Living is defined by the experiences and the discoveries that one is blessed to uncover. Growing up in a large city gave me many opportunities to prepare for a life of success! However, during the periods of segregation and the struggle for Civil Rights, not everyone was open to my efforts to climb the ladder of success – thus the need for me to find my own advocates and inner determination to take my goals & vision into the future .
My first step was to make education my priority. I did that by graduating from high school in the top 5% of my graduation class of 160 seniors. I didn’t stop there. Earning an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Norfolk State University (3 years) and James Madison University (1 year); and a Master’s in Education with a Concentration in Career and Vocational –Technical Education & Counseling from Virginia Tech. I have continued to scale the walls in search of the tools to shatter the glass ceiling.
My work experiences stem from working as an Assessment/Vocational Evaluation and On-the-Job Supervisor for a Sheltered Workshop for individuals with disabilities; and a Transition Resource Specialist for students with academic challenges enrolled in vocational training programs at Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center in Fishersville, Virginia.
Throughout the years, educating students has remained my main career focus. Prior to retiring in 2010, I held a position as Secondary School Counselor at the local high school for more than 14 years. Post-secondary high school planning which included college admission, financial aid and scholarships, and preparation for entering the world of work.
During my work history, many storms continued to invade my personal environment which required more than physical strength to stay the course since the “storms were raging” out of control! Cancer took root in my family lineage! Mom had breast cancer, Dad had esophageal cancer, and my brother (my only sibling) had lung cancer. I was devastated from long-distance caregiving and long-suffering while seeing them not survive their struggle.
Prior to my brother’s death, I, too, was diagnosed with breast cancer and have been blessed to be a survivor for 15 years and counting! And the saga continues…My husband of more than 54 years is celebrating 8 years of being cancer-free of prostate cancer after surgery on 9-11-2014.
Now with those types of medical challenges – not only should the” mind, body, and spirit” ship have capsized; but probably should have sunk had it not been for my strong faith and positive connection with church, family, friends, and other survivors. Not only survivors of medical struggles – but survivors of Life and all it has in store for us: the “good and the bad.”
Living should be exciting as well as a work in progress. It should be an action term! I am proud to say that “my living continues to not be in vain”! I now define myself as more about being and not just doing. Here is where you can find me spending time…
I am a NAVIGATOR to help individuals sail through rough seas of negative vibrations
I am an EXPLORER whose mission is to guide individuals on a journey to uncover their gifts and talents
I am a CONDUCTOR for those on a journey to find their passion
I am a LIFE ENTHUSIAST who is very excited about life and the joy of living life to the fullest &
I am a SURVIVOR who continues to thrive and be alive with the knowledge that I was created to be more than a CONQUEROR…and that my POWER is in my PASSION!
…and after all is said and done, I am Living (My Life) and Still Standing Strong!