The Voice of Southwest Louisiana July 2019 Issue

voiceswla

The Voice of Southwest Louisiana News Magazine July 2019

July 2019

Vol 6 No 12

Independence..

Interdependence

in Faith, Family, Food and

Entrepreneurship

with Sylvia Simien-

Jet Set Barber and Beauty Salon

p14 Feature Story

p5

Intracoastal

Park History

Police Jury Celebrates

Park Upgrades

p9

East African

Mango And

Cucumber Salad

p18 Blac & Blu

Changing The Way

We Talk About Violent

Crimes & Homicide

p24 Back to School

Q&A with Cynthia Coffey

Daigle, Speech-Language

Pathologist, “Princess Speech”


SUNDAY

9:30 A.M. BIBLE CLASS

10:45 A.M. WORSHIP

6:30 P.M. WORSHIP

WEDNESDAY

6:00 P.M. BIBLE CLASS

MINISTER

JERRY ARDOIN

dacrewof6@yahoo.com

Minister: 337.249.1719

Church: 337.419.1911

COME ON OVER

& let's get Started!

BOAT &

VEHICLE LOANS

From cars, trucks and SUVs, to

RVs, motorcycles and boats,

we have loans designed to fit

your needs. Come on over to

First Federal Bank and we’ll

get you in the driver’s seat.

www.ffbla.bank

2 July 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 12


editor’s

By Brenda Hill

Independence…Interdependence…

This is an interesting time of year

Firework sounds; gunshot rounds

Family and food; faith and fear

Throughout our homes, businesses, governments and towns

Thirteen colonies; fifty states

Monarchy; Anarchy

Taught freedom, liberty and independence to highly rate.

Pride

Red, White and Blue

Learned as a child and I applied

Accepted freedom, liberty and independence as true

Diversity

Yellow, brown, bronze and tan

Adversity

Denied freedom, liberty and independence for this clan

Like a purple gallinule

Multicolor

Long legs and long toes help them rule

Master interceptor

From the beginning was information

For everything, foundations formed; same today and eternity

for one nation

God spoke and moved in Three

One Nation of freedom

One Nation of liberty

United

Family, friends, neighbors and loved ones as I need ’em

And me with them

Interdependence throughout the country

Three for freedom, liberty, unity and interdependence

Celebrating One Nation Under God

Pick up your

copy of

The Voice of

SWLA while

you’re out

and about.

SULPHUR

• West Cal-Cam Hospital

• Stines

• Pitt Grill

• SPAR

• Goodwill

• Hollier's

• Dairy Barn

LAKE CHARLES

• Pujo St. Cafe

• Chase (Downtown)

• Steamboat Bill's

• Civic Center

• Carnegie Library

• Luna Bar & Grill

MOSS BLUFF

• Peto's

• Market Basket

• Southern Spice

VINTON

• Post Office

• Market Basket

• Love's Truck Stop

DERIDDER

• Brookshires Bros.

• City Hall

• DeRidder Hospital

• Post Office

• Steamboat Bill's

Volume 6 • Number 12 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM July 2019 3


July 2019

The Voice's Choice

The Voice's Choice will spotlight groups, individuals or topics

that spread love, joy and peace throughout SWLA.

Cynthia Coffey Daigle, Speech-

Language Pathologist, "Princess

Speech"

“Speech Pathology has been an

exciting and rewarding career for

over 40 years. I am confident that

I have made an enormous impact

toward the field of Communicative

Disorders.”

Daigle, a licensed national board

certified, Master’s Equivalent,

Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) professional has provided an array

of services in the educational and the healthcare/medical arenas. “Princess

Speech” has had opportunities to provide services as a business owner of

Speech Pathology Services, in operation since 1989, and has been supervisor of

student teachers via University Louisiana at Monroe, supervisor of individuals

seeking licensure for Louisiana, supervisor at the university level for individuals

completing their Master’s Degree and continuing their Clinical Fellowship Year

(CFY) practicum experience.

Daigle continues also to serve as mentor and consultant to individuals during

their study for the national exam and embraces the professional relationship

that she established with universities many years ago. [University Louisiana at

Monroe, Louisiana Tech, Grambling State University, Lamar University, Southern

University and LSU. This has given her the ability to see how the profession has

grown and the changes for inclusion.

See more on page 24…

3 EDITOR'S PEN

INDEPENDENCE…INTERDEPENDENCE…

5 SWLA NEWS

POLICE JURY CELEBRATES INTRACOASTAL PARK UPGRADES WITH

RIBBON CUTTING

8 HEALTHY RECIPES

SWLA HEALTH CENTER

10 SWLA HEALTH CENTER

A SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO OUR SPONSORS FOR SUPPORTING 7 DAYS

OF JUNETEENTH FREEDOM FESTIVAL!

12 SWLA EDUCATION

RODEO TEAM WINS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!

14 UNITED. FREEDOM.

INTERDEPENDENCE.

IN FAMILY, FAITH, FOOD, FUN AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP WITH

SYLVIA SIMIEN AT SYLVIA’S JET SET BEAUTY SALON

CONTENTS

12 SWLA

Education

Rodeo Team

Wins National

Championship!

