing in your world of fashion?

Whats going on Josh everything in my world of fashion is Just GREVYI. forever will be.

I always like to ask, what would you say to someone if they came up to you asked “What do you do?”

Man everytime someone come up ask me what I do I say everything. Lol! But seriously, I hate that question because 1. I do a lot and it can come off not serious about your craft or kinda of cocky. To answer your question WHAT DO YOU DO? I am an actor & a wardrobe stylist, that has his own clothing brand.

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What inspired you to get into the fashion styling and modeling world?

Why do all men do things WOMEN!! A women told me i should model I tried it it work! Lbs! As far as styling it just happened. I was managing a artist and he needed a shoot so I styled it myself. I just fill the void. I can do things better than most people so I do it myself. But styling is a way of life for me, it wasn’t forced at all!

You are also an actor! I read that you work with Gill Hayes. Are there any movies or shows that you have been in?

Yes I am an actor and yes I am signed with them! They are a great agency!

You can find me on Chicago Fire episodes 415 and 416. I am also a few independent films and shorts.

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Acting is much harder than people think, I was an extra on Empire and realized that it is something that you have to have passion and a great work ethic for. Can you tell us about your approach to acting? Is there anyone you study or find inspiration from?

My whole approach to acting is… DON’T ACT. To be real as possible! I haven’t got the opportunity to dive into a big role that makes me have to really break down and develop who that person is, but everyday I prepare myself. I people watch, study different mannerisms of people. My favorite actors are Sean Penn, Robert DeNiro and Denzel Washington.

Can you tell us about your work with PRSVR? How long did you work there as a creative director?

Prsvr was a platform that was given to me to learn, practice, sharpen and showcase All I can do! I was a creative director for 4 years!

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Explain to us, in your words, what is “Image” and how important is it in business and artistry?

To me Image is Perception! Its whatever people perceive it to be, but its the most important thing I believe when it comes to being a artist and having a business! Your image is like the sign on the building on Michigan Ave! The displays and mannequins in the window! Its the first thing people see or hear about you, its important because most people don’t know about you!

Do you think that we are all born with creativity? Or is it something that we can learn?

I feel God gives us all gifts some more than others. I feel in this age creativity is mass produced. its kind of a joke! I feel you can sharpen what you have already inside of you! What you do with that knowledge or how it comes out well that itself separates one from another!

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You recently have started your own brand of clothing “Stolic”/Stolic Kidd” Can you tell us more about it and what it stands for? What type of clothes do you create?

Stolic – Stolic kidd is a brand I started 3 and half years ago! I started because I became aware of my influence in the world of fashion and was tired of making everyone else money!

STOLIC MEANS Sent to overachieve lead in Class I use kidd because its the most humble form a man can come as. So if you are a Humble sent messenger everyone will listen and pay attention! Its alot more to the name so be on the look out for videos and post at @stolickidd

I have a saying here “DO WHAT YOU DESIRE” or #DWYD. How does that apply to what you are doing with your fashion, acting and business pursuits and how you live your life?

#DWYD – This phrase is ME. Often I feel I do to much. There is a saying ‘jack of all trades master of none’, but I feel that does not apply to me! Each one of my crafts I put in countless of hours sharpening my tool! I feel I am the best and working towards being the best in all categories! In Gods time all will see! So I do what I desire to do no matter what people say or think.

How can we find out more about you and your work online? Facebook? Twitter? IG? Snapchat? Website?

instagram/twitter @corey_demon
snapchat hollywoodgrinch
facebook Corey De Mon
website www.stolickidd.com
site www.coreydemon.com

Do What You Desire featuring Dizon Dreams

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I always like to ask, what would you say to someone if they came up to you asked “What do you do?”
 
Every dream requires a dynamic team. Dizon Dreams helps brands and artists turn a creative vision into a game plan. We’re passionate about helping creatives reach the next level of success and do everything from PR to social media to events. We also host hip-hop dance parties in Los Angeles. 
 
Can you tell us about your work with your company Dizon Dreams? How long have you been in the business? Why did you create Dizon Dreams?
 
Dizon Dreams started back in 2015, it came out of a need. Living in Los Angeles, we recognized there’s so many dreamers, but not enough doers. Our mission with Dizon Dreams is to turn those creative dreams into a reality with action. This can be anything from launching a PR campaign, to increasing social media following and engagement to planning an album release party. We do what we love everyday and at the end of the day, that’s what life is all about. We’re passionate about working with the same people who have this winning mentality.
 
