Justice for Captain Clevy Nelson-Royster

Her family describes her as "a woman who exceeds" and asks for justice for Captain Clevy Nelson-Royster.  They consider the charges against her as false and want them dropped.

 

 

 

 

Capt. Clevy Muchette Nelson-Royster is an upstanding young woman and officer who entered the military following the footsteps of her great uncle, a Tuskegee Airman, and her grandfather who retired as a highly decorated Master Sergeant from the United States Air Force. It is with honor and passion that she serves in the United States Army. She is highly accomplished and dedicated to her military career and her education.

Most captains are assigned one unit for command; Captain Clevy Nelson-Royster was assigned 2 units for most of her command - one in Texas and one in New Mexico: Commander, Echo Company One, 10501st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division and (temporary, but simultaneously) Rear D Commander for Grey Eagle.

She is enrolled in Master in Management and Leadership program at Webster University. Graduation date was to be December 2020.

She graduated from Tuskegee University Magna Cum Laude 2015 and earned two Bachelors Degrees during her four year tenure: Bachelor of Science Business Administration and Bachelor of Science Sales and Marketing.

She is considered upstanding and stellar.  There will be more stories to come about Captain Nelson-Royster as we plan to do a series on her.

The family seeks donations to help with her legal defense.  Donations can be made through cashapp to $justiceforclevy or via paypal to info@tgovan.com (her aunt is managing the funds).  You can learn more at https://JusticeforClevy.com or http://ClevyNelson-Royster.com.

 

 

Domestic Violence Help

What is the Relationship Spectrum?
Relationships exist on a spectrum from healthy to abusive with unhealthy falling somewhere in the middle. This Relationship Spectrum model illustrates where a relationship falls.
https://www.loveisrespect.org/dating-basics/relationship-spectrum/

Setting Boundaries in a Relationship
Relationships are healthy when both partners communicate their boundaries clearly, and the other person respects them. Boundaries do not occur naturally; they must be established.
https://www.breakthecycle.org/blog/setting-boundaries-relationship

Resources for Victims & Survivors from The National Domestic Violence Hotline
Always be aware of online safety. Use a gender-neutral username on websites and do not share personal information.
https://www.thehotline.org/resources/victims-and-survivors/

State and Federal Domestic Violence Laws
Domestic violence victims are protected under state and federal laws. Learn about your rights and protections here.
https://www.injuryclaimcoach.com/domestic-violence-help.html#Tip2

Recovering from Rape and Sexual Trauma
Learn how to be kind to yourself to allow the space and time you need to heal.
https://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/recovering-from-rape-and-sexual-trauma.htm

How to Support a Friend or Loved One Who Has Been Sexually Abused
It can be extremely difficult to speak about sexual abuse, especially as it affects our own lives or the lives of those we care about. Learn how to best support victims and their recovery.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/27/smarter-living/sexual-abuse-assault-support-mental-health.html

How Do I Find a Therapist Near Me?
If you want to seek professional help, use a local finder to locate someone nearby.
https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/how-do-i-find-a-therapist-near-me/

Ways in Which Abuse and Domestic Violence Changes You
"...although you will come out victorious, you will not come out the same. Abuse changes you."
https://www.thehotline.org/2017/10/31/ways-abuse-domestic-violence-changes-you/

Domestic Violence Support Group Finder
Connect with others who have experienced domestic violence or know someone who has.
https://www.meetup.com/topics/domesviolence/

Creating a Comforting Home Atmosphere for Survivors of Abuse: A How-To Guide
Learn how to create a space that facilitates healing for survivors of abuse.
https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/how-to-create-a-comforting-home-for-abuse-survivors/

Carol’s Work to Help Divorcees and Peaceful River Massage

It is always about the journey.  It is always about the challenges of the situations that we find ourselves in, the action we take while we’re in it and how we come through it.  Carol had a long journey back after her divorce.  After receiving help, she is now standing strong, confident, happy and helping others who need help feeling whole again as they go through their divorce experiences.  She has a degree in psychology which she hadn’t really used until this time.

Carol Loughran also owns a massage company, Peaceful River Massage.  It’s another way of helping people.

We hope you enjoy and get inspiration from her story.

 

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You started a divorce support group.  Can you please tell us why you started the group, what kind of experience you had to help you start it?

When my ex-husband filed for divorce, I had a really difficult time dealing with it. I attended a divorce support group, but then heard about something called DivorceCare that was starting up at a church in Wethersfield. I went through that course 3 times and when I started doing better, I wanted to do something to help others cope with going through divorce, as well. So, two of us brought it up to our church, Trinity Covenant Church in Manchester, and they gave the okay for it to start there.

 

How would one know if getting involved in a divorce support group is something they should try?

Why not give it a shot? If someone feels like they need a little extra support from people who are going or who have gone through the same thing, a divorce support group (in this instance, DivorceCare) is a great way to do it. My friends and family were very supportive, but none of them had been through a divorce, so they couldn’t really understand everything I was dealing with.

 

Does a group setting work well for those with certain attributes, for instance, if someone is very introverted and perhaps quiet?

The program we use is a great format for anyone. There is a video addressing a topic and then a discussion. It adds to the discussion if everyone is involved, but for those who don’t want to speak, there is no pressure. The only thing we try to stress is that everyone should be given a chance to speak – that no one takes over the discussion.

 

Group therapy or support is excellent for a number of situations.  What is the main difference between individual therapy or counseling and group support?

I went through both. Individual counseling helps you to deal with all the personal feelings and stages you go through. It helps to really be able to have one on one therapy because you can just talk about anything and everything on your mind. It’s all about you. Going through a divorce, it is nice to know that someone is willing to listen to you, besides your family and friends and the advice and support is personalized and geared toward you and what you need and what you can handle. My counselor often gives homework, which wouldn’t work for a group assignment.

Group support is wonderful to hear other people’s situations, to help you know you aren’t alone and that everything you are feeling is absolutely normal. Especially, if you are the only one who has been through the divorce process in your family or group of friends. They may hear you say the same thing over and over and get tired of hearing about it. In a group, you’ll hear things like “that’s exactly how I feel! How do you deal with….” Or “I couldn’t put that into words, but that’s what I’ve been going through.” People can contact each other outside of the group and get together or pray for one another.

 

Should a person do one or the other, or both? 

Everyone is different. I found both to be extremely helpful and got different things from each of them. I learned a lot about myself and how I deal with things and how I could do things differently in individual counseling that I wouldn’t have gotten in a group. But, to be able to bounce things off each other and encourage one another in a group and know that what you are feeling or thinking is absolutely normal and all part of the process was also a great thing to be a part of.

 

Children too are very affected by divorce. Are children invited to this group?

