Huami Magazine Charlotte July/August 2022

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C H A R LOT T E

July/August 2022 Volume 4 Issue 8

I’m Ready For What’s Next

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The Benefits and Burdens of Your Assignment A Letter From The Editor

With the onset of each new day, there is always a list of things for me to accomplish waiting for me. I prepare my day based on the available hours; you can probably say that I am routine. I would beg to differ and counter by saying I work better in blocks of time and with a plan in place. I have been fortunate to learn that I don’t efficiently function without one. That’s just me. On the other hand, I am grateful for having something to look forward to doing. While often things may appear overwhelming, I can rest in the fact that God has chosen me for this experience. This is my assignment. It’s not a “why me Lord” question that I ask; instead, it’s a “why not me Lord” affirmation expressed. There are several ways to understand or comprehend God’s assignment upon us. We can face it head-on and work diligently to complete the mission or not. What I find so fascinating is that when God initially blessed me with purpose, I wasn’t shown what the end would be like. He didn’t brief me on the events that would occur, and I must say, there have been some good and some bad ones. If I have learned anything thus far, I know that the same pattern will likely repeat itself at some time or another. Still, once I tapped into God’s presence and listened for His voice, I realized it was time for me to get moving. And that’s what I did. God also gives us the freedom to ignore our assignments. While it’s not wise, running from what God calls us into only delays our destiny and purpose. God’s word says His yoke is easy to bear, and the burden He gives is light. Because I believe His word, my desire to complete my mission is ignited. Even more, I understand that I am not alone in the fight, and someone else is actually carrying the bulk of my load. All I have to do is put one foot in front of the other and move. The blessing in our assignments is revealed to us once our attitude about the assignment is changed. We can embrace the assignment and trust the process or ignore it. Remember that God gives us a choice. He also blesses us with life; with that gift comes a plan. I encourage you to tap into what God has assigned you to do and enjoy a life full of purpose and promise.

Terry L. Watson

www.huamimagazine.com Terry L Watson

Publisher

Dorjae McClammey Monica Montgomery Ellen Richardson

Writer Writer Writer

Todd Youngblood Tamara Smith Photographer Still Shots Photography Photographer Tory Bass Photographer Todd Youngblood Photography Howard Gaither Photography huami.charlotte@gmail.com (336)340-7844 General Inquiries terry.editor@yahoo.com Mykel Media Company LLC Greensboro, NC 2022 All Rights Reserved

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JULY/AUGUST 2022

CHARLOTTE EDITION

CONTENTS

New Zion Worship Center

Stephen Robinson

On The Cover

I’m Ready For What’s Next Jeff Broadie

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YMA Financial Group

Joseph Wallace

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Little Miss Juneteenth

Sarayiah Johnson

Huami Magazine Cutest Baby

Love Monae’ Anthony

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Also Featured

Antonia Boayke Learn how she has created a space designed just for moms. Meet the founder of MomSpaceCo. Baltimore, MD

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Carla Lathan It takes a village to change the outlook for others. Learn more about the founder of Beyond The Barriers LLC. Milwaukee, WI

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Sawand Belcher This young man is committed to making change in his community. Learn more about how he is taking action. Greensboro, NC

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By Monica Montgomery Photos Provided by Todd Youngblood Jeffery Broadie is a thirty-year veteran in the barbering and beauty industry. At age thirtyfive, Broadie exchanged his banking business suits for a barber’s apron and has never looked back. At sixty-five, he’s built more than just a business. Broadie has created a launch pad for anyone serious about entrepreneurship and ready to go to the next level. Broadie worked in banking, but barbering was always his dream. “In 1991, my company transferred me from Ashville, North Carolina, to Charlotte. I knew that if I was going to go after my dream, that was the perfect time to make a fresh start,” Broadie explained. Jeff’s career change was fueled in equal parts by desire and a businessman’s ability to discern an excellent opportunity to offer quality service to a flooded market. “Anyone who works a regular nine to five knows the struggle of getting a haircut after work. It’s almost impossible, and you must go in on a Saturday if you miss them. This particular day, I got to the shop at 6:00 A.M. The shop opened at 8:00 A.M. The barber didn’t arrive until 9:30-10:00 A.M. By the time I left, it was after 1:00 P.M. On top of that, I got the wrong haircut!” Broadie said with a frustrated eye roll. “Eventually, I bought a pair of clippers and started cutting my own hair. The job transfer presented me with a choice. Do I continue to chase a dollar in the corporate world or do what I really wanted to do? I made my choice, and I’ve never looked back.” In February 1992, Broadie started barber college at Black World Barber college. After finishing barber college, Broadie was ready to pursue his dream and his purpose. “In 1994, we bought Just for You, a barber and beauty salon, from an owner dealing with health issues. We decided to keep the name, so if we sold it, the buyer would inherit the recognizable name and reputation, making it easy to sell.” But almost thirty years later, the Just for You moniker dawns seven salons and a beauty and barber college in the Charlotte area. It’s safe to say they won’t be selling any time soon.

