Rihanna was Awarded with the 2017 Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award

On February 28, Rihanna was on Harvard campus accepting the Peter J. Games Humanitarian award. She’s receiving this award for donating and building a state-of- the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados.

In 2012, she founded the nonprofit the Clara Lionel Foundation Global Scholarship Program [named for her grandparents] for students attending college in the U.S. from Caribbean countries, and supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, which provides children with access to education in over 60 developing countries, giving priority to girls, and those affected by lack of access to education in the world today.

Long story short Rihanna is awesome and this international musical phenomenon, is a Barbados-born singer, actress, and songwriter. Her full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty — she has sold more than 200 million records. Using her success for good Rihanna is changing the lives of those in need.

The Harvard Foundation recognizes prominent public-spirited leaders each year in honor of the late Rev. Professor Peter J. Gomes. “Rihanna has charitably built a state-of- the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados,” said the Harvard Foundation’s director S. Allen Counter.

She’s also helped many other kids receive educations as an ambassador for the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project. She was in Malawi last week for the campaign, People reports, and performed at last year’s Global Citizen Festival, which helps end poverty.

While promoting education, she says “Higher education will help provide perspective, opportunities, and learning to a group of kids who really deserve it. I am thrilled to be able to do this,” she told USA Today when she started the scholarship.

As well as promoting education she promotes healthcare. Rihanna built a center dedicated to breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, where she grew up. She also appeared in a World AIDS Day PSA with Prince William, where they pricked their fingers to demonstrate how simple getting an HIV test is.

She joins an eclectic group of honorees. Past recipients include girls’ education advocate Malala Yousafzai, Star Wars and The Lion King voice actor James Earl Jones, and four recent U.N. Secretaries General.

Rihanna is doing great things and making all of us proud! By using her fortune for good she is making a change. Not only is she helping those that really need it and are appreciating it, she is being recognized for it nationally. Who knew she was doing all of this?! I sure didn’t, she kept it all very lowkey.

She is broadening her spectrum of talents beyond the singer song writer talents and being recognized for doing good charitable work in the world.

You go RiRi!!

For more info and quotes: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/02/rihanna-named-humanitarian-of-year/

 

Advertisements

First Wheelchair Model to Hit the Ukrainian Runway

Alexandra Kutas is paralyzed from the waist down and lives her life in a wheelchair but insists her disability won’t deter her dreams of becoming a model. She made her first modeling debut at Ukraine Fashion Week. She says she wants ALL designer shows to include wheelchair-bound models.

This young model is making her debut at Ukraine Fashion Week despite never being able to walk.

She’s from Kiev, Ukraine, has been featured in several exhibitions and been invited to work as a hostess at Ukraine Fashion Week later this year.

She’s determined and hopes that by working the exclusive event it will open doors for a career in high-end fashion. As well as balancing her modelling career with her day job as a physiologist, she is also fighting for better facilities for wheelchair users.

Alexandra, who suffered a spinal cord injury during birth, said: ‘I was first interested in the idea of becoming a model when I was 16.

‘I was spotted by a photographer when I was in a cafe one day and she invited me to do a shoot – I was so inspired and realized that modelling was what I wanted to do.’

Alexandra adds that she hopes to use her position to change the landscape of the modelling industry for wheelchair users.

‘Because of a birth injury I could never walk and have always been in wheelchair.

‘But I’m hoping that Ukraine Fashion Week will be a chance to meet designers and voice my own concepts.

‘I have so many ideas about using model with disabilities and I have an idea of how it should look.’

Normally I write about Hispanic women and their empowering moves, but this can’t be ignored. Alexandra is making history and making it so people in wheelchairs can feel beautiful too.

This is starting with her empowering women, but this will eventually move to men being a part of this movement as well. She is inspiring others and is the pioneer in this movement.

Her hard work and determination is just the beginning and the results that can come from this. You go girl!

All quotes received from; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3218076/Disabled-woman-make-modelling-debut-Ukraine-Fashion-Week.html#ixzz4aIudSWS5

 

First Hispanic Women to go to Space is Being Inducted into the Hall of Fame

Her name is Ellen Ochoa, and she was the first Latina women who made it to space. It was announced that on May 19th she will be inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame for her success.

A quote from Ms. Ochoa about the news; “I’m honored to be recognized among generations of astronauts who were at the forefront of exploring our universe for the benefit of humankind, I hope to continue to inspire our nation’s youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math, so they, too, may reach for the stars.”

