Huami Magazine Charleston May/June 2022

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CHARLESTON

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May/June 2022 Vol. 1 Issue 10

WILL LOGICS

Transportation Consulting & Dispatch Services Charleston - May/June 2022

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On April 14th, 2022, Lady Vwb Nature was a special guest on Southern Soul Livestream. Calvin Baldwin (host) was very inspired to learn about Vanessa and Varina’s journey to talk about their business and entrepreneurship as new business owners, the lessons learned in small business, and teaching her daughter Vatina ownership at the age of 14 to be transparent, patient and continued education in holistic healing remedies and nutrition. Vanessa has completed workshops, business coaching, marketing classes, and holistic nutrition certification, and her daughter is right by her side, taking notes. Varina is now 15 years old. We are excited about her future endeavors and what’s to come. Lady Vwb Nature has received certification from US Black Chambers. We work three local pop-up shops a Month throughout Ohio. Advice to other business owners and Entrepreneurs Be patient. You can’t please everyone, but know there is someone out there who needs your services! Keep an open mind each day will be different. Hard work never goes unnoticed! Take up workshops and business coaching it will better help you gain capital or your business. Our customers deserve the best! Check out our brand profile and get to know our natural skincare brand.

Did You Know?

In 2021, Lady Vwb Nature LLC was the first small business featured in Huami Magazine, sourced out of Cleveland, Ohio

www.ladyvwbnature.com


We May Wish, But God Has A Plan A Letter From The Editor

Modern technology, such as the internet and smart devices, has changed the way consumers shop for everyday necessities. Everything from groceries to televisions, tires, medications, and patio furniture can be purchased directly from a smartphone or computer. Foot traffic in stores has been greatly reduced, and the Covid 19 pandemic may have played a big role in that also. Anyhow, many retailers have adjusted how they make their products accessible in order for them to survive. As a child, I remember the huge department store catalogs that would come in the mail every year, usually around the Christmas holiday season. I would look at them and prepare my list of items that I wanted before submitting it to my mama. Sometimes I got most of what I wanted, but not always. Still, looking through the catalog and believing that I would get them was very exciting for me. Unfortunately, the catalogs are long gone now and have been replaced by digital ones. Awwwe, technology. I compare those childhood catalog surfing moments to some experiences I have as an adult. I have often tried to plan out my life by creating a wish list for various stages without the assistance of a department store catalog. I have made plans for various things and experiences and made plans on how to acquire and accomplish them. Those plans were submitted to God, and I’m always amazed at what I receive from God in response.

www.huamimagazine.com Terry L Watson

Publisher

Terry L. Watson Ellen Richardson Dorjea’ McClammey Monica Montgomery

Writer Writer Writer Writer

Tamara Smith

Ashleigh Crawley Ron Lam Bernard Smith

Photographer Photographer Photographer

See, I have learned that even though I make plans, God has the final say. What I think is good for me, God knows what is truly best for me. Even in my lowest moments, God has already prepared a path to higher ground for me. And even when I choose to follow my own way, He redirects. I strive to live a better life, a life that is connected to God through obedience and grasping a better understanding of what He desires for me. I admit that I don’t have all the answers, and sometimes I make mistakes. It’s good to know that even when I get off track in life, God’s love never changes.

Terry L. Watson 4

Greensboro, NC 2022 All Rights Reserved


CONTENTS

CHARLESTON

MAY/JUNE 2022

Soaring To The Top

Shawn Harvin

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On The Cover

Will Logics

Crystal Williams

Chosen Flavors Boutique

Aleta Danielle

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Innate Success

Shmeka Gibson

Huami Magazine Cutest Baby

Marrel Gravely Foushee

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Also Featured

J Franklin Along with Lady E Specs, Wood You? Specs has launched a innovated method to sell eyewear. Jacksonville, FL

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Dr. David Banks He is providing noble ideas to manifest success. Learn more about who he is, and what his ministry is about. Nashville, TN

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Pamela Williams She has returned her childhood neighborhood with resources in tow. Learn more about her story. Chicago, IL