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“We’ve built Just for You into a brand that represents quality hair care for the family,” Broadie explains. “This was accomplished by teaching, training, and hiring barbers and stylists who are not only talented but who can handle diverse clientele and have a vision and plans of their own.” In his new book Beyond The Chair: Dare to Go! Broadie shares his key to success as a businessman and entrepreneur. “There is nothing wrong with being a barber or a stylist, but I want to help people see that there is so much more to this industry than cutting hair,” Broadie says passionately. “My goal is to teach people how to invest in themselves and take ownership of their dreams. Don’t just work in a shop. Own it!” Succeeding in any industry has its advantages and its obstacles. Most importantly, Broadie’s book doesn’t sugarcoat the work it takes to reach your goals. Early in his journey, Just for You had its share of trials. “If God had shown me what I would go through to get to this point, I don’t know if I would have stepped out. It was a hard road, and if it were not for my faith, I wouldn’t have had the strength to push through,” Broadie says, referring to a major setback they experienced when opening the Just for You Beauty and Barber school. “There is competition in any business arena. That’s to be expected. I guess what surprised me was the lengths to which people will go,” Broadie says with a chuckle. “We opened the school inside the mall, about two miles from the white school.” In 1997 there were only two schools in the area for barbering, and neither of them taught students how to meet the needs of African Americans. This was the need Broadie and his partners were trying to address.

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“We acquired a loan, hired a contractor, and went to the mall manager to find out what permits and paperwork we needed to begin construction. The manager told us we didn’t need a permit because we were under the building licensing and permits of the mall. We started building in March and were scheduled to open in July 1998. Two days before the school was scheduled to open, I received a call from the city pulling the plug. They said I needed a permit to build out the space inside the mall. They told us not only could we not open or accept any students, but we had to tear everything out, get the permit and start over,” Broadie explained. With an eighty-thousand-dollar loan out for the construction of the school, Broadie stood to lose everything. If not for his business savvy, all would have been lost. “By the grace of God, when the mall manager told me we didn’t need a permit to start construction, I had the foresight to say, ‘Put it in writing.’ Because I had what we were told in writing, the mall had to tear everything out and build it themselves. It did cause a six-month delay in opening, but it could have been much worse.”

Just For You Styling Academy

www.justforyoubarberstyling.com 704-921-2889

Broadie says his book, Beyond The Chair: Dare to Go! He emphasizes the four things that have gotten him to where he is today: God, Family, Integrity, and Business Savvy. “Your name is everything!” Broadie explains. “You have to have integrity in everything you do. Your clients have to trust you. When they do, they return and bring other people with them. That’s how you grow your business.” In his book, Broadie says he challenges those who dream of entrepreneurship not to limit themselves but to be courageous and step out. One way he is helping operators take the next step towards ownership is by giving them a stake in the salon. “I pay attention and select people I trust. People who are responsible and reliable. Stylists who think beyond the chair offer them a 49% stake in the salon. I hope they won’t stop there, but they will go out and start their own salons and build enterprises that will give others opportunities. That’s what it’s all about for me. Giving people, people that look like me, the opportunity to build something they can be proud of.”

