Johnny Holmes Photographer

My name is Johnny Holmes. I was born January 18, 1982. I was born in Lincoln Hopital in the Bronx. I live with my grandmother, Francis Butler, my siter, Ashley, my older brother, Lamont Butler, and my two cousins in East Harlem. 

Johnny Holmes w/ sister Ashley and older brother Lamont.

I love to play basketball and baseball. I am on five different basketball teams. I play uptown, downtown, cross town. Some people refer to uptown as the west side, but I play in the Bronx, too. I also coach kids 12 years and younger in basketball.

My goals are to be a basketball player and a lawyer or school teacher. When we argue in school, I always come out on top. I’d like to be a teacher because I’ve had a lot of good teachers.

I’d like to work on HarlemLive because with the internet, you learn a lot of new and different things . You read and see things you’ve never seen before. It’s like a real life adventure.

Tiffany Santiago

Reporter / Writer

My name is Tiffany Antoinette Santiago. My birthday is February 9, 1983. I am the oldest child of four. I attend school at Manhattan East. I am currently in the eighth grade, and hope to attend high-school at Laguardia high-school. When I get older I want to become a pediatrician or a actress. Right now I am very interested in art. I like working on Harlemlive because you are able to learn different things about Harlem and because you are also able to see and learn from the internet. I also like writing for Harlemlive because I like writing stories and I like to interview people. I also like to go out and see the things I am writing stories on.

Kevin Benoit

Editor in Chief (2004-2006) / Reporter / Writer

2004 – Kevin is an entrepreneur from Crown Heights, Brooklyn. He enjoys long walks on the beach and romantic movies. What more can one say. Kevin is a Capricorn born January 2nd. He is younger than you might think and he is currently in his second year at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. He is a graduate of George Wingate High School in Brooklyn. One day Kevin would like to become a lawyer/author and live in a mansion next to the shore of Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn. 
Kevin has been at HarlemLive since June, not long but he is already the Editor In Chief and has written many articles on the site including features on Eric Jerome Dickey, Vickie Stringer, and Ms. Slyvia Woods owner of Slyvia’s World Famous Restaurant. 
Kevin does it all, business man, friend, student, “the man” and believe me “HE GETS THE JOB DONE.”

Here at HarlemLIVE

by Kevin Benoit

Sept 2005 – Here at HarlemLIVE “we gets busy,” figuratively speaking that is. Sure HarlemLIVE is the site you click on to get all the latest news in the community, around the city and around the globe, but inside the office there are tons of stories everyday. 

By now if you are checking out the site you know that HarlemLIVE is a youth run online publication. We are an award winning journalism program that includes news articles, investigative stories, opinion pieces, personal essays, poetry, photography and video documentaries. The students organize events, conduct workshops and sit on panels, increasing their networking and public speaking abilities.
HarlemLIVE is a year round program where young adults ages 13-21 volunteer their free time to do something that is positive and fun. Over the course of the summer students come out in packs because of their newly found free time. Schools out leaving students with a void for that mental stimulation that they love and can’t get enough of. HarlemLIVE provides that stimulation for the everyday teen and it also provides them, with something positive to do with their time.

This summer most of the staff has come via Summer Youth Employment. Almost 30 students entered this program at the beginning of July all getting paid to do something fun and exciting. We also accepted another 8-10 students who came in as volunteers making the opening to our summer a very promising one. 

Every summer we have our Youth Media Challenge where we split the staff into teams where they compete against each other for prizes and chances to fill up open slots of our executive staff. The students learn everything that we do throughout the year getting a crash course in how to run an online magazine. Usually we have three teams and that is successful but this year after some of the staff members realized that HarlemLIVE was not the organization for them or after we realized that they were not the staff for HarlemLIVE the three teams were broken down to just two. So all summer Keeping It Real Entertainment (KIRE) and Supernova battled head to head. Both teams were lead by long time staff members, KIRE led by Jessica Batson who joined the staff in May and Supernova led by Tracey Casseus who joined the staff in October of 2004. As leaders they learned that taking responsibility for the bad as well as the good is not always fun. They learned how to really run an online publication. We taught them well if I can say so myself.

The teams were put through the regular competition with a few twists and turns along the way and a few improvements to match the new technology in the world. They did the flyer contest-a competition to see who could pas out the most flyers in the least amount of time-they tried to write as much stories as possible, put together the best video, and even developed the best blogs and pod casts, 
All the participants can tell you that the competition started out shaky but it ended with a bang. The competition culminated with our annual award ceremony at Bloomberg’s Headquarters. At the ceremony we announce the winning team, we give out awards to individual achievers and we announce the editors for the fall year. This year’s all around best individual achiever was Iyanna Garry. She won awards for best poem, best blogger, best essay and best health story. Steven Martinez was the winner for best story while Troy Robateau was the winner for best video. 

The winning team for the competition was Supernova coming off a lackadaisical performance for the first two weeks. Somehow they managed to get their selves back in the competition and in the end they gave their selves a chance to win it all. 

