Tiana Holding

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Jack Kosik

Jack Kosik

Most people know the story of Noah from the Bible, even if they’ve never read it. Movies like Evan Almighty give it a modern-day twist. In the Bible, Noah is commanded by God to build an ark. He was to build an ark as a place of safe refuge for him, his family, and 2 of every kind of animal on the Earth. Noah’s Ark was a way to start over.

Today, Noah’s Ark is a place of safe refuge for people with developmental disabilities. It is a place to start over, a community for people with disabilities to live together, yet on their own.

“Noah’s Ark is committed to empowering individuals who have developmental disabilities by advocating on their behalf and by providing or facilitating choices of meaningful employment, recreational and social opportunities and affordable housing in an inclusive community of their choice,” states the Noah’s Ark mission statement.

Before going into the details about Noah’s Ark, let’s talk about the reasoning behind why such communities are needed.

There is a growing need for places of safe refuge for people with disabilities in America. People with disabilities are more likely to be victims of abuse and rape and less likely to have any police intervention, legal protection, or steps taken for prevention. Research has found that children with disabilities are treated violently 1.7 times more a year than children without disability.

Outside of the gruesome details of rape and abuse, disabilities don’t only affect the people who have them, but their family members as well. The families of people with disabilities are greatly impacted by the disability in a loved one’s life. The parents are the most affected.

Parents of people with disabilities are often scared to die. They are afraid of what will happen to their child after they go. What many people don’t know is that there are people out there providing a place of safety, where parents’ worries can be put to rest. Noah’s Ark is that place.

Jack Kosik is the lead man in the foundation of Noah’s Ark. He is, in a sense, the star of the show. What does Jack Kosik do? It would be a better question to ask, what doesn’t Jack Kosik do?

Kosik is one of the founders of Noah’s Ark. Noah’s Ark is a not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1997 by five families with developmentally disabled children, looking for answers. These families were disappointed by the things they found when looking for answers to their questions about what would happen to their children. Thus Noah’s Ark came into existence.

Kosik had his own reason for jumping into this endeavor, his daughter, Brittany. Brittany was born mentally disabled, and after Kosik split from his wife, she was a source of joy and inspiration for him. He realized he wanted to give back to her for the love she had given him.

In 2001, the First United Methodist Church in Lakeland purchased and donated 3 residential lots to Noah’s Ark and donated money to start construction. In 2002, the construction began and Noah’s Ark was now underway.

The Community of Noah’s Nest is located near Lake Morton in Lakeland with 4 residential homes. Plans are currently underway for a bigger community, called Noah’s Landing, on some property in North Lakeland.

The people who live in the Noah’s Ark homes are in a safe environment where they are surrounded by friends and can learn to live independently.

“The most rewarding thing about working at Noah’s Ark is seeing individuals grow in their decision-making and their independence while exceeding expectations of others. Seeing families being able to relax knowing that their kids will have a decent quality of life when they are gone,” says Kosik.

Noah’s Ark either provides or facilitates work opportunities for their residents. They charge a very low rate for rent, 30% of each person’s income.

“The first few months are times of major adjustments…this is a time that families have to encourage their adult children and help them grow,” Kosik states.

Even though there are many great things happening with the development of Noah’s Ark, there are even better plans on the way.

Noah’s Landing in North Lakeland will have a community garden, resale shop, farmyard, fish farming and therapeutic horseback riding. Kosik wants the Landing to be a system of self-sustaining villages with various styled homes. The community is mapped out with homes connected by a beautiful landscaped and pathway system, with security gates closing at night to control access.

Kosik is also in the early stages of writing a succession plan to replace himself.

“I won’t be here forever, at least not physically,” Kosik says. “When I die, I plan to have my ashes spread out on the Noah’s Landing property so the kids will never really get rid of me.”

To find out more about Noah’s Ark, call, fax, email, visit, or check out the website.


