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Author Archives: Naomi Bonman

Citrus Hill High School Senior, Lela Owens, Awarded Ronald McDonald Scholarship

By Naomi K. Bonman

On Saturday, June 11, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California (RMHCSC) awarded 94 accomplished college-bound seniors scholarship funds totaling $288,000 during a celebratory event at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The scholarships and medals were awarded during a recognition ceremony where recipients were honored and commended by their families, school counselors, RMHCSC representatives, and Southern California McDonald’s owners and operators. Chris Pan, founder of myintent.org gave an inspiring keynote message before the celebrations ended with photos and well wishes.

“The scholarship luncheon is a great opportunity to recognize our scholarship recipients for their hard work in front of their friends, family and McDonald’s franchisees” said Vince Bryson, CEO, RMHCSC. “We are committed to providing opportunities and resources that strengthen families and are inspired by what these students have accomplished and are looking to achieve.”

Among those 94 students was Perris’ Citrus Hill High School senior, Lela Owens. Owens is involved in her school’s STEM program and will continue her education within the STEM field at Duke University where she will be majoring in Computer Science. After she graduates from college, Owens wants to dive into a career with a major technology company, such as Google or similar.

“The Ronald McDonald Scholarship has taken a lot of pressure off my shoulders,” Lela Owens stated on being awarded. “It will definitely help to pay my tuition.”

Owens emerged into the STEM field after enrolling an AP Physics class during her Junior year. Her teacher at the time inspired her to look into field after telling her about another young Black woman who took the AP Exam and passed it.    Owens wanted to pass it as well, and from there she found a passion for the industry.

In addition to receiving her degree, the rising scholar also wants to start a mentorship classroom at her high school. Her community service won’t start there though. Owens was the captain of her cheer team where she participated in hosting summer camps along with her team. She also tutored students at March Middle School in Mathematics.

Recipients of RMHCSC scholarships are selected through a rigorous application process and represent the highest caliber students in the five counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura. These scholarships give the recipients an opportunity to pursue their education goals and help ease some of the collegiate financial burden. Interested applicants can begin the process for 2016 scholarships in October, 2015. More information about RMHCSC and its programs can be found at www.rmhcsc.org or on www.Facebook.com/RMHCSoCal and via Twitter.com/RMHC_SoCal.

Remembering Rialto Councilmember Shawn O’Connell

By Naomi K. Bonman

As a Journalist and being able to interview people of all walks of life from celebrities to people in the community, my favorite stories and interviews are always from the locals; the people that you run into every day. In 2012, I interviewed Shawn O’Connell when he was running for Rialto City Council. He had a very gentle, sweet, and down to earth spirit. His love for the community was made him best fit to be a councilmember. The recent news of his passing was definitely a shock. Although, I only got to interact with him a couple times after the interview, he will definitely be remembered throughout the City of Rialto and in San Bernardino County.

In addition to his seat on Rialto’s council, O’Connell ran a patrol team and was a crisis negotiator for the SWAT team. He was Officer of the Year in 1998. He had never seen himself stepping into the world of politics, yet his mother who served on an East Coast school board instilled in him a passion for public service.

Exclusive Interview: Dr. Rachael Ross Chats on Emmy Award Winning Series, Mommy hood, and Career Inspirations

Dr. Rachael Ross

Dr. Rachael Ross

By Naomi K. Bonman

“I am looking forward to just being in the room and seeing all of the people that I see on TV. I’m still in awe about the whole thing. I’m looking forward to just seeing it all and taking it in. Normally I watch it on TV, but to actually be there, it’s pretty amazing,” Dr. Rachael Ross, of The Doctors, states on what she was most looking forward to at this year’s past Emmys.

With the array of different reality sitcoms that are on the air, it is very rare that we see one that educates us, as well as enlightens our minds. The majority of popular TV is filled with drama, drama, and more drama! It is just there to entertain which is why most have started to steer away from the silver screen in their homes because it’s bad enough that social media has polluted our minds. However, there are a few shows that are getting the recognition that they deserve, such as Emmy nominated show, The Doctors.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing one of the featured doctors on the show, Dr. Rachael Ross. After interviewing her, now I definitely have to catch up and watch it to see her live and action. In our interview, Dr. Ross chatted about what she expected from the Emmys, life as a new mommy, and her health tips so that we can continue to live healthier and longer lives.

