Youngster Is Creating Quite A ‘Rep’ With Her Artwork

This multi-talented youngster already owns an art business, called The Rep. Her business took home 1st Place in the Biz Kidz 2019 Shark Tank & Marketplace Competition, a program that engages young entrepreneurs in real-world business experiences, events and activities. Her name is Zoe Victoria Lashley, and at just 10-years-old, she has already amassed quite a portfolio, along with a resume full of accomplishments.

Glass Enclosed Ultimate Repoussé Cylinder created by Zoe

Glass Enclosed Ultimate Repoussé Cylinder created by Zoe

As the 1st Place winner in the Shark Tank & Marketplace Competition held in Howard County, Zoe won a laptop, trophy, and several business consulting opportunities along with congratulatory letters from several dignitaries including Gov. Larry Hogan. She also raked in her first art sale during Biz Kidz Market Day.

Zoe’s busy life also includes participating in 901 Arts, a community after-school program that acts as a safe haven and outlet for kids in the Waverly community.

“It all started out in my second-grade art class,” recalled Zoe, who attends Hope Academy. “My interest in art started early. I was in the second grade. I also participate in 4-H at Waverly Elementary School, where I used to attend.”

A part of the University of Maryland Extension program, 4-H is a community of seven million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. Youngsters participate in fun, hands-on learning activities supported by the latest research of land-grant universities that are focused on three areas: healthy living, citizenship, and science, engineering and technology. Youth also compete with their projects in contests at the local, state, regional or national levels and also attend conferences and events.

In May, Zoe took home top honors for the 4-H Competition held at Baltimore City College for 10 of her original photographs.

“I won $25 for each of my winning entries for a total of $250,” said Zoe with a proud smile.

She has also had a private buyer to purchase her artwork. During an outing at Fogo De Chao, a Brazilian Steakhouse located on Pratt Street in Baltimore, her artwork caught the eye of a manager who worked there. According to her mother, Latease Lashley, the manager contacted the company’s CEO who flew her and Zoe to Texas to purchase a piece of her Repoussé artwork.

Zoe credits a scholarship she received from 901 Arts with affording her with the opportunity to attend a summer art camp operated by MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) and learning the French technique of Repoussé from which the name of her business – The Rep, originated.

Repoussé or repoussage refers to a metalworking technique in which a malleable metal is shaped by hammering from the reverse side to create a design.

Zoe, who attends New Psalmist Baptist Church, and serves as a junior usher, is also a philanthropist. In the past, she had donated monies from her earnings to 901 Arts to help another deserving inner-city child to attend art camp during the summer.

In June, Zoe won “Best Overall Business Presentation” for the Harford County Children’s Business Fair presented by Liberty

A journal designed by Zoe Lashley

A journal designed by Zoe Lashley

Leadership in Bel Air, Maryland. The Harford County Children’s Business fair is designed to give kids the opportunity to be entrepreneurs by boosting their confidence and teaching valuable lessons.

Zoe also crafts jewelry, customized journals and other products.

She often is asked to speak at programs to encourage other youngsters, and according to Lashley, launched her website on WEAA FM 99.9’s For The Culture hosted by Farajii Muhammad.

“I am Zoe’s momager,” said Lashley with a laugh. “She keeps me busy. It’s a struggle and not easy, but when our children have a passion, we have to get behind them, support them, and let them know you are their number one cheerleader.”

She added, “Our children are the next generation, and as a parent you want to see them become more successful than yourself.”

Lashley said Zoe also has the support of individuals like retired Coppin State University professor Dr. Geraldine Waters.

“Dr. Waters is an avid supporter of Zoe,” said Lashley. “She invests a lot of time and love into Zoe and we are very grateful for all of her support.”

Zoe said she plans to attend MICA and Morgan State University. For more information about Zoe, visit her website

Rambling Rose: Weekend – Hot And Steamy With Music Festivals

Hello everyone, how are you? Well, I hope well. Just remember, if things are not so good at this moment, don’t worry, I promise it will get better. Just think positive and have faith. God got your back! Now pick yourself up and let’s have some fun.

There are so many happy and good things going on this weekend to pick up your spirit and I am going to tell you all about it. There are a couple of festivals happening this weekend, rain or shine so no excuse. I will be looking for you.

