each month, i choose someone new and interesting to honor. someone who leverages their talents to make a difference. and cares about leaving the world better than they found it. it’s my personal salute to the everyday game changers.

the raydiant awards.

august 2019

Meet Antwan, this month’s raydiant feature.
Antwan and I are both leathernecks — i.e. graduates of western Illinois university. He is the creative mastermind behind T.R.U.E Stories Media, an umbrella brand that houses his photography business (T.R.U.E Photo) and his podcast (Mogul Motivation). Affectionately known as “twiz” to many, Antwan started T.R.U.E Stories Media because he knew early on that he always wanted his own media company. Having been denied by Columbia College for the second time in 2011, it became clear to him that his next move would require a leap of faith. And like many entrepreneurs who are starting out, he had no idea what he was doing in the beginning. But where he lacked in knowledge, he over indexed in passion and determination. He leveraged YouTube and online articles to educate himself on his craft while simultaneously applying what he learned from the digital world in the real world. And although the target for his Mogul Motivation brand includes everyone, Antwan is particularly interested in helping black Americans heighten their ambition and strategically pursue their goals everyday. He understands the need for individuals to have constant motivation in their lives and prides himself on being a radiant individual who emits a positive, powerful energy capable of catapulting people into their next great thing.

Thank you Antwan, for being steadfast in your entrepreneurial pursuits and for motivating others to do the same. If you’re in need of a photographer for your next event or simply need a dose of motivation to get you through the day, check him out.

Instagram: @twiztaylor
Email: info@Mytruephoto.com
Web: mytruephoto.com and mogulmotivation.com

July 2019

Meet Rodney, this month’s raydiant feature.
Rodney and I met as groomsmen for the same wedding. The groom was one of his best friends. The bride was one of mine. And we’ve been bros ever since. Those that know him personally and/or professionally know him to be a man of many talents. And today we’ll be diving into his success as a realtor. Having spent a decade working within the pharmaceutical industry, Rodney jumped ship and became a realtor. For him, he recognized that real freedom starts with ownership. Not just ownership in terms of where you live, but ownership in terms of who you are and how you live. He lives by the mantra that everyone has a responsibility to add value to the world and to one another. Hence, he uses real estate as a conduit for impacting millennials both in and outside of real estate. From his various rehab projects to the everyday nuggets he drops regarding fiscal responsibility, I’ve found Rodney to be a conceptual thinker, solution seeker and consistent doer who believes radiant people are those that emit energy to heal rather than hurt.

Thank you Rodney, for living a life of service above self and for helping those around you flourish financially, personally and professionally. If you or someone you know is in the market for a new spot or just needs a bit of positivity, make sure you check him out on instagram @lifewithrodney.

June 2019

Meet danya, this month’s raydiant feature. 

Danya and i met as students at clark Atlanta university. She is the founder of so you need a tutor? (synat), an organization she created to heighten academic leadership among students in the classroom and beyond. to those that know her, this should come as no surprise. danya has always been a teacher even before she entered the public school system. The intrinsic qualities that compel her to help others. Her aptitude for success. her can-do work ethic. These are all traits that readily equipped her to build confident and independent students. And this is how she and her team are able to offer tangible solutions for families seeking assistance with their elementary child’s academics. By transforming students’ mindsets and heightening their confidence, danya has been able to help students improve academic scores and their ability to learn. She believes radiant people are those that answer the call to help others in need. 

Thank you danya, for being a servant leader within your community and for pioneering inventive, yet effective tutoring tactics that benefit the next generation of talent. If you’d like more information on so you need a tutor? And the ways in which they could benefit your child, feel free to contact danya directly. 
Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: @danyatiarawoods and @soyouneedatutor

may 2019

Meet resound, this month’s raydiant feature. 

I remember the moment I found out about resound. I was in the library taking a break from my graduate thesis when I came across one of their YouTube videos. What was supposed to be a quick break turned out to be me going down a rabbit-hole of their arrangements. I was immediately drawn in by their dynamic voices and sultry blend. From their “total praise” rendition all the way up to their “black history tribute” and “expect your miracle” arrangement, resound has made it clear that they did not come here to play with any of us. And the crazy thing is, they didn’t even plan on becoming a group. They posted a video of themselves practicing for an event for Mariah’s mom (Mariah sings alto, Joseph sings tenor, Jessica sings soprano, by the way) and boom. The people wanted more. And after about three videos, they decided to come up with a name (i.e. resound). Since that time, they’ve used their melodic voices to inspire people to express themselves through their God-given creativity and artistry. Each of them understands that everyone needs hope and that’s what they aim to do — give hope — for all of us. They believe radiant people are those that exude light in such a way that it cannot be hidden. 

thank you resound, for leveraging your God-given talent to spread positivity and inspire people from all backgrounds, nationalities, ethnicities and ages. Do yourself a favor and check them out so you can book them for your next event or project! 

Instagram: @officialresound
facebook: resound 
Youtube: official resound 


April 2019

Meet justin, this month’s raydiant feature. 

