Wednesday, June 24, 2009

taking it day by day

Wow, I can not believe it's been over a month since I've written a blog post. Every since summer began I have have been so busy. Weeks following the end of the Spring semester I quit working at Gateway at Denton Apartments. The job turned out to be something completely different that what I thought it was going to be. I was unhappy with my job responsibilities as well as my management. I'm a big believer in companies expressing value and appreciation to their employees. At Gateway, they do not care how they treat you; they want you to things their way, no questions asked. So, since our beliefs were not compatible, I decided to separate myself from the company. However, I did still renew my lease here because I like my apartment and my friends, Nicky & Steven, had already signed a lease to be my roommates.

After I quit, I contacted my old manager at Overhead Door Corporation (this is where I worked before I worked at Gateway). When I put in my two weeks notice at OHD, my manager told me that I could always come back if my job turned out to be something other than what I thought it was going to be. In a way I feel as if he knew that I was going to end up coming back. OHD is an amazing company. It's a great place to work for college kids because they're very flexible with your personal work schedule, and you are only required to work every other Saturday. So last week, I started working back there again. It felt good to be back. They hired a lot of new people within my two month absence. The best part about coming back is that I got a raise! So I work there during the week & every other Saturday, but I'm still working at Red Lobster on the weekends.

About two weeks ago, two friends of mine and I decided we want to go to Vegas at the end of summer. My friend, Jarrod, and I have been talking about wanting to go for over a year now; we finally just committed and contacted Travel Agent. Damon, our Travel Agent, is getting us a really great deal for our 5 day/4 night vacation. I haven't gone anywhere in a long time so I'm super stoked about this trip. It'll be Jarrod, my friend Ashley, and myself that are going August 13Th-17Th. Also, two weeks ago, I started summer school. I'm taking Spanish 1010 at UNT. Reluctantly, it's not as hard as I imagined it was going to be. I haven't taken Spanish in 5 years, so I was pretty nervous about it. Thankfully, I have a great teacher who really wants us to succeed. She breaks it down and does not move on until she is confident that we all understand a certain part.

Along with working two jobs and taking summer school, I am also working with Falling Whistles remotely. I wanted to go to California for the internship but it was impossible. So, I'm in correspondence with an intern there, trying to set some events up in the Dallas area for FW. My friend and future roommate, Nicky, and I are serious about starting up a non-profit of our own. We both have a heart for helping those in need, as well as educating and motivating the youth of the world so that they will be successful in life.

So far, this summer has been all over the place. I live for "Margarita Mondays & .40 Wings Tuesdays" con mis amigos! I'm appreciating the simple pleasures in life as I'm getting older. I miss my family back in Louisiana. I won't be going down there this year for the 4Th of July because I have to save up for my Vegas trip, so I won't see them until Thanksgiving.

Yeah, I'm taking these three months to get my life together, get grounded, get back in touch with my faith, and to continually advance in maturity. With everyday that goes by, I am less and less tolerant of drama, bullcrap, and just any and everything that gets in the way of me achieving what I need to achieve. Cheers to summertime!

With Purpose,


Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Praise God! I made it through yet another collegiate year. I'm proud of my hard work and diligence this semester that produced a 3.5 for the semester. Never in my life, let alone my college career, have I made three A's. Such an achievement rejuvenated my confidence and further ensured me that I am going to make it through college. Thankfully, the semester went by pretty swiftly, making summer get her right in time.

Although the spring semester has ended, I'll only have three weeks out of a classroom because on June 8th, I start summer school. During the Summer 1 session, I will be taking Spanish 1010 and PSCI 1050. Stats & Spanish 2 will be taken during the Summer 2 session. This will be my first time in my college career to take summer school so hopefully I'll stay strong throughout. Along with taking summer school I will still be working two jobs with the addition of a remote intern position with Falling Whistles. I wanted to intern with them on site but that required me to go to Venice, California. Unfortunately, I can't afford to work for free the entire summer and do summer school.

