Helen Hayes, legend in the U.S. theater community
“The expert at anything was once a beginner.” – Helen Hayes (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award winner)
The Healthy Community Partnership is an ongoing conga of constructive, consistent, contradictions: we simultaneously prioritize working towards a healthier present and future; we act with a sense of urgency but also a commitment to working intentionally; we are rooted in data but driven by story and experiences; we strive for results, to mark milestones with the understanding that success and the destination will shift and change with time.
The Partnership’s membership work is a dynamic dance that bends and shifts to the community’s needs while keeping a steady pace as we march forward, step by step.
Practice, patience, persistence, performance | photo courtesy of Maick Maciel
And, like a dance, we all get better with practice, patience, persistence, and perspective.
Partners and the Partnership have been fortunate to welcome interns into our separate and shared work to help keep us on our toes and teach us new moves. A good internship offers a dual teaching-and-learning experience on both sides, so our members are sure to return the favor by providing opportunities for interns to cut in on the action and by sharing tips and techniques to sharpen or deepen their talents.
Though interns are only with us for a short period, their impact is long lasting. So, the Partnership wanted to take time to celebrate our partners’ and the Partnership’s interns with a highlight video of some of the Partnership members’ 2021 Summer Interns and a Spotlight for the Partnership’s fall intern, Deonte “Tae” Stubbs, who will be working with our esteemed Communications Team through October.
Deonte “Tae” Stubbs
Deonte, more widely known as “Tae,” Stubbs grew up in Warren and graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 2010. During his four years in high school, Tae collaborated with his classmates to develop a dance program that created space for diverse, creative expression and performances. Following graduation, Tae enrolled in Wilmington College of Ohio to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business marketing and management with a minor in communications and art.
Before graduating from high school, in 2008 Tae became involved with Inspiring Minds as a site coordinator. In this role, his duties included working with children in enrichment and extracurricular activities, providing creative ways to learn so that overall test and homework scores improved, offering guidance to build resumes for future jobs or trades, establishing portfolios for university and college visits for high school students, and assisting to plan and coordinate fundraiser events while supervising six employees and 50-90 students. Even though much has changed for Tae since beginning this position, he still remains involved with Inspiring Minds.
In 2013, Tae decided it was time to take a leap of faith to follow his passion for the creative arts and pursue a career in the entertainment industry. This began a journey that led Tae on a pathway to success, including a position working with Teyana Taylor, the Cavaliers ScreamTeam and America’s Got Talent.
Deonte “Tae” Stubbs hosts Regal Awards in 2020
Even though Tae has tasted regional and national success, he’s “always represented [his] city so I wanted to make something that would last long after [he] was here.” So, in 2018, Tae created and launched HYER Studio, “a place for hidden figures in small communities to live out their wildest dreams.” HYER Studio, which stands for “How You Escape Reality,” offers photography and videography services along with additional original content shared through a YouTube TV channel and magazine. Additionally, HYER Studio maintains a space for aspiring models, hosts an annual award show, Regal Awards, and just recently established a scholarship fund. The purpose of the HYER Scholarship fund is to “The purpose of this fund is to provide financial assistance to hidden figures in small communities that are determined to become prominent artists, entertainers and influencers. This award is open and available to all US citizens of all demographics.” Donations can be made here.
A driven and self-taught entrepreneur, Tae reflects that “What I did was bring that knowledge back to my hometown and I created an avenue for people to jump start their careers. I may not be able to get them all the way there but I can say I helped and I believe that’s where my purpose is.”
The Partnership is thrilled to welcome Tae to our team and for the fresh perspectives and focused precision he brings to help us reach new audiences and share our stories.
“Every room in this building now, this flooring, I built it by myself. I don’t have any experience. I don’t know how to put up dry wall properly, but I know how to hustle and what things should look like. If I can see it in my mind, I can hold it in my hand and I’ve always believed it,” Stubbs said | Photo from WKBN
Describe what “healthy” or “healthy” means to you.
Healthy to me means that you control your mind in ways the world won’t allow you too. Healthy is putting yourself in uncomfortable situations to better yourself overall, not just your food intake/appetite.
What does a healthy community look, sound, smell, feel like? What sorts of challenges might get in the way to creating and keeping a community healthy?
A healthy community overall means that we help each other and hold each other accountable for breaking the chain that’s holding us all together. The obstacles that could possibly get in the way is/are bad or false advertisement, poor education and poor judgement. Facetious acts and ignorant behavior leads to reoccurring decisions where people have to settle or do what everyone else is doing.
What has been your greatest accomplishment so far to make the community you’re living in a healthier, more equitable place?
My greatest accomplishment is holding my friends accountable! I feel communication with friends in this generation is much more prominent because we need each other more than family in this generation; the consumption of alcohol would be the biggest factor. I taunt my friends about good health and how good I feel because I don’t drink and it works on very few but I don’t let up on the ones that don’t give in. Lastly, my friends and their educational tactics to learn more or grow their mind is weak so I spread knowledge by starting random conversations about sleep habits, food habits and financial stability that they can take to other places.
Dancing as medicine | Photo by Wesley Carvalho from Pexels
What do you hope to accomplish while with HCP to help make the Mahoning Valley a healthier, more equitable community?
I hope to expand the reach of health to the generation that is ignorant and dying quicker because they aren’t taught right from wrong in its rawest form. HCP has the ability to change a large percentage of the most impactful group on the east coast and I’m a part of it.
What do you do to keep yourself healthy–physically and mentally?
I dance and write. Music has always been medicine and putting a movie/story together to see in reality helps me deal with my battles. When it comes to dance, my ability to channel emotion through movement is priceless and so tend to use my time wisely when I do so. Other than that, my kids make the best parts of my life worth living so I just have to get them to dance now.