Motivate Me Mondays: Overcoming betrayal

“For me, I always wonder what’s worse: an emotional betrayal or a physical betrayal? That’s a really tough call.” – Hilarie Burton
Often times in life we always hear people say to be careful how you treat other people because you never know what other people have been through. Adriane Lanier decided to share her story of how she overcome certain betrayals in life that no one should ever have to deal with. Her story shows her strength as a woman and just as a human being because sometimes it is not easy to overcome the things we endure in life, here is her story:

Who is Adriane Lanier?
I am JMU double Duke (BBA/MBA) currently living in the DMV working as a Cybersecurity professional. I was born in California and raised in Virginia Beach by two amazing Georgia bred people.
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Do you mind sharing about the 3 different incidents you have dealt with throughout the course of your life?
My body has been disrespected in every since of the word. I have been sexually assaulted, molested, and raped by people I once held near and dear to me and strangers. The worst of them all [physically] was when I was setup by a coworker and attacked by 6 grown men. I had unspeakable things done to me and was not sure I would even make it out of there.
How did you handle dealing with all of this?
A lot of days I was literally just going through the motions of life. I felt numb for quite some time. I have had depression, severe ptsd and at one point I was even suicidal (it clearly didn’t work lol). For years I smiled and joked my way through the pain. I kept busy so I wouldn’t have to be alone in my misery and think about it until it became routine and my smiles became genuine again.
Is it possible to take back your life after something like this happens ?
It is definitely possible to regain control over your life, but a strong support system is imperative. Had it not been for my friends and sorors I would have never gotten help. It took YEARS of therapy. I have occasional flashbacks and nightmares, but its nowhere near what it used to be. There are still certain things that can trigger those feelings of fear and discomfort and I don’t think they will ever go away so I do my best to avoid them. My support system was there for me every step of the way to recovery. Discovering I had severe PTSD, facing reality of how damaged I really am, lifting me up when boys would leave me because they couldn’t handle my baggage, praying for me harder than I could pray for myself, uplifting me any time they felt like I was down, keeping me honest and always showering me with positive vibes and unconditional love.
How were you able to gain the courage to now be able to share your story with other people?
My support system has encouraged me to do it for years. I didn’t think my story would impact others, but the more I began to open up to other people I knew, the more I realized that my story can positively impact someone else who is fighting battles nobody knows about. I went from feeling embarrassed about it all to realizing that it was not my fault and I did nothing to deserve any of what happened to me. I got the courage to tell my story because I want women to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel more than I cared to bury this painful chapter of my past.
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At this very moment, if you had to choose one person to recognize that has helped you get past what you’ve been through who would that person be ?
Oh man…I can’t just choose one person because there were phases to the recovery and many obstacles. I have one best friend who was there from the very beginning up until my self declared freedom, Crystal Cole. I have friends I have grown apart from, but will always respect how they were there for me when things were at their worst (Aaron Campbell, Charlie Celesia, Kitara McMoore). However, I have met so many amazing people along the way that have helped me so much in so many ways that I could never tell my story and not think of them. When I say I have been blessed with a strong support system, I honestly don’t know what I did in life to deserve such amazing friends but I thank God for them daily (my JMU family – Its like 10 extra people lol).
What keeps you motivated ?
My desire to succeed and leave the world a better place than I found it.
How would you define success?
Success is whatever you want it to be. As long as it involves feelings of genuine happiness in most, if not all, aspects of life, I would call it success.
What is one thing you have accomplished in life so far that you are most proud of?
Learning the power of forgiveness and conflict resolution. For those who know my history and know how rowdy and unforgiving I once was, this was HUGE for me. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. When you carry hate or resentment for long periods of time it can affect your personal and professional growth. Learning to forgive makes handling conflict (personal and professional) much easier.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
In the next 5 years I plan to be a business owner leaving my mark on the Cybersecurity industry while spreading STEM awareness and love to the next generation so they can, too, leave the world a better place than they found it.
What are some things that you have achieved that make you proud ?
I am proud of my career accomplishments, but I am more proud of my personal growth. I never imagined I would have so many amazing opportunities and be where I am in my career at age 29. I also never thought I would be where I am today. I have found myself, I have found my inner peace (and plan to hold onto it with every ounce of my being), I have found self awareness, my smiles are genuine and my happiness is sincere. THAT is what I am most proud of.
What advice can you provide to those who have been raped, molested, and/or attacked?  
It is okay for you to tell your story and work towards reaching inner peace and stability, whatever that means to you. While you cannot undo what has happened, you CAN take back your life.There is light at the end of the tunnel. Just know you are not alone and there are plenty of people who love you and want you to know that your life is worth living.
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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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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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Motivate Me Monday: Staying true to who you are

