Building the BrickHouse

Mr. Vernon Cheeks 

Veron Cheeks PolishedBricks picMy name is Vernon Cheeks, a young man from the Southside of Chicago, Illinois. I am majoring in Sports Management and will be graduating from Indiana State University in the Spring of 2016. I grew up in a single-parent home trying to overcome obstacles in the streets of Englewood in Chicago. I was a member of UrbanPrep which was an academy that focused on helping prepare young men to succeed in their future endeavours. As of today, I am a leader, a son and now serve as an SGA President at Indiana State University. I am the first black Student Government Association President that Indiana State has had in seven years. I intend on going to Graduate School for Sports Administration.

PolishedBricks Welcomes Lauren Rascoe

Lauren Rascoe PolsihedBricksSince her graduation, She has authored her first book of poetry, Beneath My Beautiful: Poetry & Love Notes, which will be released in April. She is currently obtaining her master’s degree in International Marketing in an intensive 12-month program at one of the most international schools in the world, Hult International Business School based in Boston, Massachusetts. She will be participating in their infamous rotation program, to spend 6 weeks at their San Francisco campus during the summer. She come from a family that is known for theirfaith in God, our passion, dedication and hard work. She have always considered myself to be a connoisseur of art and she am very passionate about expression. Life has never been a piece of cake, although it may seem that way from the outside looking in, but she have learned that she must always make my setbacks my come backs and always take ever failure as an opportunity to learn and move forward. Remembering who she is and where she come from has always been a motivation to keep working towards my goals and following my passions. It’s okay to take risks, because the most influential women did not sit back, they made noise; and it is a goal of mine to leave a mark every place she go. She plans to impact the world we live in and she chooses to be the change she wish to see.

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PolishedBricks Newest Member : Makyla Thompson

I am a writer. I love to write, and I didn’t even know that I did until my step mother told my father, and then my father told me. It made sense, because I’ve had so many diaries as a kid. Writing in those diaries helped me a lot as I was growing up. I was bullied in high school, and had to see a therapist, and counselor every week. Not only did I have to deal with the issues in school, but I had to deal with them at home. I was depressed a lot, and even wanted to do self-harm. Me and my mother did not really get along, and before I knew it I was living with my dad, and my new step family. It wasn’t easy the first year. Me, my father, and step mother budded heads a lot. I am pretty sure I was a difficult teenager to deal with, but at the same time I don’t think they knew that I was in the middle of trying to find who I was. To me it seemed like everybody knew what they wanted to do in life except for me. My step mother bought me four diaries, and I would write in them every day. To me writing is a stress reliever. All I have to do is turn on some music and start writing or typing. I thought I wanted to be in Law enforcement, I thought I wanted to be a vet, and a chemist. Let’s just say it didn’t work out, and that’s how I found out what my true meaning in life was. I am a reporter for Indiana State University’s newspaper called the Statesman. It can be challenging some times, but it is fun. Hopefully I will have a career being a radio journalist, or wherever my writing will take me. I believe that the events that God let happen in my life happened for a reason, and I also believe that he brings people in my life for a reason. They are the very people who remind me that life is worth living. My name is Makyla Thompson, and I am a writer.

PolishedBricks Recognizes Nkenge Humphries

By: Kelah MckeeNkenge Humphries

PolishedBricks would like to recognize a powerful, young Black activist, Nkenge Humphries. Nkenge is a Junior,majoring in Communication at Indiana State University, Member of Mentor Assistance for Prospective Scholars (M.A.P.S), Black Student Union, Full Owt Dance Crew, and many other organizations. Nkenge provides knowledge on cultural awareness and she speaks on controversial topics, such as Black on Blue crimes, Human rights and a lot of racial based topics. Nkenge is not your average black college student during the recent Human Rights day protest leaded by African American students at Indiana State had to bring awareness to the BlackLivesMatter movement; The Keynote speaker, Nkenge said “I will not stop chanting, protesting, just because you feel uncomfortable, I want you to feel uncomfortable because this happens to a community of people everyday.” She believes in the importance of every human race but more importantly, equality and justice for Blacks. Ms.Humphries is a firm representation of an African American Queen. The definition of a queen is someone who inherits her birth rights, Ms. Humphries displays this qualities of a queen at all times. She greets everyone of her black sisters and brothers with their ancestral name of King or Queen. She is a visionary role model, the Angela Davis of this century and PolishedBricks salutes you, Queen Nkenge Humphries.

PolishedBricks Recognizes FIERCE Inc.

