Huami Magazine Detroit May/June 2022

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DETROIT

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May/June 2022 Volume 1 Issue 8

SEMAJE Nobody But You, God Detroit - May/June 2022

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

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

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 A Letter fromcan the be Editor patio furniture 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. What if tomorrow didn’t arrive?how All of your plans, hopes Anyhow, many retailers have adjusted they make their products and dreams wouldn’t have a street to park on. What if accessible in order for them to survive. everything that you decided to put off until tomorrow never happened? There would nodepartment reason to save forcatalogs a rainy that As a child, I remember the be huge store day,come and you could the around troublethe of making would in the mailspare everysomeone year, usually Christmas promises. What if your last opportunity seemingly expired holiday season. I would look at them and prepare my list of items What would you do? it to my mama. Sometimes I got thattoday? I wanted before submitting most of what I wanted, but not always. Still, looking through the told that like I was do too much. catalogI’ve andbeen believing thatIIoften wouldseem get them very exciting for I feel like am not doing enough firm been me.Honestly, Unfortunately, theIcatalogs are long goneand nowI’m anda have believer in knowing God wouldn’t put anything on me replaced by digital ones.that Awwwe, technology. that I couldn’t handle. I sometimes wonder how life would if I chose to sit idle andcatalog accept what it presented tosome me. I I be compare those childhood surfing moments to have found thatastoanbeadult. very boring. In mytried opinion, opportunity experiences I have I have often to plan out my life is a blessing that afforded to everyone. A challenge by creating a wish listisn’t for various stages without the assistance of to me is anstore adventure. is the worst that happen? a department catalog.What I have made plans forcan various things If I do nothing, I fail, and if I try I don’t, but instead learn and experiences and made plans on how to acquire and accomplish something newwere aboutsubmitted myself. Relinquish your and in them. Those plans to God, and I’mpride always amazed return acquirefrom life. God in response. at what I receive See,The I have I make plans, God has the bestlearned advice that ever even giventhough to me happened when someone finaltold say.me What I thinkmy is tomorrow good for me, God knows is truly to make happen today.what In doing sobest for me. Even in mymy lowest God with has already prepared I have pressed way moments, through doors a key that only a pathhope to higher ground for me. eventhe when I choose to follow my provided. I have also And learned difference between ownwhat way,God He redirects. blesses me with and what life can burden me with as well. I compare it to knowing when to be confident and I strive to live a better life, a life when to be quiet, because that is someone connectedmay to God through get it confused obedience grasping a better with and being arrogant. understanding of what He desires for me. IMake admityou thattomorrow I don’t have all the answers, and sometimes I make happen today, but most mistakes. It’s goodmake to know that even importantly it count. when ILife getisoff track in life, God’s but a whisper and love never changes. we must put ourselves in a position to hear what it is telling us. L. Watson Terry 4

Terry L. Watson Editor/Founder

www.huamimagazine.com Terry L. Watson

Publisher

www.huamimagazine.com Terry L. Watson Editor In Chief Writer Terry L. Watson Writer Ellen Richardson Alana Allen - Deputy Editor Dorjea’ McClammey Writer Writers

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Who Shotya Photography huami.greenville@gmail.com (336)340-7844 Layout Howard Gaither Photography

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mykelmedia@yahoo.com (336) 340-7844 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 Greensboro, NCeditor by may be submitted to the 2022 All Rights Reserved E-mail at terrywatson@huamimagazine.com terry.editor@yahoo.com or to Mykel Media Company, LLC P.O. Box 20102 Greensboro, NC 27420 HUAMI MAGAZINE 2014 All Rights Reserved

On The Cover

Photo by Shaw Photography Group


CONTENTS

MAY/JUNE 2022

DETROIT

Survival and Service

Verlancia Tucker

On The Cover

It’s All About You, God! Semaje Collier

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Innate Success

Shmeka Gibson

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SugaRee Cookies

Sharita Shortey

Huami Magazine Cutest Baby

Marrel Gravely Foushee

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Also Featured

Delvin Sullivan He is on a mission to educate the youth about the importance of financial literacy. Huntsville, AL

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Christina Bennett Learn more about the face and founder of Say It Sow. She is helping others find their way with words. Huntsville, AL

