Huami Magazine Detroit Sept./Oct. 2022

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Detroit - Sept./Oct. 2022

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God’s Plan Is Greater Than Me A Letter From The Editor

With every ordeal or trying circumstance, there will always be more than one way to handle them. We can face them head-on, or we can turn away and avoid any form of an altercation. No matter what decision is made concerning the matter, the impact or effect of what we chose will most likely be waiting on the other side of our decision. That’s why I believe it’s vital to share our thoughts with God beforehand and confirm His viewpoint because God’s plan is greater than anything I can decide for myself. Like most people, the thrill of victory is generally the reason why I compete or fight. Also, if you are anything like me, I understand that you may hate to lose, regardless of what is at stake. Yet, I am learning that I must do a better job choosing my battles because, for the most part, every battle is not mine to fight. God desires to fight for me, and He expects me to let go and allow Him to do His thing. I’ve learned that the car drives better when He controls the wheel.

www.huamimagazine.com Terry L Watson

Publisher

Dorjae’ McClammey Terry L. Watson Ellen Richardson Monica Montgomery

Writer Writer Writer Writer

Tamara Smith

I recently celebrated my birthday, and to be honest; I celebrated for the entire month. That was my choice because I love birthdays. I also used that time to reflect on where I am in life and where I’ve come from. I wanted to know what I am currently doing to get to where I ultimately want to be. What was revealed is my interests and efforts were possibly pointed in the wrong direction. I learned that while I am blessed, God is more concerned about those individuals He can reach beyond me, and when I don’t allow God to use me, He isn’t able to reach them through me. Being vulnerable and a cooperative vessel are attributes of real greatness; that’s what God spoke to me. Living my life as a Christian and believer in God means that I must trust God. Even during the most difficult moments, if I just show up for the fight and trust God while I am fighting, I will then see Him move on my behalf. The things that I may be dealing with and determined to be unbearable may actually amount to nothing once it’s placed in God’s hand. How will I ever know if I don’t allow God to lead me? God has a plan and purpose for all of us, and His plan is far greater than anything we can imagine or think. I get excited when I think about everything God has prepared for me. His is greater, and all I have to do is trust His process and believe what He tells me.

Terry L. Watson 4

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CONTENTS

SEPT/OCT. 2022

DETROIT

D2G ScreenShots

John Odum

On The Cover

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B. Rooted Wellness Brianna Simpson

UnLock ‘N Your Freedom LLC

Tanzania Fair

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The Glam Corridor

Mia Adams

Huami Magazine Cutest Baby

Laney Williamson

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Also Featured

Dr. Thomas Cole The importance of education was something that was instilled into him as a child. Learn more about him. Cocoa, FL

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Karen Boulden The challenges that come with broken homes can be devastating. Learn how her company helps to ease the burdens. Greenville, SC

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Kim Fuller Meet the face and founder of Fuller Life Concepts Inc. Los Angeles, CA

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B. Rooted Wellness By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Alexis Nichole The community of Detroit, MI, is best known for its roots in the automotive industry. Powerhouses such as General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, also known as the “Big Three” have shaped Detroit into the often recognized identity, the Motor City. If one looks beyond auto mystique, one will find there is a lot more to Detroit than just cars. With nearly 640,000 citizens, Black Americans make a large portion of Detroit’s residents, at almost 72 percent. From this group, nearly 42,000 Black Americans are business owners. That is quite impressive, and native Brianna Simpson has also found her footing in the mix. Brianna is the owner of B. Rooted Wellness. Her practice offers holistic doula support, childbirth education, and lactation wellness support. B. Rooted is physically located in Detroit and offers virtual services when needed. Another service offered by Brianna is the Community Childbirth Classes. She says, they are designed for families that seek to learn about birth and life after birth with personalized help and resources. “These classes are for parents from all walks of life. Small class sizes allow for more one-on-one help that can help to kick start the road to parenthood. No one can predict what will happen antepartum or postpartum, but that does not mean you need to go into it unprepared. The goal of these classes are to provide information on pregnancy, labor and delivery, the Fourth Trimester, and more,” she shared. During the Community Childbirth Classes, the following topics, but not limited to, will be discussed: Prenatal Care, Body Changes, Committed Care Committee, and learning the importance of informed decision making. Other things that are discussed are Prenatal Nutrition, Prenatal Exercises, Birth Doula’s role, birth options and their benefits, risks, interventions, and alternatives. Detroit - Sept./Oct. 2022

