Virtues from Motherhood: A Letter to my Friends

A Letter to my Friends,

In a few days, all three of you will walk across the stage at the Barclay’s center, solidifying the end of a chapter in your lives. I am so proud of each of you, and it has been a privilege to watch you grow and find success. I know each of you will bring such light and greatness to wherever you go next. Though I’ve only had the fortune of knowing you for two years, it feels like we’ve known each other decades and I know I’ve made lifelong friends.

My journey here at City Tech was shaped by you, your presence, your support and all our shared moments of laughter, triumph and at times relief. Until I got here I never had a real college experience, I was never apart of things on campus and I never felt like I belonged, but you all changed that. I looked forward to coming to school every day and sharing classes and breaks together made me feel like I was meant to be here and that I was going to be alright.

I will miss each of you so much when I begin my final semester here in the fall but I’ll share all the great experiences and values I had with you three with the peers I encounter before I leave. When I think back on all my attempts at college and all the times I tried and failed, it no longer seems like such a big deal because I’ve found such great success, and great people here. I want to thank you amazing ladies for letting me into your lives, for sharing your time and input with me, for dealing with me when I was on the brink of a meltdown and most all for being a friend when I felt like I had none. I will always look back on this time of my life as a flourishing, happy and most of all one filled with love and I will always tell my daughter about the experiences I’ve had at City Tech. Congratulations!

Your friend,

Samantha

 

Samantha and Mariah- New Tech Times relaunch 12/15/16

Samantha and Jodieann- New Tech Times relaunch 12/15/16

Samantha and Pam- New Tech Times relaunch 12/15/16

Virtues from Motherhood: The People you meet

Mariah, Samantha, Pam and Jodieann. My very first friends at City Tech <3

 

Throughout your life you’ll meet hundreds if not thousands of people, some significant and some not, but all a part of the mosaic of our lives. As my journey at City Tech enters its final chapter I find myself reflecting on my very different experiences in college. I started my journey in college at John Jay, made a brief stop at Kingsborough and now I find myself here. Every school meant something for me, and occupied a different time in my life. When I arrived at John Jay I still wasn’t sure who I was, let alone what I hoped to find in college and it was a very lonely and turbulent time and I don’t have any fond memories there. At Kingsborough, I was just starting to get my life and my goals back on track so I was more focused on getting what I needed to do, done.

When I got to City Tech though I had a better idea of who I was, I knew I was going to achieve what I set out and I wanted to make the most of my experience here. I made friends the second week I was here, and they’ll be lifelong ones at that. I’ve become a part of so many things on campus, met so many great faculty members and peers as well and that alone is invaluable to me. I found when I opened myself up to new experiences and wasn’t afraid to contribute my voice and ideas, that great things happened, like being a part of The Buzz.

As you move through different chapters of your life, don’t be afraid to stop in and say hello, to your peers, your professors, a nonprofit group, a school program or even a free event. Just say hello, share what you have to give, your great ideas, your voice, your artistic abilities because you never know just how valuable you might be to someone or someplace. I’ve been blogging for over a year now and I have met so many great people, bloggers, advisors and mentors that I will carry on with me even after my time at City Tech ends.

With that I would like to extend my well wishes to Phil Kreniske, who will be leaving The Buzz for another great, and well deserved, opportunity. I wish him well and thank him for him time and contributions with The Buzz and its bloggers, you will be greatly missed.

SOMOS el Futuro

On Friday, March 24th through Sunday, March 26th I had the incredible opportunity to attend the SOMOS el Futuro Caucus where I was provided the opportunity to attend various Conference’s, participate in the 2017 New York State Model Senate Project and also attend the evening Gala with Elected Officials.

In addition to myself, students were also invited to attend the collegiate summit which was an opportunity for them to attend/participate in the following activities discussing issues affecting higher education, career development, goal achievement, careers in corporate America and growing STEM fields!

Being provided with the fortuity to meet with Legislators and express to them the importance of funding higher education made me appreciate my institution and all that it has to offer much more.

Also, being surrounded by students whom want nothing but the same as I and more is even more inspirational. What makes things even brighter is that we all come from one University known as the City University of New York.

I encourage all who are currently enrolled in a CUNY school or and school to get involved! Join student organizations and/or free programs. These opportunities will be slim once you graduate and although other doors will open during that time, more can be opened if you expand your horizons now!  

