No Talking! Just Do it!

By Dr. Sheila Pope

One year ago, I moved into my first office. My friend Michelle and I celebrated. Now, I am working from my home office and shifting my visions and focus. My business address has changed and so have I. I am my brand; I do not have limits, except for those that exist in my mind. My faith in God has expanded and my focus on ways to generate revenue for others and my businesses have become more focused and strategic!

I am amazed at how much change has taken place since I took these photos a year ago! I am grateful for all of the support, lessons learned, and the mindset changes I have had in the two years since I have been a full-time entrepreneur. My clients have taught me so much about conducting business with integrity.

Michelle and I Celebrating

The View

Our Chats!

Thanks to State Representative Shawn Thierry, I realized I am a Community Leader. I never heard someone else address me in that term. I am normally called an educator. I have transitioned into another arena! I have served children, seniors, and community organizations in Sunnyside for four years. As a small business owner, Precinct 12 Chair in Brazoria County, and advocate, I have advocated for students at Worthing, TSU, Capella University, and I have advocated for senior citizens.

I have attended community meetings, political events and conventions (Democrat), graduations, served on Boards of outstanding nonprofits such as Smaart Incubator and Junior Achievers and Sunnyside Silver Hair Senior Group, Inc. I have served as a community partner with the Peoples United Summit and I founded the Boss Ladies Professional Network.

My latest transformation into a television producer of Conversations With Dr. Pope is the result of years of listening, watching, sharing, working with other people, and understanding there is a need to tell the stories of those no one else sees as valuable. I want people to see what I see as I do the work in the community.

From the time I launched into full-time entrepreneurship, I became a full-time community and business leader. It all happened while I was actively doing the work! Here is the shocking part, I never saw my evolution because I was living it not talking about it.

The Producer

By Dr. Sheila Pope

I took time from editing my client’s dissertations to learn how to become a Producer via Houston Media Source. I took the first step by completing the orientation. I plan to have my own series soon. During orientation, I met two new fierce Boss Ladies in the process! The two young ladies were: Spoken word artist, Ebony Rose and business owner Tiffany Nicole.

Tiffany was the tall, beautiful version of myself! While I am was telling her about the Boss Ladies, she was on her phone requesting to join the group.

Who are Boss Ladies? Boss Ladies are a group of female small business owners who share information about the challenges and the benefits of running a small business. We support and encourage each others.

During the touring part of the orientation, I kept saying to Ebony, “I know you”. I kept wondering where I had met Tiffany too. During our exchange, I immediately recognized, Ebony’s power and confidence. I listened while Tiffany praised Ebony’s talent. In Boss Ladies, we celebrate each other’s gifts, accomplishments, and events. Ebony did not boast about her poetry skills, but I could see she knew she was great! I told her to own it. I do not believe women should down play their talents.

I was so excited to see their hustle in the parking lot. They were lining up their sponsors to become producers and so was I. They were thinking and doing some next-level hustling! I was doing the same thing. We all were working on our plans.

Also, during the orientation, Tiffany asked about the Houston Media Source’s Radio Program. I plan to have a radio shows too. Both of them planned to use public access television to promote their talent and their businesses.

There are three main goals of Boss Ladies. We promote, support, and encourage female business owners. When I started Boss Ladies, I did not ask for any membership dues or charge advertising fees. However, this month we are changing. I want to grow the group and expand our activities.

Special moments like meeting Ebony Rose and Tiffany Nicole remind me of the reasons I created Boss Ladies. As a small business owner, I have experienced great highs and so serious lows. Yet I am moving forward because of encounters like this.

I had a serious business matter that was weighing heavily on my mind during orientation. While I was trying to figure out how I was going to raise money to keep my office space, thinking of ways to use television, and trying to decide if it was time to have a radio program, God was lining up my appointed time to meet two Boss Ladies like myself. I am looking forward to my new adventure in television production.


The Green Room

The Editing Room

Serving Senior Citizens Over 60 in Sunnyside with Mayor of Sunnyside Sandra Massie Hines

by Dr. Sheila Pope

I have loved working with senior citizens for most of my life because of Zeffie Lee Frazier, my aunt, who took care of me while my parents worked. While my cousins Lorraine Joseph, Charlie Mae, and Joann Smith were at school, I was with Muh (Zeffie).

My days were filled with activities. I watched the Edge of Night. I collected the eggs out of the hen house. I ate homemade biscuits and drank coffee at the age of six. I think Muh was around 50 when I was six. Muh’s love and nurturing shielded me from my mother’s and father’s dysfunctional relationship. Muh helped me figure out who I was as a child and as a woman. I thought I was white for a year or two because of my complexion and my long hair (Lol!).