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WILL LOGICS

Transportation Consulting & Dispatch Services 6

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By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Crystal Williams Her motto is “It’s a blessing to be blessed with a gift that blesses others”. Current Charleston, SC, resident Crystal R. Williams was born and raised in Greensboro, NC, to the late Valerie JoAnn McCoy Williams and Rufus and Patsy Williams. Crystal is the proud mother of one daughter, Micaiah, and the middle sister of Chiwanda and Cherron, and they are commonly known throughout the Greensboro community as “CRW #123”. Crystal graduated from James B. Dudley Senior High School in 1995 and furthered her education at North Carolina A&T State University. There she acquired a Bachelor of Science degree in Supply Chain Management. In Charleston, Crystal is the owner of WillLogics LLC. Her company offers Transportation Consulting for Small businesses seeking to start a trucking company. She also provides dispatch services for owner-operators and specializes in the Intermodal Industry, transporting containers to and from the South Carolina Ports Authority Systems. Initially, her goal was to utilize her degree and the education she received from NC A&T. However, Crystal shares that her journey has been more interesting than she first imagined. “I had been bullied in Corporate America by someone who was a bit intimidated by my knowledge and the respect the drivers in the industry had for me. I let fear and low self-esteem keep me from believing in myself. When I was given the opportunity to become an Independent Contractor/Consultant in Charleston, I shied away from the opportunity three times. However, I said to myself, “You know your worth, and you know the plans God has for you (Jeremiah 29.11). So, faithfully, I embraced the new opportunity, which started on January 3, 2022,” she says. Crystal says God gave her a unique talent to be patient with drivers and work in the transportation industry for 20 years.

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Because of her obedience and faithfulness, she is now able to see the fruits of her labor. “Being able to help others grow their business and learn to believe in the product they are offering to customers makes this all worth it. I also love grooming truck drivers to take pride in their entrepreneurship as owner-operators,” she says.

“I had been bullied in Corporate America by someone who was a bit intimidated by my knowledge and the respect the drivers in the industry had for me. I let fear and low self-esteem keep me from believing in myself.”

Crystal says her biggest challenge was believing in herself. That can be understandable, but her resume confirms her ability to get the job done. She has worked with notable brands such as Volvo, Michelin, National Tire & Battery, and Samsung. It only makes sense that she could help people succeed in her own community, including small “Mom and Pop” companies. Crystal says her daughter, Micaiah inspires her the most. “She inspires me to live out this dream and never give up because one day it will all be hers. That’s truly all I do this for, my well-being and her livelihood,” she says. “I battle with a chronic illness, Rheumatoid Arthritis, daily. I often told myself I have got to find a way to make a living that doesn’t put a lot of strain on my joints and will ensure Micaiah will be able to live happily ever after with me and after I am gone. Having a daughter who has become my confidant and friend pushes me even harder so that she’s always proud of her mom. As an African American woman, she will know there isn’t an industry in this world that we can’t conquer. I can’t drive a semi-truck yet, but I surely can dispatch one.” Her advice to others who may follow a path as she has is simple. “Believe in yourself, believe in your Godgiven talent, and know that faith is better than fear. Once you make your first phone call asking a broker or customer for their business, know that you just opened the door to a world of opportunities. Don’t be afraid of what will happen next. Stay organized and always be prepared for the next day, the next conversation, and the next opportunity. Also, stay organized and write everything down and always speak with confidence. You got this!” Currently, Crystal is assisting small companies in the Charleston, SC, area with starting up their trucking companies. She also assists owner-operators with their local dispatch needs and offers consultations with local dispatchers. This also involves contacting brokers, negotiating rates, and helping drivers navigate through the process of what happens after they obtain their operating authority. There are also plans for Will Logics to have its own truck on the road soon. To learn more about Will Logics, please contact them directly. h

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The Mobile Eyewear Experience Lady E Specs & Wood You? Specs by J. Franklin By Monica Montgomery Photos Provided by The Mobile Eyewear Experience

The fashion industry is constantly changing, and entrepreneurs like Erika Hendrix and James Smith are always looking for new and better ways to give customers what they want. Erika Hendrix wore glasses for years, but she could no longer wear contacts after a stroke in her left eye. Erika discovered that wearing glasses was an outlet for her creative side. “My glasses are the one fashion accessory that I’m very unreserved about. I wear a lot of bold colors and unique styles. My choice of eyewear allows me to be one hundred percent me!” Like most of us who have become accustomed to online shopping, Erika was a consumer looking for something special when she found Wood You? Specs by J. Franklin. Erika became a repeat customer and came to the attention of owner, designer, and entrepreneur James Smith. “I started this business, Wood You? Specs by J. Franklin, five years ago and never thought it would grow to where it is now,” James shared. “I got into this industry because I’ve always been a fashion-forward kind of guy. People would see me and how I dressed and carried myself and say, ‘Hey, where did you find that?’ When I started posting pictures of the glasses, people all over noticed, including Christian comedian Jonathan Slocomb. He reached out and became my brand ambassador, and things just took off from there,” James explained. James is also someone who mentors other entrepreneurs, specifically in designer eyewear. “I’ve helped several people start their own designer eyewear line, and everyone has enjoyed their individual level of success.”