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Another service Brianna offers are the Community Lactation Wellness Classes. “Prenatal breastfeeding education is an important step in preparing for your new baby,” she says. “Many moms have heard how difficult or painful breastfeeding can be. Learning proper latch techniques and basic management skills before baby arrives can help get breastfeeding off to a good start,” she says. Brianna says she takes pride in providing emotional, spiritual, physical, and informational support to expectant mothers and their families. “As your doula, I can demonstrate comfort measures and newborn care. I also offer breastfeeding support, and I’m available to fill in the gaps as necessary,” she says. Running and operating her business gives Brianna a lot of fulfillment, and she shares some things she loves about her profession. “I love that my birth work is impactful and allows me to be flexible. I have the time to pour into myself, my family, and the families I support without being burnt out. I could not imagine doing anything else with my life and I truly love serving others.” She says she is inspired mostly by children. “Knowing that they are our future keeps me motivated to learn all I can. I understand my role is to share valuable information with the families I support. One piece of information can change a child’s life forever, so I do all I can to arm families with up-to-date, evidence-based resources,” she said.

Brianna Simpson B. Rooted Wellness

www.brootedwellness.com

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With owning a business, a few challenges may present themselves. For Brianna, she has experienced her share and has worked to address them. “During a childbirth class, a few mothers informed me that their doulas cannot physically attend prenatal appointments or births with them. That was concerning and a bit disheartening for me. As a result, I began to offer remote and virtual doula support, which included childbirth education options for pregnant and postpartum mothers. During the global Covid 19 pandemic, the mental fatigue and stress families are experiencing have been at an all-time high. A doula’s remote or virtual presence greatly increases patient satisfaction surrounding their birth experience and can reduce the stress and fear that many have felt,” she says. Brianna’s advice is to embrace the journey for those who may follow in her footsteps and pursue a career as a Wellness Coach or Doula. “To be successful, you must ask questions and give with a cheerful heart,” she says. h


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John Odum D2G ScreenShots

By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by John Odum Genuine in nature, John Odum has found his footing in the world of entrepreneurship. He is the face and founder of D2G Screenshots, a multifaceted graphic design and creative arts firm based in Memphis, TN. D2G is an acronym that represents “Dreams to Goals” and Screenshots John shares was added to his business model to allow customers to have any shirt design, image, or idea printed directly onto a T-shirt. Some of the additional products and services John offers are customprinted t-shirts and hoodies. “We use a Direct to Garment printing setup, which allows us to create vibrant, high-quality prints with a three to five day turnaround time,” he says. John was born and raised in Memphis and graduated from East High School. In high school, he met his sweetheart, a connection that led to marriage and three children. While his approach to business is calm, he has been assertive in his quest for knowledge. In doing so, he obtained an Associates Degree in Electronic Engineering Technology, a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology, and a Master’s degree in Information Technology/Cybersecurity. D2GscreenShots came to life in December 2017 as a result of a graduate school assignment John had. He was asked to write a 30-page paper focusing on a new technology. After stumbling upon a printer that printed directly to t-shirts, my interest peaked, and I began to inquire about the technology,” he says. John scored a high grade for his assignment and decided to invest his money into the equipment needed to start the business, and the rest is history.

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“Having a son and creating a legacy is very important to me. My son’s birth motivated me to focus on my dreams of entrepreneurship and education. I want to exemplify to him that anything is possible if you do the work and believe in your dreams.”