Can you take us into a day of your life? From when you wake up until you go to sleep…even if its only 4-5 hours of sleep!
 
There’s a saying that goes “I don’t have a 9-5, I have a ‘when I open my eyes- to when I close my eyes'” and we find this very true. To start the day, we begin with prayer, meditation, and a sense of gratitude. We’re thankful for the opportunity to be of value within our community and aim to reflect that in our actions and daily efforts. We usually schedule a morning meeting to highlight our client goals and schedule the day according to our agenda. 
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Take us behind the scenes, into your world. What makes an event, a good event?
 
A good event is all about the energy of the crowd and the music. The best dance parties we’ve had have been when the DJs we’re playing good music and the crowd was full of life. We want everyone dancing at our parties. No wallflowers allowed, and nothing but positive vibes! 
 
Who are some of the people/organizations that you have worked with?
 
We’ve had great opportunities to work with some of my favorite brands: NIKE, Capitol Records, WB and hip-hop artists including Snoop Dogg and Mary J. Blige. Right now we’re working with The Pharcyde, HBK CJ, and Gaffer & Child.
 
Can you tell us how it is being a female business owner? Do you face any unique challenges or glass ceilings?
 
Being a female business owner is a challenge, but it’s about being a boss and having a positive attitude. People underestimate us, but there’s power in being underestimated. We enjoy going beyond what people expect of us. 
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Are there any people and/or companies that you are inspired by? What makes them inspirational to you?
 
Diddy definitely inspires Dizon Dreams. He’s the ultimate hustler. Gary Vee is someone super inspirational as well. He builds brand equity and that’s what we believe it’s all about, giving and developing the value of a brand. 
 
I have a saying here “DO WHAT YOU DESIRE” or #DWYD. How does that apply to what you are doing with your fashion, acting and business pursuits and how you live your life?
 
Do what you desire is the foundation of creating a career you love. If you’re not using your talents to create and manifest a job you love, you’re playing yourself. And as our good friend DJ Khaled reminds us, don’t ever play yourself. There’s so many ways to can get paid to do what you love. It’s about focusing on what you want, finding your strengths and using your skills to help solve a problem. 
 
How can we find out more about you and your work online? Facebook? Twitter? IG? Snapchat? Website?
 
Follow us at @DizonDreams for a behind the scenes actions in Hollywood and our daily hustle. To learn more about what we do you can also visit DizonDreams.com
 
Are there any last words of wisdom or advice?
 
Do more than you talk. Surround yourself with a great team, and strive daily to improve your craft. Fuel your desire by your daily efforts because at the end of the day, the world goes to the doers. 
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Doing What You Desire with Chase N Cashe

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I would like to start off by asking, how is everything in the world of Chase N Cashe?

All is well I have no complaints because I am blessed and favored by the Universe. Putting the final touches on my next release “Cashe Rules 2” and continuing to shoot videos for songs off my latest drop “The Heir Up There 2” staying busy.

What would you say to someone who walked up to you on the street and asked, what do you do?

I tell people that I’m a musician and businessman because that gives a good sum of what I do on the daily. I do many things that fall under the umbrella of the music business. Above all I would say that I’m a Creator.

I like to ask people to take me back to their beginnings, their childhood, your “come up”! Can you tell me how you began in music?

My start in creating music came from an infatuation with music made by Mannie Fresh, Timbaland & Missy, and the Neptunes during the early and mid 2000’s. Growing up in New Orleans you are born with an ear for all types of music but when the digital production wave started to grow I found it very attractive. I was never into computers or anything technology based except for video games before I fell in love with making music. I became a fan of Jay-Z by listening to Juvenile “HA” remix and that’s what introduced me to NYC rap. Once I got a hold of classic NYC mixtapes I started feeling more involved with the culture.

Did you always picture yourself doing music and getting paid for your creativity?

Not at all because I wanted to be a professional basketball player like most kids growing up at the time because Sports was a huge thing to be involved with. I knew so many people who did music for a living when I was young that I didn’t think you could get paid for it. I always saw it as a hobby because in New Orleans people do music just because it’s around us all the time. I didn’t start seeing the money in music until shows like MTV Cribs and BET How I’m Living started showing my favorite artists lifestyle off the camera.

