Huami Magazine Triad May/June 2022

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TRIAD

®

May/June 2022 Vol. 8 Issue 1

A Financial Trailblazer Triad - May/June 2022

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Pastor Michael Thomas

Celebrating

30 Years of Ministry

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There Are No If, Ands, Or Buts About It! We May Wish, But God Has A Plan

A Letter from the Editor

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 Modern technology, such as the internet and smart devices, everything that you decided to put off until tomorrow never has changed the way consumers shop for everyday necessities. happened? There would be no reason to save for a rainy Everything from groceries to televisions, tires, medications, and day, and you could spare someone the trouble of making patio furniture can be purchased directly from a smartphone or promises. What if your last opportunity seemingly expired computer. Foot traffic in stores has been greatly reduced, and today? What would you do? the Covid 19 pandemic may have played a big role in that also.

Anyhow, many retailers have adjusted how they make their products I’ve that I to often seem like I do too much. accessible inbeen ordertold for them survive. Honestly, I feel like I am not doing enough and I’m a firm knowing the thathuge God wouldn’t putstore anything on me As believer a child, Iin remember department catalogs that that I couldn’t handle. I sometimes wonder how life would would come in the mail every year, usually around the Christmas beseason. if I choseI would to sit idle and acceptand what it presented to items me. I holiday look at them prepare my list of have found that to be very boring. In my opinion, opportunity that I wanted before submitting it to my mama. Sometimes I got blessing that isn’t to everyone. A challenge mostisofawhat I wanted, butafforded not always. Still, looking through the to me is an adventure. What is the worst that can happen? catalog and believing that I would get them was very exciting for If I do nothing, I fail, and if I try I don’t, but instead learn me. Unfortunately, the catalogs are long gone now and have been something new about myself.technology. Relinquish your pride and in replaced by digital ones. Awwwe, return acquire life. I compare those childhood catalog surfing moments to some The best advice given to me happened someone experiences I have as anever adult. I have often tried to when plan out my life told me to make my tomorrow happen today. In doing soof by creating a wish list for various stages without the assistance I have pressed my way through doors withfor a key that things only a department store catalog. I have made plans various hope provided. I have also learned the difference between and experiences and made plans on how to acquire and accomplish God blesses with andto what can burden with them.what Those plans wereme submitted God,life and I’m alwaysme amazed as well. I compare it to at what I receive from God inknowing response.when to be confident and when to be quiet, because someone may get it confused See, I have learned that even though I make plans, God has the with being arrogant. final say. What I think is good for me, God knows what is truly best for me. Even in my lowest moments, God has already prepared a tomorrow path to higher ground for me. And evenMake whenyou I choose to follow my happen today, but most own way, He redirects. importantly make it count. Life buta abetter whisper I strive to islive life,and a life we must put ourselves in a that is connected to God through position to hear what it is obedience and grasping a better telling us. understanding of what He desires for me. I admit that I don’t have all the answers, and sometimes I make Watson mistakes. It’sTerry good L. to know that even when I get offEditor/Founder track in life, God’s love never changes.

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November/December 2014

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Tonya Dixon Publisher Terry L. Watson Terry L. Watson Alana Allen Dorjae’ McClammey Writer Jeuron Dove Monica Montgomery Writer Terry L. Watson Photographers Writer Perfect Lenz Photography Ellen Richardson Writer Shaw Photography Group Marrissa Dick Writer Tamara Smith Still Shots Photography Who Shotya Photography Layout

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On The Cover

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MAY/JUNE 2022

TRIAD EDITION

CONTENTS

Soaring To The Top

Trooper Shawn Harvin

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On The Cover

Jackie King A Financial Trailblazer

The H.E.A.T.T Research Lab

Dr. Schenita Randolph

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Sunny Gravely Foushee

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Tourmaline Home Health

Artist In The Community

It’s A Family Affair

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Also Featured Alana Allen

Jacksonville, FL/Greensboro, NC

The Mobile Eyewear Experience Lady E Specs & Wood You? Specs by J Franklin

Huntsville, AL

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Say It Sow Christina Bennett

Richmond, VA

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Focus Point Mental Health, LLC Angela Williams

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The founder of I Am A Queen Launches The Queens Period Project. Greensboro, NC

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Cutest Baby Photo

She is a real cutey. Introducing Marrel Gravely Foushee Huami Magazine’s Cutest Baby

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I Am A Queen Launches The Queens Period Project Information and Photos Provided by Alana Allen

Since 2009, I Am A Queen, a youth development organization, based in the Greensboro-High Point, N.C. area, has been instrumental in serving 15,000 people in North Carolina. The mission is too empower girls with a crown of confidence by providing transformational mentoring programs that develop them into future leaders and community service pioneers. The organization’s mentoring initiative, the Queen Arise Leadership Program, is leading the charge to make sure girls in Guilford County, North Carolina have access to free feminine hygiene products with The Queen’s Period Project. The project is a teen-led community service project that is collaborating with 14 middle and high schools in Guilford County to donate feminine hygiene packs. The Queens Period Project event will take place on Saturday, June 4, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. where the members of I Am A Queen will assemble the packages and sort through donations at the Windsor Recreation Center, located at 1601 E. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro, N.C. We are asking members of the community to support by donating at www.iamaqueen.org or dropping off feminine hygiene products at Create Me, located at 2507-B Battleground Ave., Greensboro, N.C. starting on May 1 until June 3. This site location hours are Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Donation List: Feminine Pads, Feminine Wipes, Tampons, and Travel Size Hand Sanitizer. For any questions, please send a detailed email info@iamaqueen.org or call 336-638-1315. h