Academic Self-Discovery: Mentorship

Mentoring is a way of passing down knowledge from one person to another, yet it is also deeper than that. It is also about helping the mentee gain confidence in themselves and for whatever it was they had difficulty with. That for me is the goal to have during the journey to academic self-discovery. Recently I was given an allegory on how impactful mentoring can be for all whose involved. The allegory goes like this: there is a dark room and inside are people holding candlesticks without flame. Then walks in a person with a candle that is lit. This person decides to share their light with another and now the room has a faint amount of light, however, it is still not bright enough. If the two share it with more and those they share it with do the same with the rest, eventually the entire romm will become illuminated. That is what mentoring is about. Giving “light” to those that are in need of it.

Mentorship is the act of teaching and learning, gaining information from those with more experience. This has been done for years and years and though we might not have called the people who are our gardians, siblings, friends, or teachers “mentors”, that is in a way what they are because they all contribute something to our lives. Most mentors have an insight on how things work from their own experiences, due to this they are able to give their mentee the best advise or support needed. Mentors in the field the mentee is attempting will know the right ways to push and motivate them to continue. It is not only the mentee that benefits form having a mentorship, the mentor also gains from this. The mentor will have the chance to test their skills and what they know and they most likely will be filled with the sense of purpose and accomplishment from helping others.

There are many programs and internships people can look up and join that involves mentoring. One of the programs that I know has mentoring opportunities at City Tech is BMI (Black Male Initiative). Despite their name they are open for all (women and people of other races). They provide academic help and guidance to make sure students do not just succeed but help others to succeed as well. I’ve heard personal stories of growth from members of that program, such as them being once too shy to speak to an audience to now being able to stand infront of a crowd and speak almost fully at ease. Mentorship is a great way to add something intresting to resumes, a great way of helping others and your community, a chance to improve at the things one struggles with, and so much more.

Have you ever been a mentor or a mentee? How was your experience like? If you want to share just leave a comment below. Thanks for reading.

NYC 2017 – Phase 1: 2nd Avenue

After years and years of discussion, Phase 1 of the 2nd avenue line is now in affect! Probably the best New Year gift New Yorkers across the City received this year. Expanding the “Q” line to 96th Street.

Once the project is complete, it will consist of a service that will expand transportation 8.5 miles along Manhattan’s East Side. From Hanover Square (Lower Manhattan) to 125th Street.

To know that plans for this train line have been discussed since the 1930’s makes me even more appreciative of being able to use this service. After reading an article in the New York Times, about a woman saying “We were young,” said Ms. Shea, now 93. “We thought it was going to happen. It took a little longer than we thought.

I havent visited the stations as of yet however I look forward to seeing the project as a whole be completed. It is about time the East Side expands and has more means of  public transportation, excluding buses.

To be continued …

Diary of a Former Nomad: New Years Resolution–Don’t Have One!

Happy New Year Techies!

Every New Year since I could remember I have always set a resolution whether it be that I would eat better or study more, but every year I always fall. I would either lose steam by the time February rolled around or I would just give in to pure temptation. And every year I would in some small way feel disappointed in myself and let’s be honest that is no way to feel in a new year when all efforts are being poured into staying positive. So, for whatever reason it might have been I told myself that in this new year I wasn’t going to set a resolution because I just wanted to live and take life as I came to me.

Now you may be saying well that by itself is a resolution and in some way it is, but in another sense I am not setting myself up for failure. Every year I put a new creed into action and it never falls all the way through so this year I just plan on adjusting to life as it comes. Now don’t get me wrong this doesn’t mean that I do not have goals for the year which I do, but a resolution, no. I am putting my efforts into smaller short term goals that will positively affect my long term goals. Setting a goal for the week instead a year is more fruitful. Give yourself time to grow and give yourself the time needed. Life isn’t a race! I think we often forget that life is for living and its about making each moment count.

So in 2017 lets adjust to the idea that life happens both bad and good, and it is the idea of how we handle it that matters. It is how we treat ourselves that will in fact mirror how we treat others. Be kind, be thoughtful, be smart, and humble, and content with the fact that no matter how little you may have it is more than someone else might. Be proud of yourself for how far you have come  but realize that the journey is only half done. Take 2017 for the open book that it can be and be prepared to write the most epic chapter of your life. I know I am!

Diary of A Former Nomad: My Story, Part 3 & 4

Happy holidays everyone! As the year comes to an end so too does my story. For those who have been following me and reading each part of my story I hope that it has given you some hope, inspiration, or even gotten you through a day that you thought you couldn’t. Sharing this story was not an easy decision but I know that because of it I have become stronger. I know that I needed to let go of this baggage that I have been carrying around for years in order to be better for the coming years. I hope that you all have a great holiday season and the new year brings you happiness and success!