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Can you take us into your creative mind? What is your process, if there is any? Do you think creativity is taught or are we born creative?

My creative process starts with gathering as much influences as I can so I can study the details then trim the fat down. I like simplicity. Simplicity is profound to me. I tend to try new things all the time but my simplistic approach is what allows me to do it without alienating the person digesting my music. I think we are all born creative and it’s up to us to teach ourselves or find a mentor who can teach us enough at first to where we learn how to guide ourselves down the line as time passes. Everyone is a creative though. Fixing your own hamburger is creative. It’s all in how you look at it.

I am very big into reading and gaining knowledge from others wisdom. With that being said, can you tell us about your book, “Life is Good & Generous” ? What inspired you to become something like a hip-hop Tony Robbins?

My book “Life is Good & Generous” actually started off as #LifeInstructions tweets I used to do years back that I would see get retweeted periodically by my supporters. People used to tell me all the time to write a book but my idea of writing a book was the old way of penning one as an author. As a kid I always loved pop-out picture books so I took some ideas from that and combined it with the feel of twitter. It’s amazing how many people are supporting the book. When you open the book and see the layout it gives you the feel of when you first came across the tweet. You even get to see the date and photos of some of my supporters which can strike up some memories such as what you were doing the day you came across the tweet. The Tony Robbins comparison is very appreciated but I’m more along the lines of an Eric Thomas. I give out my experiences in a language that this young generation can grasp quickly because they’re used to using social media to gather influences. I just want the book to keep growing to where I can do in-store signings and much more.

You are a one of the deeper thinkers in the music world, can you tell us how you feel about the presidential election? Do you think voting is important?

I honestly don’t feel any type of way about it. I think voting is important if you find politics interesting. I personally don’t find politics interesting. I’ve never felt like the President of the Nation determined how well I would live. I do know the influence that comes with someone being in that position and I respect it entirely but am not moved by it. I pay attention to people like Elon Musk, Carl Icahn, & Dr. Claud Anderson, & other people who are into creativity & big business.

What are your plans for 2016? Are you currently working on anything that you can share?

I’m releasing the sequel to “Cashe Rules” this Spring / Summer and I have a whole lot of production coming out so just stay tuned to all my social media connects like Twitter, IG, & SnapChat. I always keep people up to date. I’m like my own CNN. It’s CNC TV.

We have a saying/mantra/way of life known as “Do What You Desire” aka #DWYD. How does that apply to what you are doing with your life and the legacy you are leaving behind?

I do what I desire everyday so it fully applies to me. I desire to set good examples by doing what I love to do. What I love to do is create in the art realm. I’m blessed to have influence so I don’t take it lightly. I have a feeling I will big one of the biggest artists in this generation. I want to have a musical legacy that extends to my family because Bob Marley inspires me a ton. I’m here to make the best music I can so my family tree can live off of it and continue to operate a good standing respected business that can give back and contribute in the community.

How can we find out more about you and your creations online? Website? IG?

You can follow me on Twitter @ChaseNCashe and on Instagram @TheHeir. My SnapChat name is CNC504. You can watch all of my videos on YouTube by searching Chase N. Cashe. Subscribe to the CBR SoundCloud by visiting www.soundcloud.com/CrownBearers and you can get all the music from new to old. Every Saturday at 7PM PST and Sunday 9PM PST you can hear me on Dash Radio #TheCut Station with the “King of Kings” Podcast which is also available for free in the iTunes store. “The Heir Up There 2” is out now on LiveMixtapes.com and my artist BankSkee’s debut project “LuLu” is available on LiveMixtapes & SpinRilla. You can purchase the book “Life is Good & Generous” from www.AllWorkMorePay.com

Are there any last words of wisdom or advice for your fans, supporters and those of us who are trying to “make it” in any creative field?

All the ones who “make it” are the ones who never quit. You don’t have to know it all to live your dream but you do have to give it your all. You gotta invest all the positive energy you can into your creations so people can feel you whether they pay for it or not.

Interview with Founder of Renaissance Collective, Creative Director and Social Entrepreneur, Steven Gonzalez Marin

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I would like to start off by asking, how is everything in the world of Steven Gonzalez Marin?

Sensational! Very excited for the start of the new year. Many new projects on the horizon which will surely make it a year to remember.

What would you say to someone who walked up to on the street and asked, what is it that you do?