Children are not invited to this group. There is a group called DC4K (DivorceCare for Kids) that works with the children going through their parent’s divorce, but unfortunately, it isn’t offered very many places.

 

Where is it recommended that children go to get support for their feelings during divorce?  

One of the classes in DivorceCare really encourages parents to be the main sounding board for listening to their kids and how they are feeling. But, for parents who may not be able to fully take that on, individual or family counseling is a good option.

 

It is considered a recovery from divorce from those hardest hit by the process, correct?

Anyone is more than welcome to attend. We’ve had people who have been divorced several years. In one of my groups, a woman’s boyfriend encouraged her to attend to make sure she’d dealt with anything that might be an issue or identify things that might need more attention. We’ve had people that didn’t want the divorce and people that initiated the divorce. Since this group is held by several churches in the area, we’ve even had one spouse at one group and the other at another. Generally, it is those who either had a spouse want the divorce or those who felt they had no other choice but to file.

 

About Carol’s Company – Peaceful River Massage

Peaceful River Massage – what a wonderful, inviting name.  How did it come to you?

I used to live on a street across from the Farmington River. It just seemed like it embodied what I wanted to convey.

 

A lot of folks are on the magical, reviving receiving end of a massage.  Is it physically very demanding on the body?

Massage can be demanding for the massage therapist. We are taught to use our bodies correctly to make it as little stress on us as possible, but it can definitely be a challenge sometimes. Many therapists end up hurting their thumbs or wrists; for some therapists it’s hard on the low back or feet to be standing in one place for a long period of time.

 

Why did you decide to get into the massage therapy field?

It sounds like a pat answer, but God told me to. I can be extremely dense and often times need to be hit in the head with a 2×4, so to speak, to hear and get the point. Before I started school, within a 2 week period, I had my mom who is a massage therapist tell me I should do it; a friend who is a physical therapist ask if I’d ever thought about it, and heard an advertisement on the radio for the school’s exploration weekend. (That was a weekend where people who thought they might be interested in becoming a massage therapist could get a taste of what school would be like and ask questions. Basically, a short trial to see if it was really something you wanted.) I thought, “Okay, God, I got the point!” and followed through with applying to school.

 

What does the work do for you personally?

Wow, what does it do for me personally…when I finish up and my client says that I have magic hands or that they feel better already or when doing chair massage and the person says they were going to work from home that day, until they saw I was coming in. How awesome is that?! For someone to look forward to seeing you, to help make someone’s day or week, to help them be in less pain. There are very few jobs I can think of that are that rewarding for both people. It makes me feel so good to know that I am helping people.

 

Are you interested in really developing and growing your company or staying small — and why?

I’m a sole proprietor and I like it that way. I can set my own hours and really get to know my clients. I’ve worked in spas before and that rush, rush, rush, one person after another, and people you’ll probably never see again isn’t what I prefer. I do need to grow and develop my business, but I think I’ll always prefer to work on my own and have a personal relationship with my clients.

 

Where do you see Peaceful River Massage in five years? 

I want to continue learning, growing, and developing as a massage therapist. I’d love to have a reliable set of regular clients. I prefer to do table massage, but my chair massage is picking up and I may find that that is more sustainable. I want to be helping as many people as possible while still maintaining a good balance in my life.

 

And finally, where are you going in life?  What do you have passion for?  Where is Carol next year and perhaps three years from now?

Wherever I end up and whatever I do, I want to be helping people in some way. I don’t know exactly how that will always be, but I want to have people say someday that I made a difference, that people were better off for having known me. I would like my massage business to increase and my schedule to have more regular, consistent clients. How that will look, I’m not sure. Maybe things will work out that I end up doing more chair massage than table massage. And I want to make things beautiful. I love to garden. I love that I can do something that will lift their spirits or make them smile when they pass by. I’ve had 3 years at my new house to work on my gardens and it’s getting there. And sometimes I get impatient, but I need to remember that it’s a process. Just like getting through divorce and trying to build a business and becoming a better me. I would like to have far more grace, forgiveness, and patience with myself going forward.

 

 

 

Giving A Room A New Look

plant

 

Sometimes we get tired of how a room looks, but our budget doesn’t allow us to go out and buy new furniture.  What are some of the choices?

 

It is said that rearranging your furniture breaks up and changes the energy in the room and in the house in a positive way.  So move it around and change your energy!

 

As you can take the time to redefine things in your house, you are also reviving you because the outside reflects the inside.   Everything has energy and when you walk into a room, you bring your energy into what is already there.   So create a room that you love to walk into and enjoy the vibration!

 

Some people are fans of grabbing things off the street (there are some really nice pieces out there!) and bringing them home.  A clean up, painting or stripping and staining can do amazing things to old pieces of furniture.   If you seek a new look, you can take the time to make one.

 

Give your room life!  Plants can revive a room, give it a new look and literally give it life.  They can be small, medium sized or large.  But, tastefully placed plants add vibrancy and natural coloring.  Look into “living walls,” which are plants set up in containers that are designed to hang on the wall.

 

coachOkay, so you’ve moved your furniture around, perhaps you added a few pieces that you found.  Plants gave new life also.   How about reupholstering your furniture?  If you can afford it, you can really get that new look that you’ve wanted.  But, if you can’t afford to have it done and are not a person who sews, the alternative is to invest in nice Slipcover Furniture custom made by ClubFurniture.

Don’t forget a new coat of paint in a nice color can really pull everything together.

 

 

 

Encourage the Music

Our children are our pride and joy.  As moms, we want to help them make good choices.  A lot of us have very artistic children who were called to music at an early age or at some point in their young lives.   Then they absolutely fell in love with music.   Unless your child was a prodigy and playing professionally with orchestras, parents have a tendency to stir them away from music as a career.  We envision them with long hair playing in bands at dead end clubs or on street corners with a guitar and cup hoping for donations.   So we try to redirect them because we want them to do something more “stable” to earn a living.

When it comes to music, there are many, many options.  Teaching in schools can give gainful employment and allows them to pass their passion on to other young people.  Teaching privately can be fairly lucrative because hourly the cost of private lessons can be fairly high – even as high as $150 per hour more – based on the teacher’s experience.   Performing pays based on the location of the performances and the popularity of the band or group that is performing.  But, many people live off  of making money making music for the enjoyment of an audience.

There’s also music production which involves making music for other artists.  You do not have to be a part of a major record label to do this for others.  Affordable software and equipment make is possible for many people do this from their own in-home studios.

Then there’s sales.  Music stores are always looking to hire experienced or knowledgeable musicians as sales people.  Because who better to sell music equipment than someone who actively uses it and knows about it on a variety of levels?  For instance, if you were to call musicians friend looking for suggestions on an equipment purchase,  guaranteed there would be a musician on the other end of the line.