Copies of Beyond The Chair by Jeff W. Broadie Can be purchased at www.amazon.com 11


Broadie is taking his own advice and continuing to grow and stretch as he works to grow the barber and beauty industry Beyond The Chair. “Our school trains quality instructors all over the state, and I have been called on as a consultant to help start other schools.” Another way Broadie and Just for You is giving back is they have started a training program, the first one like it in the state for youth ages sixteen to seventeen in detention centers. “These are juveniles who have gotten into trouble. By teaching them barbering, they will leave with a skill set that can be a determining factor as to whether or not they return to the juvenile system or go on to live productive lives.” Broadie explains. The one thing Jeff Broadie if there is one thing he hopes those who read his book walk away with, is this. Play Chess, not Checkers. “Checkers is a basic game of survival. It allows you to skip steps, and if you get blocked, you can move backward. Chess, on the other hand, is about planning, growing, building, and most importantly, you can only move forward.” h

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MomSpace&Co, Inc Antonia is Boayke of Baltimore, MD describes herself as a caring and fun-loving person. She is a wife and mother to three beautiful kids. Amongst all of her responsibilities, she has enjoyed a career as a professional hairstylist for almost 12 years. As life has continued to happen for Antonia, many opportunities have also presented themselves to her. One is the host of a podcast called MomSpace&co. “I am a hairstylist turned podcast host. I love to laugh and enjoy good company, but resetting and self-care are vital in my everyday life. MomSpace&co provides a platform for me to do that,” she shares. A mother, wife, and everything else in between, Antonia says her passion for helping others provided a path to helping mothers. She shares, “Having a village is vital for our children and the mom. Our mission is to assist in each phase of motherhood by providing resources, sharing our knowledge, and making connections throughout the community.” The podcast started in 2017 with a focus on bringing moms together to have the “taboo” conversations about motherhood and life. “We’re a nonprofit organization that moms exactly where they are; in motherhood, business, and through conversation and community. Antonia is inspired mainly by people, and she is always looking for opportunities to serve, offer solutions, and give back.

By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Antonia Boakye

Having a village is vital for our children and the mom. Our mission is to assist in each phase of motherhood by providing resources, sharing our knowledge, and making connections throughout the community.

Antonia says she loves what she does and wouldn’t change a thing about the process to get to this stage in her life. “Coming from a place where I had little to no experience operating a business put me in a position to learn and grow personally and professionally. It has helped me to become who I am today,” she says. As she looks toward the future, Antonia says she plans to receive whatever God has in store for her. “I pray it’s more meaningful connections and continued support from our community for our mission. I also hope to grow more,” she says. Her advice to others sitting on a dream or facing a similar path that she has traveled is simple. “Don’t give up. It seems so cliche, but persistence and diligence will get you where you once dreamed of seeing yourself. It’s no easy road, but it’s worth it. Also, don’t forget to celebrate yourself and the milestones you reach, both big and small!” To learn more about Antonia Boayke and MomSpace&co, please visit their website. h

www.momspaceco.com

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Carla Lathan Beyond The Barriers LLC

By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Carla Lathan Carla Lathan is obsessed with leveling the playing field and committed to serving her community. At 38 years old, she is a proud mother to a beautiful multi-talented 17-year-old daughter. She was raised as the middle child by Ollie Lathan, who she describes as being very resilient, an attribute that Carla clearly identifies with. The Milwaukee, WI native shares how in 2018, she embarked on an entrepreneurial journey that allowed her to center her vision on identifying community barriers and developing a curriculum that allows individuals a chance at growth. Carla is the founder of Beyond the Barriers LLC, a positioning and career development firm that promotes personal development. It also provides soft skills training, resume building, time management, financial literacy, social and emotional awareness, employment etiquette, interview preparation services, and strategic management services for small business owners. “Beyond the Barriers LLC is committed to enhancing conceptual capacity for long-term safety through love, stability, training, assessments, and employment, for the development of families and parental growth,” Carla explains. Building a business may look effortless from the outside. For Carla, she shares that starting a business after years of working at a non-profit level taught her that the early stages of entrepreneurship were anything but transparent. “I didn’t have the benefits of resources or funding, only a determination to succeed. I began learning more about housing, job disparity, and program stipulations that limit the ability of people to take full advantage of resources. I focused on what motivates the community towards growth and learned that support, facilitation, mental health awareness, compassion, and resilience contribute to the best outcomes for community growth,” she says.

