Little brown girls can now dream their biggest dreams

Special from The Anchor News

By Linda Davis

As a child I was fascinated with dance. I enjoyed watching anything on TV that involved twirling and flipping, such as figure skating, gymnastics, tap dancing, and, of course, music videos.

Linda Davis

By far, “Fame,” a 1980s popular television show starring Debbie Allen as an inner-city dance instructor, was my favorite evening show. Can you picture me, as a 10-year-old plump, brown-skin girl with pigtails dangling, dressed in tights with leg warmers, dancing around the living room with dreams of being cast in the show’s next season?

Unfortunately, 40 years ago many Black girls had dreams that were never fulfilled because there were not many images of African American athletes showcased in the media. The idea didn’t have parental support.

It’s very important for children to be exposed to positive images that raise their curiosity and spark their interest, which foster dreams leadings to goals and success. Sometimes, it’s hard for one to have a dream he/she has never seen demonstrated through the actions of others.

Today, things are looking up! We have many African American women with various high-ranking occupations and careers portrayed in the media for the whole world to see. Madame Vice President Kamala Harris! Need I say more?

Our young children can dream their biggest dream. Former President Barrack Obama and Vice President Harris have raised the bar to the highest level. How great it is to be an African American child during this time. The sky is the limit. There are no restrictions or limitations placed on their desire to reach their full potential.

Many once viewed African American women as the laser gender of minorities. However, women like Michelle Obama (author, lawyer, and the first Black First Lade of the United States); Oprah Winfrey (journalist and talk show host); and Stacie Abrams (influencer and political guru), just to name a few, are famous Black women who have put that lie to rest.

With the hit TV shows, “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How to Get Away with Murder,” Shonda Rhimes, producer, screenwriter, and author, has stepped into the limelight along with athletes such as Gabby Douglas, a well-known Olympic gymnast, and Misty Copeland, a world-know ballerina.

Do you have a daughter who has big dreams? Dream the dream with her. Don’t let it die! As parents, grandparents, neighbors, and friends, it’s up to us to help our little brown girl achieve their dreams.

Linda Davis, owner of Pampered Babies, is a caregiver with over two decades of childcare experience. Pampered Babies nursery is a registered home with Texas DHS, 2705 Windsor Ave., in the historic North Waco neighborhood of Dean Highland.


This article was originally published in the February 2021 issue of The Anchor NewsThe Anchor News is a free, monthly publication of Crawford Publishing. The Anchor News is dedicated to serving the community and surrounding area, focusing on positive news and accomplishments of minorities.  For more information about The Anchor News including how to subscribe or where to pick up a copy, please visit The Anchor News website.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email Ferrell Foster at ferrell@prosperwaco.org.

Remson follows path from student to banking & community involvement

Editor: In honor of Women’s History Month, we are featuring interviews with local women leaders. These pieces were written by Baylor University students from the Department of Journalism, Public Relations, and New Media.

By Emma Ethridge

Thousands of students move from the homes they grew up in to attend Baylor University year after year. How often is it that after four years, once the diploma is in hand, they remain in Waco for their next steps in life, striving to make a difference in the community? 

Caitlyn Remson

Caitlyn Remson, assistant vice president with Central National Bank Waco, is a Baylor alumna who is doing just that. She is an active member of the Waco community who is passionate about making a difference through her involvement at CNB, the Junior League of Waco, and Harris Creek Baptist Church in McGregor. 

Remson graduated from Baylor with a degree in finance and then became a part of local banking. Remson also is the president-elect for Junior League of Waco, a nonprofit organization of women “committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving our community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.”

“Growing up in Dallas I didn’t know anything different than being in a big city,” Remson said. “Now that I live in Waco, I much prefer a mid-size city. I feel like there is more time in my day that I am not spending driving a long commute to work and to my first grader’s school; it really is a great medium,” Remson said.

Remson said that even though Waco is smaller than Dallas, there is still a lot to do between the parks, zoo, and the unique things that only Waco has. 

Revival Eastside Eatery is “a family favorite” where Remson said she eats every Friday. Remson has learned a lot about Waco outside of the “Baylor bubble” since she graduated in 2011. 

“There is a lot of industry here that I did not realize,” she said. “Historically there is a lot of business here, organizationally there are so many nonprofits and for-profit businesses that work together to make our community a better place. I feel like that has to be rare, that we would all have our individual interests but still want to serve the community as a whole, meeting the greater needs together.”

Waco is populated by about 138,000 people, a portion of that number being a part of the Baylor community.

“Through COVID-19 I fear that some of the collaboration is going to suffer,” Remson said. “The way a community thrives is through the connections within it, despite the differences in our community. There is always going to be a disparity of wealth, but I feel like before COVID-19 we were really on a track to work together really well. I hope to see organizations and school systems continue to find ways to evolve and address issues such as inequity. I want to see us continue to thrive while taking care of each other.”

Waco has rapidly grown since 2014, despite the economic challenges that have occurred in the last 20 years, such as the financial crisis of 2008.

