Fall 2017 – Exotic Animals, Red Wine and More

Yoga 4 Change

By Julia Newton and Kelton Givens

Many might not think about yoga when they think of rehabilitation however there is one Jacksonville organization which feels differently. Yoga 4 Change is a non- profit organization which works with veterans, incarcerated individuals, vulnerable youths, and individuals dealing with substance abuse. Those involved with the organization are usually yoga instructors who go to different location where these individuals are and do a yoga class with them. Although participants tend to be reluctant at first, by the end of a class it can be seen how each person’s guard has been let down.

Melissa Moulton is a student at the University of North Florida and a yoga instructor. When she is not at the university teaching yoga classes, she is working with Yoga 4 Change as an instructor. As a teacher, she has learned about the importance of taking time out to calm both the mind and body. Moulton has also gotten a better understanding of why the organization is of such importance. “Yoga 4 Change is pivotal for Jacksonville because trauma doesn’t discriminate based upon social, economic status or education, or anything like that,” said Moulton.

Another Jacksonville native who understands the importance of yoga is Jayme Hiller. Hiller is a yoga instructor for Yoga 4 Change and has been involved since her friend Katheryn founded the program. Hiller goes to different facilities such as prison, halfway houses and rehab centers and teaches yoga. Hiller, as does Yoga 4 Change, believes that yoga can be a great source of rehabilitation. By implementing yoga into these different facilities, Hiller feels that it can do nothing but benefit and strengthen those who decide to participate. “I think it’s just very important work for our community to tap into these populations and help them work through their own issues instead of being punitive,” said Hiller.


Growing Up Deaf

By Katie Connors and Hannah Simmons

At first glance, we develop a list of observations and descriptions of people and things. Not everyone has the same shaped nose or the same hair color. There are many physical differences among people, but we too often forget the details beyond the physical appearance.

Beyond different colored eyes are different eye sights and so forth.

There are five senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing, but not every person possesses all five. When you do not have a sense, it can be difficult to adapt. We are living in a world where the norms are always changing. For Joshua Prado and Nathalie Bopst, the inability to hear brought them together.

Joshua grew up deaf because of complications during birth. His family did not search for a ways for Joshua to develop hearing. Instead of exploring medical help, they all learned sign language. Joshua was taught that he should not view being deaf as a disability. He was told to pursue whatever goals he wanted in life without feeling hindered.

He says there needs to be more education about being deaf. There is not enough awareness for the hearing community to be educated on the deaf community.

Nathalie Bopst was also born deaf, but her family did not know until she became a toddler. Her family chose to raise Nathalie with hearing aids. She learned how to communicate with her large family who all has hearing. Her mom learned sign-language and taught it to Nathalie when she was young. As she grew older, they continued to search for new ways to help Nathalie hear more.

After her hearing aids stopped working for her, she opted for a new path= cochlear implants. At the age of sixteen, she received her first one and her second at eighteen. Nathalie said she had to relearn how to hear.

Though Joshua and Nathalie’s stories differ, they both have had challenges growing up deaf in a hearing world. And they are not alone. According to The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 1 in 20 Americans are hard of hearing or deaf. There are around 100,000 implanted cochlear implants in the United States alone.

Living without one of your senses can be challenging, but Joshua and Nathalie do not wish they were different. They believe that being deaf is only a part of who they are, and it does not define them.

Do you know of anyone who has grown up without hearing or one of their other senses? Feel free to share your stories with Inside Jacksonville.


The Dazzling Lady Saints

By Joslyn Simmons and Marielisa Martinez

Finding a group of friends isn’t always easy, especially in high school. But through a mutual love of dancing, this local high school group has become more than that but an extended family.

The Dazzling Lady Saints was created in 2015 by Jalea Hill, a former Sandalwood dancer and current teacher. She wanted to create a team that was more than just an after school program but a competitive force.