One of my favorite musicians and friend is Baltimore’s own and  world-recognized, drummer George Gray will perform with his band at the Caton Castle on Saturday, July 13, 2019 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

One of my favorite musicians and friend is Baltimore’s own and world-recognized, drummer George Gray will perform with his band at the Caton Castle on Saturday, July 13, 2019 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The DipNic Festival is one of my favorite places to go every year and it gets bigger and more fantastic each year. This is a festival for 21 and over, no children are allowed because this is grown folks time to sit back, relax, dance, eat and have fun without running around behind little ones.

Check this out! The festival rakes place Saturday, July 13, 2019 from noon until 8 p.m. at the Pearlston Center, 5425 Mt. Gilead Road in Reisterstown, Maryland. It is an outdoor event on acres and acres of land. Now listen to me, rain or shine the event will happen, there is an indoor pavilion too, just in case, but this is a place you BYOB, BYOB, bring your own grill, canopy, tents, charcoal, lighter fluid, picnic basket, swimwear, your complete outdoor camping gear with folding chairs and tables, sun umbrella, your deck of cards and a smile on your face. There will be all kinds of vendors for you to shop, also many activities such as zip-lining over a two- acre of lake, paddle boats, canoes, fishing, three gigantic swimming pools, water slide, concert hall with live entertainment, as well as a DJ playing dance music; you can play softball, soccer and volleyball; you can go hiking on some interesting trails, they have two basketball courts and the icing on the cake, I will be there with my books doing book signing. For more information, call 443-801-1100.

Earlene Reed Harvey, well-known songstress in Baltimore, passed away June 27, 2019. Earlene began her solo career in 1978 at the Sphinx Club on Pennsylvania Avenue under the direction of the late Biddy Wood, who was her manager. Arrangements have not been made, as waiting on Military date for the National Cemetery. Condolences to her husband John Harvey, her children and all her family.

Earlene Reed Harvey, well-known songstress in Baltimore, passed away June 27, 2019. Earlene began her solo career in 1978 at the Sphinx Club on Pennsylvania Avenue under the direction of the late Biddy Wood, who was her manager. Arrangements have not been made, as waiting on Military date for the National Cemetery. Condolences to her husband John Harvey, her children and all her family.

Then there is the Baltimore Caribbean Carnival Festival on Saturday, July 13, 2019 starting off with a Caribbean parade that will blow your mind. You have never seen anything like it here in Baltimore. This is a must see! It kicks off at noon marching down the 900 block of E. 33rd Street in Baltimore and the Festival continues into Clifton Park until 10 p.m. I am sorry folks I am only one person and it is a whole lot of you. I try very hard to support everyone, but it gets harder and harder each year, my body just won’t let me. That is why you, my fans have to go for me. Just help me out. Support all these events.

Cartoonist Walter Carr Jr. son of the late famous, Walter Carr of the “Nightlifer Magazine” book release party is on its way. The book, “Just Us!” is a collection of previously printed political cartoons with a black perspective on the condition of blacks in America. Walt’s style of drawing and wit highlights and exposes the underbelly of hypocrisy and racism in America. Look out for it this month

Cartoonist Walter Carr Jr. son of the late famous, Walter Carr of the “Nightlifer Magazine” book release party is on its way. The book, “Just Us!” is a collection of previously printed political cartoons with a black perspective on the condition of blacks in America. Walt’s style of drawing and wit highlights and exposes the underbelly of hypocrisy and racism in America. Look out for it this month

If you choose not to go to an outdoor event, then I suggest strongly that you take yourself down to the Caton Castle Lounge on Caton Avenue and Hilton and see one of the baddest musicians from Baltimore­­– drummer, George Gray with his band “Coalition” on Saturday, July 13th from 6-10 p.m. I promise you want be sorry.

One of the many missions of the Gallery in Baltimore City Hall is to provide a viable platform for Baltimore City-based artists and creative innovators, which I think is wonderful. The inaugural B-19 exhibition on view from July 18 through August 30 they will feature six artists who have been selected as the very best and most promising who may become the most influential and important artists in Baltimore and beyond. More on this special project in my next columns. Right now I am out of space and have to go.

Remember, if you need me, call me at 410-833-9474 or email me at UNTIL THE NEXT TIME, I’M MUSICALLY YOURS.

John Legend, Yusuf/Cat Stevens And Others Come Together To Help Preserve Nina Simone’s Legacy

The National Trust for Historic Preservation through its African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, announced a crowdfunding campaign to support the restoration and preservation of Nina Simone’s childhood home in Tryon, N.C. This campaign, supported by artists, actors, and musicians including John Legend, will raise funds integral to the exterior restoration of the home where the celebrated singer, pianist and Civil Rights icon’s story began. The home, which has fallen into disrepair requiring urgent revitalization, was designated a National Treasure in June of 2018.