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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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SEMAJE Nobody But You, God

By Dorjea’ McClammey Photos Provided by Semaje Now, reader, you will want to remember this name, Semaje. The 29-year-old breakout singer hails from Detroit, Michigan. As the middle child of three, Semaje’s parents made sure he and his brothers Demarcyon and Noah never missed a day of church. He has carried those values throughout his life, and the only time he did not make it to church was when the Covid 19 pandemic hit. Semaje Collier describes his style as contemporary, pop, urban and funky. “I am bringing a new urban inspirational sound to the music industry,” he says. Growing up in the church helped Semaje develop his talent. First, he started in the church choir and then sang with the praise team. On his own time, he would spend hours listening to and studying the sounds of J.Moss, James Moore, Mary Mary, Usher, Karen Clark, Daryl Coley and Michael Jackson being two of my biggest influences. Daryl Coley’s vocal abilities inspired Semaje, and it’s quite noticeable their voices sound similar. “I was amazed by Coley’s riffs and runs and the amount of conviction and presence he gave when he sang,” he shares. As for Michael Jackson, he was amazed by his ability to take risks and start trends. He shares, “Michael was confident in what he did and kept doing it regardless of what others thought about him. I am moved by Michael’s unadulterated ability to captivate audiences. I am inspired by Michael Jackson vocal ability, his distinctive tone, one of a kind vibrato. The way he layered and stacked his background vocals on his records is completely insane. I see so much of myself in Michael.” His journey as a musician has been nothing short of a blessing. He tried out for the gospel singing contest “Sunday Best,” and although he made it to the judging round, he did not make it all the way. “I got a little discouraged and asked God what He was trying to tell me? I realized it was not in God’s plans for me, but I didn’t allow that experience to discourage me. I kept singing, ministering, and putting out music covers,” he says.

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Things began to change for the better for Semaje. One day, he was blessed with the opportunity to work with Fred Jerkins, who has also worked with Dark Child to produce hits for artists Destiny’s Child, Beyonce, Brandy, and more. Fred featured Semaje as the lead vocalist on his song “Reason of Praise” which, of course, landed at the number four position on the Billboard charts. Semaje described the moment as surreal. “Seeing all the different plaques on the wall for songs such as Lose My Breath, Deja VU, the Boy Is Mine, and Michael Jackson’s Rock My World; I couldn’t believe that I was in the studio working with the same legendary producer that worked with Beyonce and Micheal Jackson and Now I am working with him, this is a dream! I grew up saying I wanted to work with the Dark Child squad,” Semaje shares with excitement. After that experience, things kept rolling for Semaje. One day during the pandemic, the accomplished gospel artist, Deitrick Haddon called and told him to get on the social media platform Clubhouse, and play some of his covers. He played his cover of “All I Do” by Stevie Wonder, and everyone went crazy. Semaje says in no time, his inbox became full of messages from producers and artists wanting to work with him. Soon he was speaking with Tyscot Records, known for their artists such as PJ Morton, John P. Kee, and Anthony Brown. After talking for about two to three months, they offered him a partnership deal. They worked together to put out his cover to Bill Withers Lovely Day, which debuted at the number nine position on the Billboard Charts. He has continued to work with Tyscot Records alongside Anesha Birchett, who has experience with artists Beyonce, Justin Bieber, H.E.R., Mary Mary and more, but now she’s stepping into a new role as Executive Producer of his upcoming debut album. “My sound, my creativity, vocal ability and interpretation of music has changed

