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Belinda Ortiz Path to Success from a troubled Past

Belinda Ortiz

Belinda Ortiz

Belinda Ortiz’s Path to Success is Not Ventured Alone


After a troubled history, the young native New Yorker, Belinda Ortiz, found her path to a positive and prosperous future through education. Currently, she is on the Deans List at the South Bronx academic institution, Hostos Community College, with a grade point average of 3.8.


At Hostos, the Upper West Side resident, who grew up in Brooklyn, is on track to finishing her Certified Nursing Assistant (C.N.A) Program that will allow her to continue her dream of becoming a licensed registered nurse. When Belinda obtains her Associate’s, she will consider applying to New York University’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing to acquire her Bachelor’s degree.

Visit Hostos

Besides the essential skills it takes to being a nurse, which is critical thinking, ethics, communication and compassion, one must have the passion for wanting to help people.


“It gives me a great sense of pride that I can partake in somebody feeling better,” answers Belinda when asked why she chose nursing. “I love interacting with people. Oh my gosh, I love it!

Belinda Ortiz Hostos Community College

Belinda, a hard working mother, says she wants to provide a better future for her family, especially her teenage daughter and soon-to-be-born child.


“I want my family to be proud of my accomplishment, says Belinda. “Nobody graduates alone.”


Nope, Belinda is not alone. She has been the benefactor of a community that believes in her. Along with Hostos, a top academic institution that provides a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, Belinda has received help from the College and Community Fellowship.


Since 2000, the College and Community Fellowship (CCF) have supported hundreds of women with a criminal conviction history. CCF, which believes that women can reclaim their lives and long-term success through higher education with empowering encouragement, peer support and financial assistance, has helped formerly incarcerated women gain more than 300 academic degrees since its launch.


Even though Belinda was ready for school, she quickly took advantage of the assistances by CCF. “When I attended my intake I was already a registered college student,” says Belinda. “I thought it was a really good program that was available and it had good resources for women to succeed academically and in life.”


The combination of the vigorous academic curriculums at Hostos, the CCF scholarship and their supportive team, are the reasons why Belinda doesn’t feel helpless in her new venture.


“CCF has given me the scholarship to take my certified training,” says Belinda. “I learned from their academic counseling and meeting with them to not be helpless but to be helpful.”


Belinda, who now has a better understanding about life, goals and academic achievement, doesn’t look back at her past with regrets. Instead, she is too busy looking forward. But if she had to go back in time and speak to her younger self, she wouldn’t hesitate to give herself advice.


“Just take your time,” she would say to a younger Belinda. “There are hundreds of different things to do. But what chooses you are the choices that you make.”


Mexican Billionaire Carlos Slim’s Investments Revealed

Carlos Slim Helú, one of the wealthiest people in the world, was born on January 28, 1940, in Mexico City to a family of Lebanese Christian immigrants. He became a billionaire after the economic crash of 1982 when he purchased investments at low prices that would later be extremely valuable. In 2000, he founded the Foundation for the Historic Centre of Mexico City to restore and save significant buildings.

From 2010 to 2014, Carlos Slim Helu was the wealthiest man in the world, and most people did not even know who he was. “Slim,” as he is commonly known, is often called “the Monopolist,” and many people in Mexico refer to their country as Slimlandia, as it is difficult to spend money in a day without adding revenue to one of the over 200 companies associated with him. He appears on the Forbes’ billionaires list, as of April 2016, at fourth-richest in the world with $58.3 billion in wealth.
Main Investments
Slim was wealthy by the time he orchestrated the purchase of a 20% stake in Telmex (Telefonos de Mexico), the state-owned telephone company that was privatized in the 1990s by his own conglomerate Grupo Carso SAB . America Movil, a Grupo Carso company completely owned by Slim, eventually took over and privatized Telmex. The two companies at their peak accounted for 70% and 80%, respectively, of all land and cellphone communications in the country. With anti-monopolist pressures mounting, rumors state that the Helu family plans to divest itself of the controlling interest of the two companies for a possible $8 billion payout.