John Odum D2G ScreenShots

D2Gscreenshots@gmail.com 901-279-0434

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John says he loves the creative freedom his business offers, as well as being his own boss. He also finds enjoyment in satisfying his customers. Like most business owners, John has also faced some challenges in business. Some of these involve creating a customer base in a fairly new market and setting himself apart from other shirt companies. Another challenge John shares he had was being comfortable with his product’s value and giving his customers the option to go a cheaper route with other Tshirt vendors. He was able to overcome his challenges by utilizing social media as a marketing and promotion tool. “Social media has allowed me to reach thousands of potential customers at little to no cost,” he shares. “I have built relationships with other t-shirt companies simply by referring clients to them for various services.” John says his life and career have mostly been impacted by knowing others depend on his success. “Having a son and creating a legacy is very important to me. My son’s birth motivated me to focus on my dreams of entrepreneurship and education. I want to exemplify to him that anything is possible if you do the work and believe in your dreams,” he says. John’s advice to others who may follow in his footsteps is to dream big. John shares, “Give yourself at least three years to become profitable. You must also research the industry and the competition and prepare yourself to manage taxes, licenses, and budgets. In other words, do your Homework!” There isn’t much that John says he would have changed about his journey in business. Yet, one thing he mentions is that he wishes he would have gone to college earlier to advance his communication skills and increase his exposure to marketing and business strategies. Besides those, he admits the journey has been worthwhile. As John’s future continues to look bright, he plans to expand his business and become a wholesale supplier of blank t-shirts and supply new t-shirt companies. He will also offer consulting, marketing, promotion, and startup packages to companies and help guide them into becoming successful in the t-shirt industry. To learn more about John Odum and D2G ScreenShots, please contact him directly. h


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Fuller Life Concepts, Inc By Monica Montgomery Photos Provided by Kim Fuller You can’t help but feel a little jealous when you first meet Kim Fuller. Whether it’s the Southern California sunshine at her back, her eyes full of joy, or her bright smile full of light, you find yourself happy to have met her. Kim Fuller is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, psychotherapist, author, trainer, founder, and CEO of Fuller Life Concepts, Inc. Fuller Life Concepts, Inc. is a mental health and wellness agency that helps women, children, and families manage anxiety and depression using evidence-based models. Kim’s vision is to be a nationally recognized mental health and wellness agency for Black families and people of color. Helping people has been Kim’s passion from a young age. She shares, “I’ve wanted to be a therapist since junior high school. I took an elective that allowed me to work as an office assistant, and I would see the students coming in to talk to the counselor. I thought it was cool that the students had someone they could go to for help. My mom was a principal, and I would sometimes chat with the psychologist at her school about what they did. So, I am one of those unusual people who have known for pretty much my whole life that this is what I wanted to do.” Whether you believe in signs or destiny, life experiences helped confirm that Kim was on the right path. “As I said, I always knew I wanted to study psychology. I had a friend in high school who struggled with her identity. She was Asian American, but she wanted to be white. S o much so that she contemplated ending her life. I wanted to understand what she was going through.” Kim received her bachelor’s in psychology from California State University, Fresno. “I grew up in a pretty diverse small town in Central California, but there were no dating opportunities. I wanted to go where the men were,” Kim said with a laugh. “While there, I spent a summer with some friends, and one of the girls took a bunch of sleeping pills attempting to commit suicide. I was the first one at home, so I found her. This was another level of depression and feeling helpless for me. The challenge was that it was kind of dismissed when we got her to the hospital. They just sent her home like it was no big deal. We were only about eighteen or nineteen, so we were just kids, but there was no additional support for her or us, her friends who found her,” Kim explained. “That was traumatic, but we were just sent home. I felt like this person needed more. That night we all stayed together, none of us wanting to be alone after the experience. The next morning, I called home and started bawling as soon as my dad spoke.” Detroit - Sept./Oct. 2022

“I’ve wanted to be a therapist since junior high school. I took an elective that allowed me to work as an office assistant, and I would see the students coming in to talk to the counselor. I thought it was cool that the students had someone they could go to for help.”

