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Newly Opened Birmingham Coffee Shop Gives the Homeless Chance to Work

THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES — Troy Whetstone, owner of the newly opened Modern House Coffee Shop, which has been in the works since 2019, held its grand opening Sept. 23 in Titusville. Whetstone wants to do more than just serve coffee. He wants his shop to serve as a catalyst for people experiencing homeless to learn valuable skills, he said.
The post Newly Opened Birmingham Coffee Shop Gives the Homeless Chance to Work first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Ryan Michaels | The Birmingham Times

Troy Whetstone, owner of the newly opened Modern House Coffee Shop in Titusville, said he wasn’t one for coffee until recently. “I’ll go grab a Mountain Dew if I need some hype,” Whetstone said.

Modern House, which has been in the works since 2019, held its grand opening Sept. 23 in Titusville. Whetstone wants to do more than just serve coffee. He wants his shop to serve as a catalyst for people experiencing homeless to learn valuable skills, he said.

“Many of these companies, the minimum is soft skills, being a people person, dealing with those type of things, knowing how to interact with people, so that’s what we kind of doing here. We’re incorporating that here through coffee,” he said.

In addition to providing people skills training and paying $12 per hour his business will have a partnership with Lawson State Community College to help employees get professional certifications, he said.

Whetstone developed a passion for those experiencing homelessness through his church, Faith Chapel, located in Birmingham’s Sherman Heights neighborhood. The church also operates its Care Center in Smithfield which provides showers, laundry and other services to people experiencing homelessness.

Working weekly overseeing the Care Center’s showers, Whetstone said he wanted to do more for the homeless population.

“You wouldn’t even know [many were homeless]. It was just something that had happened, and it caused them to be homeless, but they’re still trying to work their way out of that, so we’re just hoping that we can be that extra help, that extra step,” Whetstone said.

In addition to Lawson State and Faith Chapel, Whetstone has also partnered with numerous other organizations, including the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham.

Opening his coffee shop is not Whetstone’s first experience with Titusville. He and his wife Jeanisha, with whom Whetsone runs Modern House, spent some of their early marriage there in an old family house, which has been in his family for more than 30 years.

“I was 20, she was 18, and that was an opportunity for us to live there rent free,” Whetsone said of he and his wife. “All we had to do was just pay for our utilities, so it gave us an opportunity to grow without…having credit, not having a livable wage, having to work two part time jobs to make it as a full-time job.”

“Titusville helped me grow up as a man,” he added.

In the process Whetstone has broadened his knowledge of coffee, such as the different tastes.

“I drank a cup the other day, just black, just to get that flavor…so I’m just trying to learn more about the industry, and the more I learn, the more I see different growth aspects of this company,” he said.

In 2019, he ran a series of pop-ups in Birmingham’s Ensley community, where he planned to open a brick-and-mortar store.

Jeff Huey, founder of Homewood-based Seeds Coffee and a business partner of Whetstone’s, encouraged Whestone to move the business to Titusville.

“I literally left Seeds in Homewood, and I went driving around here. I drove up and down on Sixth Avenue [South], back and forth, and then I saw one building up there to the left, and then I saw this one right here,” Whetstone said.

That building, now the Modern House, reminded Whetstone of a favorite restaurant of he and his wife’s in New Orleans, LA called Surrey’s Café & Juice Bar.

“It’s a shack house,” said Whetstone, of the small, simply-designed structure. “It’s just like [the Modern House building], but it stays slamming-packed, and it’s like one of those local spots. If you’re not from that area of New Orleans, you may not know about it, unless somebody shared it with you. And when it’s shared with you, you’re gonna go every time,” Whetstone said.

Whetstone, 35, grew up in Fairfield until third grade before moving to Hueytown, where he first met his wife and graduated from Hueytown High School. Whetstone is the son of Troy Whetstone Sr., a former aviation expert, and Patricia, a former administrative employee of the Buffalo Rock Company, and has one sister, Kimberley.

Whetstone is also owner of Aircraft Cleaning Solutions, an aircraft detailing company he founded in 2010. Whetstone said he was brought into the business by his father following the economic downturn in 2008.

“I liked the jets. I liked the atmosphere, the business that I was seeing, and we started the company.”

Realizing he wanted to know more about aviation, Whetstone he took classes at Lawson State, enough to get into Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in aviation management.

Aircraft Cleaning Solutions was originally a “hustle” that grew into a career, Whetstone said. Through some shrewd business moves, quality of work,’ it was immediately successful,” Whetstone said.

