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Ashley Montgomery

Stories by Ashley

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Liberty City couple gets surprise of their lifetime

Off Lease Only and local radio personalities donate minivan

The Holloways will no longer need to take public transportation after they received the surprise of their lives. Off Lease Only, a used car dealership owned by Mark Fischer, donated a 2007 Ford Freestar minivan to Charles and his wife Beverly. The Liberty City couple were chosen because of their dire need and Charles’ extensive volunteer work in the community.

Florida Memorial University receives a $1.25 million grant

Endowment will help education for children with disabilities

Currently 2.4 million students are diagnosed with learning disabilities that affects their ability to speak, listen, think, read, write spell or compute. The number of school-age students identified with learning disabilities has seen a steady decline in the past 10 years, according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

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Businesses to address underage drinking

National coalition organizes a ‘community walk’ on issue

Alcohol use is one of the most serious public health issues for young people in the U.S., according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration. In order to reduce underage drinking it will require a community-based effort. The Urban Partnership Drug Free Community Coalition (UPDFCC) hosted a “community walk” to

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Black couple flies into the catering business

Home cook turns her passion into a paycheck

After just a year and a half after its inception, Granny B’z has made a big mark into the catering world in Miami. With a growing social media presence, owner Ray Jackson and his wife, Laquencia Lawson are well on their way to reaching their wildest dreams.

Missing school matters

Chronic absenteeism has long-term consequences for students

As Miami-Dade County Public Schools are well into their second month of the school year, it is time to address the elephant in the room — attendance. Have any of your children missed a day yet? Is your child on track thus far? Statistics show that one of the most important factors in getting your child prepared for the next grade level is having them in the classroom everyday.

Mini police station heading to Liberty Square

Police, leaders seek to deter crime in complex

City, county and congressional leaders are working together to end the rash of fatal gun violence in one Miami’s most notorious Black neighborhoods. During a scheduled meeting last Wednesday an unprecedented solution was approved. The answer: A police mini-station in Liberty Square housing complex most widely known as the ‘Pork and Beans projects’.

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AMIKids: Separating a troubled past from a bright future

An alternative education program for helping adjudicated youth achieve

Fret not! Don't let the metal detectors at the entrance fool you, once inside the youth of AMIkids will make you feel very warm and welcomed as they are taught to take pride in the introduction of themselves. Associate Marine Institute “AMIkids” Miami-Dade North is a nonprofit alternative education program that gives troubled youth second chances. Formerly the Dade Marine Institute (DMI), AMIkids is a unique approach to redirecting the lives of troubled 14 to 18-year-old boys and girls in a marine environment.

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Booker T. Washington Senior High introduces Education Effect

Students present STEM projects to White House advisor

Black students remain an underrepresented group in the astronomy profession. In an effort to increase interest among youth, Booker T. Washington Senior High’s 25-year-old planetarium received a major makeover thanks to the launch of the Education Effect, a university community school partnership between Florida International University (FIU) and Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

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What Blacks need to know about credit

While some took advantage of their summer by visiting the beach or relaxing at the pool, others decided to build their financial IQ. Throughout July and August OneUnited Bank presented Smart Money Summer School. Branch Manager Ernst Joseph and his staff conducted workshops to help consumers develop financial action plans and provided them tools to better understand credit.

Untold stories of Black men

Aspiring chef Courtney Kerr shares his tale of trials

Days after the devastating news traveled around the nation that Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old male was gunned by Darren Wilson, a seven-year police officer, in a suburb of Ferguson, Mo., communities protested with riots to express their frustrations of countless Black men dying by the same hands that were meant to protect them.

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Dream Defenders march in ‘hands-up’ rally

Eight arrested at peaceful rally in Downtown Miami

“Hands up, Don’t shoot,” is the chant being heard around the globe following the killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old in Ferguson, Mo., and Israel “Reefa” Hernandez, an unarmed Hispanic male who was tasered to death by Miami Beach police officers and others around the country that occurred in the last month alone.

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A letter to millennials: You must be the change

The execution of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager gunned down by Missouri police, is not the first example of deaths at the hands of those whose so-called mission is to “protect and serve.” Aggressors keep turning to a perceived threat as justification for the robbery of Black life, even though those

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Music school CEO looking to land Northside location

Executive aims to give all a chance to develop more than talent

We can recall the time where we’ve been asked over and over again, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Now the time has come, Thomas Demerritte, CEO of the ADMIT program, is giving not just adolescents, but adults too the opportunity to advance in the music business. The ADMIT program provides music and entertainment industry career training while assisting them in writing, recording and distributing their own positive songs.

College graduates need to know about savings

Survey shows millennials need better financial education

When going into anything it is best to have a well thought out plan beforehand — well, that was so for generation Baby Boomers. The new-aged millennials (ages 18-34) have been doing things a bit differently and by differently that means not-so-well-thought-out. Nearly 70 percent of millennials have never received formal financial education, according to a recent TD Bank Financial Education survey.