2225 East Edgewood Drive, Suite 6

Lakeland, Florida 33803

863.687.0804                       1.863.808.5787 – Fax             NoahsArkFlorida.org

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For this writer’s choice, I chose to highlight an individual I know and am very close to, breaking into the business world on her very own.

Cyrendipity is an independent business run by my best friend, Cyrena Forbes.

Cyrena Forbes

Photo Credit: Adrian Creary

Cyrena Forbes is a 23 year old recent graduate from the Caribbean School of Architecture with an architectural degree. She lives in Kingston, Jamaica and works at an architectural design firm, but on the side, she does some other things that she loves.

I grew up with Cyrena and she has always been creative and crafty. It has always been something that she has been good at and excelled in, and now she’s turned it into a business of her own.

Cyrena makes jewellery, lamps, bags, hair accessories, paintings, redesigns rooms, etc. She has also painted murals in people’s homes and has been hired as an interior holiday decorator. She is an artist who works with different types of media. She has always had a creative eye and I have always been jealous of her ability to bring her ideas to life.

Cyrendipity has a Facebook page where the products are posted with prices. Fans of the business can like the page and also make orders from it. The link to the Facebook: Cyrendipity.

Cyrendipity was recently featured in the Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner. Here is the link to the article about her business: From lego houses to fashionable jewellery – Flair – Jamaica Gleaner – Monday | August 8, 2011.

People have been finding out about her business all over and have been featuring her in many different areas. Cyrena has also been featured in another blog “GREEN THUMB…PINK SPOON“.

Cyrena was also interviewed on TV about her independent business Cyrendipity shortly after.

It has been taking off and doing well and I am extremely proud of her.

Apartment Living

Photo Credit: apartment-design.onsugar.com

Apartment living in college can be great but it also has its disadvantages.

Living off campus is great because with the school we attend, there are some things that aren’t allowed that you are free to do if you live off-campus. One of the things that is great about living in an apartment off-campus is that I can have co-ed events. At Southeastern University, we are not allowed to have the opposite sex in our rooms, so that is a great advantage to living off-campus.

I love being able to have my guy friends over to just watch a movie, have dinner, or just hang out together. Also, because I have a boyfriend, it makes it much easier for us to spend time together just hanging out.

I remember when I used to live on campus and we would want to watch a movie together, it was practically impossible. There were 3 lobbies that you could go to to watch a movie, 3! Guess how many times we found one of those that were open. If you wanted to go to any of the 3rd floor lobbies, you had to cart along your own TV and DVD player. So being able to just sit in my living room and watch a movie with my boyfriend like a normal couple is great!

But there are some disadvantages to living off-campus. One of the greatest disadvantages I’ve found is that it is hard to stay a part of the community. I feel as though because you’re not on campus, readily accessible in a way, people forget to remember you. You have to make much more of an effort to stay connected. You also have to put in more effort to know school events  that are going on so you’re not missing out.

All in all though, I really enjoy living off-campus. You have to put more effort in, yes, but I would say it is worth it.

Don't bother me i'm pinning

Photo Credit: allthingshendrick.blogspot.com

Pinterest has become one of my new favorite social media sites. If you haven’t been on Pinterest, get on it! It’s growing like wild fire. I think most people think Pinterest to be a girly website but I think anyone can do it. I think guys that make fun of other guys for having a Pinterest are just not secure enough with themselves to try it out. Just my two cents.

Pinterest is a social media site that is almost like scrap-booking but without the mess or the expense. It is a virtual pinboard. It allows you to pin, organize and share the things you love on the web. Pinterest can be used to do anything from catalogue your favorite recipes to planning your wedding. And best of all, you can browse through other people’s pinboards and see what interesting things they have.

I’ve heard Pinterest is a lot like Tumblr but more organized. I have no idea really whether or not it is similar to Tumblr because I’ve never used it but I’ll take people’s word for it.

I love Pinterest, especially since I am such a visual person, it is a great site for me. It is also great for me, because I am really bad when it comes to keeping paper. I am constantly losing paper, so Pinterest is perfect because I don’t have to worry about losing anything, it will always be right in the same place.

