Meet Pascal, 2017 Help Us, Help Us Winner

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Meet Pascal, 2017 Help Us, Help Us Winner

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Meet Pascal

Pascal is from the beautiful town of Irvington, NJ. He attended Essex Catholic High School his freshmen year, then transferred to Irvington High School where he was a scholar athlete and completed his high school career. Pascal went on to William Paterson University where he played football, became a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and was a member of the Haitian American Student Association. It was here that he found a love for education and saw a window to give back to the youth, especially young black men.“I love spending time with my family and friends, they are the reason I grind and the reason I keep coming back to help those in need. Aside from that, I enjoy working out, and playing football. I can always go for a TV show or two.”

- What have you been up since last years awards?

I am still a History/English teacher at KIPP NCA. This is my second year and although it’s a grind, I’m happy to be serving the kids that I do. YMSG, has been working diligently behind the scenes. This is to make sure that before we resurface, all of our T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted. Managing a nonprofit organization is hard work, we aren’t just trying to do it, we are trying to do it right.

- Has being apart of the awards open any opportunities for you within this past year?

I would’t say directly, but it did. Receiving this award was such a wonderful experience for me. I’ve never won anything like this, lol, getting this award just gave me the extra push I needed to continue striving for greatness. It came at such a pivotal moment in my life because a few months later, I turned 30.The simple fact that people noticed my work and my dedication was such an honor. The opportunities that came were a result of me actually turning the knobs on a few more doors.

- If you could collaborate with TCK on a project. What would it be?

I would love to collaboration the Help Us, Help Us Community Feed program. YMSG has done a coat and blanket giveaway for the last two years. We’ve been thing of incorporating a food element to it, and this would be dope for us to do. Driving down McCarter Highway and even my school’s neighborhood breaks my heart every single time, this would be a major event for the community.

- How would you define the theory of Ubuntu? 

“I am because you are”. This entire means of existence stems from cause and effect. No matter your religion, background, socioeconomic status, you are who you are because of someone else.

-How do you incorporate Ubuntu into your work, or daily lifestyle?

When asked what my strength is, I always say that I have a big heart. Then when asked what my weakness is, I either say “I just told you” or I’ll also say that I have a big heart. I devoted my life to uplifting young men because coaches, teachers, family, friends, and pastors all took the time to “give” to me. I “took” only because I now “have”, which enabled me to “give” again. The cycle will always continue.

-What advice or encouragement would you give to this years nominees, or those looking to be nominated in the future?

Man Listen, this is one of the awards that are given not because of how good you are, or how brave you are, it’s given because of what you’ve done. I’m not “good” at giving back to the hood, I just end up giving the hood everything I got. Hell yes, I could be doing more. The biggest advice I can give is to do it with no reward in mind, and as you climb, lift someone else to keep the cycle going.

-Lastly, what's the next move for you, Pascal Faustin? What or where can people look to see you getting involved with next? 

I’ve been having the same dream for over 2 months now and I think it’s time to step the game up. While I won’t say this particular goal, but just know that our young men and mothers are going to benefit from this tremendously. My CEO, Jason has just opened his own massage recovery place in Kenilworth, NJ, @restnrecover. On the other hand, I am going to be launching @leshommesbeardoils this upcoming fall season. YMSG got big things up our sleeves, and I can’t wait to make a bigger impact on the Irvington/Newark area.

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FUTURE CLOUD YOUTH EMPOWERMENT OPEN MIC (March 2018)

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FUTURE CLOUD YOUTH EMPOWERMENT OPEN MIC (March 2018)

 The first Future Cloud Youth Empowerment Open Mic for 2018 was a success. The event took place at Mocha lounge in Newark, New Jersey on March 16,2018. We partnered up with New Jersey Institute Of Social Justice to provide a positive environment for our youth to display their talents.

The first Future Cloud Youth Empowerment Open Mic for 2018 was a success. The event took place at Mocha lounge in Newark, New Jersey on March 16, 2018. We partnered up with New Jersey Institute Of Social Justice to provide a positive environment for our youth to display their talents.

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These young individuals touched every audience member with their talents. From poetry, rap, and spoken word, every artist was able to share their artistry in a safe space. Making it easy to hear and relate to what they were conveying at the moment, regardless of their social backgrounds, gender, or age- every individual in the space was connected.

