Huami Magazine Memphis May/June 2022

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MEMPHIS

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May/June 2022 Volume 3 Issue 5

New Beginnings....To Success and Beyond Memphis - May/June 2022

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We May GodOr HasButs A Plan There AreWish, No If,But Ands, About It! There Are No If, Ands, Or Buts About It!

A Letter From The Editor

A Letter from the Editor

Modern such as the internet and smart devices, A Lettertechnology, from the Editor What if tomorrow didn’t shop arrive? of your necessities. plans, hopes has changed the way consumers forAll everyday and dreams wouldn’t to have a street to park on. What ifand Everything from groceries televisions, tires, medications, everything that you decided to put off until tomorrow never What if tomorrow didn’t arrive? All of your plans, hopes patio furniture can be purchased directly from a smartphone or happened? There would behas reason to save for a rainy and dreams wouldn’t have ano street togreatly park on. What if computer. Foot traffic in stores been reduced, and day, and you could spare someone the trouble making everything that you decided to put aoff until never the Covid 19 pandemic may have played big roletomorrow in of that also. promises. What your happened? Thereif would be opportunity no reason toseemingly save fortheir aexpired rainy Anyhow, many retailers havelast adjusted how they make products today? would youtodo? day, and you could spare someone accessible in What order for them survive. the trouble of making promises. What if your last opportunity seemingly expired I’ve been told that I often like I dostore too much. What would you do? seem Astoday? a child, I remember the huge department catalogs that Honestly, feelmail likeevery I am not doing enough and I’m a firm would come in Ithe year, usually around the Christmas believer in knowing that God wouldn’t put onitems me holiday season. I would look at them andlike prepare mymuch. list of I’ve been told that I often seem I do anything too that I couldn’t handle. I sometimes wonder how life would that IHonestly, wanted before submitting to myenough mama. and Sometimes I got I feel like I am notitdoing I’m a firm be I chose to sit idle and accept what itlooking presented to mostbeliever of ifwhat I wanted, but not always. Still,put through theI in knowing that God wouldn’t anything onme. me have found that to be very boring. In my opinion, opportunity catalog believing that I would get them was very for thatand I couldn’t handle. I sometimes wonder howexciting life would is aifblessing that afforded everyone. challenge me. Unfortunately, the catalogs are to long gone nowA and have been be I chose to sitisn’t idle and accept what it presented to me. I to me is an adventure. What is the worst that can happen? replaced by digital ones. Awwwe, technology. have found that to be very boring. In my opinion, opportunity If aI do nothing, if I try to I don’t, but instead learn is blessing thatI fail, isn’tand afforded everyone. A challenge I compare those childhood catalog surfing moments to some something new about myself. Relinquish your pride and in to me is an adventure. What is the worst that can happen? experiences I have as an adult. often but triedinstead to planlearn out my life return acquire life. If I do nothing, I fail, and if I have try I don’t, by creating a wish list for various stages without the assistance something new about myself. Relinquish your pride and inof a department store catalog. I havetomade plans for various things The best advice ever given me happened when someone return acquire life. and experiences and made plans on how to acquire accomplish told me to make my tomorrow happen today. and In doing so them.I have Those plans were submitted God, and I’m always amazed pressed myever way through doors with a key thatsomeone only The best advice given totome happened when at what I receive fromImy God inalso response. hope provided. have learned the today. difference between told me to make tomorrow happen In doing so blesses and what cana burden with Iwhat haveGod pressed my me waywith through doorslife with key thatme only See, have even though Ithe make plans, God has the as Iwell. Ilearned compare it to knowing when to be confident and hope provided. Ithat have also learned difference between final what say. What I think is good for me, God knows what is truly best whenlife tocan be quiet, God blesses me with and what burdenbecause me with for me. Even Iincompare my lowest moments, God has prepared may get it confused as well. it to knowingsomeone when toalready be confident anda path to higher ground for me. And even when I choose to follow with being when to bearrogant. quiet, because my own way, He redirects. someone may get it confused Make youarrogant. tomorrow with being I strive to livetoday, a better life, a life happen but most that is connected to God through importantly make it count. Make you tomorrow obedience grasping a better Lifeand is but a whisper and happen today, but most understanding of what He desires we must putmake ourselves in a importantly it count. for me. Life I admit that I don’t have position toa hear what it isall is but whisper and the answers, and sometimes I make telling us.put we must ourselves in a mistakes. It’s good to know that position to hear what it is even when I get off us. track in life, God’s love telling never changes. Terry L. Watson

