The World is your STAGE.

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On Saturday, June 11, 2016 “The Stage” was set in the private location of the Charlotte Trolley Museum on a street of Charlotte, NC filled with art and a lively energy that was infectious.

When entering the facility, attendees were greeted with the message:

“All the world’s a stage.”

And from then on, it truly was.

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From the neo soul and jazz vibes of the music played, to the lovely cocktails of the contributor, “Just a Sip.” The atmosphere of #TheStage16 was created for everyone to embrace each other and, well, embrace themselves for being present and in the moment.

I found myself soaking it all in. After all, I hardly could believe I had received an invitation to this magnificent event.

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The Stage was created to highlight creative + introspective individuals fulfilling their purpose.

The honoree class of #TheStage16 was a direct representation of that focus.

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Each honoree has made a name for themselves and has created a positive impact in their communities. It is a positive influence for those who attended the stage like myself who are just entering the realm of “the real world” and trying to decide which path to embark on.

I took away small things from each person’s introduction and words of advice.

“Be the change that you want to see.”

“Follow your passions and dreams. Money will come. That’s not your motivation.”

“Always be a reaching hand for someone.”

“No matter what adversity comes your way, don’t worry. God isn’t going to let you fail.”

“Everyone has a responsibility to make this world a better place.”

 

Even getting the chance to interact with friends and people I’ve met for the first time was an enlightening experience.

I remember sitting on one of the couches as I ran into two of my colleagues from the University of South Carolina. We had a full conversation about being the change we wanted to see in our communities and challenging others to do the same.

We also discussed how difficult that could be at times when others around you are not ready to see you make those strides. I responded with a couple of quotes myself.

“You have to be your biggest supporter, your biggest investor, your biggest everything.

I am lucky to be gravitating towards people who want to see positive change just as much as I do, but also being a new graduate and having gone through several transitions with friends and career opportunities, I realize the importance of valuing yourself.

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If you see no value in yourself and who you are, what you are capable of, and you don’t believe in your own dreams and your ability to carry that out, then the journey can be even more difficult because you’re no longer fighting the world, you’re fighting against yourself.

All of these enlightening thoughts came to me in this moment. The Stage.

Having seen what it’s like to see plans fail, friends come and go, opportunities enter into my life that I never imagined would be possible to achieve, I realize that the world truly is my stage.

Coming from the small town of Kingstree, SC where not a lot of opportunities are made available for young people with dreams who want to see the world because they are made to think that it will never be possible for them to achieve greater, it meant a lot to be standing in a room looking at individuals who have defied the odds.

Even the creator who made all of this possible, Mr. Bryant Kirk White, is and has always been since our first meeting, a living example that all of my visions have a canvas.

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Jeremiah 29:10 “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.”

The next verse talks about the plans that God has once that hard work is completed. All put into perspective by this great.

Even as I am typing this, things are not all perfect, but things are all aligning in the greatest way possible, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

“All the world’s a stage. What will you do with it?”

For more information about ABevy Inc. or about one of it’s initiatives, The Stage, visit http://www.abevy.org.

To make a donation towards Abevy’s financial endowments that make young individual’s fulfilling their purpose possible, please visit: http://www.abevy.org/the-stage

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Queen City – The Birth of Dreams

The graduate life has been nothing short of fun filled, exciting and most of all, busy for me.

But it’s granted me the experience I’ve always wished to have.

I went from walking across the commencement stage to being on a road trip to Charlotte, NC where the real journey began.

Can you imagine having a dream you’ve always wanted to come true finally happening?

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DiVersitile of Columbia, SC — (left to right: R4L, Brittaney Chatman, Kanisha Keitt, Kendrick Retroversal Houser)

I had the pleasure of meeting 3/4 of this phenomenal group during my mentor, Brittaney Chatman’s production, “A Woman’s Suffrage” back in 2014. It was then that I realized Britt had other hidden talents — she loved music and was an avid performer. Along with that she was a part of a group, DiVersitile, made up of longtime friends who all equally love music. When Britt and I reconnected after graduation and she mentioned that she wanted me to be a part of a project that the group was involved in, I couldn’t say no.

This would mean that I would also get to work closely with Kendrick, who in addition to being a part of the group is also involved with his own platform, Good Food Radio, which stands for  Getting out our Dreams, Focusing on our destiny. 

It’s ironic that the two groups would come together in this instance as my journey with them both has seen this mantra come alive.

