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HGB Exclusive

Let’s face it; we are bombarded with too much negativity on a daily basis. Whether you are bombarded with hate on social media or subjected to violence in your communities or in the media, we need to think about the good things that are happening in the world to find some sort of peace.

Well Allstate has been “giving it up for good” and seeking out the positive things happening in our communities. I was challenged to find good things happening in my community, and while there are many great organizations doing amazing work I decided to “Give It Up For Good” with Kel Spencer and Pens of Power.

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“The Pen is Mightier than the Sword” is the message Kel Spencer delivers through his Pens of Power mentoring and literacy program whose mission is to “To help young minds view words as expressive & limitless tools that can be used effectively for communication, comprehension and creativity.”

Kel working with students during a recording session during a workshop

Kel working with students during a recording session during a workshop

Founded by Award winning songwriter, Kel Spencer, Pens of Power uses creative writing exercises as a means to improve students’ writing skills in alignment with the Common Core State Standards, and with the goal of improving state standardized test scores. For those that do not know, the Common Core State Standards are pretty much the road map for education in the United States with 46 states adopting a more rigorous and each enriching curriculum to allow our students to be college and career ready.

Students engaged in writing activities

Students engaged in writing activities

Pens of Power is designed to help students, primarily grades 3-8 (2nd grade & High School component are available as well), to improve their reading and writing skills. Using an unorthodox approach towards literacy Kel Spencer incorporates lyric writing, poetry, music, rhythmic prose and brainstorming during the workshops.

Students at their Pens of Power video shoot

Students at their Pens of Power video shoot

As an educator I felt this program was extremely important. Our children are so fixated with technology that they lack basic skills. As time passes we must change our approach on certain issues In this technological and informational age we have to compete with social media, computers, video games and much more to get our students to learn. This is why programs like Pens of Power are so important. They provide another way for students to get the skills they need to compete in a fast pacing world.

Kel Spencer instructing students during a Pens of Power Workshop

Kel Spencer instructing students during a Pens of Power Workshop

Kel Spencer works with various organizations to share his God given talents in hopes of inspiring others. Many of the schools he works have a high African American population. Through this program he is helping to close the educational achievement gap that plague the African American community. He is helping children from all over learn to attain knowledge, comprehend, and apply these skills in the classroom and beyond.

I challenge you to focus on the good and find ways to give back to your community. Money isn’t everything, so give back with your time, gifts, and talents.

For more information on Kel Spencer and Pens of Power visit their official website at www.PensOfPower.org.

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Brand Statement
Allstate believes that there is Good happening all around us, every single day, right in our communities. We believe that this Good is more powerful than Bad – it has the power to change the conversation, change communities, and ultimately, change lives, and we want to give it the recognition it deserves. We are committed to unearthing the stories about Good – stories of hope, strength and perseverance, stories of positivity and optimism, stories of kindness and generosity – stories that will inspire even more good.

Check out stories, pics, tweets and videos of the good happening in our communities at http://giveitupforgood.allstateonline.com/and share the good you see using @giveitupforgood and #giveitupforgood on Twitter and Instagram. Let’s do more Good, together.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Allstate via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Allstate.

Bling It On! Glam Hpnotiq Logo Version 1

I’m sure if I asked you to name a few women who do not like shoes it would be pretty difficult. I mean with the variety of shoes such as ballet flats, platforms, peep toes in any color and almost any material who would not love shoes? You can even turn your trash in to shoes, Christian Louboutin did and charged a boatload of money for them as well.

I used to be a big time sneaker head, mainly throughout high school and my early years of college until I had to do a performance for the dance team in a pair of 4 inch pumps. Can you say struggle? Well ever since that moment I fell in love with shoes.

Ok Janique where are you going with this, well with Hpnotiq, you have a chance to cash in on probably one of your greatest investments, your shoes! With Hpnotiq #GlamLouder you can Bling It On! By submitting a pic of your fiercest heels or heels that you have been secretly stalking like I have been these neon color block Giuseppe Zanotti Heels that retail for $700

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So from now until July 28th 2013, Hpnotiq wants you to show them how you GLAM LOUDER to win fab prizes! During each 2-week challenge you can submit photos in different categories to win – including the glammest heels, nails, makeup and overall look. Entries can be pictures you snap yourself or images you find online.

So to kick off the competition we want to see your glammiest (yes I made that up) pair of heels. Check out my Sam & Libby heels that I scored the other day at Target for $34.99 since Giuseppe isn’t in my budget! They are so comfortable and I got tons of compliments on them the first night I wore them.