Ochoa is from Mexico and she joined NASA as a research engineer at Ames Research Center in 1988. By 1990, she moved onto the Johnson Space Center, where she was selected as an astronaut and made her historic trip to space in 1993.

Her success doesn’t stop there. Ochoa is currently the director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, the second woman and first Latina to lead its 13,000 employees.

“Being an astronaut, and part of a team, is really rewarding, and now I have a different perspective,” she said when she first got the position four years ago, “the end goal is still the same – carrying out exciting and challenging mission in space.”

Hearing about successful Latinas as models or actors is something you would almost expect, but as an astronaut?!

Hearing about this story I knew I had to write about it, I know nothing about space and astronauts but when a Latina is being inducted into the hall of fame for it I’ll read into it.

This success for not only a woman but a Hispanic woman is monumental for the Hispanic community. Definitely something to be proud of!

All quotes and statistics are from;

http://www.vibe.com/2017/02/ellen-ochoa-first-latina-in-space-astronaut-hall-of-fame/

 

 

A Day Without Immigrants

This past Thursday immigrants all over the United States took a stand.

The stand they took was meant to demonstrate how important they are to America’s economy and its way of life, and many businesses closed in solidarity, in a nationwide protest called A Day Without Immigrants.

These Actions took place in places with large immigrant populations such as Philadelphia, Washington D.C and Los Angeles.

The boycott was aimed squarely at President Donald Trump’s efforts to crack down on immigration, legal and illegal. Organizers said they expected thousands to participate or otherwise show their support.

Since the end of 2007, the number of foreign-born workers employed in the U.S. has climbed by nearly 3.1 million to 25.9 million; they account for 56 percent of the increase in U.S. employment over that period, according to the Labor Department.

“The really important dynamic to note is this is not antagonistic, employee-against-employer,” said Janet Murguia, president of the Hispanic rights group National Council of La Raza. “This is employers and workers standing together, not in conflict.”

She added: “Businesses cannot function without immigrant workers today.” (CBS News)

I am a second generation Hispanic, both of my parents were born here. But they are both the youngest in their families and are the only ones in their families that were born in the U.S so my parents are first generations.

My grandparents, aunts and uncles are all immigrants. Granted they are Costa Rican and Puerto Rican immigrants and Mexican Immigrants are the ones getting the most attention, but in the end, they are still immigrants.

They came here legally looking for the American dream and if it wasn’t for their motivation and courage to come to America I don’t know where I would be today.

The immigration laws are controversial and not something I really want to get into, but immigrants themselves deserve to be here and are a very important part of the American day to day life.

Image result for a day without immigrants

The reason most immigrants come to the U.S and leave their homeland, is for a better opportunity for themselves and their family and to chase the American dream. Is there anything so wrong with that?!

In Washington, D.C., more than a hundred-people gathered to march in acknowledgement of A Day Without Immigrants, CBS News’ Nicole Sganga reported. There were boisterous crowds, musicians, handmade drums, young kids, and large banners reading “they will not build borders in our community,” “immigrants work for America’s prosperity” and “We have a right to an education! To a future!” (CVS News)

Quotes and statistics gathered from: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/day-without-immigrants-protest-closes-many-us-restaurants-nationwide/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab7e&linkId=34589722

Disney’s First Hispanic Princess

Elena of Avalor is the first Hispanic princess Disney has made a television series about “a brave and adventurous teenager who has saved her kingdom from an evil sorceress and must now learn to rule as crown princess until she is old enough to be queen.”

“She’s still underage so she’s not yet ready to rule and so, she just has the challenge of taking care of her family and this huge kingdom and have this awesome responsibility,” said actress Aimee Carrero, who is the voice of Elena.

Carrero’s mother is of Dominican decent and her father is Puerto Rican. Carrero said it means “absolutely everything” for her to play the first Latina princess.

The series will tell stories that draw on the traditions, foods and customs of Latin and Hispanic cultures. Magic, mythology and folklore will also play an important role, and each episode will include original songs in several Latin musical styles including Latin pop, salsa and banda.

For me as a Puerto Rican and Costa Rican girl growing up seeing all these beautiful princess’ I could never really relate to any of them. The one I related to the most was Jasmine because she had tan skin and long black hair, but she is obviously of Arabic decent.