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Erika was surprised when James reached out to her in 2019 about launching her designer eyewear line. “James sent me a DM and asked had I ever thought about launching my own line of designer frames. I had never thought about it before he suggested it. I never saw myself as a fashion designer, but I know what I like. This was an opportunity for me to share the creative side of myself with the world.” Erika has been the executive pastor at her local church for twenty-six years, and she has worked in the mental health field for nineteen years. These two careers require a great deal of self-sacrifice with little room for self-expression or individual creativity. Launching Lady E. Specs allowed Erika to show a side of her that very few people get to see. So, she decided to go for it. After talking to James and mapping out the Lady E. Specs Eyewear line, she and James went full speed ahead with launching the virtual marketplace for Lady E. Specs. James has helped several other people launch designer eyewear lines, but none with the exuberance and tenacity that he found in Erika. “Erika was excited about the new venture, and it showed in her focus. She took the information and guidance I gave her and put everything she had into making Lady E. Specs a success,” James explains. Erika is a bi-vocational Marketplace Influncer, and James works in full-time ministry. After working together, they found they share a lot of the same ideas about where the industry was and where it could go. Both Erika and James agreed although they were in two different states, they worked well together. It was no surprise that when James was looking for a partner for his next big venture, he called on Erika. “You wouldn’t have known that we didn’t live in the same state. I live in North Carolina, and James lives in Florida. In fact, we didn’t meet in person until we launched The Mobile Eyewear Experience in March of this year,” Erika shared.

www.ladyespecs.com 336-303-9814 14

Although online shopping isn’t new, the pandemic pushed business owners like Erika and James. Brick and mortar businesses were once the standard, but now virtual markets have taken over. Consumers have become accustomed to the luxury of shopping for their favorite items from anywhere. This was the inspiration behind The Mobile Eyewear Experience.


“Since the pandemic, my eyes have been opened to the benefit of giving people the flexibility to choose how they shop,” Erika explained. “My business was launched during the pandemic, and I didn’t think twice about whether I wanted a physical store or a virtual one. I can deliver a quality shopping experience without the overhead and hassle of a brick-and-mortar business. The Mobile Eyewear Experience takes this idea of mobility and flexibility to another level.” Erika and James’s vision is to revolutionize how people shop for glasses. The Mobile Eyewear Experience is a mobile showroom that goes where the customer is. Customers book their custom experience online, and everything comes to you. Most people who wear glasses are used to going to the optometrist and selecting from rows of frames. You look for ones you like that might fit your personality, try them on, and purchase if they fit. “The vision is to bring a customizable luxury experience to you. Customers are free to select from Lady E. Specs designs or Wood You? Specs by J. Franklin, but they also have the option to design their frames. They can choose the style, shape, and materials the frames are made from. Consumers can put their names on their glasses. They can put logos and names of organizations. James explains that there is no limit on the design, and the customer is in control. With The Mobile Eyewear Experience, you will have all your local optometrist’s options. They work with a trusted optometrist who can fill any prescription. Customers can get all the additions to their lenses they would as if they walked into a store. “Some places won’t put lenses in frames they don’t sell because they are worried about damaging them. If the customer sends us the prescription, we will take care of everything. It’s all about convenience. Our goal is to be a one-stop-shop for all their eyewear needs,” James says confidently. There is only one mobile eyewear experience like Lady E and Wood You? Specs by J. Franklin located in Jacksonville, FL, and plans are in the works to launch a second mobile eyewear experience in North Carolina. For now, if you are not located in Florida, you can still have a customizable experience online. New things are hitting the market every day. Vision, planning, and perseverance separate the fly-by-night ideas from those that stand the test of time. With the formula and foundation that Erika Hendrix and James Smith have laid, I have no doubt we will see The Mobile Eyewear Experience all across the country. h

www.jfranklinwoodyouspecs.com 904-595-7351

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CHOSEN FLAVORS BOUTIQUE By Ellen Richardson Photos By Bernard Smith Photography

During the Covid 19 pandemic, many of us found ourselves shopping online. While shopping in local boutiques can have advantages, having everything delivered to your home makes life easy, convenient, and more private. If you are a woman who loathes trying on clothes in public, or if you wish you could have your very own experienced stylist that will leave you feeling more beautiful and confident, you have come to the right place. Former fashion model Aleta Danielle of Upstate, SC, by way of Illinois, has always dreamed of helping women feel stunning and self-assured, regardless of body type or size. While following her dream of owning her own business, this beautiful and classy woman has also made the dreams of many others come true. “For the last couple of decades, I have dreamed about working on the business side of the women’s fashion world,” said Danielle. “While I have modeled women’s clothing for many years, I have always wanted to start a business where other women can feel as beautiful as I do wearing available fashions.”