8 Healthy Recipes

18 CHANGING THE WAY WE TALK

ABOUT VIOLENT CRIMES &

HOMICIDES

BLAC & BLU - ONE COMMUNITY, ONGOING CONVERSATIONS

20 PEACE FROM PIECES

I’M SO GLAD WE HAD THIS TIME TOGETHER

22 WHO’S LOVING YOU?

ADVENTURES OF THE LAKE

24 BACK TO SCHOOL K THRU 12

Q&A WITH CYNTHIA COFFEY DAIGLE, SPEECH-LANGUAGE

PATHOLOGIST, “PRINCESS SPEECH”

26 SWLA NONPROFIT

SHINE THE LIGHT ON SICKLE CELL

DISCLOSURE: All materials contained in the publication are copyrighted and not to be reproduced or reprinted in part or in their entirety without the expressed written

permission of The Voice of SWLA. The views expressed in the articles of The Voice of SWLA are not necessarily the views of the ownership or sponsors in this publication. The Voice of

SWLA assumes no liability for errors or omissions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all content.

Editor-In-Chief

Brenda Hill

brenda@thevoiceofsouthwestla.com

General Manager

Tracy Clark

tracy@thevoiceofsouthwestla.com

Creative Director

Vinh Alexander

tvswlart@gmail.com

Community Coordinator

Ken Williamson /Sales

sales@thevoiceofsouthwestla.com

Acquisition Editor

Braylin Jenkins

Copy Editors

Jason Clark

Cecely Clark

Ann Champagne

Consultants

Gene R. Hill, Sr.

Reginald Clark

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Brenda Hill

Dianna Ross

Kris Welcome

Jessica Duhon

Carra Sergeant, Ph. D.; LPC-S

Lela Gholar Tizano

FRONT COVER:

Photo of "Purple Gallinule"

by VINH PHOTOGRAPHY

PUBLISHED AND

DISTRIBUTED BY

Team Publications LLC.

4310 Ryan St. Ste. 123

Lake Charles, LA. 70605

In the McNeese SEED Center

337.474.2210

4 July 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 12


SWLA news

Contributed Article

Police Jury

Celebrates

Intracoastal Park

Upgrades with

Ribbon Cutting

The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury celebrated the

completion of the Intracoastal Park Improvements

Project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on

Wednesday, June 26, at the park, 7955 Intracoastal Park

Road, Sulphur.

The $564,000 Intracoastal Park Improvements Project

included the expansion and renovation of the existing

pavilion; replacement of the fishing wharf; a new,

wheelchair-accessible fish cleaning station; and electrical

repairs to the RV slots.

The former, open-air pavilion now has new roofing,

doors, windows, air conditioning and heating, an inside

Pictured L-R: Dean Kelly, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury Director of Facility

Management; Bryan Beam, Parish Administrator; Judd Bares, District 12 Calcasieu

Parish Police Juror; Kevin White, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury President; Dane

Bolin, Assistant Parish Administrator; Steve Shows, project designer; and Justin

Gautreaux, design assistant.

sink, concrete countertops (inside and outside), and a

large covered patio facing the water. There is also new

electrical service throughout the park, new walkways,

and a new lift station.

The shoreline has been cleared and contoured for bank

fishing. It is also wheelchair-accessible.

The completion of this project greatly enhances

the experience visitors will have when visiting

Intracoastal Park,” said Dean Kelly, Director of Facility

Management. “The pavilion overlooking the Intracoastal

Waterway is a prime location for crawfish, crab boils

and fish fries. The park is very popular with local

fishermen. The updated fish cleaning station will make it

much more convenient for visitors to clean their catches.”

Future park projects include enhanced parking and

sidewalks.

Those interested in renting the new pavilion can call

Facility Management at 337-721-3540.

Gunter Construction, Inc. served as general contractor

and Steve Shows, of Vincent-Shows Architects, served as

project designer.

CONTINUE ON NEXT PAGE --->

Volume 6 • Number 12 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM July 2019 5


SWLA news

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

Intracoastal

Park History

1975 2004 2007 2010 2013

The property has

been used as a

park since 1975.

In 2004, the

outdoor pavilion,

playground,

picnic areas and

restrooms were

added.

In 2007, post-

Hurricane Rita

repairs and

renovations

were made to

the pavilion,

restrooms and

picnic areas.

In 2010, the

Shoreline

Protection

Project helped

reclaim land lost

to erosion and

protect the park

from further

erosion.

A small fishcleaning

station

was added in

2013.

6 July 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 12


Volume 6 • Number 12 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM July 2019 7


SWLA Health Center

Healthy Recipes

HERBY ROAST CHICKEN

HANDS-ON TIME: 10 MINUTES | TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR | MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Chicken and herbs go so well together. You can

vary the herbs as you like, but be sure to choose

one with a woody stem — like the ones we suggest

below — since tender herbs such as parsley or basil

won’t hold up as well in the oven.

INSTRUCTIONS

Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your

equipment and ingredients and put them on a counter.

INGREDIENTS

8 small bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

or drumsticks, or a combination, the fat

trimmed off

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 2

teaspoons dried thyme, rosemary, sage, or

marjoram

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Turn the oven on and set the heat

to 425 degrees.

2. Put all the ingredients in the bowl

and mix well. Proceed with the

recipe or cover and refrigerate up

to 2 days.

3. Dump the contents of the bowl

onto the baking sheet, making

sure the chicken pieces are in a

single layer, not crowded on top

of one another.

4. Once the oven temperature has

reached 425 degrees, put the

pan in the oven and bake until

the chicken is well browned and

crispy, about 45 minutes.

