God Is A Much Better Driver Than I Am
There Are No If, Ands, Or Buts About It!
What if? That thought comes to mind when I consider what my life could be. What if I didn’t live in a particular city, or attend a certain high school? What if I had chosen a different career path or traveled a different road in life? What if I had never applied action to my dream? What if God didn’t choose me to be paired with His vision?A Letter from the Editor
What if tomorrow didn’t arrive? All of your plans, hopes and dreams wouldn’t have a street to park on. What if everything that you decided to put off until tomorrow never happened? There would be no reason to save for a rainy day, and you could spare someone the trouble of making promises. What if your last opportunity seemingly expired today? What would you do?
I will be the first to admit that my life has been anything but simple. For the most part, it has been full of winding roads and quite noisy at times. The love and encouragement of my mother, grandmother, and others surely help to soften me; I surely miss my grandma. Yet, the storms and shortcomings I’ve endured have done their job and toughened me a little.
I have learned that my peace lies in the space between the good times and bad times, and for me to enjoy and experience peace, I must work for it. I have also learned that life will get tough, and when we get knocked down, God doesn’t expect us to stay there. There are lessons in all experiences, and getting up and trying to get it right again is part of God’s lesson.
I’ve been told that I often seem like I do too much. Honestly, I feel like I am not doing enough and I’m a firm believer in knowing that God wouldn’t put anything on me that I couldn’t handle. I sometimes wonder how life would be if I chose to sit idle and accept what it presented to me. I have found that to be very boring. In my opinion, opportunity is a blessing that isn’t afforded to everyone. A challenge to me is an adventure. What is the worst that can happen? If I do nothing, I fail, and if I try I don’t, but instead learn something new about myself. Relinquish your pride and in return acquire life.
There was a point in my life when I didn’t know if I was coming or going. With every move I made, it was the wrong one. There were also times when I would move or react to whatever thought came into my mind. Again, that turned out to be the wrong thing to do. My point is everything I had done, I did it without seeking guidance from God beforehand. I was driving my own ship, yet I was going nowhere and fast.
While I made a mess of my life, God was there, like He always has been. He allowed me to make those bad decisions and provided grace to ensure I would survive them. During the times when I continued to make the same mistakes over and over again, God continued to cover me because there was a lesson that I needed to learn.
The best advice ever given to me happened when someone told me to make my tomorrow happen today. In doing so I have pressed my way through doors with a key that only hope provided. I have also learned the difference between what God blesses me with and what life can burden me with as well. I compare it to knowing when to be confident and when to be quiet, because someone may get it confused with being arrogant.
Despite everything I have experienced thus far, God has been right there with me. When it appears things aren’t moving fast enough, I know that God is governing the speed at which things are happening. When we get in God’s way, we block Him from blessing us. Get out of God’s way and allow God to drive. You might just learn that life is a lot easier from the passenger seat.Terry L. Watson
Terry L. Watson
Make you tomorrow happen today, but most importantly make it count. Life is but a whisper and we must put ourselves in a position to hear what it is telling us.
Encouraging Mothers To Embrace Daily Soul CareBy Terry L. Watson
Jasmine Lowery is a believer, wife, mommy, entrepreneur, author, speaker, and content creator who is passionate about encouraging women to unapologetically follow their God-given dreams and knitting their faith into all areas of their lives. She is a natural storyteller who uses lessons from her life to help women find hope amid insurmountable situations. Her love for ministering to women led her to launch an international women’s ministry called Encouraging Her Community, LLC.
Jasmine, who resides in Richmond, VA, is also the proud owner of Agape Love Events, LLC, a wedding and floral design company she built from the ground up in 2015. She often shares that she is a proud “mamapreneur” who had to quickly learn how to knit her babies into her business plan. Her work has been featured in Essence Magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings, Black BRIDE, and more.