Slim founded Grupo Carso, a conglomerate holding company, early in his career from proceeds gained by working 14-hour days as a stockbroker in Mexico. This company still forms Slim’s main holdings, including three major revenue divisions: industrial, retail, and infrastructure and construction. The conglomerate operates a number of subsidiary companies that include Sanborns retail chain; Sears’ Mexican subsidiary; Cigatam, the second-largest cigarette maker in the country; and many more.


Real Estate
Not an area that Slim focused on in his early years, real estate has become a major part of his portfolio in the last two decades. Part of this was a natural undertaking as part of the expanding conglomerate, such as the 20 shopping centers throughout Mexico, 10 of those in Mexico City. However in 2006, Slim purchased the Duke Semans mansion for $44 million, considered one of the last great private residences on Fifth Avenue in New York City. In 2015, it was put up for sale for $88 million in his traditional strategy of buying items in a depressed market and reaping the benefits in up markets by selling them.


Slim also purchased two commercial buildings in the United States in 2015, including the PepsiCo Inc. Americas Beverages’ headquarters just north of New York City and the Marquette Building in Detroit. Grupo Carso’s main complex headquarters in Mexico City, named Plaza Carso, includes the Museo Soumaya, Museo Jumex, the Plaza Carso Shopping center, three residential towers and three commercial office buildings completed at an estimated cost of $1.4 billion.


Carlos Slim as a teenager


Other Investments
A discussion on Slim’s portfolio holdings is not complete without mentioning his stake in the New York Times Company. American bastion of free speech. In 2009, he loaned $250 million to the ailing newspaper at 14% interest with the rights for warrants to exercise further buying of shares. He exercised these in 2015, upping his stake to 16.8%, making him the largest single shareholder.

His late wife was an avid art collector, and Slim built the Museo Soumaya in her honor. It houses almost 70,000 works of art, including the largest collection of Rodin art outside of France as well as a host of masterpieces, including Matisse, Van Gogh, Monet and Dali, just to name a few.

Slim’s portfolio is one of the largest on the planet. It reaches far and wide geographically and into almost every major industry, even though the bulk of it is tied to the $80 billion market capitalization of Telmex and America Movil and the $12 billion market capitalization of Groupo Carso.

Interseting Facts About Mr. Slim

  • He began investing at a rather young age.
    Carlos Slim and his siblings began learning about business as children from their enterprising father. When he was only 12 years old, Slim bought shares in a Mexican bank. Clearly, the phrase “it’s never too early” was an important family philosophy.
  • He loves baseball.
    Slim has a passion for history, nature and art (he is considered the world’s foremost collector of Rodin statues), but his greatest love is baseball. Slim has written several articles about the sport and is said to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the game. He’s also been known to attend Major League Baseball games to root for the league’s richest team: the Yankees.
  • He has influence in the United States.
    In 2008, Slim made headlines when he bought a 6.4% stake in the New York Times Company and recently bought more, upping his stake to 7.5%. However, he also loaned the New York Times $250 million in 2009 when they were in difficult financial times. This wasn’t the first time he invested in the United States. Before their liquidation in late 2007, Slim indirectly controlled the now defunct computer retailer CompUSA. Additionally, Slim bought a 1% stake in Citigroup  in 2008 and has a 16% stake in Saks Fifth Avenue.
  • His philanthropy has its limits.
    Slim has been criticized for accumulating so much wealth in a nation where about half the people are living in poverty. He did join President Bill Clinton and Canadian mining figure Frank Giustra to launch an anti-poverty campaign in Latin America.  But he told USA Today(link is external) education and jobs can fight poverty better than charity. Still, he was on Forbes’ list of the World’s Biggest Givers in May 2011 for donating $4 billion to his anti-poverty foundation.
  • He’s frugal.
    What is it with billionaires being so frugal? Slim maintains a relatively low-key existence. He has lived in the same six-bedroom house for the past 30 years and even drives himself to work. Rather than living a luxurious life around the world, he likes to enjoy his home country. He wears clothes from his own modest store, doesn’t travel very much and doesn’t own a single home outside of Mexico.



