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Ashley Montgomery

Stories by Ashley

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NAACP seeking to register one thousand to vote

Local chapter spearheads drive on 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer

Over 90,000 eligible voters in Miami-Dade County are not registered to vote, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is seeking to change that. On the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, The Miami-Dade NAACP, dozens of faith organizations, elected officials, fraternities, sororities and volunteers joined together at Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church to get those in the community registered before the November elections.

The new normal: Black female executives

How Black women executives must go above and beyond

Black women are becoming owners of their own businesses, moving up the corporate and governmental ladder more than ever before, according to recent report by a renowned management firm. Called Journey to the Top: Developing African-American Executives, the report said the U.S. workforce has become more diverse over the last 50 years. The report was authored by Dr. Lawrence James Jr. a partner with RHS International, a management firm composed of psychologists and consultants who work closely with senior executives to accelerate individual, team and business

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Carvalho praises educators, students for top performance year

Grades show positive improvement

Miami-Dade's middle, elementary schools celebrated last Friday after scoring top grades on the state's assessment of academic achievement. The announcement was made at a press conference on Friday, as Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho praised the efforts and academic performance of educators and students in the nation's fourth largest public system. The Florida Department of Education released school performance grades that morning.

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Innovative STEM kids summer program takes over Soar Park

Little Haiti Optimist Club partner with Yul Allen

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors are on the rise and so are their popularity among children. The Little Haiti Optimist Club partnered with the creator of STEM Genius, Yul Allen to deliver an innovative summer program to the community.

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African scholars at FIU to join Obama’s Washington Fellowship

College program empowers young adults worldwide

In the next few weeks, 25 students from Africa will call Florida International University home. In conjunction with President Obama’s Washington Fellowship for Young Leaders, the visit will provide students with leadership training that will help them become better advocates for human rights. They will also learn how to access information on education and water sanitation.

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Read this: Programs and staffing are at great risk

Blacks impacted by Miami-Dade Public Library budget cuts

Once upon a time, the City of Miami had libraries where children, adults and senior citizens went to read and research. Thanks to budget cuts set by Mayor Carlos Gimenez, the Miami-Dade County Public Library System is close to becoming a thing of the past. In August, Mayor Gimenez made it public that he would no longer be closing a number of libraries around the county, but now the mayor is telling a different story.

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The Real Senior Prom

Florida Healthcare Plus sponsors unique event

When you think senior prom this isn’t exactly what comes to mind. On Saturday, June 28 at the Brownsville Transit Village [5255 NW 29 Ave] seniors stepped out in their Sundays best to relive a moment from their pasts – prom. Marketing Coordinator for Florida Healthcare Plus, Henrietta Lacey is no stranger to the Liberty City community. Lacey decided to put this ‘Red Carpet Senior Prom’ together to promote community outreach and show appreciation to the senior citizens in the neighborhood.

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High school students channel their inner Dr. House

Someone page Dr. Huxtable and let him know to move on over! Last Friday, 50 high school students from around the nation participated in a nine day summer program. The students made their way to Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM) and found themselves in the middle of a mock outbreak of an infectious disease. The exercise was intended to simulate the process doctors go through to solve a medical mystery and reach a diagnosis — similar to what we see on the hit TV show House.

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Overtown Youth Center and AAR CORP. launch STEM summer program

Community leaders join in on special ceremony

The count was on: 3, 2, 1 . . . and away the man-made bottle rockets created by students of the Overtown Youth Center (OYC) flew! A special ceremony was held on last Wednesday to recognize David Storch, CEO and Chairman of AAR’s $350,000 donation to support the Center’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program.

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Newest addition to CBS4 more than an anchor

This isn’t Kansas (City) anymore and Irika Sargent knows it. Back in May, Sargent happily joined CBS4 Miami as their newest anchor. She is hoping to transition with ease as she has an extensive background to guide her.

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The “comeback couple”

New restaurant turns southern-comfort food up a notch

Someone call LL Cool J and let him know that this is a “comeback!” The married couple, Roshonda, 38, and Tony Smith Jr., 39, have returned back to where their love story began to follow their culinary dreams. Family First Bistro and Catering, located at 2560 Service Rd., brings you southern comfort foods with a gourmet flair. What used to be known as Frosty’s is a quaint restaurant furnished with a bar and patio area that’s spacious enough to house more than 150 to 200 people.

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Black entrepreneur fills some pretty big shoes

Most ladies can recall a moment in their lives where they were tempted to do the unthinkable — ditching the pretty yet painful heels and just walking to or from their next destination shoeless.