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An Award Winning Trailblazer Who Pioneered Her Financial Territory For Edward Jones By Ellen Richardson Photos by Still Shots Photography Jackie King is a Regional Leader for Edward Jones and the first woman of color ever announced to this distinguished position at her firm. In her role, she is the liaison between the home office in St. Louis, MO, and 70+ branch teams in three counties. In 2021, Jackie reached a new pinnacle in her career at Edward Jones and became a principal partner in the firm. Her office is located in the Koury Corporate Building in Greensboro, NC. Jackie’s drive for success stems from her humble upbringing. She was born to a single mother and lived with her mom, grandparents, and six of her mother’s siblings in a two bedroom home until she was seven years old. “Money problems were common throughout my childhood”, says King. In fact, even after her mother married, they would still only grocery shop twice a month on payday. “We never had money any other time.” Eating a fast food meal during this time was considered splurging. Looking back, she doesn’t know if it was due to a lack of sufficient income, budgeting, or a combination of the two. Those experiences humbled Jackie and serve as a constant reminder of where she came from and keep her grounded and empathetic to those less fortunate.

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Growing up, and experiencing family and friend’s struggle to make ends meet made a lifelong impact on Jackie. Those experiences also helped her realize her purpose in life. She decided that she wanted to be the one to break the mold of generational financial illiteracy in people’s lives. “I wanted to be and still am a sound voice of reasoning based on principles and discipline to help guide individuals towards a life of financial freedom, ensuring they meet their financial goals,” she shares. Jackie was first introduced to the financial services industry while living in Germany during her husband’s military tour of duty. She worked in an insurance office, and upon her return to the United States, divine intervention would put her in the sight of a mentor who would change the course of her life. John Johnson was the owner of a loan company and employed Jackie to work as a part time teller. Over her 17-plus-year tenure, she worked her way up to the highest paying position in the company, acquiring the role of Corporate Operations Manager, which allowed her to oversee the operations of seventy-four branches in five states. Not only did John Johnson mentor her and open doors for her and her family, but he paid for her to complete the last two years of college, allowing her to earn her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology during work hours. While she credits the experience and relationship with John Johnson for exposing her to incredible opportunities, she also acknowledges another inspiring individual, her late pastor, Bishop Otis Lockett, Sr. “He always encouraged us to aspire to excellence without excuse,” she says. Jackie confesses that she never forgot that and is still inspired by those words to this day. “His teachings always encouraged me to step out on faith towards the purpose for which God called me to. That same faith would ultimately lead me to the entrepreneurial role at Edward Jones.”

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“I wanted to be and still am a sound voice of

reasoning based on principles and discipline to

help guide individuals towards a life of financial

freedom, ensuring they meet their financial goals.”

Jackie is a highly sought-after Financial Advisor and is one of only a few diverse women to lead one of the country’s largest Fortune 500 companies. She possesses an innate ability to put her clients at ease. She does this while listening to their unique needs and customizing a plan that is tailored to meet their goals. Jackie’s diverse clientele keeps her relevant and tuned in to the ever-changing world that impacts their financial goals. Over the last 15 years, Edward Jones has recognized Jackie’s positive winning attitude. Her colleagues cited her with the Spirit of Caring Award, and her branch team is often ranked in the top 1% of the firm for Client Service Excellence. Within the firm, Jackie holds key positions that afford her the opportunity to serve colleagues, clients, and the community. She has served on the Edward Jones Women’s Advisory Council, the African American Advisory Board, as well as Talent Acquisition Spokesperson for the east coast, and currently holds the role of Regional Leader. “I am grateful for the opportunities the firm has afforded me and for being able to hold such positions of influence. These positions allow me to serve clients in a meaningful way and provide a platform for me to have a greater impact on the broader community,” she says.

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Jackie is also nationally recognized for her experience. She was interviewed on the Business Report segment of TV One’s Black Enterprise and later was a contributor for the magazine. Other national publications include Investment News and Diversity Women. Additionally, she is often found conducting various workshops throughout the community. She is both a Chaplain and a Certified John Maxwell Speaker and Coach and a valuable resource for other business professionals. Jackie was born in Lumberton, NC to Glenda M. Dockery and the late Alfred Jackson. She is a proud graduate of an HBCU, Fayetteville State University, and is married to realtor and retired military veteran, Ellis King. Together they have three sons, Perry, Destine, and Kyler. Jackie serves the community through Rotary International, serving with the East Greensboro Rotary club and auxiliary leader at Evangel Fellowship COGIC. She enjoys finding ways to support others during her downtime, traveling, reading, and retail therapy. To learn more about Jackie King, please visit her website. **The content of this article was sponsored by the local Edward Jones office of Jackie King. h

Jackie King, AAMS® Edward Jones 2275 Vanstory St - Greensboro, NC 27403 336-275-9320 www.edwardjones.com Edward Jones. Member SIPC 14


