Full Circle at Hostos Community College


Learning a new language can take years to master. For Dominican native, Madeline Santana, a recipient of the Auxiliary Police Officer Eugene Marshalik Scholarship, grasping English became a pathway to her career through Hostos Community College.

After leaving the Dominican Republic at age 10 in 1998, Santana struggled to become fluent in English even though she would speak on stage in junior high.

I focused a lot on my studies and I represented my eighth-grade class. My graduation was at Hostos Community College.”

After graduating from Stevenson High School in the Bronx with a baby Santana knew that she had to find a school that would accommodate her needs. Before she went to Hostos she attended a college that was more focused on getting her into as many classes as possible and simply graduating, but at Hostos University she found something different.

“The school was very flexible towards my needs. I cannot complain about that school at all. It’s a very good school. They focus on the student’s needs.”

Learn more about opportunities at Hostos continuing education programs

When she started heading to Hostos Community College, Santana was simply taking remedial reading, writing and speaking courses in English as a Second Language (ESL) courses without anything else in mind. However, she soon came to love the school and found her passion.

After that, I went to take my career courses…I basically love the fact that I’m helping patients improve their health…in advising them how to take their medication I feel good. I love helping others.

Not only did she attend school as a young mother, but she volunteered as an auxiliary police officer for three years.

“I would patrol the city of New York and cover events like parades…and events that they have for the community.”

In 2015, Santana earned a Pharmacy Technician’s Certificate and then received a part-time position at the Bronx Lebanon Special Care Center. Next, she will be joining Kingsbrooke Jewish Medical Center full-time, but she is not done yet.

I would like to go to pharmacy school…I want my daughter to know to never give up…and know I did my best to give her a better future.”

To doing a speech in her eighth-grade class to becoming a graduate of Hostos Community College, Madeline Santana has truly come full circle.


Ridgewood Market’s Cosmic Night Bazaar


Photo by Amalia Queller

With its third anniversary this Saturday, Ridgewood Market, an artisan market is having a Cosmic Night Bazaar from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. The event highlights the work of local craftspeople from around the Ridgewood, Queens area.

Ridgewood Market started as the lovechild of Sarah Feldman, a native of Texas, who moved to New York in 2006 to attend The New School’s Parsons School of Design in Manhattan. After meeting her fiancé who lived in the Queens neighborhood, the jeweler, and vintage saleswoman fell in love with the town, moved there and created a network in 2011 for other creatives like herself called Ridgewood Social. You can learn about the group on its website RidgewoodSocial.com,  which promotes the small businesses in Ridgewood, the history of the region and its people.

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 11.11.25 PM

Photo by Sarah Feldman

Frustrated by the lack of opportunities for artisans, Feldman met with them and created Ridgewood Market.

In late 2012, I was selling my jewelry and vintage clothes at a local flea market. It was very slow and I met a few other vendors who wanted something more than a flea market in the neighborhood… so I brought up the idea of an artisan market. We had our first market in April of 2013…” said Feldman.

Today, the market has over 40 small businesses and vendors that sell everything from organic honey to handsewn clothes. This kid-friendly event will have live music and a 50/50 raffle with prizes. Djing the event is Dj TeeTunez. Some of the vendors at the event include Barbie Rodriguez, Jackie Reyes, and Amalia Queller.

Rodriguez, Reyes, and Queller didn’t plan to pursue artisanal work, but none of these women can imagine their lives without it.

For Reyes, 20, a self-taught cook and baker of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent, growing up cooking was something she did to live not live to do. It wasn’t until she started attending Queensborough Community College(she’s graduating next year with a teaching degree) that she spent her free time on weekends learning how to make food from Ayesha Curry, a YouTube and television star.


Photo by Jackie Reyes

Seeing the joy that Curry had from cooking inspired Reyes, whose food became a hit with both friends and her family that they started to buy and promote it. Even though she considers her cooking a hobby while she tries to complete her degree, she has been successfully selling treats every weekend for parties and functions for the past five months and has a small but growing following on www.youtube.com/CookingWithJackie. From scratch, Reyes makes flan, chocolate covered strawberries and cake. She incorporates ingredients from her Puerto Rican and Dominican roots into her delicacies.


