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    My conversations with talented individuals from the art world whose experiences provide valuable insight for student artists and aspiring art industry professionals.



    My conversations with environmental leaders whose organizations are working to protect our planet.



    My conversations with leaders whose organizations are performing transformative work in their community by providing valuable resources and services.



    My conversations with minority technology entrepreneurs whose experiences can serve as informative lessons and inspirational guides.



    My conversations with experts who provide advice and tips about all things college-related.


    Painter and Printmaker

    Summer 2022

  • [00:00] Intro

    [00:18] What is the value and importance of art from the perspective of the artist creating the work as well as that of the viewer seeing the art?

    [01:24] What was your earliest memory of discovering your artistic talents and considering art as a possible career choice?

    [02:47] Did you study art in high school and/or college, and how did your studies prepare you for a career in art?

    [04:11] What is your memory of your first art exhibit and how did this experience make you feel about your art career pursuits?

    [05:26] As an artist, what inspires your works?

    [07:09] How would you describe the artistic style of your works?

    [08:18] Why did you decide to pursue teaching art and what do you find fulfilling about helping your students develop their talents?

    [10:01] What makes the Oolite Teen Artist Summer Residency unique and what do the students gain from the experience?

    [11:25] What advice would you give to aspiring student artists?

    [12:30] How would you advise new artists best structure their activities and actions in order to successfully achieve their goal of pursuing art as a full-time career?

    [13:49] Production Credits




    Matt Forehand is a very creative artist whose talents extend way beyond the paint palette and directly into the classroom. He has as much passion for creating works of art that are inspired by his Columbian and South Florida roots as he does for nurturing young artists.


    I met Forehand during my participation as an Oolite Arts Teen Artist Summer Residency Program member during the Summer of 2022. He was the Oolite Arts Resident Artist teaching the teen students about the art of printmaker.


    At the end of the week that Forehand spent with the group, I asked him for an interview so that I could learn more about this talented painter who also possesses a mastery of teaching art.


    Follow Matt Forehand on his Instagram account or visit his website:




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    Artist and Social Justice Advocate

    Winter 2021

  • [00:30] How important is the role of art for communities of color?

    [01:45] What is it that inspires you as an artist, and how does it influence our artwork?

    [02:39] What advice do you give to aspiring young artists?

    [03:52] How significant are programs like PAMM Teen Arts Council for student artists?

    [04:35] What is your motivation for serving as a teacher and mentor to aspiring artists?

    [05:31] What were you hoping to achieve with your recent “Remnants” exhibit featured at the Locust Projects gallery in Miami?

    [06:02] What was the response from the attendees to your “Remnants” exhibit altar-making workshop?

    [07:12] Can you describe the art scene in Miami, and how does it differ from other cities?

    [08:33] Production Credits




    As a member of the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) Teen Arts Council, I have the privilege of meeting and speaking with many talented individuals from the art world. And, since I have had the opportunity for their words to help inform and inspire me as a young artist, I feel it could do the same for others.


    Thus, I have created a new series titled “Art Talks”. I will interview creative trendsetters and game-changers, who are blazing trails in the art industry and share their stories.


    I was honored to have my first interviewee for the “Art Talks” series feature Miami native, Loni Johnson whose soul-stirring and fierce creative talents as an award-winning artist are only matched by her dedicated commitment to social justice and mentoring the next generation of changemakers.


    Follow Loni Johnson on her Instagram account:



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    Founder and Executive Director

    Winter 2022

  • [00:00] Introduction

    [00:29] What sparked your interest in art and why did you decide to pursue a career in art curation?

    [01:27] When did you become actively involved in your efforts to protect the environment?

    [02:15] What is the mission of ARTSail and how does the organization achieve its intended goals and objectives?

    [04:11] What steps did you take to launch your vision for the initial programming for ARTSail?

    [06:36] How do you plan to grow the future impact of ARTSail?

    [10:07] What are some of the ways that people can best support ARTSail and its mission?

    [11:46] Production Credits




    Ombretta Agro' Andruff, an avid water sports enthusiast and longtime environmentalist with a passion for art curation, is the Founder and Executive Director of ARTSail.


    ARTSail is a unique nonprofit organization dedicated to facilitating collaborations between artists, scientists, marine experts, and activists in the creation of artwork with enduring advocacy value.


    ARTSail - the only organization in South Florida with access to ocean-going vessels and scientific practitioners for creative and climate change inquiry - hosts a range of programs that span from artist residencies to educational and outreach programs that help communities move from climate awareness to climate action.


    Agrỏ Andruff and her small but dedicated team are continuously finding innovative ways to leverage the masterful capacity of talented artists to utilize their creative works to communicate the importance of environmental-focused public policies that protect our planet.


    To learn more about ARTSail and support its mission click the link below:


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    Miami Waterkeeper

    Executive Director and Waterkeeper

    Summer 2022

  • [00:00] Introduction

    [00:26] What is Miami Waterkeeper and its mission?

    [00:51] In what ways does Miami Waterkeeper help to protect South Florida waterways?

    [01:23] How does Miami Waterkeeper determine which water issues to prioritize when deciding its advocacy initiatives?

