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Scholarship Judges

Achia Floyd

Achia Floyd received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance at the Florida State University, a Master of Music degree in Flute Performance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a Master of Arts degree in Arts Administration from Florida State University. In her professional career, Achia founded the Terpsichore Winds, served as the executive assistant and private music instructor for Music Lessons Express, as the assistant director of the Javacya Arts Conservatory after school program. More recently, Achia worked as Executive Director of the Tallahassee Youth Orchestras and Development Coordinator for the Florida State University Foundation.

Brandon Robertson 

Brandon Robertson is a Emmy Nominated Music Director and notable Upright and Electric Bassist from Tampa, Fl. He is the Director of Jazz Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University Bower School of Music in Fort Myers, Fl. His debut album “Bass’d on a True Story”, was released in 2019 and reached all the way to #16 on the ITunes top 200 Jazz Charts.

Gaby Alvarado

Venezuelan Native, Maria Gabriela (Gaby) Alvarado, is a modern and baroque flutist with a passion for bringing classical music to nontraditional places. Her mission is to make classical music accessible and relatable to those who might not otherwise experience it. Gaby has worked in the performing arts community as a facilitator, grant panelist, educator, speaker, and consultant. When not performing or researching for her next upcoming project, she enjoys spending time taking care of her plants, watching Netflix, and raising awareness for Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.

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2022 Scholarship Recipients

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Kaylene Bryan | Copywriter & Messaging Strategist

Hello! I'm Kaylene, a copywriter, messaging strategist, and the founder of Irie Copy, a copywriting studio that turns scattered ideas into strategic word branding. Writing copy wasn’t always the goal. Then, *screech*. A pandemic halt on my stage management career made me rethink everything. I could make my own way doing something else I love. And I really love moving people with the written word.

Irie Copy provides scalable brand messaging & copywriting suites for service providers who tend to prioritize their clients’ strategies over their own.

After a year in business, I realized that I zoned into client work (while battling my own personal challenges) and neglected many aspects of growing my business and myself. When you're a strategist yourself, looking within and game planning is nearly impossible without overthinking it. I intend to leverage CYC to get my strategies & execution together for the long haul.

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Jasmine Keith | Doula, Yoga Instructor and Childbirth Educator

I am an intuitive living enthusiast, who seeks to share the benefits that come alongside a quiet mind and a connection to the subtle energies of this human experience. I carry this into my work as a doula, yoga instructor, and childbirth educator. Our society has drifted so far away from their source, so far from nature, so far from their innate connection to the universe, that even the mention of such things fosters a scoff and eye roll. My work seeks to encourage, educate, and advocate for every individual's connection to self and their trust in the universe. This is a huge feat and so I am grateful for the opportunity to focus my goals through this course.

I am a wife and mother of two lovely babies, Cassius (3) and Penelope (2). Welcoming each of them into the world fostered a connection with nature greater than I ever knew possible and I've spent every moment since they've arrived encouraging others to find that connection within themselves. On a warm, summer day you will find my family and me in the forest - exploring, foraging, and experiencing nature. In the winter you will find me cuddled up at home with a cozy blanket and a mug of hot cocao. We are all for balance, gentleness, and intuition over here! 

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Desiree Taylor | Storyteller and Educator 

Desiree Taylor is an educational storyteller who teaches audiences about history while provoking thought and discussion about the here and now. She specializes in helping audiences create safe environments within which to discuss American history where race and class meet culture.  Ms. Taylor holds masters degrees in American Studies and teaching. 

What I intend to create through the program:

I intend to learn as much as I can about how to present my business and market it so that running my business becomes more fun and rewarding!

I'm looking forward to gaining skills that help me spend less time working to attract clients. For me this means creating an online presence that attracts clients for me. Right now my website is there. But I don't feel it presents the picture I'm trying to convey. Working with a web designer would answer some of my needs, but I feel like before I can do that I need to delve into what's possible and work with someone who can guide me in shaping my online goals and help me zero in on the right message.

Create Your Career with Nicole is that before step that I need to get my messaging right in my own head first. I love that the program gets me to focus on my business from several angles. I feel the program is like a spa treatment for my business; it can help me bring out my best attributes and style them in a way that is authentic and well, stylish! 

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