This is the first time in a long time that I have started a journey in my career where I’ve been scared. It’s such a huge thing and I’m scared. But dang it I’m running with it anyway! My parents didn’t raise a punk, so I’m putting on my big girl trunks and doing this!

Storiboard Nation LLC
I Co-Founded this company with my business partner, Markeith Wood. We first met in November 2013, and by February 2014 I decided to switch my role from serving as a consultant to actually becoming a partner. In March the company was legally formed.

I serve as the Co-Founder and Chief Global Strategist (and behind the scenes wearing a bunch of other hats!)

Markeith and I both share a passion for community and especially working with and mentoring the youth. We had similar ideas for an online mentoring network, but Markeith’s idea was super-sized as his vision had potential to be global, while I hadn’t broadened my focus beyond serving one nonprofit organization near and dear to me (hint hint). We put our minds together, tweaked some of our original thoughts, and I began sharpening my techie (after many years of laying dormant).

Ladies and gentlemen I introduce you to Storiboard Nation, “an online mentoring network for youth, supported by parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors“. It’s a private network where we have students in middle school through college engaging in dialogue with their peers, with each other and with the adults who want to see them succeed.

Adults have to undergo extensive background screening before they can gain access to the network. We have student-only and adult-only forums. We have groups that meet and discuss topics from music to STEM, entrepreneurship to sports, attending college to changing the environment, and everything in between.

We’re creating an online community “where we can build tomorrow’s leaders today!

We already have teachers with more than 350 students waiting for us to open the virtual doors to them. The teachers have been part of our BETA testers along with several parents, coaches, and mentors.

We have students in grades 6-12 as well as several who are in college, who are adding their voice and creativity to helping us build the online community in a way that’s appealing to youth and not just us “old folks”.

We’re partnering with mentoring and youth organizations, as well as businesses from around the world who are interested in taking part in what we believe will be a big impact not just locally but globally.

We’re currently developing our mobile app, which will make interacting simpler and more engaging, and will give us the global presence that is needed. We’re also actively looking for team members and partners to help us build Storiboard Nation to where it needs to be.

To get a sneak peek into Storiboard Nation visit storiboardnation.com

Markeith and I are simultaneously working on other projects beyond the online community that will reinforce and nurture what we’re currently developing. Stay tuned for more announcements concerning those efforts.

Remember life is about our stories, share yours today on Storiboard Nation!

Warmest wishes,
Natasha

COPYRIGHT 2014. NATASHA FOREMAN BRYANT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

By Natasha Foreman Bryant

Parents and guardians now have a little more room to breathe when it comes to their beloved teens behind the wheel of a vehicle—phone apps that help prevent texting while driving. I’m sure there are more apps in the marketplace since this May 2013 article was published, but here’s a good start. Please remember that none of the apps are 100 percent foolproof, hack-proof, etc., but these apps do a pretty good job according to this review. Please share your feedback and experiences.

 

Source:

http://internet-safety.yoursphere.com/2013/05/five-apps-that-help-prevent-texting-while-driving/

 

Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman.

By Natasha Foreman Bryant, MBA
 
 I love learning new things. So I get excited when I learn facts about people, products, things and places that I sometimes take for granted, for instance, I use Crest toothpaste, sometimes drink Folgers coffee, I like to pop in Bounce fabric softener in my laundry, and before I stopped drinking soda I used to love slurping back a can of Crush soda (Orange or Strawberry).
 
 


Well I was very surprised to find out that these products and more were developed by an African American chemist and executive, Dr. Herbert C. Smitherman, Sr. when he worked at Procter and Gamble beginning in the 1960s.
 
 


Dr. Smitherman developed several flavors of Crush many of which are still on grocery store shelves today.


Now I’m sure some of my friends from high school or even college will tell me that I knew this little known fact, but I honestly can’t recall—which is sad, especially since I have a degree in Black Studies. Uugh…well let me continue sharing what I found out about this great innovator.
 
 Dr. Smitherman was the first African American hired by P&G with a PhD in physical organic chemistry, and he continued working for the company for 29 years, helping to develop numerous products for them, while also helping to make P&G a more diverse company, as he recruited a great number of African American professionals to work for the company from the 1960s through the 1980s.
 
 How many of you use (or used) Safeguard soap? Well be sure to say, “thank you” to the late Dr. Smitherman, Sr for developing that for your daily use!
 
 Check out this 1960s Crest commercial: http://youtu.be/cbXuW97l3DQ
 
 Developing products and creating a more diverse environment for P&G aren’t the only things Dr. Smitherman did in his lifetime. Besides earning his PhD, the only child to an Alabama pastor (also a community activist), also served in his community, as an active member of the NAACP. He and his wife of 51 years, Barbara Flowers Smitherman, had six children and 14 grandchildren. The couple met while they attended college at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
 
 After retiring from P&G, Dr. Smitherman pursued a career in education, serving as vice president of academic affairs for Wilberforce University. Dr. Smitherman then started Western Hills Design Technology, a high school that was created to assist African American students in math and science. He later joined the Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education as an assistant to Superintendent Mary Ronan.
 
 Dr. Smitherman passed away on October 9, 2010 at the age of 73. He left to carry on his legacy his wife, children, and grandchildren. He also left behind a history that can never be forgotten, as long as we do our part to share it in our households, communities and with the world. Some of the many patents Dr. Smitherman developed for P&G were featured in the ‘’America I AM: The African American Imprint’’ exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Check with America I AM for current and future exhibits around the country, by visiting: http://www.americaiam.org
 
 Every time I purchase a P&G product developed by Dr. Smitherman I will smile proudly at the cash register and all the way home. Thank you Dr. Smitherman for your amazing contributions to the world.
 
