Table Of Contents 5 What is Walk In IT Inc? 6 Get Fit! Physical & Spiritual MakeOver! 7 WIT in Action! Womenâ€™s Conference
10 Tips for Drama Free Dating 10 TEN Year Anniversary 11 Meaningful Mentors Review of Ladies of Distinction 15 Spring Break Retreat
17 Meet Future Phenoms of WIT
18 Self Esteem Walk 5 Quick Fixes To Anything that Jiggles 20 Do You! Be Original! Start A Book Club Stay Connected to WIT
Meet A Women of Influence
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About Walk In IT Inc. (WIT) Jennell Riddick
Walk In iT Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to the empowerment of girls and women. Whether in the classroom, participating in an after school club, during a conference/retreat, or through personal mentorship W.I.T is positively impacting the educational and social lives of its participants. Through a combination of practical life skills and empowering life improvement strategies, W.I.T is making a difference one step at a time. The organization is open to and supported by girls and women of all ages and races. In the spring of 2003, while a junior at the University of Richmond Walk In iT (WIT) Incorporated began. As a dream in the mind of Jennell Whitfield Riddick each thought, idea, and vision began to take form. At age 21, she had already distinguished herself as a passionate leader, gifted and sought after speaker, and dynamic motivator. Yet she desired to do more. As she more deeply sought her purpose she was inspired to help others walk in their purposes as well. Thus, WIT sprung forth and the movement began. WIT became the umbrella under which Lady J would host conferences, speak at community events, impact school systems, write books, and much more. To date WIT has blessed many youth and women from multiple states. Individuals have been empowered through mentorship, conferences, assemblies, and one-on-one life coaching. This is just the beginning as the WIT movement presses forward. ACTIVE PROGRAMS INCLUDE: - Ladies of Distinction (Most Popular Program) - WIT Women’s Empowerment - Performance WIT Purpose - WIT Mentoring - WIT Education (Curriculum For VA Schools)
Current WIT Corporate Partners
KEY FOCUS AREAS - Discovering and maximizing potential - Developing and maintaining healthy self-esteem - Developing and maintaining healthy relationships - Healthy decision making skills - Goal setting/Personal motivation - Leadership development/Excelling above average - Overcoming obstacles - Abstinence/Dating
JP King Middle School, Franklin VA
Franklin High School, Franklin VA Fresh Start Program, Southampton County, VA John Marshall High School, Richmond VA
King’s Fork Middle School Suffolk, VA Lucille Brown Middle School, Richmond VA The Capital Group (LaTora Mathews) VA First Baptist Church, Franklin VA Fisher’s Net Web Solutions Gethsemane Baptist Church, Newport News VA ** Thank You To The Many Personal Donors and Supporters of WIT. We could not empower others without your incredible generosity. A Donor’s list coming in March Issue of WIT Magazine.. All donations are Tax Deductible. Visit Our Website To Support. www.walkinit.com
forgiveness this is correct but in terms of breaking old habits and forming new ones there are many similarities to good weight loss. Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Here are three key verses : Hebrews 12:1-4 …let us also lay
Spiritual Fitness Program INTRODUCTION
aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, . . . In your struggle against sin
you have not yet resisted to the point biblical advice on how to overcome these obstacles to godliness and good of shedding your blood.
physical health. I recently have lost over 50 pounds and in the process have learned a few
1 Tim. 4:8 … for while bodily training
lessons that seem to cross over to our Quick Fix spiritual lives. The Scripture says,
is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for
“Bodily training is of some value.” I found some value in weight loss that
crosses over into “sin-loss” and I want to share some of those principles with you. Dick Epps of Moody Bible Institute recently wrote, that he was impressed by the similarity “between physical and spiritual diets.
In America we have the quick fix attitude. Everyone wants an overnight success. Billions are spent every year on the miracle cure, “EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT, DON’T EXERCISE, TAKE THIS PILL AND LOSE 50 POUNDS BY MOTHER’S DAY.” It rarely works. It’s
the present life and also for the life to
Genesis 4:6-7 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if
you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to
Spiritual Quick Fix
have you, but you must master it."
