Huami Magazine Dallas/Fort Worth May/June 2024

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DALLAS/FORTWORTH May/June 2024 Volume 3 Issue 3 ® Jacob Way Children’s Cancer Charity Latorra Garland

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Garvey P Medium-Sized Business Owner Dallas/Fort Worth - May/June 2024 2 336-558-4660 O u r m i s s i o n i s t o s a f e g u a r d t h e c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y , i n t e g r i t y , a n d a v a i l a b i l i t y o f i n f o r m a t i o n s s y s t e m s , i d e n t i t y , a n d d a t a a s s e t s b y p r o v i d i n g p r o a c t i v e s e c u r i t y e x p e r t i s e , c r e a t i n g a n d m a i n t a i n i n g a r e s i l i e n t a n d s e c u r e i n f r a s t r u c t u r e , a n d f o s t e r i n g a c u l t u r e o f s e c u r i t y a w a r e n e s s .
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It Will Only Get Better From Here


Letter From The Editor

There Are No If, Ands, Or Buts About It!

A Letter from the Editor

I recall a message I heard many years ago. I was at church, and the pastor shared with everyone present about the roles and abilities of a visionary. As I listened inquisitively, I learned that a good visionary is someone who can convey their visions and ideas to others. A visionary must also possess sound leadership skills, as these two attributes go hand in hand; what a visionary sees can only come to fruition by being comprehended by those under their direction.

What if tomorrow didn’t arrive? All of your plans, hopes and dreams wouldn’t have a street to park on. What if everything that you decided to put off until tomorrow never happened? There would be no reason to save for a rainy day, and you could spare someone the trouble of making promises. What if your last opportunity seemingly expired today? What would you do?

Like many other aspiring entrepreneurs, my journey began with a vision. Because I am unable to see what the end will be, each step of the journey is dependent upon my ability to see what is next. However, this journey began with a conversation with God, and every move that I make is done by faith, and moving by faith doesn’t always allow me to see what is next. Instead, I must align my vision with the reasons I even started and constantly remind myself that God has assigned this journey.

I’ve been told that I often seem like I do too much. Honestly, I feel like I am not doing enough and I’m a firm believer in knowing that God wouldn’t put anything on me that I couldn’t handle. I sometimes wonder how life would be if I chose to sit idle and accept what it presented to me. I have found that to be very boring. In my opinion, opportunity is a blessing that isn’t afforded to everyone. A challenge to me is an adventure. What is the worst that can happen? If I do nothing, I fail, and if I try I don’t, but instead learn something new about myself. Relinquish your pride and in return acquire life.

There will always be ups and downs in life, regardless of what path we choose to take. God didn’t promise that our journeys would be easy, but He did give us an option to include Him. By including God, we have access to the greatest mentor and counselor, and even more, He is pleased when He is involved. Where do I turn now? What should I do next? Should I build, invest, or fall back? How can I accomplish all of that? God has the answer to all of our questions.

The best advice ever given to me happened when someone told me to make my tomorrow happen today. In doing so I have pressed my way through doors with a key that only hope provided. I have also learned the difference between what God blesses me with and what life can burden me with as well. I compare it to knowing when to be confident and when to be quiet, because someone may get it confused with being arrogant.

As our assignments continue, we must continue to focus on God. Focusing on Him will eliminate the distractions that hinder and slow our progress. As we continue, we must read His word and pray without ceasing. While praying, we must not only ask God for what we need, but we must also speak with confidence and expectation.

Make you tomorrow happen today, but most importantly make it count. Life is but a whisper and we must put ourselves in a position to hear what it is telling us.

Remember, God has chosen us for a specific reason and purpose. What we do does not only impact us; Our calling is part of a strategic plan that God has devised for something greater. Dallas/Fort Worth - May/June 2024 4 4 November/December 2014 Want To Advertise? Call (336)340-7844 Editor In Chief Terry L. Watson Alana Allen - Deputy Editor Writers Tonya Dixon Terry L. Watson Alana Allen Jeuron Dove Photographers Perfect Lenz Photography Shaw Photography Group Still Shots Photography Who Shotya Photography Layout Mykel Media Company Linda Bennett HUAMI MAGAZINE is published quarterly by the Mykel Media Company. Any reproduction of any portion of this publication is prohibited without written permission from the publisher prior to doing so. Mykel Media doesn’t accept responsibility for statements made by individuals featured or advertisers. Comments concerning this publication P.O. Box 20102 (336) 340-7844 On The Cover Photo by Shaw Photography Group
Howard Gaither Photography Todd Youngblood Photography Tamara Smith Terry L Watson Publisher Dorjae’ McClammey Writer Terry L. Watson Writer Sherry Rogers Hill Writer Monica Montgomery Writer Ashleigh Crawley Photographer Todd Youngblood Photographer Katrena Wize Photographer General Inquiries Mykel Media Company LLC Greensboro, NC 2024 All Rights Reserved Scan The QR Code Above To Visit Our Website (336)340-7844 General Inquiries