Modern House is a chance for Whetstone to express his entrepreneurial spirit through providing a community service, he said.

“With me being an entrepreneur, just having that mindset…seeing a void and fulfilling it.

“I saw an opportunity to offer the coffee shop, to provide jobs, opportunities, to provide those soft skills training,” he said.

Modern House Coffee Shop is located at 422 Sixth Avenue S and is open from 6am to 2pm, Monday through Friday.

Find Modern House on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the_modern_house__/

This article originally appeared in The Birmingham Times.

The post Newly Opened Birmingham Coffee Shop Gives the Homeless Chance to Work first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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IN MEMORIAM International Soccer Icon Pelé Dies at 82

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Sometimes called “Pérola Negra” (“Black Pearl”), Pelé became a Brazilian national hero. According to Britannica, he combined kicking power and accuracy with a remarkable ability to anticipate other players’ moves. 

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Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.
Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Pelé, the international star who was instrumental in three World Cup championships with Brazil across three decades and who energized U.S. soccer with the New York Cosmos in the 1970s, has died.

The 82-year-old legend had been hospitalized since November, and his doctors reported that Pelé’s cancer had advanced, requiring care related to renal and cardiac dysfunction.

He has been receiving regular treatment since doctors removed a tumor from his colon in 2021.

“Father. My strength is yours,” the international star’s son, Edinho, posted on social media.

Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.

He led the Brazilian national teams to World Cup glory in 1958, 1962, and 1970.

In 1956, he joined the Santos Football Club, where he played inside left forward, winning nine São Paulo league championships and, in 1962 and 1963, the Libertadores Cup and the Intercontinental Club Cup.

Sometimes called “Pérola Negra” (“Black Pearl”), Pelé became a Brazilian national hero. According to Britannica, he combined kicking power and accuracy with a remarkable ability to anticipate other players’ moves.

“After the 1958 World Cup, Pelé was declared a national treasure by the Brazilian government to ward off large offers from European clubs and ensure that he would remain in Brazil,” Britannica researchers wrote.

On Nov. 19, 1969, in his 909th first-class match, he scored his 1,000th goal.

Pelé made his international debut in 1957 at age 16 and played his first game in the World Cup finals in Sweden the following year.

The Brazilian manager was initially hesitant to play his young star. But, according to Britannica, when Pelé finally reached the field, he had an immediate impact, rattling the post with one shot and collecting an assist.

He had a hat trick in the semifinal against France and two goals in the championship game, where Brazil defeated Sweden 5–2. At the 1962 World Cup finals, Pelé tore a thigh muscle in the second match and had to sit out the remainder of the tournament.

Nonetheless, Brazil went on to claim its second World Cup title.

Researchers said rough play and injuries turned the 1966 World Cup into a disaster for Brazil and Pelé, as the team went out in the first round, and he contemplated retiring from World Cup play.

Returning in 1970 for one more World Cup tournament, he teamed with young stars Jairzinho and Rivelino to claim Brazil’s third title and permanent ownership of the Jules Rimet Trophy. Pelé finished his World Cup career, scoring 12 goals in 14 games.

Pelé’s electrifying play and penchant for spectacular goals made him a worldwide star.

His team Santos toured internationally to take full advantage of his popularity. For example, in 1967, he and his team traveled to Nigeria, where a 48-hour cease-fire in that nation’s civil war was called to allow all to watch the great player.

Pelé announced his retirement in 1974 but, in 1975, agreed to a three-year $7 million contract with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League and to promote the game in the United States. He retired after leading the Cosmos to the league championship in 1977.

Pelé was the recipient of the International Peace Award in 1978. In 1980 he was named Athlete of the Century by the French sports publication L’Equipe, and he received the same honor in 1999 from the International Olympic Committee. In 2014 the Pelé Museum opened in Santos, Brazil.

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COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips

THE AFRO — Although it cannot be medically diagnosed, burnout can lead people to lose their sense of self and feel as if they are not accomplishing enough. Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Psychological Association found that the risk of burnout has increased for workers due to extra stress, increased household demands and longer working hours. 
The post COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Megan Sayles | AFRO Business Writer
Report for America Corps Member
msayles@afro.com

We’ve all heard the age-old saying that “hard work pays off.”  But, sometimes, working too hard can do more harm than good.

