It’s Day 310 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and Joel Osteen’s sermon reminded me that as the first person in my family to earn a Masters degree, I’ve set a precedent. He was talking about a young African American man, Ejayy DeVaughn, who grew up in Compton, California – one of the roughest neighborhoods in America – and was accepted into Harvard. When he said, “Straight outta Compton” – referencing the 1988 film that depicted life in Southern California and made the phrase a part of pop and urban culture – “to Harvard” – it resonated with me. Recently at a birthday party, I met a young lady who graduated from my alma matter, Walnut Hills High School, a top nationally ranked college preparatory school. When she asked where I grew up and I replied “Avondale”, she came back with “Straight out of the A, baby!” It’s not Compton, but it could be. I won’t go into all the reasons that’s so; let’s just say many of us didn’t make it out alive, let alone to attend college. While I didn’t attend an Ivy League school like Ejayy, I’m proud of getting a Masters and setting a precedent for my daughter and other young women to pursue their educational goals – even when the odds are stacked against them.
And boy were they stacked against me! With what felt like more than my share of Ds (the challenges women face), including dysfunctional relationships, divorce, domestic court issues, diagnosis, etc., twenty years after earning a bachelors, I earned a graduate degree in Leadership and Coaching with a coaching certification. A few minutes after submitting my capstone project, I went to fill up my gas tank for the week. I seldom ever do that on a Sunday night, however, when I pulled up behind the car in front of me and saw the above license plate – I read it as a noun vs. a verb – it felt as though God Himself celebrated my accomplishment!
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Masters level graduate, I’m so thankful for my education. It and my faith are what have gotten me out of some pretty abysmal situations – like being destitute, depressed and ready to die. Instead, I took my education (an Associates and a Bachelors at the time), and worked my way up out of the Ds and into dream jobs – as an Early Childhood Education Center Director, a Training Consultant, and then a Leadership Coach. The passion I developed in the latter is what compelled me to pursue an advanced degree. Then I landed a job as the Director of a coaching program. Today, eleven years after sleeping in a hooptie AKA ghetto car, my coaching agency, Pink Collar Savvy & Chic is taking off. To my knowledge, no one else in my family owns a business. Guess that means in addition to setting one regarding education, I’m setting a precedent in entrepreneurialism, too.
How are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about setting educational or other precedents in your family? In the workplace?
Be savvy & chic,
~Pink Collar Coach