Editor/Founder

TerryL.L.Watson Watson Terry

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www.huamimagazine.com Editor In Chief

Terry L. Watson www.huamimagazine.com www.huamimagazine.com Alana Allen - Deputy Editor Editor In Chief

TerryWriters L. WatsonPublisher Terry L Watson

Alana Allen - Deputy Tonya Dixon Editor Terry L. Watson Terry L. Watson Writers Writer Alana Allen Ellen Richardson Writer Tonya JeuronDixon Dove Arielle Kilgore Writer Terry L. Watson Alana Allen Writer Dorjea’ McClammey Photographers Dove Writer Perfect Lenz Photography Marrissa DickJeuron Tamara Smith Shaw Photography Group Photographers Still Shots Photography Perfect Lenz Photography Who Shotya Photography Still Shots Photography Photographer Shaw Photography Group Katrena Wize Photographer Still ShotsLayout Photography Shotya Photography SantanaWho B Photographer Mykel Media Company Linda Bennett Layout Howard Gaither Photography

Mykel Media Inquiries Company General mykelmedia@yahoo.com Linda Bennett huami.memphis@gmail.com (336) 340-7844 HUAMI MAGAZINE is published bimonthly quarterly by the mykelmedia@yahoo.com Mykel Media Company. Any reproduction of any 340-7844 portion of (336) this publication is prohibited without

written MAGAZINE permission isfrom the publisher to HUAMI published quarterly prior by the doing so. Mykel Media doesn’t accept responsibility Mykel Media Company. Any reproduction of any for statements by individuals featured or portion of this made publication is prohibited without advertisers. Comments concerning this publication written permission from the publisher prior to be Media submitted to the editorresponsibility by doing so. may Mykel doesn’t accept Email or Telephone E-mail at terrywatson@huamimagazine.com for statements made Email by individuals featured or terry.editor@yahoo.com terry.editor@yahoo.com advertisers. Comments concerning this publication 336-340-7844 or toto the editor by may be submitted Mykel Media Company, LLC E-mail at terrywatson@huamimagazine.com P.O. BoxCompany 20102 LLC Mykel Media terry.editor@yahoo.com Greensboro, 27420 Greensboro, or toNC NC HUAMI MAGAZINE Mykel Company, LLC 2022Media Rights Reserved 2014 All Rights Reserved P.O. Box 20102 Greensboro, NC 27420 HUAMI MAGAZINE 2014 All Rights Reserved

On The Cover

Photo by Shaw Photography Group

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Editor/Founder November/December 2014 Want To Advertise? Call (336)340-7844

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November/December 2014

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CONTENTS

MAY/JUNE 2022

MEMPHIS

Whitney Morgan 38

M-Powerment Solutions LLC

On The Cover

Successful Women In Business

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New Beginnings...To Success & Beyond

Soaring To The Top

Shawn Harvin

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Beacon Hill Community Services

Pamela Williams

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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Leah M. Dale From Omaha, NE to Chicago, IL, learn more about her journey through physical fitness. Chicago, IL

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Verlancia Tucker She is using her experiences and trauma to assist others with managing depression. Learn more about her journey. Little Rock, AR

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New Beginnings....To Success and Beyond 6



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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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Foluke A. Houston P3 Human Capital Solutions pppconnection@gmail.com

Photos Provided By Jamaal E. Photogrphy and Carolyn Castillo Foluke Houston-Gaddis is a national keynote speaker, award-winning community leader, and HR expert who values service and excellence. As a global talent leader, Foluke brings unique perspectives from her experience working within Fortune 300 and Fortune 100 private sector organizations, local and federal government agencies, and community groups within the HR space, empowering others to unleash their untapped potential. Using real-world examples, Foluke’s personal and professional mission is to positively impact others through her gifts. P3 Human Capital Solutions, located in Germantown, Tennessee, is a diverse and woman-owned organization that provides strategic solutions that enable people and organizations to develop inclusive and highperforming environments. We specialize in talent strategy development, recruitment marketing, leadership effectiveness, and diversity/inclusion/equity/belonging. P3’s mission is to provide world-class, strategic advice to individuals and organizations that support the growth of talent, inclusive workspaces, and promoting equity. We look forward to leading P3’s growth into a global workforce consulting firm and community resource for all things people. Our ability to provide agile services to individuals and organizations, large or small, makes it a central source of knowledge and strategic advice to organizations around the world where high-performing talent thrives in inclusive spaces. “The mentorship program has provided me with the knowledge needed to build the necessary framework to launch my business. The program’s combination of hands-on application, knowledge sharing, and coaching have been the perfect encouragement needed to feel confident with finally sowing this entrepreneurial seed that has been buried inside for some time, and I am excited to reap the rewards.” h

