Home / Author Archives: Naomi Bonman (page 2)

Author Archives: Naomi Bonman

The Community Packed Out Women’s Club for LUE Productions’ Inland Empire Youth Competition

By Naomi K. Bonman

When it comes to supporting our youth, people will come and show out! On Saturday, October 14, the Women’s Club of San Bernardino was standing room only for LUE Productions’ Inland Empire Youth. There was a total of nine talented acts that competed for a $500 cash prize.

“It wasn’t easy to score the talent,” Founder of LUE Productions, Luecreita Dowdy, stated. “We had the best panel of judges. They took their time when it came to scoring.”

Although each youth is a winner in their own and received certificates of appreciation from San Bernardino City Council, the overall breakdown consisted of first, second, third, and fourth place. In fourth place was Chozen Expressions, third place was Elizabeth Estrella, second place was Monea Parker, and first place was Jack Musgrove.

The judges consisted of Moniebee Henley, singer/song writer and radio personality; Demetra Kaye, PR Queen, Blogger, and Community activist; Wallace Allen, Founder and Publisher of Westside story Newspaper and Radio Personality on Empire Talks Back/KCAA Radio; Latisha Rushing, Artist Management and Development; Janet Kirtley, CEO of Something Extra Special Artist Management and Event Promoter and coordinator; and Annyett Royale, Singer, songwriter, and actress.

In addition to the competition, LUE Productions’ artist Gaim Over performed his single, “Camera” for the crowd and Gwen Rodgers, founder of Young Women’s Empowerment Foundation, spoke briefly on mental illness within our community. C.H.O.R.D.S. founder Edwin Johnson kept the show flowing along with his lovely co-host Kiaja Harper. DJ ST1 kept the crowd jumping on the ones and twos as the DJ for the evening.

Foster Youth Lead in Film Festival at 3rd Annual Real to Reel

By Naomi K. Bonman

The opportunities for people of color in the entertainment industry have increased; however, getting in the industry is still very competitive and opportunities are far and few in between. Then you have programs, such as Better Youth, that provide outlets for young people to utilize the tools to get a few steps ahead of the competition and to build experience.

Real to Reel is one of the outlets. Founded by former foster youth Johna Rivers and Syd Stewart, the two of them together realized a dying need in the industry and have put forth together a momentous event. Each year this red-carpet celebrity studded event gets even better with entertainment vets who come out to speak and spark inspiration to these talented youths. Every film in the festival is shot, produced, and edited by youth. This year was even more powerful than others because every film submitted was by foster youth.

The day started with morning workshops facilitated by Akuyoe Graham (acting workshop), Ruben from AT&T (New Media), and Ullisses from Wells Fargo (Financial Literacy). Following the morning workshops was the red-carpet session which led to the panels and film screenings.

Casting Director Leah Daniels opened the festival with a presentation of special awards, with a surprise awards that was given to herself on behalf of Real to Reel. Edwina Findley also spoke and following her were a few performances. A panel took place after the films were shown.

To view the interview with Syd Stewart and to hear Leah Daniels speech, please visit www.purposelyawakened.com.

Youth Spotlight: Inland Empire Native, Tanai Smith, Launches Organic Lip Balm

Tanai Smithholding up her Crown Me Lip Balm. (Photo Credit: Tana Phelice)

Tanai Smithholding up her Crown Me Lip Balm. (Photo Credit: Tana Phelice)

By Naomi K. Bonman

Back in the day, as kids growing up, we were taught to do good in school, go to college, and then get a good job. However, those times have drastically changed. As more Generation X adults and Millennials are becoming more successful in their entrepreneurial endeavors and jumping ship from their corporate and day jobs, they are instilling in their children at a young age to claim their destinies and to make their side hustles work for them now verses later so that they will be well-off by the time they reach adulthood.

This is the case for 11-year-old Tanai Smith, daughter of San Bernardino native, author, and playwright T’ana Phelice. Smith will be launching her Crown Me Lip Balm on Monday, October 16. She was inspired to make Crown Me Lip Balm after she had made three ingredients for lip balms in her own spare time, so she decided why not make it into a profitable business.

“I researched how to make people’s skin feel smooth in a healthy way,” Smith stated on what made her decide to make an organic lip balm company over just any lip balm.

She has always been creative and has been heavily into arts and crafts. For her birthday this past August, her parents threw her an arts and crafts party.

“I see myself owning my own arts and crats store when I’m older,” she explains. “I want my Crown Me business inside my future store. I also want to play my clarinet.”

There is nothing better than when our youth are determined about what they want to do after childhood and are working diligently in achieving those tasks to ensure that their futures will be bright. This is also the aftermath of great parenting.

Smith stated that her parents are both her inspirations in achieving greatness. One of the most memorable lessons that they have taught her about entrepreneurship is that sometimes you must adjust to changes and make sacrifices.

For those interested in purchasing Crown Me Lip Balm, please visit www.tanaphelice.com/crownme and be sure to keep up with the Crown Me brand on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CrownMeOrganicStuff.