Jonnae Chantele PolishedBricks picPolishedBricks recognizes FIERCE Inc. for its outstanding movement to celebrate those individuals who do not let society define them by stereotypes. It is said by the Creator & Owner of FIERCE Inc, Jonnae Chantele, “We are the makers and shakers of our own destiny and decide for ourselves how we want to be portrayed, hence they are FIERCE.” Ms. Jonnae Chantele is an Alumni of Indiana State University with a Bachelors degree in Communications. During her time at Indiana State University, she was the Editor -In- Chief of Word on the Yard which is a magazine under the Charles E. Brown African American Cultural Center. And now she is the editorial assistant for the Gary/Chicago Crusader Newspaper at the Gary office. PolishedBricks would like to thank Ms. Jonnae Chantele for inspiring people to be a fiercer themselves. We look forward to sharing your Brick with the PolishedBricks community. One last thing, we welcome you to the PolishedBricks’ family with open arms and are grateful for your support.

PolishedBricks Welcomes Jacoby Sherrell

Jacoby Sherrell PolishedBricksMy name is Jacoby Sherrell and I am currently a junior at Indiana State University. I major in Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in psychology. My time at Indiana State University has been both a challenging but exciting experience. Being a student at ISU has allowed me the chance to be a volunteer at CASY, 14th and Chestnut, and with Big Brother Big Sister. All of these sites have allowed me to realize that I truly have a passion for volunteering. I have two jobs on campus. The first is in Residential Life, where I am a Residential Assistant (Rhoads Hall and Lincoln Quads). The second job is in the Charles E. Brown African American Cultural Center, where I am a student assistant. I am also in the Mentoring Assistance for Prospective Scholars program with two roles. I am both a scholar and the chair of the gentlemen’s society. My other involvement on campus has allowed me the opportunity to be a college readiness counselor for the LEAP program and the President of Truth and Light Ministries. The LEAP program is for both first generation and troubled students. I am also a part of the following honor societies: Alpha Lambda Delta, Sigma Alpha Lambda, Psy Chi as well as Omicron Delta Kappa. I have had two internships and a job shadowing experience. The internships consist of the ISUcceed and SURE program with a focus of sustainability as well as being a data analyst for the Student Success Program. The job shadowing was done in Regional Hospital under an occupational Therapist. I am also a candidate for SGA to be a senator. Lastly, I just came back from an Alternative Spring Break service trip in Costa Rica. This trip gave me a new perspective on life because I saw what it truly means to be in poverty. This may seem like a lot to balance, but being in college has made me realize that I don’t have to go through it alone. I realized just how necessary it was for students to have these experiences, which is why I jump at the chance to assist student by any means necessary when it comes to goals and beyond. This is what I have found at ISU and I want others to recognize the opportunities as well.

Personal Testimony from the President

Here is where I was:

I was a stuck-up 18 year old with one senior citizen parent and the other hearing impaired. I  started college because it seemed like the right thing to do. I came to college, did the average college student things, like could not wait for the party on Thursday night and did not mind to the walk or the cold but hated walking to class Friday morning. I realized that I had started going down a spiral , so I stopped. I quit hanging with bad company and became fearful to even enjoy life.

Here is what I saw:

I was sitting in another professor office sharing my last pity party story and She said only you have the power to control what happens in your life. That same week after I got accepted as her employee for Mentoring Assistance for Prospective Scholars ( M.A.P.S) and had a meeting with my co-workers/peers, I started think what has not been done yet.

Here is what I did :

I composed a list of thing I was good at and things that made me happy. On that list, multiple times in different forms, all I kept seeing was growth in African American community and advertising me. I thought then well what if I advertise other African Americans who are helping grow the African American community. In one day, I composed a website of what I wanted people who joined my network to have access to. I was proud of my accomplishment but that was not the end, that was just the blueprint. I stopped working on my passion and the things that made me happy to accomplish some of my school work goals but found that made me miserable. So, now I have publicly announced my organization, PolishedBricks and I have a joy I have never experienced before.

Here is what could happen:

You could be apart of the positive elite of African Americans on You could get your story to the right person who needs to hear the things you have to say .You could be helping change the negative outlook on African Americans with the rest of your PolishedBricks’ family. You could be a witness to the anything can happen slogan , with knowledge and a lot of hard work.  

The Newest Member

Meet the newest addition to our Brickhouse family
 I am the newest member of  Polished Bricks and My Brick is Poetry. I have been writing poetry since I was ten years old. The reason I found poetry to be my niche is because I was having experiences which lead me to thoughts of suicide when I was growing up and every time I would feel alone I would write. The more and more I began to write, the more profound my writing became. Instead of trials and possible suicide, I started a web page on Facebook called Kelah’s Ink of Words . My mission statement was “Let your words be the ink and let spill on the page and may your poetry appear.” It was a way for people to express themselves through their very own poetry and vent a little to a small community.