When I was 16, I returned to Winnfield. Louisiana. I would sit on the front porch with Uncle Charlie and Muh and tell them my dreams. I know they were over 65 at the time. I was ambitious at a young age. She believed me. On our many fishing trips, she had me drive her and Alice to go fishing. Alice and Muh we well over sixty and very independent. I dumped spit jars filled with Snuff.

My first job was in Winnfield, Lousiana at Troy’s Supermarket. Muh’s encouraged me to apply for the job. She explained to me why it was important for people to work for a living. She was my first cheerleader. I am not sure when dementia started to steal memories of me from Muh but I never lost my memories of her and my childhood.

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I have advocated for senior citizens because of the love and kindness I received from a senior citizen named Zeffie Frazier. People do not know, I fought for seniors like Marie Johnson from Acres Homes and for the ladies over 55 who worked in the kitchen over at Spring Branch Hospital before I became a teacher. Those ladies almost died from the stress and phsycial requirements of working in a hot industrial sized kitchen. Working with those senior citizens made me respect the value of a college degree. I was not designed to wash dishes in a hospital kitchen. I washed those dishes long enough for me to get to know each of ladies I was assigned to help. I was able to help them obtain their disability, helped one retire (hospital tried to fire her), and helped them obtain their social security. I even learned how to help one senior obtain her widow’s benefits.

I was never paid with money. I gained knowledge of how government systems worked. I learned literacy was critical. Many of the seniors I helped could not read. I learned I was smart and could do more by myself than I thought. After advocating for the seniors at Spring Branch, I thought I was going to become a lawyer. I became an educator instead. I still wonder how those seniors worked in the kitchen for 20 years.

I am sharing my story because the Mayor of Sunnyside, Sandra Massie Hines helped me to refocus my vision. She reminded me that money is not everything. She reminded me that I have a greater calling and God will order my steps to do more than I have ever thought. I woke up ready to continue my passion to do what I am called to do in business and in the Sunnyside community serving children and senior citizens.

Ms. Sandra Massie Hines and Harris County Sheriff Department

You are Appreciated!

God has partnered me with two community leaders in Sunnyside: Mr. Allen Provost, Treasurer of Peoples United Summit and Mayor Sandra Massie Hines, founder of Junior Achievers and Sunnyside Silver Hair Senior Group, Inc so I can stay focused and walk by faith to serve senior citizens and children while I continue to build my businesses.

I want to encourage each my readers to listen to your inner voice to help giuide you do the thing you know you are called to do in business and in the community. I want you to know serving others and volunteering are underrated. Being happy, helping others, and being at peace is priceless.

Time is Up!

by Dr. Sheila Pope

I love Netflix’s documentaries on the fashion world. I love to see how someone becomes the “it” of the fashion world. I love to see the mental struggles it takes for the fashion designers to rise above the competition to become super human. One day, I ran across

netflix

Netflix’s “Inside British Vogue” and found it to be very interesting because of the editor-in-chiefs’ longevity at British Vogue. At the time of the documentary, Alexandra Shulman had been the editor-in-chief for 25 years. Alexandra relied on the magazine’s fashion director, Lucinda Chambers to help her manage Vogue. Lucinda Chambers had been at the British Vogue for 31 years at the time of filming. Alexandra and Lucinda’s longevity at a company is almost unheard of in any industry. I love learning from powerful women in any industry. However, I think I respect female CEOs in fashion industry because their creations impact people’s choices in their style and the way they present themselves to the world.

The filmaker, Richard Macer, followed the Editor-in-chief, Alexandra Shulman, and her staff around for nine months. During the filming, the cameras captured how several powerful women in the fashion industry made things happen. More important, they captured how the elite and those traveling in the circles of the elite behaved. While interviewing Lucinda Chambers about her time at the magazine, Lucinda’s comments jarred me. First, she said a few negative, but honest, things about the fashion industry.

Lucinda Chambers

Lucinda Chambers, former fashion director of British Vogue.

Lucinda Chambers admitted people did not need all of the stuff the fashion industry pushed on consumers. She explained how she would never be able to leave the magazine on her own. She said someone would have to let her go because she was unable to make the choice herself. Finally, in a bold statement, she clarified that she knew one day someone would tell her that her time was up.

After watching the documentary, I decided to follow Alexandra Shulman on Instagram. I discovered she had been replaced after 25 years by Edward Enninful. Then, I read

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Times Running Out!

