We are so glad to have the opportunity to chat with you today, Queen! — Please tell us what life was like as a kid?
Life for me as a kid was a mixture between tragedy and triumph for the simple fact that at the early age of 8 years my father was murdered and it changed our lives forever from closing our family business for a while, moving with family, changing school and learning a new way of life. Although these life altering changes happened, it also allowed me to grow up faster and take on more of leadership role in the family business to help my mom and eventually join the organization.
Did you always know you’d be a youth leader?
No, I didn’t know I was going to be a youth leader. I always felt like I had leadership skills early on in school by volunteering, speaking up, and focusing on academic achievement as an outlet for me..
What are some of the lessons you learned as a kid that stuck with you today?
Some lessons I learned truly early on was you have to work for what you want to create the lifestyle you desire. I was born and raised in entrepreneurship so I witnessed the good, bad, and ugly of the startup entrepship phase. I also learned education is the key and no one can take that from you. Specifically because I struggled in high school with reading and writing and dyslexia. I felt like I always had to study longer and harder just to pass or achieve the same academic results as my counterparts.
In the 10th grade I was still on a 6th grade reading and writing level in which required me to dedicate myself to tutoring for 2 years to get on track. This eventually paid off to award me a full academic scholarship to attend West Chester University which taught me early on to sacrifice things today to enjoy the fruits of your labor later; and I have carried that with me as an adult.
How do you implement what you learned, into your lifestyle today?
I implement what I learned in my lifestyle today because as serial entrepreneur its always something going on, it’s always something due or a sacrifice that has to be made in order to see your dreams come to fruition.
I learned the importance of setting goals and how to realistically meet your goals. I implement the dedication and hard working skills into all businesses because I view my life in the space of 10 years from now. So I always ask myself what do I want this chapter in life to look like. Ok so that means i have to sacrifice this right now in order to see that come full circle.
For instance, when I was studying for my Master Degree I had a fulltime job, part time job, and was in graduate school part time online and in class every saturday for two years. I didn’t have to get a Master Degree to change my salary because I was an already a entrepreneur but i knew maybe in my late 30’s I might want to become a professor so let me take advantage of this free education now and sacrifice my late 20’s for late success.
Would you say the childcare industry is competitive?
We care for children which allows parents and families the freedom to work and provide for their families. Without childcare there is no work and without work families are unable to thrive and survive. However, just like any other industry whether competitive or not you learn how to market..
What are the benefits of becoming a provider and what are some of the risks?
Some benefits of becoming a childcare provider are impacting a community as our children are the future of society. Educating families on the importance of early literacy, early education to build the foundations skills before reaching kindergarten, providing livelihood for staff and team members, and financial freedom of wealth and time.
Some risks are high upfront cost, lack of knowledge, time and commitment to learn the industry and business.
How did your role in the childcare industry expand to serve childcare providers?
My role initially expanded because I settled begin to serve educators in our field first by become a CDA specialist where I would conduct classroom observations at different early learning center for candidate who were applying for their CDA certificate.
I realized in our feedback meeting I wasn’t only providing them feedback but truly uplifting their spirits to be the best educators in field. However, I enjoyed designing classrooms for other childcare centers and from their people would ask me to coach on how we scaled our classroom to Four star accreditation and obtaining new funding streams in their program.
What initiated your decision to become a coach?
What initiated my decisions was I constantly found myself teaching people classroom management, office organization, grant writing, staff management and much more. One day someone ask me to coach them and realize the things I know seem like second nature to me was a challenge for other entrepreneurs. When I began to literally show them step by step and the light blubs went off and their confidence increased to reset their mindz and improve their business practices thats when I knew I was meant to not just coach but empower women with my gift of voice.
We love that you’ve added the title, Children’s Book Author to your accolades! Tell us about that journey. What inspired you to write a children’s book?
As an Early Childhood Educator for the past 12 years I have encountered so many young children and adolescents who were experiencing the same trauma I have as a young child and it began to make me wonder how I could help them, their family, or just encourage them that in time the healing process will get easier.
In our ECE setting early literacy is a key focus for our students but its also a place where we have large group discussions about different topics. I felt creating a story for our children who are now experiencing life changing circumstances would make them feel more included instead of isolated. Darla Misses Daddy is a great read for large group discussions with children and for families to embrace healthy conversations with challenging topics.
What were some of your favorite childhood books to read? Did you get any inspiration from them?
Some of my favorite childhood books to read were “ The Skin I’m In” and American Girl (African American stories) . None of these books necessarily gave me inspiration but I love to read none fictional stories because its an easy read and connects realistic concepts in books.
What can parents expect from Darla Misses Daddy? How can our readers purchase copies?
Parents can expect to embrace the reality of sudden emotions of sadness but increased emotions of bravery to share tis tory with their children and discussed ways to create a new healthy reality with their children. For instance, in the story I wanted to make Sure I highlight not just the tragedy of Darla not never seeing her father anymore but how the family found news ways to celebrate holidays, birthdays, and moving forward in life. Not to hold on to the painful memories but to begin to think about to positive memories they shared with their loved one to constantly keep them IN their heart.
Darla is Available for purchase online at Barnes&Noble, Walmart, Amazon. We offer personalized signed copies to readers from the author.
What do you think about grief in children as it pertains to the Melanated community?
As a Philadelphia native whose family was forever changed by an senseless act of gun violence it truly saddens me to see the same systemic cycle affecting our families.
Teaching our children early on with the importance of expressing their emotions is key to self awareness and self control. Many times children when they experience loss they feel they have to grow up quickly and smother their emotions to appear strong or healed. Embracing healthy conversations about uncomfortable topics starts at home and is an amazing safe place for our children. I feel our melanated community has to unlearn and relearn new methods of expressing their grief and recognize approval from other is not necessary yet, creating a safe haven for our feelings is acceptable.
What advice do you give to the youth leader looking to turn their passions into profit? Where do they begin?
I share with a youth leader looking to turn their passions into profits to first identify what your passions are which is what you are great at doing and second how your passions can solve a consumer’s problems. First you want to identify is your solution a need for you ideal client and/ or community you are looking to serve. I would recommend starting small to learn the business of your industry and studying what the successful people are already providing in your industry.
Lastly, determine the type of service you want to provide to monetize your skills, becoming an expert speaker, creating a product, creating a community, becoming a coach, etc. My biggest recommendation is do not quit your day job until your monthly income can match your monthly net revenue to ensure suitability for your lifestyle and securing funding to invest in your passion project.
Do you have anything you’d like to share about summer plans for Educated Mindz LLC? How can we keep up with your news and updates?
Educated Mindz is looking to host its first of many women empower event for our community and continue to grow and meet our clients needs.