Work out while You Work

Chances are you’ve heard several reports throughout the years that discuss the health risks associated with sitting down for long periods. One way to combat that problem and get some exercise in the process is to use a Walkstation. Basically, the Walkstation is a walking speed treadmill that’s integrated into a desk — allowing you to work and keep your body moving at the same time. Like a traditional treadmill, it also shows your progress on a console with the distance traveled, time, speed and calories burned. No suits please, we recomend throwing on some gym clothes. $4,199 — Steelcase



The Gamercize PC-Sport works like a little elliptical machine that you place under your desk, only it will hijack your mouse and keyboard when hooked up to a PC or laptop if it detects you are slowing down to unacceptable levels and lets you know that you need to keep moving to stay productive. Additional software can be included to help you keep track of your workouts. If you are anti multitasking, this may no be for you. $187 — Gamercize




The Smartest People and Their Quotes on Problem Solving

Here’s how some of the brightest and most successful people think about problems and how you can learn to take them on and even turn them into an asset, catapulting you to being and living better


“Instead of thinking out the box, get rid of the box.” – Deepak Chopra

“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.” – Robert H. Shuller

“Don’t bother people for help without first trying to solve the problem yourself.” – Colin Powell

“Running away from a problem only increases the distance from the solution.” – Anonymous

“All problems become smaller when you confront them instead of dodging them.” – William F. Halsey

Businessman and overcome the difficulties concept

Businessman and overcome the difficulties concept

“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin

“Every problem is a gift. Without them we wouldn’t grow” – Tony Robbins

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

“It isn’t that they cannot find the solution. It is that they cannot see the problem.” – G.K Chesterton

“Problems are nothing but wake-up calls for creativity” – Gerhard Gschwandtner

“We fail more often because we solve the wrong problem than because we get the wrong solution to the right problem.” – Russell L. Ackoff

“A positive attitude may not solve your problems — but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” – Anonymous

“Problem-solving leaders have one thing in common: a faith that there’s always a better way.” – Gerald M. Weinberg

“If you are unable to understand the cause of a problem, it is impossible to solve it.” – Naoto Kan


“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” – Duke Ellington

“Giving up is the most painful way of solving a problem.” – Anonymous

“Solving problems means listening.” – Richard Branson

“Inside of every problem lies an opportunity.” – Robert Kiposaki

“There is no problem outside of you that is superior to the power within you.” – Bob Proctor

“Each problem that I solved became a rule, which served afterwards to solve other problems.” – Rene Descartes

“You can increase your problem-solving skills by honing your question-asking ability.” – Michael J. Gelb

“If a problem can be solved it will be. If it cannot be solved there is no use worrying about it.” – Dalai Lama XIV

“All life is problem solving.” – Karl Popper

Jesús Malverde The Patron Saint of Drug Cartels

Many know about the drug wars going on in Mexico, and how it’s crossing the border into states such as New Mexico and California. But what many may not know is that many drug traffickers – believe that 19th century folk hero, Jesús Malverde is the “patron saint” of drug trafficking to them. It’s believed that if a cartel member keeps a Malverde prayer card with them at all times, or a small statue/altar of him in the home, it would protect them from enemy cartels and law enforcement…even from death!



As this trend is crossing over, and so closely related to narcotics cases, US prosecutors are using Malverde items, such as prayer cards and candles, as evidence, according to the New York Daily News.  Have the NYPD narcotics taking it as evidence? Not yet.


And, yes, this icon has taken popularity within Mexican communities in NYC, visible in botanicas, with owners stocking their shelves with prayer cards, candles, and statues that stand up to two feet tall. While the Catholic Church doesn’t accept Malverde as a saint, the store owners see how the people have. Other than being popular among locals, Malverde has been mentioned in TV shows, movies, books and countless stories and articles.

But what’s the legend behind icon? Jesús Malverde is originally from the Mexican state of Sinaloa, located on the western coast of Mexico, and was known as an “El Rey de Sinaloa”, “angel of the poor”, “generous bandit”, amongst others. To the locals of Sinaloa, he’s earned a Robin Hood-type image. He was executed for his crimes by authorities May 3rd 1909.

The Struggles of Young Lords Community Activism…a story continues


Originally published in LatinTRENDS Magazine

By Eddie Olmo

The mid ‘60s and early ‘70s was the height of the civil rights movement, and many people today remember the names of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party. But ask anybody today if they ever heard of the Young Lords Party. “The young who?” Is what most people will say except for Jennica Carmona, who is the writer/director of the movie “Millie and the Lords.” Jennica, along with her twin sister Jessica, have gone back into the archives to bring us a fictional story about a girl named “Millie,” performed by Jessica, who discovers herself while learning about the very real Young Lords.