Photo by Jackie Reyes

Amalia Queller, 23, a Hispanophone and former babysitter was always artistic as a youth, even though most of her family members were lawyers. Seeing her grandmother Judith crochet and learning how to knit like her mother Deborah became an outlet for her. For awhile she was in love with everything arts, but once she finished high school at Laguardia Performing Arts School, she was burnt out with making crafts and studied History at Hunter College.


Not willing to just write about art, Queller turned down getting a Master’s degree at Hunter and other universities to reignite her passion of knitting. Knowing this may be her last chance to pursue her crafty side, Queller eased her way back into the craft by making gifts for friends and family.With their support, Queller knew she had to go into the business of making things full time.

If I had to cite another paper I would have to start crying,” said Queller.

Now she makes handmade onesies, bodysuits and shirts for newborns to five-years-olds that she paints herself. Being a fan of the go-to crafty e-commerce website, Etsy.com, Queller went from buying items there to selling her work in Spanish and English. Currently, Queller makes around $2000 a month for her knitwear.


Photos by Amalia Queller


Rodriguez, 42, and of Puerto Rican descent, used to be a CFO for a sign company in Ridgewood, but after the economic downturn, she was laid off. Sharing eight kids (now 5-26) with her husband, Rodriguez had to figure out another way to make a living. After meeting Feldman at a flea market and going to Artist Alley at New York Comic Con, she turned to dollmaking.

I grew up in a creative family,” said Rodriguez. My mother sewed, and my grandmother crocheted and made those Spanish dolls you would find in a  bathroom, so I decided to craft and make dolls” she added.

At first, she would buy little toys for her kids at Comic Con, but now she enjoys creating them for Ridgewood Market. Each doll she makes is one of a kind. Once she comes up with a new design, she paints in the faces for each doll and makes their clothes out of organic cotton, fleece, and flannel. For quality control, she lets her 5-year-old daughter play with the dolls. Whichever doll captures her daughter’s fancy is the one she sells to customers on Facebook (she also makes custom dolls). More than ever, she is thankful that she went back to her creative roots in her time of need and was able to start over.

I just can’t believe the freedom people have when they pursue their dreams,” said Rodriguez.

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Mario and JLO – Two of Hollywood’s Fittest Celebrities

Photo: thewrap.com

Photo: thewrap.com

Originally published in December 2014, Issue 114 of LatinTRENDS Magazine

By Clara Galvano Rivera

Jennifer Lopez exudes sex appeal and looks younger every year! How does she do it and when does she find the time? The singer, actress, dancer, entrepreneur who just turned 45, is always on the go. Tracy Anderson, trainer to the stars, helped her get rid of the post-baby fat and continues to help her stay fit. She changes her workout every 10 sessions to trick the muscles and challenge them constantly.

With the grueling schedule Lopez keeps, energy and vitality are a must. Something that seems to be giving her a lot of energy lately is the fact that she has become vegan! Last year she tried the 22 Days Nutrition Vegan challenge and loved how it made her feel. She felt like she had more energy and woke up feeling great. Lopez has been on a salt and sugar-free diet for some time. She doesn’t smoke and avoids alcoholic beverages. Her new regime is working and it shows. Her skin glows with good health and her body is lean. Wepa!

Mario Lopez is about as hot as anyone can get. One of the hosts of “Extra,” the award-winning entertainment news program, he practically sizzles on screen and looks better today than he did in his 20’s. He is the envy of many men who wish they could have abs like him. And how does he do it? He works at it, that’s how. Constantly! Lopez has been seriously training for over 20 years. He has a schedule and he sticks to it as much as he can, given that he has a torn rotator cuff –a boxing injury. On Mondays, for instance, he does a total body circuit & cardio routine. Tuesdays is boxing circuit day. He alternates these two types of workouts on the remaining weekdays. Exercising can be boring as all heck, so he likes to mix it up and shock his system so any day of the week you may find him swimming laps in the pool or in the squat rack working the legs. Lopez has co-authored several books with celebrity exercise physiologist Jimmy Pena. His “Extra Lean Family: Get Lean and Achieve Your Family’s Best Health Ever,” features healthy recipes for the entire family. He’s also the fitness ambassador for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, helping kids understand that adopting a healthy lifestyle now will benefit them for life. Eating the right foods and moving the body has worked for this sexy man who just turned 40. Will it work for you?