The new leaders for the fall and the immediate future were all people who made outstanding contributions throughout the summer. Our new Entertainment Editor, Keisean Marshall, wanted to meet Beyoncé when he joined HarlemLIVE-and he still wants to-but with HarlemLIVE he is so much closer to reaching his goal. 
Our new Video Director, Ranale Todman completed two videos over the summer and he showed that he gained the most out of the program and was willing to give the most back into it. Over the summer we somehow got twins on board a pair of outgoing young females from the Bronx. It turned out that they love marketing and after testing them out with on e of our open mics they proved that they are young marketing gurus in the making. Dejinay and Denaira Reid are out new Marketing Directors. Our new Health Editor, Tracey Casseus had been working on developing a template for the health page even before the summer began, but it was her strategy, dependability and ability to follow through that landed her the position. Iyana Garry became our lead writer because when you are that talented you deserve acknowledgement. Since then we have made her editor of the Community section as well as the Life in the City section. It’s only right being that she lives in Brooklyn, works in Manhattan, goes to school in the Bronx and spent all summer doing slideshows on Queens. Our newest Editor In Chief is Jessica Batson the leader for Keeping It Real Entertainment. When she joined in May Richard Calton said that she had potential to be the next leader and his prediction proved to be true. She is also the editor of Current Events and Politics. Mera Beckford is still out Managing Editor because no one can do that job as wonderfully as she can. As for me I have been promoted to Publisher of HarlemLIVE. That just means I am still the dedicated head male here. Look for some changes in these positions soon.
I asked some of the staff members about their feelings toward HarlemLIVE and the summer experience and here’s what they had to say. 

Tyrell Carlton, the longest serving member of HarlemLIVE that was placed on a team was the co-leader for team Supernova. He was also on last years winning team, Vertigo. He feels that he is a good luck charm and he is thinking about doing it again next year that way he can have a three-peat and maybe he’ll even be team leader. He says that the most interesting part of HarlemLIVE is “meeting new people and going on interesting stories.”

Jessica Henderson has learned that HarlemLIVE can be bigger than all your expectations. She was the co-leader for Keeping It Real Entertainment and she was a big part to keeping her team focused. “HarlemLIVE is more than I expected. I thought I was going to be a simple journalist. This is more important than I thought. Her greatest experience so far: Meeting Al Sharpton. She asked him if his hair was real.

Jasmine Hamm the youngest staff member this summer is entering freshman year of High School this September. Her growth over the summer was a joy to watch. “I love the experience,” she says. “It provides a lot that will benefit me in my future. I do stories, photography and I’m jumping into video as well.”HarlemLIVE recently did a presentation at the Apple Store. Members of the new look executive staff as well as alumni and members of the Board of Directors all took part in the presentation. The purpose was to inform other people and groups how we use technology and how it has benefited the organization. The presentation was a great experience for all of those involved especially those who hadn’t done much public speaking in the past.

In other news Tracey Casseus, our new health editor is working on our health page. It will soon be added to the HarlemLIVE website. The colors are different and it will standout but it looks very good. The page is being developed by HarlemLIVE alumni Justin Young.

Another breakthrough in the HarlemLIVE office is the monthly open mic series. Back in May we did our first Poetry Slam Series. It lasted a period of four weeks throughout May and June. The response was so huge and the events wee so successful that we had to go on and do another one. The turnout continued to increase so we just had to do it on a recurring basis. So the first Saturday of every month it goes down. Poets, singers, and performers from all over the city come out to perform at our office space.

Keisean Marshall – Entertainment Editor / Reporter

Keisean Marshall

July 2005

Keisean Marshall currently holds the Entertainment Editor duties at HarlemLIVE. He joined HarlemLIVE in the Summer of 2005. In his Senior year in Rice High School. He also holds the title of Editor and Chief of “The Raider Eye”and reporter for “School Sports Magazine.” 

Once Keisean is finished with college he plans to go in the career direction of Broadcast Journalism. He somewhat has his plans set- from age 21-32 he wants to report the news and anchor. From then on he wants to have his own Television Show. 

He is inspired by talk show host and journalist, Oprah Winfrey. For college he has his eye set on the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill. He is a very focus person and very grounded for a 16 year old.

Keisean resides in Harlem with his younger sister and mother.

Keisean Marshall is a 16 –year- old student attending RICE High school. In his free time he hangs out with friends. Although he lives with his mother and baby sister, it doesn’t stop him from blasting hip- hop and R&B music. After Keisean completes his last year at RICE, he plans on getting a BA degree. He also wants to be a news anchor, host a talk show or own his own company. Keisean was asked why he came to Harlem Live “to put my foot into the door of journalism, you always have to start somewhere,” he replied.

A Day in the Life of Being a Leader

by Eddie Aung

I have been in HarlemLive for nearly two years. But before this summer, I had no idea what the real responsibility meant. Being a group leader can be the hardest job on earth; especially when the success of your whole group depends on your performance. Let me give you a little a short tour of a group leader’s one day life in HarlemLive. Yeah…… It’s just a short tour….

I bet that everyone has thought of what they are doing or where they are going to. Well, that is one of the daily jobs of mine and I want to say that it also should be one of the practices that a group leader should possess. A group leader should most of the time be thinking about something that pertains to the success of his group. 