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Kim credits having the support of her parents as being one of the biggest reasons she could pursue her passion. That experience compelled Kim to want to fill those gaps she and her friends experienced. As a result, Fuller Life Concepts focuses much of its energy on anxiety, depression, and trauma in adolescents and children. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, Kim’s first job was with the VA hospital in their inpatient/outpatient substance abuse clinic for about a year. “I worked with a doctor researching cessation, like how to get veterans to stop smoking. That was a vital time because it helped me realize two things. One, the cessation of substance abuse and tobacco use was not my area. Two, veterans were not my population. My dad was a Vietnam vet, so that was too close for comfort. My father was my hero, and to imagine he was suffering the way these men were, was a little more than I could take.” Thinking ahead to her next steps, Kim decided to go back to school and get her master’s degree in counseling from California State University in Long Beach. “I focused my graduate studies on marriage and families so that I would have a broader range of options in my career field.” Kim’s first paying job was with an agency called LA Child Guidance, now Wellnest in South Los Angeles. “At LA Child Guidance, we worked with severely emotionally disturbed children and their families. Our goal was to help create stability within the family so the children could remain in the home. We wanted to avoid having them go into a higher level of care,” she says. She started as an intern, but once licensed, Kim was promoted to Director of the center’s learning program. “I really loved that position because I was able to help the older teens and young adults. They still needed support. Some of them were transitioning from foster care, and at that time, you transitioned at age eighteen. Since then, the laws have changed, and it’s closer to twenty-five.”

Kim Fuller

Fuller Life Concepts Inc. www.fullerlifeconcepts.com 323-334-0064

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Transitioning from a minor to adulthood is difficult for anyone, but it’s compounded for young people who have aged out of the foster care system. They lose any semblance of stability and support. This is what the program Kim worked with provided. “We partnered with the department of rehabilitation to give them on-the-job training, life skills, and experience. I am really proud of the work we did in that program.” Seeing the work she did as important, Kim took advantage of every opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those who needed it. “Eventually, I left LA Child Guidance and took a position at a different agency as Director of the outpatient clinic. I managed supervisors and programs. Thanks to the fullservice partnerships with the state. We created programs that focused on the underserved and the inappropriately served. This meant we could do early intervention before things got to really bad.”


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As a mental health provider, Kim admits there were periods in her life when she had to ask for help. As a black female, Kim comes from a culture of strength, but that strength was also a stumbling block when life took an unexpected turn. “I met a wonderful man. We were both single with no children, and we both loved to travel. We did everything from skiing, sailing, scuba diving, hiking, and camping we did it. We spent about thirteen years of our lives together, but he was diagnosed with leukemia soon after we met. He initially chose to keep it to himself. So, we continue to live and enjoy life together. He was told that because of chemo, he was infertile,” Kim winced then laughed. “To our surprise, we came up pregnant. Thankfully we were blessed with a healthy baby girl. My husband died when our daughter was less than a year old.” With the demands of her career, the loss of her best friend and life partner, and then instantly becoming a single parent, Kim was starting to struggle under the weight of it all. “So much happened in that year. I got married, I had a baby, and I got a promotion. Then in one month, I was demoted, and my husband died. A few months later, I left my job completely.” Kim prides herself on having a fantastic community of supporters, but when she needed them most, she didn’t know how to ask for help. “Call it pride or ignorance, but I just couldn’t reach out. I was featured in a book about 16 successful Mompreneurs. The book starts with me trying to get a car seat into a rental car on the day of my husband’s funeral. There I am, frustrated as I struggle and tussle with trying to install this car seat, and I’m just all over the place. The thing was, my parents were standing right behind me, watching. They didn’t offer because I was so sensitive at the time that I would have snapped at them. So… I continued to struggle. It would have made sense to turn around and ask for help, but that’s not the culture.” Along with working to help children and families heal and live their best lives, Kim focuses on bringing light to the black and brown community. “We believe seeking social-emotional help is not a “black” thing. That’s not true. I was grieving and a hot mess, but I wore my mask every day because the culture said I couldn’t let anyone see my pain. I had to break down and find help. Fuller Life Concepts dispels the myth that only white people do mental health. Black women and black men are just as likely to deal with trauma. My goal is to let them know that there are people who look like them and understand who they are and where they come from that can help. That’s what the Fuller Life is all about.” h

