On The Rise: Lilas Mia

When Lilas started her blog Hello I’m Mia fresh out of college she had one goal;  to enlighten her readers with the wisdom she’s received along the way and share her experiences through writing and photography. Three years later, keeping this aim in mind, she’s been able to build a successful brand centered on authenticity and transparency. Let’s find out more about Lilas!
Could you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
My name is Lilas, and I run the blog, Hello, I’m Mia.” After several years using various platforms and changing my blog name, I finally chose Mia because it was my nickname used only amongst family members and I wanted to treat my readers as close friends.
mark3767Where were you 6 months after college?
I graduated with an Environmental Studies degree and fortunately found a job with an amazing environmental non-profit organization that aimed to beautify our neighborhoods and teaches students as well as New Yorkers about our city. I did a lot of outdoor work because of my studies which only increased my appreciation for nature.
How did you first get into blogging?
My blog started as a public online diary about anything you can imagine: heartbreaks, friendships, rants, adulthood, school, careers. I still try and treat it as so to this day. I’ve loved writing although I never imagined to still be doing it nearly a decade later.
What do you want your audience to get out of your blog?
I want to keep sharing knowledge and ease people’s minds and hearts through my personal experiences. I’m all about reliability and I want my posts to be open conversations between my readers and I.
You have a way with words, always inspiring others to be their best. How do you stay positive or keep your peace? 
Thank you ! My faith has taught and brought me a long way in terms of keeping my peace. Negativity will never be fruitful and can become the biggest impediment to your potential if you allow it (I’ve tried sulking and being a Debby-downer, which are equally exhausting). Staying positive is an acquired discipline, and I’ve learned that in life what you focus on magnifies.
Your skin and hair are always on fleek! Can you share with us your secrets?
Less is more and water is your friend. Your skin, like your hair, needs to breathe ever so often. Become comfortable in your skin, those who matter won’t care for your minor blemishes, and those who do care do not matter.
You’re also a photographer, how does it help your blog?
My hobby in photography has been a blessing to me. In addition to connecting me to other artists, I have been able to incorporate visuals and do more creative projects when drafting content because of this passion.
We all stumble at some point of our lives, was there ever a time where you wanted to give up? What did you learn from it?
Stumbling is a constant visitor in our lives and we have to stay ready. When I decided to get serious with my blog, I was going through the post-grad blues of living away from my best friends (my roommates), being thrown in a whole new environment and “adulting.” Blogging was the safe, familiar zone. My biggest advice for when you feel like you’re in a low phase of your life is to recall the places, people and things that brought you happiness and gave you inspiration. Mine are my siblings and nephews, earl grey tea, finding new music and traveling to a new place. You have to remember to take care of your soul if you don’t feel right within !

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On The Rise: Jerijah West


Jerijah West attended Syracuse University  with hopes of becoming a lawyer. However, along his college journey he was reminded of his true purpose; dancing. Let’s find out more about his path to dancing.

Tell me about yourself.

I was born and raised in Englewood, dancing has always been a form of expressions for me. When they performed the ultra sound, they told my mother, that I will lead the children of God through dance because I was moving so much. Dancing was not something that I chose but it chose me from the womb. It was a higher power that had control of my talents.

How did you get into the dancing industry?

While my mom was a student at William Paterson University, her professor gave her tickets to Batoto Yetu  performance and that’s where I had my had my aha moment. At home my mom was always teaching us about African-American history, so to see people my age dancing and embracing their culture was truly an eye opener for me.

Did you have a back up plan, if dancing didn’t work out?

No I didn’t have a back up plan, considering that my purpose was God’s choice for me, it was always a matter of how I was going to achieve it. If that’s what my purpose is, I can’t have a back up plan.

You’ve had the opportunity to travel around the world and also perform for some very well-known artists, how do you remain humble?

Honestly, traveling is a blessings, you would be surprised how many kids our age don’t have a passport and it’s not because they are closed-minded but because of the lack of financial resources. Every time I travel I find a piece of myself, the cultural exchange can never be taken for granted.

new-headshotIs there an artist or dance you want to work with that you have not yet had the opportunity?