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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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A ngela Williams Focus Point Mental Health, LLC Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, mental illness has emerged to the forefront of many people’s lives. Not that it wasn’t in existence before, it just wasn’t openly discussed as it is today due to the negative stigmatism associated with it from society and family members. Fortunately, mental illness is now being acknowledged more readily by doctors, educators, the athletic world, and society. COVID-19 has revealed that individuals have problems being alone. It has also shown that depression comes in many forms, such as depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia, to name a few. It is common for most people to worry or feel anxious or downhearted from time to time, but mental illness can derail a person’s life and the lives of their loved ones. At the very least, mental health issues affect one’s ability to live life to the fullest. At the worst, it may lead to fatal outcomes such as suicide. Albeit mental illness is an equal opportunity health concern because it affects both young and old, male and female, every ethnic background, every educational level, and every socioeconomic status. Society should know that there is a difference between mental health and mental illness. Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes their own abilities, can cope with the everyday stresses of life, and can still work productively, while mental illness affects a person’s ability to function over a long period of time. If you fall in the latter category, you should seek help from a qualified agency that can help you come up from that “sunken place” to stop feeling as though you are on a continuous slide down the rabbit hole. One place that can help you balance the daily stressors of life or your inability to function in a healthy emotional state over a long period is Focus Point Mental Health, LLC. Angela Williams is the Owner and Chief Executive Officer of mental health agencies located in Danville, Martinsville, and Richmond, Virginia, where you can receive assistance with both mental health and mental illness. At Focus Point Mental Health, LLC, clients are provided with mental health services for adults who suffer from serious mental, behavioral or emotional

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After years of helping other agencies to open their own mental health facilities, she decided to open her own agency so she could make needed improvements within the mental health field regarding her own policy and procedures. Read on as Angela shares her story, “I opened my own agency because I knew the field and was already preparing audits for other organizations. I wanted to be a part of the solution and assist people with finding the quality of mental health care they needed. Because I had worked in the field for so long, I saw where changes could be made to address specific areas in the mental health field, so I started by creating my own manuals that spoke to the policy and procedures that would enhance what the clients’ needs actually were. It took me almost two and a half years to create my own manuals because while I was working on them, the Department of Health and Human Services laws and criteria continued to change, and I had to fit those new policies and procedures into my manuals before they were finally approved. Once I received the approval and acquired my license from the State of Virginia, I opened my first facility in Danville, VA. Within three years, we added two additional offices in Martinsville and Richmond, VA and we’re adding our fourth location in Lynchburg, VA where we will be partnering with The Lighthouse Community Health Services, which is near and dear to my heart because they focus on mental illness for the homeless.”

illnesses resulting in significant functional impairments in major life activities. Training and supports are provided to enable individuals to achieve and maintain community stability and independence in the most appropriate, least restrictive environment. Skill-building services are rehabilitative and help individuals acquire and maintain the greatest levels of independence possible through training in daily living skills, health and safety, appropriate behavior, use of community resources, medication management, and selfmonitoring of personal health, nutrition, and physical condition. They also provide Outpatient Therapy. Each location is staffed with licensed professionals who are equipped to service Mental Health Skill Building, Crisis Stabilization Mobilization, Intensive In-Home, Substance Abuse, Mentoring, Parent Aid, Psychiatric Services and Administrative Services. The Lynchburg location provides all of the same services and offers 23-hour stabilization. It suffices to say that Focus Point Mental Health is your one-stop shop for your all-around mental health needs. Angela has worked for the past 17 years in the most critical areas of mental health. From working on the administrative side as a Qualified Mental Health Professional-Auditor, (QMHP-A) and directly with the clients as a QMHP, she realized her skill while working successfully for other agencies acquiring accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, (CARF). CARF is a prestigious accreditation certification that all mental health agencies strive to achieve and in some cases must have in order to operate.

In addition to the services mentioned Focus Point Mental Health, LLC also has a solid male mentoring program operated by the Chief Operating Officer, Barry Martin, who has been a staunch supporter of the organization. According to Angela, “Mr. Barry Martin has been right there with me. He’s is also one of the mentors. He works with the young boys and teaches them about being young men, making good decisions, and being a positive influence. They discuss life skills and being responsible citizens within their communities. He also works on their selfesteem. I appreciate the fact that he is hands-on. He saw the need and jumped right in to fulfill it. He has strong interpersonal communication skills that make a noticeable difference in the lives of the young men we serve. I couldn’t be successful without people like Barry Martin and our core professional team members having bought into the vision and purpose of the organization. They make the difference in everything we’re able to do here.” With such a well-rounded staff to provide all the needed mental health services, it’s easy to see how and why Focus Point Mental Health has expanded to four locations. “Yes, we’ve expanded very quickly, but I want people to know that this is not a rat race to see how many clients we can get. We’ve expanded because there is an obvious need for mental health care, and we are making a notable difference in the communities we serve. If we don’t offer the service you need, we have become a liaison by partnering with other organizations so people we cannot serve can have a place to go and receive quality care. We don’t just send people anywhere. That organization must provide the same quality care, have the same passion for eradicating mental health illness, and possess the same credentials. That’s very important because we service clients from age five to 99. We also focus on a wholistic approach and “wrap-around care”. Normally we can assist the entire family because mental illness affects everyone in the house. We can address all of those needs

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The Mobile Eyewear Experience Lady E Specs & Wood You? Specs by J. Franklin By Monica Montgomery Photos Provided by The Mobile Eyewear Experience