“What I love most about Elena is she’s her own hero,” Carrero added. “There’s no ‘Prince Charming,’ so I hope people at home watching will just be inspired her sense of self, her confidence and her leadership.”

This is the best part for me, because being a Hispanic female there’s expectations and stereotypes that come with the title. So, the fact she is an independent princess with no prince makes it all the more riveting and exciting to watch. I’m sure eventually there will be a prince but her independence for the time being is fun to experience.

Through the recent years, they have done an amazing job bringing more ethnic princesses to the big screen. The most recent one I have seen is Moana and she is a Polynesian princess, that was a great movie might I add.

But I can definitely say the progress being made with princess is great and I love finally having a princess I can relate to and my little cousins can finally have a princess Barbie doll they will look like.

Source: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/disney-introduces-latina-princess-elena-avalor/story?id=40481827

Empowering Doll Line Makes Girls Feel Beautiful in Their Own Skin

$20,000 is a lot of money, and that’s how much this empowering doll line scored on Shark Tank. Angelica and Jason Sweeting appeared on an episode of “Shark Tank” in hopes to get a $200,000 investment and they did. They call their doll line Naturally Perfect Dolls, and they founded them in 2015.

During the episode, the couple told the judges that the doll line came to be after one of their daughters was profusely crying on a car ride home from a book fair. “Finally when she calms down, we say,

‘Hey babe, what’s wrong with you?’” And she says, ‘Dad, I’ll never be beautiful. I need yellow hair and white skin so that way I can be beautiful.’ And we were totally devastated.”

Angelica explained that they saw the typical images of beauty that their child is seeing on television and in toys and began searching for dolls that looked like their daughter and found nothing. So, they created a doll and over time found a change in their daughter’s attitude (Huffington post).Image result for shark tank color girl dolls

This doll line includes four dolls with different hair types, skin shades and facial features that are true to women of color. The company also offers a T-shirt depicting the characters and an affirmation book.

“Naturally Perfect Dolls aims to change the standard of beauty one doll at a time while encouraging self-acceptance, diversity and letting girls know that they can be whatever they want to be.”

On Shark Tank, the judges liked the concept overall, but they were hesitant to invest due to the doll’s high price ($84.99) and the failure of previous multicultural doll lines.

But the couple’s story resonated with judge and FUBU creator Daymond John. He proposed to invest $200,000 at 30% ownership, 60% for the founders and 10% for charity. The Sweetings accepted, ensuring that they’ll be able to mass produce the dolls.

After watching this Shark Tank episode I knew I had to blog about it because two empowering doll stories about making girls feel beautiful is a rare occurrence.

It’s relevant that doll companies have quite a bit to work on when it comes to their dolls and the image they portray to all the different types of girls, but I am glad that people are out there trying to make a difference.

Growing up I had the same feeling about what I looked like, I could NEVER find a doll that looked like me and that made me feel different and not accepted.

At the age of 20 I can finally buy a doll that looks like me, that’s some exciting stuff!!

Quotes for this blog were found on: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/black-doll-line-shark-tank_us_5877a406e4b05b7a465e1d77

Barbie Makes Ashley Graham Doll with Thighs that Touch

Ashley Graham is someone I have previously written about because she is changing the modeling world. She was on the cover of sports illustrated as the first plus size swimsuit model and she has only become more famous since then.

She has made having curves ok, and with the release of her new Barbie she is continuously giving girls a model that shows self-love.

“She had to have her thighs touch,” Ashley said about the doll made in her honor.

“No ands, ifs or buts about it. And I asked for cellulite but obviously plastic and cellulite don’t go hand in hand,” she continued. “It was important that the Barbie resembled me as much as possible. The thighs touching was one way to show young girls that it’s OK for your thighs to touch, despite society saying that a ‘thigh gap’ is more beautiful.”

As a young girl growing up playing with Barbie’s, it’s been a thing that Barbie’s have always had a serious body problem. Their traditional proportions are totally unrealistic, so when girls can’t achieve the kind of body their dolls have, it can obviously be confusing and upsetting.

Barbie’s have been said to be the reason girls have self-confidence issues and eventually having eating disorders. The Barbie’s bodies spread the idea that there’s something wrong with having a body with things that rub together and feet that aren’t constantly molded into high heels (obviously very wrong).