5. Serve right away, or cover and

refrigerate up to 3 days.

KITCHEN GEAR

Cutting board

Sharp knife (adult needed)

Kitchen scissors

Mixing bowl

Measuring spoons

Zester (adult needed)

Large rimmed baking sheet

Pot holders

8

July 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 12


HANDS-ON TIME: 5 MINUTES | TOTAL TIME: 5 MINUTES | MAKES 1 SERVINGS

See more at https://www.chopchopfamily.org/learn-to-cook/recipe

HOW TO USE A MELON BALLER

A melon baller is an old-fashioned and not-at-all-important kitchen

tool! But that doesn't mean it's not superfun to use one, and there's

just something so satisfying about turning a big melon into a bowlful of

small spheres. Besides, it's a good excuse to raid your grandma's kitchen

drawers — she probably has an old melon baller in there somewhere!

INGREDIENTS

1 melon, (any kind is fine)

washed and dried

KITCHEN GEAR

Cutting board

Sharp knife (adult needed)

Melon baller

Bowl

INSTRUCTIONS

Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your equipment and

ingredients and put them on a counter.

1. Cut the melon in half, and slice a piece from the bottom of each half so that

you can steady the halves while you work. If it's a cantaloupe-type melon,

scrape out all the seeds and discard them.

2. Plunge the edge of the melon baller into the melon, and rotate the edge all

the way around to make a perfect sphere. (Keep at it, and you'll get the hang

of it!) Put the balls in the bowl. Repeat until you've balled up all the useable

fruit, then discard the rind — or put the melon balls back into it, to be fancy.

EAST AFRICAN MANGO

AND CUCUMBER SALAD

This salad offers fantastic combinations of crunchy

and soft, sweet and tart. East Africa includes the

countries Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. East

Africans have been eating mangoes since Persian

traders brought them to Africa in the 10th century.

HANDS-ON TIME: 30 MINUTES | TOTAL TIME: 30 MINUTES | MAKES 4 PORTIONS

INSTRUCTIONS

Wash your hands with soap and water, then

gather all your equipment and ingredients and

put them on a counter.

1. Put all the ingredients in the bowl and mix

well. Taste the salad. Does it need a pinch

more salt or a squeeze more lime juice? If

so, add it and taste again. Serve right away

or cover and refrigerate up to overnight.

* If you’re allergic to nuts, skip them.

FANCY THAT!

Add 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves or 1 jalapeño pepper,

seeded and thinly sliced. (Chopping the jalapeño pepper is a

good job for an adult. Wear gloves and be careful not to touch

your eyes. Be sure to wash your hands well after handling

peppers.)

OR ELSE

No mango? No problem: substitute a large peach.

INGREDIENTS

1 English cucumber (the kind that comes

wrapped in plastic), cubed

2 medium tomatoes, cored and cubed

1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and cubed

1⁄4 cup chopped red onion

1⁄2 cup chopped peanuts or cashews *

2 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

KITCHEN GEAR

Cutting board

Sharp knife (adult needed)

Measuring cup

Measuring spoons

Medium-sized bowl

Spoon, for mixing

Volume 6 • Number 12 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM July 2019 9


SWLA Health Center

By Dianna Ross

A Special Tribute

to Our Sponsors

for Supporting 7

Days of Juneteenth

Freedom Festival!

Alissa of SWLA as Billie Holiday

Lee, Ken and Kerry at the Cotton Club

Better Blocks

Images of a week’s events speak to

the positive impact that the 7 Days of

Juneteenth Freedom Festival had in the

Lake Charles community.

SWLA Center for Health Services would

like to thank the following sponsors for

their support: CITGO, LabCorp, The Voice of

Southwest Louisiana, Digikast, TownSquare

Media, KPPM, KZWA 104.5, Lamar, Ad Source,

Marshall Simien Law Firm , JD Bank, Pedestal

Bank, Louisiana Healthcare Connections,

Healthy Blue, Kingdom Expressions, Our

Truth Our Change, Boutte’s, Zephyr’s, Healthy

Image, Mandi Mitchell, Hawkins-Kee Law Firm

and Kevin Guidry.

Black Men's Health day

Crowds gather at the Ampitheater to

see Ancesteral Closing Ceremony

Broken Time Sculpture by Martin Payton

10

July 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 12


Yoga display for Black

Womens Health Day

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Interview with Sculptor

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Volume 6 • Number 12 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM July 2019 11


SWLA education

Contributed Article

Rodeo Team

Wins National

Championship!

McNeese Rodeo

captured two

individual

championships and one

team championship at the

71st Annual College National

Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Casper,

Wyoming, held June 9-15,

2019.

The women's team, comprised

of Grace Ann Hanley

(Welsh), Mia Manzanares

(Opelousas), Kati Murphy (Bell

City), and Ashleigh Young

(Mansfield, TX), won the team

championship. Mia retained

her women's all-around title

and tied for first place in goat

tying.

For the men's team, Waylon

Bourgeois placed 10th in

bareback riding and Gabe

Soileau came in 10th in steer

wrestling.

“This year’s finals were very

competitive, but the women’s

team came together and

From left: Rodeo coach Justin Browning, Mia Manzanares, Kati Murphy, and

Ashleigh Young (Not pictured: Grace Ann Hanley)

once again won the national

championship,” says McNeese

rodeo coach Justin Browning.