“Spaces devoted to the history and legacy of people of color, especially women of color, are far too few in America today,” said John Legend. “Preserving places like the Nina Simone childhood home will help keep her powerful story alive. This campaign pays tribute to Nina Simone’s unapologetic pursuit of musical, personal, and political freedom and I am proud to be a part of it.”

The National Trust’s crowdfunding campaign began on July 1, 2019 on IndieGoGo, giving the public an opportunity to make donations to this effort, and to purchase newly designed Nina

Simone-inspired merchandise including t-shirts, artist prints, pins, and postcards with artwork by Dare Coulter, a North Carolina-based artist working to create positive imagery of people of color. The campaign also includes the option to acquire additional merchandise donated by musicians including Talib Kweli, and Yusef/Cat Stevens, and actors Mahershala Ali and Issa Rae.

“Our culture is embodied in old places and the history and stories they keep,” said Brent Leggs, executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “This modest home in Tryon, North Carolina embodies the story of a young black girl who transcended the constraints placed on her in the Jim Crow south, to become the voice of the Civil Rights Movement. Nina Simone’s childhood home provides an important lens for examining the contours of her life, and through its preservation, we hope to celebrate and cement her legacy in our American narrative.”

In 1933, Eunice Waymon, now known as Nina Simone, was born in Tryon, North Carolina. It was in this home that Simone first taught herself the piano at the age of three, performed in public for the first time at the neighborhood church where her mother preached, and where she experienced the constraints placed on African Americans in the rural Jim Crow South. This home would become the inspiration of some of her most influential music and political activism, including songs such as “Mississippi Goddam” and “Four Women.”

In recent years, the three-room, 660-square foot clapboard pier and beam house had fallen in disrepair. The vacant property was put on the market in 2016. Alarmed by the condition of the home and the risk of losing this connection to Nina Simone entirely, four African American visual artists— conceptual artist and painter Adam Pendleton, the sculptor and painter Rashid Johnson, the collagist and filmmaker Ellen Gallagher, and the abstract painter Julie Mehretu— purchased the property in 2017.

“When three fellow artists and I purchased Nina Simone’s childhood home in 2017, we did so with the desire that the site be transformed into a piece of living history, “ said artist Adam Pendleton. “This space, so integral to Nina Simone’s music and activism, can serve to carry forward her legacy and inspire future artists and musicians.”

Nina Simone’s career spanned multiple genres, four decades, several continents, and earned 15 Grammy nominations. Her songs have been professionally sampled and covered more than 500 times.

“With more than 40 albums over five decades, Nina Simone is one of the most acclaimed singers of all time,” said Neil Portnow, Recording Academy President/CEO. “The Recording Academy has honored her legacy through the GRAMMY Hall of Fame and with a Lifetime Achievement Award, both accolades very much deserved. I’m thrilled to know that her talent will continue to live on through the preservation of her childhood home where her artistic journey began.”

Historic Annapolis Joins Smithsonian Channel’s Apollo 11 Celebration With Screening Of ‘The Day We Walked On the Moon’

Historic Annapolis joins more than 50 other Smithsonian Institution-affiliated museums across the country in celebrating the 50th anniversary of humanities historic first steps on the moon by screening the Smithsonian Channel’s new documentary, “The Day We Walked on The Moon,” on Saturday, July 20, 2019, 6:30 p.m. in the theater at The Colonial Players of Annapolis located at 108 East Street in Annapolis.

“The Day We Walked on the Moon” features astronauts (including Michael Collins, the third member of the Apollo 11 mission), members of Mission Control (including Flight Director Gene Kranz, Capsule Communicator Charles Duke and Guidance Officer Steve Bales) and the children of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin reveal their personal stories behind the scenes of the iconic day. Pop culture notables like Queen guitarist and doctor of astrophysics Brian May and television personality and professor of physics Brian Cox describe where they were and what they felt during that “One Small Step.” It’s a story that ranges from the deeply personal to the grand and historic, an in-depth look at one of the most important 24-hour periods in history.

Admission is fee but reservations are required and can be made at or if you call: 410-267-7619.

Forget The ‘Dream’ Board, You Need The ‘Do’ Board

How many of you have laid out your dreams and desires on a vision board?

A vision board or dream board is a collage of images, pictures and affirmations of one’s dreams and desires. The idea is for the board to be a source of inspiration and motivation.