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End of an era for Miami Edison Middle

One of the most historic educational institutions in Miami’s Black community will become a thing of the past when Miami Edison Middle School opens its doors in the fall under a different name and curriculum. The middle school will become iTech @ Thomas A. Edison Educational Center, a magnet high school that will specialize in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

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Stars of tomorrow

Preparing youth today to be more successful

Here today, a successful adult tomorrow are the words Jemmy Jasmin, founder of Stars of Tomorrow Foundation, lives by. North Miami Beach native and Miami Edison Senior High alumnus, Jasmin says he couldn’t recall a single professional athlete that made it to the big leagues and then came back and to reach out to the youth in the community — so he set out to change that.

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A fond farewell

Private funeral for poet laureate set for Saturday

Funeral services for poet laureate Dr. Maya Angelou will be held Saturday, June 7 at Wake Forest University. The university will stream the service live on its website for the public's viewing at 10 p.m., according to the school's website.

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Transit hub expected to use acres of space in Historic Overtown

All Aboard Florida held a press conference Wednesday morning at the future site of their Downtown Miami train station. The long-awaited plans have drawn mixed-emotions in the Overtown community. As many already know, the two Miami sites will encompass nearly three million square feet of residential commercial, office, retail, parking which will mostly all located at the Overtown site.

Entrepreneur ‘Activating Communities Through Service’

Gary Smith, Jr. creates Leading A.C.T.S. to inform fellow students

“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?,” the late, hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur wrote. Founder of a new and unique virtual start-up business, Gary Smith, Jr. says he is pushing for all of his peers to be that rose.

Children, parents cope with learning disabilities

Shifting the ‘special education’ stereotypes so Blacks can succeed

One of the smartest investments that one can make is to invest in early childcare advancements. As the brain develops during childhood, research has shown early detection is critical in diagnosing and understanding learning, behavioral or emotional disabilities. Learning disabilities can be a nightmare for many parents, many of whom do not realize that their child suffers from learning disabilities after receiving dozens of phone calls, and notices of

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100 Black Men of South Florida take over Zoo Miami

Participants race to healthier living

Hundreds of people made their way to Zoo Miami for the 100 Black Men of South Florida (100 BMSF) 5K Zoo Walk/Run and Kid’s Dash. On May 24 the race to healthier living began in the parking lot of the Zoo and finished inside.The runners ran amongst animals and were given health screenings before the finish ceremony where Ellis Adger, 100 BMSF president, was the master of ceremony. “The 5K Zoo Walk/Run and Kid’s Dash is challenging for the avid runner and fun for the entire family,” Adger said.

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FACE internship program offers critical opportunities

Summer jobs for teens

Summer’s around the corner and the streets will soon be overloaded with adolescents and teens in Overtown. Urgent, Inc. supported by the South East Overtown Park West Community Redevelopment Agency (SEOPW CRA) will give 60 young people between the ages of 16-24 an opportunity that will prepare them for the future.

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Students awarded scholarships by Miami Bayside Foundation

Opportunities given for students to attend MDC, FMU and FIU

Sometimes all it takes is a little teamwork to get the ball rolling. The Miami Bayside Foundation did just that when it created a scholarship endowment last week. The Foundation has partnered with Miami Dade College (MDC), Florida Memorial University (FMU) and Florida International University (FIU).

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Legendary Poet and Activist Maya Angelou Dies at 86

Maya Angelou passes in her home in N.C.

Poet, author, actress, civil rights activist and professor Dr. Maya Angelou, 86, passed away Wednesday in her Winston-Salem home.

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5000 Role Models Senior High conference

Wilson hosted event, roundtable discussions

The annual 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project ‘Finished High School. . . Now What? Senior High School Conference. Held at The Sun Life Stadium on Thursday, May 15. The honorable Frederica Wilson, the White House Initiative on Excellence for African Americans and The White House Initiative on Excellence for Hispanics were all in attendance for various roundtable discussions.

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Meet me in Miami

Recap of Miami Fashion Week events that heated up the city

Miami Fashion Week wrapped up its 16th year in style as thousands of guests made their way to the Miami Beach Convention Center last week for the latest fashions amid the glitz and glam of star-studded parties. In collaboration with Miami Fashion Week, Jambalaya Media Group and Jones Magazine presented Meet Me in Miami, a fun yet informative four-day event hosted at the W Hotel.

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Never too late: 47-year-old has triplets

Not one, not two, but three. What a pleasant surprise it was for Sharon Lewis, 47, when she found out that she was pregnant — with triplets. Already a mother, she has a 25-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son. Lewis says she is blessed to have bought three healthy babies into this world.