These past few days have definitely been a whirlwind. Saturday, I got word that one of my childhood friend's grandmother died at the age of 84. Nanny was an incredible woman who I've known since I was in 5th grade. Always acted lady-like and looked her best at all times. I attended her funeral along with friends on Tuesday afternoon in Quinlin, TX. Prior to that, I took a random/blink of an eye roadtrip to Lubbock, TX! My friend Alexa lives there and goes Tech, and she needed to make a quick trip down there. I didn't have any plans for two day so I took on the 6hr trip as her companion. It was a fun time even though we were on there for less than 24hrs! Lubbock is flat, making you feel as if you can see to the ends of the Earth. It has a small town feel but there's so much to do there. The streets are really wide and it's surrounded by huge old homes with gigantic front porches. Tech itself is too a very nice campus. There's lots of open space and history. I liked how the campus is spread out over a few acres.

Even though I don't graduate until December 2010, I've been looking into graduate school for Sociology. Right now, I'm comparing the University of Texas at Dallas & Texas A&M University. They both have really good Sociology programs, but I don't know if I wanna move farther away from Dallas for another 2 years.

Today, I applied to be the campus rep for TOMS Shoes. TOMS Shoes is a company that for every pair of shoes a person purchases, they donate a pair of shoes to a child in need. I would love get the UNT population involved in such an amazing cause. Next year is going to be a great year. I'm looking to do some great things and make a definite mark before I leave Denton.

This Saturday, I'm going to a big 21st birthday extravaganza in Dallas for my friend, Kenny Leddy! Next Wednesday I'm going to watch the Rangers beat the Yankees! As for the res of the summer, I'm not sure what I'll be doing beside work, school, and going to Louisiana for the 4th of July. All I know is summer is here and so far it's off to a good start!

With Purpose,


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

decisions, decisions, decisions...

"What we do in life [[((echoes))]] in eternity."
There's not a millisecond that goes by without an individual having to make a decision. From whether not one should wear their Express V-neck or Ralph Lauren polo, or if one should move to Florida after graduating from college, a decision is made everyday. Some decisions are not as life changing as others, yet I do believe that we are affected in some fashion by every decision. Recently, I've been traveling on a roller coaster of decision making. These college years are crucial years in my lifetime in which making the wrong decision could be detrimental to my future. Last week, I almost made the wrong decision for my future that would not have helped me in the long run. It's so important that we know who we are and who we want to be so we don't make a decision that we think is right for us, and it ends up being the wrong one. For a second, I had forgotten who I was. Just because I fit in with a certain group does not necessarily mean I share the character and personality of that group. Thank God, my Savior revealed to me that I was trying to be someone I wasn't by saying yes to that decision, and helped me realize making that decision would not be best for me.

At 22, I feel like I'm forming into the person that I'm going to be for the rest of my life. As I encounter every situation and experience, I grow; I learn. I'm maturing and gaining ample "street smarts." I praise my Lord for all the times and heartache that I have faced. There's not one experience that has not taught me something. After this semester is over, I will have 3 semester left in my undergraduate career. I'll be done with college life and off to be a 23 year old man living life outside the "Mean Green bubble." I want to encourage everyone to know who you are, be who you are, and make decisions that will benefit you and only you.

I'm more than ready for this semester to be over. I'm looking forward to the hot summer days hanging out at the lake, goofing around with friends, and taking full advantage of Summer '09, when I'm not working or in summer classes, haha! This week is going by seemingly fast. I'm completely focused during this home stretch toward the end of this semester. My plan is not skip any classes up until finals. This is the time where I bust my butt, study super hard, and dramatically change my grades for the better. Pray for perseverance, diligence, and discipline.

With Purpose,


Friday, April 17, 2009

simple things

Two days ago, my grandfather turned 79. I called him to wish him a blessed birthday, not knowing how much talking to him would be lift my spirits. He absolutely loves life. Excitedly he shared with me that my mom threw him a surprise birthday party and he blew out all 79 candles in one blow! "They went out in one whop and the went down like the Titanic," he said. He was so ecstatic that I took time out of my day to call him and wish him a happy birthday. I assured him that there was nothing more important other than talking to my grandfather who has loved me before I even knew him.