“I didn’t have the benefits of resources or funding, only a determination to succeed. I began learning more about housing, job disparity, and program stipulations that limit the ability of people to take full advantage of resources.”

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Academically, Carla possesses the necessary tools to assist with accomplishing her goals. She has a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice, and a masters degree in Public Administration, with an emphasis in Program Management and Non-Profit Security. Her public service involvement is validated with over ten years of experience in social and community advocacy, working directly with families regarding incarceration and rehabilitation. She has also interned with the juvenile court system and worked as a facilitator for secondary placement homes. Her list of certifications includes Certified Community Respite Worker, Cognitive Behavior Intervention Facilitator, Compassion and Resilience Facilitator, Notary Public, and African American Birth Work Doula. Additionally, Carla has served as the Adult Service Director at Silver Spring Neighborhood center since 2018. In this role, she has hosted a variety of community collaborations and secured subsidized employment opportunities. She has also provided health care training and certification courses to the community. As a Program Director, Carla has worked through the Transform Milwaukee Jobs Program, which is federally funded. Carla says she loves exposing herself to be able to retrofit growth in her community. She wants to be a voice for people who feel like they’re not being heard. “I love meeting new people and meeting people where they are in life,” she says. She is inspired by her daughter, whom she describes as being carefree. “She reminds me daily how to be a better version of myself. I’m inspired by her understanding that while everyone is created differently, we can all learn from one another,” she says. Moving forward into the future, Carla shares how she hopes to continue impacting the lives of community members. “I have plans to embrace more community collaborations that encourage growth. I desire to create avenues in our school systems that allow learning and prospects of stability for youth. I also plan to strengthen my social media awareness and following,” she says. To learn more about Beyond The Barriers LLC, please visit their website. h

Carla Lathan www.beyondthebarriers.com

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Baby MAGAZINE

Cutest Baby

Love Monae’ Anthony The daughter of Alneshia Torian

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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Sawand Belcher This Is Me Taking Action By Back the Block

By Monica Montgomery Photos Provided by Tory Bass Sawand L. Belcher is the founder of Belcher & Belcher Properties, LLC, also known as Buy Triad Homes. Sawand and his wife LaMicah have five children, with number six on the way. Don’t be fooled by his easy-going casual demeanor; Sawand is serious about leveling the real estate field. He makes buying and selling real estate look easy. After building his company from the ground up, Sawand is ready to show just how easy it is to own our future. His real estate coaching services, This Is Me Taking Action, will show you step by step how to navigate the world of real estate, and you’ll be making a profit in no time. Sawand learned early in life that anything worth having is worth working for. “I’ve always been a great salesman. I remember when I was in sixth grade, my dad told me I couldn’t have something. But he said I could have whatever I wanted if I had my own money. So, I went over to his computer and came up with the catchy phrase, Wan’s Lawn & Dog Sitting Service. I made some flyers and started cutting people’s grass. I did that all the way through high school.” Sawand went to college at North Carolina A&T, where he studied political science, but in his senior year, his life took a new direction. “I loved my time at A&T. I studied political science not because it was my passion but because my parents wanted me to. My aunt, Hon. Romonda Belcher was the first African American female judge in Iowa. My parents wanted me to follow in her footsteps. But in my senior year, I found out I was going to be a father. That changed everything.”

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Sawand, always the entrepreneur, bought his first car by buying auto parts online and selling them locally. With him and his partner expecting their first child he had to shift things into high gear. “I left A&T fourteen credit hours short of my degree and got a job. I had new responsibilities, and those came first. That’s just how God made me,” Sawand explained. “Since I was familiar with car parts, and always liked cars, I went to a car dealership and applied to become a car salesman. I was hired on the spot.”

“We were going out to bars and clubs and spending the money just as fast as I could make it. The finance manager told me I should find a place to put my money. He suggested I buy a house.”

