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Alumni Spotlight
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Deonte' Stubbs - Class of 2010


1. Why did your family choose Kennedy for your education?
My family chose Kennedy because I wanted to go there. Everyone expected me to go to Harding and follow my father's footsteps, good or bad, but I always believed in doing the unexpected. What stood out the most to me at Kennedy and made it clear that I belonged was the perception of an African American like myself at a Catholic school blowing everyone's mind. The acceptance of particular individuals who pushed me because of my potential and didn't disregard my intelligence or presence because of demographics was what I needed to break in my household, my community and my circle. So Kennedy became a perfect fit for me because they were different in every amazing way and not the usual/typical option.

2. What is your favorite high school memory?
My favorite high school memory was when Staci Raab and Brian Sinchak gave me the green light to orchestrate the Kennedy Honors hip-hop/contemporary dance piece. It was a game changer because at the time, I had several dance groups but we didn't live up to anything remotely close to what we did at JFK during that show. The lights, the choreography, the team, and the response helped me solidify my talent and passion for performing arts knowing I had had the chance to prove myself at my high school. Not only did we do a great job but Jeanine Bofenkamp (the best Godmother I've ever had) believed in me and brought me back several years in a row to create individual pieces with students. The time we got to shift history at Kennedy will forever be an accomplishment for my legacy and generations to come.

3. Did you have a teacher or class that was a major influence on you?  

The people who had the biggest influence on me were my basketball coaches; Coach Procopio & Coach Richards. But the class that influenced me to stay alive (metaphorically) was Mr. Shilling's history class. Basketball was the only outlet we had on the westside growing up that made us believe we could create financial stability and change lives but my coaches taught me about diversity and showmanship. The concept of dressing up on game days and banquets and meetings was mind-boggling because not many people held me to those standards - let alone men that didn't look much like me. The trust and love that developed grew tremendously when they helped me with my personal, medical heart issues. It became much more than basketball and I'll always look at those guys as brothers and uncles. Mr. Shilling on the other hand taught me awareness of different environments and how to maneuver through life's obstacles. I learned a lot by asking questions and not responding.
4. Education/Professional Experience:
I attended Wilmington College for 2.5 years majoring in Business Management with a minor in Communications. College was a ground-breaker for me because I was the first to attend in my family. My professional experience gained momentum after high school with traveling to shows, performing, and meeting people that had similar interests as me.

5. What career did you choose and tell us a little bit about how you got there:
Currently, I am the Chief Executive of Hyer Magazine [a magazine company based in Warren, OH] which has a talent agency and a YouTube television show station as sister companies. I started to build this magazine company by developing my photography skills. With that talent in my bag, I knew I had to differentiate myself from everyone else who took photos and I also wanted to give my friends and customers something worth holding on to and looking at. So, I created the magazine and made them the focus models and people. My experience dancing with artist/actress/businesswoman Teyana Taylor and the Cavaliers Scream Team, followed by big screen movies with Universal, LionsGate, and Warner Brothers have brought a wide and diverse network that compliment the magazine. We travel and meet celebrities and high-profiled artists that have an influence on the world; we shoot them, publish their work, and influence the community.

6. What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
The accomplishment I am very proud of is having the opportunity to model big brands like Versace Jeans Couture, Clavon Leonard, Rue21, Macy's and my favorite - Nike. Nike changed my image and stature as a model because of their beliefs and how they interact with the black community and the Black Lives Matter movement. I have been able to bring some friends into different realms of this industry because of who I am and how hard I work. My main goal is to change the world one person at time. My latest accomplishment is joining in the film about Fred Hampton and the story of the Black Panthers produced by Warner Brothers. Being a part of history has always been a goal and to do it before I turned 30 years old is a blessing.

7. What is a specific piece of advice you would give to a Kennedy senior? 

Advice I would give to a senior is that you have to be transparent and accept change. You will not be good at everything so face the truth. You are not the prettiest, the coolest, the smartest, or the toughest so it's okay to cry. It's ok to fail. It's ok to say 'I really don't know what I'm doing, let me ask for help' because if you don't, you'll lose more than you have to. Accepting change means you will have to go through some stuff to accomplish your goals or become someone better. Don't sell yourself short or miss out on opportunities because you don't want to share how something is working for you when someone else is struggling. Change could mean helping someone that you normally wouldn't help. Just remember that life is like water in a river and when school is over, you're the lonely rock in the middle of the river. You need to be able to find a way to control the flow, speed, and temperature of the water because you will determine if you will survive or not. So either float away and get pushed off balance or push forward, stand strong, and give it everything you've got. 

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