Motivate Me Monday: Everyday Modern Hero

“Heroes represent the best of ourselves, respecting that we are human beings. A hero can be anyone from Gandhi to your classroom teacher, anyone who can show courage when faced with a problem. A hero is someone who is willing to help others in his or her best capacity” – Ricky Martin

For a good amount of hours out of the day, kids are sent to school and parents are trusting that the teachers who are in charge of their students are the best of the best at what they teach. Teachers take on more then we really know because it is more to it then just showing up to school everyday. It requires a lot of dedication, planning, and work after hours. I know quite a few people who are teachers but every now and then I will come across a teacher like Timara Davis. A Special Education teacher whose passion and love for teaching and educating shines so bright the minute you ask them anything about their job, the kids they teach, and the goals they want to accomplish to allow them to advance in their profession. I believe the their are a lot of heroes in the world who are educators and sometimes what they do and go through to make them a good educator can go unnoticed. Educators are keeping their promises everyday by doing what they have to do, to be the best teacher they can be to their students. Being able to handle being a teacher, especially a Special Education teacher, is a gift because it requires such a high level of patience. Timara was willing to answer a few questions for me, here is her story:


 

Who is Timara Davis?

My name is Timara Davis, originally from Columbus, Ohio residing in Greensboro, NC. I will be relocating to Orlando Florida this summer! I am a recent grad from Western Carolina University. I am also a third year special education teacher at a local charter school in Greensboro, NC.

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What school did you attend for undergrad and what did you study ?

I attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. I declared my dual major program on day one in Elementary and Special Education.
What school did you attend for graduate school and what did you study ? Did you work and attend graduate school?

I attended Western Carolina University studying Special Education with a focus on Mild to Moderate Disabilities. I worked as a full time teacher while attending school as a distance learning student.


Will you be obtaining your PhD? If so why, what school, and what will you be studying ?

I have been admitted to the University of Central Florida to obtain my PhD in Exceptional Education. I have not narrowed down my research area but will be using my first year to discover what my focus will be. There is so much to choose from!

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How were you able to balance working and going to school ?

Working full time while completing a master’s program requires a great deal of discipline, organization, determination and the willingness to excel. Everyday I had to ensure that I took the time for personal development which in this case was continuing my education. Did I lose sleep? Yes! Did I feel like I wanted to quit? Yes. Did I quit? No! Did I require emotional support from other? OH YEAH! There were times I wanted to just take the week off from school but I had to remember what my ultimate goal was and I needed to excel within this program in order to reach another milestone along my journey to my ultimate goal.

When did you decide that you wanted to work with kids ?

I decided I wanted to work with children at a very young age. When I was in middle school, I was very involved with the pre-school age children. At church, I found myself always wanting to teach them something. I actually put together organized activities together for children and continued this through high school. I imagined that I would be doing dance therapy for children with disabilities but things change. All in all, I knew I wanted to specifically work with students with disabilities.

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What is a typical day for you at your job?

Everyday is EXTREMELY different for me, but I always know how my day will go once I am greeted or I greet the children. I am very good at reading body language of my students. Some days can go really well and others might be completely terrible. I often realize that if one of my students have a “bad” day then for somehow, someway they ALL have a “bad” day.

What keeps you motivated ?

The students and their families keep me motivated. I am not looking for recognition of what I do with my students BUT it is nice to know that I am appreciated and that the parents are also seeing positive changes in their children. Some days I can come into work completely down but once the school day begins and it is time to educate my students then all of those feelings of doubt are nonexistent.

What is one thing you have accomplished with these kids that you are proud of?

One thing I am most proud of is that I am getting others to realize that they are capable of doing much more than others think. My students confidence increases tremendously after a few months because they have someone who constantly celebrates what they CAN do versus what they can not do.

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Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years ?

In the next five years, I see myself as Timara Davis, Ph.D. I also see myself working as an advocate for students with disabilities, while conducting trainers in local education agencies on the teacher and learning of students with disabilities. There is also a possibility of me exploring the option to teach at the University level with aspirations of becoming a published writer.

What advice can you provide for someone who may be on the same or somewhat similar path as yourself?

Best advice I could give is to stay strong, surround yourself with positive vibes, always remember the end goal, and stay grounded. Always prepare yourself for any challenge that may come your way because they will come. At each step, things will get much more difficulty but try your best to stay motivated by remember what motivates you! Also, do not be afraid to rely on others when you are feeling overwhelmed. Having the support of others emotionally and spiritually will certainly allow you to feel more empowered!