Justin and I met as undergraduate students at clark atlanta university. he’s the founder of the wright property group, a real estate agency servicing the atlanta metropolitan area. With the wealth of knowledge and experience he brings to the table, Justin has proven himself to be an industry innovator whose success is attributed to both his passion for real estate and his dedication to clients. He understands the importance of delivering results alongside an enjoyable experience. But what’s more is, he also gets that a lot of people just aren’t knowledgeable of the home buying process and the importance of home ownership. So he uses his platform as a tool of enlightenment for his target, which is primarily millennials that are 35 and younger. Justin recognizes that there simply aren’t many [effective] realtors out there who reflect his life experiences and are as invested in educating underrepresented minorities on the ways they can establish generational wealth. he leverages his experience with an array of properties, from starter homes to uptown condominiums and investment properties, to actualize the dreams of his clients. He believes radiant people are those that shine bright and exude positive energy whenever possible. 

Thank you line brother, for taking your interests and converting them into tangible results that are mutually beneficial for you and those you serve. If you or someone you know is in the market for property in the atlanta metropolitan area, feel free to connect with Justin today to find out how he can best represent your interests.

Instagram: @wrightrealtor 
Facebook: thewrightpropertygroup 
Email: wrightrealtor@thewrightpropertygroup.com


march 2019

Meet Tahiti, this month’s raydiant feature. 

As with several of the honorees I’ve highlighted before her, Tahiti and I met as students at western Illinois university. She is the creator and lead designer of 0514 design, a creative consultancy she began in order to provide innovative and personalized designs for small and large companies. As somewhat of a creative “chameleon”, Tahiti is able to deliver specialized designs to a wide range of clients who require an array of services. And she understands that, more often than not, we (as people) see things before we fully understand them. Hence, design falls under the law of attraction because as Tahiti so eloquently noted, “when something looks good and feels good, we fall for it.” She uses valuable insights such as this throughout her creative process, which enables her to help each of clients to transform visual dreams into tangible designs. She believes radiant people are those that exude light wherever they go and evoke confidence in all that they do.

Thank you Tahiti, for unapologetically leveraging your creative light as an outlet of design for entrepreneurs and businesses alike to take their professional pursuits to even greater heights. If you’d like assistance with developing your brand or refreshing your brand identity, connect with Tahiti today to find out how she can take your chanel taste and actualize it with a zara budget. 

Instagram: @0514design 
Email: tm0514@tahitimorgann.com 

february 2019

Meet blake, this month’s raydiant feature.

Blake and I met as students at western Illinois university. He is a contemporary painter who leverages pop culture and elements of graffiti to expose commonalities among varying generations of people. Through his platform, B. Len Artistry, he’s been able to evoke feelings that ultimately evoke meaningful conversations. And what’s more is, it’s given him the opportunity to merge all the things he’s most passionate about -- drawing, painting, writing and event production. I’ve come to find that Blake’s perspective on life supplemented with his artistic approach in general have made him uniquely equipped to disrupt creative spaces in a very nuanced way. He believes radiant people are those that consciously decide to purpose themselves as a catalyst for change and that’s evident in the explicit and implied meaning often embedded within his pieces.

Thank you blake, for continuously using your gift of artistic storytelling to exude radiance, inspire innovation and cultivate the next generation of creative leaders. If you’re in the market for an inspiring, culturally relevant piece of art or you simply want to collaborate with someone who “gets it” for an upcoming project or event, you should connect with Blake today.

Instagram: @blenartistry
Email: blenartistry@outlook.com


january 2019

meet marie, this month’s raydiant feature.

Marie and I met during the Summer of 2015 in Dallas, Texas. She’s the creative extraordinaire behind ‘Maison saint James’, a lifestyle brand that brings together talented chefs, impactful brands and curious guests to create unforgettable, bespoke hospitality and experiences. Birthed from her desire to challenge industry standards for both luxury dining and hospitality, the events Marie hosts are curated with a simple human truth in mind: the best of times start with an amazing meal, a stunning glass of wine and stellar company (no arguments there). And what’s more is, she’s purposed herself with ensuring that all people, especially people of color, have access to luxury hospitality – particularly when access to such spaces yields safety and authenticity. You just have to remember to show up with an open mind to allow yourself to fully take in all these immersive experiences have to offer. She believes radiant people are those that refuse to let their light from within dim because they’ve chosen to leverage it in accordance with their life’s purpose.  

Thank you marie, for using your light to create luxurious events that allow people from all over to experience food in an opulent, yet approachable way that doesn’t break the bank. Connect with her today to find out how she can upgrade you. 

Email: marie@maisonstjames.com
Instagram: @mariesaintjames and @maisonsaintjames 

december 2018

meet skyy, this month’s raydiant feature.

skyy and i met as students at proviso west high school. she is the creator of “girls run the world”, an organization she created to equip young women with the tools and resources necessary to recognize the greatness and potential within themselves. she is a full-time police officer, who on several occasions, has encountered a plethora of young women while on the job. she’s come across the “ride or die” chick who gladly accepted charges on behalf of her significant other. she’s experienced the “privileged bookworm” who dealt with suicidal ideations at the thought of failure as a result of extreme expectations to succeed. she went toe-to-toe with the “ghetto girl’ whose conflict resolution skills were limited to physical combat. and the “fatherless jezebel” who carved and sought out male attention at all costs? skyy has encountered her too. she’s pretty much seen it all and then some while striving to protect and serve. and you know what? she got tired. tired of the negative encounters she was having with young women and tired of having to arrest them. so she decided to use her influence as a young, black police officer to create “girls run the world”, which supports young women in three of the major high schools in aurora, illinois. with a common goal of becoming great leaders amongst their peers, high school girls from all backgrounds and walks of life are transformed into agents of change within their communities so that they may become mentors to the next group of young women that will journey after them. skyy believes radiant people are those that persevere through life’s darkness so their beams can bring light and hope to all those around them.

