On Pinterest: My first Two Boards

I have been documenting my personal history since I was seven years old. I have countless notebooks filled with my thoughts on my personhood, my relationships, the relationships of those I knew and the communities I took space in.

I wrote for years and years and as I did my interest in and reflections on community continued to develop rapidly. In high school, I started a blog (whoa).

Then, I started to feel that my words alone were not adequate, and turned to photography as a guiding passion. My dualistic interest in exploring both community and photography led me to creating my own major, visual sociology, when I began my undergraduate career at Wheaton.

The interdisciplinary nature of visual sociology has afforded me the opportunity to fully explore photography’s powerful ability to not only impact communities, but also provide a sociological lens through which to understand them.

Now, I am a senior in college, taking Introduction to New Media with Professor Josh Stenger continuing to explore these interests.

Continue reading On Pinterest: My first Two Boards

Caring for Myself & Respecting my Face #Sponsored

This blog post is written in collaboration with Neutrogena & Latina Bloggers Connect. Though I have been compensated to write this post, all opinions herein are my own.

My face is incredibly sensitive. Sadly, it always has been. As a young teen, I struggled with acne and now as a man leaving my teenage years behind I get painful, razor bumps when shaving too often. It also probably doesn’t help that I use generic soaps and lotions to wash and care for my face…

So, when I was given the opportunity to partner with Neutrogena I jumped at the chance. My friends have always spoken highly of their products and have pushed me to spend the extra few bucks to get a face wash, lotion and shave cream that was not only made for sensitive skin but maintained a great smell upon application. Now, I understand why their recommendations were always so strong and why America has made Neutrogena the #1 skin-care line for men!


Neutrogena sent me a bottle of Invigorating Face Wash which is clinically proven to improve skin’s healthy look while not over-drying; the gel cleanser also has a really great cooling lather. Additionally, I received not one, but two, products from the Razor Defense Line: The Shave gel and Daily Face Scrub. The Shave Gel protects the face from both cuts and razor bumps and The Daily Face Scrub actually builds your skin’s resistance to razor irritation! Finally I received the Triple Protect Face Lotion which has SPF 20 sunscreen. As I am going abroad in the next few months, having a lotion that protects my face from my own silly mistakes and the sun’s harmful effects is a must!

These neutrogena products have really made me reevaluate the way I care for myself. As a man, I find that there is not enough stress placed on how important our face actually is (not just for attracting people) but for overall health. It may seem silly but caring for my face in this way and watching my skin really light up has encouraged me to care for my body more completely and I know it will only get better from here!


East Dane Gift Card #Giveaway (3 Winners!)

I am by no means a fashion expert but I do have a very keen sense of style. I like feeling nice, I like looking nice. I steer clear of mass trends and clear my own fashion paths. I have found that works best when you want to make a statement and turn heads… because you are doing your own thing and look just as good (if not better) than those following the trends that disappear just as fast as they appeared.

East Dane has helped me to cultivate my look, allowing my closet a versatility that is unmatched. The last time I purchased from their site I actually brought a whole outfit: shirt, pants and shoes! Their merchandise is slowly taking up my closet and I’m not mad about that at all 😉

Now, don’t fret, I’m not here simply gloating! East Dane has graciously offered to giveaway three (3) gift cards to three different readers, one worth $100 and two others for $50!

All you have to do is use the Rafflecopter form below and comment what your favorite item off of the catalogue! Don’t forget to check out the 50% Off Men’s section!

These are two pieces that I’ve had my eye on:

In Men’s Latest:

Screenshot 2014-06-23 02.24.30

In Men’s Sneakers:

Screenshot 2014-06-23 02.24.58

In Men’s Accessories:

Screenshot 2014-06-23 02.51.19

Now it’s your turn! Let me know what your favorite piece is and you could win a $100 or $50 gift card to East Dane.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends June 27, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST and is open to US residents over the age of 18. Remember, a purchase does not improve your chances of winning!

Disclosure: East Dane is sponsoring this giveaway and is providing a gift card to me (the author). All opinions expressed herein are mine and not influenced by this sponsorship.

Digital Family Summit 2013

#16: Speak at a conference.

Two weekends ago I spent a few days in Baltimore, for The Digital Family Summit; a one of its kind conference geared towards the digital content-creating youth of our age.

It was an intimate gathering with a host of interactive activities. I found myself walking around the event space in awe. Keynote speakers, panelists and even event photographers were all kids. We were given a space to collaborate, and share our honest thoughts and that was so very much appreciated… especially because it doesn’t happen often. Thank you Adam and Stephanie!

My panel, Kid Bloggers: Four Teens & Tweens Doing it Well, was definitely a success. My panelists: Victoria, Lauren, and Emily; along with our moderator Isabel facilitated and contributed to a great conversation. Questions ranged from how we initially got started, to whether or not we had a 10-15 year plan for our social media presences. They weren’t easy questions, but they were worth the effort.

For those that weren’t in attendance, you can check out my pre-speaking interview on the Digital Family Summit. I give insight on what the youth should be thinking about in terms of their digital footprint, and the reason that I started blogging!

On top of all my fun at the conference, I was also able to get some great shots for my upcoming photo project!

This has definitely been a weekend to remember.

SxSW 2013 PanelPicker is Up and Running! Go Vote for Me!

And just like that, I’m at it again! 

Above is the proposal for this year’s SxSW PanelPicker on the topics of brand loyalty and awareness (well, the lack of it) in today’s teen.

As a teen myself, I’ve noticed that fewer and fewer companies are gearing their marketing efforts to us and when they actually do, they’re…. lame.

This has become a problem that is only getting worse… but it can easily be stopped with a humorous approach to the situation, a few creative ideas, and a person who has been through the marketing muck and knows ways in which they can be turned around… me.

You can click HERE to vote for me!

With voting accounting for 30% of the final decision, SxSW shows that community engagement with potential speakers is important. With that being said I’ve spent some time scrolling through PanelPicker and I have found these five other sessions you should give your vote to!

Continue reading SxSW 2013 PanelPicker is Up and Running! Go Vote for Me!

3 Reasons Why TOMS are the Best Conference Shoes

I’ve been to many conferences (even spoken at a few) and although the focus, content and people change there’s one thing that doesn’t: You’re on your feet all day. You move from room to room listening to industry leaders and thought provokers and shuffle around huge ballrooms networking and connecting with like minded individuals. Besides your meal times (and even then!) at conferences you rarely get time to just sit and relax. You’re always on the move.

It’s all great fun until your feet start hurting because we all know once they start hurting they won’t stop! Although there are millions of shoes out there I believe I have found the best pair to wear to whatever conference you go to!

Here are 3 reasons why I believe TOMS are incomparable in regards to conferences:

1. Comfort

  • Unlike Converse and many other canvas shoes, Toms offers arch support. With just the right amount, people like me- who have flat feet, and people like my mom- who have high arches are able to walk comfortably for hours.

2. Conversation Starter and motivational piece

  • What better way to start a conversation than talking to someone about a great cause that they could wear; and then collaborating to see how you could make an impact in a similar way using social media? After all that’s how TOMS made their big debut!

3. Fit for your taste

  • When it comes to my own personal style I like to make people look. I love bright colors. On the other hand my brother likes neutral colors. With different colors, styles and even textures nobody has to compromise. Need to look business casual? Wear TOMS with slacks and a button down. You just can’t go wrong.
What do you wear to stay comfortable while at conferences? Have you ever worn TOMS? Let me know in a comment below!