Demi Lovato Campaigns Mental Health Awareness As Latinos Fall Short Seeking Help

Demi Lovato

It is huge that the megastar Demi Lovato has come out to speak about mental health awareness, especially when the majority of Latinos don’t seek help from a mental health professional.

Lovato, who is known for being upfront with her struggles with being bullied when she was a child, bulimia, drug addiction and being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, is now an advocate for mental health awareness.

“Yeah, I’ve been very open about my story because I know that the more honest and open that I am the more people that I’m going to reach,” says Lovato on the “Today Show”.

“Growing up, I felt very, very depressed,” says the chart-topping singer to the Associated Press. “Even though I was playing concerts and living out my dream, I couldn’t tell you why I was upset.”

Lovato, who is encouraging others to tell their stories on mental health, joined a new campaign called “Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health” with a pharmaceutical company, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and other mental-health advocacy groups. The campaign aims to develop better treatment options and abolish the negative connotation of the word mental illness.

Because of that stigma the Latino community, unfortunately, falls short when looking for help from a mental health professional. According to a report by the American Psychiatric Association’s Office of Minority and National Affairs, only 1 in 11 Hispanics contact a mental health specialist for help.

The AP reports that Lovato, whose father is of Mexican and Spanish descent, was actually relieved when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which is a chemical imbalance that creates mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.

“I remember smiling and thinking great, OK, so there’s not anything wrong with me as a person,” she said. “It’s actually just a condition that I have and I can do something to fix it. I don’t have to be like this forever.”

The Most Inspirational Quotes by Legendary Athletes And Champions

victory-clipart II

To become successful at something, anything, especially sports takes hard work and determination. To become one of the most prolific champions you have find that motivation that pushes you harder than you thought you could be pushed. So we compiled a list of the most inspirational quotes by the most legendary athletes that not only triumphed in succeeding but also they did it again, and again.

Fiba/ Getty Images

Fiba/ Getty Images

Pele (Legendary Pro Soccer Player)

Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, sacrifice and most of all, love for what you are doing or learning to do.

Simon Bruty/Getty Images

Simon Bruty/Getty Images

Matt Biondi (Gold Medal Olympic Swimmer)

Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Gold Medal Olympic Triathlon)

Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Hall of Fame Pro-Basketball Player)

One man can be crucial to a team, but one man cannot make a team.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Lou Brock (Major League Baseball Player)

Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy that you can beat every time.



Mike Singletary (Hall of Fame NFL Player)

Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.

Tony Duffy/ Getty Images

Tony Duffy/ Getty Images

Mark Spitz (Gold Medalist Olympic Swimmer)

If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail.

NBA/ Getty

NBA/ Getty

Charles Barkley (NBA Basketball Player)

If you’re afraid of failure you don’t deserve to be successful.

NHL/ Getty

NHL/ Getty

Wayne Gretzky (NHL Champion & Coach)

Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.

NBA/ Getty Images

NBA/ Getty Images

Michael Jordan (Legendary Pro NBA Player)

I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

You Get What You Think. It’s That Simple!


Our Thoughts Become Our World. Think Not?
Read Below…

Everyone wants to be successful, happy and complete. A healthy mental attitude is essential for all. Especially for Latinos, as we are still a new community in the US. We have really been migrating here in the last 40 years, and that is new. We or our parents come from countries with that have less opportunity to grow, and that is the very reason why most of us and or our parents, and our grandparents came here; “in search of a better life”. And because of this we as a community have more challenges then other ethnic groups that have been here for over 100, 200 years, US Latinos are mostly 1st and 2nd generation deep. We can especially benefit from deliberate positive mental attitude, in which we watch and control our thoughts to make life a little easier, with the increased possibility of being happier and more successful. So in saying that, I wanted to these words below, which were originally published a few months ago in my publisher’s column on LatinTRENDS Magazine

Think yourself into a great year for the rest of 2015. It is still a relatively new year, make the best of it, because, as we all know “time flies”, and not just when you’re having fun! Get excited about 2015, but be careful what you think…did you know that the biggest secret to success and happiness is your mind?..and that it can make you or break you? Well…it’s not just your mind. It’s what you put into it. It’s your thoughts!