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Danesha Roper The iCare Project

icareproject21@gmail.com

danesha_roper@yahoo.com

Photos Provided By Jamaal E. Photogrphy and Carolyn Castillo Danesha Roper, the Executive Director of The iCare Project. I’m a mother, author, and educator. She was born in Memphis,TN and grew up in Milwaukee, WI. Danesha works as an educator, teaching and mentoring children of all ages and from all walks of life. Danesha’s biggest passion is developing youth and helping them reach their greatest potential. She had a vision for operating group homes in 2013. In 2019, she started developing the plans for operating. This year, 2022, she will open one of many group homes. With many years of working in the school setting, she has met many youths who’ve been incarcerated, first time offenders, homeless, and lack of family support. The iCare Project is a non-profit organization that empowers children through mentorship, education, recreation, and residential services. The iCare Project offers 24hr residential rehabilitation home program facilities. Our facilities specialize in juvenile delinquency transitional living that includes programs as well as transportation for youth ranging from the age of 10 to 18 years old. We provide a safe haven and shelter for adolescents suffering from homelessness due to court orders, lack of family involvement, family issues, and residential instability. The goal is to provide shelter that will create stability in the lives of adolescents preventing both crime and homelessness. iCare Project’s plan is to build a franchise that will provide services in multiple cities to troubled youth. Our future goal includes building a recreational facility for the youth. The iCare project will start its mentorship program Summer 2022. h

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Arieale Munson Operation Taking Back 901 www.Takingback901.org

Photos Provided By Jamaal E. Photogrphy and Carolyn Castillo

Arieale Munson is an author, activist, advocate, certified life coach, and freelance writer. She is the founder of Operation Taking Back 901 (OTB901), a 501(c) 3 Charitable Nonprofit in the State of Tennessee which was started in 2016. The mission is to implement economic and educational programs for underserved youth and their families in Shelby County. OTB901 was started to empower the community by leaders who’ve experienced similar challenges of hardship. Operation Taking Back 901 (OTB901), offers two components, Career Ready and Road to Greatness. All include promoting and providing broad opportunities that will enhance community development, business workforce development training, economic development, housing, education and social services. The impact that we hope to accomplish is to inspire & empower future leaders/scholars to keep pressing towards greatness. We have become a vendor for Shelby County Schools in hopes to engage the youth and offer opportunities to help them overcome obstacles. “The mentorship program helped me regain focus back on my business. It assisted me with creating clear and actionable personal & professional goals to help stay on track.” h

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Asia King Bella Amore`

www.BellaAmoreScrubs.com Photos Provided By Jamaal E. Photogrphy and Carolyn Castillo Bella Amore` is located in Memphis, TN. We are currently an online store with plans to expand to a storefront. Bella Amore` scrub uniforms are modern yet fashionable. Our scrubs include the top, pants, and jackets for women and men. Our uniforms are protective garments that are designed to be worn by anyone in the workforce. Although they give a uniform feel, our scrubs provide comfort while giving class with a professional look. Bella Amore` launched in October 2021, but it was a process that started in 2018. This was not an easy process. Launching this business required research, funds, and dedication in making sure we had the best products when it came to our quality of uniforms and what would make Bella Amore` scrubs a unique brand. We started the business to create a uniform that was stylish, comfortable, and affordable. It was difficult to locate comfortable uniforms for plus size women, which is the reason for the creation of this brand. Asia is employed in the medical field and knows first hand about being comfortable while at work. The vision for Bella Amore’ is to create a positive impact on the workforce for the new millennials joining the workforce, while giving them a stylish and classy look. In 5 years, I see Bella Amore` being a corporation, in the height of its success. “Innate Success has given me confidence in being a business owner, the support is unbelievable, the encouragement is so uplifting. I would recommend the mentorship program to anyone who may be struggling or having second thoughts on starting that business of their dreams.” h