With mentorship from his GM and sales manager, Sawand did well. Selling cars came easy to Sawand, and in less than seven months, he had made over $100,000.00. “I had an amazing leadership team at Crown Honda. Scott Bisbee was my GM, and Mike Hilton was my sales manager. They were teaching and mentoring, not just me but everyone. I learned so much about business and sales from them, which served me well.” The next step in Sawand’s journey would take him from making money, which he found easy to do, to having and investing money. “So, there I was, making money hand over fist, and one day one of the financial managers at the dealership asked me what I was doing with my money. I told him I was spending it,” Sawand said, laughing at his younger self. “We were going out to bars and clubs and spending the money just as fast as I could make it. The finance manager told me I should find a place to put my money. He suggested I buy a house. I had every excuse in the book. ‘I have bad credit,’ ‘I don’t have any money,’ ‘Nobody will lend a young black man money.’ You know those kinds of things. But the sales manager told me to go to the bank and at least see what they would give me.” To Sawand’s surprise, they offered him a $120,00.00 loan. He didn’t take the first offer, but that helped him see that getting a loan and buying a home wasn’t so far out of reach. As a surprise for his girlfriend, Sawand purchased their first house. But the surprise was on him. “I wanted to show LaMicah that I was ready to be responsible, so I surprised her with a house. She surprised me by saying she didn’t want to move in. I tried to back out of the sale but couldn’t, so we ended up renting the house out. It wasn’t a lot at first, but it got me thinking. This was when I got the concept of real estate investing.” Sales-based employment means that you get a percentage of what you sell if you make a sale. This means if you make a sale, you get paid, but if you don’t, you don’t get paid. Sawand realized that with his rental property, he had regular income regardless of what kind of sales day he had. “When we bought our second house, we looked at off-market or unlisted properties. LaMicah and I were looking at a house and knocked on the neighbor’s door to see if they had any information on the owner. The woman invited us in and asked us what we thought about her house. We looked at each other and said it was cool, but we were looking for info on the house next door. The woman asked if we would make an offer on her house.”

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By the time the couple left the woman’s house, they had agreed to purchase the woman’s home for one-third of its market value. Sawand and his family live there to this day. With his new appreciation of being a property owner, Sawand decided to buy another off-market home. “Once we completed renovations on this house, I immediately started looking for the next one. I found a vacant house at the end of the street. I go the house under contract for $45,000. Like the first two, I didn’t have the money. I go to the bank, but this time they turn me down because I have two existing loans out. I had a debt-to-income problem. I started to get depressed because I had contracted to buy this house and couldn’t. So, I went to church. A friend from church, James Cox, said did you know you could sell the paper? I had no clue of what that meant.” Sawand learned that because he had a signed contract on the property, he could sell it to someone who had cash looking to buy properties. He shares, “I sold the paper for $1,000.00 nonrefundable upfront and was promised another $4,000.00 at closing. I made $5,000.00 and didn’t spend a dime. I realized I didn’t need money to buy real estate. I was like, ‘I’m in!’” Sawand has purchased over three hundred houses now. One thing Sawand says that has helped him find his path is his faith and trust in God. “When I started making money from real estate, a co-worker from the dealership said I should quit my job. I wasn’t ready to take that risk. But three weeks later, I decided it made sense. Yet it was still a difficult decision. I worried about failing. I didn’t want to let my family or myself down. I knew I could depend on my job, but I had to trust the one who made me.” Sawand used his faith as the foundation for running his business which led to financial, personal, and spiritual growth. As his business grew, Sawand understood the need for training. He was a great salesperson and was making great strides in the real estate market, but what he didn’t know was how to run a business. “I took a course from Carlos Rayez out of Arizona. He taught me how to organize, when to hire, who to hire, and basically how to run a successful and profitable business. Now I have ten amazing employees, and we work well together as we move the business forward.” Over the years, Sawand had learned a lot about the real estate business and mastered strategies and skills that helped him succeed. His goal now is to pass that on. “My program, This is Me Taking Action, is about helping people take ownership of their lives and their future one block at a time. The cost of the program is so low because I have a target audience—young, Gifted, and Black. I want young black men to know they don’t just have to rep their neighborhood. They can literally own it. We can create generational wealth today for ourselves and those around us,” he says. h

