My mother was a trailblazer of her time. She was a strong woman who had a rough time growing up herself. She taught me the only things you can count on in life are your fingers and yourself.  (I count on the Lord).  My mother drilled into my head the value of an education, a college degree, and a good career.  She never wished to be one of those women reliant on a man to support her. She worked hard and, opened her own business. My mom became a widow in 1961 when I was 13 months old, leaving my mother to raise me and my ten-year-old sister.  Fortunately, mom had set herself up to be independent. With no life insurance, it was up to her. Government handouts were against her values. As long as she was able, she would work to support her family.
Growing up,  I wanted to get married, have a family and be a stay at home mom.  My sister, being ten years older than I, did just that, although it didn’t work out the way she’d envisioned either.  She had three little boys and a husband who was struggling too, “find himself,” causing my sister to be the main provider.  Nine years and three children later, she turned into a single mom struggling and dependent upon government programs to make ends meet.
My mom passed away when I was 23-years-old, leaving me alone and panicked.  It was now imperative  I marry and a start a family so I wed the first man that came along. He had a stable job, devoted to his family and said he loved me.  While I wasn’t crazy in love with him, I wanted someone to take care of me. What I discovered was, I had married a control freak. He monitored everything I did and every dime I spent. Two years later, we divorced.
My mother’s words came back to haunt me, “You need to have a career that offers full benefits and a retirement fund. You need to rely on yourself. When you depend on government or another person to support you, you give up your power.”  It was now the time I implemented the advice my mother had shared.
I went back to college, earned my master’s degree, became a special education teacher, opened a learning center, published a book and was a speaker/presenter for the National Tutoring Association.
I have endured many struggles and lessons learned in my life. I want to be a trailblazer like my mother was. My mission is to empower women, help them discover their God-given gifts and become what God has created them to be.

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