About the Author
Maria Constanza Serrano, born in Bogotá, Colombia, moved to Miami at age 18. Serrano has an associate’s degree in mass communication from Miami Dade College and a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in marketing at Florida International University. In 2014, she was recognized as the Next Top Intern at FIU by the SCRIPPS Howard Foundation. She has been published in the Miami Herald, the Beacon and South Florida News Service, was the lead-producer of the documentary “Sea Level Rise Impact: Canary in the Coal Mine,” and is now a fellow for RISE NEWS.

A Tale Of Two Sara(h)’s: Why SaraBeth And Sarah Dunn Are Two Of Country’s Rising Stars

While they may be from two different regions in the United States, there are two young artists who are shaking country music up and making the millennial generation proud too.

They are Sarah Dunn, from the Sarah Dunn Band and SaraBeth.

They have a lot in common, including the fact that both just released their latest works in the past few weeks.

The Sarah Dunn Band released their album “Wild Wild Heart” and SaraBeth released her EP “Full Speed Ahead”

Sarah Dunn Band and SaraBeth thank social media for giving the greatest push in obtaining their “trending” status in the country music scene.

BUT they come from very different walks of life.

Sarah Dunn is from Monett, Missouri, where she grew up on a small farm along with her father and mother.

Musical talent ran in her family as she saw her father perform musically often while she was a little girl. Her great grandfather also played the fiddle.

WATCH: Sarah Dunn Band’s song “You or the Whiskey” 

And, it was that musical family that taught her all she knows about music.


Because that is all the training that she had.

“There was a time in my life that I was working two regular day jobs, and it seemed like there was never enough to make ends meet,” Sarah Dunn said in an interview with RISE NEWS. “This situation made my path difficult but it also made me stronger.”

READ MORE: Up And Coming Country Star Mitchell Tenpenny Is Proving Nashville’s Relevancy

On the other side of the equation, we have, SaraBeth.

Growing up in the suburbs in Dallas, SaraBeth decided to dip into her toes into the country music scene after being pushed by her brother’s success in baseball.

WATCH: SaraBeth’s “Nowhere With You” 

“My younger brother got drafted to play for the St. Louis Cardinals, and, being able to see my little brother accomplish this dream by battling all the negative thoughts and comments in his path, that inspired me to follow mine too,” SaraBeth said.

Interestingly, SaraBeth went on to study entrepreneurship at Baylor University.

After that, she went to the epicenter of country music, Nashville to start her career.

And then, success came, and their worlds collided.

READ MORE: New Jersey Girl Lacey Caroline Tries To Break Into Country Music Scene

Sarah Dunn Band and SaraBeth have performed in the same concerts before and have mutual respect for each other.

“Sarah Dunn and her band are absolutely amazing. They are very genuine and those are the types of people that you want to be surrounded in this industry,” SaraBeth said. “We both are in an industry that is usually connected to money, success and ambition, and Sarah Dunn and her band feel like home when you are surrounded by them.”

Sarah Dunn had positive things to say about all the artists hustling in the musical world, including SaraBeth.

“In the society that we live now, it is extremely important to be uplifting to others. I don’t really view them as competition because everything is unique and shines on their own light,” Sarah Dunn said. “There is so much opportunity to grow and help grow each other. We have to celebrate each other. That is a wonderful thing.”

For more about each artist, you can visit:

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: SaraBeth/ Facebook

Wynwood Radio And The Hype Of A Gentrified Community

Wynwood, Wynwood, Wynwood, oh hipster community, growing in fame, apparent fortune, and broadcasting presence, online.

Meet Wynwood Radio.

This is a story of resilience, openness and community.

Started in 2009, with very little money and a group of immigrant friends, Wynwood Radio was founded in a small studio nearby Midtown.

Some people might think: “not the best time to open anything or the best area to go into.”

With the Great Recession hitting the Miami area hard and the broadcasting world being in a world of flux, four friends let both aspects aside and were determined to provide music and entertainment to a new community that they believed in.

Read More: The Story Behind “Miami’s Like Most Super News Source, Bro”

“We got so in love with the growth of Wynwood as a community based in many types of arts that we decided to hone our own art to contribute to this community,” Vicente Solis, one of the developers of Wynwood Radio said in an interview with RISE NEWS. “Our idea was to bring people together through music, art, history, food and other things that make Wynwood so special.”

Creating this type of station was not a first for the group of content creators.

Like this? You can write for us too

Before submerging in the Wynwood community, Solis had worked with one of the founders of Wynwood Radio, Adrian Olivares at another online radio station in Mexico City.

Olivares believes in the power of community involvement to create a successful product.

The homepage of

The homepage of

“We witnessed all the community meetings every month and we say how security and infrastructure in the area improved as a result of the constant requests of residents and business owners,” Olivares said. “All of it brought Wynwood to its hyped stage.”

That hype is frequently associated with the gentrification of the area.

It is that gentrification process in Wynwood where some have felt discomfort.

“Maybe the process has happened a little too quick in the area,” Solis said.

While others have felt they have been given a second chance.

“All the locals that I know have gotten more job opportunities because of all the businesses that have opened there,” Olivares said.

Read More: The Magic City Hippies Are Ready For Prime Time

It is that duality what makes Wynwood Radio a prime participant in the development of community.

“We have a pathway for community members to have a voice, to promote their own events as well as choose their own music to be broadcasted in the station,” Olivares said. “We all have different ways to look at Wynwood, different ways to express our talents, and that is what we want to show in our programming: diversity.”

Besides showcasing music from the 1940’s to the latest releases, Wynwood Radio also promotes community events and issues that happen in Wynwood and neighborhoods nearby.