“I’m proud of all of our

student-athletes and their

performances at this year’s

competition.”

McNeese intercollegiate rodeo

began in 1947 and this is the

28th consecutive year that

McNeese has sent students

to the national championship

finals. Over 400 students from

more than 100 universities

and colleges competed at this

year’s competition.

The McNeese’s Women’s

& Men’s Team Athletes

competed at the CNFR in the

following events:

ÌÌ

Mia Manzanares

(Opelousas) Goat Tying &

Breakaway Roping

ÌÌ

Kati Murphy (Bell City)

Goat Tying

ÌÌ

Grace Hanley (Welsh)

Barrel Racing

ÌÌ

Ashleigh Young

(Mansfield, TX) Goat Tying.

ÌÌ

Gabe Soileau (Bunkie)

Steer Wrestling

ÌÌ

Waylon Bourgeois

(Church Point) Bareback

Riding

ÌÌ

Sandro Ferretti (Noves,

France) Bareback Riding

ÌÌ

Ryder Sanford (Carlyss)

Saddle Bronc Riding

ÌÌ

Lathan Lyons (Eunice)

Saddle Bronc Riding.

ÌÌ

Connor Matheson (Bell

City) Tie Down Roping.

12

July 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 12


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Volume 6 • Number 12 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM July 2019 13


SWLA feature story

By Kris Welcome

Sylvia Simien, Sylvia's Jet Set Barber and Beauty Salon,

shares her 50 years of legacy with daughter, Valencia

(right) and granddaughter, Moriah (left).

United

Freedom

Interdependence

In Family, Faith, Food, Fun

and Entrepreneurship with

Sylvia Simien at Sylvia’s Jet

Set Barber and Beauty Salon

14

July 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 12


Generational wealth is the goal

of most people, but not many

get the opportunity to set up a

foundation for their lineage that will

sustain. The journey of generational

abundance was sparked 50 years ago

in the soul of Sylvia Simien, owner and

operator of Sylvia’s Jet Set Barber and

Beauty Salon right here in Lake Charles.

Open three days a week, you can find

her there serving her customers glam in

a family setting. “Everyone here is family.

When you enter our doors, you feel like

you’re home,” Sylvia said of her shop.

Sylvia mostly caters to older women that

have been coming to her for years. She is

known to keep snacks for those who have

health ailments that require them to eat

when faced with a long day in the shop.

Family is an important dynamic for this

shop. Though Sylvia is the first hairstylist

in her family, Sylvia has certainly inspired

most of her family tree to get into the

beauty industry. “My daughter, one of

my sons, my granddaughter, my niece,

and my daughter-in-law have all gotten

into hair thanks to me,” she informed

me of her impact. “When my daughter

was getting ready to finish school and

didn’t know what she wanted to do, I told

her she was going to hair school,” Sylvia

laughed away about forcing the industry

on her daughter who now loves it. Sylvia

also thanks her husband of 56 years, Willis

A. Simien, for his support and keeping her

grounded over her half a century career

in the business.

In high school, Sylvia knew she had

a nag for beauty and decided to go

to Annie Frank’s School of Beauty.

Shortly after, she opened her shop to

customers who would become loyal

members of the Jet Set family. As a

black woman seeking entrepreneurship

when front door entry was still not

promised says a lot about the willpower

and perseverance of the matriarch of

the Simien family. Through racism,

misogyny, and sexism, Sylvia broke past

the barriers that we know to hinder the

growth and progression of so many

people who look like her to this day.

“My mom is my idol. I know it wasn’t

easy for her to start this business when

she did, but she did it in spite of,” said

Valencia Simien, Sylvia’s daughter. Sylvia

pushed Valencia into the hair business,

but she has come to love what she

does and is happy that her mom has

established something that will keep

them afloat for years to come. Valencia’s

daughter, Moriah James, has also been

given the family hustle of cosmetology

and plans to go to the next level.

“I plan on taking the business over

and starting my own line of products,”

Moriah explained. Moriah has plenty of

plans to keep the brand booming, a great

relief to Sylvia who will soon be leaving

her business to the next generation of

hands. “I look up to my grandmother

and appreciate her for the inspiration

she is. She is 76 and gets around better

than some young girls I know,” Moriah

stated of her grandmother who is lively

and vivacious. Moriah went on to state,

“Experiencing life as a black woman today

and knowing how much harder it was for

her then, I can’t help but to be inspired

by her dedication to building this brand. I

hope to be just like her.”

To be in business for 50 years, you

get to encounter and witness a lot of

changes within your field. Sylvia has

worked through the perms of the 50s,

fros of the 60s and 70s, crazy teased

hairstyles and Jheri curls of the 80s,

natural acceptance of the 90s, and the

reemergence of the natural hair boom

that the 21st century has ushered in.

Hair moves in cycles. I’m happy

most of my older clients are still

getting relaxers because it keeps

me working. I let my daughter

and granddaughter tame natural

clients.”

The way these women work together

is truly an inspiration for families that

Moriah and mother, Valencia

CONTINUE ON NEXT PAGE --->

Volume 6 • Number 12 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM July 2019 15


SWLA feature story

want to remain close even under the

pressure of joint business ventures—a

very common issue. “We have our

moments of tension, but, at the end

of the day, they know what I say goes,”

Sylvia joked. This is why she cherishes

entrepreneurship, however, because

things are always done how she wants

them—true independence and freedom.