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Following a mantra of “If you look good, you feel good”, the aspiring entrepreneur is now using her passion for clothing and helping others to clothe women and instill confidence simultaneously. She has launched Chosen Flavors Boutique, an online women’s clothing store that “helps women find their best selves through clothing,” said Danielle. “I have always been complimented on what I wear and how I do my makeup, wear my headscarves, and so much more. This made me realize that other women could be receiving compliments and encouraging words for the same. I knew that Chosen Flavors would be an avenue to accomplish that.” Her boutique is not just an average online store. Instead of searching through a myriad of available products and trying to find something to fit and look good on you, Chosen Flavors offers each client the assistance of a personal stylist. “Like any boutique, there aren’t going to be a lot of flavors, as I call them,” said Danielle. “Each woman who visits this boutique will have the chance to work directly with me to help them decide which flavors of clothing will work for their desire. The best part is real women can wear each outfit, and our available sizes run from small to 4X. Our scope is broad because the truth is, we all may not look like models in the magazines or on social media, and my goal is to give confidence to women of all sizes and body styles.” Before launching Chosen Flavors Boutique, this born business professional had already begun helping women while conducting pop-up shops throughout her local community. “At my pop-up shops, I talked with women about what they like and dislike about their bodies and what kind of clothing they feel confident and comfortable in. They were also able to try on a variety of outfits. That was helpful. I acted as their second set of honest eyes, giving them my thoughts and suggestions. My goal is always to help my clients feel like the beautiful woman God created them to be,” she shares.

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Seeing firsthand the popularity of offering women face-to-face styling has also inspired Danielle to offer a few select online boutique fans a unique opportunity. “For a small fee, anyone living within a local radius in the area, I will come to you and offer up to three select outfits to try on. You can decide if they are the right fit and feel for you,” said Danielle. “The truth is we all lead busy lives, and it can be tedious to go to the mall or spend an hour online trying to find the perfect outfit for occasions such as graduations, date nights, weddings and work events, etc. This opportunity gives you the added value of professional advice and the opportunity to save you time, avoid crowds, and have a personal experience.” Along with launching her feel-good boutique, this fashionista also hopes to expand her Chosen Flavors boutique business into three storefronts within the Upstate, and a few more in different states if God allows. . “I have such a passion for helping women find their hidden beauty. These storefronts will give women of every age a chance to be pampered and styled,” she says. Danielle also hopes to produce fashion shows that will give women an idea of what they would look like in some of her hand-selected pieces. Additionally, plans to have programs teaching young women how to dress for their future success. She shares, “So much emphasis is placed on young girls having a good education for their future success, but many don’t know that what you wear in a work environment is just as important.” With the launch of Chosen Flavors Boutique, Aleta Danielle is positioning herself to be a fashion staple in the Upstate community and worldwide. To learn more about Chosen Flavors Boutique, please visit the social sites below, or call, text, or send an email. h

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“I have always been complimented on what I wear and how I do my makeup, wear my headscarves, and so much more. This made me realize that other women could be receiving compliments and encouraging words for the same. I knew that Chosen Flavors would be an avenue to accomplish that.”

Aleta Danielle

chosenflavorsboutique@gmail.com IG chosenflavorsboutique FB @ChosenFlavors 864-658-2241

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Providing Noble Ideas To Manifest Success By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Dr. David Banks

He has a genuine and compassionate love for God. It was August 0f 1982, and Dr. David Banks had just given his life to Christ. He shares how he struggled with his Christian walk all throughout high school and even while in college. However, despite his struggles, he always believed that his life served a greater purpose, and soon God would reveal what it was. Born and raised in Covington, GA, Dr. Banks is an International Best Selling Amazon Author, collaborating with Les Brown and Dr. Cheryl Wood. He is also the President of Noble Success Strategic Group, LLC. His company serves various notable clients, including Volkswagen, BB&T, Ace Hardware, Office of Family Empowerment, Family Promise, National League of Cities, Urban League, Academy of Allied Health, BlueCross Blue Shield, Chattanooga State, and the Chattanooga Police and Fire Departments. He is also the President of Noble Marriages and the Founder of Global Alliance for Leadership Development. He is manages the popular Facebook Forum, Dr. David Bank’s Noble Tribe. With all of his personal and professional accomplishments, Dr. Banks shares that none of it would be possible without the love and support of his family, that being his wife of 31 years, Slyvia, and three loving children, Caleb, Maiya, and Benjamin.