    [03:49] How was your transition into the role as Executive Director and what lessons did you learn from that experience?

    [05:41] What is the Junior Ambassador Program and what role does it play in training the next generation of advocates?

    [07:47] What are the greatest concerns for South Florida waterways that we currently face and will have to deal with in the future?

    [10:57] What ways can the South Florida community get involved in helping to keep the local waterways clean and safe?

    [13:07] Production Credits




    For the inaugural interview for my new "Eco-Friendly" series, I selected Rachel Silverstein, Ph.D., who is the Executive Director and Waterkeeper of the Miami Waterkeeper organization.


    My goal with the "Eco-Friendly" series is to feature my conversations with individuals involved in environmental activities and actions that are helping to protect our planet. Silverstein and her small but mighty team at Miami Waterkeeper exemplify the types of Earth-saving efforts I want to highlight and support.


    The term “Waterkeeper” indicates that an organization is a member of a network of clean water advocates within the Waterkeeper Alliance and protects a particular waterway. A "Waterkeeper" is also a job title at each waterkeeper organization.


    Silverstein is the full-time Miami Waterkeeper, and her role is part investigator, scientist, educator, and legal advocate who functions as a public spokesperson in protecting our right to clean water. The mission of Miami Waterkeeper is to ensure swimmable, drinkable, fishable water for all.


    The tireless dedication by Silverstein in leading the efforts to protect the waterways of South Florida has made her an environmental hero to residents in the community.


    To support Miami Waterkeeper and its mission visit the link below:



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    Futbol Con Corazon (FCC USA)

    Executive Director

    Winter 2022

  • [00:00] Introduction

    [00:38] Tell me about your personal and professional backgrounds.

    [01:39] What is FCC and its mission?

    [02:39] What are the fundamental principles behind the the mission of FCC?

    [04:15] In what South Florida communities does FCC operate and why?

    [05:47] What do the youth who participate in FCC gain from the experience?

    [07:03] Who are the volunteers that help support the mission of the organization and what do they gain from the experience?

    [08:30] Who are some of the community partners with the organization and why is their support critical for the success of the program?

    [09:36] In what ways do you plan to grow FCC in the future?

    [11:07] Production Credits




    While still feeling the excitement from an incredible 2022 FIFA World Cup men's championship match - congratulation to Lionel Messi and Team Argentina - I had the opportunity to speak with another uber soccer fan, Danielle Dubuc Wightman, the Executive Director of FCC USA (Fútbol Con Corazón).


    FCC USA is a non-profit social enterprise that uses soccer and its convening power to educate boys, girls, and young people in having high personal values and acquiring critical socio-emotional skillsets so that they become agents of change in their communities as well as thrive in achieving their individual aspirations.


    The passionate leadership and tireless advocacy on the part of Dubuc Wightman are helping FCC USA positively transform our South Florida communities and its youth through the love of soccer.


    To learn more about FCC USA and support its mission, visit the link below:



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    The Children's Movement of Florida

    Board Chairman and Founder

    Summer 2022

  • [00:00] Introduction

    [00:26] Why did you decide to pursue a career in journalism and what have been some of your greatest accomplishments during your time in this field?

    [03:03] What was the reason for your interest in early childhood development and why did it prompt you to change careers?

    [05:44] What is The Children’s Movement of Florida and its mission?

    [07:01] What prompted you to write your book “A Dedicated Life” and what do you hope people learn from reading it?

    [10:23] What advice would you give to youth about the decisions they will face when determining their path in life?

    [14:56] What is it that you hope people say about you and your decades of commitment and service on behalf of children in Florida?

    [16:28] Production Credits




    David Lawrence, Jr. is an iconic figure to the residents of Florida because of his decades of tireless dedication and service spent advocating on behalf of the children living in the state.


    Lawrence, who attended the University of Florida and was named “Outstanding Journalism Graduate”, retired in 1999 as the publisher of The Miami Herald and transitioned from his 35 years spent in the field of journalism to working in the area of early childhood development and readiness.


    In 2009, Lawrence founded The Children’s Movement of Florida, an organization aimed at making children the state’s top priority for investment by advocating for high-quality early learning opportunities, access to children’s health care, and parent support programs.


    Lawrence’s long history of working for Florida children includes having served on the Governor’s Children and Youth Cabinet and twice chairing the Florida Partnership for School Readiness. In 2002, he was a key figure in passing a statewide constitutional amendment to provide pre-K for all 4-year-olds.


    This loving husband to Roberta for 58+ years and devoted father to 5 children and 7 grandchildren has received 13 honorary doctorates including one from his alma mater, the University of Florida, as well as he was honored with Knight-Ridder’s top award, the John S. Knight Gold Medal.


    His national honors include the Ida B. Wells Award “for exemplary leadership in providing minorities employment opportunities” and the National Association of Minority Media Executives award for “lifetime achievement in diversity.”


    Inducted into the Florida Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2010, Lawrence’s writing awards include the First Amendment Award from the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Inter-American Press Association Commentary Award. He also chaired the National Task Force on Minorities in the Newspaper Business and has served terms as president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and president of the Inter-American Press Association.


