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Ashley Montgomery

Stories by Ashley

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Small woman equipped with big dreams

Florida Memorial University junior named Air Force RPA pilot

Shanisse Lanoue, petite in stature — standing at just five feet — is a testament that you can do anything when you put your all in to it. Unlike her classmates, the 20-year-old student has been a licensed pilot since 2012. Lanoue, a junior majoring in Aeronautical Science at Florida Memorial University (FMU). Lanoue is the eldest child of four and a native of Fort Lauderdale. A first generation American — her mother, South African and father, Haitian-Dominican, Lanoue wanted to become a traditional pilot however, she does not meet the Air Force’s height requirements.

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Florida Memorial University celebrates its 135th birthday

Florida Memorial University, South Florida’s only Historically Black University is anticipating blowing out the candles on their 135th birthday cake. As tradition stands, on Thursday, March 13th at 10:00 a.m. in the Susie C. Holley Religious Center, FMU will be flooded with blue and orange paraphernalia. “Founder’s Day is a time to not only reflect on our rich 135 year history and our many historical accomplishments, but a time to look towards the future and embrace all that God his in store for us,” Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, president of FMU said.

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Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida helps beautify and paint homes

For the past nine years, Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida [NHSSF] has hosted its Community Paint and Beautification Day. This spring is no different than the rest, and NHSSF has all hands on deck once again. 

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Miami Northwestern Senior High students showcase blender bikes

South Beach Food and Wine Festival features ‘Plant it Forward’ initiative

As South Beach transformed into the home of Food Network’s biggest stars for the weekend, some local talent got some exposure of their own. Students from Miami Northwestern Senior High showcased their blender bikes — pedal-powered stationary bicycles fitted with blenders — at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival’s “Fun and Fit as a Family” event.

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Art by the Sea

Big Blue and You gearing up for fun-filled day at the beach

It’s that time of the year again, when The Big Blue and You wants you to roll-up those sleeves, throw on your bathing suit and get hands-on at the Fourth Annual ‘Art by the Sea’ event. On Saturday, March 8th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m, the Big Blue and You organization wants you to join them at the historic Virginia Key Beach.

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OYC ensures no child goes to bed hungry

Richard Yulman, Alonzo Mourning fund new dinner program 

The Overtown Youth Center [OYC] has become a guarded sanctuary for hundreds of children in its community. With its large, colorful and extra-personable staff, its no wonder that such an amazing initiative has conjured up to ensure that no child goes home hungry.  Richard Yulman and former Miami Heat basketball star, Alonzo Mourning, launched OYC’s new Dinner Program to benefit students at the center. Yulman is the retired co-chair and owner of Serta International.  “It’s a very disturbing thought to think that children go to bed without a meal; we have so much here in abundance to make sure they don’t go without,” Mourning said. 

Williams continuing to grow small businesses

Office of Economic Opportunity still facilitating jobs for Blacks

Could the old saying, “good things come to those who wait” be needing a revision? Those at the Office of Economic Opportunity [OEO] would say yes. More like, “good things come to those who go out and take opportunities.”

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Street Talk

What’s your opinion of a couple cohabiting before marriage?

Myers of FMU named 2014 HBCU All-Star 

President Obama’s initiative creates opportunity for scholars 

Jonte Myers, 31, has made significant strides while attending Florida Memorial University [FMU]. So much so he has been recognized by the White House, among 75 students from 62 Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  Last week, the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities [WHIHBCU] announced its first class of HBCU All-Stars. Myers, a graduate student, learned of the program from a faculty member.  “Dr. Riley brought it to my attention and she had already done her part, of filling out the faculty recommendation that was required for the application,” Myers said. 

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V74 Boutique ‘gives back with a heart’

Local boutique raises funds for St. Jude Children’s Hospital

With the growing use of social media marketing, V74 Boutique has been able to make its mark in Miami’s fashion market. Vanessa Floyd, a Miami native who graduated from American High School, found triumph in the midst of a horrible tragedy — losing her mother.  “Ever since I was a child, I was fascinated with the act of shopping. . . it has always been something that I love to do,” Floyd said. 

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Attorney Powell follows her passion  — opens hair salon 

Hair salon caters to women of color 

“Love what you do, and do what you love” is a mantra attorney turned entrepreneur of one of the hottest and most affordable salons in Miami, Weaves, Etc. is all too familiar with.  Jamila Powell, who was once litigating in criminal court took her future into her own hands and made the decision to break into the hair care industry.  