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10 Books Written By Dr. David Banks

Ebooks “30 Days of Success” “30 Days of Purpose” “30 Days of the Kingdom” “30 Days to a Mountain TOP Mindset” “30 Days to Release your Inner Greatness” Children’s Books “My Daddy’s Coat” “Jada’s Treasure Chest” Marriage Books “Draw Me Close” “30-Day Couple’s Devotional

Today, Dr. Banks is fully walking in his divine purpose and serves as the leader of The Empowerment Embassy. His ministry he says, operates with a mandate to Empower Kings to Flow and Reign in their domain. “I had been in the counseling field for over twenty years. In Sept. 2003, I was called away for a time of fasting and prayer and instructed to plant a church. I was reluctant at first, but I submitted to His will. I started the ministry with my bride and three kids and was also given further instructions. In 2005, after digesting a book written by Dr. Myles Munroe called “Rediscovering the Kingdom”, God revealed to me the purpose of my ministry, which was to empower leaders to flow in their giftedness and reign in eight fields,” he says. These fields are Home, Business, Education, Government, Medical, Ministry, The Arts, and Region. “I realized that I’m a Kingdom citizen made in the image of God, created to function as a king and being given a Kingdom by God to establish in the earth.” In March 2020, Dr. Banks made the decision to convert his ministry to a total virtual platform. He now has partners across the United States, and in Australia, The Netherlands, the Philippines, Zambia, Africa, and Lagos Nigeria. Dr. Banks has worked in the field of personal growth and professional development for over twenty years and specializes in Relationship Development, Success Development, Leadership Development, Kingdom Intelligence, Motivation, and Purpose Discovery. He holds a PhD in Psychology, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family. He is a Certified Behavioral Analysis Trainer, Wholeness Coach, and Leadership Strategist. He is a Certified Professional Career Coach, Certified Professional Trainer, Speaker, and Coach with the John Maxwell Team. Dr. Banks also serves a the Director of Leadership and Professional Development for the City of Chattanooga, TN. He has expertise in Relationships, Leadership Development, Motivation, and Purpose Discovery. When asked what he loves most about what he does, Dr. Banks says the ability to live out his purpose. “I enjoy empowering people to discover their original design for them to succeed in personal and professional life. I also enjoy being able to shift individuals’ natural intelligence to Kingdom Intelligence and educating them about the Kingdom of God,” he shares. He says that Dr. Myles Munroe impacted his life and ministry more than anything else has. “When I met Dr. Myles Munroe in 2010, we instantly connected in our spirit. He made it clear that he wanted to assist me in fulfilling my Kingdom mandate,” he says. While Dr. Banks’ journey has been enjoyable and fulfilling, he says there are a few things he would change about it if given a chance. “I would focus more on my mandate instead of trying to please people. Instead of going to church in the four walls, I would have focused on being the church and made sure I spent more time with my bride and my family. I would have also read more books and stretched my faith to do more God-sized projects,” he says. His advice for those who may follow a similar path in life as he as is simple. “Discover your purpose and surround yourself with a key team. Also, clarify your mandate, keep pressing beyond your comfort zone, and stay focused.”

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Futuristically, Dr. Banks plans to expand his business, Noble Success Strategic Group, LLC, to a global level. He also plans to custom design his own bow ties, and create a strategy to impact his city. There are also plans to develop a Humanitarian project in Pakistan. Personally, Dr. Banks is preparing to run a Half Marathon. A self-described avid reader, he has set his goals of reading a book a month and writing an ebook. As if that wasn’t enough, he is also planning to create an online course. To learn more about Dr. David Banks, please visit his website.