Indeed we can learn from both.” The Bible often uses physical metaphors to illustrate spiritual truth. Con- It’s the same for the spiritual life. We sider this sample: 1 Cor. 9:26 …I do want the “quick fix.” Now, in terms of not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. It seems appropriate
Now lets look at my journey in weight loss and see what we can learn from
to look at weight loss as a metaphor to getting sin out of our life because it
SEE YOURSELF AS YOU REALLY
the Bible about “sin-loss.”
is something that most of us can relate to. Consider the similarities to
It took an honest friend or two to help me see myself as I really was.
both sin and weight gain:
Thought I was no longer photogenic. Friend said: “You’ve really put on
It is so easy to over-eat and be lazy in exercise. Sins is easy to engage in.
some weight.” “You must not be running like you used to huh?” Then I
Sin and fat both tend to show up in one area or another. It is embarrass-
went to my Grandpa’s funeral in Topeka. I had to buy a whole new outfit.
ing to deal with fat and sin. People want a quick fix to fat and sin issues.
Size 44 pants! Then I started looking at my digital photos differently. I had
They are areas we want to overcome but often don’t know where to begin.
to see the me for who I was before I could see what I wanted to be.
My goal is to give you some practical,
WIT Women’s Empowerment Conference Each March we offer a powerful conference for women to help them discover and operate in their maximum potential. As women, we are asked to wear numerous hats and this conference helps us learn how to do it all well. The conference stirs faith, reignites passion, and prepares women for promising futures.
“The Walk In It Women’s Conference is a breath of fresh air.” comments one participant. “This is one conference I never want to miss.” exclaims another conference supporter. Yet another sister added, “I laughed, I cried, I prayed, I can’t say enough great things about this conference!” We understand that there are many conferences to empower women out there, but if you are looking Women from various areas, walks of life, and for a great time of fellowfaith levels come to see ship with other encouraging what new gifts and talents will be revealed from sisters, or a getaway for yourself to be renewed, we within them. Interactive workshops are held where look forward to seeing you at a Women’s Conferthe ladies can ask questions and be inspired to push ence. Make it a “Girlfriend’s Getaway” with a longforward regardless of what situations they are facing. lasting impact.
“The conference stirs faith, reignites passion, and prepares women for promising futures.”
“The Walk In It Women’s Conference is a breath of fresh air.”
Dating Tips By Jennell Riddick
Be confident in yourself. A relationship with one or two people lacking confidence sets the path for a rocky relationship.
Refuse to settle for less. Don’t be so desperate for a relationship that you are willing to take anything! If you settle, it will only be a matter of time before you are disgusted and frustrated.
Maintain your identity. Even when dating, you are still an individual. Don’t lose yourself. Always work on improving yourself. A better you will ultimately make a better relationship.
Set standards. A lady who sets standards or knows what she wants in a relationship is usually more satisfied in the relationship.
Maintain your goals. Keep working towards whatever goals and aspirations you had before the relationship. Even if the relationship ends you will still be on track towards your goals. Also, if you are not fulfilled in your personal life, you can’t expect your relationship to fill that void.
Be honest in the beginning about your expectations.
In the beginning people often “put on” a particular face for the relationship. Be honest in the beginning about what you expect and want. It may seem harsh, but no need to waste your time playing games with yourself or the other person.
Do an honest periodic check of the relationship.
Set boundaries. You will get what you accept. Set boundaries. If you don’t like to be addressed in particular way, say it. If you feel you are not being treated well, share it.
Don’t shut yourself off from friends and family once you begin dating.
Don’t engage in sexual activity
It may be tempting to get caught up in your new “boo” but don’t forget about the people who were there with you before he arrived. Also, don’t tune out the people who love you and honestly care about you. Sometimes they may be able to see things about the relationship that have blinded you.
Relationships should always enhance who you are, not take away from you. Every now and then you have to be honest and ask is this relationship taking away more than it is adding? Are there more good days than bad days? Am I able to trust the person I am with even when we are apart?
expecting it to keep or better the rela tionship. It does not work that way! Often when sex is introduced into the rela tionship things get complicated and more difficult. Don’t get tricked. Wait!!!!! You can do it!!!!! If he can’t wait, he’s not worth it!!!