The fashion industry is constantly changing, and entrepreneurs like Erika Hendrix and James Smith are always looking for new and better ways to give customers what they want. Erika Hendrix wore glasses for years, but she could no longer wear contacts after a stroke in her left eye. Erika discovered that wearing glasses was an outlet for her creative side. “My glasses are the one fashion accessory that I’m very unreserved about. I wear a lot of bold colors and unique styles. My choice of eyewear allows me to be one hundred percent me!” Like most of us who have become accustomed to online shopping, Erika was a consumer looking for something special when she found Wood You? Specs by J. Franklin. Erika became a repeat customer and came to the attention of owner, designer, and entrepreneur James Smith. “I started this business, Wood You? Specs by J. Franklin, five years ago and never thought it would grow to where it is now,” James shared. “I got into this industry because I’ve always been a fashion-forward kind of guy. People would see me and how I dressed and carried myself and say, ‘Hey, where did you find that?’ When I started posting pictures of the glasses, people all over noticed, including Christian comedian Jonathan Slocomb. He reached out and became my brand ambassador, and things just took off from there,” James explained. James is also someone who mentors other entrepreneurs, specifically in designer eyewear. “I’ve helped several people start their own designer eyewear line, and everyone has enjoyed their individual level of success.”

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Erika was surprised when James reached out to her in 2019 about launching her designer eyewear line. “James sent me a DM and asked had I ever thought about launching my own line of designer frames. I had never thought about it before he suggested it. I never saw myself as a fashion designer, but I know what I like. This was an opportunity for me to share the creative side of myself with the world.” Erika has been the executive pastor at her local church for twenty-six years, and she has worked in the mental health field for nineteen years. These two careers require a great deal of self-sacrifice with little room for self-expression or individual creativity. Launching Lady E. Specs allowed Erika to show a side of her that very few people get to see. So, she decided to go for it. After talking to James and mapping out the Lady E. Specs Eyewear line, she and James went full speed ahead with launching the virtual marketplace for Lady E. Specs. James has helped several other people launch designer eyewear lines, but none with the exuberance and tenacity that he found in Erika. “Erika was excited about the new venture, and it showed in her focus. She took the information and guidance I gave her and put everything she had into making Lady E. Specs a success,” James explains. Erika is a bi-vocational Marketplace Influncer, and James works in full-time ministry. After working together, they found they share a lot of the same ideas about where the industry was and where it could go. Both Erika and James agreed although they were in two different states, they worked well together. It was no surprise that when James was looking for a partner for his next big venture, he called on Erika. “You wouldn’t have known that we didn’t live in the same state. I live in North Carolina, and James lives in Florida. In fact, we didn’t meet in person until we launched The Mobile Eyewear Experience in March of this year,” Erika shared.

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Although online shopping isn’t new, the pandemic pushed business owners like Erika and James. Brick and mortar businesses were once the standard, but now virtual markets have taken over. Consumers have become accustomed to the luxury of shopping for their favorite items from anywhere. This was the inspiration behind The Mobile Eyewear Experience.


“Since the pandemic, my eyes have been opened to the benefit of giving people the flexibility to choose how they shop,” Erika explained. “My business was launched during the pandemic, and I didn’t think twice about whether I wanted a physical store or a virtual one. I can deliver a quality shopping experience without the overhead and hassle of a brick-and-mortar business. The Mobile Eyewear Experience takes this idea of mobility and flexibility to another level.” Erika and James’s vision is to revolutionize how people shop for glasses. The Mobile Eyewear Experience is a mobile showroom that goes where the customer is. Customers book their custom experience online, and everything comes to you. Most people who wear glasses are used to going to the optometrist and selecting from rows of frames. You look for ones you like that might fit your personality, try them on, and purchase if they fit. “The vision is to bring a customizable luxury experience to you. Customers are free to select from Lady E. Specs designs or Wood You? Specs by J. Franklin, but they also have the option to design their frames. They can choose the style, shape, and materials the frames are made from. Consumers can put their names on their glasses. They can put logos and names of organizations. James explains that there is no limit on the design, and the customer is in control. With The Mobile Eyewear Experience, you will have all your local optometrist’s options. They work with a trusted optometrist who can fill any prescription. Customers can get all the additions to their lenses they would as if they walked into a store. “Some places won’t put lenses in frames they don’t sell because they are worried about damaging them. If the customer sends us the prescription, we will take care of everything. It’s all about convenience. Our goal is to be a one-stop-shop for all their eyewear needs,” James says confidently. There is only one mobile eyewear experience like Lady E and Wood You? Specs by J. Franklin located in Jacksonville, FL, and plans are in the works to launch a second mobile eyewear experience in North Carolina. For now, if you are not located in Florida, you can still have a customizable experience online. New things are hitting the market every day. Vision, planning, and perseverance separate the fly-by-night ideas from those that stand the test of time. With the formula and foundation that Erika Hendrix and James Smith have laid, I have no doubt we will see The Mobile Eyewear Experience all across the country. h