Perhaps they won’t choose music as a career, but if they can play an instrument, the possibility will always exist for them to be able to do so at any given point in their lives.  With the nature of businesses hiring, firing, and sending jobs overseas, having other skills is always valuable.  Besides that, there is the enjoyment of music in itself.  And, there’s two kinds of people when it comes to music – those who make it and those who groove to it.  Your child could be one of those who makes it!

Helping Your Children With The Oboe With Using A Reed Knife

An integral part of any successful oboists’ life is undoubtedly having a ‘good’ reed.  When it comes time to start reed making, purchasing your necessary supplies can be very confusing and there will most certainly be questions along the way.  If you’re the parent of a student ordering supplies for the first time, we highly recommend you speak with your child’s private teacher first and get their recommendations as to what to order.

 oboes

The proper edge for a reed knife is a scraping edge and not a cutting edge. This means your knife is going to scrape in only one direction, either right-handed or left-handed. To achieve the proper edge, you must first prepare a burr on the opposite side of the knife, flip it to the scraping side and then hone it.

 

Preparing the burr requires a coarse sharpening stone, especially if your knife is not new and needs a fair amount of steel to be removed.

Why Not Start Podcasting?

Most people are familiar with podcasting.  Thanks to today’s technology, podcasting is extremely easy.  If you’ve got an iphone or other phone that allows you to record your voice, you can start talking away and record your conversation.  A few simple taps on your phone and it’s been uploaded to the podcasting station of your choice!oidcast

People who prefer to write, can become engrossed in writing things out to put on their blogs.  And they could spend a couple of hours writing out their thoughts.  Podcasters, who should probably start off with a written rough draft or notes about their subject, can get this kind of work done in no time.  It’s all about your preference and which one you are more talented with, writing or talking.   Some people are gifted with gab and can talk out a podcast in no time.  Add to that if you are knowledgeable about what you’re talking about, you can get it done in no time.
And who’s your audience?  Nowadays – anybody with a cell phone or computer.  Many people like to listen to audio books while they’re driving, so if you’ve got some interested podcasts lined up, they’ll tune in.

Places you can add your podcasts to include:

Soundcloud

Itunes

Stitcher

Libsyn

Podomatic

Podbean

Buzzsprout

And there are so very many others.

 

Make sure that wherever you are recording that it’s very, very quiet.  You don’t want a lot of distracting noise in the background.  If you really want to be serious about podcasting, you might want to look into getting a voice over booth. It will guarantee you peace and quiet while recording.  Other than that, do your podcasting after the kids have gone to bed and the dog is sleeping…you get the idea.

 

Choose your topic(s) and get started.

Nepali Chhori Means Nepali Daughter

We came across the Nepali Chhori blog by accident — via a link a singer posted on google.   So, we visited the link thinking we were contacting the singer, but were actually contacting Richa Pokhrel and her blog.  After a couple of email conversations, we became aware of our mistake.  However, we were so moved by the women’s stories and the other content on the blog that we wanted to share it here.     Richa, first of all, congratulations on the award your blog received and second, thank you so much for allowing us to share you and your work here.   We also thank you for uniting Nepalese women and helping the overall collective of women to gain more rights, respect, appreciation and understanding. Women need women.  Together we are strong.   nepali The heading of the website reads: “Being a Nepali Woman in Today’s World.” First, tell our readers what “Nepali Chhori” means and second, what was your reason for starting your Nepali Chhori blog?

 

Nepali Chhori means Nepali daughter. I wanted to create a safe space for Nepali woman, no matter where they live, to come together and talk about things that affect us. I couldn’t find any place on the internet for just Nepali woman so I thought a blog was the way to go. I realize that we aren’t going to have the same experiences but we will be able to understand each other and come together.

 

How many different writers contribute to your blog?

Currently we have 6 regular writers, including myself but we do have guest authors from time to time. We are always looking for more Nepali women writers.

 

Are they all Nepali women?

All of them are Nepali, but we all live in different parts of the world.

 

We found several stories where writers talk about their experiences as a part of the culture of United States and how it conflicts or varies with the Nepalese culture that their parents hold on to. One story specifically was “Adulthood,” where the writer’s mother flew out to her college to meet with her college advisor. She felt it was a little over the top, but by her mother’s standards, it was perfectly appropriate. In your opinion, for situations like this, is this culture difference a really big problem or not a problem at all?

 

In that example, I think that was very extreme as in terms of cultural differences. I don’t think most Nepali parents would do that in America. In general, Nepali parents are very involved in their children’s lives, even as we get older. Even though I am in my late 20s, my mother still calls and asks if I have eaten and what I have eaten. I am married and they still see me as a little girl. Independence and individuality isn’t something that is taught in Nepal, we are a society that depends on our family and friends. For of us who grew up outside the country, we struggle with this notion because in Western cultures, independence and individuality is something that is taught early on. Sometimes the things our parents do seem extreme here but some these situations wouldn’t be extreme in Nepal.

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Tell our readers a little bit about Nepal. For instance, where is Nepal? What is the population size and what is the dominant religion?

Nepal is a tiny country between China and India. It has roughly 27 million people and many different ethnicities and languages. It is also home to the highest mountains in the world known as the Himalayas. It is known as the Hindu Kingdom because majority of its people are Hindus but there also a lot of Buddhists and smaller populations of other religions.

We watched the segment on Nepal from the documentary entitled “Girl Rising” which taught us that girls are forced to work (as slaves) from a very young age under the guise of “bonded labor?” There was a law passed in 2000 to end that. Do you think it still continues?

Yes, it still continues. Unfortunately, even with the law passed, society is slow to make those changes and frankly some people are morally okay with treating girls as slaves. Also, due to poverty, parents get tricked when they think they are sending their children for a job but end up being trafficked. However, there are organizations that are working towards ending these practices across the country.

Nepali Chori was Honored as "Most Diverse Blog"
Nepali Chori was Honored as “Most Diverse Blog”

What is the woman’s role in Nepalese society?

In the traditional sense, it’s to be a good daughter, then a good wife, and a good mother. There always a male figure in your life that you are supposed to obey, your father, your brother, then your husband. However, there are a lot of women and girls who aren’t conforming to these narrow expectations. Many women are choosing to marry when they want, choosing to have kids later in life, pursuing their career goals, and being politically involved. Women in Nepal do a lot of work but never get credit for all that they do.

What kind of things do you feel need to be changed in that society as it relates to women?