By Kristin Meekhof
N E E D
omen need mentors. other words, running a marathon was a marathon shook my confidence.
We all need that loving cheerleader a stretch. saying, "Don't give up. Stay the course." More importantly, we need someone who offers wisdom and insight. This goes beyond the Facebook thumbs up you receive when you announce a recent accomplishment. Mentors provide guideposts and their own stories offer hope and inspiration. Yes, instruction books offer valuable facts, often provide detailed steps on how to complete a challenging task, but nothing can top an in-depth, no nonsense conversation. The mentor is someone you can have a frank conversation with, and your tough questions are met with honest answers. The mentor's only agenda is to help you reach your full potential.
Immediately, Coach Suzi and others
After hearing about my goal, a friend without prompting emailed me ofsuggested I join the 501 Novi, MI run- fering words of encouragement. ning group. Reluctant yet wiling to try They shared their own injury stories. anything to help reach my goal, I My new focus was to complete the 26.2 emailed the coach. Within minutes, miles without getting injured. On that Coach Suzi replied. Three days later, October marathon Sunday, two miles on a 12 degree Michigan winter morn- from the finish line, I thought I was ing, I was at a metro park meeting oth- near death. I looked around and saw er runners. Before my first group run, I others walking. I seriously thought heard other runners talk about train- about doing the same until I heard my ing for Boston (Marathon), running two friends and Coach Suzi yell my multiple times a week, and I felt then name. Surprisingly, they were standing that I was out of my league. Recogniz- there waiting to run me in. Just as I ing that I was new to the group, Coach was trying to say "thank you," I heard Doug guided myself and another new Coach Suzi yell, "you're not slowing group runner through the snowy run. down here." The three of them ran While running, he proudly announced with me until I could see the finish that he was turning 70 next month and line. I'll never forget that moment
Mentors know what is close to set various national race records. At when I conquered that marathon. your heart. They may be a someone this point, the only record I was setting with the title "coach" or they can have was running in the winter. a less formal role. I found my mentors when I least expected it. In January 2012, like thousands of other Americans, I was trying to figure out a plan to achieve my New Year's Day goal: run my first marathon. Let me preface this by saying I'm not a natural athlete. In elementary school gym class, when students were picking others to be on their team, I was the last one chosen. Then in high school, the assistant junior varsity track coach made it clear to the other students that I was "slow." In
Ways To Receive WIT Mentorships
The marathon regimen was intense. By July, I completed my first 20 mile run and the group cheered. This was a major training milestone. In late August, I was running over 50 miles a week. That month, I was injured. I could hardly walk and the panic set in. I sought three different medical opinions, and each expert had the same diagnosis: hip / groin injury. I was crushed. Sure, it wasn't the end of my world, but not running a month before
While you may not be running a literal marathon and aren't searching for a "running" mentor, note that a mentor can also guide you in the right professional direction. Women tend to become emotionally involved when rejection occurs, wondering, Why don't they like me? What did I do wrong? Women assume they made a big mistake, then fear and anxiety rises. These emotions can get in the way of rational thoughts. A mentor can bring you back to practical thinking. When you face an obstacle, the mentor provides an alternate plan to help you still reach the same goal.
Slumber To Success
WIT Mentorship is a partnership of
Enroll in a 6-8 week conference call mentorship session. Multiple sessions but space is limited.
Register for a weekend away with 3-5 ladies and have a small group mentorship session with Lady Jennell.
L OD adies of Distinction (L.O.D.) is a group designed to help young ladies discover and operate in their full potential. These groups meet consistently and offer a time for open and honest dialogue. The ladies are taught how to develop and maintain high self-esteem, healthy relationships, set goals, overcome obstacles and much more. This group also takes various exposure trips including an annual beach empowerment retreat which is always a highlight of the year.
