Seventeen Defining Experiences of 2017

By Jaylin Paschal

This year was definitely one filled with opportunity, growth and self-realization. Thanking God for allowing me to live another year. More life. Wishing for an even better 2018, for all of us.


1. TEEN VOGUE

a. MEETING ELAINE WELTEROTH, EIC OF TEEN VOGUE

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Still can't believe I ran into the face and brain of Teen Vogue at the Women's March in January. Read the open letter I wrote to her months prior here.

b. BEING FEATURED IN TEEN VOGUE

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As I said in a tweet about this moment, you really just have to know how many stacks of Teen Vogue are under my bed to know how cool this little feature was. Ya girl was the thumbnail, y'all.

c. WINNING SCHOLARSHIP TO TEEN VOGUE SUMMIT IN LOS ANGELES

Winning an essay contest put on by Teen Vogue granted me the opportunity to hang out at the Teen Vogue Summit and absorb industry secrets. Also there? Elaine Welteroth, Sec. Hillary Clinton, Rep. Maxine Waters, Amandla Stenberg, Yara Shahidi, Melina Matsoukas, Bozoma Saint John, etc.


2. SOLANGE

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Solange visiting Howard was obviously a highlight of the year. It was nice seeing her perform at the Peace Ball and at AfroPunk this year, too.


3. PEACE BALL

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Covering the Peace Ball at the National Museum of African American History and Culture was an amazing experience. In attendance, performing and/or speaking was Angela Davis, Solange, Sen. Corey Booker, Sonia Sanchez, etc.


4. AFROPUNK/NEW YORK EXPLORING

My dad (as a photographer) and I (as an AfroPunk contributing writer) both ended up getting AfroPunk tickets, so he, my mom and I all met in New York. We saw Anderson .Paak, Raphael Saadiq, Solange, SZA, Gary Clark Jr., etc. When not in Brooklyn, we explored one of my favorite areas in the city, the High Line.


5. WORKING JCPENNEY, INDUSTRIAL BANK MARKETING CAMPAIGNS

Adding JCPenney and Industrial to my list of client names was a nice addition to my branding resume as pieces of paid work. It was an invaluable experience that I couldn't trade for anything. Unfortunately, I can't share much of the work.


6. VIRGIL ABLOH DJ SET

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Going to an Abloh set with Reggie was a clear and definite highlight of the year.


7. SUMMER NEW YORK TRIP

Reggie and I visited our friend Stacia in New York as she was interning at NYU. I randomly met Jesse Boykins III, finally visited the MOMA, stopped by Dumbo and had a great weekend with two of my favorite people.


8. WINNING HOWARD UNIVERSITY CHARTER DAY CONTEST

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Howard's Charter Day, March 2, is the same day as my birthday, so winning the Charter Day Essay Contest was extra cool.


9. KID CUDI CONCERT

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Reggie and I went to see Kid Cudi, who easily had the wildest show I'd ever been to.


10.WORKING WITH CALVIN KLEIN

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I think I literally burned my tongue choking on coffee when I received the email. Creating sponsored content for Calvin Klein Underwear was a very cool experience.


11. MEETING ANGELA DAVIS

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Angela Davis visited Busboys and Poets to discuss politics with Melissa Harris Perry.


12. WORKING YOUTUBE FAN FEST EVENT

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Working the YouTube Fan Fest event taught me a lot about event production, talent management and cross-promotional media endeavors.


13. BLACK LIVES MATTER ISSUE SELLS OUT

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Ambition Magazine used my photo from a BLM rally as their cover photo, and the issue sold out this year. The cover was also blown up and sold as a poster, and is hanging in apartments right now, which is crazy.


14. CHICAGO TRIPS

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Making day trips to Chicago with my best friend, Naomi, for her photoshoots and go-sees was really fun. Not only is Chicago, to me, the most beautiful city in the world, but seeing Naomi succeed in her modeling career is super special. I'm glad I get to be a witness to her growth.


15. WOMEN'S MARCH

The energy in D.C. during the Women's March was, in a word, insane.

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16. NEW YORK BUSINESS + BIRTHDAY TRIP

Jaidah and I went to New York to work on the initial creative steps in The Abstract. We just happened to go my birthday weekend.


17. THE ABSTRACT ANNOUNCEMENT

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Announcing The Abstract Issue 01: Rapsody was easily one of my favorite moments of the year. I was overwhelmed by the love and support, and can't wait to move forward with the magazine.


Honorable Mentions:

  • Howard Homecoming
  • Seeing DJ Premiere live at the Kennedy Center.
  • Seeing MC Lyte & Doug E. Fresh live at the Kennedy Center.
  • Seeing the Internet live at the Fillmore.
  • Seeing Noname at U Street Music Hall.
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