  1. Citizenship through mothers. Currently, it’s very difficult for people to get citizenship without proving both parents are Nepali. This affects millions of people, especially children who are born to single mothers, refugee mothers, mothers who were abandoned by their husbands, and Nepali women who married foreign nationals. They are deemed stateless. The Citizenship Certificate is needed to do the most basic of things in Nepal like registering for school, buying property, vote, opening a bank account, etc. However, children of Nepali men who marry foreign nationals don’t have this problem because they automatically get citizenship through descent. Nepal is currently working on drafting the new constitution, there has been big activism in changing the law so that citizenship can be granted either by the mother or father, not both.
  1. Nepali Chori Blog celebrated their first year - April 6, 2015
    Nepali Chhori Blog celebrated their first year – April 6, 2015

    Education. Many girls in the rural areas don’t have access to education even though basic education is supposed to be free for everyone.

  1. Access to resources. It’s nearly impossible to get bank loans and women can’t inherit land easily.
  1. Menstruation practices. There are still practices of “chaupadi” in rural Nepal for women who are menstruating. This essentially means they can’t practice in normal activities like cooking, cleaning, being around others. This was banned in 2005 but it is still being practiced.

What can we do collectively to help create positive change for girls and women in Nepal?

We can believe in them, we can encourage them, and we can give them support. For any change to happen, we must fully believe in the capabilities of other women, especially those who don’t come from the same background as us. We as women need to let go our our stereotypes and we need to stop making judgements about other women’s choices.

Richa the proud graduate!
Richa the proud graduate!

What do you want out of life personally and what is your mission in life, if you have one?

My mission in life is to be the best person I can be. It’s very easy to try to be someone you aren’t, especially with all the pressure we get from our families, friends, and society. I want to live an authentic life that doesn’t dwell too much on how I look, how much money I make, and what things I own. But more on how I treat others and how I interact with nature. My life is filled with meaningful friendships, room for growth, and the ability to not take myself too seriously. I hope that continues as I get older.     http://nepalichori.com/ https://twitter.com/nepalichoriblog

What Are Your Plans?

Our friend’s family recently had an extreme emergency.   Her husband was in a serious car accident and will be out of work for quite some time – possibly even a year.  Fortunately, he had disability insurance that will cover him for an entire year so they avoided a major setback, including possible foreclosure on their home.

 

Many of us are not prepared for such emergencies.  Ask yourself these questions and then have conversations about them in your home.

plans

How much do you have in savings?

How much can you start setting aside to add to or build up your savings

What is your debt situation like?

What is your income to debt ratio?

How can you pay off your debt quicker and remain debt free?

What happens if one of you can’t work?

Do you have disability insurance, life insurance, medical insurance?

Where are your important papers located?

Do you have a safety deposit box?

Do you have an attorney?  Do you need one?

Is your will written?  Who’s is getting what?

What preparations have you made or discussed for funeral arrangements?

If you have children, who will care for your children in the instance that the parents are not available?

Does everyone know what the plans are?

 

Because my friend visits her husband at the hospital everyday, she doesn’t even have the time to keep her house clean.  That’s been a challenge.  She could use someone like theotherwoman.net

But, that’s something also to take into consideration.  Who’s going to clean your house?  Maintain your garden, plow the driveway, take care of the pets, etc.   Your money, your time, your wishes, your plans.  It’s a good idea to get those things together now before an emergency makes the plans for you.

 

 

The Centennial of Lady Day

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Jazz legend Billie Holiday poured her heart into each song, making each one her own with her distinct style. Born on April 7, 1915, Holiday once said that “If I’m going to sing like someone else, then I don’t need to sing at all.” She saw her voice as a musical instrument, as she explained in Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya by Nat Shapiro and Nat Hentoff. “I feel like I am playing a horn. I try to improvise . . . What comes out is what I feel.”

Not only did she mesmerize us with her voice, Holiday also lived a fascinating life filled with tremendous ups and downs. She managed to survive a difficult childhood—often left in the care of cold-hearted relatives and even spent time in a Catholic reform school before joining her mother in New York City. Before she found fame as a singer, Holiday did whatever it took to survive, including working a prostitute for a while. She became one of jazz’s great stars, performing with likes of Count Basie and Artie Shaw. Holiday even appeared in a film with Duke Ellington. Her great talent, however, was later diminished by bad relationships and alcohol and drug abuse.

The woman you know as Billie Holiday started out life as Eleanora Harris, according to her birth certificate. Some sources say she was also known as Eleanora Fagan. Her parents, Sadie Fagan and Clarence Holiday, were both teenagers when she was born, and her musician father took off when she was still a baby. That strained relationship didn’t stop her from borrowing his last name when she became a performer. During her childhood, she also used her stepfather’s last name, Gough, after her mother married longshoreman Phil Gough for a time.

Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith were among Holiday’s biggest early influences. As a child, she even took a job doing chores and running errands for a local madam in exchange for a chance to play records on the madam’s Victrola. Holiday later got a chance to work with Armstrong with the two of them starring in the 1947 musical New Orleans

Saxophonist Lester Young gave Holiday her famous nickname “Lady Day.” Holiday returned the favor, choosing to rename him “Pres” (or “Prez” depending on the source). The nickname was short for president of the saxophone, according to Donald Clarke’s Billie Holiday: Wishing on the Moon. The pair became friends in the mid-1930s and later toured together with Count Basie. They also recorded together on a number of different projects, including her 1957 television special The Sound of Jazz. Biographer Farah Jasmine Griffin described Young as Holiday’s “creative soulmate.” 

You can read more here:  http://www.biography.com/news/billie-holiday-biography-facts.

She was an amazingly talented lady.  If she were here today certainly she would use the microphone box along with all of today’s modern technology.

Skincare Safe Products During Pregnancy

Skinfo_PregnancyV2During pregnancy, your body undergoes a massive series of changes, from hormonal imbalances to tiny tears in your skin to increased blood circulation. These changes often have an effect on your skin, and while many of the skin issues caused by pregnancy are temporary and resolved after delivery, pregnant women can use certain pregnancy-safe skincare products to relieve their symptoms.

For example, if a pregnant woman experiences melasma (the darkening of skin on her face), makeup and concealer can disguise the discoloration, while sunscreen can prevent further darkening of the skin. Soy-based sunscreen may also have an effect in lightening the darkened skin area.

Stretch marks are another extremely common skin issue caused by pregnancy, experienced by 90% of women (typically in the sixth or seventh month of pregnancy). While research hasn’t proven a surefire way to avoid stretch marks, moisturizers can reduce the itchiness, while sunless tanning products can hide the marks as well.

Along with itchiness, pregnant women are also prone to experiencing rashes on their body. While harmless, these rashes can be quite uncomfortable for women; they can be treated with over-the-counter topical moisturizers, or, if severe, prescription corticosteroids may be required.

One skin condition with a simple, DIY fix is puffiness in the eyelids and face, which occurs due to increased blood circulation during the third trimester. Pregnant women can treat this at home with ice and cold packs applied to the affected area; if paired with sudden weight gain, it may signal problems that you should discuss with your doctor.