Ladies of Distinction is one of the foundational programs that Walk In It offers. We believe that it is important for the girls to have a strong foundation, consistent motivation, and caring accountability. Weekly or biweekly meetings offer the girls a chance to receive helpful information and ask questions on any topic. Using a customized Walk In It curriculum and workbook the ladies are able to work through relevant issues, discuss difficult topics, and receive guidance as needed. Topics include: Self-esteem Goal-setting Leadership Development Overcoming Obstacles Handling Peer Pressure Dating Choosing Friends Attitude Improvement Making Healthy Choices Public Speaking
“It is amazing to see the growth in the girls over the course of the year,” says Founder and Director Jennell Riddick. She adds, “It is particularly rewarding to hear from parents and teachers that they are able to see a difference in the girls who are part of our program.” From working on attitudes to discussing dating, Ladies of Distinction is making a tremendous impact. “To see a young lady begin timid, lacking confidence, and making poor choices emerge into a confident young lady who refuses to settle for less, makes the time investment worth it. I am so appreciative to the administrators, teachers, and parents who believe in our program, open their doors to us, and search for funds that allow the program to continue.” Jennell Riddick All Ladies of Distinction groups learn the motto early in the program.
Ladies of Distinction Motto: I am a lady, a lady distinction, I am proud to be me. I walk confidently knowing that greatness lies within me. I am strong, and I know that others opinions of me don’t make me. I set high standards and strive for the best knowing that I deserve nothing less. I am a lady, a lady of distinction. True Love Waits/Healthy Relationship Conference
Friendships and dating relationships are major areas of concern and influence for youth and adults alike. Each February we host a healthy relationship conference that teaches youth the importance of making healthy choices when it comes to dating and friendships. Workshops are offered on developing a healthy self-image, choosing friends wisely, overcoming peer pressure, and much more. The youth are encouraged to abstain from sexual activity. The highlight of the evening is a limousine shuttle and formal banquet with an optional commitment ceremony.
Mother/Daughter Brunch The mother/daughter bond is something powerful. Without doubt mothers play a major role in the development of children. This brunch allows mothers and daughters to bond through playing games, dining well, and being treated like royalty.
What WIT has done so far Customized and taught a curriculum on healthy choices that helped decrease the teenage pregnancy rate in a school system and equipped the students on making healthy choices Served as a repeat facilitator at Old Dominion University’s Conference for Girls and Young Women Mentored over 350 middle and high school aged students throughout Virginia
Girl’s Conference Each April girls gather for a day of empowerment and fun. They have workshops, lunch, meet other young ladies, and learn what it means to be a Lady of Distinction. Through interactive sessions the girls are taught to be confident in themselves, make healthy choices, and prepare for the future. The girls enter the hotel ready for what promises to be another exciting conference. There are many women’s conferences that empower girls and women, but the girls also need a place where they can learn and be
Hosted 11 Healthy Relationship Conferences addressing the importance of abstinence and healthy relationship information Traveled extensively throughout VA conducting various empowerment assemblies, academic success workshops, leadership conferences, and much more! Awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships to young women attending college Assisted young ladies in traveling to study abroad and do service trips around the world We are proud to say that 98% of the girls actively involved in our program attend college
empowered. In this day and time our girls are faced with many challenges. Between the media pushing images of what they “should be and look like” and technology offering information at the touch of a button that they may not be able to handle yet, we have much work to do. We feel an obligation to offer a positive outlet for our girls. When they see other girls who are taking academics seriously, or other young ladies who are not giving their bodies away, it encourages them as well.
