See Beyond Your Wildest Dreams


The way my dreams are set up…The things I dream about. Think about. Write about daily…are beyond anything I thought I could ever imagine. The paths my dreams are taking me on are mind blowing. I don’t know how to explain it. I can’t share it with many because people just won’t understand. They would say:  what makes you think you can do that, who do you think you are, or how are you going to pay for that? I know who I am; I know whose I am; and I know the money will come. So, while I wait, I will write the vision, the scripts, the books, and the plays. For I know, like it always does, the money will come.

If your dreams are so wild you feel you can’t share them with anyone out of fear that they will shut them down, I encourage you to do the following:

1.  Write it down.

2.  Visualize it. You can visualize it by taking a picture of an object that brings the dream to life. Create a small vision board on a piece of paper that is for your eyes only.

3.  Start doing something towards making the dream a reality.

I encourage you to live, laugh, and love. Life is too short not to live your wildest dreams. Your dreams are just wild enough to come true.


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I Failed and Went to Prision, Now What?

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I failed and went to prison. Now what?

Crystal: When most people think about prison, they think about men. However, there is a drastic increase of women in prison. What failure (crime) led you to prison?

Miz Author T: Searching for a solution to a problem and fast money are the reasons I ended up in prison.

Crystal: What are the conditions in a female prison?

Miz Author T: The conditions are no better in female prisons than in male prisons. Countless women sitting there without proper healthcare or ways to provide to take care of themselves. A lot of women find themselves doing things they would later regret just to get toothpaste and feed themselves or simply wash their clothes!

Crystal: How did you spend your time in prison?

Miz Author T: I, basically, stayed to myself. I wrote and prayed, asking God to shield me from some of the wickedness. I felt like I was sitting behind the gates of hell! However, I did meet some awesome women who had stories that captivated my mind.

Crystal: How long were you in prison?

Miz Author T: I spent two and a half years behind the gate. 

Crystal: What advice do you give young women about prison?

Think hard and long before you make your next decision because some women never see daylight ever again.  No one wants to see their children one week and the next week, you have expired (deceased).  The life behind the gate is no picnic in the park. Remember, it will have a long-term effect it will have on your life. I’m an ex-offender for life, but it doesn’t define me for we all deserve a second chance!

Crystal: In today’s “ride-or-die chick” society, how do you convince young women not to get caught up in their partner’s crimes? 

Miz Author T: When I see a I’m ride-or-die chick, I shake my head because she doesn’t realize this action could cost her her freedom. There is no man, or person, worth giving up my freedom ever again to sit in an environment where I have to wake up and go to bed at someone else’s command. Think hard before you allow what you think is going to get rich or make you popular cost you everything; your sanity, children, home, and family.

Crystal: How old were your children when you went to prison? Did you feel you failed them by going to prison? How did they cope with your incarceration? 

Miz Author T: My children were 27, 26, 25, 16 and 14. Yes, I did fail them because of my actions and decisions. I was so hurt I let my children down. I should have known better, but sometimes before we think things through clearly, the damage has already been done. So, I had to walk through my own issues. My children took it extremely hard and to this day, fault me for things that happened while I was away. Sometimes the damage is irreparable. So, I sit and wait on God to heal them so we can move forward with building our relationship again.

Crystal: Many prisoners return to prison, how have you managed to stay out of the prison system?

Miz Author T: Prison was never a goal I set, but I believe I went there by God’s intervention to get me to see my self-worth and strength. It allowed me to see some things in me that needed to be repaired. I had to take that time to heal myself and learn to love me. Going back to prison will never be an option I explore. Now, I go to prisons to share my testimony to prepare women for the aftermath of Living Free and never looking back!

Crystal: What have you learned from your failures?

Miz Author T: Rely on God’s grace and understand how to adhere to the spirit because it does guide you. Remember, we will not have it all, but if we just wait patiently, all things shall be provided to us.

Crystal: What is your greatest fear?

 Miz Author T: The children of today will not see the damage their causing themselves. If or when they’re lost (in prison), they won’t be able to see daylight ever again. The prison system wants to take as many of us (African-Americans) off the streets as they can.

I Failed at Weight Loss, Now What?

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I Failed at Weight Loss, Now What?

Crystal: How would you describe your relationship with food?