Sylvia is just excited that her daughter

and granddaughter are on the waves

of emerging hair trends and perform

at high levels to keep clients coming

through the doors.

Sylvia is a powerful woman in how she

has started something much bigger

than herself. She has put her family

in a position to win for years to come.

Sylvia has no regrets about starting her

own shop as it has empowered not only

herself, but her friends and family. “Since

I started this shop, my best friend, Doris

Lee, has been my assistant. It’s important

that I set my loved ones up to win.

Everyone around me becomes family,”

Sylvia explained.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14-15

anything that disrupts the peace of

her shop. The beauty shop is a place

of relaxation and there is no type of

drama that shifts that atmosphere.

This ambience is what has kept her in

business for half a century.

If you need your hair done in a family

environment that makes everyone feel

comfortable, welcomed, and wanting

to come back then you should stop

by Sylvia’s Jet Set Barber and Beauty

Salon located at 2801 12th Street, right

here in Lake Charles. You will find an

energetic and young 76-year-old Sylvia

slaying styles while sharing her love with

all who enter. The mother of 3 and wife

of 56 years is guaranteed to have a bite

to eat and a word to share with you as

she does everyone that partakes in the

Jet Set experience. When you stop by, be

sure to tell her that I sent you!

Valencia and daughter, Moriah

“I just want my family to know

they are blessed to come into a

business that is established and

paid for. They only have to keep it

up. I’m very proud to offer them

that and hope that others would

seek to do the same for their

children. The best way to maintain

your own is having your own,”

Sylvia stated of her having a family

business to leave behind.

She hopes that others would seek

out opportunities to fill voids in their

community through entrepreneurship.

Stop by the shop on Fridays as you

can expect to be served breakfast

and there is coffee daily. “There’s no

smoking, cursing, gossiping, or anything

that causes discord in my shop,” Simien

stated of her no tolerance policy for

16

July 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 12


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Program Director

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700 Pujo Street, Suite A • Lake Charles, LA

Serving Our Veterans and Seniors • At Home with Gulf Coast. ©

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In the McNeese SEED Center

TEAM PUBLICATIONS LLC• 4310 Ryan St. Ste. 123 • Lake Charles, LA. 70605

Volume 6 • Number 12 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM July 2019 17


Blac & Blu

ONE COMMUNITY, ONGOING CONVERSATIONS

“I don’t know how to

tell you this, but your

baby has been shot.”

By Jessica Duhon

around often have a greater influence of,

‘don’t want to work for it’,” said Alfreeda.

She expressed how some young men

think they are gangsters, often glorified

by listening to music that glamorizes

turning crime into making money.

To make matters worse, her children’s

stepbrother and pregnant girlfriend

were also killed execution style in a

separate act of violence just a couple of

months later. Yet another stepbrother

died in an accident.

Fathers, mothers, grandparents

and others feel the devastating

effects of violent crimes and

homicides in their communities in

Calcasieu Parish also.

The Voice of Southwest Louisiana will

dig deeper into conversations with

families, from communities of color,

to explore why rates of violent crimes

and homicides are higher in their

neighborhoods. We hope to change the

way we talk about violent crimes when

referencing communities of color. https://

www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2018/05/03/

homicide_overtime/.

Alfreeda Beloney went through a series

of challenges in 2011.

July: A personal relationship came to

an end.

August: She had to leave her home.

September: Her family was temporarily

separated.

October: Her son, Marvin was shot and

killed at age 18.

The night before, Alfreeda called all her

children to let them know how proud she

was of them and how much she loved

each of them.

Nine a.m. the next morning, while

Alfreeda was getting ready for a trip to

go sing with her church, she received the

news that no parent wants to hear.

“I don’t know how to tell you this, but

your baby has been shot.”

At first, Alfreeda blamed

herself. “It was an emptiness!

When you hear something

like this, you think, what

could I have done better? I

asked God to unsettle me. I

didn’t understand at the time

what that would mean, said

Alfreeda.”

To make things worse, no one was

prosecuted for the murder. The story

is unclear, but apparently, Marvin and

others were at the house of a marijuana

dealer and investigators were told that he

fired a shot. No weapon or gunpowder

was ever found on Marvin. The person

who shot and killed Marvin admitted to it

and was later murdered while he was out

on bond.

While at her weakest and crying out, her

children surrounded her to encourage

her. They grabbed her bible and told her,

“You raised us with this!” “Parents often

raise their children the best they know

how, but the people your children hang

Alfreeda said, “I could have turned to all

kinds of things, but I did not. The lyrics

in the the gospel song, “I Understand,” by

Smokie Norful, helped me find comfort.”

Other friends supported Alfreeda while

she struggled with her loss; a psychiatrist,

and another mother, who later lost a

child and Alfreeda offered support to her.

In the aftermath, the young people in

the community raised funds for her son’s

burial expenses. “His friends, youth who

were said to be troubled; those kids…

came together.” They held a candlelight

vigil where they walked for miles with

the help of law enforcement (Texas.)

These youth sponsored dinners and

asked for donations.

There was standing room only at Marvin’s

funeral. “They had to pack everyone in

there to get them all in,” said Alfreeda.

She didn’t realize how her son had

touched so many lives. “He was a teddy

bear, quiet and nurturing,” she said. When

she saw the youth in the community, she

saw something different. “I saw future

doctors, lawyers and ministers,” she said.

