As a child, I knew that I would grow up and become 1) a teacher; 2) a writer; and 3) use my voice for good. From a young age, I was mentored and apprenticed to live a life full of compassion, fidelity, and integrity. Having grown up on the south side of Decatur, IL, I have truly been blessed to stand on the shoulders of so many individuals who saw GREATNESS in me especially when the adversities of life made everything look unclear. Despite what your eyes may see, rest assured that what God has for you is unequivocally for YOU. You know you have something that has to be shared with others when you even have the drug dealers cheering you on and encouraging you to keep progressing forward.
Progressing forward has meant a lot of things in my life. It has meant refusing to be mediocre and making excuses to not excel regardless of environmental trials and tribulations. It has meant studying at the Decatur Public Library with my brother Oz when I would have preferred to be socializing with the other teens. It has meant showing pride for my community by being an active member of the Southside Improvement Association and Metro Teens. It has meant honing my leadership skills at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church through myriad speech presentations, choral concerts, and even representing the youth as we eulogized one of our very own friends. It has also meant marrying for love whom God chose for me while still in college and going against the grain of what the “norm” may have been to display a united, healthy love without conditions. Progressing forward has not been an easy road.
You see, when you are chosen to be a light, you have to settle peace in your heart that your story will not look like everyone else’s—and learn to be comfortable in your own skin. Finding a level of comfort with who you are is an ever-evolving pursuit. Nevertheless, along your journey, do what you can with what you have.
Using what I have thus far, I am honored to have touched thousands of young people’s lives as an educator. Writing and publishing my first book, Praise While You’re Pregnant: Connecting with God Through the Womb has allowed me to share a piece of my story as to why the power of prayer is so important. Furthermore, the gift of writing, teaching, and speaking has led me to inspire, coach, and share wisdom with other aspiring writers who look to share their story in book form.
We are all here with unique gifts not to covet, but to share with others. I would love to continue sharing my gifts. If you are interested in working with me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.