All About Communication

 

By Jessica Daniel

As a college student majoring in Communication Studies, I am learning a lot about how and why people communicate the way they do. Communication is more than just speaking, but it is actively listening and paying attention to nonverbal cues, being in tune to the other person and how that person sends his or her message. The act of communication is transactional, meaning each person in a conversation exchanges roles in being the sender (speaker) and receiver (listener). It is also about learning how to manage conflict in relationships whether those relationships are family, friends, coworkers, etc. I really enjoy my major and learning the skills of being an effective communicator. I think if more people took communication classes and apply the skills they learn in every aspect of their lives the healthier relationships would be.

I am so glad I chose Communication Studies as my major; it is very broad and filled with a variety of career opportunities to get involved in. The areas available to focus on as a part of the major are interpersonal, small groups, public relations, organizational, intercultural, mass media and more. With Communication Studies, there are so many options to choose from that can accomodate anyone interested in the field.

The Next Step After College: Finding a Job


By Jessica Daniel

So you are about to graduate college soon or you may have already graduated.

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The next step is looking for that job or career in your field of study. Now that can be a very long and frustrating process as you search and apply for numerous job applications online, hoping that you will land that big interview that will lead you to being hired.

Unfortunately, many college grads are finding it extremely difficult to land their major-related careers. Many end up working in jobs that have nothing to do with their majors, so they can earn a living some how, even though, often, the jobs they work at do not always pay enough. According to a 2013 report from Georgetown University Center of Education in the Workforce, there is a drastically low amount of college grads who are employed full time:

“Over the past 30 years, the age at which young workers reach financial independence, the median wage, has increased from age 26 to age 30; for young African Americans, the age has increased to 33. At the same time, older Americans are working longer. But older workers aren’t crowding out younger workers. It is the increasing need for skill development after high school that has delayed young adults’ careers.”

The majority of college graduates across the nation are feeling the struggle of being accepted for full-time job positions that allow them to be financially stable. Many work in restaurants, fast food places, or in department stores even after obtaining their bachelor’s or master’s degree until they are able to find a full-time job position in their field.

Searching for that job or career after graduating college can be a very stressful and overwhelming process, however if you stay persistent and do not give up, you will eventually land that job position you always wanted. No, it will not be easy searching and waiting for when you do get hired, but as long as you keep a positive attitude and make connections with people in your desired career, you never know when those connections could lead to something greater for you in the long run.

Christmas Time

By Jessica Daniel

As the holiday season arrives with Christmas next week, I cannot help but feel for many people who have lost loved ones during this time of the year. I have experienced it myself when I lost my dad. For many, the Christmas season can bring memories of sadness just thinking about no longer seeing your mom or your dad, your brother or your sister, or even a friend who has passed away. This season brings heaviness for a lot of people as we see others who are blessed to have their familes together under one roof. Some people don’t have families. Some people are homeless with no place to go or to eat.

For those of us who still have families in our lives, we need to love and cherish them, no matter if our families are dysfunctional or not, blood related or spiritually related. Family is a gift from God. We need to cherish the people in our lives while we still have them with us because you never know what could happen. Cherish each and every day that you have and thank God for each day that He blesses you with your loved ones. Forget all arguments and disagreements you may have had with family and open your heart to love and forgiveness towards one another because life is short.

As Christmas arrives next week, I want to encourage anyone who feels sad during this time of the year to look to Jesus for that peace and joy you never thought you would experience. For me, Jesus is my hope and He is the reason why I smile even through the pain and the stormy trials that I face. No matter what we are going through, no matter what or who we have lost, God is right there ready to restore and to comfort us. So allow Him to turn your sadness during the holidays or any day into a joy you thought you would never have.

Psalms 28:7, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.”

Sandra Bland: Another Case of Police Brutality on Black Women

By Jessica Daniel

With all of the police brutality happening against young black men, we see countless times in the media the public protesting and fighting for justice when a black man is shot and killed by police. However, what we fail to see recognized in the media are the many young black women who are getting attacked and killed by the police as well. This, too, is also a serious issue that needs to be reported and addressed.

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28 year-old Sandra Bland was pulled over and arrested by a police officer for failing to make a turn signal. According to reports, the police officer told Bland to put out the cigarette she had in her hand, and Bland questioned the officer since she had been smoking in her own car. The conversation began to get heated between her and officer Brian Encinia. Encinia forced her to get out of her car, but Bland refused, so Encinia reached for her, threatening to “light her up” with his taser. The whole incident was recorded on video of the officer trying to pull her out of her car and knocking her head into the ground. Bland tells the officer, “You’re a real man now. You just slammed me, knocked my head in the ground.”

Bland was sent to jail all because of a turn signal in which the officer claimed that she had assaulted him.

Bland was “found hanging from a noose made from a plastic bag” inside her jail cell. The reports claim that she was suicidal, and she killed herself, but her family believed there was more to it and that she was not suicidal.