“Anytime someone has a child

murdered, it is different.” I didn’t know

it at the time, but God had been

preparing me,” she said.

Alfreeda had been attending a ‘Tragedy

and Loss’ class at church, not knowing

what was about to happen to her. “Death

is part of life. Murder is not!

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July 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 12


Death is when life begins. What I went

through wasn’t just for me,” she added.

Alfreeda said her experiences of loss

and how she understands them have

caused her to be more aware and able

to minister to others, to partner up with

other people and show them the way. “I

have gained self-confidence to speak to

people,” she said.

Alfreeda is now thankful and says, “God

gave me 18 years with Marvin, and I was

able to speak with him before he died.

I didn’t think, ‘Why is this happening?’ I

thought, why not me?”

Fulose Edwards' youngest son, Darius

Edwards, was killed at 22 years old in

April 2016 on a college campus while on

break. “When Darius went to college, we

expected him to come back with a degree

like his two brothers and sister, but he

came back in a body bag.” He left behind

his 11 month old son, Zaire.

The suspected gunman is currently being

held and awaiting trial.

After Darius was murdered, she then had

to fight for her life. “I was diagnosed with

stage four cancer,” said Fulose. She is now

cancer-free.

“Knowing that we die is something each

one of us have to go through. When my

mother passed away, she was 84, I was

prepared for her death. When tragedy

knocks at your door, you can’t prepare

for it. Everything changes. My circle is

broken,” said Fulose.

Throughout her ordeal, Fulose continued

to keep the faith and trust in God. “I never

questioned Him. I just said it was His will

and His will was done.”

“I think about Darius every day. God gave

us a gift through Darius. He gave us Zaire,

his son.” She sees Darius in Zaire, now four.

I felt Darius had so much life in him. Most

parents feel our children will bury us, not

the parents burying their children. My

prayer is that God will continue to watch

over our children,” says Fulose.

Alfreeda Beloney

Fulose and son, Darius

Darius and son, Zaire

“Changing

The Way

We Talk

about Violent

Crimes and

Homicide”

Fulose and grandson, Zaire

Volume 6 • Number 12 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM July 2019 19


Peace from Pieces

By Carra Sergeant, Ph. D.; LPC-S

Licensed Professional Counselor

In 2017, Brenda Hill, the Editor of

The Voice, graciously offered me

a platform to address the mental

health issues that I believed were

impacting our community. I have

thoroughly enjoyed that endeavor and

am so appreciative to Mrs. Hill for giving

me that opportunity. This year, I made

the decision to transition my counseling

practice from part-time to full-time. The

expansion of my client base has occurred

much more quickly than I could ever

have imagined and I will soon be moving

to a new office. While this is great news

from a business stance, it also means that

my free time has been sharply reduced.

Therefore, it is with great sadness that

I write my final article for The Voice of

Southwest Louisiana.

As I look back on past articles, I would like

to highlight some key points I have made

over the past 18 months:

September 2017 – Shattered and

Scattered: Feeling scared, uncertain

and sad does not mean you are weak. It

means you are human.

October 2017 – The Talk: Puberty

is a turbulent and fearful time for our

daughters. As mothers, we need to

communicate a sincere interest in our

daughter’s feelings, in order to gain and

maintain their trust.

November 2017 – #MeToo: Remember,

“NO,” is a complete sentence!

December 2017 – Giving Back: The

Path to Ultimate Happiness: Truly giving

something from the heart is an action

which will fill your life with joy. Try it! It

works!

I’m So Glad We Had

This Time Together

Carra S. Sergeant, Ph.D.; LPC-S

January 2018 – Finding Peace thru

Gratitude: Focusing on something to

be grateful for, even in tough moments,

elicits a chemical release in our brains

which can literally create a shift in

perspective.

February 2018 – Using a Mindfulness

20

July 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 12


Practice to Deepen Your Spiritual

Connection: Practicing mindfulness is

a way to open the entrance door to your

soul and once there, we come to the

realization that the only thing that really

matters is what exists in our heart.

March 2018 – On Death and Dying:

Swimming in the Tidal Wave of Grief:

Grief is raw and real. It shakes your faith

and shatters your confidence. Have faith

that, “this too shall pass,” and that you will

eventually reach a place of acceptance

and peace.

April 2018 – Will You Speak: Sexual

Assault Awareness: YOUR sexuality;

YOUR rules; YOUR body; YOUR choice!

EMBRACE YOUR VOICE!

May 2018 – The Face of Mental Illness:

There is no reason to struggle alone, and

there is no reason to be ashamed. The

more we talk about mental health, the

less taboo the subject becomes.

June 2018 – Keeping the Secret: Men

and Mental Health: We must encourage

our men to communicate their issues

without feeling weak or judged. The

stigma of men asking for help must be

eliminated.

July 2018 – School Bullying: It MUST

Stop: Bullying is a serious problem that

is far too often written off as a “rite of

passage” or as “kids being kids.” It should

never be acceptable behavior because

all individuals are entitled to respectful

treatment.

August 2018 – Mom my Guilt: The

Struggle is Real: There will be so many

times that you will feel like you have

failed. In the eyes, heart, and mind of

your child, however, you are a super hero.

September 2018 – Suicide: The

Ultimate Goodbye: Since we can’t go

thru life avoiding people who are having

a tough time, we have to learn to be

at ease with their discomfort. In some

instances, learning to listen can mean the

difference between life and death.

