Written by Min. Che’ri Humphrey, M.ED; July 7, 2014
Founder & President of Diamonds In The Rough (DITR)…Finding The Spirit In Me!
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Interview with NEW DIAMOND TWINKLE FOR 2014 DITR, “A STAR IS BORN 6: THE FIX!”
10 YEAR OLD, JONATHAN HEYWARD OF HARTFORD, CT.
Q. What is your name?
A. My name is Jonathan.
Q. Jonathan how old are you?
A. I’m ten years old.
Q. What school do you go to?
A. I go to a real good school called, “Commanares.”
Q. What type of student are you?
A. I’m more like, I’m an angel student. I don’t get in trouble like that.
Q. Do you like performing and ministering through song?
A. Sometimes, if it’s not hard or nothing.
Q. So, when are those sometimes that you like doing it (singing)?
A. Like when my aunt, my mom, and like everybody…when my aunt and mom are teaching me what song-some new songs that they taught me.
Q. What other activities do you like to do?
A. Jump rope, have fun, party, basketball, football, and that’s it.
Q. When did you first start singing? When was your very first performance?
A. I believe I was five. (His first performance for a live audience was as a feature at A STAR IS BORN-AGAIN, in 2010.)
Q. What was different about it then?
A. I had my cousins there in Bridgeport at Miss Che’ri’s church. (Meaning at ASIB AGAIN 2010)
Q. Where you scared then?
Q. You were very confident then, and you had your cousins to perform with you, so I did you feel this time, now that you’re ten years old?
A. I felt really confident. There’s was no trouble doing it, and it and I didn’t have to be scared or nothing.
Q. Did you have support, people there supporting you?
A. Yes, Shaquille (his cousin) had hyped him up in the back (stage). My aunt, my cousin, my sister, and my mom were standing there while I was singing the song.
Q. Do you think it’s important for kids to have support?
A. Mph hmm (yes).
A. Because if you don’t have support…you might not have confidence in yourself. And you be like, “…oh snap I’m not gonna win. I know I’m not!”
Q. It helps you to be confident, and to make you feel reassured that you may have a chance at winning?
Q. What if you didn’t win, what would your feelings be?
A. I would be down, but I wouldn’t be crying and all that stuff, but I’d just feel down.
Q. What other shows have you done since ASIB AGAIN, in 2010? Where have you performed at?
A. The Keeping it Real Show that my auntie Savanda does (produces).
Q. You sang on her show?
Q. You’ve had more exposure than most kids get in a life time. How does that make you feel?
A. Pretty good yeah (lol).
Q. What are your thoughts about the Lord? How does the Lord play a role in your life?
A. I remember the time that my pastor said he couldn’t “shout” (dance), and he said I need somebody to shout for me. I rose my hand, and he said, “Go ahead.” The Lord had brought me into (praise) it and I started to shout.
Q. How did that make you feel?
A. Like I was important to him.
Q. To who, the pastor or to God?
A. To both of them.
Q. What would you say to other ten year old children who don’t have a relationship with God? Cuz it’s not about the relationship you have with your pastor. It’s about the relationship you have with God.
A. You should try to go to church one time. You don’t know if you’ll like it or not.
Q. What does going to church mean, do you believe in God even though you can’t see Him?
A. I believe in God.
A. He blesses you… and if you pray for Him He’ll bless you-if you pray to Him.
Q. What does having a relationship with God mean to you?
A. It means to me that like….
I had to explain the question. “I’m asking you because some people get confused. They think that if I go to church I have a relationship with God, and that is not true. Some people go to church and still don’t have a relationship God, and have not given their life to Christ. So, that’s why I’m asking you to see if you understand why you are there. Cuz’ sometimes as children we mimic what our parents do, and we do what our parents ask us to do because we see how they do, and not necessarily understand why we are doing it… His mother and I explain that people go to church to fellowship with other Christians, and it says that our faith increases by hearing the Word of God (a pastor preaches but he isn’t God). Having a relationship with God is communicating with your Heavenly Father…..”
Q. So what do you think that is to have a relationship with Christ? What do you do outside the church to let you know you have communication (relationship) with the Lord?