thank you skyy, for mentoring, uplifting, and being an example for young women, which has infected your community in the best possible way. if you know a young woman who could benefit from skyy’s organization, check the deets below. oh, and make sure you support her 2nd annual “girls run the world 5k/party in the park” event happening on june 1, 2019.

facebook: girlsruntheworldaurora

November 2018

meet megan, this month’s raydiant feature.

megan and i met when we were both students at proviso west high school. she is the photographer and mastermind behind snappedbymc (also known as megan christina photography), a brand she created to capture the very best moments life has to offer while creating memories that last a lifetime. like many photographers, megan’s passion, determination and eye for detail are factors that aid in mastering her craft. but her entry into photography is probably a road less travelled. looking back, megan realized that she didn’t have many photos of herself that reflected her childhood. the lack of photos supplemented with the absence of memories that photos often carry was enough to inspire megan to create her own solution. hence, her photography brand was born. and with the sole purpose of aiding diverse people from all over capture special moments, her goal is to craft photos that capture the very essence of who you were when the photo was taken. whether those photos evoke a great laugh or an insatiable cry, with Megan, it’s all about the memories. she believes radiant people are those that shine and exude a certain level of greatness above others.

thank you megan, for allowing your passion to evoke positive change out in the world. feel free to check out some of her work today!

instagram: @m.christina
facebook: megan christina 
web: meganchristina.com

october 2018

meet racquel, this month’s raydiant feature.

racquel and i met in dallas when i was living there as a participant in the marcus graham project. she is the creator of #whatsnext, an interactive pop-up session designed for college graduates transitioning into life after college. racquel’s sole purpose is to narrow the gap between what students learn in the classroom and what the professional space demands outside of the classroom. she leverages experiential workshops, interactive panels, and relevant keynote sessions to aid participants in their post-grad planning and development. it’s no surprise that racquel decided to pursue this line of work, as she’s always had a passion for empowering young adults to discover and unleash their maximum potential. and with staggering statistics like the 74% of college graduates who feel their school failed to fully prepare them for the professional world, it becomes more and more apparent why racquel’s work has become increasingly important.

thank you racquel, for setting the standard in leadership and service, demystifying the myth of the underprepared college graduate, and remaining radiant along the way. if you know of any college students across the country that are interested in becoming a student ambassador, or if you’re an administrator and/or student organization wanting to host #whatsnext on your campus, email info@hashtagwhatsnext.com to get started with customizing an unforgettable student experience today! 

september 2018

meet glenn, this month's raydiant feature. 

i’ve known glenn for quite some time.  we attended the same school starting with elementary and ending with college – not uncommon for students growing up in our neighborhood. glenn is the founder of reflections and company, a media house focused primarily on digital media. their focus over the past five years has been predominately in the photography sector. however, they’ve recently expanded their brand, efforts, and resources by entering the advertising and marketing realm – which they believe will aid in diversifying their brand expanding their client base. at the root of who they are as a company lies their principles. glenn formed reflections and company because he wanted to shine a positive light (literally and metaphorically) on millennials. he also wanted to help promote creatives throughout the chicagoland area by aiding in their brand’s development. fortunately for glenn, his company allows him to do both simultaneously. he believes radiant people are those that amplify greatness by using their gift to spark the world. and whether you were born with greatness or had it thrust upon you doesn’t matter – it’s what you do with said greatness that ultimately resonates with the world.

thank you glenn, for using your gift to amplify that of others and for consistently emitting light in dark spaces. feel free to check out his team and learn more about their work by visiting reflectionsandco.com.  


august 2018

meet jabari, this month's raydiant feature.

i’ve known jabari as long as he’s been knowing himself. he is my brother, with whom i’ve had the (irksome) pleasure of journeying through life with. but more importantly, he’s the music enthusiast and content creator behind “dj first class”, a platform he created that allows him to simultaneously do two things he’s extremely passionate about: being a dj and remaining at the forefront of the music industry by researching, reporting on and contributing to current trends across genres. and with a special emphasis on upcoming music artists and creatives, jabari’s mission is simple: to eradicate inequality in creative spaces by leveraging his platform to efficiently and effectively catapult artists into the next dimension, whatever that may be for them. he recognizes the lack of publications and platforms out there that actually have the artist’s best interest at heart – and he wants to be part of the solution. when he’s not providing the soundtrack to local events and happenings or producing tracks for up and coming artists, he’s lending an authentic voice to music publications such as earmilk, respect magazine, illanoize and the hype magazine. he believes radiant people are those that emit positive forces, uplift those around them and most importantly, stay in their own lane.

thank you, jabari, for using your skillset and leveraging your platform to help others excel. the world could use more people like you. looking to connect with him? twitter is the best way. follow him today @1djfirstclass. 

july 2018

meet vannesia, this month's raydiant feature.

