If art imitates life and vice versa, our next feature is a beautiful fresco who is becoming a masterpiece the more she continues to develop and experience. Another Garden State great, originally from Northern Philadelphia, Jacqueline S. Algarin is nothing short of amazing. With already quite the awareness of every breath she breathes, Jacqueline gives nothing but significance to living versus being alive, and she shares some of the best parts of her with us.

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WBM: First off, who is Jacqueline S. Algarin?

JACQUELINE: Jacqueline S. Algarin is a Renaissance woman. She is an innovator, motivator, and inspiration to all generations.

WBM: Where are you from?

JACQUELINE: I was born in Northern Philadelphia and raised in Hoboken, New Jersey.

WBM: Who gives you strength?

JACQUELINE: God gives me strength in all elements, but if the question refers to someone physical, I would have to say my 71 year old grandmother who walked through two and a half feet high of flood with her head high during Hurricane Sandy. She is a woman with great integrity and the solid glue that keeps our family together.

WBM: I hear you’re into music, what specifically do you like to do?

JACQUELINE: I love to write: lyrics, poetry, songs, even stories. A great teacher once told me “You have the power of speech and your writing compliments just that.” Story telling is my biggest talent. I enjoy painting pictures with my words.

WBM: Who are your favorite musical artists?

JACQUELINE: The goddesses Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu (who is a phenomenal performer), Jill Scott, [and] Mary J. Blige, the God Tupac, and 90’s Jay Z (laughs).

WBM: Speaking of art, you seem to have quite the creative side; talk to us about what art does for you.

JACQUELINE: Art is my meditation. It is my relaxation. It gives me THC without cannabis. Art causes slowed breathing and an irregular heartbeat. It relieves moderate to severe pain and develop[s] an intense hunger. I do photography, video, music, writing, and business, all which have introduced me to a world that most cannot grasp.

WBM: Where do you see yourself in five years?

JACQUELINE: In five years I will be alive. I do not plan on dying that soon, but I am sure death plans on taking me. Guess we’ll have to go to war (laughs). I see myself living a very comfortable life filled with excitement. I hear my phone ringing constantly since I plan on being extremely wealthy and popular. Ironically, no one sees himself or herself as they would like, but I see myself as what I must be. My plans and ideas are huge, and my confidence is my armor.

WBM: You’re very passionate about everything you do; where does all that passion and drive come from?

JACQUELINE: I grew up in poverty and having nothing in life allowed me to appreciate the small things like hot water, a blanket, and shoes. I do not take my blessings for granted. Hurricane Sandy made me appreciate much more than I had ever imagined. This passion derived from the struggles my family and neighbors endured everyday. It’s only now, during this thought-provoking question, that I realize just that.

WBM: If you could leave one message for the next generation, what would it be?

JACQUELINE: Never be afraid, intimidated, or discouraged by what someone else has. What you have is just enough to help you succeed. All you must have is motivation. Without that, you will journey down a road of unhappiness and helplessness.

WBM: What do you think are the most important factors in being successful?

JACQUELINE: Absolute confidence, determination, and action! Anyone can say that they are confident, but when you’re absolutely confident, well, you enter into a higher level of understanding. Determination is the very ability to try, attempt, and do. Action is the follow-up of what you are determined to create or be. Each and every day we must take action toward our dreams and our destiny. Many people speak about what they are going to do, but how would it feel to actually be doing it and speaking about what you are currently doing?

WBM: What is the biggest obstacle you have ever had to overcome?

JACQUELINE: The biggest obstacle that I have ever overcome has to be entering into college. I had no desire whatsoever to go to college, but my family and teachers pushed me into it. The obstacle was, how do I convince myself that college isn’t just a business and that I will be able to pay back those loans?

WBM: Define success for us.

JACQUELINE: Success is power and power is success! You know you’ve succeeded when you are in control of your life, doing what you love without the approval or manipulation of others.