Police brutality is increasing day by day on our black men and women. What we need to do as a community, no matter what race or ethnicity we are, is to stand united in love instead of divided in hate. Evil is running rampant in these days, but we must not let evil take control over us. We need to pray for our entire community, our nation, and the police officers. Ephesians 6:10-13 talks about putting on the full armor of God, so that we can stand against evil in this world.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

 

 

Interview with Model and Actress Kenise Taylor

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By Jessica Daniel

Young Urban Voices interviews talented model and actress Kenise Taylor for the Women in Business issue. Taylor has been modeling since she was a kid and now she is an actress, dancer, singer and songwriter working on launching her own business. Taylor was also featured in the Jet Magazine beauty of the week issue on April 2nd.

YUV: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Kenise Taylor: Hi, I’m Kenise Taylor, I grew up in Oxford NC but currently reside in Greensboro NC. I am a model turned actress, Gogo dancer, singer and songwriter. I love to be entertained but not as much as I love entertaining. I am a nurturing Virgo who lives, loves and laughs hard. I live for fun times and really enjoy the skin I am in!

YUV: How long have you been in the modeling and acting industry?

Kenise Taylor: I have modeled since [I was] a kid. I would do local fashion and talent shows. I was mainly into cheerleading and sports growing up even though everyone I would meet and my family members would always say “you should be a model.”

YUV: What led you to go into modeling?

Kenise Taylor: I started taking modeling more serious after I had my son in 2009. I worked extra hard to get my body back in shape and with in 3 months I was being published and featured online. I have never stopped the grind since then.

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YUV: Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Kenise Taylor: My baby boy, well big boy now lol. He has been so supportive and his little smile lights my heart and makes me want to be better and show him he can be whoever he wants to be, but it takes hard work and dedication. I can’t see myself telling him all those things but failing to reach for my own dreams in the process. I have to show him and mommy loves him so much.

YUV: What do you like to do in your free time?

Kenise Taylor: I am in the process of launching my very own business which takes a lot of my free time, but when I do manage, I spend time with my son, friends and family. I also find comfort in the studio writing songs and making music.

YUV: What has been your biggest challenge you had to face and how did you overcome it?

Kenise Taylor: My biggest challenge is time management. Having a career in entertainment is fun and rewarding but it limits the amount of time you have to spend with loved ones which can be very difficult. I do my best to keep those close to me informed and involved in what I have going on, that way I can work and get that much needed family bonding time as well.

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YUV: What advice would you give young women who aspire to live out their dreams?

Kenise Taylor: Never give up. You only get one life, so why not spend it doing what you love! Success is not a destination it is a long, hard, fun, sad, happy, rewarding, disappointing, love, hate, journey but so is everyday life. If you work hard enough you will see results! Educate yourself every chance you get and stay up on game. And remember you decide what legacy you will leave behind when you are gone! Also sometimes opportunities will not come to you… You may have to create them.

For more info on Kenise Taylor follow her on Instagram @kenisesway or on Facebook Kenise Taylor to stay up to date on the movies she will be featured in, the HBO Movie “Proverbs” and Horror Movie “Lake House.”

Graduation Season

 

By Jessica Daniel

Graduation season is in the air as thousands of students, whether they are finishing high school or college, are about to walk across the stage and receive their diploma/degree; I am one of them–graduating from Sacramento City College with my associate of arts in Communication Studies.

Imagine, the hard work it took for you to get to where you are today, a graduate. The blood, sweat, and tears it took for you to get to that point in time where you are dressed in that cap and gown and ready to take on that next chapter in your life. I know the feeling. When so many obstacles and challenges came in the way of achieving my goal, I still kept pushing on and asked God to give me the strength I needed to get through all of those classes I was taking. Yes, it was hard, but I knew that once I achieved my goal to graduate then every single struggle I faced was all worth it to prepare me to get to that Day.

For every student graduating this season, enjoy your special day as you walk that stage with your head held high and a smile on your face knowing what it took you to get to where you are today. As you receive your diploma, know that your hard work pays off in the end. Celebrate your achievement because you deserve it!

Knowing Your Worth

 

By Jessica Daniel

A lot of girls and young women do not know their worth. Girls look at magazines, pictures of models who have the “perfect body,” and they do all that they can to look like those models. Girls grow up thinking that they are either too big, too small, too fat, or too thin according to the media, their peers, and sometimes even from family. Girls are not always taught to love and appreciate who God made them to be.

The issue that many girls and young women struggle with is knowing their worth. So much attention is focused on young women comparing themselves to other young women on who has the best hair style, the best figure, the best clothes, or who is in a relationship that they miss out on knowing and appreciating who they are without comparing themselves to others. Low self-esteem and insecurities are what plague and fill the minds of many girls and young women who end up believing the lies that they are ugly, too skinny, or too fat.

