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Is there a teacher that you remember having been particularly influential?
My kindergarten teacher, Ms. Shelly, is still the best teacher I’ve ever had. She saw something in me at a very early age that I didn’t yet see in myself (obviously because I was only 5). She taught me on a 2nd grade level and pushed me to stretch beyond settling for “easy.”
What would people you know find surprising about you as a teen?
I was a sock hustler. Seriously, I went to flea markets and sold socks, hats, and gloves. I was 17 and it was my first experience as an “entrepreneur.” Even though, I quickly realized socks weren’t my thing, the experience sparked something in me. Nothing like making for your dollar for yourself!!
Why did you decide to attend college?
I never wanted to go to college. My desire was to jump right into entrepreneurship after high school. A big deciding factor was to make my dad proud – he always wanted me to get a college degree. Initially, I pushed back on the idea, but I’m grateful I went. I had my first international travel experiences and I discovered my love of photography in college.
Who was the most influential person to you as a child?
My big sister. For a long time, I was super quiet and didn’t talk to ANYONE, but her. She told my parents when I was hungry, had to go to the bathroom, etc. She was the middle-man between me and the world. The first person I trusted and the best big sister a little creep like me could ask for!
Did you have any nicknames?
My close family calls me Cheese. Apparently, when I was born, I was VERY yellow. (Don’t try calling me Cheese in public – I'll just pretend you're talking to the invisible person next me.)
What did you want to be growing up?
A bodybuilder. Like, a Ronnie Coleman type bodybuilder. I used to read muscle mags for fun. But by the grace of God, that dream never came into fruition. #WontHeDoIt
If you could meet any historical figure, of the past or present, who would it be and why?
Maya Angelou. She was soooo wise!! And, she was Oprah’s mentor, and everyone knows I LOVE Oprah. Might as well go to the source. If she taught Oprah what she knows, I’d like to get some of that information – it’s golden.
What is your definition of “happiness”?
The feeling when you’re in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. That deeper understanding that I’m here for a reason and my current actions are aligning with that purpose.
What is your most memorable travel experience?
Witnessing African soil for the first time. I arrived to Ghana by ship (on Semester at Sea). When I first saw the coast, I cried like a baby. It was an overwhelming experience. Like a culmination of emotions came to a head in that moment.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
I skied off a cliff and had to be rescued. The only thing that saved me was one of those orange checkered plastic gates. It was embarrassing and scary in the moment, but now I find it HILARIOUS!
What is your greatest fear?
To get to the end of my life and know that I could have used my time more purposefully.
What was your first job?
McDonald’s. I quit because I thought the greasy atmosphere was giving me acne. Turns out, it was just puberty and I was developing naturally oily skin. How splendid...
What was your worst job?
Doing retail at a men’s clothing store. I’m so happy I got fired. If I pretended to fold one more shirt, I would have gone crazy!!
What is your goal as a parent?
As a mom, I really want to create a habit of purposeful action and FINISHING things. I’d like Hendrix to know that she’s truly limitless and 100% capable of manifesting the vision that God has for her. Growing up, I had so many unfinished projects and ideas that I never acted on. As a parent, I’m on a manifesting mission to get ish done – for me and Hendrix.
What is your happiest memory?
Seeing Hendrix for the first time. No other experience will ever compare.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Sailing on Semester At Sea. That was the first time I realized that I could truly manifest anything I wanted. I didn’t have the money ($23,000 tuition plus spending money), but I never wanted anything bad enough in my life. There were soooo many obstacles and hurdles that could've kept me from going on that trip, but I pushed through and made my dream a reality. I traveled to 14 countries and changed the trajectory of my life forever.
"Do what you can with what you have." - unknown
"Remain humble. It isn't about you. It's about your gift. Your God given gift. You're simply a vessel." -Dr. Myles Munroe
"Never too old to be a student. Never too young to be a teacher." -unknown
"Individually, we're impressive. Together, we're unstoppable." -unknown
"Excellence is being able to perform at a high level for a long period of time." -Jay-Z