Glow – The Confetti Project

What Do You Celebrate?

I Celebrate: Glow

I celebrate glow. The essence of the human soul that illuminates when confidence, freedom and awareness are present. Glow is essential to living a life in color. As a young girl, I would marvel at the twinkle in my father’s eyes as he smiled at my siblings and me. He transferred the glow to me and I took the torch. I realized it took practice, work if you will, to choose to exude glow. Before I was allowed to wear makeup, I made it my business to wear an internal highlighter. I became more aware of how lighting my path created this metallic snowball for glow to return to me. Fast forward 10 years later, and I find myself a part of a 5 member team exchanging glow virtually and across the world. I held the banner of glow as I landed in Kassali, Uganda to train women and girls in leadership, community development and dignified work. Standing in front of pieces of my ancestors, I learned a deeper meaning of glow. I learned that it doesn’t matter what you do, what you wear or where you come from. Glow comes from within and it isn’t limited in access. It’s yours to cultivate, spread and reciprocate.

For more information, visit http://www.theconfettiproject.com.

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Kids Say the Darndest Things

Yesterday morning I joined the fun at the Starkville Community Market.. I volunteered at the Kids’ Activity Tent to assist sweet little ones with coloring while their parents worked or shopped for locally grown goods.

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One thing I love about children..whatever they are thinking comes out without tact or precaution. I was really excited about the day and began to talk with another volunteer. We were just a talking, and one little brave soul lifted his head from his coloring book and said “You talk too much.” I’ll admit I was speechless for a second. I had to make sure I heard what he said, so I asked what he said and sure enough he repeated it. I was too tickled.

I then shifted my attention to helping the kids color. My new little friend asked me to color a page with him, so I did. He had quite a few questions for me. He quickly turned me into his assistant fetching rocks(what he referred to as fossils), climbing, and trying zucchini and squash. We had a fabulous time! Others were a little shy but soon warmed up to new faces.

I took away from the experience a few reminders:

1) Say what’s true to you. If it comes to mind, just say it. No sugarcoat, no puffery, just the plain truth.

2) Listen to children. They have a lot to say and you can definitely learn from them.

3) Be a good example. They mimic what they hear and see. Don’t be a negative influence.

The day was off to a great start!! I am looking forward to Saturdays to come to smell the distinct aroma of fresh turnips, seeing hissing cockroaches(caged of course), hearing the sweet sounds of local bands, and volunteering a little time to make a big difference.

Event Planning for “13 Going on 30” Camp

Delegation is one of the main tools an effective leader uses. As an ambassador for Jasmine’s Murray “13 Going on 30” platform, one of my duties is to spread the program. I knew there wouldn’t be a way to do everything by myself successfully. The program is to encourage girls to be age appropriate and not grow up too fast. I had a vision of how I wanted the day camp to go, but I also know I only have two hands and two feet. Not to mention, I was three hours away in Starkville, MS and the event was going to be in Brookhaven, MS. As I pondered on how to plan such an event, I first called the Daily Leader, a newspaper distributed in Brookhaven and throughout Southwest MS. It wouldn’t do any good to have an event and no one know about it. They added the event to the calendar and published a detailed article the week of the event. Also, the radio host for Supertalk Brookhaven 102.1 F.M. volunteered free airtime to promote the camp. I was delighted! Perfect, now I need a team.

I sought out my biggest supporters, my family. My parents gave me insight and suggestions. My twin sister, a PR major, has experience conducting interviews and went on air. My awesome cousin aka the best marketer I know gave me ideas and told me the best times to post to social media accounts. My brother took on the task to setup the stereo and speakers. My aunt used her savvy Excel skills to create a sign-in sheet. My co-workers made name tags for all the volunteers and created the informational flyer. My other lovely mother, a high school photography teacher, gladly took on the task to take photos. My other mother with the most beautiful spirit I know would be the motivational speaker. If anyone knows about love, perseverance, and faith in God it’s her. By now I am sure you’ve caught on to this…Delegate tasks to people who do what they do well. It’s not about credit or spotlight, it’s about working together towards a common goal.

Now that we have those roles out the way, I needed mentors. I know my attention span can be short at times, so if I wanted to connect with as many young girls as possible it wouldn’t be the best idea to do a lecture type speech. So I recruited three more ladies to help relay the information in an one-on-one style setting. The girls(ages 8-16) would feel more comfortable in opening up and receiving insight from a mentor. The topics would include peer pressure, social media, bullying, goal-setting, self-respect, and much more. I encouraged the mentors to dress in business causal. Children copy what they hear AND see.