This movement is one I am proud to be able to witness and am over joyed it’s FINALLY happening. Girls need a positive leader such as Ashley because she is changing the world of positive body image and thats a change I am happy to be a part of and continuously support.

If more major corporations and advertisers hear messages that girls and women want to see themselves reflected in photos and on television, maybe they’ll listen like Mattel did with Ashley since her Barbie shoes that all bodies are beautiful, thigh gap or not.

Quotes from Ashley on; http://www.teenvogue.com/story/barbie-makes-ashley-graham-doll-with-touching-thighs

A Day in the Life of a Partner at Hall and Partners

Introducing, Susan Hoxie also known as a Partner at Hall & Partners. Hall & Partners is a global brand consulting agency specializing in brand engagement and communications research. By using a combination of quantitative and qualitative measures.

As someone like myself pursuing in the public relations job field, Hall and Partners is a Public Relations firm found and known worldwide. Having the opportunity to interview someone as successful as Susan Hoxie was fun and eye opening.

In the questions, I touched on; how she got to where she is today, a day in the life of a partner at hall and partners and interesting work her firm is currently working on. Along with those I asked her for any advice for someone new to the job field, and what a successful firm such as that one looks for in new-hires. I contacted her through e-mail and the responses below are her exact words.

Q: Where did you graduate from and what was your degree?

University of Puget Sound, Bachelor of Arts, majored in political science and economics

University of Washington, Masters Information Systems

Q: How did you get to the job you currently work at? / climb the corporate ladder

I had been working at Microsoft for 13 years and was considering my next move.  Another sr. director I respected left Microsoft and went to work for what is now my current employer, a market research agency which services Microsoft called Hall & Partners.  I had great respect for this director and when she recruited me I was excited to work under her leadership at Hall & Partners.  Most people in the market research industry have experience on the client side (working for companies that use the research to make decisions) and experience on the agency side (working for companies that conduct and analyze the data and deliver to the clients.)  I had never worked on the agency side and felt this would round out my career.

Q: Did you know you wanted to work in a Market Research agency?

I originally thought I would go into academia and pursue my PhD.  Then I went to work for a software company as a paid intern while pursuing my Masters.  I intended to work in their MIS department designing/maintaining databases and working on their first intranet. However, as a small company, they also had a need for someone to do analyst relations, competitive intelligence and market research.  I found that I loved it since I was interested in understanding what motivates customers and how they make decisions, as well as competitive strategy. The company offered me a full-time position when I graduated.

Q: What’s a day in the life of a Market Research professional?

  • I manage a team of 20 market research professionals at Hall & Partners in Seattle so my days involve reviewing the work of my team (their market research reports, study designs, analyses.) This team review, as well as people management takes around 40% of my time.
  • About 30% of my time is spent on account management – meeting with our current clients and discussing their business issues and sharing insights from our research to help them solve their business problems. We spend a lot of time on storytelling to help our clients understand their customers and their competitors.
  • The remaining 30% of my time is on new business development – discussing issues with clients and developing proposals for research to address their business challenges. The majority of my business development work is with clients we already have and want to grow, but I spend time trying to win business with new clients as well.  No two days are the same however.

For example, today I’m in the airport in Boston.  I spent the first half of the day in leadership training taught by Harvard Business School professors.  I’m spending the time waiting for my flight responding to emails, and reviewing and managing my calendar.  On the flight, I’ll take a break and listen to an Audible book on my phone.

It’s important to step away from the work and focus on things outside the business.

Q: What’s something your organizations been doing that you find interesting?

One really interesting project we are working on now is helping technology companies better understand how to recruit and retain a diverse workforce.  We have conducted 40 focus groups around the US with Millennials, women, African Americans and Hispanics to understand their needs and wants in the workplace.  We are currently scoping a second phase of this research where we will conduct similar research internationally (in places like the UK, Germany, India, etc.)  This is what we call a qualitative project.  But we also are doing lots of interesting quantitative projects.  For example, we’re working with large airline clients on how consumer view their brand and how that is changing over time.

Q: As someone who wants to follow in your footsteps, what is a skill should I hone in on and perfect? / any advice for someone fresh out of college looking to be successful?

In terms of skill set, the industry is changing very fast.  Having a curious mind is probably the most important thing in our profession

  • being the type of person who wonders why people act the way they do and what’s driving them
  • being the kind of person who likes to learn new things and isn’t afraid to just jump in and learn
  • being the kind of person who uses all the resources at their disposal to educate themselves every day (reading, talking to people, even just doing a search on Google for anything you come across during the day that you don’t know.)