www.jfranklinwoodyouspecs.com 904-595-7351 29


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By Dr. Marrissa Dick Photos by Still Shots Photography Regardless of where you live, most people know of someone receiving or has received in-home health care for various reasons. These reasons can fluctuate from adult children needing someone to help them care for an aging parent or grandparent who requires assistance with bathing, dressing, or preparing meals for their loved one. In truth, most caregivers are providing these services out of love and family obligation. Another reason some caregivers choose to provide in-home health care themselves is they are unable to afford a quality facility that could provide their loved one with a clean, reputable, and safe environment. Anyone who finds themselves in this position is painfully aware that they are a novice when it comes to checking vital signs, administering medications, and cleaning surgical wounds; nonetheless, they “figure it out” by seeking guidance from someone they know who found themselves in the same position. So, what exactly is home care? I’m glad you asked. A professional caregiver provides home care in the individual’s private home instead of going to a rehabilitation facility or nursing home. In general, people hesitate to have strangers enter their home, let alone someone coming in to take care of their loved one. The caregiver is already feeling anxious about providing this type of care; they have feelings of guilt because doing so is affecting their personal lives, and now they must consider opening their home to a stranger. These thoughts impact the caregiver emotionally, mentally, and physically. The community should know that there is an organization ready, willing, and, most importantly, licensed to relieve them of these stressors in the name of Tourmaline Home Health Care, Inc. (THHC). At THHC, Inc., you can be sure that you are receiving qualified, trusted, compassionate, and nurturing professionals who can enter your home to provide non-clinical and medical care for your loved one. Meet the owners and operators of THHC, Inc. Chantel Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, and Jeanea Williams, Chief Operating Officer. This sister team has brought trusted and compassionate licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants, and qualified, skilled professionals to the Greensboro community. Chantell shares, “We started Tourmaline Home Health Care because we recognized a need for quality in-home health care. I work in this field, and I know that there is a need for compassionate sitters, nurses, and certified nursing assistants who can come into the home and provide individualized daily living assistance. One of the services we provide at Tourmaline is tailored in-home health care. I work in the hospitals, and I know we try our best to provide individualized care to every patient, but it’s difficult when you’re assigned 30 to 40 patients. However, relationships can be established and even flourish when you have an in-home health care provider such as Tourmaline to meet your loved one’s needs. When patients leave the hospital that’s when the real healing begins because most people are more comfortable in their own home. You know most people don’t rest well while they’re in the hospital because they are constantly awakened, so meds can be administered, vital signs need to be taken, and lab work must be done. Tourmaline Home Health Care can provide those same clinical type services on a more intimate and individualized way so the patient can receive the mental and physical rest they need once they are released to go home.” Chantel has a point when she stated, “…most people don’t rest well while they’re in the hospital”. Now how many of us have made that same statement? It is essential to follow and cultivate your passion, especially if you want that passion to develop into a thriving business. Chantel is operating in her passion and her calling.

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“I started Tourmaline Home Health Care, Inc. in 2020, but I’ve been working in the health care industry since 2014. Over the years, I have gained a lot of experience in different areas of the medical profession, but it was working with the in-home health care piece that fueled me. I have been a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), dating back to when I was in high school. I later enrolled at Guilford Technical Community College and obtained my certification in phlebotomy, took my state boards, and became licensed in that area, too. I attend UNCG and Guilford College for Biology and Psychology pre-med and Currently, I am on the fast-track at East Coast Polytechnic Institute, (ECPI), to complete my Licensed Practical Nursing, (LPN)degree. When I finish this, my next steps are to receive my registered nursing degree, and then eventually, I would like to earn the Ph.D. in holistic and integrative Family medicine. Providing care for others has never felt like work for me. I have gained a wealth of experience and realized my niche by working with my mom, Angela Williams, owner and CFO. I enjoy engaging more with person-centered in-home health care, and that is what inspired me to start my own business. I’m blessed to have both my mother and my sister to help me with the administrative and compliance pieces of the business so I can concentrate on my passion,” Chantel says. Alice Walker wrote, “Is solace anywhere more comforting than that in the arms of a sister.” That is the sentiment shared by Jeanea Williams, who gives all credence to her little sister. She shares, “I have bail bondswoman and supervising agent for 15 years-> managing Free U Bail Bonds NC, and Guilford County Court liaison for the Triad Bail Agents Association. I am a mother of a beautiful 13-year-old daughter that I’m so proud of. Like my sister, I gained experience in the home health care industry because I work parttime at Focus Point Mental Health with my mom. I decided to branch out really to help my sister because she’s so driven to make a difference in this field. I’m ten years older than Chantel, so I feel more like she’s my baby than my little sister. I’m happy to see her so enthusiastic and passionate about her future. Honestly, I would have to say that I have listened to her talk about wanting to have her own business for the past five or six years. Chantel has emersed herself in this field, and she knows how it works, so as her sister, I want to do all I can to help make her dreams come true.” One may ask how a bail bondswoman can help in the medical industry. Read on as Jeanae provides the answer. “I do all the paperwork and handle the payroll too, so it was an easy transition. I mean, paperwork is paperwork. I apply the same administrative skills and principles that I use in my own business and apply them in my sister’s business. Like Chantel I have always loved helping people. Most people don’t realize that being a bail bondswoman is much more than getting people out of jail. Whether they are being bailed out of jail or getting out of prison, I’m there to assist them with finding employment, and I encourage them to stay on the right path so they aren’t on that constant cycle of recidivism. You know mental health is real and working alongside my mom allowed me to receive certification in anxiety and depression counseling and auditing. I use those certifications in my business and my sister’s business. The expertise I provide for Tourmaline Home Health Care is making sure her employees are on the up and up and have passed the criminal background checks. These things are important because her clients trust that she knows who is entering their homes. I make sure all I’s are dotted and all T’s are crossed when it comes to hiring personnel, writing and signing legal contracts. I make certain that she remains compliant with all policies, procedures, and regulations required by the State of North Carolina. THHC, Inc. was licensed by the State of NC on December 17, 2021, so that was exciting to know that