Self-help gurus espouse the virtues of the vision board to individuals who are searching for what they truly want. But to just say what you want in life isn’t enough, the gurus say. You need to dream bigger, and you need to have a vision board to achieve clarity. Enough already.

Vision boards and the concept behind them often backfire. Too often, visualizing is focused on the point Z of the process— the end goal— rather than on the alphabet of ACTION steps required to get there.

Science is on my side with this. Studies have shown that you are less likely to achieve a goal when you simply focus on the goal itself. More effective is channeling your energy into the actions that are needed to achieve the goal.

Vision or dream boards are based in part on the law of attraction to attain goals. You know: visualize it and think about it often enough, and your dreams and goals will end up happening, as sure as the sun rises in the east. For companies, it’s a way for them to motivate their employees to pursue and achieve personal dreams and growth— and tying that in with professional growth and achievement. Ideally, all that translates into happier and more productive people making the workplace more successful. Encouraging employees to dream big with the possibility of the company rewarding them with those desires leads them to wanting to perform better in their jobs.

But the success rate of the vision board in the corporate setting or visualizing on the playing field is debatable at best. Some struggling, high-level athletes hitched their wagon to the imprecise science of visualization; numerous sports performance coaches focus on that approach, having their athlete clients picture getting out of that slump and gaining confidence, when instead it’s more about correcting flaws in technique and getting more reps in the batter’s box or more jump shots in the gym, not brain-washing yourself back to success.

Don’t dream; find your purpose and live— Gurus talks about seeing the big picture and styling your dream board accordingly, but here’s the real deal: Don’t dream your life. Take action and live your life.

Part of pinpointing your true desires is finding your purpose and that is done with action; that’s by doing things and experiencing life. For some, it’s being the best mother or father they can be. For others, like Elon Musk, it’s being one of the most innovative people in our lifetime. When it comes to purpose, there’s no right or wrong answer. But I’ve learned that for people to be truly happy and fulfilled, their purpose is the one thing that must be found.

And instead of a dream board, they need a “do board.”

People who created their own vision boards seem to be in this perpetual state of waiting for sweet karma to kiss them on the cheek and send them toward their dream— the law of attraction. But the time you’ve spent agonizing over a vision board is time you could have spent actually DOING something.

Vision boards become empty sunrays in our heads that we chase as hopelessly and aimlessly as Don Quixote pursued windmills. We don’t dig down into the details and get our hands dirty.

You’ll make mistakes. You’ll go through trial and error. It’s all good in the big picture, as long as you keep moving forward.

Dreams are a work in process— so get to work!

Gary Collins is the author of “The Simple Life Guide To Decluttering Your Life.” He has a varied background, having worked in military intelligence, served as a Special Agent for the U.S. State Department Diplomatic Security Service, worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and also worked for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. For more information, visit:

Baltimore Organizations Receive Chesapeake Bay Trust Grants

The Sandtown South Neighborhood Alliance will receive nearly $3,000 to create a productive flower farm and pollinator garden, increase tree canopy, and deter illegal dumping that officials hope will enable them to raise money through the production of flowers that will be sold at local markets.

The $3,000 is part of a grant announced by the Chesapeake Bay Trust totaling more than $965,000 through the Chesapeake Bay Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns Grant Program (G3).

The awards are in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the City of Baltimore Office of Sustainability.

The grant funds are earmarked to help communities develop and implement plans that reduce stormwater runoff, increase the amount of green spaces in urban areas, and to improve the health of local rivers, streams and the Chesapeake Bay. They are also are designed to create green jobs and enhance livability in cities and communities.

“We commend … all of the grantees for their winning proposals to support clean water and strong neighborhoods,” EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio said in a news release. “This program helps communities reduce pollution to local waters and the Chesapeake Bay, while improving their economy and quality of life.”

In addition to the grant for the Sandtown South Neighborhood Alliance, other organizations in Baltimore that will receive funding through the program are the Baltimore Tree Trust ($50,000); The 6th Branch ($37,767); Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development ($35,496); Bon Secours Unity Properties ($29,885); and the Center for Watershed Protection, Inc. ($16,209).

Municipalities in Virginia and Pennsylvania will also receive funding through the G3 grant.

“The Baltimore Planning Department’s Office of Sustainability knows that it’s essential to prioritize greening in a comprehensive community development strategy,” Lisa McNeilly, the director of the Office of Sustainability, Baltimore Planning Department, said in a statement. “In fact, the recently updated Sustainability Plan and newly adopted Baltimore Green Network Plan re-emphasizes our agency’s commitment to greening in communities with the highest concentration of vacant and abandoned lots.

