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Ms. Selma White is from Elizabeth City, NC. She is a Mother, Grandmother, retired Army Sergeant, Owner of Stella’s Convenience Store, and a seasoned Real Estate Investor. Ms. White aspired to be a businesswoman early in life as she saw it as an opportunity to assist and invest in her local community. She knew the importance of business ownership, particularly, as it relates to inspiring others.
Her twenty years of military training equipped her with the leadership tools needed to become a successful business owner and operator. An amazing story of hers is being the only female in her battalion while on active duty in the 70s. She's broken many barriers in life, but this experience ranks at the top as it was one of the first that taught her how to be resilient...paving the way for her entrepreneurial spirit.
Even though running a community convenience store (Stella’s) over the last twenty five (25) years or so has its challenges, she wouldn’t change it for the world. It is a staple of the community offering some of the best soul food in North Carolina. It also allows her to commune with a wealth of people on varying levels. Someday, she plans to devote more time and effort into her real estate investing business. The additional freedom it offers will ultimately help to enhance her life even more as well as the lives of others.
Ms. White believes God must be at the forefront of everything to be successful. Family closely follows, believing in self, and going out and doing “YOU” are extremely important as well. This support system and way of thinking fuels her desire to help push various social issues that will ultimately show respect and love for country. Initiating or joining a platform that facilitates this would be ideal. Hats off to this accomplished businesswoman and highly decorated Army Veteran.
Copyright ©️ 2021
Michael “Big Mike” McDonald is from Mobile, AL and now lives in Atlanta, GA with his lovely wife, Amber. He usually kicks his day off engaging in discussions with his wife over a robust cup of coffee. An Air Force veteran, standing over 6’5, Big Mike is an opposing figure by many. However, his seemingly menacing size isn’t what keeps your attention once you get beyond his shadow. One of Big Mike’s God-given talents is his relatability. He has a natural ability to engage with anyone on a multitude of topics which bodes well with how he spends a lot of his time.
He is currently a respected podcaster and budding entrepreneur. You may have heard of his podcast, “The Big Mike Drop”, if you haven’t, you really need to check it out! For the most part, it’s a social activism podcast he created in 2019. Its mission is to be the number one source of honest, fair, and reliable commentary on the issues that face the Black community today. His love for history and social studies, equips him quite well for tackling the tough societal issues of today during his shows. He's already a force to be reckoned with and recently completed his bachelor's degree in sociology, 'WATCH OUT"! Big Mike also owns and operates The Hang Ups Boutique with his wife. Check out the latest apparel as you t this next-level shopping experience.
Big Mike has traveled to Jamaica, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Sicily, Ireland, England, and to over twenty states. He enjoys shooting guns, recording his very own raps, listening to podcasts, reading, and helping to nurture his son, Che. Lastly, he relishes quality time with his Mom, along with the rest of the family, but his greatest motivation comes from his beloved late Grandmother.
Copyright ©️ 2021
Brianna Roberson has experienced living in several midwestern cities throughout the state of Iowa and the Kansas City, MO area. However, after being away from family amid the pandemic, she decided to move back to her beloved hometown of Waynesboro, Ga. The move worked wonders as it relates to her mental health and comfort level. In fact, Brianna was motivated to open a coffee shop in Waynesboro by the name of “SoulBean CoffeeHouse”. She says, “Opening a coffee shop was a passion project of mine, as I wanted to create a serene environment for friendly meet-ups, host informative events for the community, and provide an atmosphere to read, study, or meditate.” It seems all of this is steadily coming to fruition and some!
To help keep her grounded, Brianna keeps a collection of strategically separated sticky notes…in piles labeled good and bad. On the seemingly bad days, she scoops a sticky note from the “good day” pile to be reminded brighter days are coming. Even though she feels the organization of her notes are chaotic, God leads her to the right message(s) to pump her up for that day. She also picks a sticky note from the “bad day” pile on the days she deem “good”, to ensure she is humbled and reminded that everything she works for is for a greater purpose. Inspirational messages are incorporated in her journaling of the good and bad as well. Perhaps, Brianna’s greatest motivation stems from her family. They supported her through the single most difficult time in her life…quitting her job during the height of the pandemic and founding her coffee shop. Still, they spend countless hours volunteering to help her further her dream. She genuinely believes she would have given up in “month three” if it were not for her family’s unwavering support. Hence, another reason Brianna will be forever grateful for their love.
She has traveled to many countries but is starting to focus on traveling to less-traveled states throughout the U.S. The most beautiful place she has traveled to so far was South Africa. She enjoyed everything about the country and would probably jump at the opportunity to live there! However, the venture she enjoyed most was a week-long road trip around Washington state. Brianna stated, “A good road trip is the most ideal scenario as it does not give the sense of being tied to a certain destination…just driving along to experience what multiple cities have to offer.” She plans to recreate this experience in another state, but for a much longer period.
In the Spring of 2015, Brianna received her Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Augusta State University. She also earned a Masters in Accountancy from St. Ambrose University in the Fall of 2017. Even though she had no formal entrepreneurial training, her vision and drive in owning a coffee shop constantly equips her with a wealth of knowledge to effectively run her business while passing along lasting “nuggets of flavor” to her family. Brianna believes her love for a good latte may have played a vital role in her entrepreneurial vision as well. She is the latest example of what pursuing your dreams look like!