I come up with ideas and I bring incredibly talented people together to bring them to life. I always say I wasn’t blessed with any tangible talents, but I was able to recognize talent, and able to give it the direction and guidance it needs to ensure success. Which I suppose that is a talent of its own.

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Can you take me back to your childhood, your “come up”, what inspired you take the path to become a creative director? Was there an “aha moment”? Did you always visualize or expect to live the life you are living now?

Well I graduated high school and I really had no idea what I was going to do. That last year was a struggle and I knew school just wasn’t what I was destined to do.

Last minute I decided to go on a vacation to West Palm Beach, Florida and I never left. I stayed there for a year, and that was the turning point in my life. The energy and atmosphere was just perfect. I meditated, read, wrote, and walked for at least 8 hours a day. I had the chance to really dig deep and figure out who I was and what I was destined to do.

From there I began taking the initial steps that have gotten me to where I am today. I ended up moving back to my home town to take the courses I felt I needed and eventually moved to NY where I officially started the company I had dreamed about in Florida, and also founded IMAGE Gallery with my partners.

I didn’t know how or what path I would take, and I surely didn’t think I’d be involved in some of the things I am involved in today, but I did however know that I would be in the position of working for myself and doing what I love sooner or later.

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Can you tell us your perspective of what creativity is to you? Do you think everyone is “creative”? Do you think creativity is taught or are you born with it?

I’ve struggled with the concept of creativity. There was a span in my life where I didn’t think I was creative at all. I couldn’t come up with any ideas that I thought were worthy of anything really.

I just kept trying. I kept surrounding myself with creative people, I would come up with idea after idea, until some of them were actually pretty good. It has almost become like second nature.

I think creativity is a both a skill and a talent. Some people are born with it, some aren’t, but we all have it within. You just have to tap into it. And sometimes that means really digging deep, constantly, and failing numerous times. But its the repetition that makes your ideas great. Even if you were born creative, if you aren’t constantly doing things that stimulate your creativity then it won’t be nurtured and grow to reach its full potential.

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Take us into your creative mind, what is your process? How do you approach creativity? Many creatives are known to lack business sense, how do you balance the two? Any suggestions for our readers?

My purpose is rather simple, I want to create cool stuff that makes a difference in the lives of many. It’s easy to come up with something that is cool, but how do you make something cool and impactful, inspiring and motivating? That’s always the challenge for me. I believe creatives shape the way the world thinks and functions, and it is our responsibility to use that creativity in a responsible way.

As for balancing creativity and business sense. That’s a tough one. Many creatives either don’t know anything about business or don’t want to know anything about business. I think that’s where the role of manager and creative director are so important. We are the ones who are able to find balance between the two. That’s what many companies don’t understand. The role of creative director is crucial, as we both understand artistry and business and find a way to make the two coexist. My advice would be find yourself a good manager, who believe in you.

You have worked on numerous projects, can you tell us about some your past projects? Future projects for 2016!?

That’s a loaded question. I’ve been working on my own projects as well as with other companies and brands since I was 16. My first venture was a music label, where I managed a bunch of musicians and producers. That was fun. But that was my first taste of being an entrepreneur.

Since then I have worked on projects for international clothing brands, artists, musicians, athletes, etc. Last year I had the opportunity to work with Kanye West, on producing his Season 2 showroom in NYC. That was pretty awesome as he is an inspiration for what I do.

2016 is looking to be a great year. I am opening up a second gallery here in Brooklyn. Working on a really awesome for NBA All star Weekend with my client, Andre Drummond who will be in the All Star game for the first time. But what I am most excited about is this is the year I really start branding myself and engaging people with my story as well as doing a lot of social awareness and charity work. It’s all about giving back while you are here.

Who are some of the companies and other artists/creatives that you have worked with and are currently working with? What is Renaissance Collective? And what is Image Gallery NYC?

Renaissance Collective a creative agency that I founded in 2014. It is actually my dream company. I had in in my mind since I was 18 and took 5 years to finally bring it into fruition. Now I have the opportunity to work with a roster of incredibly talented people and really cool companies that understand the value of creativity and culture.

IMAGE is an art gallery and studio my partner founded and brought me on board to pretty much run the show. An art gallery was never part of my plan, but I must say it has been a great opportunity as it’s opened up many others and has allowed me to work with artists from around the world. Check out the gallery at www.imagegallery.nyc or @imagegallerynyc.