“We are excited to support Baltimore communities through greening investments with the help of our city agency partners, nonprofit partners and the support of the mayor’s Office.”

Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Ricco says the state fully appreciates the connection of its neighborhoods, environment and economy, and this program provides tremendous support for all of these priorities.

“We commend these local communities and organizations for their outstanding projects that bolster our neighborhoods, our waters, and our outlook for the future,” Haddaway-Ricco said.

The work of the G3 program is intended to facilitate and encourage community integration of green techniques into traditional “gray” infrastructure projects.

For example, as communities have to repave roads, reconfigure intersections, or implement other gray infrastructure projects, the G3 program encourages them to add green elements at little additional up-front cost for big eventual savings on stormwater treatment, flooding abatement, and other community benefits.

“This year’s increase in award dollars is representative of the increased awareness among towns and communities that implementation of green practices now saves money later, in addition to improving quality of life across time,” said Dr. Jana Davis, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “The funding partners in the G3 program have collaborated to make it easier for communities to get the resources they need to pursue these important multiple-benefit projects.”

38th Baltimore Carnival Celebrates Caribbean Heritage

As many as 40,000 people are expected to attend the Baltimore Carnival, an annual two-day event in and surrounding Baltimore’s Clifton Park that celebrates Caribbean heritage with native foods, live music and family-friendly entertainment.

“This is our 38th year and we are always so excited, and people come from everywhere to be here and celebrate with us,” said Elaine Simon, the festival’s coordinator and president. “It’s a cultural activity— that is a legacy, which is Caribbean and there are over 26 Caribbean islands and each representative from those islands participate.”

Supported by the mayor of Baltimore City and the Office of Promotions and Arts, the carnival is hosted by the Caribbean American Carnival Association of Baltimore in conjunction with the DC Caribbean Carnival Committee.

Participants in costume from Carnival 2018

Courtesy Photo

Participants in costume from Carnival 2018

The 2019 festivities are set to begin with a Caribbean-style parade on Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 1 p.m. in the Waverly neighborhood on 33rd Street, wind its way along The Alameda, then continues on to Clifton Park via St. Lo Drive. The always, colorful parade is expected to last about four hours with the last band crossing the Hartford and St. Lo Drive intersection at approximately 5 p.m.

The parade kicks off a day of entertainment and festivities that carry through Sunday and showcases live music and a sampling of authentic Caribbean food.

“Oxtails, rice, jerk chicken. You can just smell the good aroma,” Simon said.

In all, the route covers more than one mile and features a stream of masquerade bands accompanied by flat-bed trucks equipped with sound-systems that pump out the latest in Caribbean music, Soca, Calypso and Reggae.

Each masquerade band boasts its own coordinated group of dancing revelers known as masqueraders dressed in eye-catching, elaborate costumes depicting a specific theme, Simon said.

Local steel pan bands, dancing stilt walkers, t-shirt bands, and the popular mud mas’— revelers who smear themselves with mud— and paint ‘n powder mas’ bands round-out the street party celebration.

The parade is also a competition and the mas bands are judged on their creativity, costume design and the energy and participation of their masqueraders.

Performers over the two days include Nadia Batson; Super Blue; Sophia Brown, the Reggae Diva; Stykers Posse Reggae Band; T&T Steelband of Baltimore; Carl Malcolm; The Image Band; Shurwayne Winchester; Pan Masters Steel Band and Mister David; and Empress J and the IFD Crew.

“One of the things that I’m looking forward to is a great carnival and parade and that everyone be safe,” Simon said. “I’m hoping for a wonderful weekend and I believe it will be.”

The admission fee for the festival is $15 on Saturday and $20 on Sunday. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit

Mental Health Stigma Still Affecting African Americans

The NNPA is taking a closer look at the stigma of mental illness in the African American community. This is the first in a series.

Historically, seeking psychotherapy has been difficult for African Americans, said Dr. Viola Drancoli, a licensed clinical psychologist who wrote a master thesis about the barriers to seeking mental health services in ethnic minority communities.

“It is not only a concept with European origin, but also a concept that does not fit the community-oriented, collective approach to healing and support that has been so helpful to this population,” Drancoli said.