Spring Break Trip Springtime brings about sunshine and the Ladies of Distinction Spring Break Trip. The ladies are afforded the opportunity to stay at a beach mansion while participating in empowerment sessions. We believe in empowerment through exposure. The only thing better than learning skills that they can apply for the rest of their lives, is learning it on the beach with friends and fun! The buses are quickly loaded with luggage, pillows, sleeping bags, and excited students who can’t wait to
claim a room at the beach mansion. As the bus unloads giggling and screaming girls sprint towards the beach house. For some it is their first time at the beach, and for most it is their first time in a beach retreat home. The time is filled with empowering sessions, free-time, “peer to peer affirmation time,” a talent show, food, and hours of fun. Without a doubt, the Spring Break trip is one of the highlights of the year. The girls look forward to it and talk about it for years to come. Whether lounging on the deck laughing,
End of the Year Banquet Each Lady of Distinction site has its own banquet to end the year. Student speakers and a delicious meal help end the year in style. At this event the ladies, their families, teachers, and administrators are able to see the impact that the organization has made. Laughs belt out and tears of pride and joy freely flow. “I’m always amazed at the speeches,” comments Walk In It Founder, Jennell Riddick. I always hope that the girls take in all that we have covered throughout the year, but when I hear them deliver their speeches I feel like a proud mom.” One young lady commented last year, “Ladies of Distinction is the best after school program I have ever been part of.” Another young lady said that her life was forever changed because of the information and support she received in the program. Heartfelt, unscripted statements like that make the program worth it. While the impact of the group will continue to unfold throughout the years, the End of the Year Banquet helps to offer closure for the girls and Walk In It Team. 15
cracking open crab legs, or chowing down on chicken and macaroni and cheese the girls are given an unforgettable experience. Support WIT or Sponsor A Girl At www.walkinit.com
Special Thanks To WIT Teams & Spokeswomen
WIT Team With Actress CeCe Michaela (UPN Girlfriends) Dr. Alexa Harris & Rickeita Blunt
Latora Sweat & Latora Mathews WIT Team with Actress Terri Vaughn (Steve Harvey Show)
PRO Golfers Robbi & Ginger Howard 16 WIT Team Led By Wand a Davis (Event Planner) & Founder Jennell Riddick)
Meet The Future Phenoms of WIT Ginger Howard Professional Golfer (LPGA)
Jasmine Smith Film Maker
Shaleeta Cleosha Hicks International Scholar Shaleetta Hicks is a senior at the University of Richmond from Franklin, VA. She is graduating in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts. The major that best fit her passions was not yet created at the university so she applied to create her own. Her Interdisciplinary Studies major is titled Health Instruction and Social Justice closely linked with her minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her goal is to use education and healthcare strategies to improve the lives of underprivileged and silenced groups around the world. She is currently, studying Child Development at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is learning the Danish childcare system first hand by working in a forest preschool and finding ways to bridge the gap between the excluded non-ethnic Danes and the ethnic Danes. She has had many internships and been privileged to travel abroad for academic research in London, England as well as do religious exploration in Taize,France.
Yale Cullings Music Artist Yale Cullings is a 2012 graduate of Southampton High School and a sophomore music major at Howard University (HU). She has released her debut album, The Journey: Step One. This album release s began her first East Coast Tour. Music has been apart of her life since her childhood. While at Southampton, Yale won multiple vocal contests such as; All State Chorus, All Districts (2 years in a row) and other local competitions. She was selected to be 1 freshman among upperclassmen in the Sophomore Jazz depart at H.U. in Washington, D.C. Yale was appointed as lead praise and worship leader of her church music ministry at age 14 and has led that ministry to tremendous growth. She will begin recording of her next album during fall of ‘14. www.thewitjourney.com
Jasmine Smith, 2013 SWU grad, began to distinguish herself when she spearheaded a shoe drive of 1000 pairs of shoes for Haitian earthquake victims then raised money for the Japanese Tsunami relief efforts called ‘Kyuusai’. These disasters moved her to create films that inspire hope and empower others to live life fearlessly. After traveling abroad to Haiti (co-producing a film documentary at the Quisqueya Chapel), and studying abroad at the Oxford University School of Theology, Jasmine interned in Hollywood with famous TV/film producer Tracey Edmonds. She worked as the Assistant Director of the 2013 production of the short-film ‘Maxwell’. Jasmine is currently pursuing a Master of Arts at Regent Univ.
Ginger Howard has become the youngest Black golfer to join the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). After enrolling at Florida’s IMG Golf Academy, Howard has won 78 trophies and ranked first in 41 out of 66 events. She decided to petition the “LPGA to allow her to play in its qualifying tournament even though she wasn’t the mandatory 18 years old at the time. After winning in that tournament she began her professional career on the Symetra Tour. Ginger was also the first Black female Golfer to represent the USA in the Junior Ryder Cup in Scotland. Ginger has recently (Dec 2013) been honored as one of LPGA’s most beautiful women by Golf.com. This honor comes after being featured by CBS This Morning, NY Times, Ebony Power 100, ESPN, Black Enterprise, Golf Week, and so many more. She is the first in her family to turn pro, but her sister Robbi has recently sought pro membership as well. Look out for the Venus & Serena of Golf. Please Read morerovide financial support for her tour www.gingerthoward.com
September On a daily basis females (young and old) battle with others overcome those challenges, and raise funds to feelings of inadequacy, whether they are continue offering college scholarships, good enough, whether they can accomplish their goals, etc. We want every woman to know that
mentorships, conferences, exposure trips, and after school program for Walk In It, Inc.