Out with the old, in with the new

iTECH High hits its target goal for upcoming 2014-2015 school year

Miami Edison Middle School has slowly but successfully transitioned into iTECH @ Thomas A. Edison Educational Center in a matter of months. As the 2014-2015 school year approaches, the district-wide magnet high school is finalizing its plans to introduce its first year of ninth-graders.  Curiosity within the community has grown exponentially Please turn to ITECH A

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Charity for the 'sole': Kids get new 'kicks'

Students receive free shoes, uniforms as they prepare for back to school

It wasn’t your typical back-to-school giveaway. Backpacks, pens and notebooks were out. This back to school was all about the shoes. It was a charity for the “soles.” About 25 elementary school students in Miami Gardens received help Wednesday as they were given new footwear and free vouchers to purchase two new school uniforms as they head back to school next week.

Americans in debt

Shocking report declares 77 million U.S. citizens in debt

It is no secret that Americans have some serious issues when it comes to debt. A recent report released by the Urban Institute titled, “Delinquent Debt in America,” examined non-mortgage debt with help from the Consumer Credit Research Institute. What is that you may ask? “It is any debt in collections that involves a non-mortgage bill — such as a credit card balance, medical or utility bill, child support payments and even parking tickets — that are more than 180 days past due and have been placed in collections,” according to the report.

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The work of angels: Angela Meadows

Event pushes young girls to develop their self-confidence

On Wednesday, August 6, stylist to the stars and salon owner, Angela Meadows is helping nine young girls develop their self-confidence and self-esteem as they embark on a new school year. The students from the summer program at Grace Christian Preparatory located in Goulds, an underserved community in Miami, are in for an entire day of pampering!  The young ladies will enjoy a beauty makeover along with new school supplies and uniforms.

Role Models receive full ride to B-CU

Program administrator, Dr. Theron Clark talks importance of HBCU’s

With the dwindling number of enrolled students and the rising cost of higher education, Historically Black Colleges Universities (HBCU’s) have been taking a substantial hit as of late. The 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project and Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) announced that they will be awarding full scholarships totaling to $500,000 to deserving students from inner-city high schools.

Statewide voter participation organization empowering Blacks

Freedom Fellows work hard to engage community members

Fifty years later, Black organizations are still following the blueprint that over 700 student volunteers set out on in order to increase Black voter registration in post-segregated Mississippi. For 10 weeks, white students from the North would join activists to embed themselves within the community who later went on to open Freedom Schools for children where Black history and culture were taught — subjects that were shunned by regular public schools at the time.

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Jumbos closes doors

Liberty City staple closes its doors after 59 years

Just on the brink of losing a fan-favorite Miami Heat Player, LeBron James — Miami takes yet another loss — Jumbo’s. As the old tried-and-true saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.” On Wednesday, July 23, Jumbo’s restaurant served its last order of its famous fried shrimp. With a live band and plenty of hungry patrons to accompany him, owner, Bobby Flam, 69, went out with a smile.

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Urgent, Inc. interns create mobile app

Students take Dorsey Park murals off the wall and into your palms

With much guidance and hands-on participation, Urgent, Inc. interns were able to take murals for Dorsey Park in the historic Overtown off the wall and into the hands of many around the world. Last Tuesday at the University of Miami Life Science and Technology Park, Urgent, Inc. Coding summer interns unveiled a unique mobile application. The app, titled Dorsey Detector, takes the artwork of the program’s Arts and Culture interns and mass produces it so that any and everyone outside of Overtown can view it. Commissioner Keon Hardemon; Felecia Hatcher, 2014 White House Champion of Chance for STEM

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Summer camp exposes youth to STEM fields

Urban League of Greater Miami’s Achievement Matters program

Urban League of Greater Miami has been working diligently since 1943 to improve the lives of Blacks through education, economic self-sufficiency and strong families. Last week, they continued that tradition by bringing 12 Liberty City students an opportunity to explore what STEM (science, technology, education and mathematics) as part of their “Achievement Matters” program. Led by Robert Henley, communication director for Southeastern Conference of Seventh Day Adventist, a 5-day summer camp allowed youth to enhance their STEM identity. At the end of the camp, a competition was held to allow the students to showcase their skills in front of their parents and peers.

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Dr. Venessa Walker opens chiropractic, wellness center

Community shows support at launch party

On the brink of a demographic and cultural shift around the nation, Dr. Venessa “V” Walker, DC makes her way into the chiropractic industry at a pivotal time in history. It is reported that many Blacks were unfamiliar of the benefits of chiropractic care but with women like Dr. V a change can affect many lives.

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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.

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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.

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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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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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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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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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).

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.

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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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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.

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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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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.

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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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.