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Verna V. Nickelberry VeMaShe™ Enterprise www.vemashe.com Photos Provided By Kimazing Photography Verna V. Nickelberry and VeMaShe Enterprise are located in Atlanta, Ga. VeMaShe Enterprise is a Multimedia company that is also the producer of ORDINARY PEOPLE magazine, The OPM Servant Award (which honors those that make a great impact within their communities through community involvement, community development, and mentorship), and OPM Live! with Verna V. Nickelberry talk show. We offer consultation to those who have a desire to start their own magazine through our publishing branch, Blue Skies & Green Grass. The company was created as a family business to leave a legacy for Verna’s grandchildren. In the next five years, the company plans to upscale and upskill in the economy. We would like to provide job opportunities, increase in attendees at our award show, magazines in storefronts and our talk show on the television. We would love for VeMaShe to become a household name. We are excited about our 8th Annual Servant Award, which will take place on October 8th, 2022 in Memphis, TN. “The Mentorship Program is a great program that will help you establish success in your business. It teaches you how to set up your company the right way, write your business plan, and structure your business to be sustainable. The biggest benefit was being with like-minded women and fostering an everlasting “Sisterhood” and “Business Relationship.” I’m so grateful for the opportunity.” h

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Rochelle Johnson SCARS-Soul Creating Authentic Rebirths Spiritually admin@phoenixjmari.info Photos Provided By Jamaal E. Photogrphy and Carolyn Castillo Rochelle Johnson is a Veteran, Author, Advocate for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Speaker, Spiritual Alchemist, Certified Reiki Master Level III, Certified Crystal Healer, Accredited Shamanic Life Coach, Certified Transformation Life Coach, Certified Mindfulness and Meditation Coach, Founder, and Director of a powerful platform. The motivation to start this business came from Rochelle’s personal experiences after being hospitalized several times between 2014 and 2017. Souls Creating Authentic Rebirths Spiritually (S. C. A. R. S.), located in Bethlehem, Texas, is a platform to bring awareness to hidden trauma through holistic healing. We also empower individuals with traumatic wounds from dating, divorce, sexual assault, and suicide ideations to share their stories. Voice II Voices, our 501 (c) 3 organization, equips women in finding a new path to provide continuous personal growth while edifying their lives during healing. Ile’ Asha Healing Circle, our for-profit academy, offers short and long-term sessions to assist in spiritual rebirthing healing workshops and courses for individuals challenged with mental illnesses, PTSD, and addictions. Our upcoming projects are two retreats this year to highlight the different levels of healing with chakras. In August 2022, our healing courses will resume online. We have five online healing programs. Evolution of Healing Y.O.U., a 12-week intense course on healing the chakras; Divorce II Destiny, an 8-week intense course on healing from divorce grief; Awakening Your Healing, a 7-week intense course on jumpstarting your chakras; Dating….it’s not a fucking fairytale, a 6-week intense course on dating grief; and Know Thyself, a 4-week intense course on getting to know who you are authentically. “The Business Mentorship Program shifted a two-hundred dollar a month hobby into a future multi-million-dollar franchise within the next five years.” h

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Tamieka Jones KnockOut Kreations

knockoutkreations212@gmail.com Photos Provided By Jamaal E. Photogrphy and Carolyn Castillo Tamieka Jones, CEO of KnockOut Kreations, an event decorating business. Tameika developed the talent and skills of creation and decorating through her mother’s business and hands-on learning and consistent practice. KnockOut Kreations’ goal is to provide exemplary creations while delivering a high level experience. Tameika provides unique and creative decor for all events such as parties, baby showers, weddings, bridal showers, corporate events, and etc. They create balloon arches, columns, garlands, centerpieces, and any other decor need you could think of. Tameika creates beautiful spaces with creative and unique designs. Tameika leads with professionalism, quality, integrity, and respect for her clients and business. KnockOut Kreations plans to obtain a 10,000 foot facility to rent for all types of events with decorations included. “The business mentorship program taught me how to establish my business the “right way!” Since the start of the program Tameika has received two corporate contract opportunities. 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, please visit their website. h

