By Brandi Brown, Role Models Ambassador
August 12, 2009
As many celebrate what will be Michael Jackson’s 51st birthday on Aug. 29, it is clear that we should reflect on the accomplishments of a man that some called untouchable, magnificent, and even magical. Jackson, the King of Pop, enjoyed a level of success that few are ever able to achieve and he faced a level of public scrutiny that few can fathom. Along with the fame, he was also labeled a sex offender by some while others called him “troubled.” Whatever the case may be, few can argue that he was possibly the best entertainer to ever live.
A Sh'mal World
Directed by Michelle Friedline and Laureen Ricks
May 22, 2008
Congratulations to student directors Laureen Ricks and Michelle Friedline on the screening of their film, "A Sh'mal World," at the Ninth Annual Student Documentary Screening at the University of Florida. The documentary gives fascinating insight into the world of social worker Sh'mal Ellenberg.
How Do Video Games Affect Kids?
By Blake Smith, 9th grade,
August 17, 2006
Parents, have you ever questioned what influence video games have on your children? Well, I have the facts that tell you just how video games affect the youth of America.
By Laureen Ricks, University of Florida and Role Models Ambassador
August 18, 2005
Today’s popular hip-hop artists join suggestive lyrics with racy visuals, usually carved up slices of women’s posteriors, blatant, ample and jiggling to the delight of fully-clothed MC’s and their posse.
Nothing in these lyrics or images convey respect, appreciation, honor and love for women. These artists and image-makers, mostly male, seem to despise and exploit, rather than to appreciate and honor women’s sexuality. At best, these songs praise strategic body parts, not whole women. At worst, they are barefaced assaults..
Meet Cowboy Troy: The Pioneer of "Hick Hop"
By Carly Blustein, 11th grade,
July 28, 2005
Dallas-native Troy Coleman, dubbed “Cowboy Troy,” has created possibly a new genre of music. As the first six-foot-five black rapping cowboy, he is rapidly setting a definition for “hick hop.” “Rollin’ (The Ballad of Big & Rich),” his first single, captured his audience by surprise because it blended the fast-paced rhymes of rap with the carefree hymns of country music, a task not easily accomplished because of the stark contrast in the two musical types. However, Cowboy Troy, who grew up listening to a variety of artists ranging from Charlie Daniels to ZZ Top to Run DMC, has found that blending different beats can result in the birth of a unique sound.
The Phantom of the Opera—Truly a Timeless Tale
By Carly Blustein, 11th grade,
June 8, 2005
The Phantom of the Opera is most widely recognized as a Broadway musical. It is not just any run-of-the-mill Broadway musical, however, but it is the third longest running show in Broadway history. Therefore, it is hard to imagine this chilling tale not accompanied by the award-winning music of Andrew Lloyd Weber. But the story of the Phantom began long before he sang on stage.