Shanaya: Food and I are best-friends. We do everything together. We go to parties, concerts, and visit other friends. Food is there for me when I’m sad, happy, or angry.

Crystal: How often have you failed at weight loss?

Shanaya: I was born 10.5 pounds. I have always been “big-boned”. As I got older, I became thick. Then, big but curvy. Then, I was called plus size. I have always struggled with weight loss. I kept trying since the kids would not stop cracking on me as a fat girl with bumps on her face. By the fifth grade, garbage pail kids came out and it was this oversized, female with glasses and bumps on her face that the kids would call me and throw that card at me. So, for over 30 years, I have failed at it.

Crystal: Do you believe weight loss is not just a physical struggle, but a mental one, too?

Shanaya: Yes. Anything you want to achieve starts at the mental level. You have to make the decision first, to do something. Then, understand why you want to make it happen. Then, you can manifest or physically make it happen.

Crystal: How is your current weight effecting your life?

Shanaya: Any time I get over a certain weight, which is 250lbs, it just gets harder to move around. My knees always ache, and I do not move around with ease. I stay bloated and gassy. My face doesn’t clear up; I have headaches; my nerves are bad; my sleep patterns are off; and I have plenty of mood swings.

Crystal: What role does nutrition play in your balance and weight loss goals?

Shanaya:  Nutrition plays the biggest role in the quality of life you live. Food is medicine. It has cured my headaches, back pains, hair loss, mood swings, mood improvement, sleep patterns, and fueled my weight loss. When I learned what nutrition MY body needed to heal all those “symptoms”, I was then able to get to the real issue.

Crystal: Does stress play a part in how you manage your weight and how you balance your life? 

Shanaya: Stress is another symptom of bad nutrition. It determines how we see our world and how we respond to it.

Crystal: What have you learned from your failures?

Shanaya: I have learned from my failures that I am LIVING. That in order to have a failure, I had to attempt to make something happen.

They Failed Me, Now What?

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They Failed Me, Now What?

What happens when the people who are supposed to protect you fail you? What does that failure look like? What happens if you do not address it? What does it mean to move from being damaged to being delivered?

Today’s interview is entitled, They Failed Me, Now What? The interviewee is Joyce Hester, known to many as “Lady Joy.”

Crystal: Who is Joyce “Lady Joy” Hester?

Joy: Well I am glad you asked. Joyce is me legal/original name however through many trials and setbacks over the course of my life I realized that going through those traumatic situations that I was still able to smile. I still had my Joy!!! Not only did I have it I was able to stir it up and allow it to get me through some rough times in my life and also help others stir up their Joy that exists in them as well because Joy truly exists in us all.

Crystal: Who failed you?

Joy: When I hear this question, it causes me to pause for a moment…my answer of course currently still has some hurt associated with it…I have been failed in my life by my father, mother, sisters, brothers, friends, aunties, uncles, teachers, church folks and MYSELF!

Crystal: What does it mean to go from being damaged to being delivered?

Joy: As I look back over my life I recognized that I was doing the same things over and over expecting a different result (insanity) in my realizing that fact I began to pray and ask God to help my move forward and I heard the word “SHIFT”. I began to take a deeper look at the definition of the word and one of the definitions that stuck out to me was- to move or to cause (something or someone) to move to a different place or position. I wanted to be in that different place/position once and for all, so I am huge a huge lover of acronyms and God dropped in my spirit steps to help me S.H.I.F.T.  1. Speak life over my situation 2. Help others along the journey 3. Involve Others in your mission/assignments 4. Forgive yourself then others 5. Trust God 

Crystal: How has childhood trauma shaped your adult life?

Joy: Initially my adult life was mostly centered around me masking the hurt, shame and embarrassment associated with childhood trauma.

Crystal: What message do you have for a child going through trauma?

Joy: I would tell a child that is going through any type of trauma that first it is not your fault!!! Tell someone that you trust what has happened to you and if they don’t believe you or they do nothing to help you keep telling until your voice is heard.

Crystal: What gives you joy?

Joy: Ultimately giving God glory with and through my life and Knowing that all of the things that I have been through in my life will help someone else get through their abuse, struggle, trauma or sickness.

Crystal: Have you forgiven the people who failed you?

