How to Save A High School Dropout in South Carolina

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Join Marissa Vannall in discussing how to provide a South Carolina high school dropout the opportunity to become successful in life. Meet staff who are responsible for providing the skills necessary for the young men and women to succeed in life after dropping out of high school. The discussion focuses on the South Carolina Youth Challenge Academy and what the program provides to youth who decide to change their lives.

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South Carolina’s Best Kept Secret in Education

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Are you a single parent raising a teenager 16-18 years old who is struggling in high school or has dropped out of high school? Your child does not have to be a statistic. Learn how you can help them get back on track towards a successful future. As the public affairs officer for the program, I have seen first hand the outcomes of the students who complete the program successful.

It is necessary tohighlight the rate of the high school dropouts in South Carolina and how the Youth Challenge helps youth not become part of the following statistics reported that dropouts comprise 52% of welfare recipients, 82% of the prison population, and 85% of juvenile justice cases. Were you aware, dropping out of school has been associated with a host of broader negative outcomes, including (a) foregone national income, (b) forgone tax revenues for the support of government services, (c) increased demand for social services, (d) increased crime and antisocial behavior, (e) reduced political participation, (f) reduced intergenerational mobility, and (g) poorer levels of health?

The webinar will include the day in the life of a student enrolled in the program, different opportunities available to the cadets, how the enrollment process works, who the program is for and time available to answer any questions potential clients have.

The presentation will provide answers to what South Carolina Youth Challenge Academy does to improve the life of a high school dropout, how the program is implemented and a first person perspective from teen(s) currently enrolled in the program.

Questions will be answered immediately at the end of the one hour presentation taking place October 14, 2016 from 4pm-5pm.

For more information about the program, please visit the South Carolina Youth Challenge website.

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FiLMic Pro Turns PR Professional into Film Pros

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For a more in-depth view of FiLMic Pro view the video provided by Epic Tutorials for iPhone, iPad, and iOS

PR professionals have stories to share, moments to capture, and campaigns to create. It is beneficial to have a mobile app that can be used to assist in completing these various tasks quicker and in high quality. In a society where the phrase, “there’s an app for that” little day to day tasks have been made simpler to accomplish just by touching a screen, especially in the workplace.

The FiLMic Pro App, a video app assists the PR professional in capturing the moment or creating a moment without having too many pieces of equipment. PR pros can shoot video of high quality on the spot from the palm of their hand on the IOS and the android platform, eliminating the need to carry around extra equipment.

Not Just Another Video App

Sure video applications come stocked on all mobile devices. However, FiLMic Pro is not your run of the mill video app. The app makes the novice feel like a pro, hence the name. Including a quick start guide and a user’s manual easy to access and assist the user how each component works in the application.

The user has the ability change and lock the focus, audio quality, the white balance, along with the warmth of the video to name a few settings available. The video clips can be edited in length within the app with a simple swipe of the finger. Connect a mic to the mobile device to obtain an interview or use a mount to attach to the tripod and the PR professional has captured important content with one simple mobile app.

Sharing is Caring

Each video clip can also be uploaded to iMovie to add that extra touch needed to complete the project. This can be done either on the same device or a computer. The app is simple to use on iPod touch, iPhone and the iPad making sharing video clips easy amongst the devices through the airdrop setting to include the Mac. With easy sharing capabilities, this app makes capturing and editing high-quality video easier for the PR professional capturing content without the in-depth knowledge provided by film school.

Things to Consider

Since FiLMic Pro uses such high-quality filming and several settings, the battery is drained rather quickly depending on the use of the device. It would be wise to have a portable charger on hand for battery life. Also, the video clips do eat up a bit of space on the device. Again, the user should prepare ahead of time and ensure all previous footage has been removed before use. Unfortunately, the app does not include a photo option to capture still imagines. The app does cost $9.99, however, the cost is minimal compared to the quality.