Now this question is a little different, can you tell us your most depressing moment in your career or even life if you are open to it, and how you worked to over come it?

There was a point in my life where I was actually homeless for quite some time. that was a hell of an experience. I made some moves in my life that might have been premature but I knew I needed to make in order to go where I needed to be. And it led to me not having a place to stay for while. It was definitely tough. But it was an experience that really built character, and put some things in perspective.

I just had to keep on working and fight through the depression. It’s life, but when you have that singular vision and that is the single most important thing in your life, everything else doesn’t matter. You really have to sacrifice in life to get what you want. Like really sacrifice. It’s all a part of the story though. I wouldn’t change a thing.

We have a saying/mantra/way of life known as “DO WHAT YOU DESIRE” or #DWYD. How does that apply to what you are doing in your life?

It applies perfectly. I left my comfortable job, home, and life all at once because I was miserable. I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do. Once I did that life got significantly harder, but I was able to breathe so much better. I was able to know that time was mine and I was able to do whatever I wanted to do with it. I am definitely still figuring it all out, BUT I can proudly and happily say I DO WHAT I DESIRE.

You guys can check out the agency page at www.renaissancecollective.com, my personal Instagram, @renaissanceco as well as Facebook at Steven Gonzalez Marin.

Last words of advice: Never settle, never compromise. Do what you feel is right for yourself. And be selfish, but let your mission be selfless.

Project Feed NYC from IMAGE on Vimeo.

Bklyn House Mural Project from Renaissance Collective on Vimeo.

Urban Natured: Dropout 2014 from Urban Natured on Vimeo.

Interview with Marnie Schneider, founder of Keep On Playing!

FullSizeRender (1)If a stranger walked up to you on the street and asked “What do you do?” what would be your response?

I run a foundation for youth athletics called Keep On Playing!

Can you take us back in the past and tell us the story of your life? What inspired you become who you are today? Was there a moment or moments in your life that shaped you to become the person you are today?

I have been very blessed and I have been able to be around and learn from amazing people from all walks of life who have inspired me to make a difference every day and to do what I say I’m going to do.  I have learned to listen to what people are telling you. Listening is a skill that takes discipline and patience but always adds value! If you want, I will send you my bio!

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Tell us about your new foundation, Keep On Playing! What is it all about? How did you start it? What are your plans for it?

Keep On Playing is a family expression that is exactly what it says, in life no matter what to get anywhere you must keep on playing! I have learned that when you love what you do it’s play and fun in addition to that KOP is encouraging children not to give up. We work with community centers and rec centers with our PRO resources of MLB and NFL to get kids clinics, equipment, experiences at PRO games, motivational material and information on healthy ways to eat! I started KOP when I realized that just getting kids equipment was a handout and that felt like it was the end of the road. KOP is a FULL program to enhance everyones mind, body and spirit! The leaders at the rec centers love it and the kids and the teams we work with and the community leaders all recognize the importance of game and life changing moments when you Keep On Playing!

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You are an advocate of sports and the value of team work and developing yourself, especially children. Can you tell our readers how these principles are and have improved the children that you have worked with?

Sports promote healthy minds bodies and spirits that teach you ow to play together participate and cooperate with each other all skills that we must have to function properly in the world and also give you coping skills and keep you away from bad habits!!! Team mates and coaches keep you safe!

Your grandfather was the late great Leonard Tose. Can you tell us more about your memories of him, his legacy with The Philadelphia Eagles and The Ronald McDonald. How important of an influence has he been on your life and your calling?

My grandfather would always say “what do we have to do to get it done!” In 40 years the Ronald McDonald House has had tremendous success and is the crown jewel in our family legacy! He was the owner that would write the BIG checks to the players, coaches and staff. He knew how how to motivate and inspire people and being around him was FUN! My Grandfather taught me that Civility is NOT a sign of weakness and that it is my role to help others and be a leader!

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You recently wrote a book! Can you tell us more about it? What is your mission and goal for the book?

I wrote a children book called Football Frankie it’s about my experiences growing up in the world of Pro Football but teaches you about friendship and respect and LOVE!  My plan is to get it into every Ronald McDonald House and the proceeds will go to Keep On Playing!