Joy: Most definitely! The hardest person for me to forgive has been myself, however I have even managed to forgive myself as well.

Crystal: Have you taken back your power?

Joy: Yes

Crystal: In one of his sermons, T. D. Jakes said, the miracle is not in what you lost. The miracle is not in what you have consumed. Your best days are not your yesterdays. The miracle is in what you have left. What does that statement mean to you?

Joy: The statement reminds me to appreciate the things that are intangible that I believe we all take for granted- Joy, peace of mind, love, compassion for others and genuine kindness towards one another and to make sure that I am applying them to all of the relationships that I am blessed to have now and as I continue forward in this journey called life.

Crystal: What failures have you endured because you were failed?

Joy: I have failed at lots of things because the failure that I think will bother me to a certain degree for years to come will be the ending of my marriage and the feelings that I often have of letting my children down.

Crystal: Has your failures, and the failures of your childhood, led you to your purpose?

Joy: I would say with 100% certainty that my childhood has definitely led me to my purpose as an advocate for the empowerment of women and girls through unity.  

Crystal: What is Kingdom Woman Rock?

Joy: Kingdom Women Rock Outreach Ministry is a 501c3 non-profit organization that is designed to assist the needs of the under-represented population. KWR has a primary goal to build a Temporary Living Facility that will help women, children and men on a case by case basis who are homeless survivors of abuse, single parents, those who battle chronic illnesses or those who are reentering citizens.

I Failed at Homebuying, Now What?

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I Failed at Homebuying, Now What?

1.How long has Seabrook and Associates been in operations?

Seabrook and Associates has been operating since August of 2017. Bernadette became a Licensed Real Estate Agent August 2011. She became a Licensed Broker in July 2017 and is an Associate Broker at Keller Williams Realty in Stockbridge, GA.

2. What is the purpose of a realtor?

  • Consults with buyers to determine their unique wants and needs in a home
  • Advise on making offers based on expert market evaluation so you don’t “overpay”
  • A committed ally who will complete your purchase contract, present your offer, and negotiate on your behalf
  • Protects and promotes the interest of their client(s)
  • Preparation of all closing documents and guidance through the closing process with lender, closing attorney etc..
  • Assist with Post Closing Issues

3. What ideal steps should you follow to begin the home buying process?

  • Step 1 Loan Pre-Qualification: Loan Pre-Qualification is the first step in the home buying process. Pre-Qualification is a verification of credit, income, assets, etc. Pre-Qualification allows you to search for a home that is affordable for you. An application and supporting financial documents, such as paystubs, tax returns and account statements, must be submitted to your Loan Officer.
  • Step 2 Property Search: Once you are pre-qualified and you know what price range fits your personal affordability, start shopping for a new home with your real estate agent.
  • Step 3 Appraisal and Property Inspections: Once you find a home the offer to purchase is made. Price is negotiated with seller, buyer writes the offer and the seller accepts. Once the seller accepts your offer, an appraisal is ordered to identify any discrepancies between the sale price and the appraisal value. Properties are also inspected for damage and safety hazards.
  • Processor’s and Underwriter’s Review: A loan processor will review the full file, gather all information needed for credit worthiness and send all information to an underwriter who will make the final decision to approve the loan.
  • Final Loan Approval: Keep in mind; should your loan receive approval or conditional approval, there may be certain financial conditions or property conditions that must be met before your loan receives final approval.
  • Signing: Loan documents, including any escrow documents and ownership transfer deed, get sent to escrow to be signed by you, the buyer and the seller at closing.
  • Funding: A wire for the amount of the loan will be sent to the Escrow Company.
  • Confirmation of Record: The Escrow Company or Closing Attorney confirms receipt of funds from all parties. Deeds are recorded with the county and the funds are disbursed to the seller and any and all appropriate parties.

4. What are the financial benefits of homeownership?

  • Buying a home can be a wise investment
  • Homes typically increase in value over time
  • Build ownership interest – known as equity
  • Interest paid on a home mortgage is typically tax deductible.

5. I found the perfect house, but it is “under contract,” what is the next step?

  • The search must continue for homes that are active on the multiple listing systems

6. My dream home failed inspection, what is the next step?

  • Address the inspection report with the seller’s agent and/or seller.