“Instead of finding healing in coming together, the client is separated, often sitting in a one-on-one session with a professional. The idea of being focused on, analyzed, can be perceived as threatening,” she said.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health says poverty level affects mental health status and African Americans living below the poverty level, as compared to those over twice the poverty level, are three times more likely to report psychological distress.

Further, African Americans are 10 percent more likely to report having serious psychological distress than Non-Hispanic whites, and the death rate from suicide for African American men was more than four times greater than for African American women, in 2014.

A report from the U.S. Surgeon General found that from 1980 to 1995, the suicide rate among African Americans ages 10 to 14 increased 233 percent, compared to 120 percent for non-Hispanic whites.

Yet, experts said even as the conversation around mental health has grown significantly with celebrities and others in the spotlight sharing their stories, most African Americans still refrain from seeking help.

“Unfortunately, among African Americans it remains taboo to talk about, and one reason is the fear of being labeled as crazy,” said Arron Muller, a licensed social worker.

“The intense fear of being judged has been a huge deterrent,” Muller said.

“In the African American community there is also an association that mental illness means weakness and the inability to handle your problems on your own or that anxiety or depressive symptoms should be addressed with praying and fasting,” he said.

Prayer and a relationship with God have their place in the full picture of health and wellness and a connection to God and leaning on a higher power does promote tremendous benefits for the brain and brain health, said Dr. Catherine Jackson, a licensed clinical psychologist and board certified neuro-therapist in Chicago.

Jackson founded Dr. J’s Holistic Health and Wellness at

“While having the strength to work on your own problems is a good characteristic to have, not recognizing when to seek help can be detrimental to overall health,” Jackson said.

“Turning to our pastors was needed in the past, but as concerns have grown, more resources are available,” she said, noting also that many African Americans eventually visit hospital emergency rooms with complaints that are in fact mental health issues.

“Some hospitals give referrals to mental health practitioners, but without proper education and information shared, follow through is unlikely,” Jackson said.

Educator and life coach Elaine Taylor-Klaus said there’s something else that happens in the African American community that should warrant consideration when discussing the stigma of mental illness.

“In all aspects of life, the African American community has had to appear better than the average person just to be seen as good enough,” Taylor-Klaus said.

“African American families have long been conscious of a need to dress their kids a little nicer in public, to expect their kids to behave more respectfully in public, and to follow directions immediately,” Taylor-Klaus said.

“The implications for the adults when kids don’t behave has been a risk-factor — when an ‘uppity’ child acts out, an African American adult can get in serious, life-threatening trouble. It’s not reasonable — but it’s a reality of African American life in the United States,” she said.

There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness and some of the more common disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders, according to Mental Health America, the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness.

Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits and/or social withdrawal.

Mental health problems may be related to excessive stress due to a particular situation or series of events.

As with cancer, diabetes and heart disease, mental illnesses are often physical as well as emotional and psychological. According to Mental Health America, mental illnesses may be caused by a reaction to environmental stresses, genetic factors, biochemical imbalances, or a combination of:

  • Confused thinking
  • Prolonged depression (sadness or irritability)
  • Feelings of extreme highs and lows
  • Excessive fears, worries and anxieties
  • Social withdrawal
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Strong feelings of anger
  • Strange thoughts (delusions)
  • Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinations)
  • Growing inability to cope with daily problems and activities
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Numerous unexplained physical ailments
  • Substance use

In Older Children and Pre-Adolescents:

  • Substance use
  • Inability to cope with problems and daily activities
  • Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
  • Excessive complaints of physical ailments
  • Changes in ability to manage responsibilities – at home and/or at school
  • Defiance of authority, truancy, theft, and/or vandalism
  • Intense fear
  • Prolonged negative mood, often accompanied by poor appetite or thoughts of death
  • Frequent outbursts of anger

In Younger Children:

  • Changes in school performance
  • Poor grades despite strong efforts
  • Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
  • Excessive worry or anxiety (i.e. refusing to go to bed or school)
  • Hyperactivity
  • Persistent nightmares
  • Persistent disobedience or aggression
  • Frequent temper tantrums

For detailed information about mental illness and where assistance is provided visit,;; or

Part 2 in this series will tackle the growing number of suicides among young African Americans, an alarming trend that experts say is the result of poverty, racism, and post-traumatic stress syndrome both from military service and domestic and social problems.

NNPA Publishers Honor Marjorie Parham, A Living Legend Of The Black Press

— The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) honored Majorie B. Parham with the organization’s Legacy Award during its annual convention in Cincinnati on Friday, June 29.

The NNPA is a trade association that represents African American-owned newspapers and media companies in the United States.