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Dr. Shmeka Gibson Innate Success Corp www.innatesuccess.com

Photos Provided By Jamaal E. Photogrphy and Carolyn Castillo Dr. Shmeka Gibson is an author, international speaker, business owner, and college professor. Shmeka is the founder and CEO of Innate Success Corp. Innate Success Corp. provides various business options, tools, and resources needed to develop business owners, organize business practices, enhance individual leader traits, and promote potential business leaders. Innate Success Core, which is one of our fivesubsidiary businesses, provides contract services to organizations in need of organizational infrastructure development and program management, research, and application to funding opportunities and data analytics. Another popular business under the Innate Success model is I.S. Cares which houses the Mentorship Program. Innate Success Corp. partners with Dress for Success Memphis to implement the “Successful Women in Business” Mentorship Program. The program utilizes the Changing the Mindset Concept© developed by Innate Success that implements a framework to help women in business and entrepreneurship. Innate Success developed and launched the program as a pilot in Fall 2020, and with the help of Dress for Success Memphis, the program flourished and now has an organizational home. The program’s goal is to help small businesses develop or enhance effective and sustainable business practices. The program participants were not required to have an established business, but if they had the time, desire and commitment, the program would help them achieve their goal of entrepreneurship. The 6-month business mentorship program offers intensive business, legal and financial consulting and resources to help businesses upskill and upscale their business. This program is offered to start-up, grassroots, and small business owners with an operating budget of less than $250,000 annually. Presently, this program has helped over 46 African American business leaders and raised over $75,000 in grant funding to support the work. The goal is to help these businesses create an organizational infrastructure and enhance stability to upscale the economy and communities. h

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By Ellen Richardson Photos by Pamela Williams

As someone who has always enjoyed telling comeback stories, I have to say that I am excited to tell the story of Beacon Hill native Pamela Williams. This inspiring woman and current Founder and Executive Director of Beacon Hill Community Services, Inc. has spent her entire life giving back to others. “I grew up in a small community on the west side of Chicago Heights called Beacon Hill,” said Williams. “During my time growing up here, this community was so close-knit, and everyone took care of one another. My neighbors and I were so willing to give back to each other.” At the age of 16, Williams began serving as a tutor for the Community Education Service Center. “The organization purchased a home in Beacon Hill where they began a tutoring program and other educational services for young kids inside the community. I worked as a tutor for third and fourth graders who were struggling within our local elementary school, eventually moving to work within the social services realm. Unlike most teenagers, I never flipped burgers or worked in any of the traditional jobs that most teenagers do. Instead, I pursued jobs that allowed me to give back to my community.” Although Williams’ heart for her community would begin to pave a road toward a successful future, the newest heart of Beacon Hill would have to overcome what many of us do – a roadblock on the pathway of life. “I became a first-time mother at the age of 19, and by the time that I was 22-yearsold, I was an unwed single mother of three children. Those new responsibilities quickly plunged me into poverty,” said Williams. “I was on welfare, receiving Section 8 housing benefits and food stamps.” Despite being in a difficult situation, Williams continued to let her determination and faith in God lead her toward turning her life around for both herself and her three boys. This “never say die spirit” kept Williams on a challenging road for the next ten years and gave her the knowledge and experience that she would need to follow her God-given destiny. “For ten years, I was working menial/low-paying jobs such as answering phones and being a clerk typist. However, the benefit was that I stayed in the social services world. I may have been at the bottom of the ladder, but I took time to soak in everything that I could to learn about social services. That is where I received my boots on the ground education,” she says. After years of struggle and lack, she began to see things turn around. “At the age of 29, I wrote my first rent check, and things began to fall into place. I am so grateful to have gone through what I did because it allows me to relate to the people that I now serve. I’m not just talking the talk, but I’ve walked the walk. I now have empathy and compassion for people who struggle as I did. I can meet them where they are and provide them with the same help and compassion that I received while working my way up,” she shared. As Williams continued on her journey, she would eventually give birth to an organization that would give back to the same neighborhood that had once supported her. “I started Beacon Hill Community Services, Inc. on a whim,” said Williams. “I was only planning to have one event, but God had other plans.”