You live a very fulfilled life, which is rare, so I’d like to ask you if you could share with me your greatest triumph and also, your lowest moment in life and how you overcame it! I ask this because I think we all need some inspiration to keep us playing in the game of life.

My oldest son had cancer – Neuroblastoma at 9 months old he had surgery to remove his tumor and did chemo and didn’t walk or talk till he was 5 and now he’s 16 and playing football  and he is a great kid who is a nice person and a good student and a great son, grandson and friend!

I look at low points this way. It is an opportunity to show myself what I am capable of. I try to not be reckless with other peoples feelings and using proper communication, because it is important to be able to stay away from drama and stress. I guess making the decision to end my marriage 8 years ago was a tough decision because I could have stayed. He is a nice guy but we were not a perfect fit.  I didn’t want to rob him of finding his ideal mate and I knew that mine was out there. I want the people I love to have the best life ever,  especially my kids because they only get one childhood. You can’t do childhood over, so that’s why it is so important to help kids all over who may not be as blessed as mine!

I have learned a lot from sports. The time out is the best thing ever. I even give myself a time out. I have an egg timer and I allow myself 2 minutes to regroup then I get back on the field and do what I have to do! That’s what I love about sports. It is the lessons we learn from watching the best play! They can’t dwell on a bad play or a missed call. They have to refocus and go do it!

I give people a lot of chances, maybe too many, but I want people to be patient with me too. I view everyone I encounter as someone’s sweet precious BABY.  When they were born into this world, their mother had dreams for them and they are on their own journey and I’m not better than anyone. I love meeting new people and learning about them and their life and what their triggers are. What makes them happy and then doing that to help them! Being able to make people laugh and smile and feel safe and comfortable is what makes me HAPPY!! Being a provider is a compliment and I am proud that I can provide for my kids and show them my definition of being a good person. Then they can go and create their own definition!

We have a mantra, a lifestyle called #DoWhatYouDesire aka #DWYD – can you tell us how this applies to your life and all of the amazing work that you do?

I desire to be a leader and create a legacy of making a difference.  Every thing I do has a breath of life and I have to make really solid decisions because people are donating to me and my foundation. I am so grateful for people, so I make sure that everything I desire is about making anyone who has helped me see the positive results!


Where can we find out more about you, your Keep On Playing Foundation and your book!? Website? Facebook? Twitter? 

All of the above!
http://keeponplaying.org/
https://twitter.com/marnieschneidr
https://www.facebook.com/justkeeponplaying

Finally, are there any final words of wisdom or life advice that you’d like to share with the readers?

Joshua I think that being open to making new friends and accepting people for who they are and loving what makes them happy is the best way to love yourself first! The Golden Rule is always the best! DO unto Others as you would have them do unto YOU!

I am SOOOOO thankful that you find me interesting enough to want to feature me Joshua!! You are very special and smart and I believe IN YOU!

Interview with Suicide Intervention Coach Arielle Caputo

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If a stranger walked up to you on the street and asked “What do you do?” what would be your response?

I often say “I’m in the business of being happy.” And people often laugh and then I say I am a suicide intervention coach and also work at a film studio for the time being.

Can you tell us about how you got involved in charitable work? I read your story on the Huffington Post, but I want to hear it from your words, your feelings and your life. What were your influences to pursue it?

2013 was a rough year; I was extremely depressed and crying all the time. One day after crying non stop, I sat down and started thinking about it all. And all of a sudden a thought shocked me: I have been crying non stop; in the grocery store, class, the library, in my car, on the bus… and not one person ever stopped and said “Miss are you ok?”  I was shocked. But more importantly I was like oh my, how many people did I pass by and I had no clue they were crying? It was that moment, I said, “Ok, enough is enough.” I feel like I am screaming on the top of my lungs for help, yet no one seems to hear me. I am looking for someone to lean on, someone to hold my hand, someone’s shoulder to cry on. That is it, from this point on I am going to be that person for everyone and anyone who needs it. We always hear, If you want love then spread love. Or put love and good out and it will always come back. So I purposed in my heart to do one random good deed a day. Then I started posting my IG videos hoping to encourage others. If you go back to the first few video posts, I am literally crying. I then went and got Suicide Certified so I could be properly trained on how to respond and help others. I had found my happiness, my inner peace and my passion in life. I wanted to show others that is it possible and the how to. So I wrote, “Love You.Me.We. Read more to find out my story.