Acknowledging National Black Excellence

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MAGAZINE

Cutest Baby

Laney Williamson The daughter of Elise Blackmon and Dante Williamson

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

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Nurturing Connections LLC

Supervised Visitation Services 20

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By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Debra Attaway Photography Karen Bolden of Greenville, SC, has always been interested in helping others. Though her initial area of study in college was criminal justice, her focus changed to Social Work after determining that punishment, not rehabilitation, was the primary focus. Karen has over 20 years of experience working with children and families in need. She is a wife to James Bolden, and mother to Zion and Carter. She was born and raised in Clinton, SC, and graduated from Winthrop University with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She is also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. After graduating from Winthrop University, she began working with juvenile sex offenders and later with children in group home facilities. She has worked for the South Carolina Department of Social Services for 12 years as a foster care case manager, foster home licensing specialist, and as foster care supervisor. After leaving DSS, she worked as a liaison between DSS and the families who needed their services. Her goal was to help develop a plan to ensure that children and families were getting their needs met to have a safe and prosperous life without further DSS involvement. A large part of that role involved reaching out to family members to take temporary custody of the children. Finding relatives and assessing their homes was something Karen says she enjoyed. As a result, she became a Certified Investigator and began completing home assessments for relatives. Today, Karen is the owner of Nurturing Connections LLC. Nurturing Connections LLC is a supervised visitation service that provides a trained professional to monitor the contact between a non-custodial parent and their child and ensures the child’s safety during the visit. Supervision is often court ordered when there is a significant safety concern involving alleged child abuse/neglect, domestic violence, parental substance abuse, unsafe parenting practices, threat of abduction, or parental alienation. She says, “That name was chosen because I believe it is important for families to not only have supervised visits, but have an opportunity to make new memories together and nurture their connections, both new and old.” Karen shares that ongoing parental involvement can foster healthy emotional and social development for children and positive parent/child relationships. Nurturing Connections LLC provides supervised visits in public locations, and in the home of the non-custodial parent or relatives. Karen’s company also has flexible service hours designed to accommodate various school and work schedules. Detroit - Sept./Oct. 2022

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“I have been blessed with two amazing sons, the most important people in my life. I love to spend time with them and watch them grow into young men. I could not imagine not having the ability to see them daily and play a crucial role in their upbringing.”

Karen Bolden Nurturing Connections LLC www.nurturingconnectionsllc.com 864-501-4017

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So how did Karen get started? She says, “When I worked at DSS, a major part of working with families involved in foster care was ensuring that they have visitation with their families at least twice a month for one hour each visit. That limited amount of time is not enough to maintain family connections and relationships; however, that was all that DSS was able to offer. During that time, I also spent a lot of my time at family court. While waiting for a hearing, I met and befriended a private Guardian Ad Litem, Nela Laughridge. She mentioned needing someone to supervise visits on a private custody case, and I immediately offered my services. Based on my background and experience, she agreed to allow me to work with her on the case. That first case consisted of an 8-hour visit every weekend and was held in public and at the grandmother’s home. I worked with that family for several years until my services were no longer needed, and I continued to work with different families for about eight years, strictly as a side hustle. In February 2021, my contract job as a Certified Investigator ended, and would lead to me eventually stepping out on faith and creating my own opportunity.” Today, Nurturing Connections LLC currently serves families in counties within Greenville, Spartanburg, Laurens, and Anderson, SC. Karen says what she loves most about her business is watching the relationships between children and their absent parents improve. “When visits start, it can be awkward between the child and their parent, but with consistent visits and positive interactions, relationships almost always improve,” she says. She finds inspiration in the connection she has with being a parent herself. “I have been blessed with two amazing sons, the most important people in my life. I love to spend time with them and watch them grow into young men. I could not imagine not having the ability to see them daily and play a crucial role in their upbringing. I love watching them and seeing the positive relationship they have with their father, and having strong connections and bonds with family is important to the development of children,” she shared. Karen’s advice to anyone who may be considering a career in her profession is to have some experience or a background in working with children and families. She says having knowledge of family dynamics and the impact of divorce and custody issues will also be beneficial. “I would advise people not to get into this field strictly for the money. It would be best if you focused on the children and families that will benefit from your services,” she says. I-In the future, Karen says she plans to secure a brick and mortar location to offer supervised visits and co-parenting classes for participants. Please visit their website to learn more about Karen Bolden and Nurturing Connections LLC. h