Wish App

 An ideal mobile app for a PR professional when it comes to capturing and editing video would allow for capturing all content in one app. Photos, audio, and video could be captured without having to transfer to other devices or apps to complete finishing touches and uploaded to various social media platforms at one time, to including the scheduling of posts. Currently, content must be transferred to complete a task or content and various applications along with 2 or more devices are necessary varying in different sizes.  If PR professionals had the ability to use one application on a maximum of 2 devices for this area, less time is needed to complete these tasks.

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Library Mobile Apps Provides Educational Needs to At-Risk Youth

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Since I have been employed at the South Carolina Youth Challenge Academy, I have seen first hand the effects of living in low income areas as it pertains teens. When the students arrive, they must take the TABE Test which is the Test for Adult Basic Education. The test measures basic skills in math, ELA (English, Language Arts), science and social studies. Over half of the teens do not score over a 5th or 6th grade level in several of the areas, many score even lower. A large majority of the youth who come through the program are underprivileged and do not have access to out reach programs or local community services, which include the libraries. Often libraries are located within the city or town limits and provide services for the youth, especially during the summer. Tutoring services are available at little to no cost along with several other educational benefits, however without access to transportation these youth miss the opportunity to expand on their education.

Although a website is available to search for events, jobs, and locations. As an example of a local library, the information I just mention can be viewed at the Richland County Library website. The site does not provide any virtual screening of the upcoming events. A mobile app or site catering to the youth, could provide virtual screening of events, virtual tutoring, access to online education materials catered towards teens or anyone who needs to expand on their education at no cost, to include the lower income areas and more rural less populated locations. The app would should have more imaginary to gain the attention of the users not to mention a simple design. The youth would have access to the library and all the educational benefits through the mobile site or app without having to actually be in the library. The schools and other educational entities in the area can provide the information for the app for the families to download who do not have access to the opportunities available to them.

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIN would be excellent platforms to create awareness of the mobile site or app. Many educational institutes use these platforms to disseminate information to the public, which would be an ideal starting point to grab the attention of individuals seeking to assist their children in reaching their educational goals and staying on target.

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MVannall PR Brand

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MVannall public relations is more than just a company, it’s a brand that symbolizes compassion and has a deep understanding our society needs to change, starting with our small communities, most importantly our youth. They are our future, they are who’s going to keep the communities around us growing and thriving. Without organizations who focus on the importance of young men and women’s positive growth, our communities will not be prosperous to sustain healthy living for the families.

The nonprofit organization I develop PR campaigns for currently, sees more and more single parent homes searching for a solution to help their young man or woman get back on track. The greatest part about this is that

The nonprofit organization I develop PR campaigns for currently, sees more and more single parent homes searching for a solution to help their young man or woman get back on track. The greatest part about this is that the youth are the ones who realize in order to have a chance for a brighter future, they need to change. They do it for themselves. They do it for their families and community. They take a young man or women, who seems lost and heading down the wrong path and give them hope. We realize, that if our young men and women are presented with a different choice, a positive one, they will take that chance to make their families proud and to prove they are more than what society or even the system has labeled them as. Families can get back on track as well.

M Vannall Public Relations works for our future, your future, our families future, by giving nonprofits a voice, Raise awareness of these organization who are working to provide better opportunities and choices, not only for your community but, for our youth, just maybe we can begin to bring a sense of proud back to our homes. We create relationships to reach those who need us the most, the lost ones, the forgotten, and maybe those who just need encouragement to get back track. I’d like to believe that M Vannall Public Relations is helping to create stronger communities for families.

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I’m Not Special, I’m Me, Doing What He Wants Me To

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Photo Taken by Marissa Vannall

Beasy Baybie, the unique familiar voice known throughout the Midlands is more than just an energetic radio personality pumping through listener’s speakers on HOT 103.9. As a Philadelphia native, she has become a sought-after motivational speaker throughout the East Coast, sharing stories of abuse, violence, drug use, illegal activities, and her road to redemption. Giving people hope with life experiences and the deep spiritual understanding that drives her every move. Never shy about her faith and trust she has in God.