I was blessed to perform for MJ for 30th anniversary and if the opportunity comes by I would love to work with Janet Jackson. However there’s a few people who I know that I will benefit from their experience Fatima Robinson, Tanisha Scott and of course Beyonce; she puts the P in Perfection.

What can you tell someone trying to break into this industry?

Be consistent, have faith and don’t compromise your integrity. Be a sponge and identify people you want to be a mentee or mentor.

If you can write a letter to your younger self what would you tell him about pursuing his dreams?

Understand how important resilience will be in your journey. Stay committed and be YOU! Trust the process, be humble an d always give Thanks.

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How Dr. Samone Is Helping Others Be Their Symmetrical Self.

img_1184Dr.Samone desire to help others started at a young age so it was only right that she would find herself in the field of psychology. Helping her clients find the balance, harmony and beauty in their lives is the biggest gift she feels she could give the world. Let’s find out more about Dr.Samone journey to psychology.


1. What led you to a career in psychology?
When I was younger I wanted to be a Veterinarian; I always loved helping animals. I would feed them, take care of them and host funeral services for them with my friends. However, what brought me to the field of psychology was much more than curiosity, but it was also part of a revelation on the day that I decided that I wanted to take my life away.
I was puzzled that these thoughts came to mind and wanted to find out more about how the brain works and find out on how we think affects us.

2. As the human, we are born with capabilities to achieve things beyond our imaginations, how do we put our best foot forward to reach them?
Get out of the mindset that if you take the same road as this person you will be famous, or if you get this designer bag you will feel right. This is your life when you let people navigate it becomes theirs and not yours. To put your best foot forward, you have to put YOU first. Remember and envision what you want out of life.Once you’re able to achieve your small goals, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back because you are your biggest cheerleader. Whenever you get up, and your eyes are open it is another opportunity to be the best version of yourself that’s only you could achieve your goals.

3. What is Symmetrical Self?
When something is symmetrical, it is similar on both sides. Since I wanted to work with people I wanted them to know that to be beautiful on the outside, you have to feel beautiful on the inside. Symmetry is beautiful, it is balance it is also harmonious, and that’s why I wanted to focus my work around that.
4. In the black community there seems to be a stigma attached to depression, how can we put an end to it?
Masking depression as being upset or being weak isn’t going to solve the issue. We need to stop taking it lightly and seek professional help. We have dealt with so many difficult times in the past that when we encounter depression, we take it lightly like it’s another hurdle like its part of life plans. Depression doesn’t make you weak, in fact saying that you have a problem doesn’t make you weak, but it makes you strong because you realize you need help. However to put an end into the stigma we have to educate ourselves about it.

5. How can we detect someone who is depressed?

Here’s a list that can help you detect it:
• Loss of interest in activities that they once loved.
• Their expressions changed
• Trouble falling asleep/ insomnia
• Change in eating/ too much/ less eating
• Irritated, not enthusiastic
• No Confidence in themselves
• Suicidal/ Isolation

6. As young professional, we tend to fall into societies ideal of success, which sometimes can be overwhelming and can take a toll on our health. How do we stand in our truth?
What you need to realize is the YOU concept; when you let people put ideas into your psyche and tell you what the markup of a successful person is  because they can buy a designer shoe or dress, you are letting them take control of your mind. Those things are transparent, and they don’t provide value to who you are. You are put for a reason find out what it is and stop putting your spirit into material things. Because once you can’t afford to buy the Gucci bag your spirit is gone and you work yourself out for that. Find out your truth and see watch where it will take you.

7. What advice would you give to an aspiring psychologist?
Don’t let others tell you it’s a nothing career because a lot of people said that I was wasting my time, but I didn’t let that stopped me because I knew I was destined to be a psychologist. Also get ready to study hard because some of those subjects are not for the faint.

8. Imagine you are writing a letter to your younger self; what would you say to her?
You are smart, caring and you have a gift to make others feel they are worth it and that they are somebody. Don’t let people continue to change you, embrace the hard times because they will mold you.You will turn out to be a blessing just like God wanted to be all along.