Jasmine also has a huge heart for education. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and taught in the public school system for over seven years. Despite all of the hats that Jasmine wears, she acknowledges her first ministry is within her home. She is very family oriented and admits she wouldn’t be the woman she is today if it weren’t for the words of wisdom, prayers, and encouragement from her mother, grandmothers, and mother-in-law. She finds joy in spending quality time with her loving husband, Rashad Lowery, and their three beautiful children, Rashad, Jr., Isaiah, and Joy Elle.
At the beginning of this year, Jasmine published her first book, Encouraging Mama: A 21 Day Soul Care Devotional. Her hope is that this would become a life-changing tool used by women all over the world. Some of the soul care tips include unplugging as a family, taking nature walks, and listening to The Bible App. She says, “ My hope is that mommies all around the world will be inspired to knit soul care into their motherhood journey”
Jasmime says, “I often refer to my motherhood journey as wild, yet wonderful. From tackling mountains of laundry to cheering on my sons at their basketball games or painting my daughter’s nails, I know it takes a lot to pour into my children on a daily basis. There have been seasons when I didn’t understand the power of intentionally caring for my mind, body, and soul. These were the seasons when I struggled to enjoy my motherhood journey fully. Running on fumes didn’t only hurt me but also hurt my family. The more I prioritized focusing on nourishing my relationship with The Lord and caring for my mental and physical health, the more I showed up as the best version of myself for my family. Even on the tough days, I learned that making sure I carved out time for soul care helped get me through the really tough mothering moments.”
In March 2020, when COVID spread across the United States, Jasmine says she found herself at home with all three of her children (9 months old, one and five years old). She was forced to slow down and seek GOD on what it meant to be a fully present mama. The various tips that The Holy Spirit provided me would turn into the soul care tips I provide within her new book.
To learn more about Jasmine Lowery, please visit her website. Copies of her book are available at various outlets, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Way” Latitude Training Center
Tiawna Bryant describes herself as an elite member of the healthcare industry.
The Detroit, MI, resident, and native is a Registered Nurse with over 20 years of healthcare experience. She is a mom, a caregiver to her parents, and a leader in her community. She is also the owner of Latitude Training Center.
Her company educates and trains aspiring healthcare workers in basic nursing services. Her students learn how to properly and safely perform Activities of Daily Living (ADL) for those who are ill or debilitated, need assistance, or can’t perform ADL care independently. ADL care consists of grooming, toileting, feeding, dressing, and helping with ambulation and transfers. Through the American Heart Association, Tiawna is a certified CPR Instructor. Additionally, her students are trained in emergency response care. Latitude’s four-week program equips individuals with job-ready skills, the kind of skills that are transferable and remain with them for life.
Tiawna obtained a degree in Applied Science from Davenport University. She began her journey of teaching CPR in her basement. She later expanded in 2018 with the assistance of an entrepreneurial training program. She continued to grow her professional services to a brick-and-mortar location and added healthcare career training. She says, “My vision for creating the Latitude Training Center was formulated while working as a Nurse Educator at the corporate level. During my tenure, I noticed there was a lack of caregivers to support the growing population of our elders. I also became aware of the idleness of our young adults in the community.” Learning those things propelled her into action.
Tiawna’s love for healthcare happened as a child. “As a teenager approaching high school, my mother frequently showed me the Sunday newspaper. She would show me the classified section and always emphasize choosing a career pathway that was in high demand and offered job stability. Becoming a nurse or an educator would provide that. Both nursing and education struck her interest, and from there, the rest is history.
“My vision for creating the Latitude Training Center was formulated while working as a Nurse Educator at the corporate level. During my tenure, I noticed there was a lack of caregivers to support the growing population of our elders. I also became aware of the idleness of our young adults in the community.”