greatness lies within them and that they are valuable 40% of girls with low self-esteem experience sex and powerful. Let’s Step Out together! before 9th Grade. –(Indiana University of At the Self-Esteem Walk and Rally we empower young girls and women to develop healthy
Medicine Media Relations)
As the level of self-esteem decreases academic self-esteem, promote awareness of self-esteem chal- achievement scores decline. (Covington Press) lenges and programs that combat and help 1 of 4 girls surveyed admitted to not liking themselves (Women’s Health Magazine)
5Quick Fixes For Anything That by Shaun Dreisbach
HELP FOR: Bra bulge
(Continued From Page 6) with left foot, lunge to left side. Repeat, leading with opposite foot.
There needs to be an “inspiration” to losing
(3) HELP FOR: Underarm flab Triceps respond fast to exercise and fat
To get rid of the little roll that spills over your bra strap in the back, try bent-over rows.
Stand next to a chair with a dumbbell in right hand. Place left knee
loss, which means that you could see a change here in just a few weeks with chair dips.
floor, bending elbows to about a 90
out to side, slowly bring weight up to chest.
-degree angle; press back up.
It is more than a “one time” motivation. There were many times when I said, “this is it” I am going to get in shape and lose weight. But often these didn’t last long at all. Only until the next half gallon of ice
Place your hands on the edge of feet out. Slowly lower butt toward
arm toward floor. Bending elbow
the seat of a chair and walk your
and hand on seat and extend right
Do two sets of 15 reps on each
Do two sets of 15 reps.
How true is this in the area of sin? Romans 7:15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
(4) HELP FOR: Armpit overhang
We honestly want to stop the bad behavior don’t we??? But the self control might as
(2) HELP FOR: Inner- and outer-
The flesh that peeks out over the top of
well be no-control when we get in the face that that loved one that makes us so mad.
a strapless gown can be tightened with
The hips and thighs are the first place
push-ups. But the issue may be the
most women tend to store fat and the
dress, not you.
Think of anger at a spouse or family member that gets out of control. -- Consider the
last place they lose it. In addition to lots
“It’s all about the cut,” says stylist
gossip or hate that is harbored. -- We know it’s wrong but until we are “inspired” by
Cristina Ehrlich, who’s worked with
God often our attempts to stop sinning feel
Penélope Cruz. “Look for a dress
Do two sets of 15 reps on each side.
of cardio, try the four-way lunge.
With hands on hips, step forward
where the top is high enough that it
with right foot and lunge (don’t let
doesn’t dig into your armpit skin. It
knee go past toes); return to start.
should come up and over the ar-
Lunge backward; return to start.
Lunge right (keeping left leg straight); go back to start. Then
(5) HELP FOR: Belly pooch Along with plenty of cardio, you can
How do we get inspired to stop sinning? Time in the scripture and developing a love relationship with God. Rev. 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he
flatten your lower abs with planks.
with me. We only are required to open the doors of our lives to the Lord. But the catch
is that he isn’t happy with just the front door to our lives. He wants all of the rooms
Get in a raised push-up position, except with forearms on the floor; hold the pose with back flat and belly in for 30 to 90 seconds. For
more definition, try the bicycle. Lie on floor, knees bent, hands behind head. Lift shoulder blades and twist right elbow to left knee; then twist left elbow toward right knee. Do two sets of 15 reps.
of our hearts. What doors are you keeping closed to him right now? Ask Him? Now open them to Him. He says, “My yoke is easy and my burden light.” But he wants to come in and have supper with you. OK now I am inspired and spiritually I have opened the doors of my life to the Lord. Now what? (Continued In Next Issue of WIT Magazine in March 2014)
ference? Set out on a quest to find your purpose.