7. The lender wants more documents and I can’t provide them; how long will this delay the buying process?

  • It depends on the documents requested and how long it will take the buyer(s) to provide the documents to the lender.

8. I have a home, but I want to purchase a new home. The problem is, my new home is contingent on the sale of my old home and time is running out. What should I do?

  • You can have your agent request an extension, with the seller’s agent. If the seller decides not to extend, then the contract will be terminated for the transaction. Because the seller probably cannot or are not willing to extend, for several reasons.

9. It’s the day before closing and we are doing the walk-through. I noticed a leaking sink, who is responsible for the repair?

  • The seller is responsible for the repair, because he/she/they still have ownership of the property. Closing can remain on schedule, providing the extent of the repair(s).

10. A week be closing, I lost my job. Will the lender cancel my loan?

  • The lender will cancel the closing. Once the buyer(s) are employed again preferably in the same line of work. New income documents will need to be provided from the current employer to determine new qualification requirements.

11. I purchased a car the week before closing and the bank re-checked my credit. They decided to cancel my home loan. What can I do to get a new loan?

  • Sell the car
  • Earn more money
  • Establish updated credit rating with new debt to income ratio etc…

12.What three mistakes do most home buyers make when purchasing a home?

  • Don’t apply or take out new credit cards, auto or personal loans during the course of your loan process
  • Don’t make any large unverifiable and un-documentable deposits or withdrawals to your checking or savings accounts.
  • Don’t quit or change employment
  • Don’t take any cash advances on credit cards to pay for your escrow deposit
  • Don’t make a ‘Contract Purchase Offer” for an amount higher than your pre-approved amount without first discussing the details with your Mortgage Loan Officer

13. In closing, what advice do you have for home buyers who failed at completing the home buying process, but are still interested in purchasing a home?

We all fail at different things every day in our lives. The key is to learn from your mistakes and continue to move forward with your dream. Loan Officers, Underwriters and Realtors all have an important role in the home buying process. If you follow the instructions and advices given to you, the process will be an easier process. When documents are requested, please provide them expeditiously to continue to keep the process on schedule.

The closing process is normally 30 days, sometimes sooner.  VA loans and loans with down payment assistance programs may take approximately 45 days to close, sometimes sooner.










Next Time

Next Time

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“Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.”

-Thomas Edison

If you don’t believe in yourself, every time and opportunity presents itself, you will say, no, maybe next time. As I prepared for my first stage play, I wanted to run, hide, and cry. I wanted to say, next time. I was scared. I thought this crazy dream had finally become too much. Call it quits! Cancel! When it snowed two days before the play, I thought, maybe this is a sign; maybe next time. I was terrified, but I am a fighter and I pushed next time out of my head, wiped my tears, prayed, and got it together.

I had given myself this opportunity and I was going to enjoy it and be a successful at it. I’d paved the way for my dreams to come true. I paved the way to create new dreams, new challenges, new goals. Next time was not a part of that dream. My fears weren’t greater than my dreams.

There is no, NEXT TIME. The time is NOW!

NEXT TIME may never come. If you give in to NEXT TIME, think of what may happen to the dreams of those counting on you. One of the actors in my stage play, ‘Tis the Season, was my daughter. If I quit, will that send her a message that she should quit. If I gave in to NEXT TIME, what will happen to her dreams.

The people in your life may think you are crazy. They will try to discourage you. They will say you are wasting your time, but only you can account for your time. If I had a dollar for every time someone said, “who do you think you are, Tyler Perry?” I would have a nice savings account.

My answer is always, no. I am not Tyler Perry. I am Crystal Holmes Myers. Then I tell them, Tyler Perry is a great example of not yielding to NEXT Time thinking.

Here are three things you can do to push passed NEXT TIME thinking:

  1. Write your goals. Statistics don’t lie. Writing down your goals is powerful. Writing down your goals will help you focus on them. Place you written goals in a place where you will see them. If you see it, you can visualize yourself doing it.
  2. Take action. Do something towards reaching your goals.
  3. Invest. Investment does not have to be a monetary. Invest in learning. Learn everything you can about what it is you want to do. Google, libraries, and magazines are free resources you can use to invest in your goal.