As women’s bodies produce more hormones, some women become prone to acne, especially around the mouth. While over-the-counter acne products (such as astringents) can help, pregnant women must be careful to avoid products that contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and/or retinoids, all of which are considered unsafe for pregnant women to use because of their links to birth defects and pregnancy complications.

 

The Life of the Sun

by Chelo Fansua

My name is Chelo Fansua. I am the co-founder of Mi Anatolia, which is an artistic/educational/motivational based company. Our mission is to creatively inspire students, at all levels, to lift their hearts and potential by discovering their Anatolia moment with love, hope, and purpose. Anatolia, Turkey is the first place where humans began crafting mirrors 8,000 years ago. I truly appreciate Founder Tomaca Govan and the rest of the team at WOMEN MOVE THE SOUL for the opportunity to share some thoughts that will provoke you to look within and become a source of inspiration to those that surround you.

Throughout my life, I have always admired the tremendous strength and courage that many mothers are forced to use each and every day. Like an unyielding rose that faces storms without releasing any of its petals, mothers have a natural tendency to protect their most precious belonging. My own mother, as an educator during the day and a night shift worker at a local restaurant, would sit with me to go over my homework every school night. Those valuable lessons planted thousands of seeds within my heart that have brought about a deep appreciation for the incomparable love and sacrifice a mother makes for her children.

 

MAMA, thank you for making me feel loved and protected longer than The Life of The Sun.

 

 

Thelma Rimber – I Use My Talent To Lift Someone Else Up

“It was worth all the rejection, tears and sleepless nights. I used my talent to lift someone else up.” –  Thelma Rimber.

Imagine that you are a child, living in destitute poverty in a slum with absolutely no opportunities to do anything.  Then imagine that there is a woman who comes into you life, helps you to develop your innate gifts and talents and inspires you to do more and to be more.  And, she shows you how. 

This woman is Thelma Rimber.  A woman who is so talented that she can have her own successful solo career as an artist and entertainer, but, she chooses to stay and help young people.   We are so honored to have her share her journey and her mission with us here. 

 

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You teach piano, voice and acting. We would like to know about the piano first. When did you start to learn how to play and why?

I would always watch pianists on the keys doing their thing and I’d get fascinated, but somehow it never occurred to me that I could ever play. About four years ago I started a youth choir at church and I would get so frustrated at the lack of our very own keyboard player. We were constantly let down or they would turn up with an arrogant attitude because they knew we needed them. Eventually I felt enough was enough and decided to learn how to play. I didn’t have an instrument though. What’s more, I didn’t have money to get one. On my birthday that year, by some miracle my family surprised me with the first instrument I have ever owned and I was thrilled! A Yamaha keyboard. Another miracle happened and the choir director at my church decided to sponsor my lessons at the one music school I really wanted to get piano lessons from. It’s now my third year as a piano student and I’m still falling deeper and deeper in love with those enchanting black and white keys. Am currently doing Grade 4 & 5 concurrently.

 

Incidentally my youth choir drifted apart because everyone seemed to be relocating or moving in different directions but am glad it was the push I needed to learn how to play piano.

 

You are a naturally skilled singer. In order to each others, did you take additional training or learn other methods or do you just teach what you know?

 

teerimberPeople usually laugh when I tell them I started out as a terrible singer. I would break into a sweat and tremble or even not be able to breathe properly on stage. The result, as any singer can imagine, was a terrible performance. Yet, people would come up to me and say they love my voice. I couldn’t understand why! However, I loved singing too much to do it as awfully as I was at the time so I began to pray for a miracle. I just told God I couldn’t stand being that bad a singer. One day, a friend at church asked me if I would like to download a set of vocal training programs he had on his computer. I did and they had an amazing effect on my voice. My own family couldn’t recognise my singing. I started to share those lessons with children in a choir I taught at the time and then gradually found myself in vocal coaching. I still would love to get expert one-on-one training from a seasoned teacher but so far I teach what I have learned and know. I think starting out as a bad singer helps one know what not to do if you’re to sing well. I also love to read off the net what I can of singing and proper techniques and share these with students.

 

 

And acting — was acting natural for you also, or did you take additional courses?

I marvel at how the one thing I do not at all struggle with, of all my talents and skills, is acting. I did take at as a course at school but it was more out of a passion than a need to learn how to do it. It helps me direct from my heart when I’m instructing my students but then again, I do read about it just to grab theoretical aspects that present interesting debates.

 

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Africa is the land of music. Even the languages that people speak on the continent are very melodic. Did you grow up listening to music and if so, what kind of music was prevalent around you and where was it, in the home or in the community?

 

My paternal family is musical. My dad’s brother is an incredible concert pianist, or was, because he’s retired now. My father has always had a guitar somewhere to whip out whenever we were bored and we would sing along as he played. In Kenya, we have the coastal tribes which mostly speak Swahili. Swahili originated from the African Bantu tribes and the Arab traders mingling with each other along the East African coast. I come from one of these coastal tribes called the Giriama. During weddings and celebrations, we have a genre of music called Bango (pronounced Bang-go) and this is what my ear was tuned into from childhood. Bango is the most beautiful mix of Caribbean sounding Swahili music, sang with saxophones, large drums, guitar and keyboard or marimba (xylophone) accompaniments. This music was always playing at home or in my dad’s car because they’d remind him of his home back in the Coast of Kenya (we live in the capital city, Nairobi, which is a six hour drive away).

 

My father also loves Jazz and this sank into my system from childhood. He seemed to own endless Jazz music and so, to this day, it is my first love when it comes to choice of genre.

 

Kenya has an amazing mix of music because it seems almost every tribe has its own interpretation of music. We have 42 tribes in a not so large country yet all these blends fit and express themselves culturally. When we want to reach all Kenyans we sing in Swahili because that’s the national language. More commonly, many youthful musicians sing or rap in Sheng’ which is our local slang (a blend of English and Swahili). So all these, plus music from our neighboring countries were around me as I grew up.

 

 

Who were some of your favorite singers when you were growing up?

I think the among the first singers I grew up wanting to emulate were the Maranatha Singers and Ron Kenoly because my mother would play their music while dropping me to school almost every morning. As I gained understanding and more exposure, I fell in love with Ella Fitzgerald’s voice, as well as Nat King Cole because of dad and his jazz. But as I became more aware of my own tastes in music the late Whitney Houston, the late Tabu Lei, Yvonne Chakachaka, the late Lucky Dube, Chaka Demus, Toni Braxton and Tevin Campbell were all favorites that defined music for me as I grew up in the 90s.

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What were some of your favorite bands?

When it came to bands, those that played Bango music locally were among my top favorites-we had the Pressmen Band that were a top hit back in the 90s. I also loved another Kenyan group called Safari. Spice Girls too I must say were a favorite as I entered my teens, and the ever lovable Morgan Heritage.