October 2018 – Riding the Bipolar

Coaster: It is important to understand

the Bipolar disorder is a “spectrum

disorder” in that it spans a wide area

of behavioral aspects. It is not a “one

description fits all” disease. Like heart

disease and diabetes, it must be carefully

managed throughout a lifetime.

November 2018 – Love and Loss: Two

Sides of the Same Cause: Accepting

the death of someone you love and

learning to let them go are two of the

hardest challenges you will face in your

life. The time will come, however, when

the pain will not be so gut-wrenching,

and you will see that your life has been

immeasurably enriched as a result of that

love you experienced,

December 2018 – ‘Tis the Season to

be Jolly…Right? Just as no one has

the perfect life, no one has the perfect

holiday. Take heart…It's not uncommon

for some people to become mildly

depressed during this time of year. Don’t let

the pressure of the season steal your joy.

January 2019 – Hope You Dance:

Finding Joy in the Journey: When faced

with a daunting task, turn “I can’t” into “I

can’t – YET” and then find a way to do it.

Adding the word “yet” turns an attitude

of defeat into a challenge to learn

something new.

February 2019 – Love: The Care

and Feeding of the Human Heart:

Always treat your partner the way you

want to be treated. If you want to

feel more understood, then be more

understanding. If you want to feel more

love, give more love. Relationships do not

work on autopilot – they require work!

March 2019 – Ladies: Is He Mr. Right,

or Mr. Right NOW?: I am not trying

to paint Mr. Right Now as a bad guy.

Your Mr. Right Now may actually be

the perfect Mr. Right for someone else.

Know that dating Mr. Right Now is not

necessarily a bad thing because you

may learn a thing or two from him.

Remember, you gotta kiss a lot of toads

before you find your prince.

April 2019 – Peace in the Great

Outdoors: Be joyful in silence and

stay focused on the moment. “Present

moment…holy moment”.

May 2019 – Understanding Mental

Illness: Mental illness is real, and

recovery is always the goal. Finding the

balance between work and play, the ups

and downs of life, physical health and

mental health, can help you as you travel

down the path towards recovery.

June 2019 – Addressing the Silent

Crisis in our Males: Generations of male

socialization that reinforce the notion

of the “strong silent type” have created

a society where many men around

the world suffer from mental health

difficulties in silence. We must make it

easy for our men to talk about their pain.

I thank you, dear readers, for being so

dedicated to my column. I hope I have

been able to help you navigate through

some of the difficulties of life. I especially

want to thank Mrs. Brenda Hill for having

such faith in my ability and for giving me

a place to grow. Brenda, you will always

hold a special place in my heart. So, for

the last time I say:

Should you find yourself in need of

counseling services, please contact me

to schedule an appointment at 337-

515-6716. I look forward to seeing you

at my new location soon.

Carra Sergeant, PhD, LPC

PEACE FROM PIECES COUNSELING SERVICES

For an appointment, call

337-515-6716

Website: peacefrompieces.net

Volume 6 • Number 12 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM July 2019 21


ADVENTURES of the Lake

Who’s

Loving

• Dorcas Edwards

You?

• Maya Wilson

By Lela Gholar Tizano

Jamie could not stop looking at herself in the

mirror. Her new haircut was fire. The outfit she

wore hugged her body in all the right places, her

make-up was flawless, her light brown eyes caught the

light just right and her smile was it’s brightest. It was

time for a selfie. She posted her pictures on her social

media account and waited to see how many “likes” she

would get.

Moments later she checked her page to see that less

than twenty-five people commented. I can’t believe

nobody is liking my picture. She mumbled.

Jamie plopped down at the table while her mom

prepared breakfast. Cheryl poured her daughter a

glass of orange juice.

“Why the long face?” Cheryl asked with caution.

Jamie shook her head without responding. After a

few sighs of frustration, she asked, “Mom, do you

think I’m pretty?”

• Zoria Deville

“Better than that, I think you’re beautiful. And

remember I’ve always told you - beauty has nothing

to do with what you look like, it’s about what kind of

person you are inside that matters. There are lots of

pretty people who ain’t so beautiful.”

Jamie rolled her eyes. She should have known her

mom would say that. If she had a dollar for every time

22

July 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 12


she heard those words she’d be rich.

“Why are you asking anyway?”

“Look at this picture,” she passed her phone to her

mom, “don’t you think I look cute?”

$1,100 00

“Yes, and…?” Cheryl responded.

“Nobody else seems to think so. I hardly got any

comments,” she sulked. “I gotta go.”

Jamie grabbed her purse and headed out of the door

without joining her mom in their usual morning

prayer. The music in her car blasted in efforts to drown

her sorrows. She decided to check her page one more

time and for only a few seconds she took her eyes off

the road. She looked up just in time to see the squirrel

that trotted across her path. She swerved to avoid it

sending her sliding across the road. Her tires skidded

then…Bam!

Cheryl’s prayer circle gathered around to intercede on

her behalf and comfort her during her time of grief.

She wished she could tell Jamie one more time how

special she was, but it was no use. Her lifeless body

just laid there.

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Days later Jamie regained consciousness. Her eyes

roamed her hospital room. She was overwhelmed by

all the flowers and cards filled with heartfelt messages

that were posted on her wall. By her side, was her

mother and a few family members. In addition, the

waiting room was filled with church members and her

closest friends.