Take time to believe in you. I am working on my second stage play, Miracle; and my first web series, Handcuff. In addition to finishing several books. I do all of this because I no longer believe in NEXT TIME. I believe in NOW. I believe in myself and I believe in YOU. Take advantage of your time.

Live. Dream. Believe.

Much Love,





Have You Answered the Call?

Have You Answered the Call?

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Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.

–Les Brown

How many of you have been called to do something but you don’t feel the time is now? Is your phone ringing and you are hitting the ignore button? Are you rejecting your future? Are you hanging up on your purpose and possibilities? If you are, it’s time to answer the call. It’s your time!

This past weekend, I along with a room full of entrepreneurs, speakers, coaches, bloggers, radio hosts, and CEO’s answered the call made by Dr. Ruben West. We attended the Black Belt Speakers Conference held at the Hilton Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. The event was life changing. I’m still pinching myself trying to process the awesomeness that took place. If you were in the building, you would’ve left transformed and renewed. If you’d answered the call, your ears would be ringing with possibilities, purpose, and clarity.

Dr. Ruben West is a change magnet. He is a renowned speaker, coach, and mentor. There is no way you can encounter him and not feel like you are in the presence of greatness. I met Dr. West in Clemson, SC in January. My life hasn’t been the same since. After losing a great mentor, Dr. West was just what I needed. I must admit, at the time, I did not know who he was, but after interacting with him I knew I was standing in the room with greatness.

At the Black Belt Speakers Conference, Dr. West laid out the red carpet for his attendees. Not only did he train and transform his attendees, he brought along the likes of, Cheryl Wood, Trevor Otts, Che Brown, Kimberly Flowers, and so many more game changers. The information and training provided over the course of three days were mind blowing. It was information I could immediately use to transform my business, my life, and others.

Do yourself a favor and answer the call. Invest in you! Trevor Otts, Mr. Black CEO himself said, “If you stop letting failure dictate your emotional responses, you’ll be ready for success.” There is just as much to learn from failure as there is to learn from success. Stop letting failure stop you from answering the call.

If you are a speaker, CEO, blogger, or just looking to transform your life and way of thinking, I encourage you to join the BBS (Black Belt Speakers) family or allow Dr. West and his team to mentor you. The time is NOW! I promise you the return on your investment will be far greater than you ever imagined. The transformation of your mindset will be worth the leap of faith. Dr. West says it best, “If you take care of your business, it will take care of you. You will be able to take care of them; whoever your them is, whether it be your family, your community, your inner circle or strangers.” Stand in your purpose. Life is too short to hang up on greatness. Answer the call and live your best life. Serve your purpose so you can serve others.

-Crystal #answerthecall17 #bbs #speakertraining #DrRubenWest #liveyourbestlife #rubenwest #stlouis

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Hidden Figure: Jennifer Pinckney


Hidden Figure: Jennifer Pinckney

Crystal: Who is Jennifer Pinckney?

Jennifer: A quiet shy soul; widow of slain pastor/senator Clementa Pinckney; mother of 2 daughters – Eliana and Malana; librarian; enjoys hanging out with family and friends 

Crystal: What is the name of your organization?

Jennifer: Foundation

Crystal: How does your organization serve the community?

Jennifer: The foundation supports religious, educational, health care and charitable causes that Senator Pinckney had once supported. It also supports simple solution for gun control.

Crystal: What is your dream for the people you serve?

Jennifer: My dream is for the foundation to be a vital entity and household name worldwide.

Crystal: How does your organization align with your purpose?

Jennifer: Clementa was about helping those in need.  He was a voice for the voiceless.  I feel that anyone that can benefit from the foundation is better than not having it where no one benefits.

Crystal: Education and health care are two issues your organization focuses on. Why are those issues important to the communities you serve?

Jennifer: Many people aren’t receiving proper education or health care.  If you don’t live in a certain area with a certain income, then you have a tendency to receive the worst services. 

Crystal: As an advocate for changing gun laws, what change would you like to see?

Jennifer: Lengthen the wait time so that proper background checks can be done.  If you have a prior criminal record, mental illness, or you’re a known individual, group, or organization meant to do harm, you shouldn’t have access.  There should also be ways to close loop holes where people are getting guns illegally.

Crystal: As a survivor of a horrendous hate crime, has your view on the world change? How do you use your story to help others?