When you’re passionate about something, you stop at nothing until it’s done.  -Self quote

The idea of the link up is to get DiVersitile closer to that dream they discussed by finally recording their debut EP.

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For an entire weekend, I got really close and personal with these guys in a recording booth more fit for one person than two and a camera, and super comfortable space for playback and laughter.

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I watched magic unfold, first with music writing, then with the actual recording. It was amazing seeing what every individual  artist brought to the table. Brittaney had a very keen sense of detail — she could hear things within the music that she didnt like, or didn’t flow well that moved the project along progressively.

Kanisha had a knack for bringing it all together with her voice. She could harmonize and improvise. She has a creative spirit and energy that works and really makes things click.

R4L and Kendrick are the heartbeat and the dream makers. Without their knowledge of music engineering and also very constructive, but creative criticism of what works best for the overall song and project, I don’t know how this project could’ve been a success.

“Depending on the story that you’re telling, you can be relatable to everybody or nobody.” – Chance the Rapper

Music has a way of bringing a unique energy and lesson out of everyone. When I was younger, I had this perspective that all it really took to be a successful artist was to have a voice, the ability to write your own music and determination.

Well.

I was right about two for sure. Nowadays, it’s easier to collaborate with a songwriter if you’re lucky.

But it definitely takes alot more than just those things.

It takes alot of time and patience.

For this group, this IS a God DREAM.

But it was also something that won’t be taken lightly.

After a full weekend of recording till the wee hours of the morning and doing it all over again, a celebration is definitely in order once the EP drops.

When it comes to a dream, I’ve seen what it means to never let it cross your mind and not work until your end goal is met. This further shows me what my life will be like, especially over the next year.

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I’ve been learning to count it all as joy, the good times, the easy, the complicated, the unknown. It all leads to something grand. All leads to something bigger and better and more fulfilling.

I’ve learned that having the right people and energy in your circle is super important! You never EVER need to feel like you’re making “moves” and things happen all on your own. Sometimes, you NEED that shoulder to lean on and really get your feet on the ground running all over again.

So let me ask you,

what’s your dream?

How are you making it happen?

Who are you making it happen with?

xo

Khadijah

 

 

 

Queen City – The Beginning of a Platform

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It’s the last summer of my undergraduate career.

Soon, it will be time to think about career opportunities and what lies ahead. The past few months have been filled with lots of decision making, reflections and risks. As my future practically stares me in the face, I am left with no choice but to pursue something that will set things up for a more concrete future.

Alas, my road to Charlotte is born.

Coming here, honestly was by chance. My good friend recommended me two places to reach out to. Without a breath, I reached out immediately, made my connections, and traveled out to take a chance on a few interviews to see if anyone would find me a good fit. Not having any sort of idea what I would be doing if the interviews didn’t work out at all, but just feeling that if I didn’t do anything about these opportunities, something would be passing me by.

The exact same day as my arrival, I was hired.

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For the next few months, I will be serving a videographer role with the Metro Proponent news studio of Charlotte, NC. The platform itself is a great one – non profit organization giving back to local businesses by providing free marketing opportunities in their newspapers, presenting news to the people of Charlotte in a unique way, and just really providing a different platform that, I would argue, is one I’ve hardly ever seen.

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As with any opportunity, there is always questions about whether or not you’ll fit in, you’ll live up to the expectations of who hired you, etc. And I’ll admit, I definitely had my fair share of those, and often times still do. Here is a person who believes in me and my work without even fully knowing who I am, but just trusting in me to be there and get the job done.

When I think about what I would like to do with my career, I envision myself serving on a platform that gives back. Something that really shows the public why it matters, and really taking pride with the news it delivers to their audience. I’ve always been a little unorthodoxed in my approach with news and journalism, and at times, it can be intimidating for me to explore certain platforms and not get discouraged along the way that I won’t get hired by a company, or fit in with the brand.

These next few months, I tear down those barriers as I continue to explore the voice that I have in media and today’s society and really showing the world what I’m made of. My advice to anyone that is pursuing an internship, or currently has one – definitely don’t take the opportunity lightly. You honestly never know when a door will open and release an opportunity your way.

– KD

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The internship series will occur all summer long featuring video, behind the scenes and editorial features of advice and activity happening during my internship with The Metro Proponent. For more of the fun stuff, be sure to follow along with my blog, “Truth Be Told”! Share your thoughts and connect with me!

Twitter: @KDennis94

Instagram: @lifethroughart

SnapChat: k_dennis94