In what ways have you been able to speak to others about your accomplishments?

I always share my knowledge with those who are longing to be in the very position I am in today. I still have connections with professors who I also consider mentors in the School of Education at A&T. These professors have been blessings to me in many ways. I remember all of the lessons they taught me as an undergraduate student that I am able to pass along. These very professors have asked me back to the University to speak with pre-service teachers about my experience.

What are 2-3 things you have learned working with young children ?

I have so many things about myself since working with children. I’ve learned that you really must watch what you do and say. Although I do teach my children appropriate behaviors, if I were to do something deemed inappropriate then may children may try to do the same. THEY ARE ALWAYS WATCHING. My students even begin speaking like me, picking up on my many quotes or phrases.

I also learned that it is okay to relax and laugh a little. Sometimes we as adults just take things too seriously. Working with my students has allowed me to laugh almost to tears some days. We laugh together and it makes me happy to see them happy!

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What are some things that you have achieved that make you proud ?

I am glad to have nearly built a department that was deemed unorganized and/or unimportant. In my short three years, I have been able to help others understand the importance of how we educate our students with disabilities. I feel as though the people around me have certainly learned a great deal of things about the students they teach daily who live with exceptionalities.


How would you define success ?

I would describe success as always working to obtain your goals whether the goals are short term or long term. Any accomplishment should be recognized because it was done with a purpose!

 

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Motivate Me Mondays: Are you being your true authentic self?

Belcalis Almanzar also known as Cardi B was born on October 11, 1992 in Bronx, NY. You may have seen Cardi B on IG as @iamcardib or on your TV screen on the well known reality TV show Love and Hip Hop New York. Cardi B is known for never hiding anything about herself from, the people she has and does date to the way she makes her money or in the words of Cardi B her “shmoney”. She is a very lively, outgoing, vocal, down to earth, funny, real, authentic type of person who became an Instagram celebrity while stripping and once she stopped stripping she worked on pursing her dreams of being a rapper and songwriter. When she started to become well known on Instagram she started doing a lot of appearances and then when she took up rapping she shocked the world with her talent. Her most recent mixtape, GBMV2 may prove to be her best work to date.

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Photo Credit: Datpiff.com

Cardi B has faced A LOT of backlash for the type of things she says especially on Instagram but that never stopped her from continuing to be who she truly is. In today’s world, where we deal with so many people who are fake and unauthentic, it seems as though people would be able to appreciate someone who is so authentic; but of course things just do not go that way. Cardi B is the homegirl from around the way who does not care what anyone thinks of her, that just so happened to become famous. Cardi B is also all about empowering women and speaking out on the different things that many other famous people choose to be silent about and that right there alone should be more then enough for people to at least respect her as a person.

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Photo Credit: everythinggirlslove.com

Love and Hip Hop New York is where we really saw alot more of Cardi B on somewhat of a deeper level. The show gave viewers a chance to learn more about her, her dreams, and her love life. These days people are so close minded and judgemental towards people who do not fit into what they consider normal in terms of how someone should act, speak, and dress. Often times I believe that we forget that no person is the same as another person and just because someone acts in a way that you are not use to does not mean it is wrong. We have to stop letting another persons opinion about who we are make us change who we are in order to please them. There is nothing wrong with growth and change because no one stays the same but it has to be done for yourself and nobody else. In life you will deal with people who do not like you because you’re confident enough to speak on how you feel and because you have no problem with being your authentic self. Let Cardi B be an example of not allowing peoples opinions to effect you to the point that you try change who you are because everybody will not like you and that is okay.

Are you comfortable with always being your true authentic self?

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Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women continue to be loyal to someone who is not loyal to us?

The word loyalty means a lot when it comes to relationships and friendships because the people close to us are the ones we expect to be loyal to us no matter what. We judge people off loyalty because the way someone is loyal to another person can tell you a lot about the type of person they are. People become so stuck on making sure they are always fully loyal to their friends, family members, and significant others that they sometimes can’t tell when that person is not being fully loyal to them or they are completely blind sided when finding how just how loyal as person has been. Years of friendship ruined, family members cut off, and significant others left all over lack of loyalty; it is a serious thing.