Jennifer: First I’ve come to realize that life is too short.  I have become more aware of issues such as gun control than ever before.  In spite of the crime, you can’t go around hating others and being afraid.  That’s what I tell and teach my daughters.  Yes you have to be careful and cautious but you still have to live.  Many people have approached me or I’ve heard that I have given them strength.  I put my trust and faith in God and that’s how I get through, plus my girls keep me going.  I help others by continuing to be the person that I’ve always have been and I speak the truth.

Crystal: What is your favorite quote?

Jennifer: “When life gets too hard to stand, kneel.”

Crystal: How do you define success?

Jennifer: Being able to give and receive love.  Being true to yourself and others.  Being able to help others. Accomplishing life goals.

Crystal: What words of inspiration can you leave the audience?

Jennifer: God will never leave you nor forsake you.  Pray continually. Be thankful.

Hidden Figure: Fleurette K Davis


Hidden Figure: Fleurette K Davis

 Crystal: Who is Fleurette K. Davis?

 Fleurette- I am a new wife and a mother to a beautiful daughter and a bonus son! I have a Doctoral Degree in Speech Language Pathology and have been practicing for 10 years. I mostly work in home health where I provide speech, language, voice, cognitive and swallowing services to adults and geriatrics. I am also a clinical educator and that position allows me to travel across the U.S. teaching on the use of speaking and swallowing valves for persons who are on mechanical ventilation with a tracheostomy.

Crystal-How important is speech therapy and how do you use it to serve your community?

 Fleurette-  So when most people hear or think speech therapy they automatically recall the back broom closet that has a lady “teaching” kids how to talk and not stutter! The field of Speech Language Pathology is very important because it encompasses the entire domain of life from birth to geriatrics. Most health persons are usually not aware of what we do as SLP’s until they find themselves in a healthcare emergency. Services we provide to the community include direct patient therapy, family education and modifications related to speech and or swallowing.

Crystal: How does your current position align with your purpose?

 FlueretteMy purpose is to build and in this career I have the ability to build people, their skills related to how they talk, think, swallow or use language. I absolutely have a passion for rehabilitating and I know that is a ministry within itself.

Crystal: Why does speech therapy mean so much to you?

 Fleurette- As a child and even now as an accomplished professional I have a stutter at times when I talk. It can be completely random from a large group of people, to talking with my mother on the telephone. Speech means so much to me because I can directly identify with one aspect of the field. There are so many things that are interconnected between the brain and how we talk, swallow and breathe that being aware and skilled in this facet to help others is important to me.

Crystal: Is speech therapy important for non-verbal individuals?

Fleurette: Yes! Non-verbal persons can use gestures or speech output devices to “be their voice” for example. Most people think the ONLY way to communicate is with verbal speech, the sounds and words you hear. But think about non-verbal communication. When your mom gives you “the look” and you know that it means “uh oh I’m in big trouble” LOL. Or we can look at body language and facial expressions of people when they don’t approve or if they love something. We all do it everyday. Speech Therapy brings light to these issues and it gives non-verbal individuals a chance to communicate their needs with others around them after education about “communication” is provided.

Crystal: What other issues does speech therapists address other than speech?

Fleurette: I love to tell people that Speech Language Pathologists address issues from the head to the waist. Cognition (thinking skills) for patients who may have Dementia or Traumatic Brain Injuries, Speech (verbal speech) which is what most people are familiar with like correcting sounds, stuttering, etc, Voice (quality of sounds) for patients who have damaged their vocal folds by long term abuse like yelling or singing or having a tube/tracheostomy, Language (how we use and understand words or concepts) for patients needing help with social skills or using appropriate language ,and Dysphagia (swallowing difficulties) for patients who may have had a stroke for example.

Crystal: How do you bring therapy to life for young children?

Fleurette: I strictly work with adults, so I will answer from that vantage point. Speech Language Pathology with adults and geriatric patients can be very entertaining and non-traditional. I try to take the patient’s home environment like using pictures to recall family member names for Dementia clients, or I’ll have the family cook a favorite food item so we can practice chewing and food manipulation tasks for patients with swallowing difficulties. Sometimes I’ll have patients sing or recite something from memory (Lords Prayer or Pledge of Allegiance) if they were in a public speaking position. It can get very creative!