“There is so much growth that has happened here in terms of new shops and restaurants,” Remson said. “I even have peers that have gotten to put down roots and grow small businesses to help the community. I hope to see Waco continue to grow into the great city I know it can be.”

Emma Ethridge is a Baylor student studying public relations. She is from Austin.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email Ferrell Foster at ferrell@prosperwaco.org.

Fruit of the month: Lemons

Editor: This is the second post to mark National Nutrition Month with the help of Lindsey Breunig-Rodriguez, McLennan County Extension agent.

By Paula Solano

Hello, March! In just a few short months we have experienced what seems like ALL of the seasons. The image selected seemed fitting given the lemons we seem to have been given in 2021. In February, I observed our community coming together in a time of need. Neighbors helping neighbors, warming centers and water filling stations. Freezing temperatures brought people together — a moment in time we will not soon forget. 

Photo by Suhairy Tri Yadhi from Pexels

During my time as an intern at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, I have gained increased understanding related to nutrition and physical activity. One of the highlights of my time is learning best practices from the knowledgeable staff. I’ve learned that living with a chronic disease is about lifestyle changes and awareness. 

The seasonal fruit for this week’s Better Living for Texans blog is the lemon. While lemons are in season year-round, they are most flavorful and available in abundance during the winter. Lemons cultivate best in warm environments, such as California and Florida. 

Lemons have a presence in various ethnic cuisines, including Asian / Southeast Asian (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam) / African Cuban, Latino / Mediterranean / Mexican / Puerto Rican.

Nutritional Facts and Health Claims

While various factors affect heart disease, hypertension, and other chronic diseases, a diet low in sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars may lessen the risk of disease. Lemons are packed with flavor while also being fat free, saturated fat free, sodium free, low in calories, and high in Vitamin C. Vitamin C, assists in protecting cells against free radical damage, helps one maintain healthy bones, teeth, skin, and one’s immune system, and supports the body absorbing iron from plant sources. 

Shopping, Storage, and How to Cut: 

Selecting

Select bright yellow lemons, firm to the touch. Heavier lemons traditionally contain more juice and flavor compared to light and airy lemons. Lemons with thin skin traditionally have more juice. Avoid lemons that are soft to the touch, with spongy, wrinkled, rough, bumpy, or with hard skin. 

Storage

Lemons store in room temperature for up to 2 weeks. When stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, they may last up to 6 weeks. 

How to Cut

To avoid transferring dirt and bacteria to the fruit’s interior, wash the surface of the lemon. 

Get the Facts!

Wash your hands as recommended by the CDC, and clean contact surfaces often. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture MyPlate provides recipes, tips and resources to guide you in creating a healthy eating plan. Start simple, download the MyPlate App, an easy-to-use app that will help guide you and track your progress.

Use:

Lemons provide an extra zip of flavor, used in salsas, as a marinade in baked vegetables and meats, salads, or drinks. 

Below are two lemon recipes from MyPlate:

The first recipe is Baked Lemon Chicken  and the second is an Easy No-Cook Salsa.

Visit MyPlate for recipes and MyPlate resources. 

Share your favorite recipe with us!

Enjoy!

Paula Solano is a Master in Public Health student at Baylor University, certified Community Health Worker (CHW), presently an intern at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. A Waco native, who is passionate about serving her community particularly underserved and underrepresented citizens. 

Paula Solano is a Master in Public Health student at Baylor University, certified Community Health Worker, an intern at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. A Waco native, she is passionate about serving her community, particularly underserved and underrepresented citizens. 

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email Ferrell Foster at ferrell@prosperwaco.org.

Due to the continued spread of COVID-19 and the challenges it poses to communities across Texas, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and many others continue to practice public health recommendations. Whether we are communicating online or face-to-face know that program content will always be research-backed to help individuals navigate decisions for themselves and their families. For information on resources, ideas, and programs for yourself and family visit Texas A&M AgriLife’s HUB

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — SNAP. To learn more about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or to apply for benefits, visit www.yourtexasbenefits.com 

References:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2021) Your Guide to Masks. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html

Fruits and Vegetables (2021) Lemon. Retrieved from: https://fruitsandveggies.org/fruits-and-veggies/lemon/ 

MyPlate (2021) Easy No-Cook Salsa. Retrieved from: https://www.myplate.gov/recipes/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/easy-no-cook-salsa 

MyPlate (2021) Baked Lemon Chicken. Retrieved from: https://www.myplate.gov/recipes/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/baked-lemon-chicken 

MyPlate (2021) Lemonade. Retrieved from: https://www.myplate.gov/recipes/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/lemonade 

Utah State University Cooperative Extension (2011) Lemons. Retrieved from: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1182&context=extension_curall 

Blevins: ‘Waco is in the process of becoming something greater’

Editor: In honor of Women’s History Month, we are featuring interviews with local women leaders. These pieces were written by Baylor University students from the Department of Journalism, Public Relations, and New Media.