 

When you were 16, you performed Miriam Makeba’s song, “Malaika” and left the audience in awe and received a standing ovation. What did that experience leave you with?

 

When I was 17 my dad sent me to South Africa to finish high school and for the first time I was in a school offering drama as a subject, that was heaven to me. For the final exams we were to prepare a monologue to present. I included the song Malaika in mine. In East Africa we know it to be Fadhili Williams’ original composition so I had his version in mind as I sang. I didn’t think of myself as a singer so I was pleasantly surprised when the school principal invited me to sing it at the school’s end of year award ceremony. The audience looked humongous with just over 500 people. It changed my life, hearing the applause and seeing the moved emotions throughout the hall. That was the beginning of me discovering my singing talent.

 

Even with this confirmation of your natural talent, you did not pursue additional performance opportunities. Why not?

 

After that, I enrolled into a university in South Africa, Rhodes University, to do a Bachelor of Arts majoring in performing arts. Sadly, I problematically completed only one semester before dropping out and going back home to Kenya. The major reasons were that I was feeling pressure from my family to enroll into law school instead, because it seemed to them that a career in performing arts just did not present a promising future. It became too painful to think of acting or singing while in law school so I shut my mind and heart to it completely.

 

So, your parents encouraged to you do business studies while you were in college. In conflict with your heart, you studied law instead of the arts. After completing school, you gave yourself permission to go into the arts anyway. What happened within you that allowed you to give yourself permission to do that?

 

By the time I reached 4th year of law school, I knew I could not live without the arts. I started praying like there was no tomorrow for a way out of law as a career. The chance to pursue a Master of Arts in theatre in Perth, Australia came up and I applied just as I was graduating from law school. I think my father realised he had pushed me into a career I had not wanted for myself and he graciously agreed to sponsor my studies in Australia. Once there, I rolled up my sleeves and got into learning everything I could about script writing and producing for theatre and screen. I however found myself getting thoroughly depressed with the unfamiliar culture and atmosphere that after completing one year, I opted to come back home to Kenya to start off a career in the arts.

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How did your parents feel about it?

When I got home, my parents had mixed feelings about me looking for jobs in film and theatre instead of applying for a ‘serious’ job as a lawyer. The journey was heartbreaking for me because one, they never knew what to tell family or friends about what I do because they didn’t understand it and two, they just didn’t seem proud of what I thought were great accomplishments. One day a cousin sarcastically asked me ‘You left law for this?’ I had to grow some thick skin against all the criticism flying about me from family over my career choice. What’s worse is I was still financially dependent on them even after all their investment in my education. I was an embarrassment and it was obvious.

 

You said it was difficult to “penetrate the [media and film] industry…without any qualifications.” What kind of qualifications were those people looking for and do you think, given your outstanding talent, that they were being realistic or discriminatory? The break the question down a little further, do you think you had the ability to perform to the level that was needed or do you think you had more to learn?

 

When I came home from Australia, I asked my theatre lecturer to write me referral which I intended to include in my acting portfolio. This prestigious man blew my mind when he said in his recommendation that I was one of the best performers he had seen in 20 years. When I began auditioning locally, one of the directors also seemed stunned by my talent, so did many actors. However, I just have never been successful at local auditions. In the most recent rejection I got, someone on the inside who had been part of the casting team admitted to me what I have always suspected is the reason behind it: bias. He told me he tried to fight for me to get the role but the director had already made up his mind on who should get the role, even though we had not been given an opportunity to audition. I think I have what it takes to take acting in my continent to a new level, but I also think the local casting directors I have come across just might not be ready for that change. I do believe that with God’s time I will meet the right match of directors to work with.

 

 

This dream that you had to open a performing arts academy in Kenya. Where do the roots of this dream stem from?

 

When it became obvious to me that I was being turned away time after time, I realised that I might die old with my dream to become the best performer I can be unfulfilled. I was facing a very dry period with no jobs coming up and no money, when I just got on my knees and asked God to show me what to do. I remembered the biblical figure Moses and I believe I heard God ask me in that moment the same thing He asked Moses, ‘what do you have in your hand?’ My answer was ‘I can act, You can use that, God.’ Then I believe I heard the voice resonate so deeply within ‘Go and lift someone up with what I have given you. I will use that.’

 

 And this is where Rimthel Creative Arts Company came from?

Yes. The picture then came so clearly to just teach those who are talented but less privileged than I am in the performing arts. I don’t know how I got the courage to do it but I went to the slum called Kibera, and I walked around looking for young talented actors. My life was threatened in the process by a Mafia leader there. Apparently if I was not going to pay him anything to walk freely in the slum, I couldn’t walk around at all or rent premises there to teach from. It got so bad he arranged a mob one morning to accost my assistant and I as we came to teach. The area chief took his side when I took the matter to him and so, I looked for another option. The students agreed to come to a venue half an hour’s drive from the slum every Saturday morning. At first I could afford to hire a van to bring all 20 of them but once things got dry for me financially, they started to walk to my venue and back to the slum. I was teaching them at no cost but a friend in the UK heard about my work and would send me little money by Western Union to keep the workshops going.

 

What kind of help could you use from others?

Today, I feel pained that I could not go on with my children in the slum because it just got too difficult financially. With financial support, I would be able to pick at least two talented slum dwellers and take them through intensive training to help them build their own platforms to earn a living through performing arts. Without career prospects, they become criminals, prostitutes, contract STIs or get pregnant. These are youth who cannot afford high school so imagine a 14 year old who will never again enter a classroom struggling to survive in a slum for the rest of their lives. Those I worked with even won a trophy in a contest in the slum conducted by an NGO. They had self-esteem and a sense of belonging and I would really hope to restore that. Anyone who would be willing to walk that dream with me can send whatever amount of money is possible for them, or drama resources or anything practical to assist. I have built a small stage in my garage for them to act from during our workshops and I am making monthly payments for an upright piano I took last year to teach music from. With help, I can do so much more.

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How does training in the arts help children?

Currently I am doing a Master of Arts in Education Leadership and for my thesis, I have been doing research on the benefits of music for preschoolers. For children, research shows that music raises the IQ, helping with the development of literacy, numeracy and spatial skills. Basically, a young child taking voice lessons develops their aural, oral and reading skills much faster than a child who is not. Reading music and interpretation of note values from the written symbols greatly helps build a child’s mathematical skills. Looking at drama lessons, they really aid in children’s development of self-confidence and creativity. The eye-hand coordination in a child also grows as they learn to play an instrument; this is good for their reflexes. Adults are not left out since studies show that a musician’s brain works differ due to playing an instrument enhancing certain functions. Because of developing their listening patterns, musicians are likely to remember details in every day life more than a non-musician. The processes of reading music and quickly interpreting it as one plays enhances brain functions which makes researchers believe that the brain of a musician possibly acquires a different shape from that of a non-musician. Incidentally, the benefits are more evident in children whose brains are still developing so that their IQ is raised due to participating in musical activities.