Crystal: How do you use sign language to stimulate speech and language development?

Fleurette: Sign Language is mostly beneficial for those already familiar with and using the modality. For adults who recently have been hospitalized and are now receiving home care services may have difficulty communicating their basic wants and needs. I usually assist my colleagues by signing to the patient instructions, thus incorporating previous language skills into our therapy sessions. Most times, patients who sign are so excited to see hearing people sign so there is an increase in their level of participation.

Crystal: Voice impairment can lead to social isolation; how do you help patients avoid this?

Fleurette: I train and educate people on how to avoid damaging their vocal folds. This may include adequate hydration and proper use of pitch when talking or even singing. When people don’t like their voice or how the tone sounds I recommend speech therapy to address voice use issues that could be damaging. In addition, I always recommend referrals to counselors who can help address social and personal issues that may stem from voice impairments.

Crystal: How do you define philanthropy?

Fleurette: Money paired with Action

Crystal: Did you know the Hidden Figures story prior to the movie?

Fleurette: No I never heard of any of those awesome ladies.

Crystal: Who is your Hidden Figure/mentor?

Fleurette: I’m completely unsure…maybe he or she is still “hidden”….I’m actively searching however

Crystal: What is your favorite quote?

Fleurette: A wise woman builds her house, but a fool tears it down with her hands. – Proverbs 14:1

Crystal: How do you define success? 

Fleurette: Success is when you do the heavy labor and excruciating work but everyone benefits and enjoys the fruit

Crystal: What is your favorite book?

Fleurette:I have so many!! My first favorite book would be Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree

Crystal: What words of inspiration can you leave the audience?

Fleurette: Stay encouraged and committed to your dreams….never ever quit!

Hidden Figure: Erica Sutton


Hidden Figure: Erica Sutton

Crystal: Who is Erica Sutton?

Erica: Erica Sutton is an educator and life coach. A leader working towards greatness in all aspects of her life and all those she encounters.

Crystal: How long have you been a teacher and what subject do you teach?

Erica: I have been a teacher for 13 years. Currently I teach math and social studies but I’ve taught all k-5 subject matters.

Crystal: What do you love about what you do?

Erica: I love that each year I have 180 days to influence the future to be great and inspire others.

Crystal: What does success look like in your classroom?

Erica: In my classroom, success looks like students being ok to not be right as they understand how important their voice and thoughts are. I help them find success in believing that what they think is valued.

Crystal: How do you inspire students to do their best?

Erica: I give my best to inspire students to do the same.

Crystal: What do you want students to say about your classroom when they leave?

Erica: I want students to say that they aren’t afraid to voice their thoughts because they were always encouraged to express that right.

Crystal: If you could share one piece of advice for aspiring teachers, what would it be?

Erica: Get to know your students, experience them outside of school, form a connection with their parents, and always let them know that even after they leave your class they can always come to you for help.

Crystal: As a teacher, how did Hidden Figures inspire you?

Erica: It inspired me because so often people are impressed with my work in the classroom, but are not always supportive of my career goals. I was inspired to work even harder towards my career goals because you cannot contain greatness forever when it’s what is needed to make the difference.

Crystal: Did you know the Hidden Figures story prior to the movie?

Erica: No, I didn’t.

Crystal: What do you think of the concept of human computers?

Erica: The things we use most often, such as cars and the transportation systems, were all created before computers. The human mind puts these things to work and I think that it is truly a gift to be so talented.

Crystal: Who is your Hidden Figure/mentor?

Erica: Honestly, struggle is the concept that drives me. Experiencing so much of it as a child giving less than my best was never an option.

Crystal: What is your favorite quote?

Erica: “Always see your dreams through”

Crystal: How do you define success?

Erica: For me, success is defined by the comfort one finds in the work they do. When you have reached success, work isn’t difficult; happiness isn’t hard to obtain; and peace is always seen in your smile.

Crystal: What is your favorite book?

Erica: My favorite book is “The Dream Keeper and Other Poems” by Langston Hughes.

Crystal: What words of inspiration can you leave the audience?

Erica: Value who you are even when people are not cheering or praising the good you do. Continue to do things with a kind heart, grace, and pride.