Her journey has made her the first civilian celebrity to speak at The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, (WRAIR) receiving a Certificate of Achievement for speaking at the Sexual Harassment Assault Response & Prevention, “SHARP Expo,” held in Maryland. “Christopher, the person over a program at Walter Reed, reached out to me,” says Beasy, “he had been following my journey on my Instagram for 2 years.” Adding that, “he was a listener of the Charlotte Morning Radio Show I was on. She says, “he had to do a lot of work to have me speak at the expo.”

The community is taking notice, inviting her to speak at The Palmetto Healthy Start Empowerment Summit held for children and mothers of all ages, SC Employ Ability Conference regarding convicted felons, the Second Chance Program, and the South Carolina National Guard Youth Challenge Academy to name a few. The top news media outlet in Columbia has requested her insight about the Grammy’s and most recently, the death of Prince. The people want to know what she has to say and they are listening. “I don’t see what everyone sees in me. I’m just doing what he wants me to,” referring to God.

Coming from very down to earth, Beasy has graced several diverse audiences this year. Being asked to speak at the Virginia College Graduation amidst skeptics, delivering a carefully developed message coupled with her story and scripture to graduates, saying, “where they are in their lives now is purposed and where they are going is purposed.”

Beasy Baybie has been asked to speak about all aspects of her life because her story is real, many people can relate to it. “I know how it feels to be alone and lost. I’ve been at the cliffs edge. Without hesitation, she says, “not wanting to live, not knowing where to go.” She continues to say, “I thank God for the people I could reach out to, people who know the answer, to talk sense to me.”

When asked about how she feels about all this attention, Beasy had this to say, “I do not care for the applause or the attention,” very humbly she continues, “I feel like I’m me. I’m just a regular person who went through some things like everybody else. I do not want people to think I am the way to God, cause I’m not.” She says, “I’m just somebody who has a connection to him. But, so do they,” referring to all the people she comes in contact with. “I just hope that something I say will awaken you, not because I want a hug but because I want you to go praise God for allowing you to hear something that you needed to hear.”

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Be Easy Baby, You Got This Girls

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Eastover, S.C. – Local radio personality did more than visit with the young women enrolled at South Carolina Youth Challenge Academy, April 22, 2016. She delivered a message full of encouragement and hope towards a brighter future. Brandy Henshaw aka Beasy Baybie from Hot 103.9, is no stranger to hardship just as the young women enrolled in the quasi-military school. As a young child into her adult years, becoming a convicted felon herself, she proclaimed, “everything I have ever been through has been preparing me for something greater, I just didn’t know it at the time. No one can ever take that away from me.”

The young women, 16-18 years old enrolled in South Carolina Youth Challenge, labeled as “at-risk youth” refuse to live up to such a label of “at-risk”. These South Carolina Youth are determined to prove they are committed to change and success. “Beasy Baybie gave me hope, my past mistakes in life are what make me stronger. I am not a bad kid and I can make it out alive without doing things to hurt myself or my family. I’ll remember this day for a long time,” said a smiling 18-year-old Cadet Diaz.

All 32 sets of eyes were on Beasy Baybie as she painted a vivid, sometimes comical vision of her life story, filled with several high and lows points. Touching on topics of sexuality, drug use, domestic violence from home and personal relationships, homelessness, prison, and finally finding hope. Slotted for only thirty minutes, Beasy Baybie captivated her audience in such a way, she continued well into an hour.

Beasy Baybie is active in the South Carolina communities and with our youth. Organized a drive during the SC Floods last year orchestrated and participated in a Christmas day dinner for the homeless last December 2015. Recently spoke at the SC Employ Ability Kick-Off Event held February 27, 2016, in downtown Columbia, SC.