There are so many ways to show your loyalty to someone from the way you take up for them, especially when they are not around to take up for themselves, to the way you lookout for them. If you are the type of person who is loyal to those around you that you care about then I applaud you 100% but what about the times when people have not been as loyal to you? Sometimes we give people the loyalty we expect but do not realize that everybody cannot give you that same loyalty in return which can be a hard pill to swallow. Loyalty helps to build trust and any type of relationship you have will not last if there is no trust.

I am the type of person who is very loyal to the people around me who I love and care about but there have been times where I misjudged someones loyalty to me and I had to find it out the hard way. For me, being loyal is an all or nothing type of thing so if you cannot be as loyal to me and I am to you then we have no business having any type of relationship. There have been times where I was being so loyal to a person only to find out they were not giving me the same loyalty in return.

I have found myself being loyal to a guy I was in a relationship with because in my mind being in a relationship had me thinking that a guy would automatically be loyal to me; I was wrong and I could not see how wrong I was because feelings clouded my judgement. I have even been loyal to a guy that I was not in a relationship with because again it is just the type of person I am. It took more incidents then it should, in both of those situations, for me to finally realize that I was being loyal to a guy who did not deserve one ounce of loyalty from me. To this day I regret it but things happen; you learn from them, move on, and do better next time. We have to remember that it is okay to stop giving people things when we are not given the same in return; never let your loyalty make a fool of you.

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Motivate Me Monday: What is your passion?

“A passionate belief in your business and personal objectives can make all the difference between success and failure. If you aren’t proud of what you’re doing, why should anybody else be?” – Richard Branson

It is important to always be aware of what your passionate about in life because it is easier to achieve what you love then it is to achieve something you do not love. Everyone has the ability to do what they want in life as long as they keep the faith and never allow anyone or anything to get in their way. As a woman, stepping into a world that is highly male dominated world has many challenges in itself. The music world is very very competitive and certain paths such as rapping and DJ’ing are very male dominated, so as a female there are already two things you are up against from the very start. Female DJs are not rare but they are competing in a competitive and highly male dominated world which is never an easy thing to do. DJ KDOT knows and relates to this very well because she has been DJ’ing for over 5 years. She was willing to share with others about her journey in the music world as a DJ, here is her story:

1. Who is Khadijah Thomas? Tell me a little bit about yourself
My name is Khadijah Thomas but I go by KDOT  I am 22 years old soon to be 23.  I have a B.S. in Management Information Systems from the Illustrious North Carolina A & T State University. I am also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. initiated into the Amazing Alpha Mu Chapter and I am currently a technical specialist for Apple but most importantly I am an Entrepreneur. I am originally from Buffalo, New York. I consider Rosedale, Queens (NYC) home as that is where my family settled when they came from Trinidad.

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2. How long have you been a DJ and what is the reason behind wanting to become a DJ?

I have been a DJ for 11 years; I started learning at 12 right before I turned 13 and it’s something that runs in my family. I was the first girl grandchild and happened to be the first girl in my family interested in DJ’ing. My Dad and uncle were my biggest influences as they have been doing it for years.

3. How was the name DJ KDOT created? 

Well my step sister gave me the nickname KDOT back in 8th grade and for whatever reason it just seemed to stick with me and everyone. It was only natural  that it became my DJ name once I actually started to branch out underneath my family.

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4. What obstacles have you faced and/or still face as a female DJ?

As a Female DJ there are a few obstacles I face with it being such a male dominated industry. Small things like when I am going to set up for events and have a gentleman helping me carry equipment a lot of people will assume the  guy is the DJ and not me. I even get questions like “so do you really DJ or is this something you do for fun?” There is a stereotype behind female DJs not having skills and that’s one thing I focus on the most; the art and skill of DJ’ing. Outside of that one of my least favorite thing to deal with is the egos of other male DJs, especially when working together. Overall I think as a person I vibe with people naturally and stay focused on myself so I have never had a traumatic experience but it does happen occasionally.

 
5. What keeps you motivated?

Ultimately my love for music and a good time is what keeps me motivated. Also my desire to be my own boss as well. There is so much freedom within being a DJ that is   indescribable. Singing and dancing was something I did early in my life until I fell in   love with DJ’ing so the music has always been a big part of my life.

6. Who are 3 of your favorite DJs that inspire you? 

DJ Spinderella – We can’t talk about female DJs without thinking about her. She was one of the first female DJs I knew of.