“if we understood the power of our thoughts, we would guard them more closely. if we understood the awesome power of our words, we would prefer silence to almost anything negative. in our thoughts and words we create our own weaknesses and our own strengths. (Betty Eadie)”


Having increased awareness of your surroundings is important, having an increased awareness of what goes on inside you, “your mind” is even more important. It’s the gate to all else. Our thoughts basically rule everything. “Our thoughts become things.” The dominating thought that we carry in our minds, whether concisely or subconsciously will bring exactly that into our lives. If you live in fear, you’ll get more worries, more problems and more fear.

If you think hateful and angry thoughts, you will repel people, and even attract the some like minded individuals and situations into your life, such as relationships, friends, bosses, etc. If you come from a place of abundant, prosperous, happy, thoughts, that is what you will get, happiness, good will, abundance.

Our thoughts will dictate how we feel. Feeling happy, sad, mad, or successful? Check your thoughts in that moment, and you will be surprised in the bond that exists between mind & life. Case in point: ‘Prayer does not work for most people” because most people turn to prayer when they have a problem, when all else has failed or when they are afraid, anxious and nervous. Under these conditions they are coming to prayer form a position of fear, not of faith. If you are going to pray, do it with faith, and do it in the highs and the lows, not just when you want something. Faith is the key word here, and faith is the key word to add to your thoughts. A thought without the emotion of belief and or faith is just a thought. However a thought mixed with the “magic potion” of faith becomes powerful in that it manifests into reality in your life. That’s what happens when the two elements are in place; you either create a way, find a way, or it finds you! It’s simple; let’s say you are dealing with a problem. Your either focus on the problem and get stressed out, maybe even catch an ulcer OR you focus on the solution, fix the problem, feel great about it, then on to the next one…with a smile ( no ulcer here).

Thoughts are what separates humans from the animal kingdom, we can control our thoughts, and animals cannot! Every single thing on this planet started with a thought, whether it is a law, a building, a car, a suit, and dress, even us! If it would not have been for the initial thought of our parents communicating on that very first time and then following through and “getting jiggy with it” we would not be here today. Thoughts indeed manifest and become things in our life, good and bad. Thoughts created us tambien!

10 Motivational Quotes That Will Inspire You For Greatness

10 Motivational Quotes

Mark Twain
The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

George Eliot
It’s never too late to become what you might have been.

Wayne Gretzky
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Maya Angelou
You want me to do something… tell me I can’t do it.

Albert Einstein
Insanity: Is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Mahatma Gandhi
Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

Michael Jordan
I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

Oprah Winfrey
Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.

Samuel Johnson
Clear your mind of can’t.

Live it. It’s your life. It’s your health!
It’s time for a change! That’s why LatinTRENDS has partnered with healthfirst and created the Live It health section. Designed to bring health content front and forward in a creative, fun, yet important, and engaging way that embraces modern day technology, lifestyle trends and pop culture. Because health and health information should be embraced by all, including the young and young at heart. Live it is brought to you by

10 Fitness Fun Facts You Did Not Know

10 Fitness Fun Facts

Working out, to some, might not feel as much fun as to others. Yet, regardless of the fun factor the results will make you feel and look amazing and the health benefits outweighs not working out at all. So don’t hesitate to work yourself into shape or into a healthier lifestyle.


Here are 10 interesting and fun facts about fitness you did not know that will keep you interested and hopefully motivated.


  • Did you know that an estimated 22% of American adults partake in physical fitness activities for at least 30 minutes 5 times a day. Maybe that’s why a third of the country is obese and the U.S. rates as the highest obese nation in the world, according to a published study by Lance.


  • The word ‘gymnasium’ comes from the Greek word “gymnazein”, which literally means, “to exercise naked.” So don’t complain when you see a guy working out without his shirt in a “gymnasium”.


  • Walking at a fast pace burns almost as many calories as jogging for the same distance.


  • Even if you have never worked out, you can start a workout routine and become fit and healthier at anytime.


  • Exercising is more effective than coffee at increasing energy levels


  • It takes about 12 weeks after beginning to exercise to see measurable changes in your body.


  • You will burn more calories sleeping than watching television.


  • 5 million children and teens that don’t participate in regular, sustainable physical activities in the United States are considered obese.


  • Exercise boosts brainpower.


  • Working out decreases depression moods and stress levels.