Robyn N. Powell

She is taking the art of errand service to a whole new level. Learn more about her company and more. Memphis, TN

The Boston Dynasty continues to expand its reach. Learn more about their newest business venture. Danville, VA

For those who are caring for loved ones, it can be a daunting task. Learn more about someone journey. Browns Summit, NC

Garland Jacob Way Children’s Cancer Charity MAY/JUNE 2024 DALLAS/FORT WORTH CONTENTS 6 On The Cover Also Featured Asia McNealey McNealey Speech Therapy Wilson Consulting LLC Robin
28 18 Huami Magazine
37 AffirmMePlease Foluke Houston Gaddis 22
Cutest Baby Houston Gilmer
26 A
Mike Boston

Jacob Way Children’s Cancer Charity Latorra Garland

Life as they knew it would change in a matter of seventy-seven days.

It was May of 2022, and Latorra Garland’s son Jacob began to experience pain in his knee. Overall, Jacob was a healthy thirteen-year-old kid, so when he was diagnosed with bone cancer, the Garlands were sort of caught by surprise. Despite their efforts, Jacob lost his battle with Cancer after just 77 days of fighting. Latorra says as they watched their son endure pain and extended hospital stays during cancer treatment, those 77 days were the most challenging days of their lives. Jacob immediately went from being a healthy, happy child to being sad and full of uncertainty. “To watch my son in so much pain really took a toll on me mentally and physically. The hardest part was not knowing what the outcome would be and trying to stay strong for Jacob. To this day I hold onto the memories we made during his last days, and I am thankful for the best times we got to spend with each other.”

In response to losing her son, Latorra made the decision to launch a foundation in his memory, Jacob Way Children’s Cancer Charity. It was in Arlington, TX, and the year was 2022. “Following our own firsthand experience with childhood cancer and witnessing the financial and emotional struggles that families encounter inspired us to establish the Jacob Way Organization. We were not prepared to handle the emotional and financial stress that came with our son’s diagnosis. We wanted to give back to society by providing the families of children battling Cancer with financial support and mental health services. In doing so, we help families fill the financial gap so they can focus on their child’s healing and care plan. Even more, we are committed to this work because we are aware of the burdens that can arise from an unexpected childhood cancer diagnosis,” she says.

We were not prepared to handle the emotional and financial stress that came with our son’s diagnosis.  We wanted to give back to society by providing the families of children battling Cancer with financial support and mental health services.
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Jacob Way Organization supports the families of children battling Cancer and aims to address the well-being of families by incorporating a range of Mental Health Resources and Financial Support Services tailored to support the unique, diverse community of families dealing with a childhood cancer diagnosis. Their three core services are the Pediatric Cancer Relief Fund, Caring Hearts Initiative, and Serenity Support Network.

The Pediatric Cancer Relief Fund provides financial relief and support for medications, transportation, mortgages, rent, utilities, hospital stays, and other related costs. The goal is to ease the financial stress on families, allowing them to focus on their child’s wellbeing without the added worry of overwhelming household expenses. The Caring Hearts Initiative addresses the emotional well-being of families and provides mental health resources, care packages, emotional support, and tools for self-care that will contribute to mental health awareness within the context of childhood cancer. With the Serenity Support Network, Jacob Way supports grieving families by relieving the financial burdens associated with honoring their child’s life and arranging a respectful farewell.

Currently residing in Dallas, TX, Latorra is a wife and mother of two beautiful children. Latorra was raised in Memphis, TN, and is the oldest of seven children and a leader by nature. “I love all things Southern Cooking and Old-Fashioned Desserts. My love led to me publishing my first Dessert Cookbook, “Mama’s Banana Pudding’, she shares. Latorra has a degree in Health Care Administration and has worked in the healthcare field for over 20 years. As the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Jacob Way Organization, she remains dedicated to making a positive impact in her community and for families of children battling Cancer. “Whether it’s through healthcare initiatives, family support, or other philanthropic endeavors, I am dedicated to making a difference in the community and inspiring others to follow their purpose.” Dallas/Fort Worth - May/June 2024 8
Dallas/Fort Worth - May/June 2024

Understandably, Latorra is mostly inspired by her son, Jacob. She shares, “He was a fighter and a believer. He was the strongest person I knew. Because of his fight with Cancer, I know that I can do anything with God’s help. God does not leave your side through trying times. Losing my son really took a lot from me, and there are some bad days, but I know God has never left my side, and He’s always with me. Grief and loss are hard to deal with, especially when it’s your child. I am still here because of God’s promise to me, and I am forever grateful for that. I just want to do whatever God’s purpose is for my life and be reunited with my son in heaven. My purpose is to be a helping hand to those families that are battling Childhood Cancer and leave a legacy in honor of Jacob. I must stay focused on God because I know He will help me get through anything.”