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Tracy Mourning’s 12th Annual 'Hats Off' luncheon

Honey Shine mentoring program raises funds for its ‘Honey Bugs’

At this year’s 12th Annual Hat’s Off Luncheon more than 600 people came to show their support for the Honey Shine mentoring program while sporting their best hats — Kentucky Derby style. Tracy Mourning, founder of 'Honey Shine', a program that aims to balance the mind, body and soul in girls and women through nurturing experiences that enlighten their paths and empower their future.

NAACP forms partnership with MDCPS

Effort will focus on economic and small business development

Adora Obi Nweze, president of the Miami-Dade National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has formed a partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS). This new effort will focus on economic development, business development, job creation and contracts for Miami-Dade businesses. “I am excited to work with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the Superintendent and Office of Economic Opportunity,” Nweze said.

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Housewives of Atlanta star heats up Miami Fashion Week

Real Housewives of Atlanta star Cynthia Bailey aims to dazzle Miami Fashion Week this year. As CEO of the Bailey Agency School of Fashion, Bailey is on a quest to add a new model to her agency. On April 25, the agency in partnership with Jambalaya Group hosted a private cocktail reception at the Bath House in Miami Beach. The five hopeful models chosen from the cocktail reception will now compete for a contract at Miami Fashion Week’s Faces of Fashion.

Wage increase on hold

Locals weigh in on underpaid workers

President Barack Obama is continuing his efforts to persuade Congress to pass laws for higher minimum wage despite the Senate Republicans blocking a vote on the issue. Last Wednesday, the Democratic-supported bill was met with a host of Republican opposition in the Senate where it failed to get the 60 votes needed to move forward. If passed, The bill would have raised the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour over the next 30 months. It failed by a margin of 54-42.

Help wanted: apply within

Three leagues, 92 teams, One Black majority owner

Recently, an precedented move occurred in the National Basketball Association when the Commissioner, Adam Silver cracked down on Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. Silver banned 80-year-old Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million after his girlfriend, V. Stiviano allegedly leaked an audio recording of him making racist comments. In the audio recording Stiviano can be heard asking Sterling, “Do you know that you have a whole team — that’s Black — that plays for you?” Sterling’s reply was shocking and downright offensive.  

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Miami Edison High students receive pre-prom safety measures

Seniors and juniors impacted by mock DUI crash event

With a glamorous and entertaining night that many high school students dream of promptly approaching, local organizations and political figures want to ensure the night stays that way. A very dramatic and scary visual of what takes place seconds after a driver under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs collides with another vehicle was meant to deter students from placing themselves in harms way.

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First residential development in decades launches in West Grove community

Community leaders and politicians on Monday celebrated the groundbreaking of a multi-million dollar residential tower in the historic West Grove neighborhood, Miami's oldest Black community which was founded by Bahamian settlers.

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Sonia Chess: reaching young girls in the community

Mentor prepares young women for a successful future

Sonia Chess has an unique way to mentor hundreds of young girls around South Florida. As author of “Princess Bria: The Great I Am! A Bedtime Story," Chess uses wisdom from her troubled past to help younger generations achieve a better future.  “There are a few girls that I mentor daily,” Chess said. “I help them with homework, social skills, issues dealing with relationships, questions that they may have about themselves.” 

Sybrina Fulton launches Empowered to Know My Rights


Nearly two years after the killing of her son, Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton has since dedicated her life to traveling the nation and speaking on behalf of the “voiceless.” Last Thursday, Fulton and the Trayvon Martin Foundation visited North Miami Senior High School students as part of an effort to educate and empower South Florida’s young people about their civic rights and responsibilities.

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5000 Role Models get informed

Event targets young men who are seeking post-high school alternatives

Helping young men achieve their dreams after high school is imperative to the entire community. Many have an idea of what they want to be when they “grow-up” but few have the resources. Enter the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, whose focus is to to mentor boys ages nine through 19.

Fewer Florida students to receive 'Bright Futures'

What does this mean for our inner-city youth?

Tougher requirements in the state’s Bright Futures program have dramatically reduced the amount of students who qualify for scholarships. Only half of Bright Futures scholarships will be awarded this fall compared to last year. About 21,340 students are expected to be eligible for the merit-based scholarship this fall, much fewer than the 41,107 who qualified last year.

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Continuing MLK's Legacy: Florida's working class speaks out against minimum wage

Restaurant and labor workers across South Florida are joining Democratic leaders in urging state lawmakers to close the widening gap between the poor and affluent by raising the minimum wage.

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College Bound: Miami's high school seniors prepare for future endeavors

High school seniors prepare for their future endeavors

With the end of the school year fast approaching, many high school seniors around Miami-Dade County are preparing to enter the next phase of their lives. Cheers to the many cycles that will be broken in our inner-city communities this upcoming graduation season. Miami-Dade County Public Schools currently has 347,997 students enrolled, making it the fourth-largest school district in the country.

