My Journalistic Eye

Take a look at that which matters most to me, through my journalistic eye.

Reaction to Pan American Homeless Shelter

A Plethora of untouched Information at Hofstra Library

Published Work

Here are a few feature articles that I have written throughout the semester via the Queens Courier.

http://queenscourier.com/wp-content/digital-editions/ASPIREFALL2014/index.html#/40/

http://queenscourier.com/wp-content/digital-editions/LIC122014/index.html#/30/

 

 

The Layers of Poverty

 

Take a glance inside this fantastic event that gave guests a glimpse at the layers of poverty, including how the issue affects us today.

Poverty Event Narration

Reporter Ecleen Caraballo gives us a glimpse of the Poverty Event at the Tenement Museum this Monday.

Hofstra’s Spring MusicFest- Where PRIDE Meets Adventure

Behind the Scenes Prep for MusicFest:

For those who hold the Spring Music Festival dear to heart and are involved in the planning process, the festival becomes more than a tradition, but also an opportunity to show what Hofstra PRIDE is truly all about “and I hope that students,” says Program Advisor Michael Caputo “appreciate just how unique that is.”

Michael Caputo, along with Sarah Young, is in charge of overseeing the planning process of the Spring Music Festival being that the event is student run. Then, the students have the liberty of planning the event itself, determining what they would like to see and go about making it happen, which is where the Office of Student Leadership Activities (OSLA) comes in.

Caputo and Young, from OSLA, are in charge of providing general oversight when it comes to making vendor payments, facilitating contracts and providing work orders; which, is described by Caputo as “the most tedious part of the job.” On the other hand, he says, “the most enjoyable part is actually seeing the event occur and watching the students enjoy the day that they have planned.”

Ironically, although the unfolding of the planning process the day of the event is rewarding for both the adults and students involved, the student organizers say that the day of is equally, if not more stressful. Specifically, Julia of Hofstra Concerts, states that the day of the festival is when the literal unfolding of the stage, tents and games takes place hours before the event. Then, the students are also working throughout the event itself ensuring the safety on the field and making sure the program is running smoothly. Finally, they briefly enjoy bits of the performances and go on to break down all that they set up after every person has left their mark with left behind napkins, empty cups and inflated beach balls.

Still, both student organizations involved in planning MusicFest, Hofstra Entertainment and Hofstra Concerts, showed genuine excitement and passion for this past Saturday’s festival. Also, they were able to contract a wide array of artists including a gentleman who calls himself Joey Bada$$, a small arising band named Persona and musical duo from Ohio, Twenty One Pilots. In addition, although they did not release the name of the headlining band when asked weeks prior to the show, Third Eye Blind was the grand finale of the evening.

Essentially, although the planning process is a 365-day process, which includes attention to details such as contracts and artists bids, the “MusicFest is a tradition that is very significant;” says Michael Caputo “it provides students with an end of the year celebration and gives students a few more happy memories to take with them into summer.”

This year, as I stood along many seniors who were experiencing their first and last MusicFest, I was able to see what Michael Caputo meant. From henna tattoos to singing along to Jumper by Third Eye Blind, the 2013 Spring Music Festival was full of adventure, leaving students refreshed and joyous as they headed towards their dorms to study for the finals week that lied ahead.

Furthermore, we were able to experience time together as a community thanks to the environment that the hard work and efforts of Hofstra Entertainment, Hofstra Concerts and the Office of Student Leadership and Activities created, and for that- we are truly grateful.

The Adventures of the Day-Of:

The Images that Tell the Story!

Hofstra University Spring Music Fest 2013

 

 

 

This Story has been Storify-ed!

[View the story “Hofstra’s Music Fest had a Soundtrack for Everyone!” on Storify]

 

Info-Graphic! — Who was Hofstra’s favorite? Before &After.

Real Beauty

Beauty  \ˈbyü-tē\

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— A combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form that pleases the aesthetic senses, esp. the sight.

The free dictionary:

The quality that gives pleasure to the mind or senses and is associated with such properties as harmony of form or color, excellence of artistry, truthfulness, and originality.

Urban Dictionary:

Beauty is a thing seldom seen. It is held by all within the soul it lies, waiting to come out to the surface, but it can only be found if someone is sharing your soul with you. Beauty is suppressed by the evils of the world. Only love can bring beauty out.