DJ Kid Capri – His energy is unmatched and he puts passion behind what he   does. True entertainer

DJ MC – I met him through my network at NCAT and he was one of the first seasoned DJs to really take an interest in my craft and actually want to help me.   Most importantly he is HUMBLE.

 
7. What advice do you have for female DJs who are just starting out?

The best advice I could give is to learn who you are as a DJ because you will not be like anyone else. Find your style and also be open to work on other styles as well. If you take your craft seriously people will take you seriously.

8. Where do you see yourself in the next 2 to 3 years?

In the next 2 to 3 years I see myself traveling a lot more to DJ. Between my background and musical preferences I would like to think I am very versatile and  would love to be a traveling DJ.

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9. How were you able to make a name for yourself? Are you available to be booked for events? If so what type of events? 

Networking was the biggest thing as far as making a name for myself and ultimately my performance. I am available to be booked for a variety of events including: Weddings, Baby Showers, Birthday Parties, School events, Fashion Shows, Clubs, Mixing needs etc.

10. How would you define success?

I would define success as the point in which I have accomplished my set goals   and even though I will continue to strive for more I am content with all that I have. On a smaller scale, getting request for my business cards or compliments after my performance makes me feel successful.

11. Are there any upcoming projects and/or events you would like to mention?

I am DJ’ing a Cultural Day Party on May 6th 2017 @ Greene St Nightclub.  Outside of that I have a few private events this summer that I am excited about!

12. What are the top 3 things you have accomplished as a DJ that you are proud of?

1) DJ’ing in another country

2) DJ’ing a gym jam at NCAT that was packed with 1200+ people

3) Having one of my mix challenges go viral. My Love Come Down challenge on   soundcloud currently has 29,000 views and rising!

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13. Where can people go to learn more about you and your more of your music?

My website is http://www.theedjkdot.com. On my website I update my most recent soundcloud mixes and events. All of my social media handles are @XOXODJKDOT

If you want to book me, please email me at management@theedjkdot.com

 

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Motivate Me Mondays: Women in technology

“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.” – Bill Gates

Technology is steadily growing everyday! New discoveries are being made and old ways are being redefined and improved using technology. Often times the younger generation may not always have a first hand experience at being able to learn all that technology has to offer outside of what is being taught in school. We are also still dealing with the world of technology being a male dominated field and although it is getting better we still have a long way to go. The importance of teaching technology to these young girls is important because it can make them not only very knowledgable but very well rounded as well. Technology is the gateway to so many other things such as science, healthcare, fashion, etc and having people find ways to teach younger people about technology by giving them a chance to learn, develop, and grow in the world of technology is something I am always happy to see. I truly love to see my fellow technology lovers, especially women, doing things to give back and help others and Khalia Braswell is one of them. Todays motivational story is about who she is and what she is doing to help young girls, especially girls of color thrive and grow in the technology world, here is her story:

 

 

1. Who is Khalia? Tell me about yourself 

Khalia M. Braswell, 26, UX/UI Designer & Non-profit Founder
I was born in Rocky Mount, NC and grew up in Charlotte, NC. Outside of my love for technology, I also share a love for reading and music. I was a DJ while in undergrad, both on WKNC 88.1 as the host of Soulful Renaissance, and at events around campus. I love reading fiction books the most; however, you can’t go wrong with a non-fiction book if it will enrich your life. I also really enjoy traveling and learning about new cultures.

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2. What is INTech ?
INTech is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to inform and inspire girls to innovate in the technology industry.

 

3. What is the driving force behind starting INTech? What did you plan to achieve when starting INTech?
INTech was started out of a lack of programs in Charlotte, NC that reached Black and Latino girls to expose them to technology. When I started INTech, I just wanted more girls who looked like me to learn that technology could be a career for them and to show them other Black/Latina women in the field.

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4. How important is the presence of women in the world of technology?
It is very important that women are present in the world of technology because our voices impact the direction of products being put into market. Women bring a unique perspective to the creativity process and impacts the bottom line.

 

5. What keeps you motivated ?
The fact that I have so many people depending on me and looking up to me is what keeps me motivated. I think about quitting multiple times a day; however, I think about my brothers and sister, my cousins, my family, my extended family, and I realize that quitting is not an option.

