Monday, November 21, 2011

it feels good to be called PRETTY ,dont it ?

Ive been needing to do a shoot for caheri's closet. This time i was thinking a little optimistic. 
I want to take pictures of girls modeling the clothes, the girls who i want to participate are ideally girls from Oakland, girls from the hood.
Why might Iwant this specific group of girls?
because , growing up in oakland ive known alot of girls who are very much part of that " i dont give a fuck" lifestyle, wearing hoodies and jordans and hair tied in a bun. 

In reality these girls arent ugly in fact they are gorgeous. Deep down inside I know they wish they could be all fancy but some of their peers or neighborhood wont allow them to explore that. 
I think its necessary. 

It all struck me when i was at the mall shopping at a girly store and this girl from the hood said "hey caheri wasup!" I looked up and realized it was her, in her hoodie and sneakers.
I said "hey pretty girl"  
immediately her eyes lit up and she couldn't help but smile. I realized then that these girls dont get told theyre pretty too often. 
why not? because in our town its more important to be hard, know how to throw a punch and be respected,have street credibility opposed to being classy and educated.

I speak from experience , when i was asked to become a model for a clothing line back when i was in my "i dont give a fuck" stage , I couldn't believe it. It empowered me , it made me feel so good about myself.
I want to give that feeling to these beautiful girls who DESERVE attention, theyve been through so much actin' like soldiers, its time they get pampered and appreciated and let their guards down and just smile.

Any ways we need to get this party started because people have been requesting more pictures of the clothes and accessories im selling, but because my daily schedules are packed i havent gotten around it.
I have some girls in mind already , but if you feel like you would like to suggest someone or become a Caheri's Closet model PLEASE feel free to contact me

Sunday, November 20, 2011

November 20,2011

Im trying to play it cool and talk about other shit to convince myself that this day isnt that important to me, but i cant help to stop and deep think every time i look at my hands and feet or even catch a glance of myself in the mirror. Im here alive, two hands and two feet. This is a day i wont ever be able to forget. In fact this day brings up alot of traumas for me. More than anything im grateful to have life. Not only did i survive on this day but i was also rebirthed, what i mean is that ever since the incident i became a totally different person, for the better. Im far from perfect, i do struggle alot with my self esteem, and sometimes i drink until i feel like im going to pass out.
There are tools that were given to me since that day, and i use those tools everyday to build a new life for myself and the people around me.
I owe alot of people thanks, starting off with acmc highland hospital and the surgeous who literally reconstructed my face. I also thank my family for supporting till this day,they are my rock and motivation. I thank tammy cloud for being an angel, for being a mother to me an inspiration and a support. I thank ups , juicy couture and youth alive for not judgin me on my horrible monster looks and employing me, that helped me out a lot. I thank kevin grant for believing in me and connecting me with people, jim o'brien for writing my story and being good friend, and to my students who continue to teach me something new and inspire me.
Life is different now, but my story doesnt end with a broken heart and sadness it actually begins again with a new vision on life ,with gratitude and with relentless passion for a bright future for myself and the people around me.
Of course i almost forgot, i wanted to thank the person who shot me.
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

My biggest hardest struggle

Is my insecurity, fuck my jaw fuck my mash potatoe face, fuck that day.
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street girl turned into Youth Alive community leader

At certain points in my life I thought of myself as a leader. More often when I was younger and active proposing to the school officials to open up our dream school TCN  (Think College Now). As the only student on the design team I helped a group of parents and educators convince the city of Oakland. It empowered me at age 9.

In 2003 Puberty hit and I no longer focused on grades but instead on good looks and gangsters. I wanted to be bad-ass along with my older brother " G " who was a gang banger terrorizing the city of Oakland once (Now my brother is facing prison time) . At school I lead my classmates I answered every question before our teacher could even finish asking and i would complete my homework before everyone else. But as soon as i would touch my east Oakland block , all of the stuff that I learned in school would fly out of mind.

In Oakland it was cool to "be with the shit" to "not give a fuck" "money over bitches" in my case "money over broke n*iggas" or even to bang our set on foo's. I liked that lifestyle that my brother was living, but then our friends started getting shot and even dying.

Ive been traumatized by violence since I can remember, when i was 12 my brothers little homie " lil guero" who was also my classmate was shot in the stomach with two ak47 assault riffles. My brother said that by the time they carried him into highland hospital "lil guero's" intestines had already fell out of his stomach and he was no longer breathing. He died in a friends hands. Only 12 years old both him and I. This street game started to become a street reality.

2006 came around the corner and already about 10 of my brother and my friends had been murdered. That year in October I almost lost my brother. While leaving a Halloween party on High St in Oakland my brother was shot in the head and then jumped by rival gang members , as i tried to get the perpetrators off of my brother , i took a beat too. I was left on the floor bloody next to my brothers unconscious body. Trauma.

In 2008 I was caught in the crossfire at a light on 98th ave and San Leandro in Oakland Ca. That night i became a direct victim of gun violence taking a near fatal bullet to the face. I woke up medicated, dazed, hands tied to the hospital bed,  jaw less, toothless and a tracheotomy tube stabbed into my throat. Also a with an unfamiliar woman at my bedside. She said she worked for Youth Alive as an intervention specialist and that her name was Tammy Cloud.

Tammy was instrumental to my healing process both physically and mentally, she supported me and gave me faith that i could be normal again, that I could return to be the focused community leader that I once was. I now work with Tammy for Youth Alive as the Violence Prevention Educator. My expertise in gun,gang,family,dating violence makes an impact when connecting and educating the youth. Although the trauma is fresh just as much as the scars are, ive found that I heal through this work. Knowing that I might impact these kids and make them think twice about the consequences, knowing that i can give my experience as a tool for them, knowing that i might prevent a kid from taking those risk's satisfies me in a way that no other can. As long as I am able to I will empower the youth as much as these community leaders empowered me.

laugh out loud with me!

As I was searching my name on google this came up EMBARRASSING! 
this is me singing karaoke at a local restaurant