vannesia and i were introduced by our mutual friend, randy. she’s the creator of moxie nashville, which is an online digital marketing agency that empowers her to help entrepreneurs, solorpreneurs and “underdogs” run their own businesses. her single-minded commitment to helping others shift their thought patterns from impossible to possible is a testament to her responsibility as both a content creator and brand strategist – and others are taking notes, too. blavity, madame noire, thought catalog, and teen vogue are among the many features she’s landed throughout her career. yet, she’s remained true to her original mission of helping professionals connect the dots to their own dreams. why? because she realizes that the work she does ultimately empowers business owners and influencers alike to lead purpose driven lives both personally and professionally. and her resolve is that in order to be radiant, you must shine from the inside and permeate outward. it’s having a light from within that shines brightest only when it’s put to the test in the darkest of times.

thank you vannesia, for having faith, emitting hope, and spreading positivity like wildfire. your ingenuity supplemented with your spiritual gifts have made room for you in the natural realm and are tangibly represented in all of those you’ve helped in the past and will continue to aid in the future. whether you have ideas about your business, but are unsure of how to bring it to life or you’re confused on where to start with your digital marketing, vannesia has the skillset necessary to heighten your business or brand. connect with her today.

instagram: @vannesiadarby and @moxienash
facebook: moxie nashville
web: moxienashville.com

june 2018

meet mark, this month's raydiant feature. 

mark and i met at the 2016 adcolor conference and awards ceremony. he’s the artist behind the lens of mark clennon photography, which is an artistic platform he uses to empower black and brown people. as someone who moved around a lot during his childhood, mark learned to leverage his creativity and affinity for great images in order to ultimately create something that would become bigger than himself. interestingly enough, mark’s central focus is to create pieces that live in peoples’ homes. you know, the type of art that grows with us as we navigate through life and grounds us in safe spaces regardless of where we are in the journey. this all ties back to his core mission, which is to raise our collective self-esteem by illustrating the very things that make us human – our fantasies, fears and idiosyncrasies. and when it comes to his passions, mark’s resolve is relatively simple: if a person can relate to an image, it evokes within them an immediate sense of community. a sense of connectedness and validity that eventually thrusts us into new dimensions of self-enlightenment. he believes that in order to be radiant, one must emit self-love and effort by way of the manifestation of your best self, actualized.

thank you mark, for intentionally using your art to shed light in our world while empowering us to live bolder, brighter lives. feel free to connect with him on social media or by visiting his site.

instagram: @mark.c
twitter: @thisismarkc
web: markclennon.com

may 2018

meet dominique, this month's raydiant feature.

dominique and i met when we were both working in the same department at the nordstrom on michigan avenue in chicago. she is the fashion enthusiast and creative mastermind behind “bassette”, a brand under which she designs and creates her own clothing. with an average consumer base comprised mostly of business professionals who are 25 and up, dominique loves working with individuals who appreciate well-constructed garments and aren’t afraid to dwell among the sophisticated, the limitless, and the confident. her passion for fashion dates back as young as five years old, which was when she first declared she’d be a fashion designer. having been blessed with the gift of sewing at such a young age, she knew early on that she needed to nurture this gift in order for her to reach her highest potential – and she was right. the older she got, the stronger her passion became. and through it all, she never stopped sewing. she took classes in high school and supplemented her expertise with a bachelor of fine arts degree in fashion design from the esteemed columbia college chicago. after graduating, her path led her to nordstrom, where she often told me of her plans to one day start her own brand, and here she is. thriving. growing. manifesting. these days, her morale is up and so is her clientele. not to mention, she’s even had the honor of showcasing her brand at this year’s new york fashion week. she believes radiant people are full of life and possess an attraction that causes people to naturally gravitate towards them.

thank you dominique, for leveraging your modest personality, talent and nurturing spirit to evoke positivity in the lives of those around you. check out her instagram account @basettedesigns and connect with her today regarding your design and styling needs.

april 2018

meet nneka, this month's raydiant feature. 

like many of the raydiant features before her, nneka and i met as undergraduate students at western Illinois university. she is the creator of nneka-meshelle agency, which strategically assists those that are looking to enhance their brand. with a special emphasis on entertainers, artists, athletes and influencers, nneka curates events and leverages immersive activations that have proven beneficial in taking brands to the next level. but making her dream a reality wasn’t all sweet though. after she was no longer passionate about the work she was doing as an aerospace cost engineer, she found herself unemployed. the sudden shift in job security led her to take on a series of odd jobs as she attempted to really hone in on her passion and purpose, even when she was unemployed and essentially living out of her car. and even though a lot of people would’ve given up under these circumstances, she kept going because she knew that her current predicament was temporary. ultimately, her persistence paid off because it gave way to the business she runs today. having worked with brands such as bet, bad boy entertainment, and nike, it’s clear that nneka’s gifts have surely made room for her. she believes that in order to be radiant, one must protect and emit light.

thank you nneka, for being transparent about your journey and consistently embodying truth, hope and faith. for assistance with your event planning needs and brand activations, you know what to do. connect with her today.

email: nnekameshelleagency@gmail.com
instagram: @nneka_meshelle or @nneka_meshelle_agency
facebook: nneka meshelle or nneka meshelle agency

march 2018

meet johnnie, this month's raydiant feature.