“I desire to share with the world that no matter what the circumstances are, nobody is exempt from living a good life. We all have gotten it wrong but we serve a God who can make us right.” since working with the gamechanger Anesha, I can’t imagine doing this without her,” says Semaje. Semaje has finally found his distinctive lane and sound with iconic producer Shajuan Andrews from Brooklyn, New York. “He’s the fresh new sound that was missing in music, he’ll be listed as one of the greatest of all times,” says Semaje. The three of them are working together to produce Semaje’s debut album, including his latest single, You written by Jamel Smith which debuted April 22nd and landed in Top 20 Billboard Charts.. Semaje loves being able to change the world through his music. “I desire to tell people that no matter what they have done in life, no matter how many mistakes they have made, we serve a God who makes us right,” he says. “Nobody is exempt from living a good life through God.” Now we know about his musical inspirations, but Semaje says his family is his biggest inspiration. “My father, mother and big brother demarcyon and grandmothers have played a huge part in making me the person I am today, mainly by setting such highexamples to live up to,” he says. Semaje is currently attending Oakland University in Rochester Hills, earning his bachelor’s degree in human resources in public relations. He has recently welcomed his nephew, Denver James, into the world. “ The greatest thing that’s happen in 2022 is my nephew, says Semaje” You can expect a lot from Semaje in the near future. This will include albums, tours, and radio appearances. He is also working on receiving more endorsements, including being featured in commercials, “I want to bring more faith to television and tell the world about Jesus,” he says. His advice to others who may have a passion or a dream such as his is clear and concise. “Never adjust your life to what makes sense to another individual as long as you continue to follow the voice of God. Doing that way, you can’t go wrong.” To learn more about Semaje, check out his Instagram @isemaje and on Facebook and Twitter at Semaje Collier. You can also find his music on all platforms. h

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SugaRee Cookies By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by SugaRee Cookies Sharita Shortéy of Kansas City, MO, is living the sweet life. The young, talented, and loving woman is the owner of SugaRee Cookies, a customized cookie bakery that specializes in creating personal custom characters in the form of cookies. According to Sharita, her cookies taste amazing, and the word on the street is that the cookies are too cute to eat. SugaRee Cookies features eight different flavors to choose from. Most of their clients are of the African American community, and Sharita says she loves being there for her people. “It’s a feeling of giving back. I provide a place where they can be free to express themselves and share their visions without being judged,” she shares. So, where did the name SugaRee come from? Sharita says, “When I was younger, my uncle gave me a nickname that only he called me. It was Ree, which is short for Sharita. Before launching my business, we lost him to cancer, but I knew when I started, I wanted to use “Ree” in my business’ name to represent his love for me.” It is impossible to measure Sharita’s determination by her outward appearance. She is a self-described family woman, one who has experienced many things in life. She had her first child at age 18 and said she was scared of not knowing what was next. She’s raised five children, ranging from five to nineteen, and has enjoyed seventeen years of marriage with her husband. “I’m corky. I’m awkward, and I have a weird sense of style. I love animals, and one day I will have a great big farm,” she says. Sharita says one of the benefits of having many children allowed her to quickly realize it is easier to do everything for them herself (cooking, grooming, etc.) versus seeking outside assistance. “I literally do everything, from cutting my boy’s hair, doing my daughter’s nails, baking every cake for every birthday, and making every costume for Halloween. I’m a perfectionist, I have a vision, and I desire things to be exact,” she says. Detroit - May/June 2022

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“I literally love everyone. When I create my cookies, I put all of myself into them. When I see the joy on my client’s faces, that does it for me. Knowing that whatever they are going through, at that moment, I was able to give them a piece of joy.”

Her love for serving others is evident and displayed with SugaRee Cookies. However, her path was paved well before opening up shop. She always had a passion for art, a talent she says God gave her, but never really pursued anything in the art field because nursing came easy, and she took the easy route. “I started my journey in nursing and worked in the nursing field for 18 years, up until December 2021. Taking care of others has always been my passion. I lost my grandparents at a very young age, and caring for the elderly holds an important place in my heart,” she says. The SugaRee journey began in 2019. It was then that Sharita noticed the cookie show Christmas Cookie Challenge on the Food Network. She automatically knew baking cookies was something she wanted to do in her spare time. “I started making customized cookies for my nieces and nephews and my coworkers. It gave me an outlet, and I actually loved doing it. I am not saying I didn’t love nursing, but I feel I was never appreciated for my love for the job. I was also very underpaid. When the Covid 19 pandemic arrived, everything got worse, and I found myself depressed with life. I was losing my passion for something I loved doing and needed a change. So, I finally listened to that voice and took the leap of faith and quit my job, and SugaRee Cookies was born,” she shares. Sharita’s desire to love everyone makes her a perfect fit for her role as a parent, wife, and business owner. “I literally love everyone. When I create my cookies, I put all of myself into them. When I see the joy on my client’s faces, that does it for me. Knowing that whatever they are going through, at that moment, I was able to give them a piece of joy. If smiles are all I will ever get from this business, then I’ve made it,” she says.