We also had a presentation from New Jersey Institute of Social Justice. They presented us information on incarnation within the urban communities, especially juveniles. Their mission is to end criminal justice policies that result in the criminalization of communities of color, racial injustice, and mass incarnation. They seek to transform New Jersey’s youth incarnation system into a community-based system by closing two out of three New Jersey’s youth prisons.

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Westside High School Mural Project

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Westside High School Mural Project

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Them Cloud Kids are thrilled to have completed their mural inside Westside High School as part of the Mentoring Program in collaboration with Newark Mentoring Movement. With the help of local talent Corey Zen and some of the students, we have been able to bring this mural to life. I recently caught up with a few of the students at Westside to get their opinions and thoughts on this art and the murals impact on the school along with their experience while bringing this mural to life!


Fatina, 12th grade

Q: What is your favorite part of the mural?

A:  The Cloud that features the two kids

Q: Have you noticed your peers or yourself inspired by this mural and using this space more?

A: Yes!

Q: Do you think by incorporating more art within Westside the students would continue to be more inspired?

A: Yes, I think it would.If people see more quotes to not give up it would make them not give up it would inspire them more.

Westside High

 

Jenalise, 11th grade

Q: What is your favorite part of the mural?

A: The quote.

Q: How has the mural impacted the school?

A: It’s kind of a mixture of both. I like coming here, I like the quote they put because it’s the truth. I think it inspires us because our school was plain, so we needed a little wakening up.

Q: Awesome, can I ask you to elaborate when you said our school was plain?

Yeah..We need things to make us happy and quotes to make us believe, to not give up. We would like to see, me and the principal would like to see more of those drawings.

 

Bitse, 11th grade

Q:  What’s your favorite part of the mural?

A: I like the quote because it’s telling us to reach out for our dreams, never give up. Dream big and go for it. I feel like I can do anything I put my mind too, it’s reflective.

Q: How has the mural impacted the school?

A: I’ve seen a lot of kids impressed. They want to know how we did this. They want to know who thought of this, and how they can get involved.

Q: Do you think by incorporating more art within Westside students will continue to be inspired?

A:  Yes, a lot of students like art. Most of us have dreams of going to school for art in some way. I think by putting more art within our school, we can be proud and more motivated  to make ourselves and the school proud.

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The Man Behind The Mural

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The Man Behind The Mural

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The Man Behind The Mural; Corey Zen | How Do You Ubuntu?

Meet the artist behind the mural at Westside High School, Corey Zen. At the age of 4, he was introduced to poetry by a family member and achieved success winning certificates. In his teenage years, he began to express his words in paintings. Through studying African art, he realized that there was a lot of things art historians have excluded from history about European Artists. This directed his style of art and helped identify his own self-love. Read the brief Q:A with this expressive young artist as we discuss the Westside Mural and what is next for this talented artist.


Q: Was this your first mural?

A: This actually my first mural, but when I was asked to do it I wasn’t nervous about it. I’ve worked large scaled before. So I knew that the same method I would use for a legal size paper could apply to the wall.

Q: How was the planning process? What did that look like??

A: It was a lot take in but when Shane and I were planning everything happened like 1,2,3. In like 10 minutes the layout came together. It’s SO effective. So just not overthinking it was the thing, letting go.

Q: How was it interacting with the students at Westside High? Were they receptive to the process?

A: Yeah, I see it in the students expression and the way they interact with art. When I observe them going about doing art, it’s a change. A change for the better.

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Q: Cool, what does Ubuntu mean to you?

A: We are helping each other, help each other.

Q: Awesome, how do you incorporate Ubuntu into your work?

A: By painting things that don’t have a stereotype. If I create a few different figures, I won’t give them a racial identity. I’ll give them a color. Blue, Orange..colors like that. Keeping it limitless as possible. No matter where you are from you can relate.

“Art is Art.”  

Q: What’s next for you? What are you off to tackle next?!

A: (Laughs) Free flowing and settling up his foundation. How A Flower Blooms, is a nude series changing the way the way that society views women bodies. Taking that sexual, fetishization and viewing them as your favorite flower.

Be sure to follow to Corey Zen on IG: @corey_zen

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Ubuntu Awards Style Guide

Stumped on what to wear for this year's premier fundraiser event? Check out our Ubuntu Awards style guide for some inspiration!

A little black dress is a classic staple piece that is perfect for this event.
Don’t be afraid to wear a long gown you set the tone with your look for this event.  If you’re not comfortable in dresses grab your favorite pair of slacks and pair it with a blouse and loafers.