L. WatsonPhotos Provided by Tiawna Bryant
Tiawna says she is inspired by the impact she has on her students. “My students look up to me and see themselves as leaders, nurses, caregivers, and educators. When my students ask questions about what direction they should take or how to handle a situation in their personal lives or issues at school, I am amazed and so grateful that I can be a resource. Whether it’s helping someone overcome a hurdle or giving a small nugget of advice, helping with their resumes, or just leading by example on how to conduct yourself and exude professionalism, I am grateful,” she says.
As a new business owner, the challenges never stop, and Tiawna says the one she has faced is learning how much working capital is actually needed to sustain a viable business. “You can have a beautifully well laid out business plan, but without projections and a method for growth and expansion, things can start to look quite different from when your business was just a thought on paper. Working capital is important. Having good personal credit has helped me leverage a lot of the funds that I lacked in my first year of business,” she says.
While the experience has been great for Tiawna, she says she would have done some things in business differently if given a chance to do so. “I would not have put my dreams to the side. When I initially had the inclination to be an entrepreneur, I doubted the timing and ability. The reality is once you have swallowed the idea and it starts to digest in your spirit, it will never go away. I would have started sooner in life and spoken more self-affirming words into the universe to support the thoughts that would have gotten my actions to align with what I knew to be true. Now that I am here and in the midst of it all, I am focusing on the bigger picture.”
Her advice to other aspiring entrepreneurs is to be ready for your circle to change and be ready for the naysayers. “Be ready to sacrifice and fight; your vision is your vision. Things and people will come against you that you may never have imagined. It can get rough, and you will ask if this is what I signed up for. My advice is to do as I did. Do your own research and hire professional consultants to help you polish your brand and get your back office paperwork together,” she says.
In the future, Tiawna plans to continue to encourage young adults to invest in themselves and their community. She also plans to continue expanding her brand and enjoy the opportunities and blessings of owning her company.
For more information about Latitude Training Center, please visit their website.
The W AgencyBy Monica Montgomery
Corrie Wilson is The W Agency’s founding owner and operator, a one-stop shopping experience for entrepreneurs looking to take their businesses to the next level. Whether it be a start-up or an existing business looking to rebrand, The W Agency has what you need.
Based in Conway, Arkansas, Corrie has always been a small-town boy with big-time dreams. Originally from Helena, Arkansas, a lower-income area, Corrie focused on the world beyond his own. “I was always a dreamer. I was from Helena, but I knew even as a kid that the world was so much bigger,” Corrie explains.
Like most kids from the early 90s, Corrie lived vicariously through entertainment magazines and music videos, not for the reasons you’d think.
“I was that kid that paid attention to the details and techniques most people didn’t notice. I would record music videos on VHS and watch them over and over again. I would analyze and scrutinize the video frame by frame. I collected black entertainment magazines like Right On, Ebony, Jet, and Vibe Magazine,” Corrie explained. “But it wasn’t for the articles or to learn about the latest superstar. I was captivated by the artwork. I spent hours pouring over the photography, the lighting, and all the elements that came together to create that one living shot.”
Without role models in arts and culture, Corrie couldn’t explain his fixation with the visual aspects of art and entertainment. He was sure it would somehow become a large part of his identity.
After high school, Corrie gravitated towards the music entertainment industry, but it wasn’t long before he found it wasn’t for him. “Music came naturally to me. I am creative, and it seemed like the right thing at first, but I found that a career out front was restricting,” Corrie shared. “After a while, I lost my taste for the industry but found something I appreciated a lot more.”
Instead of being the performer with the flashing gold chains and latest kicks, Corrie began to look into the man behind the scenes wearing an expensive blue suit. “The real money and power were in marketing. I had gotten into photography and videography and loved it,” he says.
Corrie went the non-traditional route to learn about digital designing, creating web content, photography, and videography. “I started out producing music, but once I got a good look behind the curtain and saw who was really in control, I lost my love for working in the music industry. That’s when I redirected my energy into photography and graphic design to help other artists take their brand to the next level.”