 

If beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, then surely its definition is a tricky one. According to the United States Census Bureau, the world population is currently at approximately 7 billion, and steadily increasing by one person every 8 seconds. That alone is astonishing. Furthermore, with each person having a different perception of beauty, we cannot be certain of the ultimate definition of beauty.

Still, the three dictionaries above have attempted to define it. Doing a pretty swell job if I say so myself. Of course, saying just enough to satisfy the mediocre mind, staying within the limits, right on the sidelines, not reaching in deeper, are leaving so much detail behind.

Surprisingly, the least respected and most informal dictionary, the urban dictionary, was able to define beauty in a more personal way, going a bit beneath the surface. In fact, it entirely contradicts the idea offered by the first definition. It challenges it, stating that beauty is “seldom seen,” whereas the original definition states that it pleases the senses, primarily sight. Thus, is beauty a physical quality or an inner trait, unseen?

If unseen, then why do women spend countless hours in front of a mirror and why do men set impossible physical standards for their desired lover?

On the other hand, if beauty is an inner trait that solely consists of the unseen, then why do men and women alike not care to spend more time preparing themselves spiritually and mentally for the lover life has in store for them rather than focusing on enhancing or adjusting physical features?

Society has greatly impacted the way we define beauty. Everyone was born seeing all as precious, taking in most of what was first unknown, and calling it beautiful- which at the age of three, probably consisted more of taking it straight to the mouth, automatically assuming it was edible.

It was a pure sense and idea of beauty, whereas now our idea of beauty has been altered and dulled. Still, there are a few who choose to not only think outside of the box, but also create their own. In example, talented photographer and filmmaker, Joshua Itiola, admits that “although physical attraction is great, it passes but who a person is at their core doesn’t.” Beauty is to each its own because it is an inward trait that is exposed outwardly.

“Real beauty,” says Itiola, “comes from a person’s character, dignity and integrity.” In addition, a young romantic, Pratap Almaraj, stated that “knowing beauty, comes from knowing love. If you have love inside, it will show outside.” Personally, the conglomeration of these two views on beauty clearly reflects my view on beauty.

Much more than one’s exterior beauty, I believe the care and qualities of a person’s soul are what makes him/her attractive to the eye, and heart. Being that we cannot see the soul, I believe the eyes are a good place to start. I’ve always been a true believer in the saying “les yeux sont les fenêtres de l’âme” – the eyes are the window to the soul; still, did not really understand it in its entirety until recently.

Before you assume that I am a ball of cheese, let me explain. A young man who I knew little about nor cared much for, had passed me for the first time, and when he glanced at me he looked straight into my eyes, for about .50 seconds. We met a few minutes later, and after having asked my name and place of origin, his stare was quite intense, almost as if it had penetrated my soul. Yup, I went there. It penetrated my soul. Within the first five minutes of knowing each other I felt like I had seen his thoughts and he’d felt my heartbeat. Both impossible in the literal sense, but felt within the heart.

I’ve always known the power of looking at someone straight in the eye, but never had it stirred up such feelings. Although this gentleman may be attractive to others because of physical qualities and status, I did not find that to be my case. I found myself interested in him only after having spoken to him, and getting a window into his mind and the state of his heart. Similarly, there are men like Itiola who “can see a woman, and say ‘man, she is beautiful’ but its only when I spend time getting to know her that I can see the true worth of that beauty.”

Often times, men and women spend numerous hours concerned on how others see them when really the inner qualities which you radiate make you shine brighter than a pound of makeup, or a big ol’ expensive pair of sneakers. Rather than standing out in the crowd for your appearance, stand out for your love. Rather than sitting in front of the mirror for an hour, spend two in front of the Word. Rather than looking for that girl with a skinny waist and a big behind, sit back and wait for the girl who is clothed with strength and dignity, and laughs without fear of the future [Prov.31]. Rather than looking tirelessly for that man who will put a ring on it, wait for that man who exudes godliness, steadfastness, gentleness… [1Tim.6], and will lead you. Rather than looking at that which our physical eyes can see, ask God to show you what His eyes know.