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By Monica Montgomery Photos Provided by Joseph Wallace Joseph Wallace is the founder and CEO of YMA (Young Millionaires Association) Wealth Management Group in Spartanburg, South Carolina. If you are looking for business solutions, Joseph and his team are your “problem solvers.” “I solve problems. Think about it for a moment. You want to start a business but don’t have a business plan. That’s a problem. You need capital for your start-up, and you don’t have it. That’s a problem. Your credit needs attention. That’s also a problem. All of these issues are roadblocks to entrepreneurs. My job is to help navigate and eliminate these roadblocks so business owners can grow and succeed.” Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Joseph didn’t always have the focus he needed to envision his future. “I grew up in a two-parent household, but there wasn’t always a lot of money. My parents struggled to make ends meet, and sometimes that struggle made for a stressful home environment,” Joseph explained. Like many youths, I was seduced by the culture that specific music and movies glorified. He knew the path he was on would lead him to a bad end but not understanding his purpose, he chose to live in the moment. “Like most kids in my neighborhood, I fell in with the wrong sort of people. My parents and grandmother tried to point me in the right direction, but when you’re young and think you know it all, you don’t listen.” Joseph admits that after high school, he was lost and had no direction. “I didn’t know my purpose, so I didn’t know the path I needed to take. The people whose influence I see in my life today are my mother, my father, my older brother, and my grandmother. My mother taught me how to always keep striving for better. She would work two jobs to take care of her family, but she never settled or became complacent with where she was. She was always working on getting to the next level. My dad worked and was also a coach at the local community rec center. He gave back to the community by working with the kids. My brother is a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, but my grandmother was a God-fearing woman. She took me to church and taught me about God. I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have at the time, but I know now that God was pointing me toward my path.”

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At twenty-one, Joseph says he took his first steps toward purpose. He joined the US Navy. “I didn’t go to church or anything, but I still believed in God. I knew He was real and remembered what my grandmother taught me. One night I came home late, and a Navy movie was on. I can’t remember the movie’s name, but it was about the Navy. I went to sleep and woke up the next morning, and the first thing I saw was a commercial about joining the Navy. I can’t say I heard the voice of God, but I believed he was speaking to me. This was no coincidence. So, I signed up that day.” The Navy didn’t give Joseph purpose, but it gave him the tools he needed to pursue the purpose of his life. “To this day, I am grateful for what I gained in my seven years in the US Navy. I learned fortitude, selfdiscipline, and a new understanding of respect. These were all of the things I was missing. Most importantly, as a search and rescue team member, I learned to push myself beyond my limitations.” One of the biggest obstacles/ problems for budding entrepreneurs is not a lack of opportunity or education. It is the limits they place on themselves. Joseph believes you can start the problem-solving process once you identify the problems. After serving seven years in the Navy, Joseph tried his hands in several business startups. He was gaining success but felt that he was not walking in his purpose. “You have to make sure you do things the right way. Everything you do must be built on a firm foundation. Without it, you will fail. That was the most important thing I learned, and what I hope every reader walks away with,” he shares. In 2009 Joseph decided to change his lifestyle and environment for the better and was considering moving back to Miami. His mother had recently moved to Greenville, SC, and suggested he come there. “I knew I needed a fresh start, but I didn’t want to go backward. Understanding problem-solving means that even if you are the problem, you must be willing to get out of your own way. I had to learn the difference between my voice and the voice of God. Moving to Greenville was God putting me back on the path to my purpose, and I have never looked back.” Shortly after moving to South Carolina, Joseph met a random stranger at a restaurant in Downtown Greenville. “It’s crazy what can happen when you start to follow your path. After moving to Greenville, I took some time to get settled. I met a man Downtown, and we started talking about work and my move. We exchanged information, and about three weeks later, he called out of the blue and said there was a new call center opening in Greenville, and with my experience in marketing, I should apply. That’s how I started at Samsung.”

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“To this day, I am grateful for what I gained in my seven years in the US Navy. I learned fortitude, self-discipline, and a new understanding of respect. These were all of the things I was missing. Most importantly, as a search and rescue team member, I learned to push myself beyond my limitations.”