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MCI shows appreciation in Liberty City

Miami Children's Initiative hosts Early Care and Education Luncheon

The Miami Children’s Initiative [MCI] and Miami-Dade County Public Schools [MDCPS] hosted a luncheon that brought together a collection of heavy-hitters in the early child care industry. MCI is a nonprofit organization focused on transforming Liberty City into a prosperous community. The pair invited Liberty City’s early childcare education owners/directors and MCDPS principals to come out

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Miami Gardens Heritage Bowl features City's best and brightest

City of Miami Gardens tests groups of students on Black History facts

The City of Miami Gardens alongside Mayor Oliver Gilbert held its 10th Annual Heritage Bowl at Florida Memorial University. The competition kicked off in the Lou Rawls Center for Performing Arts.  Both middle and senior high school divisions of the competition began that morning at 10 a.m. and finals later that afternoon at 2 p.m. 

What’s going on in Overtown?

Clarence Woods, SEOPW CRA executive director tells his side

After enduring hurdle after hurdle, the Overtown community will finally begin to see the fruits of the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency [SEOPW CRA], the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County’s labor.  On Monday, Jan. 27 the board of co

Soul Centric provides a home to “Miami’s new culture”

TRU Soul and local business make joint effort to bring back soul

South Beach is home of the glitz and glamour; where the socialites mingle and the celebrities from all over the world reside in their million-dollar mansions. On the other side of town, Tru Soul Entertainment wants to make a name for some of the less-known celebs in town. 

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Tracy Mourning’s Honey Bugs get the “Shine” they deserve

College scholarships and more provided to underserved girls

The name of this supportive mentoring program, Honey Shine Inc., derived from a term of endearment that many Black women can share and relate to . . . when greeting one another: “Hey, honey child!” or even the scandalous-yet-loving-filled, “Oooo, honey child, let me tell you!” Honey Shine, Inc. is a loving environment that makes all parties involved feel proud to be a part of such a passionate circle. 

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Owner of Overnight Success awarded substantial grant

Samuel Gilmore focusing on company’s future

Chase and Google recently presented 12 small businesses with $3 million in grants along with a trip to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.  Among those 12 recipients is a man of great wisdom that goes by the name, Samuel Gilmore, Jr. Twenty-one years ago, a former Air Force pilot who was born and raised in Miami started the company Overnight Success, a construction and supply company. Gilmore’s primary reason was to create jobs for

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Children of Liberty City learning a different tune

Inauguration for first phase of the new Children’s Orchestra

Students of the inner-city are now playing a new kind of tune thanks to the efforts from the Miami Music Project; Miami Children’s Initiative [MCI] and the The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.  El Sistema Miami [ESMIA] Liberty City Chapter’s children’s orchestra held an inauguration program at Charles R. Drew K-8 Center where nearly hundreds of guests arrived to show their gracious support.

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Jackson Soul Food: Serving Overtown since 1946

Local owner Shirlene Ingraham talks business

The Florida restaurant industry is expected to show significant growth in 2014. According to the National Restaurant Association’s [NRA] 2014 Restaurant Industry Forecast, more than 899,000 jobs will be created this year, and an additional 134,600 jobs in the next decade.

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Leading independent school grants opportunity to scholars

Breakthrough Miami gives one male one female a scholarship

Miami Country Day School, known as one of the leading college preparatory learning communities in the County, is looking to offer one male and one female that meets their eligibility requirements a “good-through-graduation” scholarship. Breakthrough Miami’s Trustee Scholarship helps promote socioeconomic diversity at the school and is an opportunity for qualified and deserving students to reach their

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Initiative buoys up for Miami’s booming technology scene

Ten entrepreneurs sponsored with LAB Miami memberships

Miami is most known for its palm trees, sizzling weather and sunny beaches —but as of late it has become home of something least suspecting — technology. Those at the Young Professionals Network [YPN] and the Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust [MDEAT] are ensuring that the Black community is getting involved while the field is on the come-up.

Free workshop for small businesses

Commissioner Audrey Edmonson and The Beacon Council partner up

In a county where there are thousands of small businesses flourishing — The Beacon Council and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson want to make sure that they are staying afloat and prospering as they should. 

Staggering report says many women on the verge of poverty

Estimated 42M women face financial hardships

Amidst the growing number of Americans who have made advancements within the economy, there is still an unbelievable number of women in the United States that are will treading the poverty line. 