Here are the final chapters of my story. If you haven’t read yet read the first and second part click the links below.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

I returned home to my small battered village, a battered child. My emotions, self esteem and confidence were at an all time low. I returned to parents who seemed somewhat genuine and had flourished during my absence. The house was filled with much more but the stench of pain and sorrows still remained engraved into the walls. My mother was different. She was colder and less nurturing. My father was as before, standoffish and his eyes still had no light. I still remembered arriving home early that morning and being amazed of how monumental the house felt. I had my own room. It was pink and bright and everything I could have hoped for in a room. I had pets too. My life finally seemed to be what I could have imagined it to be. But soon enough the welcome home mat had been removed and it was back to the ways things used to be. My parents fought and pushed me in the middle to choose a side. I told my mother I chose her and my father I chose him. I couldn’t choose and as small as I was, I remembered thinking I shouldn’t have to. I had given up so much for them and yet they couldn’t give up fighting for me. Maybe it was now that I was older and could understand more that the fights seemed worse. Looking back now, I’ve shed more tears with my parents than laughs. They have been the reason for my birth and the death of many of my beliefs, hopes and dreams. As much as they have given me, they have taken away so much more.

 

I lost my innocence the day I saw my mother try to hang herself in our living room from the rafters.

I lost hope for my father the day he slapped me for standing up for my mother then emptied out the cupboards and left us hungry for weeks.

 

I lost faith in God after many more fights and nights of crying myself to sleep after I realized he had made my life this way.

 

I had lost so much but had gained something I never thought I would. I had friends now due to my father’s new and well-known name. People say money can’t buy happiness but in my case, it sure did. After the beatings and the blows I got money, a lot of money. The money did nothing but numb me even more but one good thing came from that money. I never knew her name, but she was about 5 years old. She had no money to buy a Popsicle and without hesitation I bought it for her. I bought it and a smile shined from one end to another on her face. Sometimes I remember this day and think of how much joy I found in that little girl and my ability to help her and my regret for not giving her more. I wonder if she wished she was me and had the ability to buy more and have more. I hope she didn’t. I had nothing or should I say nothing I wanted.

 

Before I knew it, it was time to leave again and a broken family was going to be broken once more. My father couldn’t leave with us and I question if my fight to wait for him meant anything to him both then and now.

When he did get his papers, we all packed up and I wished and prayed in that moment that my new life would be three things: permanent, happy and enough. Enough for my parents, hoping they would be content with whatever we had because we had each other, that we could finally be a family. A family who loved each other and appreciated one another. That I would be more to them than a bargaining tool, I would be someone they were proud of. I would be worth their love and appreciation without having to be someone else but their daughter.

 

I got on that plane and left again. I left behind hardships that children should not have to endure. I hoped to leave behind sorrow and all the pains. I would be living in a new place and no one would know how bad my dad beat my mom and punished us. No one would know of how damaged I was. I would be able to dream, grow and flourish into the person that the creator of the heavens and I knew I would become.

Part 4

This October makes 11 years since I made that wish. I can’t say that it’s been granted. My story has not been an easy one and I don’t think it’ll get easier but it has become one that I could manage. Life is fluid, it doesn’t stay still. It moves, grows, and evolves and by doing so we find ourselves, our purpose, our reason. What has happened in my life doesn’t define me but it’s given me many roads to determine my own purpose and my own reason. I can’t say that I wouldn’t change the things that have happen but I also can’t say that I would change how my life is now. I’ve had to chance to live freer than most people do their entire lives and it’s something I hold dear to my heart. My life, all 22 years has been trying to find the right place and maybe we never do. Maybe we find the best parts of all the better parts of life. Maybe it’s all one big trial and at some point in our lives whether we are aware or not we find that place. I’ll keep searching for mine.

 

Until then, I hope this story, my story; opens yours eyes to seeing that life even in its worst parts it just that. It’s just a bad day, a bad part, a memory. Life is just a trial subscription to many opportunities, many lives, and loves. So live and be open to the possibilities that no matter what happens someday and somehow it gets better.

National Day of Healing

With the Holiday season currently in “session” you can find people being jolly and happy very often. But this season is also difficult for a large group of people, for example those who lost a loved one.

Next Thursday, December 15th from 11:30am to 12:30pm a Professor from St. Francis College by the name of Andrea Andrews will be hosting her second annual “National Day of Healing” event at Brooklyn Borough Hall. This will be time for individuals to come together and reflect, taking 5 seconds (12:00:00pm-12:00:05pm) to send the message “you are not alone”. If you’re unable to attend the event, wherever you are, at exactly 12:00pn on this day, gather in a group or participate as an individual!

