March 30, 2010

Scholarship Essay

I recently applied for a few scholarships so I can get enough money to study abroad this summer. For on particular essay I got my creative juices flowing and came up with this:

The Positive Black Woman Scholarship Essay:
How will I benefit from this scholarship?

Life is full of experiences. Good, bad, unique. These experiences shape and mold us into the individuals we become. Experiences are what give people character and form our views on the world. Experience is life and life is experience.
In my life I have had the opportunity to experience a lot. I have been on television, the radio, and in the newspaper of my hometown Detroit, MI. I attended college and graduated in four years with a B.A. in photography. I recently started my own freelance photography business and I am currently working on my second B.A. in journalism.
I decided that I want to have a new experience; I would like to study abroad. In January, I was accepted into the study abroad program at Grand Valley. I am on my way to studying in the United Kingdom for six weeks this summer. This is where your scholarship comes in. The current cost to study abroad at Kingston University for the summer is $6,745. I have been blessed with $3,750 in financial aid but, as you can see, there is a small discrepancy. I am still in need of $3,000 for the program, in addition to expenses for extracurricular activities such as cuisine and weekend trips, further enriching my experience on this journey abroad.
I would benefit greatly from this scholarship, not matter what the amount. This scholarship is a stepping stone to my newest experience. Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. Although I did grow up in the best financial state, I have the desire to better myself and gain the most from my education as much as possible. With this scholarship I have the chance to learn about a country in that country, I will be one step closer to graduating with another degree coming closer to my goal to become a photojournalist.
I am a hardworking, self-motivated, empowered African American woman who wants to experience as much as I can while I can. I do not want to look back on my life and be disappointed that I never tried to reach my goals and desires. I want to say I traveled the world, I learned as much as I could make my brain take in, I have lived and experienced the best life has to offer. With your help, I can do these this. I can experience life.

Travel Feature: Detroit, MI

Whether you’re looking for a good sports game, a tour of great art or a night on the town, metro Detroit is where you want to be. It’s a city buzzing with fun, people and great experiences.
Metro Detroit a.k.a. “The Motorcity” and “Motown” is a mecca of entertainment with casinos, museums, nightclubs, restaurants and more.
Home of the Tigers, the Red Wings, the Pistons and the Lions, there’s always a game to catch while visiting Detroit. Take the chance to go to a Tigers game at Comerica Park or a Red Wings game at Joe Louis Arena. No ticket, no problem. There are plenty of sports bars like Hockeytown CafĂ© and Cobo Joe’s Bar & Grill where you can watch a game with a side of wings.
In the mood for culture and art, then try taking a trip to one of Detroit’s museums such as the Detroit Institute of Arts in downtown Detroit. The DIA is one of the largest museums in the U.S. with an art collection valued over $1 billion and containing over a 100 galleries. If you’re looking for a something more local and creative then I suggest visiting the 24-year-old Heidelberg Project created by artist Tyree Guyton and his grandfather Sam Mackey. Located on Detroit’s eastside, it’s a spectacular outdoor display of trash-to-art houses that began after the 1967 riots.
When you’re ready for a party then it’s time to stop at one of the three casinos that Detroit has to offer. If hitting the slots or playing a few hands of Blackjack is your idea of a good time then you’d want to check out MGM Grand, Motorcity or Greektown casino located around downtown Detroit. All three are equipped with restaurants, spas, nightclubs and gaming to fill every pleasure you have.
If live entertainment is what you’re interested in, Detroit has plenty to offer. Detroit’s FOX Theater, top venue for Broadway shows, the Detroit Opera House, which has featured jazz sensations Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington and Masonic Temple, the largest in the world, there’s always a show to catch.
Are you planning a family trip? Detroit is happy to accommodate. The Detroit Zoo is perfect for a family outing, housing over 270 species of animals. The zoo includes The Arctic Ring of Life exhibit that’s a 300,000 gallon aquarium that allows visitors to view the polar bears and seals from a 70-foot-long underwater tunnel.
In search for some fun in the sun on the beach Belle Isle is the place to be. Belle Isle is a 982-acre island park in the Detroit River that is connected to the city by the MacArthur Bridge. Being the largest island park in the country, equipped with a half-mile swimming beach, giant slide, playground, the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, the Detroit Yacht Club, the Detroit Boat Club, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, a Coast Guard post and a municipal golf course there are plenty of sights to visit and explore. Detroit also maintains a Nature Center where visitors are able to navigate wooded trails and view wildlife in their natural habitats.
Detroit has this and much more to offer anyone looking for a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of their everyday.

March 17, 2010

A column I worte for class

This is a column I wrote for my news reporting 2 class. It's was a commentary so I chose to write about Disney's "The Princess and The Frog" I enjoyed the film but it rose a lot of controversy that I felt was unnecessary.

It’s been almost two months since Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog,” featuring Disney’s first ever African American princess, debuted in theaters. When I saw the preview for the film last summer I was excited, finally a princess to represent the little black girls of the world, but not everyone was as thrilled as I was. After the preview was released, controversy came from all over. Some didn’t like the idea of a black princess and some didn’t like the idea of an ambiguously raced prince. I was raised to not truly care about race, why should it matter?
I recently had the pleasure of seeing the film with my fiance and we enjoyed everything about the film. It had great music, animation and story. On opening weekend the film grossed $25,208,916, and has been nominated for 10 various awards, including Best Animated Feature. It was an entertaining and light-hearted romance with music and great characters. I can understand not liking a movie because of a bad plot or animation, but because of race? That is ridiculous! Why is a giving a black child hope that their dreams can come true so bad? To teach them that true love exists for them too? What is the big deal?
Many people were also upset that the prince wasn’t Black but, from what I saw, he wasn’t White either; he was from a fictional the country Maldonia and voiced by a Brazilian actor. Again I can’t understand why it raised such contest from the public. In the U.S., aka “the Melting Pot”, interracial relationships are everywhere, from Black and White to Black and Asian. So why is it a problem that Disney portrayed our culture as they see it? Don’t we teach children to not discriminate others based on skin color? Aren’t we are all equal and God’s children? Love is love, haven’t we fought for this in the past? That we have the right to love anyone no matter gender or color?
The film had many powerful messages that I think work for all children no matter what color, that hard work and fun have to work together, family is important, love has no boundaries and what you want isn’t always what you need. It also took the audience back to a time when New Orleans was a hot spot for entertainment and opportunity, the birth place of jazz. It showed children what New Orleans was like before Hurricane Katrina.
This movie is another step for African American culture, another first in Black History; we should be proud and overjoyed that times have truly changed from those of our grandparents. Acceptance is growing but people are still find things to complain about. First there’s not enough positive representation of African Americans in the media, now they can’t have interracial relationships because it shows that little Black boys can’t be princes’. Why nitpick at the minor details? Why argue when there’s nothing to truly argue about?
The fact that this controversy is over a children’s movie is what is the most troubling. Children learn from their parents, families and friends, if they see them placing an emphasis on race why wouldn’t they? Then a vicious cycle begins of hate and discrimination because of race, something we’ve been battling for decades! Why keep that cycle going? The movie was a great step back to classic Disney and I hope they do more. As for the controversy, save it, it’s a new day and age, we even have a bi-racial president. I salute Disney for taking the initiative, before Obama by the way, to develop a movie that reached another demographic and showed that a princess can be any color.