A. I treat my little sister right, and my mom, and my dad. I pray every night, and after we eat our food.
Q. That’s great and no one can take that from you even if you didn’t have an opportunity to be in church on a Sunday in case your parents can’t take you. Can anyone take that from you?
Q. So, what would you say to a child who can’t go to church whose parents aren’t bringing them to church? What can they do at home to be encouraged?
A. They can worship, they can pray before they go to sleep; pray before they eat. They can read the bible-they can buy a bible.
Q. What do you want from this experience to take place throughout the year until you pass that diamond along the next year?
A. All I want to do is to pray to God, and do the right thing.
Jonathan is on the praise and worship team at his church. He says he doesn’t want to sing for a career but he wants to be a chef. He told me all the youth were really encouraging at the show, and he enjoyed himself. New Creation was really encouraging to him and he had a good time.
INTERVIEW WITH OUR NEW STAR DIAMOND WINNER FROM BROOKLYN, NY!
NADJA MCKNEZIE, AGE 15.
Q. What is your name?
A. Nadja McKenzie
Q. Your age?
Q. What school do you attend?
A. Sophomore at Edward R. Murrow H.S. in Brooklyn, NY
Q. Where are you from?
A. Brooklyn, NY
Q. What other venues have you done?
A. McDonald’s Gospelfest, Apollo Theater, The Cotton Club, Brooklyn Supreme Court, BCAT (television network), 3ABN (television network), various churches and community events.
Q. Why the interest in DITR ASIB 6?
A. It was something that offered me an opportunity to share my talents with others who are passionate about the arts, and helped to see how others perform outside of NY.
Q. What was your experience at the show?
A. I was warmly welcomed and made to take responsibilities about my performance. I had to speak to the men in charge of sound to let them know that I needed to have my guitar connected to their amplifier, where I would need to sit on stage and also that I would need a mic stand. Min. Humphrey had assistants there to help me with some of those things as well and got me situated. I was comfortable and ready. I enjoyed the other performers and contestants. I really like how well the kids supported and cheered each other on. That was really nice to be a part of.
Q. What was experience with other youth?
A. I found that the youth were very supportive of other performers and the organization, Diamonds in the Rough.
Q. Were you nervous?
A. I wasn’t really nervous, but it was my first time performing with my guitar and so I wanted to make sure it was a good performance.
Q. What material did you sing and play?
A. I sang Redemption Song by Bob Marley (influenced by Lauryn Hill) while accompanying myself on my acoustic guitar.
Q. What do you want to gain from DITR?
A. I would like to gain more familiarity with people outside of NY who are trying to empower the youth, so that I can introduce other youth to the organization.
Q. What are your future plans?
A. I would like to continue to develop my musical skills as a singer, musician and songwriter.
Q. What's your favorite scripture and why?
A. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
This verse has allowed me to face life and its challenges with courage.
Q. How has the Lord made an impact in your life?
A. Because of knowing God it keeps me from getting into a lot of things that some young people get into, but knowing God and what He expects from me helps to keep me focused and moving towards positive goals.
Q. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A. I see myself in either NYU or St. John’s University pursuing my dream of physical therapy, or music education.
Q. What do you want to be when you grow up?
A. I would like to be a physical therapist or a music teacher.
Q. Who are your role models?
A. My parents and grandparents are my biggest role models, but I have many relatives and good family friends who are a part of my support and guidance system like my godmother.
Q. What music is your favorite?
A. Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu,& Kirk Franklin.
Q. Who has influenced you?
A. My mom and dad are strong influences that I can always count on to counsel me and encourage me. Ms. Andrea Vereen influenced me musically. My grandmothers influenced me to be a strong young woman.
Q. What are your future engagements?
A. I presently am not booked for any performance engagements, but that could change. In the mean time I will continue to practice singing and learning to master my guitar skills even more. When school begins, I am looking forwards to my new chorus that I auditioned to get into for my sophomore year, Gospel Chorus. Otherwise, God only knows and I know that He must have some things lined up for me!
To accept Christ as your personal savior speak aloud & mean it in your heart: Romans 10:9-11
Min. Che'ri Humphrey, DITR, PO Box 13, Norwalk, CT 06852
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