Inspirational Story

I have always been an inspiration. I grew up in a single-parent family household. My mother encouraged me to follow my dreams and continue with my education. She was an amazing woman that raised me to love, show empathy, and compassion for others.  My mother encouraged me to always follow my dreams and to believe in myself. At the age of 8 years old, I founded a teen organization for young people  With the help of my mother I was able to found Global Teen Club International. The whole goal of the organization was to bring ethnically diverse and socially aware young people together. We published a monthly publication and it went out to young people in the US and abroad. It was through this experience that I gained awareness of the world around me. My organization enabled me to travel in the US and abroad. In 1992, I was selected as  Noxzema Extraordinary Teen Finalist that helped me to reach more young people through my own article published in 'teen Magazine. My organization helped to make a difference and allow for others to express themselves in a nonviolent way. I was often called a " Grassroots Ambassador" and I had dreams of being a world leader. Although I stopped the organization I went on to discover plus-size modeling.  I was not with an agency, but I used my online presence to reach out to photographers, other talent and I started making a name for myself in the industry. I enjoyed modeling and being in front of the camera. I worked with Ad Campaigns, appeared on buses and billboards, walked the runway for the Tyra Banks Show, traveled across the US as a Brand Ambassador for Just My Size, and worked with a variety of photographers. I loved being in front of the camera. My mother used to always say, " I am so sassy."  It is so funny because that nickname even got me noticed as the Sassiest Girl in America's contest in Sassy Magazine.  I had so much going for me and still do, but my life came to a sudden halt when I was hospitalized in 2009 and diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar really can get your life off track if you allow it. I struggled with my weight and my sanity for a few years.  I went to live in a licensed Board and Care Residential Home and I thought my life was over. Gone were the trips to Los Angeles for shoots and my full-time job. Instead, I started to listen to my Doctors and Psychiatrists. I knew that I had to go back to school.   I remember hearing about a program called Spirit through the Day Program that I attended. I  applied and was accepted into the program.  It was the Spirit Program that made me realize that I was so much more than my diagnosis. I learned that I could continue with my education and decided to go further after receiving my certificate. This prompted me to apply for admission to a 2-year program at Heald College. I went back to school. I studied, I learned, and met some new friends.  The school taught me a lot and I realized I wanted to go further. It was hearing Barack Obama's story many times that made me realize that education is the ticket to a better life. I graduated from Heald College in 2015 right when the school closed. But toward the end of the program, I finally was able to move on my own with a roommate. I also got engaged and met a man that I thought was right for me. We moved in with each other and I realized I was losing a part of myself. I was not happy, but I was sane on the right medications. Then one day I realized that I wanted out. I left. I went to stay with a friend and then things started going downhill. I stopped my medications and had to go and live in Oregon. It was in Oregon that I got the help I needed, enrolled at Northwest Christian University, found an apartment, and moved on with my life.  I also realized that I have family in Oregon and truly blessed. Now that I am a Graduate of Northwest Christian University, I can stand tall and proud that I have gotten my Bachelors of Science at a school that believes in faith, service, and good works.  Even though it was a struggle at times, I never gave up. I know that the future looks a little scary. Right now as I write this we are experiencing a virus with no cure, rioting, and violence in our Nation. I believe that it takes a whole village to raise a child and I believe that our leaders need to come together and unite instead of having division. I believe in change and I know that in time America will heal and come back stronger than ever. I am now pursuing my Master's Degree at Northcentral University. I believe that one day I will have the courage to write my own book, but for now, I pray for peace and hope that the next generation will learn from the mistakes this previous generation has made. But I know that we shall overcome!