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Like most small business owners, Sharita has faced a few challenges. One of them is time. “I’ve found that time is of the essence. It’s losing time. Time with my family, and my friends, talks with God, and keeping myself healthy-minded. There are days where I feel I lose myself because I’m focused on making others happy,” Sharita said. Being a business owner also allows Sharita to be the perfect example of what success looks like for her kids, and show them they can be whatever they dream of being. “You control your own destiny, and being able to teach my kids, especially my boys, how to be strong in such a cruel world brings peace in my heart.” While she gives all glory to God for the success she has enjoyed in business thus far, Sharita admits that having a sound support system and village has played a vital role also. “My husband has been my rock. When I was on the fence and trying to decide if this was something I really wanted to do, he went out and bought everything I needed to get started. He told me to quit my job and promised to have my back through the entire journey. Honestly, if it wasn’t for him, I’d probably be miserable, still working the nursing job,” she says. Sharita’s advice to others who may follow a path similar to hers is always to follow your heart and listen to that voice within you. “If you are unhappy, you should start praying and make changes. Only you can change the way your life is going. Once you take that leap of faith, God will take care of the rest. I stand on that,” she says. h

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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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T U C K E R By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Verlancia Tucker It has been said to never judge a book by its cover. For Verlancia Tucker, this assessment is spot on. She is the founder of BOHEMIA Cares, a non-profit organization that offers self-love programs while spreading mental health awareness. The quality programs provide enrichment, mentorship, outreach, educational consulting, and social-emotional learning to individuals and families. “BOHEMIA Cares is not just any nonprofit organization, we are a healing ministry. We allow individuals to share openly about self-love and mental illness in safe, nonjudgmental spaces. We allow God to shine through us so that others will know there is a living God and Savior. When people look and hear me, I want them to see and hear God,” she says. Verlancia grew up in the Delta (Lee County), Arkansas, and is the ninth daughter of ten children born to Jeff and Henrietta Tucker. She is also a mother, educator, mentor, advocate, personal development coach and survivor. Verlancia attended Lee High Schools in Marianna, Arkansas, and has earned a Master of Secondary Education degree and two Bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration, with majors in Advertising-Public Relations and Marketing from UA-Little Rock. She is an Arkansas Educator licensed in Business Technology and endorsed in Career Orientation and English as a Second Language, and has worked as a classroom teacher for ten years with mentorship and teacher supervisor experience. Furthermore, she currently serves as the Education Committee Chair for the Jacksonville Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Verlancia founded BOHEMIA Cares on January 8, 2018. It was an action she shared that God commissioned her to do. “I experienced mental illness at age 17, mainly due to my exposure to domestic violence. Yet, I was fortunate to graduate high school as an honor student, finishing in the top 10% of my graduating class. I attended a community college during my senior year in high school, all while battling the silent monster,” she says. Verlancia moved out on her own and enrolled in college at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock immediately after high school. “After graduating from high school, I thought I would become an accountant and a cosmetologist. After my first two accounting courses, that soon changed. Nonetheless, I graduated from barber school with barber and barber instructor licenses, but I couldn’t practice in that field due to neck and back issues,” she says. As she got older, she ignored the trauma from her early childhood but would find herself involved with another trying situation. Verlancia dated a guy who turned out to be a stalker. During that time, she also lost a family member to gun violence. “Life became so dark and hopeless, and mental illness attacked my mind yet once again,” she shares. Detroit - May/June 2022