    In 2018, Lawrence - who reads an average of 2 books per week - published his memoir, “A Dedicated Life: Journalism, Justice and a Chance for Every Child”. This book chronicles the lessons he has learned during his decades-long career in journalism - starting at the St. Petersburg Times to his time as an editor at the Washington Post to his career-capping leadership as the publisher of The Miami Herald - and details the how-to in founding a movement that has positively changed the lives of Florida children and brightened the future for all residents living in the state.


    To learn more about The Children’s Movement of Florida and to support its mission, visit the link below:



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    Breakthrough Miami

    Chief Executive Officer

    Summer 2022

  • [00:00] Introduction

    [00:27] What is Breakthrough Miami and how does it achieve its mission?

    [01:40] What type of impact does Breakthrough Miami have on the communities it serves?

    [03:05] How many students participate in Breakthrough Miami each school year?

    [05:34] What type of activities do Breakthrough Miami scholars participate in throughout the school year?

    [06:49] Are there any other enrichment opportunities for the Breakthrough Miami scholars?

    [08:38] What type of impact does participating in Breakthrough Miami have on the scholars?

    [11:23] What should those interested in applying to become Breakthrough Miami scholars do?

    [12:42] Production Credits




    “Spotlight” is a new and exciting interview series that I am producing. It will feature conversations with leaders whose organizations want to improve their community by empowering its members.


    My goal with this series is to shine a light on these amazing leaders and their talented team members as well as celebrate the transformational work of their organizations - all from a unique “student perspective” that speaks to how youth are positively impacted by their actions.


    There is no one I wanted more as my inaugural interviewee for the "Spotlight" series than Lori-Ann Cox, Chief Executive Officer at Breakthrough Miami, an organization whose “students-teaching-students” model creates a rigorous, vibrant learning community, where highly motivated, traditionally underrepresented 5th-12th grade students are supported to achieve post-secondary success and emerging leaders are inspired to become the next generation of educators and advocates.


    Cox and Breakthrough Miami hold a special place in my heart because I am fortunate and blessed to be a Breakthrough Miami scholar and a member of the Breakthrough Miami Village since 5th grade.


    To learn more about Breakthrough Miami and help support its mission, visit the lnk below:



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    Avatar Buddy, LLC


    Summer 2022

  • [00:00] Introduction

    [00:43] Tell me about your personal and professional backgrounds.

    [02:15] At what point did you become interested in the field of technology?

    [03:27] What is Avatar Buddy, LLC and how do its products work?

    [06:41] What was your motivation in developing these products for Avatar Buddy, LLC?

    [08:11] What do you find to be the greatest challenge for women working in the technology field?

    [10:01] What is the greatest barrier to entry for minority-owned tech startups?

    [11:40] Why is it important that girls - and specifically girls of color - pursue careers in the technology field?

    [12:18] Production Credits




    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'”.


    Thus, on this MLK Day, I want to honor Dr. King’s legacy and answer his call to action by launching a new interview series titled “The Color of Tech” as part of my ongoing effort to uplift and empower those in my community with knowledge and information.


    For this inaugural interview, I have selected Stephanie Sylvestre, co-founder of Avatar Buddy, LLC. And, I am proud to say that she is also my mentor.


    Technology is not new to Sylvestre, who has performed many different technical roles throughout her 30-plus-year career.


    Her latest endeavor finds her utilizing that experience to address the critical need for personal coaching and mentorship with the development of cutting-edge products that effectively use artificial intelligence technology as a 24/7 available digital aid.


    Our candid conversation covers a broad range of topics including the challenges faced by minority-owned technology startups to cultural issues women face in the world of technology to the importance of girls entering STEM fields early in their development.


    To learn more about Avatar Buddy, LLC, visit the following link:



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    Way Finder Consulting

    December 2022

  • This is my junior year in high school [originally written in December 2022]. Thus, my time is largely consumed by researching colleges, studying for upcoming ACT and SAT exams, preparing for college entrance applications, and planning campus visits.


    I know I am not alone in this rite of passage, as countless students from across the country are feeling the same anxiety and concern about the “domino effect” of their college selection process - being accepted into a good/challenging/affordable school, then obtaining the most growth possible from that college experience, and then successfully transitioning into the workforce and being gainfully employed.


    So, I thought to share all the information I have been learning from various college coaches and counselors by creating a new series titled “The Student Life”, which will feature content about all things college-related in the form of advice and tips for high school and college students.


    The inaugural featured college coach is the fantastic Dr. Tania Abouzeide, Founder and Lead Consultant at Way Finder Consulting. I have had the pleasure of attending her incredible college boot camp sessions at the University of Miami as a Breakthrough Miami “Breakthrough U” scholar.


    Dr. Abouzeide shared some excellent tips for selecting the best college for you that are certain to make this daunting process a lot easier to navigate and even enjoyable!


    If you have additional advice or tips you feel are beneficial on this particular topic, then I encourage you to please take the time to share your thoughts in the comments because… “It takes a village.”




    Contact Dr. Tania Abouzeide about her college coaching services:

    Way Finder Consulting


    (786) 496-3091


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