As a new organization, Jacob Way has faced funding challenges due to limited resources, lack of a track record, and competition for funding. They also have limited fundraising expertise, uncertain revenue streams, and an overreliance on a single funding source, all of which are different hurdles to cross. Yet, Latorra is defiant. She has faced these by developing a fundraising plan and building relationships with donors and partners. She has also expanded their reach and diversified the organization’s revenue streams.

While she has plans to do a lot with Jacob Way, moving forward, Latorra is planning to provide immediate financial assistance for food, bills, and other household expenses. She also plans to offer mental health support through workshops, raise awareness for childhood cancer through campaigns and engage in community partnerships, and expand one of their key initiatives to raise awareness within the African American community about the critical importance of blood donation and how it can significantly impact the lives of those in need, including children fighting Cancer.

To learn more about the Jacob Way Organization, please visit their website. h


The Boston Dynasty Invades Virginia

What is the most up-and-coming city in Virginia that’s a stone’s throw away from North Carolina? You are correct if you said the City of Danville, VA. Founded in 1793, Danville is perhaps best known for its role in the Civil War, when it was an important railroad stop for the Confederacy and became the last Confederate capital after Richmond fell to the North. Today, the City of Danville includes all cultures, bolstering a sense of community and belonging.

The residents of Danville are inclusive and neighborly, optimistic and forward-thinking, and enthusiastic and supportive. Even more, they are genuine and down-to-earth people who believe the City of Danville is the perfect place to raise their families. Maintaining its small-town feel, Danville is steadily progressing with futuristic plans to ensure its economic growth and has all the amenities of any major city. Companies such as Tyson Foods, Morgan Olson, Goodyear Tire Rubber Company, Buitoni Foods, formerly Nestle, and Caesars Casino see the potential of this rising community.

One person who believes in Danville is Mike Boston, Sr. of the infamous Boston’s House of Jazz in Greensboro, NC. He believes the City of Danville is the best place to establish his new restaurant, Boston’s Bourbon Street Bistro and Bar, located at 680 Lynn Street in Danville, VA.

Mr. Boston said, “Boston’s new restaurant will open in late 2024. It has a nice New Orleans feel. I believe it will pair well with all of the new things that are happening in the River District. We came in at the right time because the city is undergoing a redevelopment project and is courting new businesses to move into that area. Traditionally, I understand that that particular area has had a high crime rate in the past, but they have done a good job cleaning it up. The restaurant is located in a remodeled warehouse. We have about 7,000 square feet to work with, which is great. The square footage allows us to design and decorate the restaurant with that New Orleans French Quarter type of feel. The menu has a Cajun influence, too, with peas and rice, jambalaya, shrimp and grits, gumbo, oysters, Po’boys sandwiches, and other things. The restaurant will be open from Wednesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner, and we’ll also have some late evening hours from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. to accommodate the casino clientele. The late nights will include live entertainment and feature some favorite major artists. I also plan to have a jazz brunch every Saturday and a gospel brunch every Sunday. The cool thing about the gospel brunch is that we will feature one of the local pastors, along with his first lady and praise team, to sing during the brunch and feed them. My wife and I support church ministries because they do great jobs supporting the community. My son, Tirant, and I have been attending Bible Way regularly, so we know firsthand how vital the Christian community is to Danville. The one thing that people may not know about me is that I am a Christian. I’m not without sin, but I have a strong relationship with the Holy Ghost. I bet many people will be surprised to read that about me. I love the Lord. Always have and always will.” The Bible says in Matthew 7:1-5, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?”

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The Boston dynasty understands that keeping up with futuristic growth is important for any dynasty’s success. With that idea in mind, Mr. Boston has been asked to write his life story of success. The title of his book is From Sunset to Sunrise. The title comes from him growing up in the Sunset Community in Reidsville, NC. He traveled to Africa and immersed himself in his thoughts while fully reflecting on his humble beginnings and his rise in acquiring generational wealth for his children. Just a hint of what’s to come in his book is the recent discovery of a daughter, Sharmeen Dalton-Robles, who he never knew existed.

Mr. Boston shares, “I’m excited about this book because it will show who I am as a man. I have my faults, but I’ve always lived up to them. My book will discuss my life and how I became the man I am today. It’s also going to highlight a daughter I never knew I had. Can you believe it? I have a 49-year-old daughter that I could never love on, protect, and spoil,” he shares.