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“My mental stability plummeted again, and everything that could go wrong was going wrong. I realized that I could no longer manage my daily home life and teach school, and I needed mental counseling. I had to go get help, or death would have been the end result because I had already planned my suicide.” Years would pass, and Verlancia continued to battle depression with the assistance of medication. She also got married, had a son, and was divorced, all within a year. After being left to raise her son alone, Verlancia says she struggled to maintain a smile and work through the heartache and pain. During her trials, Verlancia says there were some bright moments also. “While my personal life was going downhill, my professional life was looking up. I landed a job at a middle school and taught Keyboarding, mentored at-risk girls, and served as the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) Advisor. Through all of the hustle and bustle, Verlaneca says she lost herself. “Life became so cumbersome and overwhelming. My mental stability plummeted again, and everything that could go wrong was going wrong. I realized that I could no longer manage my daily home life and teach school, and I needed mental counseling. I had to go get help, or death would have been the end result because I had already planned my suicide,” she shares. Verlancia shares that she contemplated suicide because she was in a dark, dark place. Thankfully, she says, God intervened, and she endured countless sleepless days and nights filled with crying, worrying, despair, anxiety, and bitterness. “Even though I managed to attain college degrees and accolades, it meant absolutely nothing because my inner joy and peace were in a place of unrest and discontent. I replayed a lot of negative thoughts and actions. Honestly, I felt as if I had lost my soul. I had a real fistfight with the devil to regain my soul. It was God and therapy that saved my life. My therapist taught me coping strategies, and I learned how to set healthy boundaries for my peace and healing. I then began to shed the resentment and pain that I had harbored for years. I learned so much about myself during the therapy sessions. I realized that I had been battling with myself for a long time. I learned how to identify my triggers and be okay with eliminating toxic people from my inner circle. I realized that what occurred in my life was not a mistake or error. I also asked God why I endured so much pain, heartache, and suffering. God told me, “In order for you to be able to help other people, you had to go through it.” In that moment, I gained a sense of peace and acceptance, and God began to speak the vision of this organization to me,” she says. Verlancia says she is inspired by people who push past adversity and defy the odds. “I am inspired by people who love others when others mistreat them and those who value other people, regardless of where they come from or what they look like,” she says. Her friends of more than 45 years, Pam, Cita, Relynda, Claudette, and Tammy have inspired her the most. “They have been by my side through it all, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the indifferent. They have allowed me to be me and embraced me when my life was in shambles, and they celebrate with me today. They have challenged me to become better, and are my accountability partners in life.” Moving forward, Verlancia hopes to write adult and children’s books about mental health and self-love. She also hopes to open a charter school one day, and open a transition home for single mothers who struggle with mental illness. Her personal goal is to become a professional print model. To learn more about Varlancia and BOHEMIA Cares, please visit their website. h

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Beacon Hill Community Services, Inc. 26

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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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708-571-3280

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Listen To Every Episode On The Following Platforms

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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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The Wealthy Child “I am a Change Agent on the path to create a culture of wealth for the next generation” By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Ronald Pollard Delvin Sullivan is a Dave Ramsey-certified Financial Coach who believes that “The earlier money can make sense to a child, the better chance they have at being financially responsible adults.” A native of Huntsville, AL, Delvin is the author of The Wealthy Child, a book designed to teach youth about money and the world’s economic process. As someone who grew up in public housing, Delvin’s passion always led him to mentoring youth and posing as a positive role model for kids, particularly young men. Using the basic principles of wealth, he published his book to level the playing field and offer all children the opportunity to become wealthy through knowledge. Some of the topics discussed in the Wealthy Child production are budgeting, banking, investing, credit, income, and assets. “I am introducing children to the basics of financial literacy in a fun and engaging way and teaching kids about the importance of earning, saving, and spending responsibly. My goal is to ensure they understand the importance of earning, saving, and spending responsibly,” Delvin says. In addition to being an author, personal finance coach, and entrepreneur, Delvin is also a US Army veteran and recipient of the Unsung Hero Award. He holds degrees from Alabama A&M University and Murray State University. He is married to Felichia, and they have two children, Tierra and Jordan, along with three grandchildren. Delvin shares, “I began teaching at the Sparkman Homes Boys and Girls Club in 2017, and decided to develop a book and workbook that would give the students something they could take home with them.”

The vision for The Wealthy Child is connected to Delvins awareness of the many challenges that youth face, especially within his community. “Studies show 80% of crimes that send people to prison have something to do with money. I want to change that narrative by teaching children how to earn, save, grow, and respect the dollar at an early age,” he says. He shares that he loves being able to change the course of a child’s life by ensuring he or she is financially literate. He is also inspired by youth development and making a difference in his community. Growing up in similar situations that many of the young individuals he’s helping are, Delving feels that he has a sincere responsibility to create realistic opportunities for them. “I made it to where I am because of the men placed in my life at the Boys and Girls Club. It was Ugene Phillips, Cedric Wherry, and Tyrone Langford. They would preach, “if you want to be an eagle, don’t hang around turkey’s”. That kept me from becoming a product of my environment,” Delvin says. Delvin’s future goal is to continue to change the lives of millions of children by introducing them to the world’s economic process. To learn more about The Wealthy Child, h please visit their website.