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After attending her high school reunion in 1999, and spending time reminiscing with other Beacon Hillers about the way things were, Williams decided to develop an annual event known as the Beacon Hill Family Reunion (BHFR). The first event was a dinner designed to reunite past and present residents and bring resources into a declining neighborhood. It was also attended by 98 former neighborhood residents from 22 states. “Witnessing this miracle confirmed what we once had in Beacon Hill was real,” said Williams. This resurgence of hope quickly grew into an annual reunion event that started with one dinner and grew into a whole weekend of events. Everything is free to the public and includes a parade and a Family Fun Day in the park where attendees can enjoy free food and entertainment. There is a career resource booth, free dental and health care screenings, haircuts for children, and a book bag and school supply giveaway. “We are now approaching our twelfth year, and more former residents from all over the country are attending,” said Williams. Soon Williams would convert the annual event into a nonprofit organization. “I had already been working and had years of experience in social services and workforce development. So I decided to marry my career with the endeavor to give back to the neighborhood that had raised me,” she says. After launching Beacon Hill Community Services, Inc. in 2010, Williams used her experience to assist the organization in serving the entire Chicago Southland area. “Due to the support from people from all over the country, we are able to provide over 200 food baskets to families in need throughout the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Last Christmas, we gave out over 300 toys to kids in need through our Toys for Tots campaign. We also deliver food baskets to the elderly through Chicago’s Southland and help residents find jobs. Even more, we provide free clothing and anything else needed to take care of the people who live in this community. I always tell people that we are a small organization with a big mission,” she said. To find out more about Pamela Williams or Beacon Hill Community Services, Inc, please visit their website or contact her directly.

Pamela Williams

Beacon Hill Community Services

www.beaconhillcommunityservices.org

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MAGAZINE

Cutest Baby

Marrel Gravely Foushee

The son Sunny Gravely Foushee and Marrel Foushee

To submit photographs to be placed in the Huami Magazine Cutest Baby feature, please send a detailed email to huami.cutestbaby@gmail.com

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Charleston - May/June 2022


Public Service: A Path to Destiny By Monica Montgomery Photos Provided by Tory Bass Photography

Whether it’s in his church, his local community, or as a North Carolina State Trooper, Master Trooper Shawn Harvin’s commitment to public service shows in a big way. As a young man, Shawn knew he was destined to help others. His question was, how would that look? Born and raised in Greensboro, N.C., Shawn attended James B. Dudley High school. When Shawn was a student, the student population was predominantly black. As a student, Shawn believes he and his classmates weren’t given the support needed to explore their career options post-high school. “I always knew I wanted to work in some public service area, but I had no idea of how to get started or who to talk to,” Shawn explained. “Our school counselors weren’t effectively guiding us in the area of career development when I was in school.” Although grateful for his education, Shawn admits that African American students were not being prepared and informed in the same way their counterparts were. When Greensboro’s first black Police Chief, Sylvester Daughtry, visited Dudley high school, Shawn’s vision of the future began to take shape. “It just happened that when I was trying to figure out what public service looked like for me and where to start, I was given a little divine help. The first black chief of police, Sylvester Daughtry, came and spoke at our school. I was impressed and excited. This was someone who looked like me, and there he was, the chief of police. As a young black male, it said that if he could do it, I could do it too. That was a very important moment for me.” Shawn admits as he looks back that his excitement faltered when the realities of life hit. “I wish we would have had what students today have in the way of counselors and mentors. We needed people willing to expose us to all that life had to offer beyond high school. That way, I could have had a clear plan of what I wanted to do. What we got instead was the pressure to graduate. It was all they focused on, ‘get out of school, get out of school,’ and that’s what I did. Without knowing what my next steps should have been, my dreams were just dreams. My reality was I needed to earn money to live.” After graduating from high school in 1992, Shawn says he worked a few small jobs. When first daughter Jonquil Smith was born, Shawn knew it was time to get serious. His serious first job was with Cone Mill in Greensboro, N.C. “I was just happy to have a steady paycheck at that point. I had a new set of adult responsibilities, and they couldn’t wait for me to figure out the future. Having children has a way of making you grow up fast,” Shawn shared. Shawn worked at the mill for three to four years, but just as he was becoming complacent, he was reminded that life had more to offer, and so did he. “It was a good job, with great benefits, and I was making decent money, allowing me to take care of my daughter. But I wasn’t following my passion for public service,” Shawn confessed. “My mom didn’t want me to settle, and she would regularly remind me that working at the mill for the rest of my life what not it. That was not a career; it was just a job. Her wisdom helped get me back on track.” Holding tight to his dreams and his mother’s words of wisdom in his ear, Shawn explored different avenues that led to the path he was meant to follow. While at Cone Mills, Shawn joined the in-house fire brigade. It was just the spark he needed to pursue the destiny he believed awaited him. “I applied to the Greensboro Fire Department several times but kept getting denied. Then a friend told me about the BLET (Basic Law Enforcement Training) program. Becoming a firefighter was my first choice, but law enforcement was also a way that I could serve my community, so I went for it.” On the advice of his friend Shawn, sponsored by A&T State University, he took the BLET course at Rockingham Community College. According to the North Carolina States Attorney’s website, The Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) Curriculum is designed to prepare entry-level individuals with the cognitive and physical skills needed to become certified law enforcement officers in North Carolina (NC DOJ, Basic law enforcement training 2019).