“Burnout” is a form of work-related stress in which an individual experiences physical, emotional or mental exhaustion caused by their job’s demands. It can also make workers feel distanced from their jobs and engender negative feelings about them, according to the World Health Organization.

Although it cannot be medically diagnosed, burnout can lead people to lose their sense of self and feel as if they are not accomplishing enough. Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Psychological Association found that the risk of burnout has increased for workers due to extra stress, increased household demands and longer working hours.

This makes it even more important for people to know the signs of burnout and the strategies to combat it.

Natasha Charles is the founder and CEO of Intuitive Coaching with Natasha Charles, a comprehensive life coaching and consulting firm. She created the business after gaining 20 years in senior administration roles.

Charles was motivated to open the firm in 2018 out of a desire to create a business focused on inspiring continuous improvement. There, she works with individuals and executives to create lives that they love and offers them personalized solutions to address critical work and business challenges.

“It’s really about thinking about you, the person, and all that you are,” Charles said. “People tend to be very focused on one aspect of their life, and a lot of times, it’s about their career, so it’s really about making space for all of your goals and all of your dreams.”

When someone experiences burnout, Charles said they could be actively doing their job while simultaneously worrying about their other responsibilities and priorities, whether personal or work-related. She also stressed that burnout can be experienced no matter what profession you are in and what you are being paid.

Aside from the physical and mental impacts of stress, burnout can impact finances if it causes an employee to take extended periods of time off or miss work, according to Charles. It can also reduce their productivity.

In the beginning of 2022, the term “quiet quitting” emerged, and for some, it’s being used as a method to avoid burnout. It involves individuals meeting the minimum requirements of their job descriptions, investing no extra time or effort than what is mandatory.

For Charles, quiet quitting is a signal that a person is not fulfilled by their job and may need to think about changing workplaces or careers.

“I get that people are not always able to up and quit, and it can take time to find what that next role is,” Charles said. “I would come from a space of encouraging the person to start thinking about what that is. What is it that you ultimately desire to be doing in your life and seeing your work?”

One of the most important steps in reducing and preventing burnout is educating yourself about the syndrome, so you can be aware of the warning signs, according to Charles. She also said it was crucial for employers to talk to their employees about it.

Awareness can help prevent the shame and guilt that comes with burnout and allow people to give themselves grace.

After a person has weighed whether they are experiencing burnout or not, they should think about how they want to confront it. This could include engaging in self-care, asking for extra support at work or home, and creating stronger boundaries between their personal and professional lives.

When burnout is impacting your performance, it’s time to consider making a career change, Charles said.

To ensure your work life does not invade your personal life, Charles said people need to assess the goals they have for all areas of their life. Once you’ve set goals, it’s easier to devise a plan and set the necessary boundaries to achieve them.

Charles also said it’s important to carve out time for yourself where you’re not constantly checking your phone or email for work reasons.

“There is life beyond your work. There is an entire world out there to be discovered,” Charles said. “There’s a world within us to be discovered as well, and I encourage everyone to invest in discovering those pieces.”

This article originally appeared in The Afro.

The post COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting 

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The case fired up social media and highlighted the misogyny that still reigns in hip hop. Many on Twitter routinely attacked Megan, accusing her of lying among other vicious vitriolic comments.
The post Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting  first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Canadian rapper Tory Lanez faces more than 20 years in prison and deportation after a jury in Los Angeles found him guilty in the 2020 shooting of hip hop star Megan Thee Stallion.

Lane, 30, was found guilty of three felony counts, including assault with an unregistered semiautomatic weapon, carrying a loaded gun, and discharging a firearm in a vehicle with gross negligence.

The case fired up social media and highlighted the misogyny that still reigns in hip hop. Many on Twitter routinely attacked Megan, accusing her of lying among other vicious vitriolic comments.

The 27-year-old Megan, whose real name is Megan Pete, testified that Lanez offered her hush money and didn’t care about her injuries and pain suffered because he shot her.

Lanez, who declined to testify, claimed there was another shooter, Pete’s friend who was also arguing with the hit maker as they drove home from a party.

“[Lanez] told me to dance,” Pete told the jury, adding that he also cursed at her following the shooting.

Sentencing for Lanez is scheduled for Jan. 27.

“You showed incredible courage and vulnerability with your testimony despite repeated and grotesque attacks that you did not deserve,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon said, referring to Pete.

“You faced unjust and despicable scrutiny that no woman should ever face, and you have been an inspiration to others across LA County and the nation.”

The post Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting  first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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