Using the skills he honed as a kid, Corrie’s goal is to give the world a new yet classic perspective. He is not only making a name for himself but giving his clients a unique product that gets them noticed. “There are a lot of marketing firms out there, but what sets The W Agency apart is that we strive to show the heart and soul of the culture. I don’t just take pictures or make a label. Anyone can put on a suit and smile. That’s not advertising. You want to connect with your audience through your marketing. The best way to do that is to let them see the real you,” Corrie shared. By ignoring the mass-produced and over-produced media samples, Corrie is able to draw on the “vibe” that sparked his love for visual art.
“There was something authentic and organic about the visual style of the early 90s,” Corrie explained. “There was something tangible about it that made you feel like you were part of it. That’s what I try to deliver for my clients,” he says.
As Corrie started his career as a designer in 2007, in 2019, he started The W Agency. “It just made sense. I was taking the photos, doing the graphics, producing the videos, and everything else. I had all the components, so I just put them all in one place,” Corrie explained. “It benefits the clients and me when I can provide everything they need in-house.”
Because Corrie works independently, he has to be selective of the clients he takes on, but this allows him to deliver the quality he believes every client needs and deserves. “I can’t take on every project or client. I wish I could, but it would lead to mistakes and someone getting short-changed. Having a good reputation in this business is everything. So if I can’t handle something, I am part of a network of companies I can refer customers to.”
“I don’t just take pictures or make a label. Anyone can put on a suit and smile.
That’s not advertising.”
As The W Agency grows and evolves, one of the issues Corrie faces is navigating the cultural divide in marketing and advertising. As a black male from his demographic, Corrie focuses on elevating the culture but wants to ensure he doesn’t ignore it. “It’s a balancing act. We have been made to believe that professionalism looks one way. Anything else is unprofessional or hood. I find myself working toward that sweet spot—that space where quality and culture co-exist. My clients need a company that markets them as culturally relevant with a professional finish. That’s what The W Agency provides,” Corrie says.
As an entrepreneur whose business is to help others launch their businesses, Corrie knows the importance of image and branding. The W Agency takes on corporate clients as well as small businesses, but Corrie says he currently focuses on start-ups. “Being part of a company’s growth from conception to execution is the most fulfilling part of this job. Not only witnessing someone’s vision and dream come to life but knowing I was an intricate part of it makes it all worthwhile,” Corrie shares. “I understand that how a business is presented, how the visionary is perceived can make or break them. It’s all about mass appeal.”
Corrie is the sole proprietor of The W Agency, but just like his clients, he’s building a brand that will last for generations. “The time and effort I put into this aren’t just to make money. As I explained, I want to give the people who trust me with their vision the quality they deserve. Another thing that motivates me is the reputation I’m building for my children.”
Corrie is a father of three and leaving them a legacy that will outlive him is crucial. “My children have seen me work a “job” where I worked from someone else. Now they see me building a business, and even as children, they see the difference in the energy I put out. My youngest son is already asking if he can take over the business one day. I’m happy that my kids can see the benefit of entrepreneurship while they’re young. You can work a job and make good money. The thing about money is that it will come, and with it will go, but you can’t put a price on fulfillment. That’s the difference my children see in me and what I hope will inspire them to follow their dreams.”
Corrie’s belief about what excellence in branding looks like runs deep, which motivates him to give his clients the best possible experience. “You are your brand. If you want people to trust you and believe in what you put out there, you must be willing to show them who you are and stand behind your name,” Corrie explained.
He is best described as a God-fearing man who loves being a husband and father. Those who don’t know him would probably say Stony is arrogant, but he says that’s far from the truth. “If anything, I try to motivate and encourage people to chase after their dreams and to live life to the fullest and with purpose. Life is already challenging, so I try to offer the advice I want someone to give me during times of adversary,” he shares.
