Monthly Archives: April 2017

More Graduates to Show Pride in Their Countries of Origin and Heritage


Current political climate in the U.S. has created demand for international and Study abroad stoles.

Memphis, Tennessee—In the past, graduation ceremonies were usually a sea of uniformity. However, that is changing. As graduating seniors walk across the stage to receive their diplomas, many want to differentiate themselves from their classmates by adding some personalization to their caps and gowns. For the last few years, there has been a growing trend of wearing personalized graduation outfits that reflect each individual’s tastes and interests. Ethnic-themed graduation stoles are being offered by several online retailers like and

This year, more international students will be showing pride in their countries of origin with stoles displaying their country’s flags. Mexican and Mexican-American graduates will wear colorful serapes that reflect their heritage. A colorful, traditional Native American design is also available. African and African-American graduates can purchase hand-woven Kente stoles that are imported from Ghana.

According to Haven Hughlett,’s Chief Production Officer, “Current political climate in the U.S. has created demand for international and Study abroad stoles at More graduating seniors are personalizing their stoles with quotes such as Proud daughter/son of an Immigrant, Si Se Puede, Proud Immigrant and Black Grads Matter. It’s a unique way for today’s graduates, tomorrow’s leaders to express their position regarding the current immigration debate and be involved in the political process.”

Personalized stoles can be embroidered with names, dates, flags, achievements, degrees, majors, special quotes, dedications, and nicknames. If personalization is not desired, the stoles can also be left plain, relying on the beautiful colors and designs to make a statement rather than personalized words or symbols. Stoles are available for the LGBTQ community, Greek letter fraternities and sororities.

Online retailers are encouraging graduating seniors to order early to avoid rush fees, overnight delivery charges and disappointments on delivery of their stoles.

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Media Contact
A.J Akoto
(901) 774-5554

Truth Initiative and CVS Health Foundation Launch Program to Make Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Community Colleges Tobacco-Free

truth-logo@2x CVS Health Logo

Effort aims to help communities profiled by the tobacco industry

Washington, D.C. April 13, 2017 – Truth Initiative® and the CVS Health Foundation are joining together to work with students and administrators at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and community colleges across the country to advocate for, adopt and implement 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free campus policies.

Where you live, who you love, your race, your mental health and financial status play an important role in how hard tobacco companies come after you. For decades, African Americans, low-income neighborhoods, LGBTQ communities and those with mental illness have been disproportionally targeted with advertising and promotional efforts. The “truth x CVS Health Foundation” tobacco-free campus initiative follows the launch of the latest campaign by truth®, #STOPPROFILING, that underscores the fact that tobacco use is more than a public health issue, it’s a social justice issue.

Despite lower youth and young adult smoking rates overall, smoking on college campuses remains a problem in the U.S. Of the 102 federally recognized HBCUs in the country, less than half have smoke-free and/or tobacco-free campus policies. Of the 1,108 community colleges in the U.S., only 360 have 100 percent smoke-free policies in place[1].

“With 99 percent of smokers starting before age 27, college campuses are critical to preventing young adults from starting tobacco use, aiding current smokers in quitting and reducing exposure to secondhand smoke for all,” said Robin Koval, CEO and President of Truth Initiative, the national public health organization that directs and funds the truth campaign. “Our partnership aims to counteract the decades of profiling of African Americans and low income communities by Big Tobacco. We are thrilled to be working with the CVS Health Foundation to make smoking and tobacco use a thing of the past on HBCU and community college campuses.”

Since the launch of their tobacco-free college program in 2015, Truth Initiative has awarded funding to 135 colleges. To date, 50 colleges have gone smoke- or tobacco-free (40 community colleges and 10 HBCU’s).

The “truth x CVS Health Foundation” tobacco-free campus initiative is part of CVS Health’s Be The First campaign, the company’s five year, $50 million commitment to helping deliver the nation’s first tobacco-free generation. CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation have set actionable and measurable goals for Be The First, including a doubling of the number of tobacco-free educational institutions in the United States.

In addition to supporting Truth Initiative to expand technical assistance to support 42 HBCUs and 64 community colleges advance their campus policy effort, the CVS Health Foundation is also working with the American Cancer Society to help 125 colleges advocate for, adopt and implement 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free campuses. Students, faculty and staff at the schools are charged with developing a campus task force, assessing tobacco use on their campus and developing public-education campaigns to support comprehensive tobacco- and smoke-free polices on the campus.

“Today’s young people are a generation with an unyielding commitment to diversity, inclusivity and equality, and that includes making sure health benefits are equally distributed across ethnic and socioeconomic classes,” said David Casey, Chief Diversity Officer at CVS Health. “We’re proud that the CVS Health Foundation is working with Truth Initiative to help HBCUs and community colleges adopt tobacco-free campus policies. Helping more colleges and universities go tobacco-free is an important step in achieving our shared goal of helping to deliver the first tobacco-free generation.”

The tobacco industry has long profiled minority communities, particularly African Americans, with intense advertising and promotional efforts. For example, in major cities like Washington D.C., there are up to ten times more tobacco advertisements in African American neighborhoods than in other neighborhoods. There is a disproportionate health burden of tobacco-related morbidity and mortality among African Americans. Each year, approximately 47,000 African Americans die from smoking-related disease. Research has also shown a clear pattern of targeted marketing in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods. People living below the poverty level in the U.S. are nearly twice as likely to smoke, compared to those at or above the poverty level.