For those who are unfamiliar with the show, The Doctor, can you give us a brief overview?

The Doctors is a panel of doctors that basically sit and discuss different health related issues, and sometimes it’s not just health, we also talk about fashion. Believe it or not fashion can affect your health. We always talk about is it okay to use waist trainers to different plastic surgery options. We run up a schedule to what we will discuss, but I think what makes us a little different is that I’m on there (laughs) and I’m an African American female that comes with a different perspective than the rest of the panel does.

Nice! So when does the show air?

It’s a syndicated program so it airs somewhere different in every city, but if you go to thedoctorstv.com they have local listings.

What inspired to you get on the show?

I’ve been practicing medicine now for about ten years and I think at the end of the day I think of The Doctors as an extension of my medical practice. It’s the same type of practical advice and information that I give to my patients at my clinic in Gary, Indiana, so to me it’s just a way to take what I do every day to reach a broader audience.

Cool! So I know that you just recently had a baby! How are you enjoying motherhood?

It’s amazing! I never though I’d be the type of mom that just stares at the baby or that’s constantly checking to see if she’s breathing or anything like that. I turned in to a real helicopter mom and I’m loving every second of it. I just keep looking at her and thinking ‘I can’t believe this came out of me.’ I’m in awe of it all.

(Laughs). What are your tips for new moms on how to get their bodies back?

Oh yes! It’s funny because all this year I’ve done three interviews on waist trainers where people ask ‘Are they affecting your health?” “Should you be wearing them?” And I would say the best tip that I have is that after you give birth you should put on an abdominal binder, and it doesn’t have to be as strong as a waist trainer because a waist trainer is kind of  like putting a tire on and wrapping it around you, but just make sure you have an abdominal binder to help mold things back to the way they used to be. And two, breast feeding. You can burn an extra 500 calories a day if you breastfeed.

What inspired you to get into medicine? 

Growing up as a child, my dad was like the town doctor. We lived in a small town, Gary, Indiana. He did house calls and would do a fantastic job at taking care of everybody, and he wasn’t doing it for the money. We always had a roof over our head and food to eat, but I still remember he had patients that would pay him in a peach cup or an apple pie, so I kind of got a chance to experience that small town doctor and how people looked up to him when they saw him. I think just experiencing all of that growing up kind of helped push me, besides my mom telling us every day that we were going to be doctors like our dad.

What is the most challenging thing about being a physician?

I would say the most challenging thing about being a doctor is balancing what they tell us to tell everybody verses what seems a little more like the truth, if that makes any sense. I’ve seen medicine come and go in these past ten years and been in situations where I’m supposed to say, “This is the most greatest medicine that everybody should be on,” then a year or two later its recalled from the market. So I think the hardest part is just balancing doing what we say, which is do no harm, which is really trying to make sure that you’re aren’t harming people just because you’re taking whatever the structure tells you that you’re supposed to push out on people.

Gotcha! What is the most rewarding thing?

The  most rewarding thing for me personally is treating families. I practice in the town that I grew up in and knowing the uncles, the aunts, the cousins, I don’t really have to ask the family history because I know it already.

What are your goals for the next few months to a year?

Being a new mom, I think that my goal is to help other moms, especially since I now see things a new perspective. I want to make sure that I give them the right information. There is a lot of debate going on right now about vaccines and whether or not they’re causing damage and whether they need to be revised. I think that for the next few months my goal is to make sure that I am as honest about that as I can be without necessarily worrying about the backlash.

Any last remarks?

I think it is important that everyone understands that pretty much what you’re eating every day is going to be the thing that dictates your overall health. I don’t think that we don’t put enough emphasis on eating fresh fruits and vegetables. We’re eating a little too much processed food. So I think that the readers should really go to their cabinets and look at their products. If it has more than six things in it when you read the label, donate it somewhere or give it to someone else, but try to get it out of your cabinets and your refrigerators and replace it with fresher foods.

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