 

 

When all is said and done, and an 80 or 90 year old Thelma Rimber is looking back on her life, tell us what she sees.

 

First I want to give credit where it is due. Despite the long route I have taken to finding myself in performing arts, I would want it to be known that I believe my parents did what they thought was best out of love for me and concern for my future success. Today, because of much prayer and dialogue, we remain very close and I am glad to say they are my biggest fans. They graciously continue to support my musical journey and because of that am able to afford my piano training.

 

I always pray that I will die empty, having given everything God created me to give to this world. I see the massive and international Rimthel Performing Arts Academy with open doors for the talented, whether rich or poor, to come and refine their gifts and skills in acting, music and movement. I see them graduate and have access to fair opportunities to perform worldwide. I see Rimthel working with the Kenyan legal system to enforce the rights of performers against unfair pay packages, discrimination and piracy among other forms of injustice. Whether or not by the time I am 80 I have won an award or too myself, I see my students accepting Oscars and Grammy Awards as I humbly watch on and nod my grey head saying ‘Ah yes, it was worth it. It was worth all the rejection, tears and sleepless nights. I used my talent to lift someone else up.’

 

It is never just about us; with performers, it’s about sharing our hearts and souls with a world that may or may not recognise us, but is changed because we passed through it long enough to plant a seed.

 

Tee R.

Piano, Voice & Acting Coach

Rimthel Creative Arts Company

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Something for Him

Valentine’s Day has come and gone.  Hopefully ladies, you got your lovely flowers, candy or whatever else your heart desired on that day.   But, I have a question.  Did you get him anything?

Valentine’s Day has been advertised and commercialized with an angle that that man has to get something for the woman.   You see men lined up in rows at the floral shops, the floral department in the grocery stores and they all seem to be sweating.  They don’t want to mess this up!  It’s amusing really when you look at it and then it’s downright silly when you think about it.  They created the holiday to be what it is today so that corporations can make money.  And, make money they do.  Personally, I do not celebrate holidays.  But, that’s just me and I’m a little different.  I choose to be off the beaten path, so to speak.

 

Anyway, if you received lovely things for that holiday why not give him a little something for himself? You might want to check out some nice men’s floid products here.  I think he’ll love you more for it!

 

Summer in Charleston

The temperature is 17 degrees here in Connecticut today.   There are snow banks over 6 ft high on some streets.  Winter gets a little crazy to people in New England around February.  We get really weary of the cold.  Even those avid ski buffs who love the ability to ski with tons of snow start longing for a little change, even if it’s briefly.  Because, after all, they do have to travel back and forth to work and the store and the schools, and take the kids here, take the kids there.  It’s not all fun a games.

sc-lakeSouth Carolina beckons.   The large, old stately homes with the big porches, the trees, the terrain, the temperature.  I would not mind being on a porch, in a rocking chair doing absolutely nothing but rocking.   Take a walk by a lake and drink in a sunset.  Step into the woods for just a moment and become part of all nature there.  Remember that I too am a part of nature and all that is good.

I would stay at a place with a pool so I could glide through the water and become a liquid soul for a short period of time.  I would stay at an out of the way motel so I wouldn’t have to be part of traffic and a part of the hustle and bustle.  These are fantastic deals on hotels in Charleston from Motel.com! Maybe you can find your escape today.

Never Too Old to Learn!

In her fifties, Tomaca Govan is learning how to play the guitar.   I never wanted to be a guitar “rock star;” that’s not my goal, but I’ve always sung.  And the guitar has helped to change my ear.  It has opened music up a whole new dimension because I am hearing new sounds, new tones and new vibrations.  And vibrations because the guitar vibrates and my body vibrates with it.  It’s so cool.  I understand more deeply how music is medicine. Because everything vibrates – down to the cells and molecules in our bodies.  It we have good “vibes,” we have good health!  When our vibes are off, we’re not well.

 

I strongly suggest that anyone that ever wanted to learn how to do something new, do it!  What are you waiting for?  Circumstances may never be ideal.  If it’s in your heart to do, jump on it!

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Who knows?  One of these days I just might need  show lighting by Chauvet for a really big gig! Haha!  You never know what can happen when you develop talents and skills.

 

Which States Have the Most Holiday Spirit?

Do you prefer a “Silent Night” or a “Jingle Bell Rock” kind of holiday season? Your amount of holiday spirit might depend on which state you live in. Our elves researched how much holiday music each state streamed over a year and used that to judge which states have the most holiday spirit. Is your state on the naughty or nice list?

Washington, D.C., home of the National Christmas Tree and the White House holiday concert appears to have the most holiday spirit, followed by Pennsylvania, home to Christmas City, USA. Washington, Ohio, Massachusetts, Missouri, Alabama, Iowa, and Missouri also have holiday spirit bursting at the stockings.

If your favorite phrase is “Bah, humbug!” however, chances are you’d fit right in with other residents of New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Delaware, the states with the least amount of Christmas spirit. Wyoming (the country’s top producer of coal) takes the fourth spot, followed by Hawaii, Connecticut, Montana, California, Alaska, and Idaho. Apparently having a city named after the North Pole isn’t enough to get Alaskans in the holiday spirit.

If all you want for Christmas is a great holiday playlist, make sure to include the classics. The most popular holiday songs in the country include “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” along with “Jingle Bell Rock,” “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” and “The Christmas Song.”

Avoid accidentally giving your gathering a Grinch vibe by not playing The Chipmunks’ “Christmas Don’t Be Late” and Snoop Dogg’s “New Year’s Eve.” Other songs to add to your “do not play” list should be “My! My! Time Flies” by Enya, “(Let’s Give) a Christmas Present to Santa Claus” by Rosemary Clooney, and “This Christmas” by Chris Brown.

So if you’re trying to increase your chances of ending up on the nice list, try spinning your holiday playlist more often. Santa sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake, so chances are he knows what music you’re listening to. Have a holly jolly Christmas!

 

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The Be Life & Tiffany Wright

We love it when we interview someone and they come back with powerful updates.  Tiffany informed us that she has published her first book and is now booking speaking engagements to uplift women.

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“Be Love, Self Love, Daily Intentions Guiding to Self Love”  can be ordered from her website here:  http://www.livethebelife.com/be-love–get-the-book.html

 

We proudly share a picture from her first talk at Loyola Marymount University.

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Congratulations Tiffany in recognizing that you are a women who moves the soul!  We look forward to hearing more good news.