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Wholistic Growth seeks cure for childhood obesity

Founder/CEO, Kraig Mchardy, creates internship opportunities for students

Seventeen percent of all children in the U.S. are currently obese — tripling the percentage from one generation ago. Well, obesity, Founder/CEO Kraig McHardy, says that you have met your match. Bringing the South Florida area the unique

Blacks face many challenges to overcome credit card debt

“Plastic safety net” may not be best option

In general, Americans face a plethora of financial challenges but a recent study shows how Blacks in particular are moving a step closer to financial freedom despite their past. New research conducted by the public policy organization, Demos, reveals the exact trends for low-to-middle income households with credit card debt.

FL college students receiving Pell grants more

An indication that Floridians needed help, change comes

Approximately 36 percent — that’s 17,117 of Florida International University students depend on the federal Pell grant to help pay for their studies during 2013. This accounts for a total of $77,143,267.60 in aid. According to reports, the number of state-university students receiving Pell grants has soared in recent years — an indication that more Floridians are having trouble affording rising education costs.

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Early childhood advocates pay a visit to select daycares

National advocate David Lawrence Jr. tours committed providers

Last week Wednesday, three daycares received a visit from some of Miami’s top advocate programs for early childhood education. David Lawrence, executive director and founder of the Early Childhood Initiative Foundation was in attendance when he and others stopped by Sheyes Learning Center, Excel Kids Academy and Room To Bloom daycare.

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Black businesses supporting each other through festival

Support breast cancer awareness while eating your favorite BBQ

If you enjoy finger-licking good barbecue, live music, a wide selection of beers and wines to chose from all while supporting a charity. . . then the place to be on Saturday, Jan. 11th, is the 5th annual King of Ribs BBQ Fest.

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Expo to teach of value product placement in TV

Filmmakers, producers in need of a jumpstart should attend

On Thursday, January 30, 2014, the Miami Airport Convention Center will be transformed into a hub for hundreds looking to help underwrite the cost of film and television productions for the first ever Product Placement Expo. Advertisers, product placement specialists, and company representatives will gather with creative artist in need of strategically integrating products in their productions.

Lozz Dozz digs deep for orphans in Zambia

Buy-1-Give-1 to an orphan collection — unique way to give back

Raquel Alonso, a Cape Coral native, has always had a passion for traveling the world to serve others. As a teen and young adult, Alonso traveled to 13 different countries with various organizations serving as an interpreter. During that time, she worked with many kids and gained hands-on experience with a plethora of different cultures.

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Businesswoman breaks into nail care industry

Blacks are starting businesses at greater rates than ever before, but they are also failing at greater rates according to a study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Chayann Fenn, is looking to change the stature of the nail salon game with a her ambition and determination. Owner of Nice Nails Hands & Feet Spa [located at 6301 NW 6th Ave suite 6], Fenn, who is 30, says that without God this opportunity may have never come.

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Empowered Youth Inc. creates program to help young men

Vibe 305 a food truck delivers more than just snacks

Empowered Youth, Inc. is a non-profit organization, 501(c)3, that is devoted to transforming the lives of inner-city young men through unique opportunities. This community-based program has catered to young men, 15-18 years of age, since 2006 in South Florida and in Miami-Dade County since 2010.

Alumnus gives FIU $1 million

Gerald C. Grant and wife give back in a major way

Miami native Gerald C. Grant, Jr. can testify to the statement that “life is a marathon and not a sprint.” While attending Miami Edison Senior High, Grant, 57, made $2 an hour and, in college, worked two jobs. With ambition and dedication in tow, Grant obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida International University [FIU] in Business Administration.

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Miami Northwestern Sr. High receives first A grade

On the brink of being shut down, school defies odds

It’s now report card time for County schools as the Florida Department of Education [FDOE] issued school grades for the 2012-13 school year. No F’s were given out to Miami-Dade and Broward County high schools, according to numbers

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Co-founders Albricka, Andre launch digital media company

former federal government workers pursue their dreams

Founder of Eye Urban Television, Andre Williams, has teamed up with Albricka Gordon and seized a window of opportunity. Eye Urban TV started as an idea to reach the masses through websites, social media marketing and various media. The duo met while working for the Transportation Security Administration and decided to pursue this dream full time — so they resigned to officially launch EyeUrbanTV.com.

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24-hour initiative shatters records — over $3.2M raise

The Miami Foundation hosts 2nd annual Give Miami day

The Miami Foundation recently had their second-annual fundraiser initiative called Give Miami Day. This one-of-a-kind 24-hour online giving event is an opportunity for people in  to build a better Miami by making a donation to a plethora of local nonprofit organizations. The Miami Foundation works with all kinds of donors and helps them make their

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Despite naysayers, Wal-Mart coming to midtown

More jobs coming for hopeful residents of Little Haiti

After two years of back and forth discussions between the Miami Zoning appeals board and the advocates of the possible Midtown Wal-Mart, the City of Miami commission has given the OK to move forward.