By Danielle Skinner 

Brooke E. Blevins, Ph.D., associate professor of social studies education and chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the Baylor University School of Education, said Waco is continuing to grow and become a home to many.

Brooke Blevins

After Blevins received her Ph.D., she began looking for a job that would allow her to have a stable career and start a family. She said Waco was the perfect place to do both, as the community is small, but continuing to grow. 

“A job opened up here at Baylor, I interviewed and I knew from that first interview that this was where I wanted to be,” Blevins said. “I came here in 2011 and have loved being here at Baylor, but especially Waco because it was better than I ever anticipated.” 

Waco is an interesting place at first glance, Blevins said. Waco is a nice size city with access to multiple amenities and services. Most importantly, Waco is a great place to raise and start a family, as there are many fun things to do. The city is also very diverse and allows for people to grow in the community.

“Waco has a lot of really great people in it,” Blevins said. “I love how Waco is being revitalized in a lot of different ways, not just economically but in terms of stories and the narratives being told in this community.”

Blevins said it is important to look into the history of places you are visiting, especially with a place like Waco. All towns experience good and bad times, and she believes Waco continues to reflect and grow as a community. 

Waco has a very interesting and challenging history, Blevins said. No matter where you are, you should know and understand your past. There is plenty of encouragement to learn more about Waco, its history, and how it shapes the Waco community today.

“Waco is in the process of becoming something greater,” Blevins said. Waco is not forgetting its past, but it is also “looking forward to seeing what we can do in the future, which seems very exciting.”

Blevins said she is happy to see progress Waco has made especially in the last 10 years. She said that she is noticing that the city is more of a destination spot where the community can come together as one.

Many initiatives are in process to improve Waco, such as the redevelopment of downtown, Chip and Joanna Gaines helping reshape the look of Waco, and how Baylor University has moved to care for its community and the people residing in the city, are ways that Waco is improving, Blevins said.

There will always be problems no matter where you are, but there are organizations like Prosper Waco that are helping out with really big problems and how Waco can tackle them, which Blevins believes is a great way to show what Waco is becoming. 

 “This is a time for change for the city,” Blevins said. “Waco is in a place of becoming who it is meant to be.” 

Danielle Skinner is a freshman at Baylor University majoring in journalism and pre-law. She is from Canada.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email Ferrell Foster at ferrell@prosperwaco.org.

Former CEO of United Way Waco values community

Editor: In honor of Women’s History Month, we are featuring interviews with local women leaders. These pieces were written by Baylor University students from the Department of Journalism, Public Relations, and New Media.

By Molly Farris

Barbara Mosacchio said one of her favorite things in Waco is the drive she takes past Lake Waco. Being a Chicago native, she said it brings back memories of her drive past Lake Michigan on her way to work. 

Barbara Mosacchio

“It’s so gorgeous. I love driving past it. It just makes me happy to do that,” Mosacchio said. 

Mosacchio was the CEO of United Way Waco for just over four years. After living in cities such as Chicago, Dallas, and Atlanta, Mosacchio has “not looked back” since taking the United Way position in Waco. United Way is an organization that works alongside the community to address needs. 

“This opportunity came along, and it was such an incredibly enriching and exciting opportunity,” Mosacchio said. “It was the opportunity to really come in and help rebuild its presence in this community.” 

Leaving a big city for a small town is an unusual move, and Mosacchio said people did ask why she would want to come to a small city like Waco to work. 

“Because in Waco, you can touch and feel the work that you are doing,” Mosacchio said. “You can see the impact of it. You can make a decision, you can make a strategic plan, and you can see it in action. And it is very hard to do that in a big, large complex organization.”

During a conversation, Mosacchio continually brought up how important this community is to the United Way. The organization encourages involvement among the people that live in the area. Mosacchio said this is one of the factors that brought her to Waco and that keeps her in Waco.

“You see it every day with COVID and you see the way people are supporting each other and the way people are looking out for one another, and checking in on each other, and being respectful by wearing their mask when they’re in the grocery store,” Mosacchio said. “And you don’t see that in a lot of communities. That really is a big part of what I love about Waco.” 

Baylor University is a part of that strong community that Mosacchio often talks about cherishing in Waco. During non-COVID times, the university helped with awareness for United Way events. She described a time when there were big rallies and Baylor President Linda Livingstone would speak. Typically, every year one of the football games would be dedicated to the United Way.

“We would all go down on the field, we’d talk about the campaign kicking off, we’d inspire people to give, and we’d show our video. There would just be this high level of energy and enthusiasm,” Mosacchio said.  

Most people tend to see COVID as something that has ruined a lot of good things. Mosacchio said she does not see it that way, but rather she sees COVID in a positive light. 

“I think that COVID really brings out, in an unfortunate way, but it brings out the best in what a community is. I think that there has been a lot more intensity in terms of interaction with people,” Mosacchio said. 

Molly Farris is originally from Petal, Miss., and is a freshman journalism student at Baylor University. 

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email Ferrell Foster at ferrell@prosperwaco.org.