Mr. Boston says it all happened because his son, Mike Jr., enjoys history. He has traced both sides of Mr. Boston’s mother and father’s family back to the slave ships, and he’s even trying to go back further than that. “A week after North Carolina A&T State University’s homecoming (GHOE), my son calls me and says, ‘Dad, I found a woman on who has a 94% chance of being my sister. Do you want to meet her?’ Of course, I was taken aback by the news, so I told him to check it out. So, I talked with the young lady and found out who her mother was. I met her while traveling with a band; you can take it from there. So, Michael Jr. orchestrates a DNA test. She found the sister facility in her town in DC, so we scheduled the DNA test on the same day. When the results came in, in the words of Maury Povich, ‘It has been determined that - - you are the father!’ I am her father, and she is my firstborn daughter. I was blown away. So, we met, and she looks just like me, it’s unbelievable. Our first meeting was organic, and I’m glad she didn’t hold any animosity against me because she knew I was unaware of her existence,” Mr. Boston explains. Dallas/Fort Worth - May/June 2024 14

To think that she’s been looking for him all of her life breaks his heart, Mr. Boston shares. What’s ironic about this whole thing is that she graduated from NC A&T State University, actually ventured many of his establishments, and came to Greensboro every homecoming. “We were around one another but never met, so meeting now is a miracle. I had a coming-out party to introduce her as my daughter.” She’s a part of the Boston dynasty now.” Mr. Boston shares that meeting his firstborn doesn’t diminish any love from his other children. They have all connected with one another, and it’s like she’s always been there.

You may wonder what other surprises Mr. Boston has for the world. He has several ventures already in the works. These ventures are sure to strengthen his desire for a generational legacy. He shares, “I’m a risk taker, and that’s who I am, and that’s who I will always be. Taking risks has gotten me to where I am today. I need to provide for my family, so taking risks is necessary. I have a legacy that my grandchildren and, hopefully, my great-grandchildren can build from. My sons, Mike Jr., Clarence, and Tiant, are busy in Charlotte and Atlanta with HippinHops. They also own two funeral homes in the Atlanta area. Triant has been my legs in Danville, helping to open Boston’s Bourbon Street Bistro and Bar, and Aisha has her hands busy with expanding Father of the Bride. I must include Sharmeen in the dynasty because she’s my child, too. I’m 70 years old and getting older, so I’m passing on many things I’ve been doing to my children,” he says.

Mike Boston says the Boston Dynasty is not just about his family; it’s also about letting the world know that African Americans know how to do business. “We’re still one of the very few freestanding breweries in the world. Another thing I like about this opportunity in the City of Danville is that I can open an additional restaurant, except this one will serve soul food. Expanding in Danville is phenomenal because everybody’s trying to get there. The potential for opportunity and growth are endless.”

In conclusion, Mr. Boston wants to share an important nugget that all successful business owners must learn. “You can’t be afraid to take risks.” Mr. Boston also believes that applauding the success of others is also a requirement. “When I was coming up, the older guys, the heavy hitters from back in the day, for whatever reason, took an interest in me. One of them told me never to be jealous of anyone else’s success and to not beat others down, and I’ve always remembered that advice and lived by it.”

Private and Celebrity Chef Irving Williams, is the menu consultant for Boston’s Bourbon Street Bar & Bistro

Wilson Consulting, LLC

Originally from Arkansas, Robin Wilson Tucker now calls Memphis, TN, home. There, she serves as the face and founder of Wilson Consulting, LLC, a business consulting firm that offers a range of services tailored to business professionals, college students, and entrepreneurs. Her services include LinkedIn Profile Optimization, Coaching and Business Consulting, Professional Networking Development, and Resume Reviews. Robin also provides virtual and in-person classes and presentations, as well as The Connect Info Hub, a digital subscription service.

What sets Wilson Consulting apart is its dedication to connecting individuals with information and opportunities, particularly through the power of LinkedIn. “We bring quality resources to business professionals, promoting knowledge transfer and innovative solutions,” Robin explains. “We’re all about making meaningful connections and providing invaluable resources. With over two decades of experience in professional networking and business consulting, we’re dedicated to empowering individuals by linking them with vital information and endless opportunities. Our mission is simple: to support business professionals and entrepreneurs through access to essential information, networking opportunities, and comprehensive resource services.”

Robin graduated with a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and later earned an MBA from the University of Phoenix. She is happily married with four adult children and five grandchildren. Outside of work, she is a selfproclaimed foodie who loves traveling, swimming, shopping, and spending quality time with her loved ones. Additionally, she is actively involved in various civic and social organizations, including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated - Beta Epsilon Omega Chapter, and the National Black MBA AssociationMemphis Chapter.