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we are all on the same page. I want Chantel to focus her attention on school and earn all the required credentials she needs to expand her knowledge base in the in-home health care industry. I don’t want her worrying about anything else except concentrating her energy on the medical side while I handle the administrative piece for her. I’m still working in my field of expertise; I’m using my knowledge and skills to help my sister attain her goals in life.” According to Toni Morrison, “A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves —a special kind of double.” Who in the world wouldn’t want a sister like that? Tourmaline Home Health Care, Inc. provides quality and reliable in-home health care needs. Their licensed and professional services include daily living assistance, caring for surgical wounds, meal preparations, and companion sitting. They also provide full and partial support for the person who is leaving the hospital and still needs professional medical care. THHC has licensed medical professionals available to provide those services for individuals who need more geriatric care. Support is also provided for the caregiver, who must work daily. These caregivers can find comfort in knowing that Tourmaline Home Health Care has responsible, trusted, and compassionate companion sitters available to keep their loved one’s safe and engaged throughout the day. Read on as Jeanae provides the answer. “I do all the paperwork and handle the payroll too, so it was an easy transition. I mean, paperwork is paperwork. I apply the same administrative skills and principles that I use in my own business and apply them in my sister’s business. Like Chantel I have always loved helping people. Most people don’t realize that being a bail bondswoman is much more than getting people out of jail. Whether they are being bailed out of jail or getting out of prison, I’m there to assist them with finding employment, and I encourage them to stay on the right path so they aren’t on that constant cycle of recidivism. You know mental health is real and working alongside my mom allowed me to receive certification in anxiety and depression counseling and auditing. I use those certifications in my business and my sister’s business. The expertise I provide for Tourmaline Home Health Care is making sure her employees are on the up and up and have passed the criminal background checks. These things are important because her clients trust that she knows who is entering their homes. I make sure all I’s are dotted and all T’s are crossed when it comes to hiring personnel, writing and signing legal contracts. I make certain that she remains compliant with all policies, procedures, and regulations required by the State of North Carolina. THHC, Inc. was licensed by the State of NC on December 17, 2021, so that was exciting to know that we are all on the same page. I want Chantel to focus her attention on school and earn all the required credentials she needs to expand her knowledge base in the in-home health care industry. I don’t want her worrying about anything else except concentrating her energy on the medical side while I handle the administrative piece for her. I’m still working in my field of expertise; I’m using my knowledge and skills to help my sister attain her goals in life.” According to Toni Morrison, “A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves —a special kind of double.” Who in the world wouldn’t want a sister like that? Tourmaline Home Health Care, Inc. provides quality and reliable in-home health care needs. Their licensed and professional services include daily living assistance, caring for surgical wounds, meal preparations, and companion sitting. They also provide full and partial support for the person who is leaving the hospital and still needs professional medical care. THHC has licensed medical professionals available to provide those services for individuals who need more geriatric care. Support is also provided for the caregiver, who must work daily. These caregivers can find comfort in knowing that Tourmaline Home Health Care has responsible, trusted, and compassionate companion sitters available to keep their loved one’s safe and engaged throughout the day. h

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Tourmaline Home Health Care 204 Muirs Chapel Rd (Suite 336) - Greensboro, NC 27410 336-298-2824 - www.tourmaline-hhc.com


MAGAZINE

Cutest Baby

Marrel Gravely Foushee The son of Sunny Gravely Foushee and Marrel Foushee

Triad - May/June 2022

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

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Creative GSO and The Kings Forest Residency Information and Photos Provided by Sunny Gravely Foushee

Creative GSO offered a Neighborhood Six Month Residency for Kings Forest, Dudley Heights and Glenwood. I was chosen for Kings Forest, Darlene McClinton was chosen for Dudley Heights and Harry Turfle was chosen for Glenwood. The six month residency was created in part to bring the community together through the arts. Each month we were supposed to do an art program or project which included the community’s participation. We worked with a small community of residents including Zanzella and Terry Savoy, Kevin Webb, Brenda Bishop, Atiba Berkley and Lindsey Webb. We met with the community committee twice a month to approve projects and/ or programs and to assign volunteer work, such as distributing flyers , mailers and posters, grilling or cooking for the neighborhood, assisting with organizing events, etc. During the residency we did “Art in the Park” twice where we painted canvas, rocks, bird houses, etc with community members. We also painted the benches in the children’s park and the basketball court. Kevin Webb cooked food at two events and Zanzella and Terry Savoy, and one of my board members at TAB Arts Center Non Profit, Lisa Blackwell of State Farms Insurance paid for the food. During our last month of the residency, we had a festival with 12 vendors and gave certificates and trophies to our committee and neighborhood volunteers.

Sunny Gravely Foushee Executive Director - TABS Art Center sungravely@gmail.com

LaTasha “Sunny” Gravely is known for her use of vibrant colors and powerful imagery. Over the years her work has evolved. In the past, she has worked with mediums such as, watercolor, acrylic, ink and pencil to create these view ports of “southern living.” However, recently she has been working strenuously to master the art of collage and painting with acrylics. From textured paper to colored tissue paper, from paint to oil pastels, Sunny has found an elegant way to combine all of these materials. Sunny has showcased her work in galleries from New York to Charlotte. Some of the exhibits she has participated in a one woman show at The Radius Group (Brooklyn, NY), a group show with Musart (Atlanta, GA), Greenhill Gallery (Greensboro, NC), The African American Atelier (Greensboro, NC), NC A & T State University (Greensboro, NC), Art 1 Gallery (Charlotte, NC), Harvey Gant Museum (Charlotte, NC) Piedmont International Airport (Greensboro, NC), Kennedy Studios (Martha’s Vineyard) and other galleries around the country.