Once you discover it, go after it.
Be Confident in
Be confident in you. It can be easy not to
Yourself and Your
focus on you and discover who you were really
meant to be. In a world of people trying to be what
We live in a world
they are not, dare to be you. Dare to be the power-
ful unique individual that you are. Think about it.
personalities, likes, dis-
If you go to a store and see an outfit that you love,
likes, hopes, dreams,
do you want to see everybody else wear it too? Of
course not. You want to be the only one who wears
more. Most people are on a quest for something.
it. If there are many of those same outfits on the
Many individuals set out to achieve fame and for-
rack it will cost less. If there is only one of that
tune. People want to know how they can climb the
outfit it will cost more because it is one of a kind.
ladder of success quickly. They want to be part of
The same is true with you. If you are just who you
the coolest social circles and have the best of everything. In the hustle and bustle of life, it is easy to get caught up in the chase of “things” and never really
are and operate unapologetically in
The world needs more originals.
have time to focus and work on yourself. Be careful. Make it a priority to discover
that, you do yourself and those around you a favor. I know it often seems like those people on television or the movies are worth imitating, but
ladies you must remember that they are acting. The
you are, and what your purpose is in this great big
images and identity that you see are not real. I
know the shows are called “reality shows,” but unYou were put on earth for a reason, not just
derstand that those shows want to keep their rat-
to take up space. No matter who you are, where
ings high and are willing to do whatever they can
you are from, the mistakes you have made, or what
to keep them high. They will create events and ex-
others have said about you, you have a powerful
aggerate them. If you find yourself trying to be like
purpose. Work to discover and operate in that pur-
these characters, you will always be in pursuit of a
pose. You are probably wondering how to discover
fictional character, someone that does not exist.
that purpose. Many questions can help lead you to
Those shows should come with a disclaimer, “DO
your purpose. What are you passionate about?
NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!”
What topics or events stay on your mind? What
have to face the real consequences of trying to live
frustrates you or leaves you wanting to make a dif-
a fake lifestyle. Why keep chasing something that
Also, you will
won’t fulfill you and will just lead to more headache and heartache? In a world that sometimes
This is an Excerpt From The Book “Girl Talk” Authored By Jennell Riddick
seems to applaud the crowd, don’t be afraid to be you. The world needs more originals. 20
Knowledge Is Power!
Start Your Book Club Today! 7 21
Meet WIT Founder
An Influence Of Virtue By Jasmine Smith (LOD c/o 2000) Out of the clouds, the Shepherd speaks to His lamb, “For I know the plans I have for you,” He tells her, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” As the daughter and servant and the lamb, I hold onto this verse because these very words from Jeremiah 29:11 represent the keys to my future. This passage also reflects the motivation, hope and commitment never to settle of my spiritual role model and mentor, the Rev. Jennell Whitfield-Riddick. Whether we feel that we have reached success or socioeconomic status, the most important truth is fulfilling God’s plan for our lives. She has modeled her life after this verse in Jeremiah. Rev. Jennell has not only modeled scripture, but she has been molded and formed by it also. Rev. Jennell reflects Jeremiah—the young, brave, anointed, ap-
hitfield Riddick pointed, servant of God. Rev. Jennell is now a mother of two,
youth event during her 8th grade year. In addition to two remarkable parents, Rev. Joe and Elsie Whit-
while operating her own non-profit organization, which she named Walk In It Inc.
field, Rev. Jennell acknowledges the support of “an entire village” in helping her achieve her goals so far. The wisdom and support of Bishop
She is also a highly sought after preacher and Director of Ministries at First Baptist
William Dawson and First Lady Beverly Dawson have been tremendous. Also inspiration from the late Pastor and First Lady Glenwood
Church, Franklin, Va. Like Jeremiah, Rev. Jennell’s special anointing grants her the profound privilege of changing lives and leav-
Morgan offered great insights to Jennell because she was able to watch their ministry as a lifestyle. She was able to see the pastor and
ing an influence of virtue. his wife away from the pulpit, witRev. Jennell Whitfield-Riddick grew nessing them feeding the homeless up in Williamsburg, Va., the daugh- and providing for the needy. ter of the Rev. Joe and Elsie Whitfield. Growing up in Virginia, Rev. Jennell traveled across the country for conventions, religious conferences, and speaking engagements.