We bring quality resources to business professionals, promoting knowledge transfer and innovative solutions.... We’re all about making meaningful connections and providing invaluable resources.
Dallas/Fort Worth - May/June 2024
Photos Provided by TMFPhotography

It was in 2004, while Robin was in between job opportunities, she decided to start her own business. That was in Arkansas, and although her company initially started as an Engineering Consulting venture, life took Robin elsewhere. She eventually moved to Tennessee and acquired full-time employment, but as fate would have it, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted her to re-evaluate and re-vamp Wilson Consulting in 2021. She changed her focus to what truly ignited her passion, which was helping business professionals enhance their online presence and provide them with the tools for growth.

Entrepreneurship runs in Robin’s family. Her parents, Robert and Barbara Wilson, instilled in Robin the values of hard work and dedication at a young age. “My dad’s entrepreneurial spirit and my mom’s commitment to education laid the foundation for my journey. Back in Morrilton, Arkansas, we had a funeral home business that my family owned. My dad dabbled in various ventures like janitorial services, carpet cleaning, and even videography. After he dad passed in 1995, my mom took over running the funeral home until we eventually sold it in 2021. Growing up in that environment taught me invaluable lessons about hard work, honesty, and the importance of character. I got hands-on experience providing customer service to the families we served, which really emphasized the significance of building a trustworthy brand. People want to do business with folks they know, like, and trust. Running those businesses taught me the importance of staying up-to-date with trends and technology to stay relevant,” Robin says.

Robin’s sister, Madalyn Nelson, she shares has always been her strongest supporter. Her family has had the most significant impact on her life and has been a consistent support system. She also acknowledges other professional mentors, coaches, and organizations who have invested in her professional growth. This includes the Coaching Community - Inner Circle, which Pastor Shun Strickland created and facilitates. Robin says her participation in the group allows her to grow personally, professionally, and spiritually. Within the community, they focus on mindset, wealth creation, health, and spiritual development. Dallas/Fort Worth - May/June 2024 20

Looking back over her career, Robin says there isn’t much she would change in regard to how things have happened. She wishes she had been more proactive in seeking new challenges and opportunities and not have stayed at one company for an extended period of time. “Keeping that synergy in my career path is vital for growth and adaptability,” she admits. Her advice for others who may follow in her footsteps is to surround yourself with people who push you to be better, and never stop learning. Robin says, “Embrace change, stay updated with new trends and technologies, and always seek out growth opportunities.”

In the future, Wilson Consulting LLC plans to expand its services, particularly through group coaching classes and products, to scale the business. Additionally, Robin is working on obtaining vendor certifications to broaden the reach of their services to local, state, and government entities. To learn more about Wilson Consulting LLC, please visit their website.


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MENtally AFFIRMed Collection by AffirmMePlease Live Boldly & Reign Supreme:

Information and Photos

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and there is no better time to shine a light on a revolutionary movement in the realm of men’s mental health and spiritual well-being. AffirmMePlease, a Christian apparel and lifestyle brand, proudly presents the MENtally AFFIRMed collection, a line designed to inspire Kingdom-based, positive thinking in men globally.

Embracing the Power of Positive Affirmations

In a world where mental health challenges are becoming increasingly prevalent, AffirmMePlease stands out with a mission that transcends mere fashion. The MENtally AFFIRMed collection isn’t just about clothing; it’s about embracing a mindset that aligns with the core values of faith, strength, and resilience. The brand’s tagline, “Live Boldly & Reign Supreme,” encapsulates the essence of what AffirmMePlease aims to instill in every man who wears their apparel.

The Why Behind the Collection

The inspiration behind the MENtally AFFIRMed collection is rooted in the belief that mental and spiritual health are interconnected. Rodney Gaddis, husband of Foluke Houston-Gaddis, the founder of AffirmMePlease, shares that the collection fills a gap in the market for apparel that not only looks good but also serves a higher purpose, specifically for the fellas. “Men need to feel good about themselves too...feel appreciated. Most times, society only views men as providers and do-ers, but we are more than that, and we need affirmation and validation also.” Each piece in the collection is designed to be a wearable affirmation, a daily reminder of God’s promises and the power of a positive mindset.

Faith-Based Affirmations: The collection features designs that incorporate scriptures and faith-based affirmations, serving as a constant reminder of God’s love and strength. These affirmations are more than words; they are declarations of faith that empower men to overcome daily challenges and rise above adversity.

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Making a Difference

As we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s important to recognize brands like AffirmMePlease that are making a tangible difference. The MENtally AFFIRMed collection is a beacon of hope, reminding us that through faith, positive affirmations, and a supportive community, we can conquer even the toughest battles.