Parham, who turned 101 in February, spent more than three decades as publisher of the Cincinnati Herald, which was established in 1955 and counts as the longest running African American newspaper in the city.

“She was a real radical,” said Dorothy Leavell, the publisher of the Chicago and Gary Crusader newspapers. “Marjorie Parham was something else and she was straight forward with her words and you didn’t have to guess what she meant … she made it very clear. She is a wonderful human being and she was a great asset to the Black Press of America,” Leavell said.

Parham was unable to attend the ceremony but was represented by the husband of her granddaughter Rhonda Spillers, and Parham was feted with proclamations and commendations from Ohio State Sen. Cecil Thomas, State Reps. Sedrick Denson and Catherine Ingram; Cincinnati City Councilman Wendell Young; and Hamilton County Commissioner Stephanie Dumas.

Former Ohio State Sen. Eric Kearney served as master of ceremonies and co-chair of the convention.

Kearney’s wife, Cincinnati Herald Publisher Jan Michele Lemon Kearney, served as the host for the annual convention which this year celebrates 192 years of the Black Press of America.

The convention’s partner and sponsors included Macy’s; AARP; Procter & Gamble; Ford; General Motors; Chevrolet; RAI American Services Company; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; American Petroleum Institute (API); Volkswagen; MillerCoors; Fifth Third Bank; Ascension; AmeriHealth Carita; Wells Fargo; and Pfizer Rare Disease.

Born in 1918 in Clement County, Ohio, Parham graduated from Batavia High School and attended Wilberforce University, a Historically Black College, according to her bio.

Later, she took classes at the University of Cincinnati before working as a clerk for the U.S. Veterans Administration.

In 1954, Parham married Gerald Porter and one year later he founded the Cincinnati Herald.

Within six years, Parham would retire from the Veterans Administration and take over as publisher of the Dayton Tribune, which her son ran until he was drafted in the military, her bio said.

In 1963, Parham also became publisher of the Cincinnati Herald, where she became a legend and often noted for her work at the newspaper and in the community through her involvement in numerous civic organizations.

In 1982, Parham became the second African American to serve as a trustee for the University of Cincinnati, and she also chaired the board of the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce, Ohio.

Active in the Urban League, the American Red Cross and various scouting groups, Parham also was known for her work as a member of NNPA where she served on the organization’s board as treasurer.

“I know [NNPA leadership] will continue their high standards of excellence,” Denson said.

How Do You Protect A 15-Year-Old Tennis Prodigy?

CNN Video

Coco Gauff

Coco Gauff: How do you protect a 15-year-old tennis prodigy?

Originally Published: 10 JUL 19 08:24 ET

Updated: 10 JUL 19 09:55 ET

By Danielle Rossingh, for CNN

    (CNN) — She lit up Wimbledon and transcended tennis in a sparkling debut on the world stage, but the big question is what’s next for Cori “Coco” Gauff?

And perhaps more importantly, how do you protect a 15-year-old from the trials and tribulations that come with sudden fame?

Two weeks ago she was unknown outside of the sport, but after reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon, as the youngest ever qualifier — and that courtesy of a wildcard — she was lauded on social media by the likes of First Lady Michelle Obama and actor Samuel L. Jackson.

“It’s crazy how big this has gotten,” said Gauff, a former junior world No.1. “Everything happened so quickly.”

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Nothing promised

There are no guarantees in tennis, no cast iron proof that she will go on to excel in the game despite the lavish praise heaped on her at Wimbledon.

Plenty of uber-talented youngsters have burned brightly before their flames have gone out, through myriad combinations of injury, the pressure and weight of expectation, the external distractions, personal relationships, the grind of professional sport. Fame can change people, and not just the players, but those around them.

Luckily for Gauff, who will soar from No. 313 to No. 139 in the rankings, she can rely on some of the most experienced people in the business.

The young American has been guided by Patrick Mouratoglou, the coach of her idol Serena Williams, since she was 11 years old. At 13, she signed with Team8, the agency started by 20-time major champion Roger Federer and his long-time agent, Tony Godsick.

In an interview with CNN Sport at Wimbledon, Godsick said he had been “completely” inundated with requests from both the media and potential endorsers for Gauff in the past week. He’s treading carefully, though.

“There is no rush in selling her to corporates,” said Godsick, who started his career at management company IMG, where he guided former world No. 1 Monica Seles, former Wimbledon winner Lindsay Davenport and Anna Kournikova, who were all teenage tennis stars.