Pinterest has become a great source of ideas for me, whether it’s fashion, hairstyles or even fitness. I recently started getting back into working out because of Pinterest. I know it sounds weird, but it’s true. I have a fitness board that I use to find different work-out routines.

I also have found some cute hairstyles that I do on myself every once in a while when I blank on what to do with my hair. It’s a part of “Hair, Nails and Makeup” board.


So now that you’ve seen how a blog works, and what can be done, you should go ahead and make one of your own. Having a blog is a great way to get some experience in digital writing. Even if you don’t really want some digital writing experience, it’s a good thing to have anyway.Your blog can just be a great place to write about things you’re interested in. Either way, here is some advice from a fellow blogger to starting your own blog.To Blog or Not to Blog

1. Personality: Personalize your blog. Put your personality into it and make it your own. It will be more appealing than just the boring default layout if you personalize it to something that matches you.

2. Headlines: Make sure that you use catchy, attention grabbing headlines. If you make your headline interesting, it’s more likely that people will want to read your post.

3. Be You: When you’re writing, you don’t need to be stuffy and uptight. Your post doesn’t need to sound like a textbook, just be you. Write as if you were writing to a friend. That’s one of the great things about blogging, you don’t have to hide your personality.

4. Media: Use photos, video, sound bytes. All these things will make your post more appealing to the readers.

5. Keep it Short: When you’re writing, remember to keep your paragraphs short. When writing for online readers, remember no one likes to sit in front of the computer and read long paragraphs off the screen.

6. Infographics: Use infographics to embellish your stories. Make charts and take polls. Get the reader involved.

7. Comments: Are important. It is equally as necessary to give comments as it is to receive them. Always remember how good it makes you feel when you get comments, so don’t forget to return the favor.

8. Etiquette: Remember to have etiquette when writing, whether writing your own post, or writing a comment to someone. Don’t be rude or disrespectful to anyone. Always do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

9. Imagination: Be creative. Don’t be like everyone else. If you don’t put some creativity into your blog, nothing is going to make your blog stand out from others.

10. Enjoy yourself. No one is forcing you to write. Blogging should be something enjoyable, a hobby, so have fun.

Here is a link to some more helpful advice:
How To Blog: Blogging For Beginners

For this week’s Topic of the Week, we had to use either Coveritlive or Storify to create a live blog. I chose to use Storify to live blog on SEU’s Hard Rock Talent

  1. Here we go… #seuhardrocktalent 1.5 hours
  2. @seuniversity cant wait to see Sarah Grinder perform 🙂 #seuhardrocktalent
  3. here at Bush Chapel waiting for the show to begin…
  4. #hardrocktalentseu is happening!! #SEUpreviewdays
  5. A Sound Asleep ❤ I love you guys!!!! #hardrocktalentseu #SEUpreviewdays
  6. First song “i love rock and roll”. Great start! #SEUhardrocktalent
  7. This kid can rap danggg #seuhardrocktalent
  8. Dixon’s dancers Dancing to adele someone like you – so good!! #SEUhardrocktalent
  9. “You’re like the Gospel on Redbull” Matt Huet….. #hardrocktalent
  10. @matthuett says your voice is like a pumpkin spice latte and a snuggie wrapped in one. #hardrocktalent is killing it.
  11. RT @SoFiggie: “@RiveraMarcos: I’d buy that CD. #Bonnie&Jyde” #hardrocktalent @SEUsblc
  12. RT @rachie_face: Lindsey and Katelyn could be the voices for Disney princesses. 🙂 #hardrocktalent
  13. He’s not Caleb berry #sorryimnotsorry #seuhardrocktalent
  14. #RDG #SoSick #HardRockTalent #Amazing !
  15. #hardrocktalent wow! Great talent tonight!!!!! Thank you to all who came out! #lovemylife
  16. RDG KILLED IT!!!! LOVE THEM!!! #HardRockTalent
  18. Pretty good show overall. Wish there were more talents but good show #SEUhardrocktalent
  19. Thank you again @matthuett for your words of inspiration tonight “you have redefined spirit fingers.” #hardrocktalent
  20. RDG brought it tonight. Up there showing some diversity. #hardrocktalent
  21. #hardrocktalent Dixon dances are still #1 in my heart!!!
  22. Bonnie and Jive, Sarah Grinder, and RDg are your 3 finalists for #hardrocktalent
  23. Bonnie and Jive!! Lesssss go ladies! #hardrocktalent
  24. Just voted 50 times for Bonnie & Vibe! #hardrocktalent
  25. A music major can only take so much in one night. #hardrocktalent
  26. Charlie Mims and Rebecca Vargas, great job!!!! I love your SEU remix…. #seuhardrocktalent #SEUpreviewdays
  27. White people: if you wanna know what Charlie means by “bojee” see Urban Dictionary #seuhardrocktalent
  28. @kentingle in the building for #hardrocktalent!!
  29. #HardRockTalent was beast. Shout out to everyone that performed…you guys rocked!
  30. #hardrocktalent some good talent tonight. Idk how I feel about it over all. Kinda dead tonight
  31. Definitely thinking about doing the talent show next year. #SEUHardRockTalent
  32. Here’s my top three for tonight! Bonnie and Jive, Sarah Grinder, and @matthuett!! #HardRockTalent
  33. Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Southeastern #hardrocktalent
  34. It was nice to see @MarthaMunizzi @seuniversity supporting @daniellegant #hardrocktalent
  35. Congrats to Sarah Grinder for winning #hardrocktalent #SEUpreviewdays
  36. Congrats Sarah Grinder! #seuhardrocktalent