We all love food! I thought to myself..how can I feed 35 people and just graduated college a month ago? My career hasn’t launched yet. No problem, I’ll get vendors to donate food, beverages, and goodie bags. The first restaurant I called was Broma’s Deli. It was the first job I ever had at age 15, and I knew they would love to help me out. The manager gladly agreed and recommended other local businesses to call. Side note: Your reputation precedes you. I worked hard. I was respectful, and I always kept a good rapport with management. That matters. I made a few other calls and before I knew it, I had food donations from Janie’s Bakery, Bowie BBQ, and Fox’s Pizza Den. Trustmark National Bank and Wal-mart agreed to supply beverages, paper ware, and goodie bags. I was straight to the point after introducing myself. Managers/Owners are extremely busy. When you’re asking for donations, Be professional. Be direct. Be thankful.

So let’s do a checklist:

1) The Word is out ✔️

2) Support team organized & working towards a common goal ✔️

3) Mentors on board & share the same enthusiasm as I do ✔️

4) Food donations confirmed ✔️

WE ARE READY!!!!

Saturday, June 7th, is the day. We will warmly welcome all the sweet girls who have decided to spend two hours with us to make steps to grow as individuals. We will dance to Happy by Pharrell because we all have sooo much to be happy about. We will talk, we will laugh, and we will leave God’s touch in as many hearts as He sees fit. I am thankful for every single person who made this event a success. To get the job done, you need a TEAM.

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Diaries of a Counselor

DAY 1 : Friday, May 30th, was brought in with thunderstorms and rain but today was the day! Today was the beginning of the the 22nd Annual Mississippi State Youth Conference. This year’s theme was “GOD FOCUSED”, geared from Colossians 3:1, 2 – If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Excitement and anticipation filled my spirit the night before as I was packing. It had been years, since I attended a youth conference and now I was going to be counselor. Wait.. Am I getting old? Nah, just better.

So as I drove through Mississippi University for Women gates, I seen church vans, U-Hauls, and people everywhere. My excitement grew even more to be in the presence of so many like-minded people. Even the dim skies and rain couldn’t steal my sunshine.

As I observed the young ladies in the area, I noticed one sitting by herself. I asked her her name and asked why was she sitting by herself with so many other people around. She replied softly “I like to be alone.” I knew better, and so I got to know her a little more. After being lost for an hour, I finally found the dormitory we were staying in. Who knew you could get lost on such a small campus? As I dragged the largest suitcase I own(for a 2-day weekend) to the fifth floor to my room I was greeted by the young lady who was sitting all alone. She wanted to be my roommate, and I was delighted. Can’t you tell by the picture below:

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Day 1 was complete for the most part ,so we called it a night because my alarm clock for 6:00AM would be singing before we knew it.

DAY 2: We were woken up by a train passing through the city at 5:00AM. The twin bed had slept so comfortably and not to mention the beautiful sunshine peaking through the blinds was the first sign of an awesome day ahead. My roomie loves gospel music as I do, so I pulled out my Labtop to get us some tunes. We maneuvered around the room just a humming like honeybees. You couldn’t tell it was 6:00AM. As I was touching up my makeup, I felt someone watching me. It was the young lady I had met who now was my roommate. She wanted alil added spice to her face, so I put a thin gold line across her eyes. She lit up like a firecracker on the 4th of July. Just the smallest gesture brightened her mood. So then we were
off to meet others who were attending the conference.

I met girls who shared their aspirations, their dreams, and the challenges they face with me. I met an 18 year old girl who has diabetes. I was so shocked, and to meet a teenager who didn’t know how to operate an elevator. I made it my business to encourage, to share my experiences, and to teach her how to use the elevator and other technology. I also had the opportunity to teach a “Respect Yourself” session to children ages 9-11. Boy did I learn a lot from there. They were prudent and comprehend very well for their age. A few couldn’t stay awake due up their long night, but I know without a doubt they took the main points away. Here are a few pictures of them oh so focused on the lesson and en route to the classroom:

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The amazing thing about teaching the class was later on that day, a few students would point me out and tell someone “Hey, that’s my teacher.” or come hug me. It does my heart very well that God was able to use me in such a way.

DAY 3: SUNDAY MORNINGGGG!! It’s nothing like it. I couldn’t wait to hear the Word of God brought by Bro. Archie Bennett. I knew it was going to be powerful. I knew it would resonate with everyone in the room especially the younger children. The message came from Colossians 3:1,2 entitled “I hate my life.” Whoa, you might say but there are many people who are struggling from day to day because they hate their lives. Bro. Bennett gave countless examples with biblical references on how to live a God Focused life, how to not give up, and how to not compare your life with what you see on TV. The children were moved, the adults were moved, and most importantly God was glorified! I didn’t want worship service to end, but the time had come to return to our prospective places. Church vans covered every corner, U-Hauls fuller than what they were when they first arrived, comfortable attire was the norm. I drove off with hope for all generations, God’s love, and with a even stronger desire to make a difference in the world.

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