Join the Movement

In a time when mental health awareness is more crucial than ever, the MENtally AFFIRMed collection by AffirmMePlease offers a unique blend of faith, fashion, and positive affirmations. It’s a reminder that with the right mindset and support, we can all #LliveBoldlyReignSupreme. This Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s embrace the power of positive thinking and make a statement that truly matters.

AffirmMePlease invites you to be a part of this transformative movement. Explore the MENtally AFFIRMed collection and discover how attire that inspires can empower you to live boldly and reign supreme.

Quality and Comfort: Understanding that comfort plays a crucial role in mental well-being, AffirmMePlease ensures that each item in the MENtally AFFIRMed collection is made from high-quality, comfortable materials. This commitment to quality ensures that the wearer feels good inside and out.

Community and Support: The collection also fosters a sense of community. By wearing MENtally AFFIRMed apparel, men become part of a larger movement that supports mental health awareness and promotes a positive, faith-based lifestyle. This sense of belonging can be a powerful tool in combating feelings of isolation and depression.

Highlight Pieces from the Collection

One of the standout items in the collection is the “Powerful Man of God” t-shirt, a bold declaration that our men have that divine power within them that can triumph over anxiety. Another popular piece is the “Nothing to Prove” hoodie, perfect for the modern Christian man who walks confidently in God’s grace— no approval needed.

Each item in the MENtally AFFIRMed collection is more than just clothing; it’s a statement of intent. Whether you’re wearing a t-shirt, hoodie, or accessory, you’re reminded to live boldly and reign supreme in all aspects of life. Dallas/Fort Worth - May/June 2024 24

Visit - - to learn more and shop the collection.

Great for gifts that women can purchase for the special and strong men in their lives.

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Learn More About My Experience of Being A Caregiver For My Mother


TW0: Think Fast and Learn As You Go!

As a single man, a single, mature, grown man who had enjoyed living alone, I now found myself sharing my home with my mother. I know she never imagined it would come to this, as I had asked her on many occasions prior to her suffering an Ischemic Stroke to move in with me, but she always refused. That is just who she is, always holding on to her independence.

With the help of my brother, we began to care for Mom. All of her medications, we had to learn fast how to administer them. This included insulin injections. We also had to learn how to prepare her meals and wash her clothes. All of the things that an independent person does for themselves on a daily basis, my mother now needed assistance, and her children would be the ones to give it to her.

Seeing my mother in a disabled nature was truly heartbreaking. My mother is highly intelligent, and all of her children and friends were blessed to benefit from the therapeutic conversations with her. My mother was a great talker and an even better listener. Now, due to the savageness of the stroke, she was almost speechless and struggled to get words out. The inability to communicate effectively frustrated her, so much so that she would often burst into tears when she couldn’t express what she wanted to. Yes, it frustrated me also to see her in this condition, but I was determined to be a voicebox for her. I am her son, and having thousands of conversations with my mother would pay huge dividends. I had learned to know what my mother’s facial expressions meant, and I felt as if I understood how she thought. More than anything, I had the patience to work with her, and I was there for it.

As my mother now resided in my home, this meant that my other siblings, her friends, and other family members would have to come there to visit Mom. There was no shortage of visitors either, and Mom, in her sophisticated ways, would only allow visitors when she felt suitable and comfortable enough for them. If her hair wasn’t done, there were no visitors. If she wasn’t dressed well, no visitors. And getting dressed meant that someone, such as me, my brother, or another caregiver, would have to dress. We had to think fast and learn as we went along because my mother’s care and well-being hung in the balance.

On visitation days, Mom always seemed very excited, especially when she knew and approved of who was coming. It’s not that she had a problem with anyone; I learned that she had developed a level of isolation, and to be quite honest, she didn’t really care to talk to a lot of people, only a small and select few, many of whom she had been in contact with in the months and days before the stroke. What amazed me more than anything was how her friends would respond to seeing my mother’s new level of dependency. Before, she was always doing for others: cooking, cleaning, giving, talking, and listening. That was who she was. Now, she sat silently, with a modest stare, a little confused, a little embarrassed maybe, scared, but remarkably, still in control of what she wanted from others. Though she was slowed a little, and her new deficits confined her to the recliner or wheelchair, she continued to dawn a look of sassiness on her face. I knew my mother was OK, and I was determined to do all that I could to help her adjust. h

I decided to share my experience as a full-time caregiver for my mother to consult, console, and inform other families who may be going through a similar situation. As a son, caring for my mother never feels like work; if so, it is a labor of love. Please continue to follow this message, Becoming A Caregiver, in Huami Magazine. I hope that sharing my experience will help others. From one caregiver to the next, God Bless You!