You are advocate for Suicide Prevention, especially for teenagers. I know that you experienced your own bouts with love, loss, loneliness and inner turmoil. What was the one spark that happened inside of you that caused you to change your life?

One day enough was enough. I was done crying. I was done feeling this way, poor me. And I started my Instagram thinking I couldn’t be the only one feeling this way. And I started receiving a bombardment of suicidal posts, DMs, comments, messages…and was like wow you have to call the hotline and many people kept saying nooo we want to talk to you, we know you, they are a cold stranger on the other end of the phone. So I said you know what I am going to get suicide certified. And there happened to be a program near me that fit my hours and budget and I got suicide certified right away. And then that led to me wanting to start my own support group.

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I read that you began with a simple Instagram post, a video, then that simple video spread to many others who have felt like you. What was your reaction, to the reaction? What did you do next?  

It was over whelming. I started with 20 followers in September, by January I had 1k by June I had 10k. I realized I was on to something. Now my day doesn’t feel complete unless I’ve started it by making my 15 sec motivational power thoughts.

You created a beautiful and inspirational website, Dream Endlessly, Actively Pursue. Can you please tell us more about it? What is all on there?

So when I decided I was going to find self love, and to discover happiness… I would look for books, podcasts, websites I could go to every day to help me get my mind set in the right direction. I found a couple. But nothing I really liked. So that was the goal of my site to create a go to place to offer a pick-me-up and or help you get motivated for the day. I also started doing a lot of charity events and had a lot of people wanting to help so my website allows people to see all the upcoming events and how they can participate.

You also authored a book! “Love You. Me. We: Your Daily Year-Long Journey to Happiness” Can you tell us more about that? How did you even find time to create your own book?

I started January of 2014 and my goal was to release to the world on June 18th, which I did!!! I just started. I basically disappeared from the world for 6 months and set aside time every single day to work on it. It was a book of love that’s for sure. I kept saying someone should write a book about this… and one of my good friends had just finished his and was like do it! It’s easy. So he guided me through it and I self published through Amazon and hosted a huge book release June of 18th in Los Angeles, CA. Definitely one of the greatest feelings in the world receiving that first copy in the mail after all the hard work and labor poured into it.

I personally believe the people who have felt the most “pain” are the ones who fight past it and inspire many. Can you tell us your greatest setbacks? Can you tell us your greatest achievements? Can you tell us how they shaped the person that you look at in the mirror today?

Ahaha no actually. I am a firm believer in things that don’t make you feel good we do not need to talk about. I don’t need to relieve the pain nor does any one else. Life is about feeling good not telling sad tales to convince people we have been through hard times.

In short I have been homeless, I have gone through a painful car accident so I know physical pain with herniated disks, fractured feet, dislocated pelvis, 2nd degree burns…

I have hit rock bottom. Where you feel helpless, hopeless. I felt ugly and unattractive. I Hid from all mirrors and cameras.

All those “hard times” or “setbacks” are what create empathy. I’ve been there I understand. I’ve hit rock bottom. But I’m also not there any more J so I’ve seen what it takes to come out and how easy you can change your life around. Sometimes life is a catapult pulls us (what seems to be backwards) only to shoot us that much further to our goals!

We have a mantra, “Do What You Desire” or simply #DWYD, how does that apply to you and your lifestyle?

Oh definitely agree! Do what makes you FEEL good. Feeling good is the key to manifestation. Feeling good inspires action. Do what ever you can every day to help you feel good. Listen to good music, eat your favorite food, do things you love.

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Are there any last words of encouragement that you’d like to give our readers?

Garbage in garbage out. Same goes for happiness and positivity in happiness and positivity out. You have to constantly fill up your environment, mind, home, work place with positivity. Happiness is something we choose everyday. Just like yesterdays shower doesn’t work for today. Read good books, listen to motivational podcasts as you are getting ready for the day. Set alarm clocks on your smart phone with positive reminders. There are lots of little new healthy habits you can incorporate that will help you along your transformation.

Are there any shout outs that you would like to give?!

There are many supportive people. Nick with @epicgood. Tony with Seven Seas Tea LLC, there is @faithhopeloveproject … I could write a looooong list lol.

Where can we find out more about you and what you do? Websites? IG? Twitter? FaceBook?

My Instagram’s and websites are where you can find me!

@ariellecaputo

@ariellesmiles

www.deapinlove.com