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Evan Bennett

Artist Evan.bennet4@gmail.com

Evan Bennett has a career in the health care field as an Occupational Therapist in NC, but has a history and forever interest in the Arts. It all started when Evan attended and graduated from Weaver Academy for Performing and Visual Arts with a concentration in Dance with extensive training in styles of Ballet, Modern, and Jazz. That opportunity exposed her to talented friends and colleagues. In her collegiate years, as well as, professional years, she has participated in dance groups from Hip Hop, African, Jazz, Ballet and Majorette. She currently creates content in Fashion/ Styling and Creating apparel for her K. Evy 💋 Brand. When it comes to drawing, sketching and painting, she is not technically trained but finds the time to study the craft and learn techniques. Her Artwork can be seen on Canvases, Murals, and Clothing Attire.

Mary E. Evans

Artist/Designer/Consultant meryansmail@gmail.com

“I work through an intuitive process as an artist. I seek creative harmony using color, pattern, composition, painted texture, and natural elements. I strive for art that is whole, magnetic, balanced, and joyful. Into my artwork I infuse my most high expression: kindness, consideration, empathy, connection, and love. I favor colors, symbols, and concepts of mysticism, magic, sacred wisdom, and joyful imagery from both visions and my imagination, as well as nature. I am very conscious of the energy that is in each mural or piece that I create. I attend to details that will surprise and enchant people. My work is culturally inclusive, especially my public art that is most precious because it can be enjoyed by everyone in the community to enjoy. Whether in my studio or out in public making art, I enjoy the inspiration of a very playful muse who loves to express all these things, has a passion for vivid color, and is drawn to a variety of mediums but favors acrylics.”

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Schala Harper Artist shallahrocks@gmail.com

As a native of Greensboro, NC, Schala Harpers approach to art is influenced by the city’s rich history within the national civil rights movement and its impact can be observed in her “Say It Loud” street mural located on Lindsay Street in Greensboro and in Wilmignton with their Eighteen Forward “Black Lives Matter” exhibition that was later released as a documentary in the Cuculorus Film Festival where she was featured. She co-wrote and taught an interdisciplinary curriculum on resilience and taught another on empathy with the office of Equity and Diversity at UNCW. Also with the university, she arranged presented a digital piece of works by several artist called Blackness: A Framework to bring awareness to stereotypes, social unrest and injustices in our society. She is inspired by her mother, aunt and late grandfather who have created many forms of mixed media. She is a lover of nature and people from all walks of life. These attributes have modeled her to become a functional artist. Her rock art can be found in rock displays at Castle Hayne Elementary School in Wilmington, NC, Washington Montessori Elementary School, digital billboards, multiple homes and even as far as London, Jamaica and Rome.

Jay Maxwell Artist maxworld123@gmail.com

I am Jay Maxwell, an artist out of Greensboro NC. In the art world I’m known as Meantime Max . I specialize in aerosol paints and graffiti ,but I love to create Art with any medium at hand. I prefer most of my work to have a meaning or purpose. Normally I pull inspiration from my hip hop background or my expression of Black culture. It was an honor to be a part of the King’s Forest Icon project because I actually grew up in the neighborhood.

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Meesha Walker

Artist xeshema@gmail.com

What I inspire to be as an artist is one that can bring the masses together in a positive way. I wish to let my art speak to everyone and trigger unexpected emotions. Whether bad or good, all art has meaning. I am an artist who enjoys painting and creating for others. Their joy, their tears, even the anger only strives towards conversations that no one would have if my art didn’t exist. That’s what I love about creating.

Wonhye Chong Artist wonhye.chong@gmail.com

Wonhye Chong came to Hawaii to major in TESOL( Teaching English to the speakers of other languages) and minor in 2D art. While studying at BYU-Hawaii, she worked as a graphic designer for the Performance and Series department at the university. After graduation, she designed packages and advertisements for a beauty company in Texas. After returning to South Korea with her three kids and husband, she taught children English and art while raising her children. She always has a passion for art, no matter where she goes and how long she stays there. She looked for something related to art, such as volunteering for the community, even though she was busy with her children. This is how she met this amazing group of artists who did the Greensboro Icon Sidewalk Art Project in 2021. She truly enjoyed painting someone who is respectful in the community. Especially, she had a fun time with her teenage daughter, Hyanggee Keala Cho who also loves painting and drawing. They designed and painted portrait for that project together.

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The HEEAT Research Lab HuamiMagazine.com Triad - May/June 2022

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By Ellen Richardson Photos Provided by Still Shots Photography

Over the last few years, there has been a heightened awareness of the health inequities that exist in the African American/Black community as well as the impact that racism has on health outcomes. These inequities and racism, however, are not new and have shown to have a profound and negative impact on Black Americans. A group of advocates throughout the Triad and the Research Triangle areas of North Carolina are addressing health disparities through equity, engagement, advocacy, and trust. Led by Nurse Scientist and researcher Dr. Schenita Randolph, The HEEAT Research Lab is committed to finding solutions and ensuring the improved health of the Black community, specifically in the areas of sexual health and HIV. “The addressing Health Disparities through Engagement, Equity, Advocacy, and Trust Research (HEEAT) Lab was established alongside fellow researchers, nurses and clinicians, entrepreneurs, and community members dedicated to addressing health inequities within the Black community,” said Randolph. “We highlight the significant role of Fathers in promoting adolescent male sexual health, while recognizing the impact that experiences of racism and discrimination have had and continue to have on Black males health and health outcomes.” Randolph also shared that the Centers for Disease Control has identified racism as a serious threat to the public’s health. As a nurse for over 25 years, Randolph has always had a heart for educating young Black males and females, primarily due to the disparities in health, specifically for sexually transmitted infections and HIV. “Before working on the academic side of healthcare, I was a public health nurse. I saw young males and females coming in for HIV and other sexual health screenings. I also understand as a Black woman how race and gender discrimination impacts health care delivery and outcomes,” she said. “Witnessing all of this, I made it my mission to do what I can to address health inequities within our community through education, research, and advocacy.”