Accessories are key! Don’t forget to pick up some statement pieces before the awards.  
 


Fellas, we got you covered too!

We encourage you to wear a suit. This is a formal affair, it’s only right that you come correct and make an impression on everyone you meet.  

A clean black, navy,or grey suit are staple pieces in men’s formal wear. These 3 colors can be paired with any any colored dress shoe, belt, and button up.

 

Not really a suit guy? Here's an idea

Find a nice pair of well fitted pants, or chinos and throw on a button up. Elevate your look by tucking in your shirt and pairing the fit with a nice loafer, and belt.

Published stylist and Apparel director Kayjohnae is offering free styling advice with proof of ticket for the Ubuntu Awards! Email her at apparel@themcloudkids.org for your custom style guide

Check out the slideshow of some of our favorite looks from last year’s Ubuntu Awards!

 

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Dress to Impress at the Ubuntu Awards: Let's Talk Dress Code

Newark, NJ – The Ubuntu Awards are just 5 days away and we figured we'd help you get Black Carpet ready! We understand that getting ready for any awards ceremony can be pretty difficult, especially if you have no idea what the dress code is. But let's not fret or worry because in this post, we will break down the basic guidelines for formal attire. Yes, this is indeed a formal event.

First thing to note: There is  no such thing as being overdressed for the Ubuntu Awards! For this day, we want you to look your best, get camera ready and show off your style in elegance. Remember it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. So check out these tips: 

Women: Think Fashionably Chic with more than a hint of Classy! Go with a long evening gown, or switch it up with a chic formal cocktail dress. A little black dress is all you need. Be sure to accessorize and grab your favorite clutch and let your ensemble speak for itself! 

 

Men: Spruce it up a bit; you can be chic and dashing too!  You can never go wrong with a nice pair of slacks and dress top. Adding that sophisticated tie, or bowtie will definitely complete your outfit. Due note, tuxedos are also welcomed. 

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Ubuntu Awards: 30 Under 30 Nominees

Newark, NJ (Oct. 14, 2016) – On November 12, 2016 we will be celebrating 30 of Newark’s truly deserving and undeniably inspiring individuals under the age of 30 that positively impact the community and youth of Newark,NJ. The ceremony, due to be held in the elegant Great Hall at 15 Washington St. will be consumed with the positive energy of community leaders, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, dignitaries and supporters of the Newark community. All will gather in one space for one purpose: to celebrate Newark’s millennial trailblazers.

Nominations were open to the public for the following (5) categories: Wellness, Love is Love, Visual & Sound, Help Us Help Us and Community MogulSix nominees per category were hand selected by their community, friends and families and the voting doesn't stop there. Take a look at our amazing nominees below and be sure to cast your vote by October 29th. It’s UNLIMITED voting! 

To purchase your tickets, click here!  

 

VOTE NOW by clicking on the categories below! 

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Culture Class through TCK Recap

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Culture Class through TCK Recap

CULTURE CLASS THROUGH TOGETHERNESS, COMPASSION AND KINDNESS

  Photo courtesy of Shane Fuller

Photo courtesy of Shane Fuller

On Saturday, May 28th, our members and a few volunteers gathered at The H.U.B.B (Help Us Become Better) Community Center on 135 Prince Street in Newark, NJ for our monthly  Culture Class Through TCK event.

This was our second Culture Class to date, and possibly the most rewarding; perhaps a reflection of how great the weather was that day. During this month’s Culture Class we decided to focus on the important topic self-love. The decision to discuss the topic of self-love resulted from our experience at the last class. The youth in attendance lacked a sense of pride and love for their city and after further conversation we decided to change our objective. By opening the children to conversations about self love and its importance we are able to understand cultural norms and shift them positively.

  Photo courtesy of Shane Fuller

Photo courtesy of Shane Fuller

At around 8:50am the children arrived to the smell of fresh organic fruits, waffles, and homemade infused strawberry mint tea courtesy of personal chef, Chef Nikko. After, breakfast we began the program with an introduction of the organization reiterating our mission and the meaning of Ubuntu. We then started our Culture Class with our favorite icebreaker, the Ubuntu circle. The icebreaker empowers youth to lead participants in a dance ultimately showing the impact of unity and working together. The “running man” was the dance of the hour as various children took turns leading the group. 