This moment reminded of how much we take simple pleasures for granted. How many not view having the ability blow 79 candles out at ones 79th birthday party that exciting, it so very much is! We get so wrapped up in monetary gifts and "making it rain" in order to have fulfillment, that we are blinded to by the simple things that too can provide fulfillment.

I registered for Summer 2009 and Spring 2009 classes. This summer, I am taking a May-mester, Summer 1 & Summer 2. I talked to my advisor, and she basically planned out the rest of my semesters. I'm for sure graduating December of 2010. It's going to be such a fun summer :/

So, I have a new passion....I think. I want to take up photography as a hobby. I've always loved taking pictures and appreciate profound photography. Now I want broaden that and have actual work of my own. In the next few weeks, I will be researching and searching for a professional camera.

Tomorrow, I'm traveling to Kilgore, TX to go to "Revels" to see my lil sis, Nitasha Slagle perform is her first spring show as a Rangerette. Other than that, this weekend is filled with work and homework.

With Purpose,


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

on my grind

Right in front of my eyes, this semester is flying by. There's about a month left in the semester until summer vacation; words can't paint the picture enough of how elated I am for summer. I am at my happiest when summer is in season. I look forward to spending ample time on the lakes of Texas, tubing, jet skiing, and taking in the sun rays. However, my entire summer won't be spent on the water. A good chunk of each day, I will be sitting in a classroom because I'm taking 12hrs of summer school. If I do not want to be a year behind this is what I have to do.

So, Last week I started working at the new Red Lobster in Denton. I'm experiencing so much joy working in a restaurant, again. I thrive so much when I am just constantly interacting with people. Red Lobster really values their employees, as well. There's so many benefits provided for employees and ways for advancement. I work with some pretty cool people, too. Surprisingly, I knew none of my employees prior to working there. Currently, we're emensley overstaffed. Even guests comment on how many employees we have on the floor saying, "y'all have more employees than tables," haha. Yet, I'm happy and blessed to be serving and having cash flow. Right now, I just work on the weekends because I'm concurrently working at the Gateway and of course, school.

Due to my family situation, I am forced to be on my grind like this. I do not have parents, grandparents, or any other family members I can go to for help with my finances. However, God has blessed with a job that provides free rent, as well as a weekend job so I can have cash flow. I just need to get better at managing and budgeting my money so that my money is able to grow. I'm focusing a lot on staying positive and keeping positive people surrounding me. With Christ I know I will have great success.

To my fellow Dentonites: If you're afford to treat yourself this weekend, I suggest you do so at the new Red Lobster off of I-35, next to Olive Garden.

With Purpose,


Sunday, March 15, 2009


I have reached the middle of the Spring semester with summer in sight. After this week, it's the home stretch toward the end of Junior year.

Two weeks ago, I began working at my apartment complex, Gateway at Denton. I am a Community Assistant in which I lease apartments, give property and apartment tours, and distribute the mail to the mailboxes. So blessed I am to have this job; it's $550 that I don't have to scrape up every month.

Since I won't actually be getting a check from working at my apartment office, I need some type of cash flow. The Lord, once again, delivered another breathtaking blessing to me. Starting March 30Th, I will be serving at Red Lobster in Denton, TX. I am elated to get back into a restaurant interacting with patrons.

For the first time in my college career, I am not taking an extended Spring Break trip. I had plans to go to Panama City Beach, Fl, and/or South Padre Island. However, those plans failed and I was destined to be stationed at home for the entire break. At first, this really bothered me because I look forward to Spring Break as a chance to step out of my element, get away, relax, and be somebody else for 6 days. Yet, I've come to terms with that fact that I won't be vacationing anywhere, and I'm ok with that. I'll take this time to get back focused and disciplined. School has swallowed me whole enabling me to take care of my responsibilities.

Life isn't absolutely perfect, but I'm persevering anyway. Even though it hard, I'm trusting in my Lord to see me through. He is my strong tower. I have realized I can't get through this life by myself. With God, good friends, and family, I will end up on top.

"For life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer."