johnnie and i met on the campus of western Illinois university, where we were both active members of the eta eta chapter of alpha phi alpha fraternity, incorporated. he is the mastermind responsible for “the jc experience now”, which is a platform he uses to cultivate performing artists and empower them to flourish in their respective crafts. with a special emphasis on singers and dancers, johnnie uses 1-on-1 trainings and group workshops to unequivocally curate spaces conducive for growth and development. regardless of how old or young you are or if you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced level performer, there’s a class that fits your specific needs. if you know johnnie, you know that he has a great affinity for the performing arts, specifically hip-hop dance and vocal performance. however, what you may not know is how intentional he is about translating learned experiences into tangible results, and that’s exactly what he does for his clients – gets results. for johnnie, being radiant requires a propensity for shining light on the things that make us unique and peculiar.

big ups to you good brother, for not only being unapologetic in your unique characteristics, but for inspiring others to do the same as well. connect with him today!

email: jcchoreomvmt@gmail.com
youtube: the jc experience now
instagram and facebook: @thejcexperiencenow

february 2018

meet china, this month's raydiant feature. 

china and i met as undergraduate students at western illinois university. through her brand, “designs by china”, she targets both men and women who are looking to establish and maintain their brand without breaking the bank. with a creative mindset necessary to catapult brands into their next dimension, china’s professionalism, collaborative workflow and tenacity for actualizing potential make it easy for her to set her clients apart from the rest. she’s a self-taught graphic designer who is fueled by the desire to help business owners reach their highest potential and prides herself on her ability to curate prolific design elements. it is her belief that in order to be radiant, you must first have a propensity for exceeding your highest potential, even when you feel you’ve given it all you can. for her, it’s all about doing your best, then doing taking it a step further than that by taking risks, accepting criticism and breaking past the barriers of no.

thank you china, for pushing past rejection, confronting your own shortcomings and using those experiences to create something great for those around you. your resilience alongside your gifts will continue to make room for you. if you’re looking to brand a new business venture or revamp one you currently operate, connect with china on instagram @designsbychina or via email at designsbychina@gmail.com.

january 2018

meet yosiah, this month's raydiant feature.

yosiah and i met as undergraduate students at western Illinois university. he is the creator of “fast living lifestyle”, a streetwear brand curated exclusively for the risk takers, the achievers and those that are sometimes considered “outsiders” due to their inability to adhere to the status quo. with a sincere passion for streetwear that was birthed back in 2009, yosiah’s ultimate goal is to continue providing products that represent an array of visual subcultures and consumer interests. and because of the diversity his brand encompasses, yosiah has legitimized fast living lifestyle in a way other entrepreneurs have yet to do with their brands because they’re too caught up in factors that are ever changing. unlike other streetwear brands, fast living lifestyle isn’t concerned with keeping up with styles, looks and fads because it’s more than just a piece of clothing you wear; it’s a full on mentality. a lifestyle. an external representation of the greatness within. he believes that in order to be radiant, you must embody a natural glow that can be felt through the vibes you put out.

thanks yoisah, for using your brand to spread positivity and reminding us that life isn’t too bad in the fast lane. for more information regarding products and collaborations, visit www.fastlivinglifestyle.com.


december 2017

meet ashanti and toni, this month's raydiant features.

ashante and i met as undergraduate students at western Illinois university. she and her business partner toni are the creators of “queen 2 bee”, a mentoring program geared primarily towards empowering high school and college aged women. through networking, various community service initiatives, and mentorship, program participants are united with other women from different walks of life and inspired to become the best possible version of themselves. both ashante and toni firmly believe that in order to empower others, you must first be empowered yourself. that is why the benefits of their program are two-fold: they provoke a domino effect of progression amongst women by continuing to lift as they climb. they believe in order to be radiant, you’ve gotta exude positivity in all that you do so that your light shines so bright negativity can’t stand to be around you.

major props to the two of you – for selflessly sharing so much of yourself and providing an outlet for young women to thrive in their everyday lives. connect with them today by visiting www.queen2beementoring.com or @queen2beementoring on instagram. event ideas and collaboration opportunities can be emailed to queen2beementoring@gmail.com


november 2017

meet krystal, this month's raydiant feature. 

krystal and i met when i lived in dallas during the summer of 2015. at the time, she was a digital content producer for the tom joyner morning show and i was a member of the marcus graham project’s summer bootcamp cohort. she is the brains behind “krystal franklin tv” which is a platform she created to encourage others in the fields of radio, television and marketing to pursue what sets their soul on fire – even when everything seems to be working against them. in retrospect, her brand is a tangible representation of the manifestation of God’s mercy in both her personal and professional development. it’s her way of being transparent about, but not defined by, her wins (and losses) as a 30-something who was once on a seemingly endless path of self-discovery. she believes the most radiant people are those that choose not to dim their own light; but also don’t try to blow out someone else’s thinking that it will make them shine a little brighter.

thank you krystal, for not dimming your light to make others feel comfortable in their insecurities and inspiring fellow creatives to push forward to achieve their goals. looking to connect? follow @krysfranklin on instagram and twitter for more info.

october 2017

meet brittany, this month's raydiant feature. 