She co-owns Kool Kamp, an entertainment business focused on “changing the standard of cool” for the youth. Making doing the right thing and staying true to one’s self the KOOL thing to do. A look into her social media will give insight to her passion taken from her Facebook, Beasy Baybie:

“I do this for US! For those of us with #humblebeginnings. For the child from a #brokenhome. For the little girl that grew up #fatherless. For the #teenparent. For the #homeless teen. I do this for the #parent who cries when the kids aren’t watching because they are exhausted and scared. For the #abused. For the #victims of #domesticviolence. I press on for the kids in #fostercare #grouphomes and #detentioncenters. I go hard because I remember when I was in your shoes, I felt like nobody went hard for! When I wanna give up, I remember the #excons the #felons that fight every day I move barriers because someone is watching me live my dream and giving themselves permission to live theirs. I can’t give up because somebody is relying on ME to change the image, to set the standard, to break the ceiling, and move the bar.”

The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program is a voluntary 17-month dropout recovery program that helps at-risk youths earn their high school diploma or GED.  More than 135,000 cadets nationwide within 35 programs located in 27 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico since 1998. The S.C. Youth ChalleNGe Academy provides an opportunity for at-risk youth to develop the values, life skills, education and self-discipline necessary to succeed as adults. Visit their website for more local information SC Youth Challenge Academy. For national information about the organization visit the National Guard Youth Foundation website.


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Add Some Color to Your Run Columbia

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COLUMBIA, SC, April 14, 2016 –  The happiest 5K run on the planet is coming to Columbia, South Carolina, April 16, 2016. The Color Run franchise will be hosting the Tropicolor World Tour 2016 at Finley Park. Thousands of people will attend the fun new way to enjoy being fit while being covered in bright colors made from corn starch. The color run appeals to all ages and range of fitness levels, whether you are a fitness novice or the guru of all things fitness. A family friendly event your children will love to take part of. You can join the fun and run for a cause, sign up as a group or for a solo run at the happiest 5k run on the planet this Saturday.

This will be the fourth year the Color Run has come to Columbia, adding to the over 200 cities and 40 countries worldwide they host a variety of color run events in. Don’t miss out on the fun and signup today. Several packages are available for you when signing up, which include a t-shirt, fun colorful tattoos, your race number, and any other items you choose to purchase to add to your experience. If you miss this opportunity, no worries, the Color Run hosts a variety of events and you can find one in a neighboring city near you by visiting their website.

“I ran in the color run last year with my friends and we had so much fun. Everyone there had so much energy. So many happy people in one place is contagious, then add getting sprayed with all these colors! It’s an all around win for everyone involved, it really is one of the best things I have ever done. I will definitely be there again this year,” said an excited Stephany Martinez, a 2015 Color Run participate.

“My mommy signed me up last year and I love my mommy even more for letting me do it. When I got to get the pink color on my white shirt, it made me feel so happy. I couldn’t wait to get to the next color. She signed up the whole family this time.” said eight-year-old Taylor Ruth.

About The Color Run:

The color run has distinguished themselves above the rest and became the single largest event series in the world. While the events are all about having fun, the mission is to get more people involved with a healthy lifestyle. More information about different events, their mission, and all around positive outlook on getting fit can be found at


For more information about The Color Run, please visit







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Steps to Transition to Veganism

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Are you thinking about changing what you eat? Here are a few resources and info to help ease your transition. Diet is primarily addressed here. Once you learn the plant-based substitutions for the foods and products you’re used to enjoying and get the hang of ordering in restaurants and reading labels, you can decide if veganism is really the lifestyle change for you.

First Decide Why Veganism?

Being strongly connected to your “why” or reason for veganism will make your transition infinitely easier. Many people who choose veganism are what’s known as an ethical vegan, meaning they oppose the exploitation of animals and use of animal products for any purpose. Some people are vegan for the environment, others for personal health, and some for social justice. Whatever your reason is, be strongly connected to it and to the difference you make with your choice. If you are unsure of a reason, PeTA has a top ten reasons list you can check out.

PeTA’s Top 10 Reasons to Go Vegan

If you decide you are going to become a vegan for environmental reasons, a “vegan calculator” that calculates the positive impact you’ve made on the planet by being vegan can be found at Vegan Calculator and Recommended Movies with documentaries for your viewing. A word of caution, Earthlings, the Ghosts in Our Machines, and the Cove are extremely graphic. Cowspiracy illustrates the environmental impact of the meat and dairy industries while Forks Over Knives explores the effects of a vegan diet on the body.