A tuition-free school opening in Liberty City

Beacon College Prep enrolling students for next school year

By 2020, an estimated 123 million American jobs will require a college education, but only 50 million Americans are projected to have college degrees. Beacon College Prep (BCP) is preparing to put college on the forefront for the youth in Miami-Dade County. The tuition-free, not-for-profit public charter school will be opening in the Liberty City community in August. “We believe that preparation for college must begin in elementary school, and hold all of our students to exceptionally high behavioral and academic standards,” their mission states.

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Local businesses celebrate Women’s History Month

A City Soiree pampers Miami's hard-working ladies for a day

Two women, one vision. Around the U.S., March is dedicated to Women’s History Month, a celebration of the many contributions that women and young girls have made to this country since the Women Suffrage Parade in 1913.

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Staff Chow Choice: Bar-B-Que Ribs, Chicken and Jerk Shack

“Taste so good make you wanna slap your momma.”

“Taste so good make you wanna slap your momma.” Eight years ago, Bar-B-Que Ribs, Chicken and Jerk Shack began under a tent in the parking lot of the famous (or some may say infamous) Club Lexx. Thanks to such high demand owners, Kenneth and Skebo were forced to take their talents to a bigger venue.

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Street Talk

“Yeah, my son calls home every week for assistance. It’s more pressure on them to have to work. Education is first. It’s a plus and a minus. A lot of those kids don’t have support. So yes, they should get paid.”

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Dr. John Nelson: The meaning of young, successful 

Local Black dentist opens Midtown Dental in Miami

At just 32 years old, Dr. John A. Nelson opened his own dental practice, Midtown Dental. Located in one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in South Florida, Midtown Dental has been a lifelong dream for Nelson.  A graduate from Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Nelson earned his degree in Chemistry from the University of South Florida and then attended Howard University's College of Dentistry. 

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MDPD fighting more than crime

FL law enforcement leaders say it starts in the classroom

Police, law enforcement leaders and school officials are banding together to fight crime on a whole new level as they announce a new initiative to improve the lives of Black youths by keeping classrooms safe for hundreds of thousands students in Miami-Dade's public schools. At a press conference downtown attended by officials from Miami-Dade Police Department and county's public school system leaders announced new efforts to reduce crime among Black youth. The groups have made a commitment to show greater support to youth within the classroom and their curriculum.

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BMe: Funding everyday Black men

Did you know that there are more brothers in college than in prison?

There are 1.4 million Black men in college and there are about 840,000 Black men in prison, according to Ivory Toldson, an associate professor at Howard University, senior research analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and editor-in-chief of “The Journal of Negro Education.” 

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BTW students boosted by The Education Effect

FIU and local high school team up for a big transformation

The Education Effect has taken off since it began at Miami Northwestern Senior High School campus three years ago. Now, The Education Effect in partnership with Florida International University has plans to serve one of the most historic high schools in the county — Booker T. Washington Senior High. 

Commissioner Hardemon looks at the MFLC through his own lens

Hardemon says funding for the organization is still under review

Last week, The Miami Times issued an article about the Miami Film Life Center located in the historic Chapman House next to Booker T. Washington High School possibly losing funding. On Jan. 27th, McKoy says that the MFLC was removed without notice from the agenda during a monthly Southeast Overtown/ Park West Community Redevelopment Agency meeting. It was reported that Michelle McKoy project manager for the MFLC reached out to Commissioner Keon Hardemon to set a meeting about funding issues. Contrary to last

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Ronda Vangates appointed as asst. city manager of Doral

First Black woman to hold this local government position

The City of Doral has appointed a new Assistant City Manager, Ronda Vangates, Esq. “I was appointed by the City Manager — Joe Carolla on March 10, 2014,” Vangates said. Joe Carolla, former City of Miami mayor says that Vangates will have direct report responsibility for: Human Resources, Public Works, Information Technology, Police and the Division of Public Affairs.

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FAMU awards scholarships to future Rattlers

Top South Florida high school students receive an extra incentive

The Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater Cultural Arts Complex housed the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) 2014 President’s Spring Tour. Dozens of FAMU students, administrators and recruitment representatives made their way to sunny South Florida. Nearly a hundred bright-eyed future Rattlers and their parents were in attendance.

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Professional football player finds far-fetched passion for education

Ray Shipman transitions his ChampionShips to succeed off the field

When it comes to the classroom, the football field or a basketball court, Ray Shipman goes for the gold. Excelling in the classroom while being a student-athlete is something that Shipman is going above-and-beyond to teach youth in Miami-Dade County to do.