McNealey Speech Therapy, LLC

For some, the professional path taken in life can involve various twists and turns. What is initially planned doesn’t always align with where the road ends. For Huntsville, AL, resident Asia McNealy, helping and caring for others has always been her primary objective. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at the University of Alabama as a Nursing major. She made it all the way to her senior year before coming to the realization that nursing wasn’t what she desired to do.

In her freshman year at UA, she participated in a work-study job at the autism clinic on campus. Asia worked with SLPs and Psychologists and volunteered at Arts n’ Autism. She eventually became an employee at the clinic, which she describes as the best decision she could have ever made. “Over the years at UA, little did I know that these jobs would set me up for success. I was gaining so much knowledge and experience about Autism and Down Syndrome, as well as different aspects of communication and behavior. My career focus shifted from Nursing to Communicative Disorders. However, I maintained my minor in Psychology, and I know it was nothing but God. He placed me in those job environments because He knew what was best and what would come later for me. That was my first encounter working with nonverbal children who were dealing with extreme behaviors stemming from ASD. Those experiences changed my life,” she says.

Asia would eventually receive her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communicative Disorders from The University of Alabama with a minor in Psychology. She also obtained her Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology from Francis Marion University. Presently, Asia is a Speech Language Pathologist, entrepreneur, and member of the Air Force Reserve. She is the owner of McNealey Speech Therapy, LLC. Her company offers speech and language therapy for the pediatric population. This entails articulation therapy, which works on speech sound production, fluency (stuttering), alternative augmentative communication (AAC), receptive and expressive language skills, feeding, and play therapy. For parents and family members of her clients, she offers parent coaching and parent education to help them navigate through life and understand their child’s delay or communicative/cognitive disorder. Asia’s services are designed for the pediatric population, with a majority of her clientele falling between the ages of two through elementary, but she has also worked with individuals from six months and adults. She is a pediatric SLP who specializes in Autism Spectrum Disorder, articulation, and language therapy and is an autism advocate. Additionally, Asia provides direct services and teletherapy options.

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Photos Provided by Asia McNealey

Asia says the vision to start her company came after working in different settings, from private practices to clinics and schools. She confesses she desired to have her own business and eventually open up an autism clinic in the Huntsville area. “My goal is to be a positive leader, advocate, and service provider to many and impact the lives of precious little ones,” she says. After college, she applied action to her goal and came back home to Huntsville. Upon her arrival, she realized the demand for the services she offers, as well as the lack thereof. Asia knew it was time to get to work.

Asia is the daughter of Aretha McNealey and the late Frank McNealey. At 28 years of age, Asia’s heart has been captured by her four-month-old daughter, Kaslyn Lynch. She also shares her love with her clients and says their progression and smiles make it all worth it. “I appreciate the support of all of my clients. I am grateful to witness the overall positive impact of helping a sweet little one with their needs.”

Due to her obligations to the US Armed Forces, Asia cannot commit 100% of her time to McNealey Speech Therapy, LLC, and not being able to has impacted her business’s bottom line. Additionally, she is currently operating as private pay and cannot accommodate all interested clientele. This has been challenging for her, but Asia addresses it by serving those she can and staying positive.

Looking forward, Asia plans to partner with daycares in the Huntsville area. She also plans to open an autism clinic there that is sensory-based and will offer respite nights and job skills, including transitional living skills for those high school graduates 18 years of age and up and on the autism spectrum. “I want McNealey Speech Therapy, LLC to grow and have different branches of autism clinics in different cities in the years to come,” she says.

“Over the years at UA, little did I know that these jobs would set me up for success.  I was gaining so much knowledge and experience about Autism and Down Syndrome, as well as different aspects of communication and behavior.  My career focus shifted from Nursing to Communicative Disorders. However, I maintained my minor in Psychology, and I know it was nothing but God.” h Dallas/Fort Worth - May/June 2024 30

What is The Buzz All About? Just Bee Helpin’

Robyn Noble Powell is a woman who is not afraid of change. As the owner of Just Bee Helpin’, Robyn has made it her mission to make her client’s life simple. Her company offers a comprehensive suite of upscale errand running, day-ofassistance, and concierge services. These services are designed to simplify the lives of her clients and save them time while providing convenience and luxury. “Our services are tailored to meet the unique needs and preferences of busy professionals, business owners, parents, senior citizens, caregivers, and limited mobility individuals,” Robyn says.

Just Bee Helpin’ specializes in fulfilling even the most exclusive and extraordinary requests. Robyn’s commitment to excellence, attention to detail, and dedication to your satisfaction set them apart. Just Bee Helpin’ takes pride in delivering the highest level of service, always with the utmost professionalism and discretion.