Secondly Think About Cooking and Nutritional Needs

You have decided to not only change what you eat but what you cook. You must consider how cooking is going to impact your choice.  is a comprehensive guide to making the switch. The “food” section offers many helpful guidelines and tips. As a vegan, you can no longer cook with eggs, dairy products, or any animal based products. The following additional resources address substitutions, vegan recipes, and blogs to follow

10 Food Substitutions Every Plant-Based Eat
er Should Know

10 Great Vegan Recipes Everyone Should Know

60 Great Vegan Recipes

20 Easy Vegan Dinner Recipes

20 of the Best Vegan Blogs to Follow

You must realize that eliminating animal products is only step one, step two os replacing the nutrients. Protein, iron, and calcium need to be replaced with plant-based sources. Fortunately, nature made it easy to get everything we need from plants.

25 Delicious Vegan Sources of Protein

Iron In The Vegan Diet

25 Vegan Sources for Calcium

Third, Consider How Eating Out Will Change for You

Surprisingly most places you go will have vegan options available. If there isn’t an option listed on the menu, simply ask. You can also “veganize” menu items by leaving off cheese, sour cream, etc. State you are vegan and confirm you do not eat eggs, milk, cheese, etc. It seems redundant, however, not everyone is familiar with the terms “vegan” or “plant-based”, be super specific when ordering. A few helpful resources available are Complete Vegan Menus at Fast Food Restaurants, 20 Vegan Fast Food Options and Yelp, also available as mobile app filled with businesses in the area you live or are visiting.

Last but Not Least, Get Connected 

Social media has been instrumental in the expansion of the vegan diet and lifestyle. There’s a community of people out there who want nothing more than to celebrate the joys of being vegan and invite more people to join to our plant-eating posse.

Facebook, Instagram, and Pintrest are the hot spots. Set aside an hour, search #veganfoodshare, and dive in!

Remember, veganism is a choice. Stay dedicated, do your homework, and make sure you are ready for this lifestyle change. Research before making any decisions and make sure veganism is right for you. Be sure to consult with a physician before making any dietary changes which many affect your health.

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The Red Cross Helps At-Risk Teens Make a Difference

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At-risk teens enrolled at the South Carolina Youth Challenge Academy are giving back to their community with the help of the Red Cross. The youth are learning how they can help save a life by donating a pint of blood. The Red Cross and South Carolina Youth Challenge Academy have been working together since 2010 to teach at-risk teens the importance of giving back to those who are in need. These young men and women have dedicated their lives to change and learning the meaning of service to community while fulfilling their duties as a viable part of their community. The mission of the Red Cross is clear, to help those in need and connect people together for a one common cause, providing compassion to our communities.

S.C. Youth ChalleNGe Academy’s Blood Drive is being held at the McCrady Training Center site at the Youth Challenge site May 25, 2016 at 9 a.m. Fifty-two young men and women, labeled as “at-risk youth” are determined to prove they refuse to live up to such a label. These South Carolina Youth enrolled in the academy to prove they are committed to change and success. They have committed to 22 weeks of training and education towards the G.E.D. or High School diploma, and self-transformation.

The Youth ChalleNGe Program is a voluntary 17-month dropout recovery program that helps at-risk youths earn their high school diploma or GED. More than 135,000 cadets nationwide within 37 programs located in 29 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico since 1998. The S.C. Youth ChalleNGe Academy provides an opportunity for at-risk youth to develop the values, life skills, education and self-discipline necessary to succeed as adults. If you know a teen who is going down the wrong track call today to learn more about the opportunities available (803) 299-4872 or visit

The mission of the Red Cross is clear, to help those in need and connect people together for a one common cause, providing compassion to our communities. Follow the teens lead today and learn how you can help make a difference at a Red Cross near you.












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