Stony Murphy of Pensacola, FL, reflects on what he was told as a child, how he was treated as a black sheep and would fail in life. He has stood on that skepticism and, in turn, used it as a source of inspiration. He credits his mother, Gloria Murphy, for being an excellent example for him to live by. Stony shares that her strong will and determination to raise him, while being a single black woman helped him learn that anything is possible, just as long as he believed in himself.
Stony is a man of many talents. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and is a certified Master Barber, Chef, and Graphic Designer. He is a songwriter, entertainer, stage performer, and actor, and just here recently, he was blessed to have his own radio talk show.
Again, Stony connects his successes to the direction and example set by his mother. “I don’t know how life would’ve turned out. I was rebellious, but mom never threw the towel in on me. She continuously reminded me that if I wanted better, I had to do better,” he says. Another one of his great influencers was his grandmother, Roxana Caves. She was the first black woman in Pensacola to own and operate a cosmetology school. At the age of eight, Stony shadowed her whenever she was in her salon, which happened to be attached to her house. By the time he turned ten, Stony was allowed to cut alongside her. Years later, he followed in her footsteps and became a Master Barber.
Today, Stony has firmly planted himself as a staple in his community. Along with his “twin flame”, best friend, and my lifelong partner, Renee Murphy, Stony has created the brands, L&L Smoothies and L&L Art Collectionz. “L&L Art Collectionz is an art that is one of a kind. I never paint the same piece, so when you get a painting from me, you know it’s an original, not a duplicate,” Stony says. L&L Smoothies LLC provides all-natural plant-based smoothies that aid individuals dealing with diabetes, high blood pressure, digestive issues, and more. Stony and Renee share love in their businesses and how they live. “We have been together for nearly a decade, and I would do it all over again. She is a great mother, daughter, sister, friend, and fabulous wife. Her support, love, and loyalty keep me thriving and determined to achieve any goal I set out to accomplish,” Stony says.
As for music, he acknowledges his uncle Willie Pritchard for inspiring him. He was a writer also and passed the gift of writing down to Stony. His uncle played the drums, shared the stage with many oldschool legends, and allowed Stony to sit in during rehearsals. Art, on the other hand, Stony says, was more of a hit-and-miss hobby. “I would grab the Sunday newspaper cartoon section and draw the characters just for fun. Never once did I ever think that I would gain the recognition of being an artist years later,” he says.
Art holds a special place in Stony’s life. He shares that as a writer and performer, the art of music allows him to tell his story through stories that transform into songs. “I am very transparent and honest when I write my songs. I want listeners to know they are not the only ones dealing with life’s challenges. It’s my way of exhaling, so I can move on without bottling up. My expression of how grateful I am for overcoming situations.” Being a painting artist is just the same for Stony. “I can illustrate my thoughts on a stretched canvas. Painting takes me to a place of serenity and allows me to shake off the stress of life.”
Like most business owners, having a solid support system is vital. Many entrepreneurs go into business with the mindset that family and friends will provide support. Stony says that is not how it goes. “Walking into the unknown is intimidating, so going into a situation with the backing of your immediate circle helps deal with pros and cons in business. I’ve learned to deal with business challenges by praying and asking God to cover my decisions and to surround me with people with a simpatico mindset.”
The future looks bright for Stony. He has launched a new radio show, “2 Tears in a Bucket……Y’all know the rest!” This show is filled with theories, facts, good music, and fun conversations. He also plans to remain ambitious, innovative, humble and focused. “I will stay prayed up and open to new ideas. Building prosperous relationships is my objective from this point forward.”
Be The Change That You Want To SeeBy Terry L. Watson
She is known as Lindsey A of VA.