Raynell Steward aka Supa was born in New Orleans, LA. Supa is a very well known social media icon. If you know about her then I’m sure you have seen her funny videos and the various ways she helps other people. I remember the first time I came across her from seeing one of her funny videos and I automatically became a fan. As time progressed and I continued to keep up with her post I started to notice that she was more then just some videos. Supa is real, genuine, passionate, an amazing mother, friend, sister, cousin, daughter who is using her platform to not only make us laugh but help us advance in life! She allows the world to get a glimpse of her life and that isn’t always easy.

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Photo Credit: @supa_cent

As long as I have been following Supa, she has ALWAYS stayed true to herself and who she is. She has allowed the world to watch here grow as a woman and the growth is undeniable. People who are in the public eye are always judged and talked about by people who have nothing better to do with their time and it is sad. It is amazing being able to watch how Supa deals with people who question her or are out to challenge the type of person she is, the type of mother she is, and how she handles situations.

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Photo Credit: @supa_cent

 

Not only does Supa allow you to see her being a mother and a friend but she ALSO allows you to see things about her love life, she gives advice, and she shares things through the promotions she does. Often times we see a lot of people on social media who are heavily in the public eye doing things that aren’t always positive or putting on a front instead of being their true self. The reason why I am such a fan of Supa is because of how authentic she is and always has been. She never turned away from being who she is and she doesn’t apologize for it either. She has created an entire brand for herself and her following has increased tremendously but that does not stop her from giving advice, taking care of her family, and always showing love to those who truly support her.

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Photo Credit: @supa_cent

If you can learn ANYTHING from Supa it is how to stay true to who you are no matter what! Often times in life we allow things in our life to stop us from being who we really are. We allow what others say about us change us and its not a change for the good either. We have to stop doing this because there is no one in the world like you and to get the respect you deserve often time requires you to stay true to who you are. DO NOT let anyone or any situation stop you from being you; you’re true genuine authentic self.

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Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women say things we do not mean in relationships?

Ladies, just try to hear me out on this one, okay? It has become a natural and pretty much normal thing to hear guys talk about what a female really means when she says certain things. For example as a female when my man asks me “What is wrong with you” I will typically say “nothing, I’m fine” but my man knows deep down that if he just says okay and does not ask me again or try to get me to talk, it becomes a problem. How about when you are having an argument and you say to your man “leave me alone” but in reality we do not literally mean for you to leave us alone. These are just a few examples of us women saying things we don’t really mean; it is almost as if we want to test our man to see how far he would go to make sure we are okay. This is good and all, SOMETIMES, but then you have other situations where you say mean things to a guy because you’re hurt or because you’re dealing with a good guy and you don’t know how to handle it.

You play a tricky game when you say things you do not mean, you have to be careful. If your man is asking you what is wrong, tell him; he’s asking because he cares so don’t make him beg you every time. If you are in a situation and you want to tell your man to leave you alone just to see what he will do, don’t get mad if he actually leaves you alone; guys take things literally so most of the time they will not automatically think that you telling them to leave you alone, doesn’t actually mean that. With that being said, there are some times where I am all for making your man work hard to figure out what is going on especially if he is the cause of problem and knows what he did wrong; sometimes guys will “act” as if they do not know but they do.