For this group of ladies such as Kimberly Williams, Hill is more like a friend who they can go to.
Nyla Foster, a sophomore, sees dance as a relief for stress and a bonding tool.
“When I first came here I didn’t know anybody, and now I’m close to every single person of the team,” Foster said.

The team is compromise of all levels of skills and grades.
Brenda Perez,a junior has learned to shake her craft and becomes a team player.
“I definitely learn to share the spotlight, I’m not going to lie, so yeah just learned to share and love more, you know? Become one, you can’t dance as an individual all the time you have to you,” Perez said.

Hill has also use her role to provide communication advice to the young women.

“As they go off into the adult world, a lot of them will join sororities or clubs in college. They’ll will know because they were on the dance team, ok this is how a sisterhood should be,” Hill said.
This thinking has already made an impact when Kebrionna Renfro went through her own rough time.

“It was actually when my grandad died and I was just sad and dancing makes me feel like I have something to live for, like, it just makes me happy,” Renfro said.

No matter what, this group are continuing to grow as an unit on and off the dance floor.


CORK – Artists Heaven 

By Noura Zakaria and Tierney Harvey 

When it comes to art, many people have numerous definitions regarding the simple question of “what is art”? Well for most, art could mean anything; from dancing, to painting.

Jacksonville’s urban core is full of industrial looking warehouses without any character. But one building in the Riverside neighborhood is different. At first glance, CORK might seem abandoned, but the graffiti is actually the work of artists who share its studio space. At this local art studio, named for its location at the corner of Roselle and King, has become a home for local artists including Princess Rashid and Tony Wood.

Princess Rashid has a talent for printmaking and expresses her love for this art studio, saying that she feels less stressed and has more fun with the people she works with now than when she worked at her previous art studios.

Tony Wood is another artist who focuses his time painting more realistic pictures to express some kind of emotional resonance. In order to be able to get the picture to come out so life-like, Tony uses real-life models or photo references.

Since CORK is not open to the public, make sure to be on the lookout for upcoming events where artists like Princess and Tony will be showcasing their talent for all of the Jacksonville community to see.


Wine could be the new beer, studies show

By Tiffany Salameh and Pierce Turner

The youngest millennial just turned 21. What’s their drink of choice?

“I drink wine about four to five times a week,” Sidorella Gavoci a Millenial wine drinker said.

Yes, wine. New research from the Wine Market Council shows Millennials drank almost half of the wine in the United States in 2015. 160 million cases to be exact.

Daryl Wolfe, The Wine Manager at Total Wine says that millennial interest in wine doesn’t come as a surprise to him.

“I think for most wine drinkers, millennials included, wine is something to be savored, it’s something to be enjoyed,” Wolfe said. “Maybe people are getting a little tired of beer all the time.”

Gavoci said her interest in wine comes primarily from it’s taste.

“I just focus on my wine,” Gavoci said. “The older I get the more I want to drink wine over beer.”

According to Wolfe, the attraction to wine doesn’t just come from it’s flavor. It’s packaging and looks play a big role in why it’s being picked up off the shelf.

“A pretty package goes a long way,” Wolfe said.

According to the Wine Market Council, 30 percent of high frequency wine drinkers are millennials. They’re also drinking an average of 3 glasses of wine per sitting, more than any other generation. While national studies show wine is trending among millennials, it’s even apparent on the First Coast.

Jessica Cornelison is a manager and bartender at The Wine Bar in Jacksonville Beach. She’s excited to see more young people coming in and drinking wine.

“Wine is beautiful. It looks fancy, you feel fancy when you’re drinking it but that’s part of the ambiance to it, that’s part of the curb appeal,” Cornelison said.

She thinks wine is an important part of history.

“Behind every glass of wine that you have, it is an untold story, it’s a history lesson,” Cornelison said. “You don’t know anything about it until someone puts you on the right path. But that’s where I find value in my job, is to cater to the younger crowd, the millennial crowd.”