Jennica uses original Young Lords members Felipe Luciano and José “Cha Cha” Jiménez and the fictitious character of “Mateo” to tell the plight of the Young Lords Party. Jessica’s character “Millie” joins community center “El Puente” where “Mateo,” portrayed by Mateo Gómez, is teaching a class about the Young Lords. This is where Jennica connects the modern day struggles to the struggles of the Young Lords. LatinTRENDS was able to sit with Jennica and Jessica to talk about this movie.

Millie and The Lords

Tell me about the movie “Millie and the Lords”

Jen – “Millie and the Lords” is a coming of-age story about a Latina woman living a mediocre life in Spanish Harlem, NYC. Her life begins to change for the better when she takes a daring step of enrolling in a Latino History Class, taught by a former Young Lords Party member named Mateo. The film blends the past with the present, by showing how a young person of today can grow when they from people from the past. It is a beautiful story of courage and self-empowerment.

Why the Young Lords?

The Young Lords was a very important activist group that fought for social change, and fought for the rights of Latinos. Many Puerto Rican and Latino people today don’t know about this important part of Latino History. We don’t learn about the Young Lords in school. It is a part of our history that is hidden from us. We want this film to pay tribute to this group of people that sacrificed their lives for a better world.

How did the Young Lords change your life?

The Young Lords changed my life by showing me how a group of people can come together to fight for a common goal and achieve it.

Do you think the Young Lords are still relevant in today’s society?

We are witnessing a new social justice movement, and the movement of today is struggling against some of the same issues that the Young Lords were fighting. Today, we are fighting police brutality and racism in Ferguson, MO, Wisconsin and here in NYC. We are also witnessing a fight for the rights of immigrants to have a future here in the US, without being separated from their families. We can learn from the way the Young Lords organized themselves, educated themselves, educated others and stood up for their rights.

What are your plans for this movie?

Our plans for this movie is to get it as widely distributed as possible. We especially want young Latinos of today to see the film, to inspire them to fight and work for a better world. We want teachers to show it in their classrooms, we want it screened at theatres across the country and across the world. I would love to see the film endorsed and promoted by well-known Latino artists such as Marc Anthony, JLo, Luis Guzmán, Jimmy Smits, Chayanne or Calle 13.

How did it feel to play Millie?

Playing the part of Millie was a challenge. She was very different from who I am in real life. The one thing I had in common with Millie was my love of reading and writing. And of course, as a Puerto Rican I dealt with strong Latino male family members who tended to be controlling. Millie’s character is tough, rude, mean with a bad attitude. Growing up, I was more like the shy nerdy one, but I did have a lot of anger about the world around me. I did question things a lot. I think I expressed it differently. When I was working with young Latinos in upstate NY and The Bronx, I did see these types of young women, though. And I was able to hear them and understand them. They were tough, really tough and hard to relate to. But over time, I began to understand them.

What did you learn from this experience?

I learned that indie film making is hard work! But I learned what a good feeling it is to work so hard on something and see the fruits of your labor.

How did it feel to win the Viva Latino Film Festival?

It was such a surprise and such an honor to win at Viva Latino Film Festival!! We were so excited when we got that news. It feels good. I see us as “the little engine that could” because we faced so many obstacles along the way. So it was a good feeling to get that news.


Male Actor transforms himself into Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Julia Roberts & More

A 30-year-old actor and TV host, Paolo Ballesteros, is a specialist in transforming himself into female celebrities including Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lawrence, and Julia Roberts. Believe it or not, there’s no Photoshop involved; Paolo uses only wigs, makeup, and colored contact lenses to complete the unbelievable transformations.



Paolo is the host of a popular TV show in the Philippines called Eat Bulaga. His transformations started as a segment on Super Sereyna, where he would surprise audiences with his mind blowing makeup skills. He has revealed that he is self-taught—he learned to apply makeup by watching YouTube and does it all by himself. (Source)

New York’s Mom & Pop Businesses are Being Replaced by BIG Corporations


Hey! Want to grab a bite to eat at the original 2nd Avenue Deli in the East Village?