brittany and I met when we were both students at western Illinois university. she is the founder of bdurrseyecollection and bdurrshairandlashcollection, both of which are housed under the umbrella of bdurrscollection. with the primary goal to establish and maintain higher levels of confidence within the everyday consumer, brittany seeks to create products that resonate with people from all walks of life. she is an advocate for black owned businesses and strongly believes in all things #fortheculture, which is why she prides herself on providing quality products that are supplemented with impeccable customer service. all things considered, brittany believes that in order for you to be radiant, you must possess a light that shines even in the darkest of places. she also believes that a major part of being radiant is being able to rise above regardless of what threatens to hold you back from achieving your dreams.

thank you brittany, for consistently emitting a light so strong that everyone around you takes note. looking to add a bit of character and creativity to your style? brittany has got you covered! contact her directly on instagram @bdurrscollection or via email at bdurr19@gmail.com for more information. 


september 2017

meet leilani, this month's raydiant feature. 

leilani and i met as student leaders at western Illinois university.  she is the mastermind behind “let lei be lei”, a platform she uses to curate content centered around her travel, dining and fashion adventures. with the sole intent to encourage the newness of life, leilani inspires millennials to step outside of their comfort zones and mundane patterns of life. she believes that our lives are the sum of our decisions and that each day, we should look for ways to trade in our day to day woes for surprise and adventure instead. in this day and age, it's easy for us to fall into the pattern of going to work and coming home. however, it doesn't have to be that way. as leilani demonstrates through her content, a simple change in our thought process will show that you don't always have to spend loads of money to enjoy the life you've been given, which is why she felt compelled to enlighten the people. she believes that you can only be radiant if you exude a positive, enlightening presence that cannot be ignored.

thank you leilani, for using your vibrancy and excitement for life to genuinely help others by inspiring them to live their best possible life. you’re a rockstar. to connect with lei and find out where you can find your next adventure, visit letleibelei.com or connect on facebook, youtube, instagram and twitter @letleibelei. 

august 2017

meet jesse, this month's raydiant feature. 

jesse and i crossed paths in chicago because we both pledged the same fraternity. through his platform, dj lms (which stands for last man standing), jesse targets music lovers, thrill seekers, and avid dancers who are all looking to have a good time and enjoy life. an advocate for the people he serves, jesse’s claim to fame is not a typical one. he started out as “footworker” with house arrest 2 hip-hop dance team, where his interest in mixing beats and merging songs together was conceived. then, while he was working as a floor guard at a skating rink, the dj didn’t show up, which provided jesse with a golden opportunity from which dj lms was born. though his journey hasn’t been easy, jesse seeks to inspire those around them to be bold enough to dream, and courageous enough to make those dreams a reality. after walking on faith and quitting his day job to pursue his passion full-time, he’s continued to see his gift make room for him as God continues to show up on his behalf. he believes that in order to be radiant, one must not just be the light, they must spread it as well.

thank you jesse, for spreading positivity and encouraging others to push past doubt and fear and work toward achieving their goals. you’re definitely a rare breed. to find out more about all things lms, visit www.djlms.com or connect with him on instagram @deejaylms. 

july 2017

meet tyra, this month's raydiant feature. 

tyra and i met while we were both undergraduate students at western Illinois university. she is the founder of urban unconscious, a non-profit focused primarily on mental health advocacy within the african american community. studies have shown that african americans are 20% more likely to experience a mental illness than our counterparts. yet, we are also less likely to attend counseling or receive voluntary treatment for a mental health diagnosis. through her work, tyra seeks to break the code of silence that weighs heavily within the black community and prevents growth and sustainability. to that regard, she’s even created a book scholarship to increase mental health awareness and provide educational support for students of color seeking to evoke change within their community. for tyra, radiant people are those that consistently and intentionally beat the odds and wake up every day making that decision over and over and over.  

thank you, tyra, for breaking barriers and operating in integrity. to find out more about urban unconscious or the book scholarship, visit urbanunconscious.org or send an email to urbanunconscious@gmail.com. you can also connect via instagram @urbanunconscious. 

june 2017

meet marcus, this month’s raydiant feature. 

marcus and i met while i was working in dallas, texas as part of the marcus graham project and he was working for the tom joyner foundation. he is the founding editor of “the culture supplier”, a medium created to add more cultural value to the lives of mainstream viewers by providing targeted, newsworthy content in a creative way. with the sole purpose of cultivating and informing the masses of content not always shown in the media, marcus uses the culture supplier as a means of reaching any and everyone who loves hearing about positive news, staying current on the hottest music, and keeping up with the latest trends in technology and film. to him, radiant people are those that shine bright like a beam of fresh light; they are always thinking with the end in mind.

major shoutout to you, marcus for serving the people, motivating them through positivity and giving them a reason to smile. to find out more about the culture supplier, feel free to visit theculturesupplier.com or connect with them on facebook and instagram @theculturesupplier. if you have any questions or are looking to advertise an upcoming event, you can submit an inquiry to info@theculturesupplier.com.

may 2017

meet nadia, this month's raydiant feature. 

nadia and i met as students of western illinois university. she is the founder of "theNSider", a youtube series created to celebrate and highlight amazing people doing amazing things in the city of chicago. as someone who works in the news industry, nadia knew first hand that the stereotypical images being brought forth in the media had adverse affects on black representation and the city of chicago as a whole. she knew it was time to create something that showed us in a more positive light and this realization gave way to the birth of her brand.  to nadia, being radiant means exuding the light that is within all of us. each time we enter a room, we have the opportunity to shine or dim our radiance.