If you’re looking into live blogging using Storify, a few things i would suggest are:
1. to definitely sign up for a Twitter account if you don’t have one. Twitter is the most accessible social media site when using Storify. It is much easier to find the things you’re looking for.
2. Check to make sure that your phone is capable of using apps like Twitter.
3. Also check to make sure you don’t have any problems uploading pictures to your Twitter account from your phone. Do a test run before the actual event so you’re not frustrated the day of because you can’t figure it out. If it doesn’t work, look into apps you can download to easily upload photos to your account.
4. Tell your friends who you know are attending the event to post under “#whateveryouwant” so everything for the event is organized and easily searchable.
5. Make sure to make posts and take lots of pictures while you’re there. It’s better to have too much than not enough.

Now that you’ve seen an example and gotten a few tips, try it! See what happens! You may find that live blogging is your niche.

Back in the olden days, if you wanted to be a journalist, you had be hired by a newspaper company as a writer, but nowadays, anyone can be a journalist. There is so much journalistic freedom in these days that if you want to be a journalist, it’s as simple as signing up for your own blog. This blogging type of journalism is called Citizen Journalism.

What is citizen journalism you may ask? Well, citizen journalism is the concept of the public playing an active roll in collecting, reporting and analyzing news. So really, even posting a picture of current happenings onto a social media website and explaining what it is going on could be considered citizen journalism. As long as it is relevant to the general public.

There are 2 types of citizen journalism: Semi – Independent Citizen Journalism and Independent Citizen Journalism.

Semi – Independent Citizen Journalism is when someone is contributing, in one form or another, to an existing professional news site. Including readers posting comments alongside stories by professional reporters, readers adding their own information to professional stories, and readers actively working with professional reporters to put together a story.

Independent Citizen Journalism involves citizen journalists working completely independent of traditional, professional news outlets. For example: blogs and individual websites.

Citizen journalism is such a common thing in the world we live in today. It is something of a norm in our time period. We see something, we snap a picture of it and post it to Facebook or Twitter right away. With technology being as advanced as it is, it is so easy for everyone to be a journalist. Many news companies encourage citizen journalism because the newscasters can’t be everywhere all the time. And well, there is normally at least one person around when a major event takes place who can record and post what is going on.

So if you want to become a journalist, I would strongly encourage you to just go ahead and start. Be a citizen journalist and eventually you may turn into a professional journalist.




June 2018
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