How about we grab some lunch at Manatus restaurant on Bleecker Street?

Then maybe grab something from Ralph’s Discount City up in TriBeca?

And why not stop by the great home of punk rock CBGB in the East Village, yeah?

Well, you kind of can’t anymore since these notable New York City landmarks are no longer around.

Considered local fixtures in the neighborhoods, familiar and popular mom-and-pop stores, diners, restaurants, and shops are slowly becoming extinct in the evolving city due to staggering rent hikes and a lackluster economy. Unable to withstand the hardship, many of these familiar shops are being replaced by big name corporations like Subway or Dunkin Donunts or banks like Chase and Capital One.


In their photo book Store Front – The Disappearing Face of New York, photographers James T. and Karla L. Murray take readers on a visual tour of some of the familiar and irreplaceable store fronts that line street after street of New York City.

Choosing places that “look like they’ve been around forever” the duo has in a way allowed such locales to exist forever in photographic form. Organized by borough and then subdivided into neighborhoods, the photographic book poses as an encyclopedia of sorts that manages to preserves the now extinct shops that have become replaced by commercial businesses.

“The purpose of the photos in the before and after project is to clearly spell out and provide documentation of not only what storefronts have been lost but also what is often lacking in what replaces them,” said the photographers.

The book depicts the dramatic alteration in the appearance of many familiar local spots in New York City. From 2001 to 2007, the book contains a good decade of how scathing rental prices are forcing out mom-and-pop shops which are being replaced with chain stores belonging to commercial businesses.

The shop-owners frequently acknowledged that they were at the mercy of their landlords and the ever-increasing rents they charged,” and if the shop-owners could not meet the increasing rent, “big rent hikes meant that many small businesses closed to be replaced by chain stores or banks, which could afford the higher rent.

According to the book, Max Fish, a bar located on the Lower East Side is an example of being a victim to rising rent costs. The bar opened in 1989 and its rent was a mere $2,000 a month, however after a series of rent increases and being opened for a good 24 years the bar closed with a reported $16,000 rent cost. The rent was due to increase again if the bar remained opened.


Until you place them side-by-side and really look at the two photos, you cannot get the true sense of loss,” explained the Murrays, discussing how powerful the images taken are when you show what was beside the what is.

The two also add, “the trend we noticed very early on while photographing the original stores was that if the shop-owner did not own the entire building, their business was already in jeopardy.

Mom-and-pop shops are not the only familiar local spots being replaced by commercial businesses. Late last year, 5 Pointz–5 Pointz: The Institute of Higher Burnin’ or the 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center–was an outdoor graffiti haven considered an art cultural center to many was white-washed—the numerous art pieces that were spray-painted on its wall was marked out with white paint—by the builders owners.


The white-washing came after 5 Pointz owner and supporters lost am ongoing battle to remaining standing. The building is scheduled to be torn down and make way for new condos and business shops in its place.

While the book can be a bit grim showcasing the demise of familiar shops, shops that are either replaced by corporations or gutted to the group, the book also contains some hope.

Among some of the photos taken, the Murrays have included side-by-side photos of old shops being replaced not by large corporations but fellow and new mom-and-pop shops. These images show some hope that not all is being taken over by large commercial businesses but there are still regular folk with businesses of their own trying to make it in this ever changing world.

Arron Hernandez Tragic Life of Murder, Bisexuality & Suicide

On April 19, around 3 a.m., Aaron Hernandez, the former star New England Patriots tight end, scrawled three notes—one to his fiancée Shayanna Jenkins, the mother of his little girl, one to that daughter and a third to his prison friend, supposedly his gay lover. He placed the notes next to an opened Bible to the section on the new testament, John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whosoever believes in him would not perish but have eternal life.” The same message he had on his forehead in addition to red marks on his hands and feet in an eerie way mimicking the crucifixion of Jesus Christ


hernandez girl and sister

Shayanna, right and her younger sister Shaneah, the girlfriend of murder victim Odin Lloyd in better times, before they introduced each other’s boyfriends that ultimately lead to tragic consequences.