“I’ve been around long enough to know that that’s actually not the most important thing.”

A US Open junior finalist at 13, and a junior grand slam winner at Roland-Garros at 14, Gauff has already signed three deals in the past year: with racket maker Head, pasta maker Barilla and sports clothing company New Balance. The endorsements are estimated to be worth a combined $1 million, according to Forbes.

“She is a special talent, and she has been identified as that,” said Godsick, adding there may be room for “one additional partner right now.”

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The importance of support

The weight of expectation can be a burden, even for players who are much older than Gauff.

Take Japan’s Naomi Osaka, who became a global star after she won back-to-back majors at the US Open and the Australian Open. One of Japan’s most popular athletes, and one of the world’s best-paid female athletes with a host of lucrative endorsements, the 21-year-old left Wimbledon in tears, cutting short her press conference after a first-round exit to Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.

“I just hope that — I’m sure she has a good team around her, and that her parents are smart people to keep her with her feet on the ground, and not let her go into this crazy lifestyle, that kind of is thrown at her a little bit now,” former world No. 1 Kim Clijsters told CNN Sport at Wimbledon.

Gauff comes from a close-knit and sporty family. Her father, Corey Gauff, is a former college basketball player, while her mother, Candi, excelled in both gymnastics and track and field.

“If you know the family, you know the structure of the family, you know her parents, you know her grandparents and you know her brothers, and you know her, she will be OK,” said Godsick, who has two children with Mary Joe Fernandez, a former teenage tennis prodigy.

“That’s not something that I am worried about.

“In the past, I have worried about other athletes, male and female, where I said ‘OK, this one might be a bit tricky.’

“With them, I don’t see it, because they are grounded. She understands it, she works hard.”

Martina Navratilova, the nine-time Wimbledon champion, said Gauff has been brought up to succeed in tennis.

“She wants it, she lives it already. She was born to do this,” she told BBC Sport.

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Being held back

Of course, despite the pitfalls, there are plenty of examples of prodigies excelling and fulfilling their potential. Monica Seles won the first of nine grand slams at 16, while Steffi Graf, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova opened their major accounts at 17 and went on to become huge stars.

But unlike Godsick’s wife Fernandez, a former world No. 4 who also played her first Wimbledon at the age of 15, Gauff won’t be allowed to play a full schedule for another three years.

That’s because of the so-called “Age eligibility rule,” which was implemented by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) in 1995 to prevent early-age burnout among young players, following high-profile cases including Jennifer Capriati and Andrea Jaeger.

Under the rule, which has been reviewed over the years to reward outstanding players who excel with additional tournament entries, Gauff can play as many as 14 professional events until her 16th birthday on March 13, 2020. As Wimbledon was her seventh pro event, she will be allowed to play seven more, according to the WTA. She will try to qualify for next month’s US Open, as she did at Wimbledon, but otherwise will have to hope for a wildcard.

The rule has come under scrutiny in the past week, with Gauff’s father and Swiss great Federer among those calling for changes, suggesting that by curbing the number of events a player can enter, pressure will be ramped up when they do compete.

But Rafael Nadal, the last teenage male grand slam winner, disagrees.

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“When you are that young, when you have her level of tennis, of course you follow the normal tour and you believe that you can manage very well, no?,” said the Spaniard, who won the 2005 French Open at the age of 19. “But is true that your body is still under development. Sometimes can be little bit dangerous for the injuries in the future.”

According to the WTA, young players going through various stages of adolescence should not be playing full-time on what it calls the “high-stakes, high-performance environment,” of the women’s tour.

“At the very core of the rule is that these are children competing in an adult work place, full stop,” Ashley Keber, WTA vice president, member relations, told CNN Sport last year.

Although Godsick said he agreed with the rule on principle, he would like it to be changed so exceptional talents like Gauff can play more.

“She is going to be a transformative personality on the women’s tour and in tennis, and they are going to want to see her,” said Godsick. “The question is, how do you do it?”

Gauff, who is still in high school and intends to take online college courses, isn’t too bothered about her limited schedule.

“Even if the restrictions weren’t there, I still think I wouldn’t play as much as…the older players do, just because I’m still trying to develop my game and I’m still trying to train,” she said.

“I feel like I would obviously play more than the rules state, but I think I wouldn’t try to overdo it because I’m still 15. My game isn’t nearly as good as I want it to be. Taking more time to train.”

There are no guarantees, but the evidence suggests we’ll be seeing plenty more of Coco Gauff.

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