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UnLock’N Your Freedom LLC “Coming from Detroit, statistically, I wasn’t supposed to succeed. Being able to offer opportunities to others, including my family, makes it all worth it.” By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Tanzania Fair

Tanzania Fair is the owner of UnLock ‘N Your Freedom, LLC. A native of Detroit, MI, Tanzania comes from a single-family home, with three brothers present to keep her company. Her father, she says, was killed at the age of 26 while going to cash a check. He was robbed and beaten and eventually died in the street. Life would continue for Tanzania, and she has become quite successful. Tanzania is a graduate of Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Sociology in 2011. She was later accepted into a study away program in Washington, D.C. That was during her senior year in college, and her internship took place in the nation’s capital. Little did Tanzania know, but the exposure in Washington would persuade her to move there permanently. Tanzania is the owner of UnLock’N Your Freedom Consulting Firm. Under this brand, Tanzania provides consulting services to aspiring small to mid-sized businesses around the United States. Newly formed and based in Detroit, UnLock’N Your Freedom is a consulting firm providing exceptional business coaching and life coaching services. “We serve leaders, aspiring entrepreneurs, nonprofits, for-profits, and startup companies to develop strategic change to achieve desired outcomes. Our team focuses on transformational experiences through entrepreneurship, self-empowerment, mental wellness, and finding your purpose. We have programs and services that can be tailored to client’s needs. Our services include business coaching, leadership and personal development, mental wellness coaching, workshops, events, retreats, and mentorship programs. We will ensure that customers receive superior services. Our services are offered in person and virtually,” she says. Tanzania is inspired mostly by her history. “Coming from Detroit, statistically, I wasn’t supposed to succeed. Being able to offer opportunities to others, including my family, makes it all worth it,” she says. What she loves most about what she does are being a helping hand to others. “Seeing someone take a small business and scale it to a six-figure level, I love that. I also enjoy helping people find their purpose in life and live to their fullest potential,” she says.

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Some of the challenges she has faced are access to capital and funding for her business. While that is common for most businesses, especially start-ups, Tanzania was determined to not allow funding to stop her dreams from becoming a reality. She has done the research and learned about programs available through organizations like the Small Business Administration and found ways to keep the wheels turning. She has also worked with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which allowed her to participate in their business series dedicated to small businesses. During the series, Tanzania gained knowledge on how to grow and build her business directly from professionals in the business world. Her advice to someone who may follow the same path as she did in business is to connect with other business professionals in your community. “Finding a mentor with experience in the same field you are pursuing will make all of the difference. Though you might not feel like doing so, you must be willing to take a risk. The biggest risk I have ever taken resulted in my biggest opportunity,” she says.

Moving forward, Tanzania plans to continue to help others in business. She also has some experience in real estate and plans to add to her existing portfolio. She also plans to begin working on her doctorate with Capella University. To learn more about Tanzania Fair, please visit her website.