He was found with his bed sheet wrapped around his neck with one tied one end of it to a bar on the window of his cell. A correction officer saw his limp body through the cell door at 3:03 a.m., and tried to resuscitate him. Hernandez was then rushed to UMass Leominster hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m.

It was a tragic to the former NFL star’s often volcanic life and it came on the same day players on his former team traveled to the White House to celebrate the New England Patriot’s Super Bowl win. Questions immediately began to swirl about why Hernandez, who had been acquitted  days earlier in connection with a separate double murder charge stemming from a drive-by shooting in 2012, picked this day to die.




Odin Lloyd

Hernandez, known for never letting go of the gang connections he made growing up. He was convicted in April 2015 for shooting and killing his friend, Odin Lloyd, seemingly without motive. But interviews with multiple law enforcement officials directly involved in the case say Lloyd—a semipro football player who was dating Hernandez’s fiancé’s sister at the time and allegedly had information on Hernandez being bisexual, and the star did not want that information out in the public.

What was Hernandez motivation to murder?

One of the three notes left by Hernandez was to his prison boyfriend, who is now on 24/7 suicide watch. Hernandez’s sexuality was allegedly reveled with the murder investigations in which had sexual relationships with a male former high school classmate and that was at the center of the investigation into Lloyd’s murder.


Ernest Wallace

Ernest Wallace, a co-defendant in the Lloyd murder case, told detectives the victim had called Hernandez a “schmoocher,” which was taken by Hernandez and his companions as a gay slur. Wallace was also recorded saying during a jailhouse visit with Tanya Singleton, Hernandez’s cousin, that he would not have helped Hernandez get rid of the murder weapon—a crime for which he is now serving a 4½-to-7 year sentence on accessory to murder charges—if he had known Hernandez was a “limp wrist,” multiple sources say.

Singleton was accused of helping Wallace discard of Lloyd’s murder weapon and was later sentenced to two years’ probation with one year under house confinement after pleading guilty to criminal contempt for refusing to cooperate with investigators in Boston investigating the double murder. Prosecutors in both Bristol and Suffolk counties said Hernandez had promised to set up a trust fund for Singleton’s children for her silence but never did.

Hernandez’s alleged longtime male lover, the high school friend, was interviewed extensively by authorities after Lloyd’s murder, and was forced to testify in front of a grand jury. Law enforcement officials also say Hernandez moved a large amount of money into three accounts shortly before his arrest for the Lloyd killing: one account was for his fiancée; a second was for his daughter; the third, where the most money was moved, was for that friend.


Hernandez’s secrets went well beyond his sex life, according to court testimony and police records. His brushes with the law for extreme acts of violence began when he was playing football at the University of Florida. In 2007, Hernandez, then 17, was identified as a person of interest in a double shooting.

Then came the shooting in July 2012, when a Boston man spilled a drink on Hernandez but didn’t apologize. Prosecutors said that when an enraged Hernandez saw the same men later that night in a BMW, he leaned across a friend, Alexander Bradley, who was driving a Toyota SUV, from the passenger seat, and yelled to the occupants, “What’s up now, n****s?” Hernandez squeezed off five shots into the vehicle, according to Bradley. Two men died, a third was wounded. Hernandez was acquitted in that case last week after six days of deliberation. Jurors refused to comment on their verdict, but legal analysts speculate that the prosecution’s case was weakened by the fact that its main witness, Bradley, is a career criminal who had testified he wanted to hurt Hernandez.

Seven months after the Boston double murder, after a night at a Florida strip club in February 2012, Bradley says Hernandez shot him in the head, pushed him out of a vehicle and left him for dead. Bradley refused to cooperate with police but marked Hernandez for revenge. He testified on the stand in March 2017, “I didn’t want to cooperate with police. I wanted Mr. Hernandez’s life.”

That threat apparently prompted Hernandez to surround himself with  men from his gang past, men like Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, who became Hernandez’s co-defendants after the murder of Lloyd in June 2013. Both men told investigators that Hernandez was the gunman in that killing. But it was the other information that Wallace offered about the motive that never made headlines, the fact that Lloyd knew Hernandez had a complicated sex life and could pass that information to his girlfriend, the sister of the Patriot’s player’s fiancée.