Delvin Sullivan The Wealthy Child

www.thewealthychild.net 256-468-3227 25


Leah Dale

Rhythm N Sweat Dance and Fitness

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By Dorjea’ McClammey Photod Provided by Leah Mayhue-Dale and Macnified Visions Leah Mayhue-Dale of Chicago, IL, is a fitness expert and founder of Rhythm N Sweat Dance and Fitness. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Leah was raised in a household that ventured into the world of athletics. Both of her parents were athletes, and while attending school, Leah participated on the basketball, volleyball, and varsity cheerleading teams. She was also a part of her church’s praise and worship team, the place where her love of dance began. After high school, Leah studied Public Relations and Advertising at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Soon, Leah began teaching and training others about dance and physical fitness. During this time, she also came up with the idea of Rhythm N Sweat. It was 2017, and Leah was only certified in Zumba and Mix Fit, yet she started to choreograph routines with her background in dance. She also mixed weight training with dance to help women lose weight while staying toned. She says that combination appeased women who did not like or were uncomfortable going to the gym. When Leah pitched the idea to the three fitness locations she worked at, only her home location in Butler-Gast YMCA was onboard. For the next three months, the number of participants only grew, so much so that the other areas begged for her to return. Rhythm N Sweat was official. Leah realized that while Omaha was a suitable market, there were opportunities to expand her brand elsewhere. In 2020, she made her big move to Chicago, turned Rhythm N Sweat into a mobile fitness business, and incorporated a wider variety of fitness formats. Leah works with local gyms, including Garza Fat Loss Camps, where she introduced Extreme Hip Hop Fitness. She is also certified to teach seven different fitness formats. The change in location did not stop Leah’s hustle. Since all the gyms were closed because of the Covid 19 pandemic, people liked her mobile fitness concept. She says, “They called me, emailed me, and booked me. Clients would either have me come to their home, meet at a park, or have virtual sessions,” she says.

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While Rhythm N Sweat offers many different classes, her main courses include Dance Fitness, Xtreme Hip Hop Step Aerobics, and Xtreme Burn, a cardio hit class. She also offers Baddies Bootcamp, which incorporates the use of equipment and bodyweight exercises. Rhythm N Sweat also offers a clothing line, including t-shirts and hoodies, sweatbands, and gym bags. Her journey in building her brand, Leah likes to describe it as, “fulfilling.” “Fitness had always been part-time, but the move to Chicago gave me that push to make it full-time,” she says. While fitness has brought a lot of joy to Leah, she has also faced hardship in life. In 2020, Leah lost her beautiful baby girl Naomi. “Naomi was my biggest motivation and the most popular toddler in Nebraska. I would bring Naomi to all of my fitness events and classes. I believe she even tried to take some of my clients. Once, I left the room and walked in on her training one of my clients. When she passed, I was devastated but said it catapulted me into concentrating on what makes me happy,” she shares. Leah used to shy away from speaking about her daughter but realized that sharing her story helps and inspires others. “It humanizes you and makes you relatable. People think that they have to shut down just because they are going through something. I did not shut down. I allowed for my loss to push me.”

“It humanizes you and makes you relatable. People think that they have to shut down just because they are going through something. I did not shut down. I allowed for my loss to push me.”

Leah Mayhue-Dale

Rhythm N Sweat Dance and Fitness www.rhythmnsweatfitness.com

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Leah says what she loves most about being a business owner is being able to help others become the best version of themselves. “Whether big or small, I enjoy learning a new move or losing 25 pounds,” she says. One of her students, Leah says, has been training for over six months and was inspired to become a certified trainer herself. Leah says Naomi is still her number one inspiration as she continues to inspire others. “Whatever I do in life, I dedicate it to her,” she shares. Last year, she had two huge events and brought out a master trainer and the creator of the format she teaches. Moving forward, Leah is planning more fitness events. She also plans to acquire her own studio and bring in other instructors to teach various fitness formats. There are also plans to expand her clothing line. Leah offers some advice to those who are considering improving their overall health, whether it be physically or another way. “It is never too late to save your own life. It can be through health and fitness, mental or emotional health, or all of the above. When you save your life in this aspect, it will affect the rest.” To learn more about Leah and Rhythm N Sweat Dance and Fitness, please visit her website. h