Copyright ©️ 2021
Arleeta Outlaw was reared in Burke County, Georgia and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a Georgia Certified Educator with over twenty (20) years of public-school teaching. She has played several different roles in education (e.g., Mentor Teacher, Master Teacher training College students, Grade Level Leader (4 years), Hiring Team, Club Sponsor, School Council (2 years), etc.). Her performance in these roles earned her “Teacher of the Month” and a slew of other prominent accolades.
Another noteworthy hat she wears is that of an Entrepreneur. In fact, she owns and operates two businesses; one geared towards education, Eagle Academics, LLC, that can be found on Facebook and Instagram at "eagleacademics". It offers individualized enrichment and remedial tutoring sessions for elementary, middle, and high school students, online via ZOOM, for the convenience of families. Preparation for the SAT is also available as well as best educational practices for parents to equip them with the tools needed to effectively assist their kids while at home. She is also the sole proprietor of a wellness business which she has run for over five years, Lipstick Inc. Products and other information can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at Lipstick Inc as well as https://bellame.com/lipstickinc .
Arleeta is always on the go, but her daily motivation derives from her four children and her relationship with God. She wakes each day with a grateful heart and a desire to be a blessing to someone. She starts with a prayer, listens to a sermon, drinks her herbal tea while listening to Gospel music. She enjoys spending as much time as possible with her children due to the amazingly close bond they share! She loves to cook, and recently, developed a love for painting and gardening. In addition, she loves reading and journaling, inasmuch, she aspires to add the title of Author to her list of titles. She also desires to complete her doctoral studies in Education.
She has traveled to Jamaica on a mission which afforded her the opportunity to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Middle School students. The summer of 2019, she and her children were blessed to travel to Alaska on another grand mission. Their travels have taken them to and through multiple states. Arleeta has earned a Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Augusta State University, a Masters of Education in Instructional Technology from Troy State University, as well as an Educational Specialist in Reading from Nova South Eastern University.
Copyright ©️ 2020
Jason “Jay Boogie” Riggins is a native of Chicago, IL. He left the Windy City in after high school to enlist in the United States Air Force. Jason was fortunate enough to travel the world while serving his country. He lived in places like Japan, Baghdad, Turkey, England, Germany, Italy, Kuwait, and many more. Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB) in South Dakota was his first duty station. However, his second one, Robins, AFB in Warner Robins, GA, would be his most memorable. Robins is where he had to cope with the loss of his mother. Jason once stated, “I had to grow up fast after my Mother passed.” He cultivated what turned out be many lifelong friendships as he grew even stronger. Jason became a member of a rap group alongside Michael McDonald (also known as Malice Black) where they recorded a song about his mother and Michael’s grandmother. Perhaps, the greatest memory of Robins was meeting his soulmate, Daydra, who would soon become his wife and best friend.
Jason recently retired from the Air Force and currently lives in Little Elm, TX. Soaking up the retired life, he spends the bulk of his time with Daydra. You can find them out painting their town, traveling beyond their local region, or even having their own dance parties, as Jason is a seasoned disc jockey. He is writing when he is not engaging with his wife. In fact, Jason is a published Author. In 2016, his first book, “What A Man Really Wants To Say…About Relationships” was published, and can be purchased on Amazon, which he dedicated to the memory of JoAnn Marie Riggins, his Mother, Mentor, Motivator, and Angel. His second book should be out by the Fall of 2020. Jason even wrote and published a poem at the age of nine!
In addition to this list of accomplishments, he skillfully secured an acting role as a 50. Cal Gunner in the critically acclaimed movie, “The Lone Survivor”. For fun, Jason studies those entertainers who paved the way and listens to great music. He enjoys playing with his dogs as well as writing books and manuscripts. Jason has amassed a master’s degrees in Criminal Justice and in Business.
Copyright ©️ 2020
Kristle Jones grew up just south of Augusta, GA, in Waynesboro, the county seat of Burke County. Kristle has accomplished so much in life, considering her humble beginnings. Doing a lot with a little, amid family and good friends, is what many folks in this part of Georgia experience…a reason why it is such a close-knit community.
Kristle was a top-notch student-athlete in high school and enrolled in college upon graduating. She excelled, but soon found herself not focusing on her studies. She decided to enter the workforce and prospered, due to her exemplary work ethic. Several years later she returned to college where she earned an Associates of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice & Law Enforcement Administration. Aside from having and raising her beautiful daughter, Keira, she says completing her college degree is one of her greatest accomplishments.
Another noteworthy accomplishment is becoming a successful entrepreneur. In 2020 she launched Sunflower Inspiration & Co. Visit on Facebook and on Instagram at @sunflowerinspirationco. She stated, “It was actually a hobby of mine that turned into a business venture with me making all sorts of crafts. Charm bracelets, beaded bracelets, hand soaps, body butter, foot scrubs etc.” Kristle’s life goal is to ultimately work for herself. It appears she is well on her way given the experience, knowledge, skills, and other abilities, she’s amassed over the years.
For the last six years or so, Kristle has worked as a Client Services Professional for a major human resources management software and services provider. She is a woman of tremendous faith that she nurtures on the daily. Taking long walks, meditating, and listening to various music are some of the things she does for motivation and inspiration. Kristle enjoys frequent conversations with her mom, family gatherings, making her crafts, traveling, and exploring new foods.
Copyright ©️ 2020
*The Feature Stories (Profiles) are original works written by Chris Jones, the Creator of LifeWriting.com. They are copyrighted in the year of publication.
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