Ideas are not hard to come up with, the hard part is to turn those ideas into stories and ask your group to actually go out and make those ideas come true. The whole group will have a meeting and everyone will be throwing ideas at each other and it will seem like the meeting was a success. Everyone including the leader learned something new after the meeting and believe that the group members will try hard to turn the ideas into actual stories. Well, you see…., only fairy tales end with a happy ending. 

Most of the problems start from the fact that not all of the people are motivated. So even an experienced group leader “MUST” have Plan B because there is a possibility that something might go wrong such as one of the group members not making an important phone call, missing a scheduled story, or just sitting on a chair and staring at a computer screen Instant Messaging their friends. 

My strategy to overcome those difficulties is to actually do some of the scheduling on my own and be ready with a story on days when there are no stories. I always keep track of what my group members are doing. Stories are important in an organization such as HarlemLive, but not all the members in my groups are writers or reporters. What I do is keep them busy with the work they are interested in. If someone likes to edit video. If someone likes mopping, well, that’s what they will to do. 

Since there are a lot of things going on and there are not enough people to cover all the necessities, I have to assign each person to take care of two different types of jobs such as a writer might take a journalism class or photography workshops. This put a certain amount of pressure on some group members especially when they are new. About 90% of the staff in HarlemLive for this year’s Summer Program are new. There is the trouble there. Some people think that taking care of two things is hard and some think that having two stories on one day is a lot. Well, what can you say? You are the group leader; you have to listen to your group because those are the people that make you the group leader. 

There are times when I feel like a lot of the things that I planned are not going as well as they should be. Managing a group is like a rubber band. If you pull it too hard, it will snap. If you don’t pull hard enough, you will it will not stretch as far as you would like it. You really have to understand people. A good group is the group where all the team members work together and know what they are doing. This will not guarantee that the group will have the most rewards because any group can reach its goals just by depending on a couple of good and hardworking people in the group. 

That is not what I expect from my group. So I try to teach my group to work together. And trust me, that is really hard because you are trying to combine a bunch of minds asking them to reach a certain destination. Everyone wants to choose his own path. 

Most of my hardest moments as being a leader is when my group members do not do things right. It is hard to keep track of what everybody is doing every time. When I don’t know what someone is doing, it is hard for me to plan ahead. Trying to find out what is going on in the group and planning ahead is really challenging for me, especially when things do go as I had expected. Finding right people for the right work is a hard thing for me. However, I’m happy with my position because you have a chance to learn and interact with people. They report to you what is happening and they share their ideas with you which I believe is a great thing. Even though sometimes I feel like there is a big rock on my shoulder, that feeling disappears when I see my group members working.

Leon Pryer – Web Editor

July 2006 –
Hi my name is Leon Pryer. I go to Martin Luther King Jr. High school (Arts & Technology). Im going to the 12th grade. When I graduate I want to go to college, and the college I want to go to is School of Visual Arts. what I want to do
in life is be a cartoonist / video game designer.

I have a small family, I live with my mother, grandmother,uncle, and brother in a three story house. I have a backyard with a hoop I got for my thirteenth Birthday. when I come home After doing my homework I shoot around for fun
during saturdays I hang out with my friends we chill at my friends house.

Some of my hobbies are drawing,and palying games. I draw when I have free time or when I get board. I play my game on sunday because that the day I
have nothing to do.

During afterschool I signed up for after school programs. the most recent after school program I was In was the Achievers Academy. Thanks to joining
the Achievers Academy I got this job through the T.A.S.C..

There were other after school programs I signed up for was Central Park Conservacy Youth Media Out Reach Program, Harlem Home Boys, and MInisink. To give me something to do instead of wasting my time. I always try to have my day full but always have time for me.

Ranale Todman – Video Producer


My name is Ranale Todman  and I have been apart of HarlemLIVE for  four days. My first few days have been good.  I’ve met a lot of new people like Richard, Kevin, Mera. Brad, Jonathan, Chris, Torin, Curtis, Tara, Shem, Melvin, Justin, Danya, and more. I first herd about HarlemLIVE from a couple of friends Solomon, Tyrell ,and Frisco, I got in to HarlemLIVE through summer youth from Minisink on 142st. So far I like HarlemLIVE. It  feels like a very comfortable place to be in where you can met and make friends and have a little fun. Since I have been here, I have been learning mostly in the photo and video section about how to use the camera’s the computer’s the Lowell LT Light’s, and how to edit video’s. When I came to HarlemLIVE I didn’t know what to expect but I wasn’t expecting this.. 


I was clueless to what I thought HarlemLIVE was going to be about. Now since I know what this organization is about I am happy to be apart of it. I think Im going to be apart of HarlemLIVE for a while because It is going to help me learn a lot about technology that I have not used before. The reason that HarlemLIVE is such a good organization is because not only do you get to have fun with all the new equipment but you get to learn about it too. For example, whatever topic you choose once you join the program like video or photography, journalism exc. you take a class about it first before you start your project with your group. The reason that this is good is because wha ever you learn here you can take it with you on to school your job or where ever you go.