“We are partnering with the community to develop and implement culturally and socially relevant interventions that will promote health particularly for Black women and Black male adolescents and young adults.”

Randolph partners with trusted community members, such as barbershop and beauty salon owners, to provide the education and resources necessary to promote health in the community. The HEEAT lab has developed an intervention called UPDOs (Using PrEP, Doing it for Ourselves) Protective Styles. UPDOs Protective Styles is a salon-based intervention developed in partnership with researchers and the

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community to promote awareness, knowledge, and uptake of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among Black women living in the United States south. Black women in the US make up 12 percent of the population but account for 60 percent of new HIV cases among women. PrEP is a pill that, if taken daily, reduces the risk of one contracting HIV. It has been proven to be 99% percent effective. However, less than one percent of Black women who are eligible for this preventative measure actually use it. The HEEAT Lab just wants women to be aware and knowledgeable so they can make informed decisions about their own health. UPDOs takes a comprehensive approach and addresses overall health of Black women in the US, including HIV, cardiovascular disease, and intimate partner violence. This salon-based intervention has partnered with salon owner Tamica Campbell Hughes of Kotur Kutz in Greensboro, NC. Hughes offers awareness and education for area African American women about PrEP or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. Educating trusted partners like Tamica Hughes about these and other women’s health issues such as cardiovascular disease and intimate partner violence, can have a widespread community impact. According to Hughes, her salon’s partnership with Randolph and The HEEAT Research Lab has been life-changing. “Partnership with this social research lab offers knowledge that will help stylists and their clients provide support for improving women’s health. The truth is that by reaching one woman, you can change the world. Getting the knowledge is the first step to protecting you and your body, and this is a great life-altering message for stylists to share with women throughout the community,” Hughes shared. Thanks to other available social, behavioral programs like The Talk, Randolph and her partners are assisting parents in having the necessary tools to support and guide young Black male youth in their sexual health and understand the impacts of racism on health behaviors and outcomes. “This web-based application includes podcasts that feature perspectives from fathers, videos that showcase the importance of seeking racial equality, as well as other valuable content that helps start the conversations between fathers and sons. We also encourage mothers to leverage this information to help them build healthy relationships with their sons and provide resources to help their sons make healthy sexual health decisions,” Randolph says. Partners for The TALK include Gene Blackmon, Barber and Owner of Prestige Barber College in Greensboro, NC, and Akili Hester, Barber and Owner of Black Wall Street Barbershop in Durham, NC. HuamiMagazine.com Triad - May/June 2022

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The HEEAT Research Lab: UPDOs Program Development Team Pictured from left to right are Dr. Ragan Johnson, Co-Investigator, Dr. Schenita Randolph, Director and Principal Investigator, Allison Johnson, Clinical Research Coordinator, Crystal Taylor, Executive Producer for UPDOs, Tamica Campbell Hughes, Community Partner and Stylists, and Corrina Dunn, Community Partner and Stylists. Other members of the HEEAT Lab not pictured include Gene Blackmon, Barber and Owner Prestige Barber College, Akili Hester, Barber and Owner of Black Wall Street Barbershop, Aaron Lyle Jr., CEO Black Fly on the Wall, Dr. Harvey Hinton, Terrance Pleasants, Davon Washington, Dr. Cherie Conley, Dr. Selena Monk, Candice Lewis, and Kelvis Tann.

Randolph describes herself as a “Nurse Scientist who genuinely cares about her work having a real-world impact in the community.” When asked what lies in the future for the HEEAT, Randolph has a clear response. “As a researcher in academia, it is important for us to test our interventions to evaluate if they have the intended outcomes for which they were created, so we are now recruiting women to test the UPDOs intervention site.” Without any question, Randolph and The HEEAT Lab are doing their part to improve the health of Black Americans. Please visit their website for more information. h

The HEEAT Research Lab www.theheeat.nursing.duke.edu schenita.randolph@duke.edu 45


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

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

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

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


Focus Point Mental Health, LLC (Continued from page 22) in one location instead of clients having to go to multiple places and start building that trust with a new counselor or therapist. They already know us, and relationships have already been established, making life much easier for the person receiving the help.” Futuristically, Angela is working on a non-profit organization called Focus Points Vision Inc. This organization’s mission is to acquire property to assist teen moms who are suffering from depression or anxiety because they are having difficulty dealing with the challenges of being a young mother. She shares, “I want to be able to purchase houses for these young ladies to live in with their children and teach them about financial literacy while giving them a safe place to live so they and their children can grow and get the things they need. By the time they complete these programs, they will be able to move out and get their own homes. This is just another way of creating that continuum of care for the teen mom I was also a teen mom and now have two beautiful daughters, and one grand daughter.” What an excellent way to break the cycle of children having children, but it is comforting to know that these teen moms will have a place to go for support. h

Angela Williams - 434-483-5070 - www. focuspointmentalhealth.com



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400 East Wendover Avenue Greensboro, NC