thank you, nadia for your obedience to your purpose and for shining light on behalf of the city of chicago. to find out more about nadia's brand or to get involved with her mission to spread positivity, visit www.thensider.com or connect with her on instagram @theinsider, and youtube by visiting the NSider page.


april 2017

meet brittany, this month's raydiant feature. 

brittany and i met because we're both alumni of the marcus graham project. she is the founder of "bbadpr" where she targets young, black millennials with a special emphasis on black women. her brand came as the result of her desire to reach back and raise up a community that is often misrepresented in various mediums. under the pillars of intellect, goon, professionalism and glam, brittany seeks to be a valuable resource to black millennials by providing them with tools, tips and dialogue that will ultimately contribute to their success. she can be found on all social media platforms @bbadpr, www.bbadpr.com or via her blog at bbadblog.com. she defines being radiant as being able to have a glowing presence that influences people without you having to be in physical contact with them, and it's evident in the people she surrounds herself with. 

thank you brittany, for being a light in dark places. continue to be raydiant and shine bright! 

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march 2017

meet randy, this month's raydiant feature.

randy and i met as members of lifeline church chicago. he's the creator of "r.c. bonds public relations" where he has dedicated himself to generating awareness for creative talent by uniquely, strategically and creatively sharing their stories in ways that humanize them. the reason for that is because he strongly believes it is important to showcase that success is possible despite hardships, character flaws, misfortune and shortcomings we face.

to randy,  radiant people are those that choose to shine bright even when those around them are uncomfortable with the light, and this is something randy prides himself on. he's worked with an array of clients who all have varied areas of expertise which comes in handy when helping to amplify their voice. now that's raydiant, randy! want to connect with him? check him out by visiting www.rcbondspr.com or on social media @randycbonds.

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february 2017

meet marquelle, this month's raydiant feature. 

i was drawn to marquelle's brand after coming across it on social media. he is the creator of  "the new stereotype", where he encourages black men and women to be the best versions of themselves, authentically. with a special emphasis on those who have an affinity for culture, fashion and inspiration, marquelle is an advocate for celebrating people. for him, this stems from the realization that black males (and females) aren't often depicted favorably in the news and in the media in general. so from his desire to offer a platform conducive for celebrating black lives, the new stereotype was born. to date, he's share the stories of entrepreneurs, educators, students, lobbyists, and service workers from around the world. he believes radiant people are those who shine effortlessly without boasting. they simply appreciate the  gifts God has blessed them with and seek ways to use it to better the world around them.

thanks marquelle for spreading more light in the world!

january 2017

meet jay, this month's raydiant feature. 

jay and i have know one another since childhood; we went to elementary school  and attended western illinois university together. she's the brains behind "flawlashes, flawless mink lashes by jay senior." through her brand, jay empowers women and offers affordable mink lashes that ultimately leave women feeling beautiful, flawless and fearless in their pursuits to go out and positively influence the world. jay believes wholeheartedly that all women were born beautiful. with that in mind, she's not seeking to create beautiful women with her lashes. instead, she's looking to enhance the beauty that they already have regardless of their shape, size, ethnicity or hair length. jay believes in order to be radiant, you have to glow from the inside in a way that impacts your environment.

thanks jay for positively impacting the world with a little more style! wanna know more about flawlashes? visit her at www.flawlashesbyjay.com and on ig @flawlashes.

december 2016

meet james, this month's raydiant feature.

james and i both attended the same high school. he's the author of "50 things every college student should know", a self help book geared toward helping high school and college aged students be successful in their professional endeavors. think he looks familiar? that's because he was featured on wgn morning news chicago after standing on state street in downtown chicago with a sign that read, "hungry for success." after he gained notoriety for this creative execution, james sought out to encourage, inspire, motivate and transform the minds of students so they can take advantage of all the opportunities afforded to them. to james, being radiant means there's a visible glow or shine about you. he's certainly made a visible impact on the next generation of leaders through his college tours and presentations.

thank you james for paying it forward! know of someone who could benefit from james's expertise? contact him at www.iamjameshumphries.com.

November 2016

meet victoria, this month's raydiant feature. 

victoria and i both attended western illinois university during undergrad. she recently began an awesome professional venture called "the victoria henley foundation" to provide educational and financial resources to low income individuals and families. this is proven by her latest campaign, which is a shoe drive geared toward providing gently used shoes to individuals and families in need. driven by her love for people and giving back, victoria pays it forward by using her platform as a way of also providing mentorship to those who otherwise would not have had the exposure and guidance to obtain a mentor on their own. from victoria's perspective, radiant people are those that shine their light on others in order to help them reach their fullest potential. she believes radiant people tend to see something that needs to be done in the world, and take the initiative to make it happen.

thank you victoria for adding a bit of sunshine in our world through your humanitarian efforts! are you looking to partner with her foundation or donate gently used clothing items to people in need? you can connect with victoria by connecting with her on facebook at "the victoria henley foundation" or on instagram @thevictoriahenleyfoundation.

october 2016

meet selena, this month's raydiant feature. 