Miami Gardens hosts science and engineering fair

Councilman David Williams supports innovative and educational project

Several years ago, the City of Miami Gardens hosted its first Science and Engineering Fair — this year tradition stands true. The third annual fair is set for December 9-10 and the City of Miami Gardens is urging students with an interest in science to come out.

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Local rapper, entrepreneur hosts turkey giveaway

PreMadonna, Sisters at Work join for good cause

With the recent Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP] benefits also known as food stamps being drastically, cut Thanksgiving may mean less food on the tables for some. Thankfully kindhearted local rapper and entrepreneur, Nakeitha Felder, more commonly known as Premadonna, wanted to bless low-income families with a turkey giveaway.

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Chef and minister team up to feed community a Thanksgiving meal

Larkin and Jones providing free meals for all

Millions of families around the nation gather every fourth Thursday of November to take part in a long standing traditional dinner that is formally known as Thanksgiving.

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MDC, Goldman Sachs partner for small businesses

Initiative aims to create jobs and economic growth in Miami

Goldman Sachs and Miami Dade College [MDC] have announced a partnership that is expected to help small businesses in Miami flourish. The 10,000 Small Businesses program is aiming to create jobs and economic growth by providing small businesses with the tools and services needed to succeed.

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Interactive event brings ‘the future in focus’

Haitian-American thought-leaders look to improve the community

Last Saturday, the Haitian American Professionals Coalition [HAPC], Seven50 held an informative hands-on summit titled: “Haitian-American Summit: The Future In Focus.” More than 60 guests filled the North Miami High School auditorium to

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Brownsville gets beautified

volunteers lend a hand to deserving families

As we head into the holiday season, Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida [NHSSF] is in the spirit of giving. Last Friday, NHSSF hosted a small beautification project in Miami’s Brownsville community.

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Local student competes for Miss National UNCF

FMU junior Keyandra Berry sets out to represent South Florida

Keyandra Berry, a junior at the historic Florida Memorial University [FMU] hailing from South Florida, is preparing to compete in the 2013-2014 Miss National United Negro College Fund [UNCF] Scholarship Pageant next February. Berry is majoring in music with a concentration in business and upon graduation she plans use her education with Teach for

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UTD president and others dig in their own pockets to fund ideas

‘UTD President’s Grant” awarded to thirteen teachers

For the first time ever, United Teachers of Dade [UTD] reached into their own pockets to grant 13 deserving Miami-Dade County Public School [M-DCPS] teachers with funds to advance creative classroom projects. Fedrick Ingram, president, received matching voluntary contributions from First Vice President Tom Gammon; and Secretary-Treasurer Karla

Black women and Hair care products

Major decline in relaxer cream; could natural hair wave be to blame?

Are the days of sitting in pain and waiting for your relaxer to “take” (the process of hair relaxing) becoming a thing of the past? Recent studies show that hair relaxer sales have declined 26 percent over the past five years. And while hair styling trends and product launches have always been

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Northwestern High receives $5,000 grant for teachers

Recently, Miami Northwestern Senior High School [MNSH] was the recipient of a generous offer from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization [AFL-CIO].

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Norland Senior High celebrates groundbreaking

Renovations begin after 55 years

Students and faculty of Miami Norland Senior High School [MNSH] have been walking the same hallways since 1958. Now, after a promise was made last year by Miami-Dade County Public Schools, a brand new school is on the horizon. On Nov. 6, 2012 county voters for approved an issuance of $1.2B General Obligation Bond [GOB] for dozens of Miami-Dade County Public Schools [M-DCPS] in need.

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Grocery price comparisons — corporations weigh in

Winn-Dixie, Presidente, Price Choice and Publix explain price choices

Last week, our lead story compared the prices of six staple items at four local grocery stores. Surprisingly, the most shopped-at store by the Black community, Winn Dixie, had the highest prices. This week,

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Lil TerRio promotes staying in school

Beloved six-year-old winning the hearts of million with personality

Who would have thought that an overnight celebrity would come from a six-year-old just being himself? With his loving personality, TerRio Harshaw [also known as Lil’ TerRio] has captured the hearts of thousands around the nation. And his popularity has spread like wildfire after being recorded on his cousin Maleek’s Vine page dancing.