 

If you would like to read our interview with her, click the link:  http://womenmovethesoul.com/tiffany-wright-wants-to-help-women-to-just-be/.

 

Women In Music.org

Women in Music is a dynamic group of individuals in music working together to support, cultivate and recognize the talents of women in our field. Through educational seminars, panels, networking events, showcases, our annual Touchstone Awards, and other gala events, we provide camaraderie and tools for advancement to hundreds of members at all stages of their careers.

Founded in 1985, Women in Music is now in its third decade of service to the music community. Our members are inspired by the resources and opportunities WIM offers. We, in turn, are inspired by their wonderful achievements and contributions across all areas of the music industry.

womeninmusicWIM Mission Statement:
Women In Music is an organization with a mission to advance the awareness, equality, diversity, heritage, opportunities, and cultural aspects of women in the musical arts through education, support, empowerment, and recognition. Our seminars, panels, showcases, achievement awards, and youth initiatives celebrate the female contribution to the music world, and strengthens community ties.

Who We Are

  • WIM is comprised of members on all levels — from students to seasoned industry veterans — and in all areas of expertise.
  • We are record label executives, artist managers, songwriters, musicians, attorneys, recording engineers, agents, publicists, studio owners, music publishers, online and traditional marketers and more.
  • We represent all genres of music and all areas of the industry, see GC.

What We Offer

  • Educational seminars, panels and workshops with top-notch professionals
  • Up close and personal evenings with acclaimed performers, producers and other industry professionals
  • Roundtable Discussions held to discuss current topics relevant to the industry
  • Master Classes, Seminars and Workshops
  • Special Mixers and Speed Networking Events
  • Access to our exlusive WIM Google Group where you can communicate directly to the WIM Members to find useful resources and information from your mentors and peers, post upcoming show information, get opinions from fellow WIM members about services important to your work/businesses, ask fellow members questions, ticket giveaways, post/find out about job opportunities, etc.
  • Discounts on a variety of products and services we think will benefit the lifestyles, creativity, businesses and careers of WIM Members.

For more information, visit WomenInMusic.org.

Janele Mckay – Looking to Do Something Meaningful

Janele Mckay posted a request for school supply donations on LinkedIn.  When we saw that, we knew we had to reach out to this woman, who like so many others in this world, is trying to make a difference by helping others.  Many of us would like to do charitable things, but don’t move beyond the thought or the idea. However, we are willing to donate and share if asked.  It takes a special kind of person who wants to dedicate the time in their life to help others, especially children.  We wanted to talk to Janele so we could learn a little more about her and what she wants to do.

 

 

You went from political work to teachingjanele-mckay.  What inspired the change?

The political work was an internship and a very amazing and insightful experience that I had the opportunity of doing while completing my A.S. in Human Services. I’m very interested in doing work in which I can make a difference. After obtaining  my A.S. I struggled with finding positions in my field. So I went on to obtain a B.S. in Healthcare Administration and found my self in the same position. I currently work part time as a substitute teacher until I find more stable work and/or graduate with my M.S. At this point I wouldn’t mind being a college professor but would really prefer to do something more meaningful. Something that wound bring about recognizable change.

 

You are reaching out to people asking for school supplies for children.  What prompted this?

A family member of mine is an advocate for gun violence and invited me to join her cause. I helped to chaperone the Jr. Newtown Action Alliance Teen Summit and now I’m helping her and another friend with the back 2 school function. We hope to have our own non profit in the near future. In the mean time I’m looking forward to dedicating my time to more functions similar to the two mentioned and find my footing so that I can fulfill my need to help others in need and do something inspiring.

 

How is the back 2 school supplies collection going and what items are needed most?

I personally haven’t revived much response. However, my partners have received a surprising amount of donations including clothing.

I would say backpacks and three ring binders are needed most. These items are a little more pricey. We tend to receive many items for grade school but could use some middle school items as well. However, all donations are accepted and appreciated.

 

What school district are you working with?

I usually work with the Terryville and Plymouth school districts as a substitute teacher through Kelly’s Educational Services.

 

What age groups?
I have worked with all age groups.

 

What are some of the more specific needs of these children beyond the need of school supplies?

They need attention! They are bored! They need a place to go. A place where they can be themselves. A place where people will listen and take interest in their ideas vs. shoving the need to go to school down their throat. Education is extremely important but its nothing if one doesn’t have a sense of being and confidence.

 

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What else are you trying to do for these children?

My long term plan is to open a recreation center with an Arts and History focus/theme in mind. In the near future I hope to organize a successful Christmas toy drive.

 

What other avenues are you seeking for school supply donations?

This was an idea that started small and became bigger than expected. I just jumped on board and continuously offer my assistance as needed.

 

Do you have an organization or do you plan to start one?
I definitely plan to start one. I have big dreams but I’m hearing I need to start small.  So I’m currently helping when, wherever, and however I can. In doing so I hope to be able to immediately give back to the community and connect with individuals that may help me support future projects.

 

Are you working with other people?

Yes. My cousin September Chatfield, and those in which she has connected with throughout her advocacy.

 

Have you reached out for corporate sponsorships or donations?

No. We are looking forward to starting a Hartford chapter with the Newtown Action Alliance group. However, I would like more information on how I can reach out to sponsors who would fund a recreational center. Our kids need an inspiring place to go. One in which they can both learn and fulfill their dreams.

 

What kind of help do you need?

We could use some guidance so that we can continue to work efficiently and effectively.  We could also use some direction on how to obtain funding for larger projects. I’m currently writing our business plan and would love if someone could proof it and provide some expert opinions.

 

If people want to send donations or to help in other ways, how do they reach you?

My email address is Janelemckay@yahoo.com.  From there, we can share phone numbers.  I would love to speak to anyone who is interested in helping or donating.

 

What are your own personal goals for your future?

I’d like to run a non profit organization that help children change the way they think. One that would appeal more to their dreams while helping them understand the importance of education. Most of all give them a place they not only enjoy going but one they will truly grow from. I also hope to start a group for battered women. The group will not only give them a peace of mind, but will provide them with the skills and resources they need to truly be free and live a normal life. Again I’m looking to do something that is meaningful. Something that will change lives.

What inspires your desire to set up a group for battered women?

My inspiration for a battered woman group comes from personal experience. Much of the assistance available is not advertised. You really have to do your research and dig for it. This can be hard for individuals who are suffering from domestic violence. They need guidance support and direction. Many have asked how do I do it. My response is just that I do what has to be done. My children in all honesty have been my true motivation.

 

Please reach out to Ms. Mckay if you would like to donate items for children or if you are interested in helping her develop the non-profit organization to help children and/or battered women!  Janelemckay@yahoo.com.  You can also visit her website at http://RootedInGoodCompany.org.