I am delighted to announce this week's Lean on Mi feature goes out to Chental Bembry! She is truly a game changer in the world of children's books. The Honey Bunch Kids features a delightful and charming group of characters who are diverse in ethnicity and give children of color a book they can relate too. Chental is spectacular girl everyone should get to know, and definitely someone you can lean on.
1. Tell me a little about yourself and your back ground ? Why did you choose to attend Hampton University?
My name is Chental-Song Bembry. I am 19 years old and I attend Hampton University as a rising junior Journalism major with a minor in Leadership Studies. I reside in Somerset, New Jersey, and I am the CEO of my own company, The Honey Bunch Kids, LLC. I chose to attend Hampton University because of the HBCU legacy that exists within my family. My grandfather was a chemist and taught at Tuskegee University, while my mother graduated from Hampton University as a biology major. I wanted to continue this great HBCU legacy within my family and surround myself with like-minded, brilliant African-American students, who motivate me to achieve my career goals to this day.
2. You are currently the founder of The Honey Bunch Kids. What was the inspiration for these children's books? What were the steps you took to get to publishing ?
Development of The Honey Bunch Kids began when I was only 10 years old. After spending many years watching Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, I decided to create three cartoon characters of my own and called them "The Honey Bunch Kids." I attended a writing camp in 2007, where I made up a story about The Honey Bunch Kids surviving hilarious adventures in sixth grade after missing the bus and meeting up on the first day of school. In 2010, "The Honey Bunch Kids" was self-published as a chapter book. I started a literacy campaign and traveled across the country to speak to children on the importance of reading and how to identify their passions and purposes in life. Boys and girls ages 7-12 fell in love with my book and wanted to see more interaction between the characters in school. This feedback propelled me to write two more books in series: "The Honey Bunch Kids: School's In Session Book 1" (published 2011) and "The Honey Bunch Kids: School's In Session Book 2" (published 2012).
3. What has been a pivotal moment or event, while being in college?
A pivotal moment while being in college for me was being featured on Black Girls Rock as a M.A.D. (Making a Difference) Girl in April 2015. I was recognized on Black Girls Rock for my efforts as an author, entrepreneur and motivational speaker. During the show, I had the incredible opportunity to stand onstage next to First Lady Michelle Obama, who congratulated the other two M.A.D. Girls and I on our commitment to community service. This was an experience that I will never forget.
4. How do you stay driven, when it comes to promoting the Honey Bunch Kids?
When it comes to promoting The Honey Bunch Kids, I stay driven when I remember how much I can inspire and uplift children around the world. It is my goal to develop The Honey Bunch Kids into an animated series, more books, and a global brand for all children to enjoy. I aim to use The Honey Bunch Kids to help children see themselves as intelligent, creative, and funny, while exploring life lessons such as friendship and having respect for others. I work hard each day towards achieving this goal, and I know that one day, my dream will become my reality. Stay tuned, because there is a lot to look forward to with The Honey Bunch Kids! God is great!
5.What is the legacy you wish to leave at Hampton University? and Why can other girls or women lean on you?
After graduating from Hampton University, I wish to leave a legacy of trailblazers and game-shakers who are unafraid to be different, seek out their passions in life, and align that passion with their purpose on this earth. I hope that this legacy of individuals is inspired to dream with huge minds and selfless hearts. From my story, other girls can learn that when you have an idea, trust God, and see it through to the end, you'll wind up with even more than you ever imagined.