Lucinda Chambers was fired in one conversation that took less than three minutess. “A month and a half ago I was fired from Vogue,” she says. “It took them three minutes to do it. I didn’t leave. I was fired” (Young, 2017).

Lucinda Chambers was furious about the way the she was told her time was up. She spoke out in the media and was pressured to recant her story about the firing. After 36 years at company, her career ended in three minutes! It is sad, but it does not take long to end someone else’s career. Lucinda Chambers knew the day would come when she would be shown the door, but when it came she was not ready. She was furious. To be honest, I was perplexed at her response. Was she angry over how it was done or was she angry that it was done? She admitted on camera that she had stayed past her time. Sometimes leaders give too much of their personal and professional lives to other peoples’ company.

Business People hangout together at coffee shop

Everyone Knows Your Business

Moreover, I was shocked that Mrs. Chambers thought no one from upper management was aware she was going to be fired. After working with everyone so closely, maybe she felt someone in her circle would have given her a heads up. I have found people will always protect their own livelyhood first. After working in fashion for 31 years, you would think she would have known this too.

I wrote about Lucinda Chambers because she is a woman that I felt so many emotions about regarding business. I respected her dedication to British Vogue, but I questioned if I could give 31 years of my life to someone else’s vision, someone else’s company; I realized I could not do it today. However, 10 years ago, I would have considered retiring from a school district. I understand the power that comes from working for a company like Vogue. I can understand Lucinda Chambers’ desire to stay on well past her time. I understand how easy it is to think your loyality equates to earning the company’s loyality. After reading the article and watching the documentary, I really understand that when you know your time is up, you need to leave before they ask you.

Reference
, S. “Fired British Vogue fashion director slams magazine she worked at for 3 decades, says she hasn’t ‘read Vogue in years” July 4, 2017.

I Stand with Worthing High School!

by Dr. Sheila Pope

Last night, I attended the Worthing High School and Woodson Community Meeting. I wanted to show my support for my former students and my former colleagues at Worthing High School. I went to hear Worthing’s outcome from Wanda Adams, Dr. Latham, and Dr. Cranbill for myself. I am so glad I attended the meeting.

First, it was an awesome feeling to see my former students the moment I got out of my car. They found me with my new vehicle. lol! They still know my voice. They looked

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Worthing High School Graduation June 2018

great! I am so proud of them. I look forward to seeing all of them graduate in June 2018! I have a few more students that I taught that will graduate in 2019. I came for them too! I also enjoyed sitting in a well-lit auditorium! Yes, we could see each other and we could see the data, newsletters, and other handouts due to new lights, new paint, and new SMARTboards used in the auditorium. When I worked at Worthing for three years, we did not have light or technology in the auditorium. I left in 2016. Good leadership understands nothing get recognized in the dark!

Next, I respected the way Board Trustee Wanda Adams allowed the principals of Woodson and Worthing share all of their positives before sharing the faith of both schools. Both principals acknowledged their staff and their teachers. They were their own press agents! No one could say that new leadership had not made a difference at both schools.

I respect the position Trustee Wanda Adams is in, but I wish she had the COURAGE and

Wanda Adams

Board of Trustee Member Wanda Adams

CONVICTION to just shot straight sometimes! I understand she has to be guarded, but you can ADMIT Worthing MIGHT close. You need to have told parents, You cannot control the outcome of 10 years of negligence on and off your watch! Sometimes, you have to address the elephant in the room, but still speak with hope and not recklessness.

Dr. Latham and Trustee Wanda Adams acknowledged Dr. Campbell and the principal at Woodson were working hard to change the culture of the schools. Dr. Latham said, she supported their leadership and hoped the new PARTNERS would keep them in their current positions. Unfortunately, both principals might lose their jobs because new organizations tend to bring in their own folks! Under the new partnership, HISD does not have ANY say in hiring and firing of staff!

It was clear to me that Dr. Latham maybe the new interim Superintendent of HISD; she does not plan to change leadership at the two schools while she has control of Woodson and Worthing. However, it was also clear to me TEA and Dr. Latham did not agree on key points.

Dr. Latham said the district was going to recommend a partnership with a nonprofit that had a successful record of turning schools around. They prefer higher education entities. She said partnership would not be charter schools nor the nonprofit from Boston mentioned earlier this year. The new focus of Worthing and Woodson would be the International Baccalaureate Program. This seems to be an odd choice, but not worth challenging now. New partnerships will have their own plans. Dr. Latham believes both schools will benefit from a new rigorous IB program.