selena and i were both members of the icr8 summer bootcamp experience which was made possible by the marcus graham project. as someone who's constantly looking on the bright side of things, it's no surprise that she created something that afforded her the opportunity to evoke a smile from others. she's the creator of "smile a day", which celebrates the beauty of diversity and provides a daily boost of positivity and happiness for all to enjoy. knowing that we will be disappointed, saddened and heartbroken at various moments in our lives, selena saw fit to do something that would counter these moments of despair with moments of positivity and thankfulness. she understands that it isn't always easy to choose happiness though, which is why she made it her mission to make happiness contagious. all things considered, selena believes that in order to be radiant, you have to be able to be a rainbow in someone else's cloud while simultaneously being a rainbow to yourself.

thanks selena, for being fearless, open-minded and making the world a better place one smile at a time. are you looking to spread a little sunshine today? feel free to reach out to selena on facebook at wesmileaday, on instagram @smileaday or by visiting her portfolio at selena-ds.com.

september 2016

meet gabrielle, this month's raydiant feature. 

gabrielle and i met in dallas texas while the both of us were at a panel discussion hosted by revolt. she's the owner of "ellements cuisine and pastry concepts", which is a company supplemented by her lifestyle blog, withelle.com and a youtube channel that is set to launch in the near future. one of gabrielle's aims is to use her platform to encourage millennials to make foods from scratch and to live all around healthier lives. by highlighting homestyle recipes and offering a glimpse into the life of her own food, gabrielle equips you with all the tools you need to impress a coworker, friend, or potential bae. she believes that radiant people who use their charisma and vibrancy to illuminate any room, unapologetically.

thanks gabrielle, for helping us help ourselves and live more in the moment without regret. wanna connect with gabrielle and find out more? visit www.withelle.com, or connect with her on instagram, twitter and snapchat @gabriellemcbay.

august 2016

meet curtis, this month's raydiant feature. 

i reached out to curtis a few years back after coming across some of his work online. he's one of those creatives who is less concerned with how many people he influences with his work and more concerned with how his work makes people feel. through his brand, "argo", curtis uses life experiences to curate organic content that resonates with an array of people. in september of 2014, the untimely passing of his mom sparked argo's inception. since then, curtis has used his platform to tell creative stories that unite, challenge and remind us to lead lives of service above self. for him, being radiant means to be charismatic and emit an energy that captivates all those you come into contact with.

thank you curtis, for being radiant and spreading positive energy out into the world through human interactions.

July 2016

meet clayton, this month's raydiant feature. 

clayton, (or "cj") and i worked together as members of the icr8 summer bootcamp experience made possible by the marcus graham project. he offers strategy, branding and social media management under his overall brand, "cj pasley". with a special emphasis on fashion, music and art, cj helps his clients take their brands/businesses to the next level. but he doesn't work with just anyone though. in fact, cj requires that everyone he works with comes to him already believing in their dopeness and ways in which they can stretch it beyond their comfort zones. in his mind, radiant people are those who give their best every time. not some of the time or majority of the time. every time.

shoutout to you cj, for giving your best to help others give theirs. if you're in need of some brand development, feel free to contact cj on social media @cjpasley or by visiting www.cjpasley.com. 

june 2016

meet timothy, this month's raydiant feature. 

timothy and i met because we are both alumni of the marcus graham project. he's a thinker, dreamer and artist. through his brand, "t.moore media", timothy leverages his exposure to high ranked and privatized networks alongside his open-minded creative process to ensure a smooth process for his clients. an examination of his work shows that each of timothy's photos tell a unique story. by meeting individuals at a place of vulnerability and connecting their ideas with his talent to create a final product, timothy is fueled to keep going.  

with the mindset that radiant people shine bright in love and creativity, he's found a way to take people's inward happiness and transform it into an outward glow. check out his brand on instagram @tmooremedia or by visiting www.tmooremedia.com. 

may 2016

meet jayna and eshe', this month's raydiant features. 

jayna, eshe and i all attended western illinois university together. they created "honey, i'm fit" to educate families on the importance of working together to achieve the goal of a healthier lifestyle. their fundamental goal is to help people make lifestyle changes rather than dieting and exercising for temporary gains (like spring break). knowing that people's livelihood is at stake due to high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, jayna and eshe' seek to train people to take care of their bodies so that their bodies can ultimately take care of them. they both believe that in order to be radiant, you have to give off a vibrant aura that attract people to you in a positive way. and from the looks of it, they seem to have made a step in the right direction.

thank you jayna and eshe', for helping us all to live healthier and happier lives. feel free to connect with them on social media or via email at honeyimfit@gmail.com.

april 2016

meet lara, this month's raydiant feature. 

lara and i attended western illinois university together. she created her brand,  "the lash stash", in order to provide women with quality, long lasting strip lashes. it's no secret that the beauty industry is constantly evolving. yet, quantity sometimes takes priority over quality. to combat this, lara works with makeup artists from all around the world as she provides beautiful, affordable lashes that are mink, synthetic and silk. she associates being radiant with shining bright, spreading happiness and standing out.

thank you lara, for boldly going after your dreams and inspiring others to do the same. you're a rockstar. to find out more about lara's brand, connect with her on instagram @thelashstash, twitter @thelashstash_ or by visiting www.thelashstash.org.