That said, the most important skill is being able to analyze information – whether that’s data or text – and being able to connect the dots.  Being able to analyze lots of different points and integrate the story to provide insights is what we do every day.

When we hire someone for our entry level positions we are looking for:

  • attention to detail
  • great writing skills
  • someone who asks questions
  • people with positive energy and a can do attitude.

We expect our new hires to dig in on every aspect of the business.  We are also looking for candidates who have taken market research courses in school and have a passion for marketing and communications.

Thank you Susan Hoxie for your insight and in depth answers that will be helpful to the readers that want to pursue a job at a successful firm such as Hall and Partners.

Success as a new PR pro with these 7 Barcelona 2.0 updated principles

Barcelona’s Principles 2.0 outline are 7 core principles were created by 140 PR practitioners in 2010 including people from the following companies; Edelman, FleishmanHillard, Ketchum and StrategyOne. With these revisions we can change PR’s past mistakes:

  1. Goal setting and measurements are fundamental
  2. Measure communication outcomes rather than only measuring outputs
  3. Measure the effect on organizational performance
  4. Measurement and evaluation require both qualitative and quantitative methods
  5. AVEs do not show the worth of communications
  6. Social media can (and should) be measured with other channels
  7. Measurement and evaluation should be transparent consistent and valid

These guidelines are specific enough to measure performance and give a reliable outcome. They measure and evaluate communications and PR campaigns and fix prior mistakes.

Goal setting is meant to give you the motivation you need to succeed and measuring communication

outcomes are so that you can learn from your mistakes and measure the people you connected with. Both very important aspects that are just the beginning of a PR professionals job.

Next they focus on measuring the organizations performance and the ‘big picture’ behind it all and how PR can affect the organizations overall performance. Very important when working with a large company with many outlets.

Also when dealing with a company with many outlets measuring the qualitative and quantitative data can be a big aspect of a company’s success. This is personally the one I find most important because you need to be aware of the people your connecting with on the internet, and the people your reaching out to through websites.

The next guideline is Advertising Value Equivalent don’t show the worth of communications, and this one I am very unfamiliar with. According to the guideline definition it means that PR practitioners should just get rid of them it’s the old school way of showing progress and apparently isn’t as necessary in today’s modern PR world.

Social media is a very important PR aspect especially for my internet savvy generation. According to the guidelines this free-paid tool should be used but also measured, which I completely agree with. Connecting with people through social media is a first impression they may get. But also measuring your connections and seeing who your reaching when is important to be able to utilize social media to its fullest.

Measuring performance is key, but according to these guidelines it’s important to compare it with like, and act with integrity, honesty and openness. When working in the PR world you want to make sure you are doing your job to the best of your abilities and to demonstrate the value of your client effectively measuring the success of a job is crucial no matter the complexity.

As someone who is new to the PR industry, and coming in with the hope to succeed I could definitely see these guidelines as useful and trustworthy. I definitely think these updated principles define the PR industry and professionals charge.

 

 

 

 

A College Students Dream Study Session

 

For a college student if you can find a quiet corner to study in, consider yourself lucky. But one that also has food?! That’s unheard of. Thanks to Iron Horse Brewery I was able to experience enjoying a study session in a nice secluded area, but then got served food and drinks at the same time! (Pretty cool right?!)

Walking in I would have never known the study room was there because it’s so secluded and separated from the front. It’s located in the back of the place. I wasn’t the only one that thought that either, if it wasn’t for being told about it, none of us would have known it was there.

The lighting was mood setting, but it was bright enough to be able to do homework in. They had some hip hop playing and there was one point when they played Bruno Mars. I’m one that likes to listen to music while I do homework, it helps me focus, so that was a bonus that it wasn’t completely silent in there.

Sadly I’m not 21, but they had this super cool student deal going where they charged $5 for a dish and a beer. So to ease the pain I ordered a mac ‘n’ cheese and I think that’s the best decision I had made all day.

A secluded room, enjoyable music, and food and drinks… This is only a college students dream! I have definitely found my new study spot. Once I tell all my friends they will definitely agree with me.

All in all I had a very positive experience there and now that I know it exists I will definitely be going more often and telling all my friends about it! I’m just excited to go when I’m 21 because then I can take part in that awesome student deal they had going on.