Both Solis and Olivares emphasized the importance of community members to maintain close connection with the station, they are open to receiving music selections and program ideas from any community member to continue the development of Wynwood Radio.

For more information on Wynwood Radio, you can visit

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Maju Rezende/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

The Story Behind “Miami’s Like Most Super News Source, Bro”

Folks, there is finally a website that is making fun of Miami, the sunshine capital of the world, in the bro-tastic way ever.

Welcome: The Plantain

It is a satirical news website in the style of The Onion run by some folks at Engage Miami, a non-profit that seeks to raise youth involvement in Miami’s public life.

And by satirical, the creator of The Plantain, Justin Wales, means fake, even if it sometimes sounds somewhat real.

Here’s some recent headlines from the site:

Miami Herald to Drop Vowels in Cost Cutting Effort

Dolphin Expressway to be Converted to 15 Consecutive Miles of Toll Booths

Florida Orange Growers Protests Beyonce Concert Over Lemonade Release

“I would not take anything in The Plantain as factually accurate,” Sara Yousuf, a member of Engage Miami said in an interview with RISE NEWS. “The Plantain does not ask people to do things. It is certainly not a tool for political organizing, but it does create conversations and awareness about things that happen in Miami.”

The target of these bitting jokes are millennials from across South Florida who are from all walks of life.

According to the Census Bureau, millenials have become the largest population in the country, but they are also considered to be the most recent generation to become highly detached from political institutions, based on a study made by the Pew Research Center.

While millennials can be perceived as disconnected from the political process, Wales says that they are connected in terms of philosophy of thought.

“That connection means that you are able to mobilize much easier,” Wales said. “Examples like Black Lives Matter, the current Bernie Sander’s Campaign, even the previous presidential campaign for Obama showed that millennials were able to be connected through these movements.”

But in order for a movement to happen then people in it have to be able to connect with each other and have a common well of knowledge to draw upon.

“Any person can have access to any type of information,” Wales said. “We have seen over the course of the past years, the democratization of content, in which, any person can distribute information to whoever they want.”

To hone on this newfound democratized content flow, The Plantain’s content producers, some members of Engage Miami as well as other freelance writers, are providing humorous stories not only to entertain millennials, as well as other generations, but also to bring awareness to local issues in Miami.

“In order to communicate with young people, you need to speak to them at their level, through humor and other unique ways.” Wales said. “All this to present an idea and make it enticing for a reader to take it in.”

But political content is only interesting if it is fun according to Yousuf.

“There is something about satire that makes you laugh, and then it makes you think and ask questions,” Yousuf said. “We are making fun as who we are in Miami, but the point that we are trying to make is very real.”

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

This Gen X’er And Her Two Young Daughters Are Trying To Revolutionize Millennial Menswear

Who says that you have to be a millennial in order to know what they want?

After spending five years as a housewife, Mary Di Fede-Garcia, age 47 and a resident of South Florida, decided that it was time for a change.

She focused on the men’s online clothing market for young people, sensing that it was a soft market.

Then Di Fede-Garcia launched Solsburry last December.

Solsburry is a website where men, mostly millennials, can find affordable clothing.

According to Di Fede-Garcia, Solsburry was chosen as the name of the brand because of a story told by former Genesis front-man Peter Gabriele.

“Peter was not getting along with his band member, Phil Collins, and he got to a turning point in which he needed to decide between going solo or take the back seat at the band while Collins was the lead,” Di Fede-Garcia said in an interview with RISE NEWS. “Peter went to a place in England, called Solsburry Hill, where a sense of change came to him, decided to go on his own, and became very successful.”

Picture 1

Mary Di Fede-Garcia, second from left, with her husband Alex and two daughters at a party in 2014.

Change has come to Di Fede-Garcia’s life as well, but the creation of Solsburry, the brand, was not an easy feat for her.

She had to face two of her greatest challenges: the Internet and social media.

“While I was building the brand in my head, I said to myself: ‘Let me face my biggest fears right on’,” Di Fede-Garcia said. “’If I am technologically challenged and I manage to do well on the web and social media, then I would know that there is nothing I can’t conquer.’”

To overcome her fear and after working for some months with a web developer, Di Fede-Garcia established Solsburry on the web, and it is spreading its name in social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

Di Fede-Garcia has had support from her family in figuring out how to efficiently use social media as a branding and sales tool.

“Seeing her struggle since the beginning in not knowing how to do certain things on the web led me to help her,” Mary’s 18 year old daughter Lauren del Pino said.

Lauren is helping with the social media marketing efforts for the brand while her 22 year old sister, Danielle del Pino, is leading the web styling and selection of clothing for the brand.

“My sister helps out with the social media section because that is natural for her,” Danielle said. “I love helping out putting together the styling and the organization for the brand, and, of course, the photoshoots.”

The two daughters not only help their mom build and maintain the brand but also, along with their friends have provided significant inspiration since day one according to Di Fede-Garcia.

Picture 3

A view of a Solsburry photo shoot.

“My daughters have male friends who visit the house, and they are always commenting about how the women’s clothing market is over saturated while the men’s one is missing attention,” Di Fede-Garcia said. “I decided that I wanted to provide quality clothing that is durable, easy to wash and wear.”

Solsburry, is aiming at providing clothing for young men from high school to young adults who are starting their careers- men who want clothes that make them to look good but are also affordable.

Di Fede-Garcia said that she understands that young men at those stages have other priorities that are more important than looking good.

She also contributes a portion of the proceeds from each piece sold to some charities each month.

More Info On Solsburry:

[email protected]

Phone: +1 (305) 275-1829

Toll Free: 1 (844) 834-1829

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Photo Credit: Solsburry/ Submitted.

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