In the fall of 2018, Lindsey set her sights on creating an incubator for aspiring entrepreneurs. Being an entrepreneur without any guidance, she had failed with a previous project where she attempted to put together a conference as a part of the launch, which was a flop. “I had one ticket sale and only two confirmed participants. I was heartbroken, but after conversing with my mom and close friends, I realized I wasn’t being true to myself. I took the venue I secured and created my first youth conference in just a little over a month, Building Bosses. I reached out to local professionals to speak on several topics ranging from health and wellness to job readiness. From there, I began cultivating and executing events in Hampton Roads to assist school-aged children with resources and information. I wanted to fill the gap I saw in the community and schools regarding our children,” she says.
It is obvious that Lindsey is determined. In 2018, she created Vision Driven LLC. In 2020, she founded Vision Driven 757, INC. and created her signature brand, Lindsey A of VA.
Vision Driven 757, INC is a nonprofit organization that provides resources, information, and support to transitional-aged youth. Vision Driven 757 offers apparel to support the mission and vision of the organization.
“Under Lindsey A of VA, I am an empowerment speaker. My focus areas include Becoming Decided, Being Vision Driven, and The Power of Authenticity. I am also an empowerment coach who supports those deciding and transitioning into their purpose,” she says. Lindsey recently wrote a children’s book, Be the Change, as a call to action for kids of all ages.
Lindsey was born in Detroit, Michigan but has lived most of her life in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. Lindsey graduated from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications and is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. She is a mother to eight-year-old Arrie, who she calls her “mini me”. Arrie has impacted her life and career more than anything and Lindsey says when she had her daughter, she wanted to show her that whoever or whatever she wanted to be was possible. “I wanted her to believe in people and their goodness,” Lindsey says.
Lindsey says she loves serving and helping people. “I love working with kids and allowing them to dream. I love being a part of positive change and creating a ripple effect in the community. I also enjoy speaking life and change into people of all ages. There’s hope in my work and putting my heart on display with everything that I do makes it all worth it,” she says.
The life of an entrepreneur can be quite challenging, and Lindsey has seen a few along the way. “In the beginning, I was a one-man band. My family would be the event crew and help me pull off the events. I didn’t really know how to ask for help, but they would always be there for me. I knew I needed to find a team if I wanted to grow, and when Vision Driven 757, INC was born, I was blessed with a board of amazing women who have aided in the organization’s growth,” she says.
The process of building her brand, Lindsey says she wouldn’t change how it has happened. “My purpose has always led me, and even when I get off track with other passion projects, I take everything I do and learn from it. Everything I’ve done has gotten me to where I am and aided me in who I’ve become. Every mistake or setback was just a lesson I used to adjust and get better,” Lindsey says. “If I did change anything, I would have slowed down sooner. I used to move so fast, trying to get to where I was going, that I’d never stop to realize where I was. I missed a lot of moments by simply not being present.”
Lindsey’s advice to others who may walk a path similar to hers is clear. “If you know you’re moving in your purpose, don’t let any outside force make you forget who you are and what you’re supposed to do. There will be times when you want to give up, but you must remember that someone needs you. Once you really decide that this is what you want to do, become disciplined and diligently work towards your goals. Most importantly, don’t forget to take care of yourself.”
While her goal is to focus on constant improvement, Lindsey plans to increase her advocacy work and become more involved in creating resources for those in need. In the future, she plans to aid in making positive changes for youth. “I want to create several safe spaces for our youth to grow and develop,” she shares. h
Smart Technology CorporationBy DorJea’ McClammey
He is described as someone who can make just about, well, anything! Christopher Jackson is the owner of Smart Technology Corporation. Based in Greensboro, NC, Smart Technology Corporation is leading the way in the areas of Precision Machining, Injection Molding, and Assembly Fabrication. They also offer various services, including engineering design assistance, reverse engineering, prototyping, and flexible, short-run production. Additionally, Smart Technology Corporation offers 3D scanning capability and can capture up to two million measurement points for a scanned subject, resulting in a precision of about 1.5 microns, or 0.00006 of an inch.