Delvin Sullivan The Wealthy Child

www.thewealthychild.net 256-468-3227 33


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Christina Bennett By Dorjea McClammey Photos Provided By Christina Bennett Christina Bennett is the founder of Say It Sow, a speech therapy program in Huntsville, Alabama. Their motto is “What You Speak Life Into Grows, “ which is a constant reminder for Christina. She says, “Use your words positively to speak life and manifest your heart’s desires.” A native of Houston, Texas, Christina was raised in the small town of Fayette, Alabama. In 2002, she made the trek to Huntsville to attend Alabama A&M University. There she received her bachelor’s in Communicative Sciences and Disorders and followed that by earning her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Christina stated she enjoyed Huntsville so much that she decided to build her life there. She met her husband in Huntsville, and together they’ve produced two wonderful daughters. “I love Huntsville. It’s like porridge, just right. Huntsville is not too big like Houston and not too small like my hometown.” The journey of Say it Sow began in 2013. Christina was working in a private speech therapy practice that offered services to children and adults with speech-language, swallowing, voice, and hearing impairments. She served as the rehab director for about eight years but began to feel uncomfortable and determined she needed a change. Her mentor at the time encouraged her to step out on faith and launch her own firm, even providing Christina with the company’s name. “I continued to talk to God about the situation, and He ultimately revealed to me that I was going to have a private practice. True to His word, I would have just that,” she says. Christina did one of the hardest things she had ever done and left her sixfigure job to pursue her dream, but she shared she knew God was leading her. “Being in a corporate setting for so many years and lacking the flexibility to be with my family and treat clients was a hindrance. I wasn’t happy, and my clients weren’t getting what they needed, so I vowed to be able to not only give myself the flexibility but give my clients what they deserved,” she says.

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In 2020, Say It Sow was born. Christina says it was a rough start, and she had only one client that entire year. However, she remained grateful and determined to succeed, and soon her business began to flourish. Presently, Say It Sow has over 100 clients. Christina’s practice offers various services, including articulation, language delays, fluency apraxia, aphasia dysarthria, autism, dysphagia, traumatic brain injury, and voice and motor speech disorders. She also addresses Neurologic impairments such as Parkinsons and Dementia. “My services are for everyone, from ages zero to 99,” she says. She also provides in-home visits and virtual sessions and even travels to local daycare centers to help make it easier for parents. A career as a Speech Pathologist was something Christina always knew she wanted to pursue. She was once in a position like her clients as well. Christina was involved in a car accident that caused her to break both of her legs when she was younger. She also fractured her pelvis bone and sustained a severe head injury. Because of her injuries, she had to forfeit her entire 10th-grade year in high school and take speech therapy to regain her speech and language skills. After surviving that ordeal, Christina knew what her passion and purpose were. Christina says the experience of having her own practice has not always been easy. Some of the disorders and neurological impairments her clients can be difficult to work with, mainly due to the loss of speech or language. “However challenging it can be, the opportunity to help others is always rewarding,” she says. “When you teach someone who has suffered a stroke to repeat their wife’s name, or teach someone to tell their daughter “I love you” again, it makes it all worth it.” Being able to give her clients hope and help them achieve their goals continues to push Christina to be the very best version of herself. As for the future of Say it Sow, Christina plans on expanding her practice to serve other disciplines and be a complete resource to her community. She is also accepting new clients and will soon launch two summer camps.

Christina Bennett M.S. CCC/SLP Say It Sow www.sayitsow.com 256-715-1249

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For those who may be considering a career such as hers, Christina offers some sound advice. ‘Our field is gratifying, independent, and broad, so if you get tired of one aspect, there are many more opportunities to try under the speech pathology umbrella. To learn more about Christina Bennett and Say It Sow, please visit their website. h


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MAGAZINE

Cutest Baby

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Marrel Gravely Foushee

The son Sunny Gravely Foushee and Marrel Foushee

HuamiMagazine.com

Detroit - May/June 2022

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