(L-R) Eden and Ellisa Oyewo
What happens when two talented, focused, and might I add, gorgeous sisters join forces to make a difference in the lives of young girls? C.O.R.E is created! Today I’m proud to introduce you the awesome Oyewo sisters, the founders of C.O.R.E, a new online magazine created for and by young women of color. Miss Ellisa (who also happens to be an In Her Shoes contributor) and her sis, Eden Oyewo stopped by to chat with us about what inspired them to launch C.O.R.E and why every young lady in your life should be reading!
In Her Shoes: Describe C.O.R.E Magazine for us Twitter style (140 characters or less):
Ellisa: Fashion. Beauty. Health. Relationships. Finance. Creating Opportunity to Reach Empowerment. It’s a lifestyle!
Eden: C.O.R.E is a lifestyle which creates a positive avenue for empowering females ages 12 to 18.
Ananda Lewis: Formerly of BET’s Teen Summit
In Her Shoes: What were some of your media influences growing up that inspired you to launch C.O.R.E?
Ellisa: For me, it was more of the lack of media influences that inspired me to want launch C.O.R.E. As I was growing up I was always drawn to media that necessarily was not targeted to my age group since they had women who looked like me accomplishing awesome achievements. So of course that included fab mags like Essence and Ebony. I could not identify with the magazines that were targeting me because none of them represented positive young women of color on a consistent basis.
Eden: Honestly when I was growing up we did not have all the social media such as Facebook,twitter, tumblr,etc. It was just television,radio, and the good old print magazine. The main television show that inspired me growing up was BET’s Teen Summit. It was a fresh show that brought real teen issues to the surface through teens. I definitely looked forward to seeing if others had the same issues as me and my friends. And plus I was excited to see what music artist was going to grace the stage!
In Her Shoes: Tell us about the void in the blogosphere you’d like to fill with the creation of C.O.R.E:
Ellisa: C.O.R.E was something that we felt was needed today to help empower young women of different cultural backgrounds. Unfortunately, not everyone ethnicity or race gets represented in a positive light and we wanted to create a platform that not only motivated but empowered young females from everywhere.
Eden: Blogosphere? That’s dope! C.O.R.E was developed to help young women to know that being positive and confident in oneself is the new FLY.
In Her Shoes: What’s a day like in Ellisa and Eden Oyewo’s shoes?
Ellisa: Hmmm…let’s see, I roll out of bed around 6:30 a.m. (unfortunately my body is programmed). Before I even touch my laptop I meditate and do some morning yoga, since those are the only peaceful moments I have to clear my mind throughout the day. After that I’m glued to my laptop and phone for the next 4-5 hours working on C.O.R.E. which includes: writing daily posts, setting up interviews, articles, planning events and anything else CORE needs. I head into work for a couple hours in the afternoon. Once I get off I usually get sidetracked and grab a bite with friends or find something to get into that includes good music. Once I get home I jump on the laptop and wrap up anything else I need to do for C.O.R.E then have a final call with Eden to see what was accomplished today. Once that’s done, we begin creating our new list for the following day.
Eden: Wow! A day in Eden’s shoes is a non-stop motion that starts at 5:30 a.m. each day. Between the hours of 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (on a good day), I grace corporate America with my presence as a project engineer. These hours basically consist of putting out fires and pushing the schedule. After work I squeeze in an hour of kickboxing to reboot my energy level. Then I head home, eat, and dive into emails and planning for the next C.O.R.E event. Once a week I work with the 7th and 8th grade girls at the C.O.R.E after school program at LEAD Academy, here in Nashville. And then I end each day with a conference call with Ellisa and finally close the day with some much needed meditation to clear my mind.
In Her Shoes: Describe the C.O.R.E girl in five words.
Ellisa: Dreamer, confident, unstoppable, non-judgemental, and empowered!
Eden: Smart, self-determined, confident, open-minded, and of course empowered.
In Her Shoes: If you could interview any young lady for C.O.R.E, who would it be and why?
Ellisa: Oooh this is such a tough one! There are countless teen girls making awesome moves but if I have to narrow it down it would be a tie between Keke Palmer and Zoe Soul from Reed Between the Lines. These two women are both extremely positive, relatable and great examples of being fly without bending their morals.
Eden: I would love to interview Sasha and Malia Obama. They are two positive girls that are in an awesome position to reach other youth. They also remind me of my sister and I growing up!
In Her Shoes: Imagine this – you just secured an investor and now you have unlimited financial resources for C.O.R.E. What would you do first?
Ellisa: Turn C.O.R.E Mag into print for sure! Even though everything is being pushed online there is still something extremely powerful and influential about being able to have a piece of media you can carry around and relate to as well. We would expand the C.O.R.E Dance Academy to multiple locations, and continue to build develop on-site programs.
Eden: Wow…that would be awesome! I would invest in an internship program that allows young girls to travel outside of their environment to gain a better understanding on what they would like to pursue in life. A lot of our young people do not dream anymore, so this would be a program to broaden their horizons and give them their imagination back. Once they have imagination, dreams are developed, and then comes the realization that dreams are tangible.
In Her Shoes: What exciting plans do you have slated for Summer 2012?
Ellisa & Eden: During Summer of 2012 we’ll be busy with our Field Challenge Day, which is a health initiative for our Huntsville, Alabama teens. We’re also planning a day party for all of our supporters, and we’ll close out the season with our Annual Block Party!