It was also well known that Hernandez was high on marijuana the night Lloyd was shot and killed, and  prosecutors said a joint with his DNA was found near Lloyd’s body. Investigators are now looking into claims by inmates at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center that Hernandez was smoking K2, synthetic marijuana, the night of his suicide.

A brief fight over Hernandez’s brain ended Thursday when the Worcester County District Attorney said his family’s wishes would be met and his brain would be studied by the vaunted CTE Center at Boston University, where scientists are researching the effects of concussions on the brains of athletes. Initially, the state medical examiner said that its pathologists wanted to study Hernandez’s brain, leading his attorney, Jose Baez, to claim this week that the ME was “illegally” holding onto the former NFL star’s brain, against the family’s wishes. After Baez’s press conference, held outside the ME’s office, Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early released the brain.


220px-Aaron_Hernandez_cropped***Now that medical test will be done to his brain to help determine a mental condition from head trauma (CTE) he received as an NFL football player. We are wondering, what happens if proof is found that he in fact had brain damage, will the New England Patriots be legally challenged to reinstate the remaining funds of his contact, which they voided once he was charged with murder?***

Catch Up, Get Ahead, Explore

The sandals are on, the radiators are off and it’s starting to feel like summer. But if you’re a student entering college this fall, or attending school, you know summer’s not all about barbecues, the beach, bikes and baseball. It’s about new beginnings, catching up and – most important — getting ahead.

There’s no better place to do that than The City University of New York. With 24 campuses throughout the five boroughs and summer classes spanning human anatomy, history, digital music, accounting and more, CUNY offers a productive way to enjoy summer and add new credits, move ahead in your major, or simply explore something completely different and fun.



CUNY Summer in the City is convenient. Squeeze a class between your job and that free concert in the park. CUNY campuses are easily reachable by public transportation, so taking a summer class usually means an easy commute.

CUNY Summer in the City offers:

  • High-quality academics recognized at colleges and universities nationwide, which means that summer classes may very likely be credited at your college. Just remember to check with your school first.
  • A nice price. CUNY’s affordable classes cost an average 68 percent less than courses at private universities. College shouldn’t be a financial burden, in any season.
  • A great course selection, which gives you opportunity to re-take last year’s calculus class for a better grade, lighten your upcoming fall course load, fulfill a core course requirement, or try something new and career-changing. Take note: CUNY’s most popular summer courses reflect the ambition of students who are staying on track. Biology, chemistry, mathematics, psychology, physics, sociology, English, economics, accounting and speech are the top 10 summer choices.


If you usually juggle four or five classes a semester, taking a lighter load of one or two courses during the summer may sharpen your focus and improve your chances of academic success. And take note: when your course is over, you won’t have lost much beach time. But you will have had the opportunity to gain some credits – and pride in using your summer wisely.

Haileigh Vasquez, A 7 Year Old Designer-Entrepreneur & Social media Star

Haileigh Vasquez is a fashionista at heart. This 7 year old Dominican princess is amazingly gifted and she is gifting the world with her charisma and talent. Her almost 200k instagram followers love seeing her swag, wearing the latest Dolce & Gabbana and Burberry clothes.


When she grows up, she said she wants to be a fashion designer, like Karl Lagerfeld, the renowned designer for Fendi, Chanel and others. “I like Karl, because he’s really fashionable, and I am too” says Haileigh. I really, really want to be like him one day.”



Haileigh’s mother, Zulay Vasquez, says her first post was when Haileigh was just 3 years old.

Vasquez said that by law, 15 percent of the money Haileigh earns goes into a trust fund, and then the remainder goes into her daughter’s savings account. “I will just put it there and let it grow,” Vasquez said. “If she decides at some point that she no longer wants to pursue this, she wants to go to MIT or Harvard, she has the funds to pay for that.”

Some people may say Vasquez is just capitalizing on her daughter’s looks, Vasquez said the Instagram page is just a hobby for them. “She just happens to get paid for it,” she said. “I feel I built her up for the future, her confidence. She looks at herself and she says, I’m beautiful. That’s the first step towards making her a confident young adult.”

The world of social media stardom can come at a price. When you have so many followers, parents have to ask themselves are all these people good intentioned?