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For the next two weeks you have a chance to win So check out the prizes you can win throughout the competition: One pair of shoes of your choice(Up to $800).

Want to enter? Hpnotiq’s Glammest Heels Challenge ends at 11:59:59 a.m. EST on June 16th! For the first challenge, participants are asked to share their latest SHOE CRUSH! Hpnotiq wants you to show them the glammest heels you can find. Snap a pic of your own, or find a pic of that pair of shoes online you’ve been stalking for months! For this round, they’re choosing 4 lucky winners to get their choice of glam heels valued at up to $800.

To enter click here, or visit Hpnotiq’s Facebook page OR follow @Hpnotiq on twitter and tweet them your picture using the hashtag #GLAMLOUDER. If you’re one of the 4 winners, you’ll also be able to compete in the final round for a chance to win a grand prize trip for you and three friends to meet a famous celebrity in LA, for shopping, makeovers AND you might also star in a photo shoot for the chance to be in a real Hpnotiq Ad!

Here are the OFFICIAL RULES

Hpnotiq GlamLouder Bling It On! Bottle Image

Disclosure: This is sponsored post for Hpnotiq through a PR company and compensation was provided.

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The wait is finally over and The HGB Shop is officially open. As the blog began to progress I started getting all of these ideas on how to expand my brand. It first started with the HGB Styling Services, now I have the HGB Online Boutique and who knows what will come next!

Although this weekend we had a little cold front come through in New York, May will be here in no time. I think that’s when the official spring weather will return. So now is the time to add a few pieces to your wardrobe. I will be adding more pieces to the shop within the upcoming weeks.

So for this cycle you will find fun and funky prints, which are great for the spring and summer. There are crop tops, party dresses, rompers, shorts, and more. So head over to the www.shophergoodybag.com to for more looks!

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Thank you for your continued support!

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Throughout life we come across many different people or experience different events that have a great impact on our lives. Growing up, we are always asked who is your role model or who influences you. Sometimes it is hard to answer that question because we come across some amazing people in our lives that can easily said. When it comes to events, we have great milestones like weddings, births, graduations, job promotions, and much more.

Now that I am older I look at the question differently and truly understand the meaning of influence. Influence is defined as the capacity, action, power or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc. of another or others. When I look at the definition what sticks out to me is that influence deals with the effects on the actions, behavior, opinions of another. This means that a person or event that is influential must cause you to want to give back or act. Often times we mistake admiration for influence. I can admire many qualities about a person, but just because I admire those qualities doesn’t mean that I have be called to do anything.

There isn’t just one person who influences that I am going to discuss today, I am influenced by the younger generation. I know this may seem strange, but today’s youth have a major impact on how I view things in society. Many people are afraid of the future because of the actions and mentality of the younger generation as a whole. I must say that there are times where I have to give MANY of them the side eye because of their actions. They influence me because I want to see them succeed especially because they will be in positions of power when I am older. They will make decisions that will affect me, and I feel many of today’s youth are misguided.

In the age of technology with social media, the age of reality TV, and with the media as a whole, the youth show they are confused and look toward the wrong sources for inspiration. I know many people will say that the parents should be more responsible when it comes to raising a child, but in my line of work I have seen very dedicated parents who want the best for their children, but are unable to compete with all of the unrealistic ideas of what life should be like.

I started this blog as a way to help women look good, feel great, and live better. We need to focus more on the younger generation to dispel myths about body image, popularity, “reality TV” and so forth. We have to teach them about tolerance and celebrating differences because we are all wonderfully and uniquely made. The younger generation influences me to be a better person and role model because I have many people who look up to me. I need to be more of a positive role model to show them that it is ok if you do not follow in the footsteps of your favorite reality star and their unrealistic life. We glorify the negative images and it will take a lot more work to help renew their thinking. We need to encourage them to be more creative and hardworking to know that many things in life do not come easy.

In my career field I give back on a daily basis. Whether it is just my time, my knowledge, or my advice I have a huge impact on many people daily. I want to have more of a direct mentoring role for young women especially to help their transition in to adulthood and for them to have a positive self-esteem and want to become productive citizens in society. I have a group of girls that I currently mentor and they influence and inspire me to do more because of the great progress that I see them making.

Brand Statement
Because a great mentor can make all the difference, Coca-Cola has teamed up with Magic Johnson, Common and Debra Lee of BET Networks to give four young people the apprenticeship experience of a lifetime. Visit MCR.com/PayItForward to nominate an aspiring youth and help pay it forward to the next generation. You’ll also be automatically entered for a chance to win $5,000 for each nomination you make (up to five nominations per person).

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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Coca-Cola via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Coca-Cola.