With Purpose,


Sunday, March 01, 2009

make their weapon your voice

From Sean D. Carasso

This time around, it’s all together new.

A year ago, I wanted to get lost. Today, I just want to understand.

Originally I went to Africa to put shoes on kids’ feet. My friend built a company grounded in giving and there I was, on the ground, giving.

After the Toms Shoe drop, I went wandering. Sometimes with friends, sometimes alone, sometimes safe, sometimes not. I wanted into the wild. And wild it was.

Herman Melville said of getting lost, “It is not down in any map; true places never are.”

I yelled at thieving monkeys and saw Nelson Mandela yell from a stage. Cried in refugee camps and laughed during moonlight tribal dances. Witnessed a baby born and parents buried. Climbed south to the bottom of the world and headed north to see invisible children become visible. Slept inside mansions and on mud, ate porridge and gazelle, fended off pickpockets, swam with otters and rarely stopped, showered or stood still.

For two months, there was death and destruction, failure and fear, adventure.wonder.motion. But all around was a pervasive hope moving steadily toward what could only be described as progress. Stories of change everywhere to be found.

Until I walked into the chaos of Congo. The so-called Democratic Republic of Congo, home to one of history’s deadliest wars. Strange circumstances led me to her doorstop, but there I stood ready to see what she might show my western eyes.

What was meant to be only a five day trip turned into something much more. My partner and I stumbled into Titu, an illegal prison for children, and learned that abducted boys too small to carry a gun were being forced to the frontlines armed with only a whistle. That night through tears I wrote, “with falling whistles, their only choice is to feign death or face it.”

We resolved to find the people responsible for this and ask them, face to face, why they were fighting. Everything and anything upside downed in this rich land of uncontrolled expanse. We found rebels who spoke poetry and warlords with vision. Seventy percent of the world’s rapes are here, but still, women lead the families. UN soldiers asked for bribes and men with nothing offered to help for nothing. Excuses abounded but honest answers were hard to come by.

Coming home and not knowing how to respond to what I had seen, one of my closest friends Marcus welcomed me home with a fierce embrace and an unusual gift. A whistle. Hanging just over my heart, this tiny tool kept the story of Falling Whistles alive. Everywhere we went, people asked what it was. That’s when it struck me. Their weapon could be our voice.

The world is changed by those who speak out. Whistleblowers. Rarely understood in their time, history looks back and calls them courageous. Whistleblowers speak up when few others will.

And so the Falling Whistles Campaign was born. The experts tell us that this war can be resolved. They tell us peace is possible. All we needs is a massive coalition willing to lobby for these kids freedom. We’re talking millions of us fighting for ‘the others.” It’s a big war they warn us, so the coalition will have to be committed to doing it time and time again.

We’ll then have to reintegrate all the children who were forced to fight so the cycle of violence doesn’t continue into the next generation.

So this is how we begin. Wear the whistle and become a whistleblower by sharing the story as a window into our world’s largest war. Buy the whistle and 100% of the proceeds go to support war-affected kids.

Seems easy enough. Speak up at home so they can speak up within the war. Grow the healing and grow the coalition. No problem.

For those of you who are new to this story, I’m going to send a few old journals to catch you up to speed. Then we’ll proceed with the adventure at hand - we crossed into Congo this very morning.

But, like I said, this time it’s all together new. A year ago, alone and overwhelmed, I gave up hope. This time we’ve got a team, they’re on the move and, we’re here to get some damn answers.

Make their weapon your voice.

***please feel free to pass this on to anyone and everyone***

Monday, February 23, 2009

fast forward

Since January 20th, I have been on a constant roller coaster. School took off on a speeding bullet, beginning the first day of classes. I have been very on top of my studies by spending almost every evening at the library. So far it hasn't been hard to do so. Thanks to the motivation and encouragement of friends, I've not had to really force myself to study. It's looking like a very easy semester, thus far, I just need to make sure I continue to stay focused.