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“From the moment I started as a police officer, I knew it was for me,” Shawn explains with a big smile. “Sure, there were many other public service jobs out there, but I was hooked after my first taste of law enforcement.” Not every member of Shawn’s family was as sure about the path he had taken, but still supportive. “My mother was worried about me becoming a police officer initially. She tried to get me to look into a position at the post office and everything. My father was a stonemason, and my brother worked construction, so this was totally different.” Although Shawn met his wife at A&T, they lost touch after he left. They reconnected in at the end of 2002 and were married in June of 2005. From the start of his journey, the love and support of his family are what has kept him going. “My wife and my daughters are everything to me. I am a man of faith, and it matters to have a praying wife to cover you every time you step out the door. In law enforcement, nine times out of ten, we see the worst of the worst. Death, tragedy, and people at their absolute worst and it’s hard. So, you have to have, in my opinion, a strong faith in God and the support of a loving family. Without those, I don’t think I would be sane.”

After completing the BLET, Shawn started his career as a law enforcement officer on the campus of A&T State University in 1995. “I was grateful for my job at the mill, but I knew I had to do something to build a future for myself and my daughter. Taking the BLET was a step in the right direction,” Shawn explained. It’s been said that when you are on the right path for your life, you will find everything you need for the journey along the way. While working at A&T State, Shawn first met his wife, Keffney, a student at the University at the time. Years later, they would meet again and marry, but she says she knew that he was her husband from the first moment they met. Once Shawn started in law enforcement, he knew that education was the way to move forward. While working at A&T as a law enforcement officer, Shawn went to school at Guilford Technical Community College, where he earned his associate’s degree in Criminal Justice Security in 1998. He received his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Homeland Security from Liberty University in 2016, and his master’s in Criminal Justice with a minor in Homeland Security from Cumberland University, Kentucky, in 2018. “In high school, all I wanted to do was get out. When I worked at the mill, I learned that I wouldn’t get far with only a high school diploma. Once I started at A&T, I set my sights on what would move me forward in my chosen career path… more education.” As Shawn continued to study, he took advantage of opportunities along his path. In 2000, Shawn left A&T and started at the Thomasville Police Department in Thomasville, N.C. After a year there, Shawn went to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). In 2002, the law enforcement side of the NC DMV merged with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. Shawn officially became a trooper in 2006.

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Shawn and his family find themselves walking a fine line in the recent clash between civilians and law enforcement. It is hard to celebrate him as an officer when there seems to always be a negative connotation around that uniform. As a black male and a law enforcement officer, you would think he would struggle between the two worlds. Shawn’s perspective is this… “You have to know what you are out there for. My job is to serve the people, even those who don’t want me to. I still have to and want to help them. I treat every situation and individual with respect because that is what we all deserve. It can be difficult at times because I still have young daughters who hear negative things at school or in the neighborhood. That’s why we talk with our children and we communicate regularly. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that my children know who their father is and that I love them.” He also said his family can’t wear any paraphernalia outside of the home in fear of putting us in harm’s way. As Master Trooper Shawn Harvin walks his destiny path, he continues to honor God, himself, his family, and people have noticed. Shawn received the North Carolina 2021 State Trooper of the year award and has been featured on Fox 8 News “Highlighting Heroes.” Shawn works with several community service groups, including his church, True Salvation Christian Fellowship, and the Masons. He is a certified EMS for Guildford County, and he teaches law enforcement at several local community colleges. It’s clear that Shawn loves what he does, but he is realistic about the future. “I’m forty-nine years old, soon to be fifty. I know I won’t be able to do what I do and keep up this pace forever, but I will do whatever I can to make a difference while I can. When I retire, I will focus on my other passion, photography.” Like with every other thing Shawn puts his hands to, he is no slouch as a photographer either. His photos have been featured on the Food Network channel, Essence Magazine, and MunaLuci Bride Magazine. Some of his pictures will also be featured at Massanutten Ski Lodge Resort. “I want to build something for my daughters. Something they can be proud of and that will help carry them forward. Something that will help them as they discover their path to destiny.” h


Charleston - May/June 2022

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Charleston - May/June 2022