Christopher currently resides in the Triad area of North Carolina but was born and raised in Warsaw, North Carolina. He grew up playing baseball and was very good, so good that he had plans to play professionally. Unfortunately, tragedy struck when Christopher became a victim of a crime that put him in a coma. When he came out of it, he was on disability for three years, and his doctors said he would be 80% medically dependent for the rest of his life. Christopher did not let this discourage him, and he continued to work hard and ultimately regained his mobility.
Now outfitted with a new lease on life, Christoper attended Guilford Tech Community College and received a degree in machinery technology. He also became a machinist and tool maker. After about eight years, he enrolled in North Carolina A&T State University and obtained his Applied Engineering degree. Christopher would later work in various industries, including medical, consumer goods, and automotive, gaining plenty of experience from processing tools, plastics, and materials. Soon he would begin to design his own tools.
Christopher worked as a senior engineer for a company that extruded rubber and helped them launch the X5, X6, and X7 BMW series. He was also working on the new X8 BMW when the Covid 19 pandemic hit, resulting in his being laid off.
At that point, Christopher was so tired of starting over. His wife, Jackie, encouraged him to start his own company, and on the 5th day in October 2020, Smart Technology Corporation was born. “Smart Technology Corporation is a place where we do everything smart. We use the best materials and employ the best people to produce products. Our motto is, “there is no wasted time with Smart Technology”. If you can imagine it, we can make it,” he says.
Christopher has customers from all over, including the medical field, consumer goods, the communication industry, and small and local businesses. “When you come to Smart Technology with an idea, no one is turned away. We can design, develop, mass produce, and market our client’s products. Any plastic or metal products, tools, pieces, big or small, we can make,” he says.
At Smart Technology Corporation, a culture of inclusiveness and teamwork has been established. By having those components in place, the feeling of ownership has been easily embraced by everyone. “I don’t say you work for me. You work with me,” says Christopher. “Having that type of work relationship creates a culture of loyalty within the business.”
What separates him from the competition? While getting certified, Christopher wanted to become a Minority Business Enterprise. That certification gives his company access to connect with other billion-dollar companies looking to work with minorities. By 2025, corporations will aim to do trillions of dollars in business with certified MBEs in America. While there are over 30,000 companies in the same industry, African Americans run only six, and Smart Technology is one of them.
Getting his footing in such an underrepresented industry has come with some challenges. One was obtaining capital funding and resources to buy the equipment needed to operate. With continued research, he was able to create a joint partnership with a company that already had the facility and resources.
Despite the challenges, Christoper highlights his family as the #1 inspiration that keeps him going. He aims to create a legacy for his kids that will give them financial independence. In addition, he wants to leave something as a reminder of who their father was and what he did.
Moving forward, Christopher plans to provide an opportunity to NC A&T and GTTC students affiliated with the applied engineering department. These opportunities include internships, co-ops, and job opportunities. The goal of Smart Technology Corporation is to become a billiondollar company with a true community impact. “Yet, the biggest dream is to be one of the first black billionaire companies in the United States of America or the world.”
Christopher’s advice for future entrepreneurs looking to follow in his footsteps is sensible. “If you want to start your own company, find a mentor, find someone willing to give you information, and how to do and what to do. I wasted time and money trying to do and learn everything simultaneously,” he says.
To learn more about Christopher Jackson and Smart Technology Corporation and all of the amazing services they provide, please visit their website. h
Jeanice Sherai, LLCBy Terry L. Watson
Jeanice Sherai Durrah of Spartanburg, SC, loves her family. She says that most people who know her instantly make a connection to her family, as she readily expresses how she cherishes the time they spend together.
Jeanice is also a woman of God and a Believer in Jesus. She is the wife of Victor Durrah, Jr., and together they share a daughter, Victory Jeanice Durrah, whom they profess as the love of their lives. “She is a combination of both of us in the most grace-filled and compassionate way that only God could do,” Jeanice says.