“And then you have cases where it’s kind of dangerous and people can develop a scary obsession with your child,” Vasquez said she takes protective measures to keep her daughter safe, posting only a few times a week and never tagging their location while they are still there. I make sure that I have an app where I check everybody. I make sure that she’s always safe. As long as I can prevent it, I’m going to control it.”

“Haileigh has such a personality,” Vasquez said. She wants to pick everybody’s outfit. She loves everything about fashion. However if she wanted to give it all up tomorrow, she says she would be fine with that.

At the beginning of 2017 Haileigh landed a deal with Target to design her own clothing line called art class, Target’s newest Kids’ apparel and accessories brand. The trendy line is all about encouraging kids to express themselves through what they’re wearing, just like an actual art class. Haileigh is part of this exciting program, together with a small group of stand-out youngsters.

“If she was to say, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore, then I support her 100 percent all the way,” Vasquez said. “Because I support my daughter in what she wants to do.

What You Didn’t Know about Carmelo Anthony


Carmelo Anthony was born in Brooklyn, New York to an African American mother, Mary and Puerto Rican father who he is named after. He is the youngest of four and before his third birthday his father passed away , leaving Mary a struggling single mother.

While his mother worked as a housekeeper, his much older siblings helped to raise him as they lived in the projects of Red Hook. To pass the time, Anthony would watch hours of March Madness and NBA Playoff games.

After the passing of his father, his life would go on to change more once his siblings went on their own paths and left home. This time around, Mary had to take care of Anthony on her own and she moved her son to Baltimore when he was eight. What she didn’t know was that the area called the “The Pharmacy,” was plagued by drugs, prostitution and crime.

To keep her son away from trouble she threatened to keep him off the basketball court if he didn’t behave. This incentive would later help him in his high school, college and NBA career as a basketball player. By 1999, the high school sophomore from Towson Catholic High School was becoming one of the best ball players in the Baltimore area.

Although he was 6’5″, Anthony and his mother knew he wasn’t ready for the big leagues of basketball yet.  To keep from slipping with grades in school, Anthony later attended the strict Oak Hill Academy, and worked out more so that he would go from a skinny high school basketball player to become a possible division one college prospect. By the time he graduated he went to Syracuse University where he shined by helping the team out of a slump to become a winning streak that led to the Big East Tournament semifinals.



From this point, the freshman and his teammates knew he had what it would take to join the NBA. He left college, with his coach’s support, and he became part of the top three picks in the NBA for 2003. He was selected by the much beleaguered Denver Nuggets. Once again, this time he went even further than his college team and brought the Nuggets to the playoffs, and later that year helped the U.S. win a bronze medal in the Olympics.

More change would come in Anthony’s life. His behavior on and off the court started leading to his reputation as being “thug like,” and he knew that he quickly had to change his ways.

In 2008, the U.S. Olympic team would win a gold medal at the Beijing games redeeming themselves from the previous Olympics. When it came to playing in the U.S., the Nuggets went through turnover after turnover with coaches. After eight years with the Nuggets, Anthony was traded for the Knicks.

If there was anyone to help mellow Anthony out during that transition to the Knicks, it was Alani “La La” Vasquez, his girlfriend since 2004. In 2007, the couple welcomed their only child, son Kiyan and by 2010 the couple had married shortly before the trade announcement. In 2011, the Knicks made it to the playoffs and Anthony tied his postseason personal high of 42 points. Now, Anthony is playing for the team that he grew up watching during his childhood.


More Carmelo Fun Facts…

He owns a Soccer Team in Puerto Rico
♠He holds the record for the most points ever scored in the Madison Square Garden by any player in history. This game was in 2014 and he managed to get a whopping 62 points!

♣Carmelo and his Puerto Rican dad share the same first name. His dad also sadly passed away when Melo was only 2 years old, and the passing was due to cancer

♥He was cut from his high school team as a freshman.

♦He bought a pet camel.

♣He’s afraid of cats.

♠He listens to Willie Colon every day.

♥His father, Carmelo Iriarte, was a member of the Young Lords.

♦He won the Big East Rookie of the Year Award 10 times surpassing Allen Iverson even though he was in college for one

♠He became the sixth youngest and the 40th player to score 20,000 points in his career this year

♦He was on the cover of LatinTRENDS Magazine