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6. Who inspires you?
Young hustlers inspire me the most. Those who are challenging the status quo and living out there dreams inspire me to continue doing the same.

 

7. What advice do you have for someone who would like to start a non profit?
My advice would be to test out a prototype for their idea, just as they would anything else, and see what kind of feedback they get before going through the grunt work of officially establishing their org as a non-profit with their state. When they are ready to make it official, I wrote an article about the steps that they need to take to get the 501(c)(3) exemption status. http://intech.camp/501c3EZ

 

8. What obstacles, if any, have you faced?
I’ve faced plenty of obstacles. I think the biggest one right now is being so far away from where the core INTech activities are taking place. Luckily, my Board of Directors agreed to implement committees to help get work done so that we are not bottlenecked by the distance.

 
9. How would you define success ?
I would define success by the number of things we say we are going to do compared to the number of things we actually do. If you actually go out and put action behind your goals, you are successful.

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10. Where do you see INTech in the next 2 to 3 years?
I see INTech expanded to different cities and states in the US, exposing even more girls to technology. I see INTech providing hands on training for girls in middle and high school who want to learn about User Experience Design, as well as, how to build websites and mobile applications.

 

11. Are there any up coming projects and/or events you would like to mention?
We have 2 summer camps planned for 2017. Our first will take place in Raleigh, NC at NC State from June 12 – 16. Our second summer camp will take place in Charlotte, NC at Johnson C. Smith University from July 24 – 28.

 

12. Where can people go if they would like to help/get involved with and learn more about INTech?
Our website is the best place to go: http://intechcamp.co

 

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Sneaker Craze Saturdaze 

Shoe: Air Jordan 4 KAWS

Release Date: March 31, 2017

Price: $350 (on the release date)

Details:

Jordan and Graffiti artist KAWS collaborated to come up with this limited edition shoe! This grey suede shoe has glow in the dark outsoles and hand graphic etched designs. 

Photo Credit: KicksOnFire

Photo Credit: KicksOnFire


Photo Credit: Sneaker News


Where can I purchase these shoes?

Buy here now: https://www.ebay.com/itm/232298760042 

Buy here now: https://www.stadiumgoods.com/air-jordan-4-retro-kaws-cool-grey-white-930155-003

This may be one of Jordans best shoe collaborations! To all my fellow sneaker lovers let me know what you think about the Air Jordan 4 KAWS.

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Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women try to put a title on something before even talking to the guy we are dealing with?

Ladies, whether we do it on purpose or not, we often end up in situations that we know we could have avoided if we handled things differently. I truly believe that some of the problems we encounter and the hurt with deal with, when it comes to men, could be avoided if we asked a guy what his intentions are in the beginning. You have to go into these situations with guys knowing what you want and expect and making those things very clear. Either a guy is going to respect it and be on the same page with you or he is not and one thing is for sure, YOU CANNOT PUT A TITLE ON A SITUATION IF YOU ARE NOT ON THE SAME PAGE WITH THE GUY YOU ARE DEALING WITH.

Sometimes we get involved with guys and determine how things will be before realizing that the guy isn’t even on the same page as us. We start to care more, do more, and expect more from a man that does not care. Don’t get me wrong, guys lead us on a lot of the time but SOMETIMES we as women also play a major part in things falling apart as well. Sleeping with a guy and “talking” to a guy DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY MEAN YOU TWO ARE EXCLUSIVE; how can you automatically assume something when no conversation has happened about where things are and where they are going. You also have to know the type of woman  you are when it comes to men because it will help you to avoid a lot of the hurt you may deal with.

I understand wanting more from these men then they are ready to give us but recognize the part you may be playing in the situation that has done you more bad then good. Once you realize it remember it and carry that with you into the next situation so you won’t make the same mistake again. Now, this is not me saying that you will deal with this when it comes to all men, this is me saying that the way things went in the last situation you dealt with should tell you that something needs to change moving forward. If you have certain expectations you are no longer willing to budge on, make that clear. If sex before a relationship is something you cannot handle, make that clear. If you are at a point where playing around and dating different men isn’t you’re thing any more, make it clear.

As a woman you have every right to make it clear what you want and expect NO MATTER WHAT but what you SHOULD NOT do is put a title on situations before even talking to the guy you’re dealing with; you are guaranteed to get your feelings hurt. If you can avoid getting your feelings hurt or ending up in situations that aren’t good for you, DO IT.

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