With Errand Running, Robyn can assist with getting groceries to high-end fashion. She has a Pickup and Delivery service that ensures her client’s groceries, prescriptions, medical supplies, dry cleaning, mail, and packages are collected and delivered promptly. With her Day–of–Assistance service, Robyn’s professionalism and dedication shine through. She focuses on ensuring your events and projects are executed flawlessly. “We assist with setup, managing timelines, greeting, hosting, serving, and breakdown to ensure you have everything you need throughout your event or project,” she says. Her travel arrangement service is equally meticulous, handling every aspect of your travel, from booking flights and accommodations to arranging activities and dining. Some additional services she offers are Airbnb Management Assistance and Mobile Notary.

Just Bee Helpin’ began in 2021 amid COVID-19. Robyn says, “I was having a conversation about side hustles with my friend, and she encouraged me to think of something I could do to generate some extra income. I rested on the same thoughts that I’ve always had about being a business owner—I know a lot about business and have experience running others’ business, but I’m not creative, and I don’t have a marketable talent or gift. My friend just laughed and told me to pray about it. Well, that is exactly what I did. I started praying and seeking God for inspiration. God answered my prayers and gave me the idea for my business. From those friendly seeds and divine intervention, The Helper Bee, LLC, was created. One year and a couple of months later, I was led to rename the business to ‘Just Bee Helpin’’ and rebrand it, aiming to expand our service area and better support the needs of our growing clients. It has been buzzing ever since,” she says.

Robyn describes herself as a vibrant, dynamic force of nature with a heart as big as her native Mississippi sky. She’s not just a woman; Robyn is a testament to the power of faith, family, and hard work. Her roots run deep in the rich soil of Mississippi, where she learned the values of integrity, resilience, and community. “I am a God-fearing woman, devoted wife, and proud mother of two beautiful girls and one handsome fur baby,” she professes.

Robyn’s journey in life didn’t stop at the Mississippi state line. In 2004, she boldly stepped into a new chapter of her life by leaving Southern Mississippi for North Mississippi. There, she crossed over into Memphis, TN, and embraced new opportunities and challenges with open arms, while immersing herself in the vibrant energy of Memphis. Next, Robyn found work and eventually furthered her education.

In 2013, Robyn enrolled in LeMoyne-Owen College’s Accelerated Degree Completion Program (ADCP). With unwavering determination and faith, she tackled her studies while working full-time and managing her family. Ultimately, she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree. Before the launch of Just Bee Helpin’, Robyn spent over two decades honing her administrative skills as an Administrative Assistant. During that time, she also volunteered those skills to help small businesses and grassroots organizations go and grow.

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When Robyn isn’t buzzing around town, she’s soaking up precious moments with family and friends, savoring delicious food, exploring new destinations, and giving back to her community through ministering and volunteering with Hungernomics and the Group Economics Fund Team (GEFT); two organizations very near and dear to her heart.

When asked what she loves most about her company, Robyn says it’s the opportunity to infuse her passion for service and dedication to excellence. “Whether it’s securing last-minute reservations at a coveted restaurant, helping to ensure an event is executed smoothly, or simply being the reliable support a client needs in their busy lives, I find immense fulfillment in the art of assistance,” she shares. Beyond the logistics lies a deeper connection. It’s the ability to truly understand and anticipate clients’ needs, to be their trusted confidante and partner in navigating life’s complexities. It’s not just about running errands; it’s about being their ally, advocate, and beacon of support in a world of endless demands.”

Robyn shares that she is inspired mostly by her unwavering commitment to faith and her dedication to please God. She also has a desire to break generational curses and to create generational wealth. “The ultimate quest is to leave a lasting legacy. It’s the blend of faith, familial devotion, and visionary ambition that truly inspires me.”

On March 27th of this year, Robyn graduated from ELEVATE Mississippi, a 12-week incubator that supports Mississippi residents who are small business owners needing technical assistance to enhance their business operations. The program provides resources, tools, mentorship, training, and wellness support and connects an ecosystem of entrepreneurs to thriving community partners dedicated to the growth of solopreneurs and micro businesses. ELEVATE moves businesses from aspiration to application to the achievement of growing from sole operators to a thriving business with multiple employees. Robyn was one of four selected out of the 26-member cohort to participate in the program’s pitch competition and won second place, with a cash award of $5000.

Looking ahead, Robyn describes a future filled with continued growth, innovation, and impact. Building upon the foundation that has been laid, the next chapter for her involves expanding her business further, exploring new opportunities for diversification, and scaling operations. “I envision leveraging emerging technologies and trends to stay ahead in a rapidly evolving market landscape. Moreover, I am committed to deepening my community engagement, fostering collaborations with industry peers, and giving back through mentorship and support for aspiring entrepreneurs,” she says. h

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Houston Gilmer The son of Houston and Larissa Gilmer
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