Additional stats on smoking

- Teen smoking of traditional cigarettes in the U.S. reached a historic low of six percent in 2016, but tobacco still remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
- Cigarettes cause over 480,000 deaths annually in the U.S.
- Tobacco kills up to half of its users.
- LGBTQ young adults, ages 18-24, are nearly twice as likely to smoke as their straight peers.
- Individuals with mental illness account for up to 46 percent of cigarettes sold in the U.S.
- People living below the poverty level in the U.S. are nearly twice as likely to smoke, compared to those at, or above, the poverty level.


About Truth Initiative
Truth Initiative is a national public health organization that is inspiring tobacco-free lives and building a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco. The truth about tobacco and the tobacco industry are at the heart of our proven-effective and nationally recognized truth® public education campaign, our rigorous and scientific research and policy studies, and our innovative community and youth engagement programs supporting populations at high risk of using tobacco. The Washington D.C.-based organization, formerly known as Legacy, was established and funded through the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about our work speaking, seeking and spreading the truth about tobacco, visit

About the CVS Health Foundation
The CVS Health Foundation is a private charitable organization created by CVS Health that works to build healthier communities, enabling people of all ages to lead healthy, productive lives. The Foundation provides strategic investments to nonprofit partners throughout the U.S. who help increase community-based access to health care for underserved populations, create innovative approaches to chronic disease management and provide tobacco cessation and youth prevention programming. We also invest in scholarship programs that open the pathways to careers in pharmacy to support the academic aspirations of the best and brightest talent in the industry. Our philanthropy also extends to supporting our colleagues’ spirit of volunteerism through Volunteer Challenge grants to nonprofits where they donate their time and fundraising efforts. To learn more about the CVS Health Foundation and its giving, visit

Media Contact
Mickey Chagnon

[1] This is based on the Smokefree and Tobacco-Free U.S. and Tribal Colleges and Universities list the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation published on April 3, 2017.

Looking for a Rewarding, Flexible Career after Graduation? Here’s Why Becoming a CFP® Pro Might Be For You

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With many recent graduates looking a rewarding career with growth potential, work-life balance and satisfaction of helping others, the profession of financial planning should be top of mind.

Demand for financial planners is growing. In fact, it’s expected to grow 4 times faster than other occupations, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And there are financial rewards, with the Bureau reporting that financial planners earn a median salary of $89K.

A career in financial planning also provides you the opportunity to make a difference in lives of individuals and families by helping them reach their life goals. “There’s so much transformation in one’s life when they get their finances together,” says Brittany Castro, a Los Angeles-based CFP® Professional. “It’s a great feeling because I know I helped them get there.”

By becoming a CFP® Pro, you can further distinguish yourself with employers in the financial services industry who are increasingly seeking out CFP® certification as the most desired credential in this growing field. Today’s CFP® Pros are key parts of their communities, helping people achieve their dreams through financial planning. From budgeting and planning for retirement to managing taxes and insurance coverage, CFP® pros help their clients bring all the pieces of their financial lives together.


Check out 5 facts that might surprise you about a career in financial planning: 

1. It’s not all about math. The key to a flourishing career in financial planning is creative problem solving, relationship building and communication skills. CFP® pros help people take a holistic, “big picture” look at their finances to help them reach their life goals

2. It offers freedom and flexibility. Talk to successful CFP® professionals and you will learn that what they value the most in their work is the freedom and flexibility to balance their personal and professional lives.

3. Demand for financial planners is growing. Job growth for financial advisors is expected to grow 4 times higher than other occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

4. It’s not a one-size-fits-all career. From striking out on your own to working at firms big and small, there are a variety of career pathways for CFP® professionals. In 2014, about 1 in 5 personal financial planners were self-employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

5. It allows you to build your future by helping others. This exciting career brings personal satisfaction of helping others, as well as financial rewards. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the median pay for personal financial planners is $89K.

Visit to learn more about becoming a CFP® Pro, including stories from successful CFP® pros and a variety of resources to get you started on your own path.  You can also join the conversation on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #CFPPro.

Media Contact
Hope Evans
(443) 614-5863



APRIL 7, 2017



Atlantic recording artist Ledinsky has announced the premiere of his new video for “High Society.” “High Society” – produced by acclaimed designer Spencer Graves (G-Eazy & Kehlani, Britney Spears Ft. Tinashe, Ariana Grande) – debuted earlier this week via High Times.

“High Society” is of course the delightfully dope title track from Ledinsky’s label debut EP. “HIGH SOCIETY” is available now at all DSPs and streaming services. The “High Society” remix by artist and composer Dan Deacon also premiered yesterday via Brooklyn Vegan.

The “HIGH SOCIETY” EP is highlighted by the internationally successful protest anthem, “DonaldTrumpMakesMeWannaSmokeCrack.” The track – which was inspired by the Swedish-born indie singer/songwriter’s increasing desperation at our political climate – proved a global sensation upon its arrival last summer, ascending to #1 on the Spotify Viral Charts in the US, the UK, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Columbia, Spain, France, Hungary, and the Netherlands.

Ledinsky left his native Sweden just over a decade ago, making a new home in Los Angeles where he earned a reputation as a crafty songwriter and producer through collaborations with such diverse artists as Shakira, Rihanna, Zara Larsson, TV On The Radio, Tove Lo, and fellow Atlantic recording artists Icona Pop. All songs on the “HIGH SOCIETY” EP were written, produced, and performed by Ledinsky. Additional backing comes from like-minded musicians including Swedish artist and tunesmith Erik Hassle (Icona Pop, Ellie Goulding), Refused drummer David Sandstrom, and TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek, who contributes drums, guitars and keyboards while also assisting in the creation of the EP’s memorable cover art.


High Society

For additional information, please see:



Christina Kotsamanidis (National)

Ilana Gold (Online/Tour)