The key to knowing your worth as a young woman is knowing who you are in Christ. God created you for a purpose. Before you were even born, God knew you and was thinking about you before the creation of the world. He had a special plan for your life before you even existed. God created each and every one of us in a unique and beautiful way, and what He wants us to realize is that because we are unique, we are precious, and there is no need to be like the people we see in the media or the people we go to school or work with when He created each of us in a unique and special way. Psalms 139:14 says, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.”

Knowing who you are in Christ is the key to knowing your worth and knowing that you are a daughter of God, a daughter of the King. As girls and young women, we need to learn to feel comfortable in our own skin, accepting that we are beautiful not just on the outside but on the inside as well.

What God thinks of you is more important than what others think of you and what you think of yourself. He loves you way more than you love yourself and how others love you. When you hurt and are struggling with low self-esteem, Jesus is right there with you waiting for you to come to Him and give Him your insecurities, your imperfections, and give you that comfort and peace that only He can give. You are worth so much in His eyes!

Never Taking Life for Granted: Cherishing Each Day That We Have

 

By Jessica Daniel

In the blink of an eye, a life is cut short before we even know it due to violence, shootings, accidents, illnesses. Every day brings challenges that we are not ready or prepared to face on our own. How do we cope? How can we face each day knowing that something unexpected could happen at any moment?

For one thing, it is impossible for us to know what each day will bring us or what tomorrow holds. Only God knows. All we need to do is put our trust and hope in Him, and He will provide the protection, strength, joy, comfort and His perfect peace to make it through each day and challenge that we face. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” When we trust God in every area of our lives no matter how difficult, no matter how painful, no matter how devastating, He will deliver and bring us through it.

Life’s challenges are not easy, but even through that trial and through that storm, Jesus brings us peace. When we are in Christ, we do not have to go through life in fear of what tomorrow could bring us. It is all in His hands. We need to live and focus on today, cherishing each moment and time spent with our family and friends and being a light in this dark world. Each day that we have on this earth should be an opportunity for us to make a difference in the lives that we encounter whether it is at school, work, the gym, the store, or no matter where we are–sharing a smile, a kind word, or helping someone in need.

Never take life for granted; make each day of your life count!

Why Good Friday and Easter is so Significant

 

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By Jessica Daniel

As Good Friday and Easter quickly approaches, I want to take the time to reflect on how significant those days are. Good Friday was the day when Jesus was crucified on the cross and died for our sins. Easter is the day when Jesus resurrected, when He rose again.

The significance of Jesus dying on the cross was that He did it just for us. Even though He was mocked, ridiculed, spit on, given a crown of thorns, and rejected by the very people He had walked and talked with, all He could think about was us. When He endured all of that pain and hurt, His response was, “Father forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” The love that He had for us while He was hanging on that cross was so great and spoke so many volumes. Just think about it, He endured that pain, physically and emotionally for you and I so we could have a relationship with Him, so we could have that second chance.

When Jesus resurrected on the third day, He showed that death had no power over Him. He conquered death once and for all. He knew that dying on the cross was something He had to fulfill. He took our place, and He paid the price to bring us back to the Father through Him. Jesus won the victory and claimed us as His own. Now, all He wants us to do is to accept and believe in what He did for us. He wants a relationship with us, not a religion.

Jesus came down to earth as God in the flesh to relate and identify with every problem or struggle that we go through in our own lives. He went through temptation, rejection from His own family and country, betrayal, humiliation, pain, and much more. He came as an ordinary man, the son of a carpenter, and He reached out to the people who were thought of as outcasts and looked down by society. The compassion and the love He showed to people who were poor, sick, tax collectors, prostitutes and others who had “low status” displayed who He was and is.

So as Good Friday and Easter approaches, take some time to reflect on what Jesus did for you and to thank Him for what He has done and is about to do in your life.

The Race Called Life: A Poem

dreams27f-1-webBy Jessica Daniel

Day by day
Struggle by struggle
I keep pushing on
Running that race
The race called life

It doesn’t matter
How fast I run
What matters is
That I reach my destination
And receive the ultimate prize
At the end of the race
The race called life

Although obstacles come my way
I pray and ask God
To give me the strength
To face every battle
Every storm
Every mountain that I climb
In this race
The race called life

Although the race
Is not easy
I keep my eyes on the prize
My Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ
He is my ultimate prize

At the end of the race
When I receive my crown
From the One and Only
The One who made me
And gave up His life
For me

As I continue running this race
Every battle that I face
The obstacles in my way
At times
I feel tired and weary
Ready to throw in the towel
Ready to stop running

But just as I feel like giving up
He takes my hand
Picks me up
And carries me through
Every struggle
Every tear
Every heartache

He tells me
“Child, do not give up
For I am here with you
Running this race
Trust me
Lean on me
And do not despair

The obstacles that you face
In this life
Is temporary
And will soon fade away

When you get to the finish line
Know that everything you went through
Was in preparation
To bring you to victory

The struggles that you face right now
Are nothing compared to the blessings
You will receive at the end of the race
The race called life!”