“Honey, do you remember what happened?” Cheryl

asked.

Jamie thought back to what led her there. “I do,” she

whispered. “I was checking my social media account

while I was driving and I lost control of my car,” she

admitted. “I got messed up pretty bad,” she said, as she

examined herself.

Cheryl placed her daughter’s hand in hers and looked

into her eyes. “It’s a miracle that you survived.”

Jamie fell into her mother’s arms and began to cry.

Cheryl dried her tears and kissed her on her forehead.

“Honey, I want you to promise me something. Instead

of worrying about how many like you, look around

and see who’s loving you.”

After that day Jamie never worried about how many

“likes” she had, instead she thanked God for all the

love she had.

TUESDAY - FRIDAY 9AM - 6PM

SATURDAY 8AM - 4PM

337-437-7111

1719 BROAD STREET • LAKE CHARLES, LA

Volume 6 • Number 12 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM July 2019 23


Q&A

By

Brenda Hill

Back to

School

K thru 12

Over 40 million Americans have

Communication Disorders, according

to the American Speech & Hearing

Association (ASHA) the national and

international board for Speech Pathology

and Audiology headquarters in Rockville,

MD. “Their needs are great and there is

an immediate critical shortage in every

aspect of Speech Pathology,” says Daigle.

Q&A with Cynthia Coffey

Daigle, Speech-Language

Pathologist, “Princess Speech”

Cynthia Coffey Daigle’s career path

has allowed her to be a service

provider in schools, daycares,

hospitals, nursing homes, home health

cares, clinics, consultant to physicians

and of course the continuation of

private practice.

Daigle continued to express that the

field of Communicative Disorders

(Speech Pathology and Audiology) has

grown and expanded toward many

facets of inclusion and Multi-cultural

aspects in the delivery of services. She

continues to inform the public of the

critical shortage of Speech-Language

Pathology as a major at a 4-year college

or university, and the immediate need

for more service providers in Pre-K thru

12, education, professor, healthcare/

medical and research.

If your ‘To Do’ lists consist of only the

basics and what is familiar to you like;

school supplies, uniforms/outfits,

vaccinations, etc., then consider

communication disorders. The Voice of

Southwest Louisiana reached out to Ms.

Daigle to share some tips to consider for

communication disorders.

QWhat is Speech Language Pathology

(SLP), and who is the field open to?

ASpeech-Language Pathology is the

study, the assessment and treatment

for remediation and rehabilitation of

Communicative Disorders of Articulation,

Voice, Language Fluency and Swallowing

in infants, children, adolescents, and adults

and patients.

Speech-Language Pathologists

primarily service students with a Speech

Impairment enrolled in Pre-K thru 12th

grade. There are other state provisions

which allow professionals to provide

services for identified children; birth to 3

years old.

The field is open to qualified, certified

and licensed males and females just as

education and healthcare.

QIt’s “Back to School” preparation season

and some parents/caregivers may

begin to realize their child/children speak(s)

differently from others in the same age

range. What must they do?

24

July 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 12


AIf a parent/caregiver realizes and understands that

their child speaks, thinks or comprehends and

processes information extremely different from other

students within the same age group, in a confidential

manner, parent/caregiver should express their concerns

to the school-based Speech Pathologist, Counselor

and/or Teacher. A consent to assess the student via the

Speech Screening process is initiated. Parents, teachers,

administrators, guidelines, charts and assessment tools

identify communication deficits.

There are regulations and procedures in Louisiana

Public Schools that determines if a student qualifies

for communication services. There is referral process

usually initiated by the classroom teacher with signed

form of parental consent for screening assessment.

The Speech-Language Pathologist conducts the screen

within the school. Screen results will be determined

“IF” there is need for further or continued process of

evaluation to determine eligibility.

QWhat if a parent/caregiver need to contact someone

before school starts and need contact information,

who should they contact?

A

Contact

Cynthia Coffey Daigle, CCC- SLP Speech

Pathology Services below.

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Happy 4th

of July!


Volume 6 • Number 12 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM July 2019 25


SWLA nonprofit

Contributed Article

Shine the

Light on

Sickle Cell

We Celebrated the 10th

Anniversary of World

Sickle Cell Day!

June 19th was officially designated as World Sickle

Cell Awareness Day. The international awareness day

is observed annually with the goal to increase public

knowledge and an understanding of sickle cell disease, and

the challenges experienced by patients and their families

and caregivers.

Along with this Gospel Musical, Governor John Bel Edwards

approved red lighting at the Governor's Mansion and the

City of Lake Charles lighted the Bord Du Lac Boardwalk red

in recognition of World Sickle Cell Day.

Southwest Louisiana Sickle Cell Anemia, Inc., observed

World Sickle Cell Day with a Gospel Musical at New

Sunlight Baptist Church, Rev. A.L. Williams, Pastor

26

July 2019 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 12


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Volume 6 • Number 12 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM July 2019 27


We’re ready for the next storm.

And your safety is our priority.

At Entergy, preparing for storm season is a year-round commitment. Over the past few years, we’ve invested

billions to upgrade the power grid with more efficient and reliable technology, while keeping rates low. We’re

ready for the next storm, and we want you to be, too. Visit entergystormcenter.com to see how you can prepare.

A message from Entergy Louisiana, LLC ©2019 Entergy Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

14809 Entergy ELL HurricanePrep 9x11_4C.indd 1 5/22/19 1:54 PM

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