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Charlie’s Horn

In memory of Pastor Charlie Adams, III By John Johnson

It Seemed That on Every Sunday Morn When Charlie Would Softly Play His Horn, That It Was More Than Just Playing with Love For We Were Hearing from Angels Above. The Drummer Would Start His Soft Roll And Sweet Music Would Fill Every Soul, Then We Would Open Our Mouths and Sing, Giving All Praise to Our Savior and King.

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John Johnson of Greensboro, NC, is retired from the U.S. Army and the U.S.Postal Service. He was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. His father passed away when he was only four years old. His mother passed away 12 years later. Though he only had his mother for 16 years, she made a lasting impression on him. He remembers her singing songs and reciting poetry around the house and believes that is where his love for singing and writing began. John has been married to Vera for 60 years. Their union produced two daughters, Yvonne, who passed away in 2013, and Yulonda. John continues to write and sing and credits God for inspiring every word and melody.

Stay Strong in Your Faith By John Johnson

There is so much going on In the world, today, We are running and worrying, And forgetting to pray. But God has not changed From his original plan When he sent his son, Jesus To save sinful man.

Photos Provided by Still Shots Photography

We can’t be caught up In what we hear, When the truth of God Is always so near. Stay strong in your faith From it never depart. Let the truth, God’s word Live in your heart.

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The Glam Corridor By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Mia Adams Mia Adams, is a social media influencer and the owner of The Glam Corridor. Originally from Greensboro, North Carolina, Mia attended the beauty school at Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown. Shortly after, she married her high school sweetheart. Now residing in Cary, NC, Mia is a full-time mom of two wonderful children, Londyn and Emory. Mia has always been sort of a fashionista and regarded as someone who knows a little something about style and fashion. “Every since I was a little girl, I would always watch my mom get dressed up for work or to go out with friends, and I believe because I was surrounded by such stylish women, my passion for fashion was ignited.” Mia says her brand, The Glam Corridor, started as a hobby. Mia would post day-to-day outfits, hoping to inspire others with her fashion sense, but something changed and Mia began to take social media professionally about three years ago. For a while, Mia shared she was praying and asking God what did he want her to do? “How did he want me to use my gift,” was something else she asked. Mia knew she wanted to expand her hobby into creating her brand, but she was struggling to find something that would make her stick out from the crowd. Then one day, she heard “corridor,” and it stuck. “I envisioned walking down a corridor with different rooms such as beauty, formal wear, casual, work attire, anything you can think of, whatever your mood is,” she shares. Today, The Glam Corridor is a one-stop shop for all of your beauty and style inspirations. Mia wants to help her followers, whom she calls her community, seek their authenticity and versatility with the help of her inspiring content. She also takes note of the direct messages she receives from her community asking for advice about certain outfits or events. When asked what life is like being an influencer, Mia remains proud yet humble with her response. “It all happened so fast. Just a couple of years ago, it was a hobby. I was not posting consistently, then once Covid hit, I began to feel stagnant and felt like I needed to do more in life, and so I prayed about it,” she says. Detroit - Sept./Oct. 2022

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fashion i love this

With her support system by her side, Mia started turning her hobby into a brand, skyrocketing from there. She was posting daily, becoming more strategic with her content, starting with over 500 followers. Today, she has over 60 thousand followers and says, “It’s a little bit overwhelming and surreal and everything happened so fast.” Still, it is exhilarating to see where things are going for The Glam Corridor. Although above all, Mia’s primary focus is to remain humble, and says it doesn’t matter if she gets two million followers, she will always be the same Mia. Through it all, Mia’s transition into a full-time mom and content creator has been smooth. Keeping with her faith and consulting God every step of the way has helped her life balance with being a mother, wife, and influencer. She also makes sure to stay strategic and organized; she writes down everything from the outfits to the reels to the times she posts.

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Regarding inspiration, Mia shows gratitude to fearless women who don’t feel the pressure to conform to trends and whatever everyone else is doing. “Women who are innovators and march to the beat of their own drum are what move me,” she says. She also credits her community for helping to shape her. “Their feedback, love, encouragement, and learning that I am a fashion inspiration are what pushes me to keep doing what I do.” While Mia is very happy with her position as an influencer, she says that there are some things she would change about the influencer industry, such as the expectations that influencers and content creators have of following a particular blueprint. “I feel that sometimes we must keep up with a certain aesthetic to be on trend. I’m not a big trendy person; you should be able to do what you want and what is best for your brand”.