Rev. Jennell recognized early on the need to pursue her college education. She graduated with honors May 2004 from the University of
Rev. Jennell recounted her call into the ministry while feeding her bundle of joy, Jasmine, 6 weeks old. She was tucked inside a soft pink “onesie,” her jet-black hair so rich in texture, granting her tiny round face a newborn’s glow. Jasmine is the newest addition to the Riddick’s
Richmond where she double majored in Rhetoric and Communication Studies and Theatre. She served as the president and chaplain of the Umoja Gospel Choir, co-chair of the Peer Advisory and Mentor Program, a Head Resident, a student
household, accompanying a brother Dwight Riddick III, age 4. She notes the words shared by Dean John Kinney of Virginia Union University “According to Dean Kinney, we have multiple calls. We are called at different parts of our lives.” Her first preaching engagement was at a 22
“walked in it!” She walked in her call- Tidying up table decorations, coming early, she made a decision to be a fortably in her home, she is at a place Lady of Distinction. in life where she still takes her own advice. “I am just trying to unapoloWalk In It Inc. (W.I.T.) is a nongetically be who God called me to be. profit organization devoted to wom- Anyone who is going to be who God en and girl’s empowerment. W.I.T calls them to be, will go beyond aversponsors college scholarships, an age. I desire the best for everyone annual True Love Waits conference, regardless of race, age, or faith.” At annual Stepping out for Self Esteem any chance to prevent her children Empowerment Walk and Rally, after from falling into the world’s molding, school mentorship programs in sev- she eral locations throughattempts to equip “Don’t settle for them with the knowledge out Virginia, conferences, and retreats. She less, in relation- not only to survive, but to is currently in develthrive; just as she does ships, job enopment for a television deavors, friend- in every Ladies of Disadmissions representative, and beshow. tinction after-school ships...” came a student member of the Unimeeting across the state, Rev. Jennell expresses exciteversity Board of Trustees. She later and in every sermon she preachment for all of life’s possibilities. As was an honor graduate, earning a es. “Don’t settle for less in relationDwight Riddick III, argues his need Master of Divinity Degree from the ships, job endeavors, friendships, or for sweet tea instead of water, she Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of in any other area.” handles him with love, attention and Theology at Virginia Union Universi- wisdom, something she does ty in May 2007. She has One of the most important pieces of for every young person “This woman is she mentors or influauthored two books advice she has received was when her going to change ences. In the Ladies of titled “Walk in It: Adparents told her, “Be yourself.” This Distinction sessions, I virtuous woman has influenced every vancing Beyond Avthe world; she’s studied her contagious erage” and “Girl Talk.” person who has been graced by her a dream laughter, her relaxed but Many will look at the presence, simply because she knew chaser.” attentive demeanor. I feel life of Rev. Jennell and how to be herself, and believe in comfort and trust in her eyes, wonder how she did it all in something greater than herself. As a honesty in her spirit. I most admire just 31 years. Yale Cullings, a Howard her subtle yet anxious ambition. My result she has made the world a betUniversity student, and young wom- pastor, the Rev. Dwight Riddick II, ter place. an empowered by Rev. Jennell, resays that when he first met her he members being amazed by her ambi- thought she was perfect and prowww.walkinit.com/mentorship tion and accomplishments. Yale was claimed, “This woman is going to change the world; she’s a dream inspired by the display of love for chaser!” As he thanked her Creator, teens like herself. Yale reflected on her husband believes that Rev. Jenthe first annual “True Love Waits” nell’s distinctiveness combined with Conference sponsored by Walk in It. her determination, courage, leader“Wow, she did all this for us?” she ship, and giving heart qualify her to said. How could a young woman ac- have the title of a Virtuous Woman, complish what this woman has ac‘in progress” she adds in humility. complished? It’s very simple. She 23
A womens and girls empowerment magazine featuring Ladies of Distinction by Walk In It Inc and Jennell Riddick