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In his seven years at Samsung, Joseph rose from call center agent to Senior Operations Manager. “Following my mother’s example, I worked my way up. It wasn’t easy. The first time I applied for a supervisory position, I didn’t get it. I didn’t know why at the time, but I couldn’t allow it to affect my attitude or my energy. To the people who will read this, I’d like to say you can’t quit. Things will not always go your way when trying to pursue your dreams. Even if you try multiple times and it doesn’t happen right away. Just remember you only fail when you quit,” Joseph councils. “You have to be willing to take a step back and look at what you are doing. What worked, and what needs attention. And don’t be so proud that you can’t take constructive criticism. In fact, expect it. If it isn’t given, ask for it. It’s not acceptable for someone to deny you a job or position and then say you did everything perfectly. Ask them what made them choose someone else. Then take that information and don’t just meet the expectation but beat it. When the opportunity comes back around, and it will if you don’t give up, you can show that you not only maintained what they liked but also took their advice and improved on it. If you do that, you can’t be denied.” By applying this philosophy to his own life, Joseph has grown and expanded his businesses while helping others understand how to turn their dreams of becoming business owners and entrepreneurs into reality. “We just moved on June 20th into our new Corporate Office in the center of Downtown Spartanburg. It is listed as a historic building, and when I looked at it three years ago, it was out of my reach, but I found out what I needed to do to get it. That’s what you have to do with anything you want. You may not be qualified right now, but take the time to identify the problem, then work toward a solution. Attain the qualifications to get what you want. I go to meetings and hear people who look like me complaining about not being given equal opportunities, which may be true in some cases. But when you invest the time and money into beating and exceeding those set qualifications, not only will it make you better, it will make it hard for anyone to deny you your dreams.” Joseph and his wife and business partner Rebecca are taking YMA Wealth Management Group to new heights. They have created a onestop shop for business startups, personal and business credit, and real estate. Their nonprofit YMA CARES is launching a Business Incubator program in August 2022. h .

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Juneteenth Pageant and Gospel Celebration “Featuring Little Miss and Junior Miss Juneteenth Pageant” Information and Photos Provided by Linda Greenwood

UCON and WSPAA crowned the winners of the inaugural Little Miss and Junior Miss Juneteenth Pageant. Participants in the Little Miss Juneteenth Pageant are girls ages 7-10 years old and girls ages 11-14 years old for the Junior Miss Juneteenth Pageant from various cities throughout the state. “The pageant is designed to provide the girls with soft skills necessary to be well rounded and successful in life as well as building their confidence and offering encouragement”, says Linda Greenwood, UCON director. To enter the pageant the girls had to have a 2.0 GPA and participated in special sessions in haircare, journaling, presenting on camera, Juneteenth history as well as fundraising. Along with the pageant WSPAA executive director Elliott Lowery and UCON director Linda Greenwood put together a special Gospel Celebration that highlighted the rich heritage of the African American culture on Sunday, June 19th in Greensboro at the Van Dyke Performing Arts Theater. This event featured an incredible line-up of regional and local artists. Storyteller Fred Motley, renowned contemporary gospel artist W.I.L. and gospel rappers Ezzy Wall and Mr. GP.

Saraiyah Johnson Little Miss Juneteenth High Point, NC

Serenity White Little Miss Juneteenth 1st Runner Up Winston Salem, NC

Joie Holding Junior Miss Juneteenth Greensboro, NC

During their year long reign Little Miss and Junior Miss Juneteenth are expected to promote positive images through school appearances and community events and serve as a role model and spokesperson for Juneteenth. The winners of the Little Miss and Junior Miss Juneteenth Pageant are: Little Miss Juneteenth representing High Point is Saraiyah Johnson, the daughter of Michelle and Tacuma Johnson, Saraiyah attends The Point, College Prep and Leadership Academy. 1st runner up Little Miss Juneteenth representing Winston-Salem is Serenity White, the daughter of Victoria Montgomery, Serenity attends Ward Elementary. Junior Miss Juneteenth representing Greensboro is Joie Holding, the daughter of Tiffany Donnell and Daniel Holding, Joie attends Morehead Elementary. UCON and WSPAA are 501c3 organizations. Unwind Communications Outreach Network (UCON’s) mission is to raise the awareness of community residents on the benefits of collaborating with communication venues; to disseminate information pertaining to Broadcasting; teach people about broadcasting; to develop Musical artists through training and to inform the community about how communication technology works. The mission of the Winston-Salem Performing Arts Alliance (WSPAA) is to inspire, uplift and educate underserved children, youth, adults, and seniors. We seek to build the self-esteem and self-worth of the communities we serve through the performing arts. h