 Please share this story and other historical records of contributions made by men and women of color, and the African American experience, as it oftentimes goes overlooked, and has increasingly been removed from history books given to students in grades K-12. I don’t recall reading about Dr. Smitherman in any of my K-12 classrooms, and he’s not searchable on Wikipedia, so I know that the majority of students today don’t know about him and other pioneers, innovators, and leaders—don’t forget, many of them go to Google and Wikipedia for their research and fact checking.
 
 Knowing this, let’s do our part to keep the light lit and the information churning!
 
 
 
 Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved. Natasha Foreman Bryant.

By Natasha Foreman Bryant

First let me start off by thanking my friend and colleague Steve Woodsmall for sharing the video link below with me. I know that the headline of my post has probably left all or most of you scratching your head. I’m hoping that it does and that you have not already voiced an opinion for either Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act.

I say this because they are both one in the same, and oh yeah, so is Health Care Reform.

What is amazing is that there are probably thousands and thousands of people who don’t realize this and they have voiced their opinions strongly within their households and publicly, either for or against ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act, or Health Care Reform.

Please watch this video so that you can see for yourself how people who seem to be well-educated are also extremely ignorant on this topic, and why we all must take the time to:

1) Increase our level of common sense with as much passion as we pursue our formal education, and

2) Teach people to think for themselves, research, ask questions, and not be so quick to follow the crowds.

To put things bluntly, if the people in this video were cattle they would’ve already been slaughtered, because they allowed themselves to be brainwashed into believing one thing and one thing only, and they naively and ignorantly have followed this belief (and those who preach it) down a rabbit hole of nonsense.

If they don’t know about this, what else are they blindly swayed by? What other topics have they been chiming in on and voting on the last 12+ years? How many of their relatives, neighbors, colleagues, and friends think and vote just like them?

How many voters or potential voters does that add up to?

Now think about this… think about all of the local, state, and federal elections that these individuals and others participate in regularly because they want their voice heard and their vote counted.

I have heard voters over the years admit to simply filling in boxes on the ballot even though they had no clue what the topics and laws meant, or how they would be impacted. They would’ve been better off just voting for the one or two candidates they wanted, and leaving the rest of the ballot blank, but instead they took it upon themselves to cast a vote for things they knew nothing about. We’ve been brainwashed to chime in and ‘fill in the bubble’ on issues with the same carelessness as we do multiple choice exams where you simply fill in a bubble.

How many of you recall teachers and proctors telling you to simply, “answer each question even if you don’t know the right answer, just fill in a bubble with your best guess because you may just get the right answer...” How many of you can admit to randomly filling in C-A-B, A, C, B, and so on, and reciting what you were taught that, “there’s a higher probability of ‘C’ being the correct answer“. Well there seems to be a lot of ‘fill-in-the bubble’ people in this country.

This truly bothers me. Just like this ObamaCare versus Affordable Care Act debate and foolishness.

Come on folks, with all of the technology and resources available to us, take the time to inform and educate yourself about topics, laws, statutes, etc., especially the ones that affect millions of people, and possibly even your own family.

Just because you hear a message repeated multiple times does not mean that the message is accurate. Just because an image is shown to you repeatedly, doesn’t mean that what you see and what you are being told that you see are identical. If someone tells you that the letters G-R-E-E-N represent the color blue and you don’t take the time to research that, you will spend your entire life believing that to be true. A yellow building will always be pink if you never question or triple-check the person telling you that it’s pink. These are the critical thinking skills we claim we are teaching our kids to acquire and use.

If you don’t know about the Affordable Care Act also known as ObamaCare, please visit http://healthcare.gov or call (800) 318-2596.
TTY is (855) 889-4325. Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees can call (800) 706-7893. TTY is (800) 706-7915.

To help better educate the people of this great nation, please share that website and the phone numbers with every person that you know regardless if they have health insurance or not. They need to know the facts. They need to know that:

1) The Affordable Care Act is available for all persons who are uninsured or facing this gloomy fate.

2) It’s an open marketplace that allows citizens to find affordable insurance without the fear and burden of pre-existing condition clauses, and other red tape normally associated with the health insurance game.

3) If they are already insured by their employer or have self-paid insurance then they don’t need to do anything but enjoy their insurance benefits.

4) Those receiving state assistance already have Medicaid (which in California is Medi-Cal). As they transition into jobs and better opportunities, they will have more options afforded by the open marketplace.

5) Children of employees are now covered by their employer-sponsored insurance up to the age of 26, when most insurance carriers traditionally drop dependents from coverage between the ages of 18 and 23.

6) It doesn’t apply to or affect everyone.

There’s so much more information that people need to discover about the Affordable Care Act that they won’t learn by simply watching the news, listening to radio or television programs, or gossiping about it in the barber shop or hair salons—or even on the golf course.

Like or dislike the Affordable Care Act after you have been well-versed and done exhaustive research. We need people to really use their common sense and their critical thinking skills. Let’s think, educate and empower ourselves and our people!

Video Source: http://www.hulu.com/watch/539715
Video Footage: Jimmy Kimmel Live

Copyright 2013. Some Rights Reserved. Natasha Foreman Bryant