Saturday, July 27, 2013

Las Vegas Twin Valedictorians Head to Stanford

 Marcus and Malcolm Allen were busy signing autographs to middle schoolers on Friday morning. The Centennial High School graduates and 18 year-old twins are anything but average.

Both have been named class valedictorians, graduating with 4.8 grade point averages. In the fall, they'll be heading to Stanford University with basketball scholarships in hand.

"It's been a very long road, academically and athletically," Marcus tells Action News. However, they both agree it's been well worth the effort.

In a talk Friday morning with middle schoolers at Del Sol High School, the twins pushed the importance of working hard to achieve success.

Mother Trina Wiggins graduated from Stanford University several years ago. "You have to have a plan. You can't just go day to day and think this is going to miraculously happen," she tells us.

She helped the two put their future plans into place when they were only seventh graders. Both started taking SAT prep classes in middle school.

"It all pays off and I feel like the earlier you start, the better you'll end up," adds Malcolm.

The two are excited to play basketball for the Stanford Cardinals. In the future, they hope to play in the NBA for the Lakers.

Obama's Disability Liaison: Meet Claudia Gordon

Last week, Claudia Gordon began her new role in the White House Office of Public Engagement as the Public Engagement Advisor to the Disability Community.  Her title is Associate Director. Gordon will be a liaison between the disability community and the Obama Administration, a role which was previously filled by Kareem Dale.
Previously, Gordon worked at the U.S. Department of Labor where she focused on improving employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. She has held leadership positions at the National Council for Disability, American Association of People with Disabilities, and the National Association of the Deaf Law and Advocacy Center. She also worked for the U. S. Dept. of Homeland Security.


Gordon, who suddenly lost her hearing at age eight, hails from Jamaica and came to the United States when she was eleven.  She graduated from American University Washington College of Law in 2000, the first deaf student to accomplish that feat.
Congratulations to Claudia Gordon on her new position and we look forward to seeing her make a difference on issues impacting children and youth with disabilities and the professionals who work on their behalf.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Man Executed for Killing 2 Neices and 2 Nephews

Henry 'Curtis' Jackson, Jr.
A Mississippi man convicted of killing four young nieces and nephews in a 1990 stabbing rampage was executed Tuesday, despite pleas from his two sisters to spare the brother who killed their children.

Henry “Curtis” Jackson Jr. was pronounced dead after receiving an injection at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, officials said.

Jackson’s sister, Glenda Kuyoro, stifled a sob when she walked into the witness room earlier and saw her brother on the gurney. Jackson’s eyes were closed when the witnesses arrived and he never looked in the direction of his family.

Earlier, the 47-year-old inmate had spent the day receiving relatives, including one of the sisters whose two children were slain and who survived the stabbing attack. The slain children ranged from 2 to 5 and were killed as Jackson reportedly was trying to steal his mother’s safe while she was away at church, court records showed.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Republican Gov. Phil Bryant declined to stop the execution though he said he was “deeply touched” by requests for clemency from the sisters and his brother-in-law.
“There is no question that Mr. Jackson committed these heinous crimes, and there is no clear and convincing evidence that compels me to grant clemency,” Bryant said.

The attack took place Nov. 1, 1990, at Jackson’s mother’s home in the Delta region.
The mother was at church that day, and Regina Jackson was there with her two daughters and four nieces and nephews. She was stabbed five times and survived the attack.  Her two daughters and two nephews were stabbed to death, records showed. Another niece was so severely injured that she was a paraplegic until her recent death.

Jackson has said he doesn’t remember stabbing the children.

Source: The Grio

Friday, July 19, 2013

Communicating with the Class of 2016

It's been said that the Class of 2016 entering college this year measures their fundamental particles of life in bits, bytes, and bauds. They have less faith in government, worry about mounting student loans and getting a job after college, and question the value of a college degree. Those born in 1994 worry about high unemployment and the difficult economic situation.  The big question for seniors like me is how to communicate with this new generation.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Super Heroes Turn 50

Fifty years ago American crusaders had a banner year. "The Amazing Spider-Man" comic book first hit the newsstands in the spring, and the X Men and the Avengers debuted that autumn. It's hard to imagine these classic heroes with memberships in AARP.

Marvel's Amazing Spider-Man earned his own comic book in 1963, a year after his creation. Peter Parker, a teen bookworm, aka Spider-Man, got his signature abilities when he was bitten by a radioactive arachnid. First featured in "Amazing Fantasy" No. 15, Spidey as he is affectionately called, was a huge hit and graced the Marvel A-list ever since.

The original band of diverse heroes, "The Avengers" No. 1 appeared in 1963. The team convened at the cry "Avengers assemble" to stamp threats not even the mightiest warrior can conquer alone. This stellar group included Hulk, Ant-Man, Wasp, Thor and Iron Man.

Marvel's band of mutant crime fighters  appeared in" The X-Men" No. 1 in 1963. The original six members of the group were Marvel Girl, Angel, Professor Xavier, Beast, Cyclops, and Iceman. The X-Men have grown to legions since the original six and have taken on current issues through the years. last year openly gay X-Man Northstar married his longtime beau becoming the first same-sex marriage in comics and also the first mutant-human union.

Veteran heroes are well beyond their 50th year: Superman (1938), Batman (1939), Wonder Woman (1941), and Captain America (1941).

These heroes, each with their own personalities and unique skills, continue to fire up audiences at the box office, raking in billions with each offering. Future scheduled movie releases include The Avengers (Untitled) on May 1, 2015, The Amazing Spider-Man #2 on May 2, 2014, and The S-Men: Days of Future Past on May 23, 2015. These Superheroes have listened to Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame when he says "Live long and prosper".

Happy 50th, Superheroes!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

"Best Man" Holiday Sequel

After fourteen years on the shelf, look for a holiday sequel to "Best Man" in November. Stars Nia Long, Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Harold Perrineau, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Melissa De Sousa and Regina Hall, picks up when the group of friends reunite over the Christmas holidays.

The original film grossed over $35 million at the box office. Malcolm D. Lee, who wrote, directed and co-produced the original, will resume all three roles for the sequel.