Live it. It’s your life. It’s your health!
It’s time for a change! That’s why LatinTRENDS has partnered with healthfirst and created the Live It health section. Designed to bring health content front and forward in a creative, fun, yet important, and engaging way that embraces modern day technology, lifestyle trends and pop culture. Because health and health information should be embraced by all, including the young and young at heart. Live it is brought to you by

Amazing Health Benefits of Playing Baseball

B and W Baseball Swinging

Even if you are not a fan of watching baseball it’s hard to deny that playing the game is a lot of fun. But more importantly it is a great way to get in shape. In fact, as a way to commemorate the Major League Baseball team, the New York Yankees and Mets opening days, we’ll list the amazing health benefits of playing baseball.

Cardiovascular Strengthening:

Every time you, as a batter, run the bases, steal a base or sprint to catch a fly ball your heart is getting a great cardio workout. According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adults need to get 150 minutes (2 hours 30 minutes) of cardio exercise per week. Running, even in short bursts, will get your heart pumping and body sweating while you are having lots of fun.

Lose Weight and Burn Calories:

If you’re not sitting down eating hot dogs, chili cheese fries and cracker jacks during a baseball game then you’re out in the field playing baseball. America’s most beloved sport (sorry soccer, you’re not even on the list) involves running, batting, catching and even walking to the dugout. All of those physical activities will have you burn calories, which is essential to losing weight. Depending on your level of effort (pro, amateur or I’m just waiting for the BBQ to be done during the picnic) you can burn up to 295 calories (based on a 156 lb. person in 30 minutes of activity) according to CDC.

Boost Metabolism:
Baseball’s physical activity will boost your metabolism, a chemical process in the human body that converts food or the body’s fat into energy. The more physical activity you do the faster your metabolism becomes to supply you with more energy.

Lean and Mean Muscles:
You might not notice – because you are having so much fun out there in the sun – but you’re building lean upper body and leg muscles. Every time you swing a bat, throw and catch a ball that involves your arms, shoulders and chest. Running from first base to home and running to catch a ball works out your legs, waist, butt and stomach.

Live it. It’s your life. It’s your health!
It’s time for a change! That’s why LatinTRENDS has partnered with healthfirst and created the Live It health section. Designed to bring health content front and forward in a creative, fun, yet important, and engaging way that embraces modern day technology, lifestyle trends and pop culture. Because health and health information should be embraced by all, including the young and young at heart. Live it is brought to you by

Listen to the Dalai Lama And Sleep for Better Health



Live It! 

Sponsored by Healthfirst


Too many influential artists, DJs and hard working people have taken the expression “I’ll sleep when I die,” too seriously. Well buddy, lack of sleep causes crankiness  and how will you make money if you’re cranky?

Studies show that lack of sleep can cause physical problems like heart disease, diabetes and actual death. Yeah, you can die from not sleeping. In 2012 a Chinese man died for staying awake for 11 days watching soccer, reported the Time. But it’s not 100 percent certain if it was the lack of sleep or if it was watching soccer… yeesh!

But why wouldn’t you want to sleep? Sleep is so relaxing. The Dalai Lama said, “sleep is the best meditation”. Also – when he was asked about what surprises him about humanity – he said, man.

“Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.”

Of course, you and I have to work, but to “sacrifice” sleep for making more money makes no sense. In fact, it doesn’t even make cents, because you’ll pay for lack of sleep in the long run.

Five reasons why you should listen to the Dalai Lama and sleep for better health:

1) Sleep plays an important role in memory, both after and before learning new tasks.

2) People who sleep well and take naps have more energy than people who don’t. Bosses love high-energy people and when promotions and bonuses are being handed you’ll be the first in-line.

3) Sleeping it off isn’t just a great expression but a way to control moods. Sleep suppresses anger, stress and even depression. So no matter how stressful is your job, just sleep it off.

4) Sleep does a body good. Because of sleep, your body reenergizes itself, immune system gets stronger, heart functions get better and the cholesterol level decreases because you went night, night.

5) Like to lose some weight? Then take a nap, sure why not. A study by the University of Chicago found that dieters who slept well lost more fat and were less hungry than those that were sleep deprived.

Live it. It’s your life. It’s your health!
It’s time for a change! That’s why LatinTRENDS has partnered with healthfirst and created the Live It health section. Designed to bring health content front and forward in a creative, fun, yet important, and engaging way that embraces modern day technology, lifestyle trends and pop culture. Because health and health information should be embraced by all, including the young and young at heart. Live it is brought to you by