Professionally, Jeanice is a Certified Life Coach, Mental Health Coach, and Holy Yoga Instructor. Her brand, Jeanice Sherai LLC, was launched in 2018 and is a mental wellness company that offers privately booked Christian-based yoga classes to small/ large groups, nonprofits, schools, and more. Their mission is to promote whole minds and present moments in every life encounter. “Our vision is to see a world free from anxiety and depression,” Jeanice says. She has worked with autistic adults, at-risk teenage girls, and women, helping them to walk into the life God has promised them. Through her Leadership Workshops, she utilizes a specially crafted curriculum called ThinkBIG.
Jeanice is a business owner and full-time corporate employee. She has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Degree, a Master of Business in Finance, and a Master of Information Systems in Computer Security. She’s a Certified Life Coach, Six Sigma Green Belt, Guided Christian Meditation Specialist, Mental Health Coach, and Holy Yoga Instructor. She has also authored several books, including “Decide Today is Your Day: 21 Affirmations Guaranteed to Change Your Life”, and “Goal Digger: A Goal Setting Workbook”. Another book she has published is “31 Days of Faith: From Familiarity to Freedom, “ co-written with her husband, Victor. Other books published by Jeanice are “How Do You Know When It’s God?, and “Victory Smiles”, a children’s book about her daughter and also co-written with my husband. She also hosts the podcast, The Better in Ten Show, and is a YouVersion™️ Bible Plan partner.
Jeanice was featured as the Opening Speaker at the Dear CLT Brunch in Charlotte, NC. She has also been a featured writer for Forbes, Boss Babes, and She Wins Society (formerly known as Women By Choice). She is also the Co-Founder of Queen of the Mountain, an annual retreat inviting women to unite to be restored, release what is heavy to God, relax, and draw closer to God in their season. “I love helping people relax. I believe that it’s needed. God gifted me with a talent that allows people to enter my space and walk out free of anything heavy they may have been carrying.”
Jeanice became certified as a Holy Yoga Instructor in 2019, and in January 2020, she started her business. “In the two years prior, I felt God leading me to transition from a woman who was writing about her pains and hardships and coaching women in that place to a woman who had been freed and helping women learn how to relax and enjoy this freedom. This birthed my vision,” she says.
The benefits of yoga are extensive and often not considered when it comes to its major impacts on our health. “When we think of freedom, we often connect it to wealth but not health. Yoga contributes to eliminating anxiety, fighting depression, lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia, lowering blood pressure, increasing our sleeping patterns, protecting our muscles from injury, and so much more. Like many other African Americans, my family history consists of diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. I not only wanted to help us choose intentionally to relax, but I desired for those I encounter to understand that freedom is also directly connected to our choices concerning our health,” she says.
Loving people and serving God while doing so is her signature. She says she finds inspiration from her parents and is motivated by their faith, encouragement, and hard work. “They have indeed been an example of how to operate in life. The values instilled in me and the foundation set by them will carry me for a lifetime,” she says.
Running a business can be challenging, and Jeanice has faced a few herself. “When creating a business, you may want to be validated by the wrong things. You can allow this to be a measuring tool concerning your success, but man can not measure what can only be understood Eternal. I’ve overcome these challenges by shifting my perspective from those things in the world to the One that called me.”
Her advice to others who may follow in her footsteps is to keep going. “There is no destination. When you reach one goal, it will never be enough, you will always want to go bigger. So enjoy the journey.”
Moving forward, Jeanice plans to continue to serve others. “I want people who look like me to live long, healthy lives and not just live, but indeed be able to enjoy it even in their senior years.,” she says.
“Like many other African Americans, my family history consists of diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. I not only wanted to help us choose intentionally to relax, but I desired for those I encounter to understand that freedom is also directly connected to our choices concerning our health.”
MAGAZINE Zoelle Alaiya Scott
To submit photographs to be placed in the Huami Magazine Cutest Baby feature, please send a detailed email to email@example.comThe daughter of Charita Jackson