  Photo courtesy of Shane Fuller

Photo courtesy of Shane Fuller

After, the Ubuntu circle we broke the children into small groups with two volunteers to break down the topic of self love followed by a reading from the book, “The Skin I’m In,” courtesy of our member Kira Antoine. Following the reading we engaged in a discussion that allowed for the children to use their newfound knowledge on self love to decipher issues within the book. One child Kimora stated, "You can not love others if you do not love yourself. Maleeka did not love her skin so she made fun of her teacher's." The discussion allowed for us to have a transformative conversation surrounding the topics of self-love, bullying, community and empowerment. The discussion allowed us to draw parallels between the community's culture and lack of love. The children felt empowered and motivated to show their peers and loved ones why it's important to use love as a means to heal.

  Photo courtesy of Shane Fuller

Photo courtesy of Shane Fuller

After our discussion and we ended the Culture Class with positive mantras that explained why “We Are TCK.” We concluded the Culture Class with a raffle drawing for a Them Cloud Kids children's t-shirt, for the most participatory and well behaved child, as well as the book, “The Skin I’m In” by Sharon G. Flake. 

 

If you are interested in attending or volunteering at our next Culture Class or any of our upcoming events please follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook @themcloudkids or email us at info@themcloudkids.org to stay updated and informed!

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Join us this weekend at Culture Class Through Togetherness, Compassion and Kindness

Join Us at Culture Class through Togetherness, Compassion and Kindness

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY (May 28, 2016) – Come join us for a educationally diverse and fun-filled day at Culture Class Through TCK. The event will be taking place on Saturday, May 28th from 9am-12pm at The H.U.B.B, a Community Center on 135 Prince Street, in Newark, NJ. Breakfast will be served promptly at the beginning of program and all youth must be accompanied by an adult.

Culture Class through TCK have been taking place every third or fourth Saturday of the Month beginning on April 17th 2016. Culture Class through TCK is a Cultural literacy program that not only educates youth about diversity and community relations, but also inspires them to learn on their own. 

Literacy has been linked to several factors such as the ability to navigate through the educational ladder, opportunities for acceptance into college, future employment, communication skills and overall social progress. Them Cloud Kids also prides itself in cultivating positve mentoring relationship between youth and college students in hopes of creating positive generational change. In this environment, all youth in attendance are afforded the opportunity to interact with a relatable group

 

If you would like more information about this event, you may contact our liaison Ngima Wambugu at info@themcloudkids.org

 

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WAKE UP.

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WAKE UP.

Let us evoke a conversation with this: Are you #WOKE?

 

To some degree all people regulate the worth of their lives based on whether or not their needs are met. Both subconsciously and consciously, we are hardwired to the following root concept: when our needs are met, then we have achieved our relative level of peace.

 

This, my good people, is THE universal purpose of existence.

 

Let's think: If it does not induce what you consider to be solace or contentment then what is it actually worth? When we dissect this question we uncover two premises: (1) action is coerced by an individual's need for serenity and (2) the worth of that specific action is solely dependent upon its direct relation to what they define as peaceful (that’s a bit of a tongue twister).

 

When these premises are evaluated it can be concluded that an action is deemed worthless if it does not meet the needs of someone attempting to attain peace.  

 

Experienced thinkers like to call this process Self-Actualization, as characterized by psychologist and theorists such as: Kurt Goldstein, Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow.

 

TO SELF ACTUALIZE. . .
is to be (1) conscious of one's self within their mind, (2) aware of self within the tangible reality, and (3) mindful of self within the eyes of the world.

 

The strategy presumed here involves a person's systematic effort to meet the various goals presented to us as humans. So, basically everything I already said has a fancy term for it. It is universally believed that anyone who embarks on this journey becomes more accessible in ways that can promote literally anything, including unity and empowerment.

 

This, my good people, is the TCKway.

 

A #WOKE person handcrafts their needs around how they wish to self actualize. WE must understand that no two people will ever be identical in this endeavor. Ultimately, a transformation occurs allowing people to not only create change, but also become the change they wish to see. ThemCloudKids focuses on embodying aspects of this ideology as well as the Ubuntu lifestyle. If and when this shift occurs, the possibilities prove to be endless.

 

What will you wake up and do?

 

For more information feel free to explore this link:

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

 

"Finding happiness is like finding yourself. You don't find happiness, you make happiness. You choose happiness. Self-actualization is a process of discovering who you are, who you want to be and paving the way to happiness by doing what brings you the most meaning and contentment to your life over the long run."

– David Leonhardt

 

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