To encourage the appreciation and understanding of social inclusivity, senior Monique Mahabir created a blog, theindielancer.com.
“My blog celebrates diversity because it shares different people’s personal stories about their race and having an open place to talk about misconceptions,” Mahabir said. “Hearing and understanding both positive things and struggles that people have with their heritage will help people appreciate diversity and be more accepting.”
After taking Journalism 1 as a freshman, Mahabir learned core concepts such as writing and design to continue her passion. Knowing she wanted to pursue writing as a career, her father, Martin Mahabir, recommended she create a blog to start writing independently, in addition to writing for the newspaper, HiLights. Monique created Monique’s Medley, a lifestyle blog.
“My vision was for her to step into the writing arena, and by her playing there she would know and recognize the gift that I know she has. I thought she would keep it up because it is the best way for her to express herself. She loves to express herself through writing,” Mr. Mahabir said. “[At] that time, she was more than capable of starting her own blog to express herself. I knew she had the writing gift and it was the best way she could get into the world of writing.”
After a year of writing for both her personal blog and the newspaper, Monique knew that it was not possible to make both media outlets her priority. She made the decision to temporarily stop writing for HiLights, and focus on growing and perfecting Monique’s Medley.
“I felt a bit conflicted at first, worrying if I was making the right decision. The publications at Boone are phenomenal. I learned a lot under Mrs. Burke’s wing. But I had to remember that the reason I joined newspaper was to improve my blog,” Mo. Mahabir said. “If I am going to do something, I have to give it my all. I couldn’t give my all to both newspaper and my blog while maintaining good grades and my sanity.”
Monique continued to write lifestyle content for Monique’s Medley until the end of her junior year. She created posts showing her bi-weekly favorites, such as music, fashion, video-blogs of events like the Epcot Food and Wine Festival at Disney and her hair care routines.
After three years, Monique decided to rebrand and redesign her blog into “The Indie-Lancer,”or the independent freelancer, which focuses on promoting the appreciation of diversity.
“When I was blogging about my lifestyle, it didn’t really serve a huge purpose other than helping me transition into the blogging world,” Monique said. “ I think when you are writing, you should always write about what you are passionate about. Lifestyle was fun and cute but I want my writing to move people. I have never felt more passionate about my writing since I started writing about diversity.”
Theindielancer.com includes “The Mixed Series,” a video piece including three mixed-race students interviewed about positive aspects and struggles with two heritages. This series includes junior Savion Jean-Pierre, black and Asian, senior Amanda Paolicelli, Cuban and Italian, and senior Jeremiah Benjamin, black and white.
“When I started my blog, I wanted to celebrate diversity and I thought it was a great way to kick it off, because being bi-racial is the product of diversity,” Monique said. “My goal was to show the stories behind these people’s races and help others gain appreciation.”
Monique plans to continue posting and expanding her new blog, into editorials, slam poetry and discussion pieces on topics like immigration.
“My goal is to get more people to read my blog and be impacted because of it,” Monique said. “I want to inspire others and help them realize that diversity is beautiful. At the end of the day, we all are human and intertwined, and I hope this blog helps people see that.”