We also have to be careful saying mean things in the heat of an argument. Ladies it should come to no surprise that our words can cut a man deep especially if it comes from a woman he truly loves; he may not show it how effected him like we as women do but it definitely does. An argument and/or disagreement should not the time where we try to hurt each other because nothing gets accomplished and feelings get hurt off of things being said that a person probably didn’t even mean. You do not want to loose someone you love from saying something that you didn’t even mean. I have seen women use their words to try to tear down a good man because lets be honest; dealing with good guys these days seems rare. If all you have ever known are lying, cheating, dishonest men why wouldn’t you expect a good to be putting on a front? Why wouldn’t you start to doubt the situation after while? Why wouldn’t you start to question things? I understand but to tear down a good guy by saying things that aren’t true can cause more harm then good so don’t push that good man away, embrace him.

From testing your man to tearing down a good guy plus any and everything that falls in between that, all results in saying things we do not mean. Things should flow pretty easily in a relationship so do not make it a permanent habit of saying things you do not mean or you may cause more problems then necessary. Also, always remember that your words hold more power then you may know.

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Motivate Me Mondays: Experiencing true LOVE

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu

No matter what LOVE may look like these days, I still believe that true, passionate, undeniable, crazy, exciting love is still possible with the right person. You can meet a person and know right away that they are meant for you, as if GOD hand picked that person just for you and nobody else. Robin and her fiancé share a strong love that genuinely shows through all that they do. Sometimes you meet a couple and you can feel the love and that is exactly what I have experienced being around this wonderful couple. I wanted to give them a chance to share their love story with others in hopes it will motivate someone to never give up on love because the person meant for you could be coming sooner then you expect. Here is their love story:
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself and your fiancé
My name is Robyn K, Harris and I’m 25 years old. I’m currently a Social Worker at Union County Department of Social Services as an investigator, CPS (Child Protective Services). My fiance’s name is Dontavius Mobley and we will be getting married on, April 15, 2017. I graduated from North Carolina A&T with my BSW. Donta graduated from Charleston Southern University with a degree in Biology. He is currently employed through Carolina Medical Center as a Histotechnologist.
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2. Where are you and your fiancé from?
I’m from Bridgeport Connecticut however was raised in Charlotte, NC. Donta was born and raised in Rock Hill, SC, where we currently reside.
3. How did you meet?
We met June 2011 at Wendy’s. We used to work together. We both have our own stories on how we met, lol. He says I stalked him and I simply disagree. Lowkey, he’s right, lol. We went on our first date July 10, 2011 and the rest is left unwritten. Stay tuned!
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4. What is special about your relationship and what makes your love story unique?
Everything about our relationship is special. It may sound cliche’ but God made me for Donta and Donta for me. We are complete opposites. I am bold, loud and outgoing while Donta is quite, calm, cool and collective; however we are the perfect balance. Donta treats me like a Queen and he notices things about me that I don’t notice about myself. He encourages me to reach my highest potential and believes in me, more than I believe in myself. I give him the confidence to be unapologetically him. I bring out the crazy, fun Donta that only a few people have seen. We compliment one another.
5. What type of role has GOD played in your relationship?
Without God, there would be no us. We are far from perfect but know without God, we are nothing. I am a big prayer and I pray about everything. Donta and I pray together as well as fellowship with one another and one of our goals is to build a stronger relationship with God as one. We found a church home that we both thoroughly enjoy and agree that God is the foundation of our relationship. Pray our strength in the Lord!
6. What are 3 key things that are important in a relationship?
Loyalty, Respect and Honesty
7. What encouraging words of advice would you give someone who feels like love is just not possible ?
God is love. Love comes naturally and shouldn’t be forced. Love yourself first and when God is ready, your happily ever after will come when it’s least expected. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is beautiful.
8. Additional comments/add-ins/things you would like to include that is not covered in the questions above?
Thanks for allowing me to share our love story : )
Robin and Donta, I wish you nothing but love and success. Congratulations on your wedding that is coming up on April 15, 2017 and remember to always keep GOD first no matter what!
Let Tay Tell It