I was blessed with the opportunity to work on another non-profit event in Dallas. My old friend/mentor, Alexander Pappas, contacted me to be part of LOVE is coming to town: a benefit for Falling Whistles. I was the PR Coordinator for the event and also worked on the venue layout. Falling Whistles is a cause that raises money for art therapy for war stricken children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. LOVE was held in the underground basement of South Side on Lamar. It was unique night of art, music, and love. By far this was the most amazing cause I have ever had the honor to be part of. Listening to the stories of the Congolese men and women, and what their families have suffered through, made me really think about how important it is the give back. The evening was a complete success. Sean D. Carrasso, founder of Falling Whistles, addressed the crowd about the passion behind FW and what they can do to contribute. We surpasses 1200 people in attendance when we were only expecting a little over 500.

I also had the privilege of being surrounded around amazing people of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. People who are passionate about giving and who follow their dreams. Artist Zach Saucedo has become one of my very good friends. Specializing is the artistry of trees, this man is one of most talented artist I have ever met. Ninya Johson, who works for Donny Nelson, has also become a great friend. Her love for the Lord and her drive, character, and motivation, is something to admire. Quest St. Jacobs, Lee Ann Herchman, Hillary Ferrar, and Jennifer Lewis, to name a few, are all incredible people whom have only begun to do great things in their life. Once again, I was inspired by those who are young and successful. That's why I'm ALWAYS in Dallas. The city is enthralled with ingenious, influential, and incredible human beings that keep me motivated to continue on my current path.

Last night, I went my my friend's birthday party and got to hang out with a lot of the people I met during the LOVE event. I also had a chance to meet and talk to Donny Nelson of the Dallas Mavericks. He was very cool and extended any type help he could provide me with in the future. I was so honored. Also, I met Lisa Endicott, a PR director in Dallas. She too like me and said I had great energy.

This will be my last week at Overhead Door. Next Monday, I will begin working at my apartment complex. I'm looking for a weekend job, so you know about any employment opportunities, please give me a call. This week should be very lax with no test or projects. I'm looking forward to a week without many responisiblites

With Purpose,


Sunday, January 04, 2009


Four days I ago, I participated in a toast with some of my closet friends. A toast to an incredible 2008, and to an even better 2009. Looking back, last year was so wild. I lost friends, reconnected with old friends, went on dates, never got a second date, turned 21, made it very apparent I had just turned 21, and engaged in a number of different events and situations. Moments that I wouldn't have wanted to be any other way than how they turned out to be. As for resolutions to commit to for '09, I've decided to not make any specific promises. I don't want to disappoint myself when the moment comes when I don't go to the gym, or when I devour that fried feast. No, instead I'm just going to make a promise to mature and be more disciplined than I was last year.

Every since I returned to Denton from Louisiana, I've spent ample time by myself every day. I'm practicing disciplines that will hopefully become habitual, so that I'm less likely to neglect them when the busyness of the semester swallows me. Simple practices such as, hanging up my clothes and putting dirty ones in the hamper; waking up a little bit earlier so I can make my bed before I leave in the morning; going to bed at a decent time so I don't wake up groggy and restless; keeping my room picked up so that when it's time to clean it's not a major project. So far it hasn't been difficult to be disciplined in these practices, but then again I'm not going to class for 15 hrs a day along with working 40 hours a week. Also, friends aren't tempting me with game nights and random late night I-Hop and Wal-Mart runs. Yet, when those occrrances do arise, my plan is to be able to have enough willpower built up to sometimes take a rain check on those activities so that I keep my priorities in line.

Something that I have been earnestly praying about since January 1, 2009, is that God will bring a special girl into my life I can shower with overflowing love in which encompass. Or, if there is already a girl in my life, I pray that God will let that be known so that I may pursue her, and get to know her on a different level. The single life has been fun but I yearn for that passion, comfort, delight, trust, and happiness only found when in a meaningful relationship.

Due to the economy in utter turmoil, my employer has been effected. Thus, they have cut our hours. Therefore, being the independent perservering individual I am today, this week I will venture out into the streets of Denton, TX, to find a second place of employment. As my fellow friends, I ask you to please not hesitate with any information or leads on possible places of employment that suits me.

With Purpose,