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

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

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

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

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


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Whitney Morgan M-Powerment Solutions LLC

By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Whitney Morgan He is young, black, and making moves in the Kansas City, MO, business district. He is the owner and founder of M-Powerment Solutions LLC, an experienced financial literacy company that focuses on credit restoration and helping individuals become debt-free. They also help businesses establish business credit and funding options. Their award-winning services have assisted in removing all types of derogatory items such as bankruptcies and medical bills from their client’s credit files. To be clear, M-Powement Solutions LLC gets the job done. At just 34 years old, Whitney Morgan has seen a lot. While he presently resides in Kansas City, he has also lived in Atlanta, GA, Port Townsend, WA, and his native home of Minneapolis, MN. He has a bachelor’s degree in Architecture and a masters degree in Urban Planning from the University of Kansas. His background involves Transportation Planning, City Development, and Small Business Advocacy, and he’s held many leadership positions and volunteered just as well. His volunteering efforts include Kappa Alpha Psi, Freedom Schools, Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, Finance and College Ministry Leader with Faith City Christian Center, and Black Student Union. What separates M-Powement Solutions LLC from other companies that provide similar services? Whitney says it’s their commitment to providing quality service at a very affordable cost. “We also have various products to help our clients build positive credit in their name, such as our secure credit card with cashback rewards. We also have the Credit My Rent program that adds all positive rent payments to their credit report, and we partner with various credit builder companies like Self, Credit Strong, Grow Credit, and more. Our goal is to provide our clients with excellent solutions to address their financial struggles,” he says.

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Some of the additional tools offered by Whitney and his team are Credit Restoration Will, Trust, and Power of Attorney, and Budgeting/Debt Payoff Education. There is also a Smart Credit Monitoring App that allows users to view all three credit scores, and Merchant Services that offer payment processing systems for businesses. Additionally, they offer a Youth Financial Literacy Scholarship and Educational Program, Rocket Lawyer Services, Student Loan Assistance, Mobile Telehealth Services, and Business Credit Business Funding.

“Experience is the best teacher. Knowledge is not power; applied knowledge is. If knowledge by itself were power, most librarians would be millionaires.”

The decision to launch M-Powement Solutions LLC happened in June 2020, during the Covid 19 pandemic, Whitney shares. “My wife and I struggled with bad credit caused by debt consolidation. That debt was built because my wife was laid off multiple times, and I was repeatedly passed up for promotions I qualified for. This caused a lot of stress in our marriage and ironically served as a learning experience. We decided to educate other families about the importance of having good credit and the opportunities that come with it.” Whitney says what he loves most about his business is being able to help people buy brand new houses and new cars, find funding for their business, and increase their financial literacy. “We are breaking generational curses,” he says. Waking up every day knowing that he has a gift that can help a lot of people and then putting his gift into action is what pushes him. He also credits his father and grandfather for being great examples of what a man should be. “I was raised by a single father. He has instilled loving and caring principles in me and showed me how to work hard and provide for my family. He told me ever since I could remember that I could be anything I wanted to be and often called me Mr. President as a child. My grandfather taught me how to fish. He also showed me what a consummate professional and respectable Christian man looks like. He has been married to my grandmother for over 50 years. He has held multiple civic positions and joined a fraternity. My grandfather is an architect and has designed buildings all across the country. He’s been retired for over 20 years and wakes up every day and does what he wants,” Whitney says. Whitney offers the following advice for those who may follow in his footsteps. “Experience is the best teacher. Knowledge is not power; applied knowledge is. If knowledge by itself were power, most librarians would be millionaires.”

Whitney Morgan M-Powerment Solutions LLC www.mpowerment-solutions.com (816) 348-3223

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As life continues to happen for Whitney, he plans to use his products and services to help people across the country. There are also plans to expand. To learn more about Whitney Morgan and M-Powerment Solutions LLC, please contact them directly or visit their website. h


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By Ellen Richardson Photos by Pamela Williams

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

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

Pamela Williams

Beacon Hill Community Services

www.beaconhillcommunityservices.org

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708-571-3280

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MAGAZINE

Cutest Baby

Marrel Gravely Foushee The son Sunny Gravely Foushee and Marrel Foushee

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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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