The beauty we see in others and ourselves is not nearly as precious or even slightly comparable to the way our Father in heaven sees us. Beauty may be difficult to define, but it need not be defined because God has already told us we are. Beauty is:

God created mankind in His own image; in the image of God he created them… [Genesis 1:27]

You are the light of the world… [Matthew 5:14]

You have been made complete in Him… [Colossians 2:10]

We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand… [Ephesians 2:10]

It is found in God. We see it in people who exude love and those whom we love, because God is love.

Similarly to many of the women in the Dove ad, we sometimes judge ourselves more harshly than others do. We are more precious and valuable than we think, and once we begin to accept that, we will be able to see beauty as we did when we were children and understand it for what it really is.

You are beautiful. {Beauty is found in love. Love is found in God. You are a reflection of God’s image. } Therefore- you are beautiful.

Poverty in Our Own Backyards

Although the United States is considered the richest nation in the world, millions of people are still living in a state of poverty. The infographic above shows poverty estimates for specific states in each section of the United States, according to statistics released by the United States Census Bureau.

The overwhelming amount of people in poverty in our own backyards stirred anger and shock in me, and I hope my infographic stirs the same sentiment in you. Therefore, leading to compassion and action towards a better, United States.

A 116 Lifestyle

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     116 (one-one-six) has become much more than a number. Leading by the example of Paul, the apostle and servant of Christ Jesus, many people have decided to live a Romans 1:16 lifestyle, in which they proclaim as Paul did, “ I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of every one who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”

      An unashamed lifestyle, in which you choose to freely proclaim the word and love of God, is not easily done but it is greatly rewarded. As it states in Romans 1:17, such a lifestyle is made possible by faith, and faith is surely a characteristic of this generation.

      A young group of solo hip-hop artists, mainly from Reach Records, joined together and formed the 116 clique a few years ago. As artists and performers they strive to live an unashamed Christian lifestyle in which they bring glory to God and spread a message of hope. A message from the heart of the Lord that “you are never too far gone or messed up to be used by God or be loved by God,” said Andy Mineo. “You are never too far from him to be known by Him or pursued by Him.”

     Andy, a member of Reach Records, evokes the messages which are utmost important to him through the lyrics of his songs. Furthermore, he does so alongside other talented rappers such as Lecrae, Trip Lee and Tedashii. Each imperfect, who like Paul, have left their former mindset behind and are devoted to performing with excellence, with hearts that do not seek to exalt themselves but point people to something greater, which is Jesus. When discussing the mission of his work, Andy mentioned, “it’s hard when you have people screaming your name when you come out, and it’s easy for you to come out and think this whole thing is about you, but really its not about us.”

     Similarly, any person who decides to live a 116 lifestyle should be concerned about the things that matter to the heart of God, and make it a priority to spread His message of love by being obedient to Him with the tools he has equipped us with. For some that may mean using their voice and platform, while for others that may mean mentoring teenagers in their basement or being generous to the homeless and orphans- loving everyone like you love yourself, or more.

     Furthermore, keeping in mind that a spirit of humility is essential and precious. Precious is the love he has for us, and precious are the ones that love as He does, with unselfish motives and pure hearts.

andy-mineo-hfs-cover-logoman

     “We’re not superheroes. We’re not these amazing people that should receive the praise of men,” said Andy. “We’re just faulty, messed up people- and there’s grace for us, and God can use anyone he desires.” With that vision and realization, arose Andy’s new album, Heroes for Sale. This new album, which will be released April 16th, is one that will surely rock many to the core and is meant for everyone and anyone. In fact, Andy says “ I want my music to be for all people, and actually I would hope that the majority of people that would listen to my music not be Christian so that I would have opportunities to share my worldview and what my hope is with other people.

     Essentially, we are all bricks of different sizes and components that together form a home. A home in which anyone is welcome. A home in which there is no maximum capacity, and grace abounds. A home for you and I to abide in forever.

And-y Does he Do What he Does?

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Andy Mineo, 24, is a signed hip hop artist who identifies himself as a christian and a rapper who is passionate about music and spreading a message of hope with his innate talent. His humility is seen in his love for people, and his talent is evident in his work. He continues to strive for excellency in everything he does, and perfecting his craft through practice- all for the sole purpose of glorifying God and not himself.

In the linked Soundslide above, get a glimpse at why Andy does what he does.