The Miscellany News Features

Ellerbe steps up the competition at PHS

Poughkeepsie Community Profile

By Erica Licht
Guest Columnist

Published: Wednesday, April 14, 2010

profilePhoto: Juliana Halpert/The Miscellany News
Poughkeepsie High School step team coach Stephen Ellerbe poses at a practice on April 13.

Twenty-two years ago, when Poughkeepsie High School step team coach Stephen Ellerbe started coaching stepping, a dance style that combines clapping, stomping and song, he never could have envisioned filling the High School with 4,000 spectators to watch his team. Yet in 2000 he did, when the community came together to witness the performance of Poughkeepsie High School’s inaugural team: Steppers with Class.
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Vassar College, The Miscellany News

Denise dedicated to motivating Poughkeepsie
Poughkeepsie Community Profile

By Erica Licht
Guest Columnist

Published: Wednesday, March 24, 2010

“Begin with the end,” founding director of Black Butterfly Inspirational Seminars and Consulting Simply Denise always reminds me. After moving from New York City in 2006, Denise made her start in Poughkeepsie. Since then she has become a powerful force of social change in the community. As the creator of Poughkeepsie’s Communication and Leadership Builder program, Denise helps local teens develop leadership skills and teaches goal-setting techniques to help them finish high school with flying colors. From the ground up, she has created youth development programming based around her growing perceptions of what the community needs and what it has to offer.

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Fitness leader realizes dreams

 By Erica Licht

Guest Reporter
Published: Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Driving down Main Street in downtown Poughkeepsie, it is almost impossible not to notice the energy pulsing from M*POWER Center for Cultural Fitness. There is a distinct rhythm that emanates out of the storefront space of creative and physical expression for everyone in the Poughkeepsie community. Toni Llanos opened the center over three years ago with her husband Joe Llanos in the hopes of bringing to life the dream for their own space to provide these physical arts for the community. Today, M*POWER continues to thrive as an outlet for energy under Toni Llanos’ leadership as co-Owner and Director of Dance and Fitness.

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Efficiency cuts counter community vision

By Erica Licht
Guest Columnist

Published: Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Standing across from Betsy in her office last week, I could barely lift my head up to meet her gaze. I was looking over at a woman who has provided inspiration for me, and my fellow and preceding peers, from this same desk for 30 years.

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UNITE after-school program to empower Poughkeepsie girls

 By Ellen Xie

Published: Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Vassar students and Poughkeepsie High School students share few similarities if any at all. But three Vassar students-Willa Conway ’10, Erica Licht ’10 and Stephanie Damon-Moore ’11-are quickly helping to blur the division. Inspired by their experiences at the prison internship program, in which Vassar students participated in an active dialogue with Otisville prisoners run by Professor of Religion and Africana Studies Lawrence Mamiya, the three have developed a program promoting similar discourse more locally. This time, the conversations between two seemingly unlikely groups will take place at Poughkeepsie High School.

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