For anyone thinking about following her in her footsteps, she noted that you must stay consistent, authentic, and patient. “It’s ok to get inspiration from other influences, but at the end of the day, you always need to be authentic to yourself,” she says. Moving forward, Mia has set many goals. Once she reaches one hundred thousand followers on Instagram, Mia plans to start her Youtube channel and branch out into different content, including lifestyle. She also plans to help other women balance their role of being a mom and understand self-care’s importance. As one final word to the ready, Mia wanted to say, “Be authentically you in all aspects of your life. Always be true to who you are.” You can check out all of Mia’s content on Instagram @theglamcorridor h

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Emma Jewel Charter Academy By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Dr. Thomas Cole Dr. Thomas Cole is a native of Cocoa, FL. Dr Cole decided to open the Emma Jewel Charter Academy to honor his grandmother. After graduating from Florida A&M University, Dr. Cole intended to come back home to Cocoa and help the children in his community that were at the greatest risk of failing. During this time, he met his eventual wife, Kimberly, and she poured into him, advising Dr. Cole on the best way to reach the kids he so dearly cared about. He says, “She told me that if I wanted to really reach that group of young individuals, I should consider pursuing a career in education,” he says. Dr. Cole agreed and later decided that a career in education would be the best fit for him. Dr. Cole became a Special Education teacher in 1997, which he says was the most rewarding time in his life. As he became more comfortable with teaching, his skills caught the attention of one of his administrators. Dr. Cole says they advised him to pursue a career in administration. He went back to school and obtained the necessary certifications to become a leader. He would later work at a charter school as an assistant principal and eventually as a principal. These roles gave Dr. Cole the leadership exposure that would shape his life for the future.

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Dr. Cole’s vision was to open his very own school. While his vision was worthwhile and a much-needed resource for the Cocoa community, he soon learned that for nonprofit organizations, little to no support was available. Still, he persevered and pressed towards the mark. The doors of his academy opened with 200 kids enrolled. Today, Emma Jewel Charter Academy enjoys an enrollment of 350 kids with a waiting list, and truly represents the efforts of Dr. Cole. The Emma Jewel Charter Academy is part of the Community Eligible Program (CEP) and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. As a part of these programs, they focus on teaching students about healthy nutrition and introducing them to new tastes that they may not have experienced before.

Dr. Thomas Cole and his sons.

The namesake for Emma Jewel Charter Academy is Emma Jewel Cole. Emma was born in Camilla, GA. She is regarded as deeply rooted in her Christian values and dedicated to serving her family. Emma left school at an early age to work in the cotton fields to support her family. Despite not having a formal education, Emma was one of the world’s wisest and most intelligent women. Education was very important to her and was something she stressed to her children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren. She often said, “Once you receive a good education, no one can take that away from you.” In 1960 she moved to Cocoa, FL, and raised her eight children. She remained a pillar of the Cocoa community until her final time on earth in 1999. As the principal and co-founder of Emma Jewel Charter Academy, Dr. Cole says what he loves most about what he does is serving kids and serving his community. Moving forward, he also plans to increase enrollment at the academy and continue adding value to the lives of the young people he has been fortunate to serve.

Kimberly and Thomas Cole 36

Please visit their website to learn more about Dr. Cole and the Emma Jewel Charter Academy. h

www.emmajewelcharter.com


The namesake for Emma Jewel Charter Academy is Emma Jewel Cole. Emma was born in Camilla, GA. She is regarded as deeply rooted in her Christian values and dedicated to serving her family. Emma left school at an early age to work in the cotton fields to support her family. Despite not having a formal education, Emma was one of the world’s wisest and most intelligent women. 37


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