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Pastor

New Zion Grove Worship Center By Ellen Richardson Photos Provided by Pastor Stephen Rohinson

And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. (Jeremiah 3:15 KJV)

Have you ever felt a calling from our Heavenly Father that didn’t align with the path you thought you were on? Allow us to welcome you to an area pastor who has walked this path and is here to tell you why following your heavenly calling will lead you towards your best life. Born in North Little Rock, Arkansas, Pastor Stephen Robinson grew up the youngest child of a faith-filled family of five. He was raised by Pastor Emeritus Ulysses, Jr. and the late First Lady Emeritus Lee Ella Robinson, and began his spiritual journey on a more musical path than that of his father. “As I was growing up, I used to tell my father that I would never preach or pastor,” said Robinson. “Instead, I wanted to sing and perform at various gospel revivals.” This dream began when Robinson was the tender age of three years-old. “My brothers and I performed together at my father’s church revivals. In fact, I sang my first song in front of a large crowd before the age of five. Before long, I was singing regularly at my church, and by the time I was getting out of college, I began singing with a gospel group called Purity.” he said.

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After Purity recorded its first album with PepperCo Records that reigns from Columbia, SC, Pastor Stephen rejoined his equally talented brothers, Bishop Kenneth L. Robinson and Ulysses Robinson, III. “I performed alongside my brothers for 15 years before going out on my own,” said Robinson. “After recording my first album called “I Still Have My Smile”, I really fell in love with the industry. That is until I had a personal encounter with God.” This encounter occurred in 1996 and Pastor Stephen says he was hanging out with his best friend one night when the Spirit of the Lord visited him. “The spirit told me that God had more for me than just singing and performing. He then showed me that he wanted me to preach His Word. This was around 1:00 a.m. in the morning and I remember getting up, driving to my father’s house, and falling into his arms, crying, telling him that I had been called to preach. The best part is that my father already knew I would come to tell him this because the Holy Spirit told him as well that I would be called to preach.” Following this encounter, Pastor Stephen went back to school to obtain his master’s degree in theology from Slidell Baptist Seminary, and later began serving as his father’s assistant pastor at New Zion Grove Baptist Church in 2004. This happened before he stepped into his father’s shoes in 2009. “In August of this year, I will have been serving my home church as its pastor for 13 years. I am so grateful to God for leading me into this role,” he said. Today, through his God given vision of Empowering People for Next Dimension Ministry, Robinson is making every effort to empower and lead his people towards God’s restorative love. “I love seeing people empowered and restored by His love and even seeing marriages restored by His power,” said Robinson. “I believe that God has ordained His people and their families to be empowered by His love in order to ensure that His might strengthens both our communities and churches. These days people need to see a picture of what

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“These days people need to see a picture of what a marriage and family look like inside of the church, and I believe that the enemy is very busy targeting these families because he knows that the stronger they are, the better the community, as well as the church and other ministries, will be.”

a marriage and family look like inside of the church, and I believe that the enemy is very busy targeting these families because he knows that the stronger they are, the better the community, as well as the church and other ministries, will be. As someone who knows the challenges that the enemy can have on both a marriage and family, it has been my mission to help these families be healed through God’s spirit of love.” What does the future look like for this servant of The Lord? “I aspire to lead my family and my flock by being the example of what it looks like to walk through trying and tough times with the help of God,” said Robinson. “I always say that the world may change, but God never changes, and I just want to show others what it looks like to lead knowing this.” To find out more about Pastor Robinson and New Zion Grove Worship Center, please visit their website. h

www.nzgworshipcenter.org

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