C.O.R.E. is an online magazine created to uplift and empower young women between the ages of 12-18. Through content development, fashion, beauty, financial, as well as on-site development, C.O.R.E has helped shaped the lives of many young women.
Recently I had the pleasure of speaking to the women behind this organization and discovered that C.O.R.E is much more than a magazine. It’s a movement!
Creators (and sisters): Eden Oyewo and Ellisa Oyewo
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Biggest Influences: Our mother because she was so strong and never took no for an answer. Our father was also a big influence because he was so spiritual and kept us grounded. Both of our parents were givers, and through them, we learned the importance of giving back. We’ve both know we’ve been blessed and so we try to be a blessing to others.
The Beginning of C.O.R.E
While both sisters have always had the desire to work together, their passions varied. Eden Oyewo, an engineering major and African studies minor, had a love for art and music. Ellis Oyewo, a fashion marketing and management major, carried a love for fashion, writing, and beauty. There was one thing the two sisters shared that lead to the birth of the C.O.R.E. movement. The two women were passionate about empowering young women of color. So the two combined their talents to bridge the gap for young women in an efficient and powerful way.
Eden: Our magazine is managed by us, but most of our content is produced by our teen writers. For example, we have a girl who is a trendsetter; she’s the person that develops our content. Our girls are writing content for girls their age. That’s how we keep up to date with things. Even with the girls who are interested in other avenues such as fashion or journalism, we will link them with different professionals to conduct interviews with those people. We assist, but the content is all them.
I noticed on the site that you all have a mix of new school trends, and old school visuals (90s’ memes from Different World, Fresh Prince, etc.) was this something that was done on purpose?
Ellisa: Yes! I’m so glad you mentioned this! It was on purpose because even when I lived in Brooklyn the culture of the 80s and 90s was making a coming back, but we also included it because those shows showed black people in such a positive light in comparison to what young girls see today. We wanted to bring balance. You can be connected to positivity and still be cute and fun.
More Than Just a Magazine:
So, tell me more about the on-site development portion of C.O.R.E? What part does it play in the progression of this movement?
Eden: The onsite development ranges. Sometimes we link up with schools for after-school programs, at times we get with a school that is looking to build a program for a particular topic, and from there we will develop a 10-week course. Everything we talk about in the magazine we bring to life in the on-campus portion. We have quarterly events where we will bring in people we know from the communities. For example, for our beauty event, we had a powerful panel of individuals from the New York fashion arena come in and talk to the girls about hair, makeup, nail care, and nutrition. We just try to bring everything that we speak of to life and give the girls an opportunity to have a voice.
What advice would you give young women about pursuing their dreams, goals, and passions?
Ellisa: My number one thing would be to quiet your mind long enough to understand what your vision is and what is your lane. I think that a lot of times with social media we are bombarded with so many things that are “cool,” but if that is not what you’re here for, you won’t be successful. If no one could post a picture of you doing it, what would you want to be doing? Once you know what you are here for, you’re relentless.
Eden: So Ellisa just wrote an excellent article for another digital magazine this past week, and she has her top 8 listed, and I’m going to steal one of them. (Laughs). My rule for my life is ” Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.” and “Be authentic.” When you realize who you are and you love yourself, everything works itself out. The people who win are the ones who are true to themselves. Who you are is okay. Just be you. People who really love you will love you for you.
At what point in time did you realize that everything you had worked for in C.O.R.E was worth it?
Eden: Generally, whenever I am working with the young ladies. However, a precise moment was when we started our magazine, and I was living in Nashville. At the time, we were working with a charter school there. We would meet once a week, and we would have our speaker pick out a feature girl of the week. Fast forward, I moved to NY, and one of the girl and I got a call that one of the girls who was featured had been shot and killed. She was 15 years old. And you know how when certain incidents happen, the news tries to portray us in a negative light. They portrayed it as just another girl, from a violent neighborhood who got shot. One of the stations found her feature on our site, and one of the questions we asked her was, “If you could change anything in the world what would you change?” Her response was, “I would change my neighborhood because it’s so violent.” So, it wasn’t that she was just another girl that had gotten into an altercation, but she was TRYING to change. She had a desire to change and move towards a better future. And this was the only positivity that the media could find about this young lady. That’s when I think we both realized that this was powerful. This turned it around for us. It was powerful for us and powerful for her family.
C.O.R.E. is always interested in new teen writers! So if you are interested or know anyone who may be interested, please contact them. Also, stay tuned for upcoming talks and events.
You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter by searching, thecorereader