I encourage all that can attend to attend this event. Especially in a time that we are living in today with conflicts and racial slurs constantly being brought up, we all need to reflect and remind each other that they’re are not alone even when they feel they are we are all one.  

Live Entertainment

This summer I attended my very first concert .. but it wasn’t your ordinary concert in an arena setting, it was at an outdoor stadium! I went to see one of my favorite “electronic duo” artist. It’s that funky music that gets you up and in a good mood. The atmosphere was filled with young hipster looking individuals that didn’t seem to care about anything but enjoying their time.

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I recommend anyone who has never been to a concert to do so! It doesn’t even have to be a famous artist. It’s more about being surrounded with hundreds of people who have a common interest as you in an artist and their music. Also, who wouldn’t enjoy jamming to LIVE music?

Now I know concerts could be pricey, even for the “underground” artist but if you set aside $10 a week in a jar, you can reach that goal soon enough. For now, I can recommend you to attend a FREE not concert but Talent Show!

This Friday, Student Government is hosting their 5th Annual Spotlight – Talent Show in the Voorhees Theater from 6pm to 10pm. With 20 contestants on the program showcasing their talents in dance, rap, singing, step, spoken word, and more! Come out and see the talents your fellow peers have!

Although it is not a concert with artists performing their songs, it is a composition of various forms of live entertainment that you may enjoy.

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Diary of a Former Nomad: A New Home for The Holidays

The holiday season no matter what race or religion means one thing: family coming together and for those of you who may be alone for the first time this year, I completely understand your feelings of frustration, confusion and even depression. I remember the first time I spent the holidays by myself and it was the loneliest time for me. Eventually I found comfort in the city and the people around me. Adjusting to a new place and culture this time of year only makes you miss your own even more but luckily you have come to New York City– a place where you don’t have to forsake who you are but can be that person freely.

This holiday season, if you are adjusting to this new place here are 5 tips of mine that will help you see New York more as home and help you through what can seem as a grooling time.  

  1. Explore. New York City has so much to offer. Around every corner is a new adventure and has something exciting just waiting to be discovered. The holiday season is filled with great festivals, shows and treats. Take this time of year to learn about your new home, the people and the holiday culture. The holiday season in New York City is like no other. People seem to come together in ways that all year round is forgotten. Whether it is ice skating in Bryant Park or visiting the tree at Rockefeller Center, New Yorkers come together to celebrate the season and each other. Click the link below to check out various ways you can venture out this holiday season in the city. https://www.timeout.com/newyork/christmas
  2. Volunteer. As the holiday season is a season of giving thanks and being thankful for, we should remember that many of those who live here in the city might not have as much as we do. New York City alone has a population of over 60 thousand homeless people. In the city there are various shelters and soup kitchens that are always looking for people to volunteer their time to help with activities. Although, we should try to give back throughout the year, giving a little extra during the holiday season goes a long way and means so much those we help. For those adjusting to a new life here in the city, it is a great opportunity to open your eyes to all that you have even though it might not be clear to see. Click the link to learn more about organizations that need your help this season: https://www.newyorkcares.org/holiday-volunteering-referrals
  3. Travel. With classes coming to an end and a break coming up, it is a great time to take a few days off and see what else is out there. Being alone comes with its perks and this is one of them. Traveling out or around the country during the winter season has its rewards, for one flights and hotel stays are cheaper. Adjusting to a new place can be hard on the mind and body so if you need to take a little time and go home, or go see a new part of the world. Click the link to see the best places to see during the season. http://www.priceoftravel.com/5324/cheap-warm-places-go-christmas-new-years-season/
  4. Find what you love. The winter season may seem like a dreadful and boring time in New York City but in fact what may seem to be dull and dreary is a great time for you to get back to doing what you love. In the winter we are offered solitude and with an extra hour we can take up a hobby we forgot about. So this winter take the time to remember who you were and  find ways within you to adjust to your new life.
  5. Connect with people. Being alone in a new place only becomes easier by opening yourself up to new possibilities. By connecting with people you will feel less like an outsider, and will become less consumed with the feeling of being alone. You will become more confident in yourself and your place where you are if you build a support system. I know that meeting new people is not an easy task but each day try to put yourself out there. The holiday season is a great time to begin this because everyone is more open to connecting and if I do say so myself in a far better mood.