A lover of the arts and an educator of 11 years, Krystal Willis has made her mark with dance through her dance company the Drew Academy Badgers. The dance company does a lot to engage with the community through performances, mentoring Houston Academy, participating in events held by Carver High School, and so much more.
A recent Teacher of the Year recipient, Willis has worked hard to encourage, inspire, and challenge her dance students to always do their best. Willis was honored to be Teacher of the Year and expressed, “It was a really good experience especially going to the breakfast to be recognized by my faculty. A lot of them have seen me grow up in my teaching career, from my first year of teaching to where I am now. It’s been a whirlwind, and I’m appreciative of them for recognizing me and the things I have done at Drew.”
Dancing wasn’t something Willis had always done since her youth. In high school, Willis was on the yearbook staff where she was able to write and create. She attended Saturdays at Sam where she would spend time with the journalism department. During her time there, she realized that this was not her passion and went to find the dance department. “It stuck ever since,” she said. “I just took my natural ability and applied myself, became focused, and just knew that.” Her parents were both educators, so teaching and dance just came natural to her, and it has allowed her to do the things she loves, “to teach and create.”
As a teacher, Willis tries to expose her students to real world opportunities that can come from dance. For example, the dance team was able to perform at the Houston Rockets game where they were able to showcase their talents in front of many people. It is through opportunities like this which is how she tries to let her students know that anything can happen. “I try to instill in them that anything is possible and just to work hard,” she said.
In addition, she also wants to make sure her students are confident in everything they do. “…Believing in yourself and not being intimidated…are some of the things that are lacking in the youth today.” Willis also stresses to her students that whatever they do, they must put in the work. She also wants them to leave Drew prepared with the tools and resources needed for them to be successful in their next chapter. Whether they want to continue dancing or do something else, she wants them to take what they’ve learned and apply it to what they love. You can learn a lot from dance because “dance is universal.” If anything, she made it known that “you just learn how to be a better person.”
For those students who may not be sure about dance or afraid to make dance a career, Willis’ advice is to give it a try. “You never know what can come out of it unless you try. Dance has really evolved. You can make a career out of dance and become a teacher, have a studio, be a mentor, a choreographer, judges, be a professor at a community college or university, or even go to Broadway.” She concluded with, “Never let anyone tell you that you can’t. Go with what’s inside of your heart because you never know who you may touch.”
October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com
As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.
Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.