Dr. Latham said the partnerships would last for three years. The partnerships would be effective immediately in August 2018-2019 school year. The partnerships would have total control of schools that were failing. The partnerships could hire/fire who they wanted to immediately. Therefore, teachers and staff COULD be FIRED due to performance issues or budget issues by June 2018.

Wanda Adams said she would not SUPPORT closing HISD schools. However, TEA does not need Trustee Wanda Adam’s support to make the decisions to close and reopen (reset) failing schools. HISD will submit the application/contract for partnership by April 12th. At the next school board meeting, decisions will be finalized by HISD. Dr. Latham said HISD would publish partnership contracts; however, Dr. Cranbill, TEA rep, said the contracts would not be published. TEA will announce their decisions after HISD submits their complete packages for partnerships on April 30th.

By April 30th, HISD will submit all the names of staff, teachers, and leadership for all 10 failing schools. Some staff/teachers will know their employment status before/on April 30th. HISD will submit the new configurations of the failing schools by April 30th. For example, Dr. Latham announced Woodson, would only serve Pre-K through 3rd grade under HISD new application/partnership. Teachers in grades 4th-8th will be fired or moved around because of HISD restructuring of its campuses.

TEA will tell the district what it will do on by June 2018. If TEA does not accept HISD application/partnership agreement, Worthing will be RESET. Dr. Latham said under reset plan, Worthing will be a 9th-grade center. Students currently in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade will go to another high school that IS NOT in Improvement Required Status. HISD will bus students to their new schools. Dr. Latham did not give the names of new schools nor did she act as if TEA might disregard their partnership agreements.

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In June, TEA Will Announces Its Plans

I was happy to see Dr. Pretta Vandible Stallworth attend the meeting representing Houston Community College as District 9 Trustee. She is an alumna of Worthing. She has great plans to partner with Worthing High School to provide trades/skill credit classes off campus at Houston Community College@ Reed/288 location. However, it seemed like she and Dr. Campbell needed to talk more about their SHARED vision.

Dr. Campbell announced Worthing planned to provide Teacher Education classes, Hotel and Restaurant classes, and Agriculture classes during 2018-2019. With all respect to the Worthing Committee for the efforts, but I DO NOT LIKE the choices. Dr. Campbell said they conducted a survey and the choices were a result of a survey. Maybe the committee needed to try a couple other methods to get more input from students to see what they wanted. We have to listen to Worthing Students!

Worthing students would benefit from ROTC, welding, cosmetology, air conditioning and refrigeration, auto mechanics, Chef programs, and Dual Credit English, government, history, and psychology courses ON CAMPUS and off too. The classes should be offered to 10th grade – 12th-grade students. I thought Worthing was offering these classes this school year, but the plans fell through once again!

The community meeting did not have as many people as I had hoped. There were a few incidents but at the end of the meeting, I walked away thinking Wanda Adams and HISDneeded to prepare for TEA rejecting their plans. They needed to start thinking of how to move forward if TEA suggests a RESET. Having a contingency plan is WISE. I also felt they should have invited a potential partner to talk to the community and other stakeholders. It would have been nice to hear a potential partners’ plans to turn things around.

It was good to see Mr. Marcus McGee, Mr. Gerry Wayne Monroe, Rev. Curtis Dockery, Sheryl Scott Taylor representing State Representative Shawn Thierry, Lighthouse for Students and representatives from Congress Woman Sheila Jackson Lee, Commissioner Rodney Ellis, Urban League, and all of the principals from the South Districts out to support VB Evan E. Worthing and Woodson. I will attend the school board meeting on April 12th! I hope to see you there!

At the meeting, we will see the outcomes of the games that have been played with our children’s futures. We will see who can admit change is necessary and see how HISD moves forward. We will see their new vision for 10 failing schools and their new attempt to turn things around.pexels-photo-910330184259237.jpeg

The Official Announcement!

By Dr. Sheila Pope

Several women have asked me to share my journey to build my family through the adoption process. I have a working title and a clear vision of wear I am going with my narrative.

adoption

Adopting is a labor of love!

For two years, I said I would write an e-book using iBook Author to create this fantastic e-book filled with videos and photos to document my journey. I tried to get all of the necessary items to make it happen. I am happy to say I scratched that approach. I will share some great photos in the book, but they will be limited.

Change of Plans

Finally, I sat down a couple of months ago and started the book without all of the junk! I have several chapters written. I am proud to announce that I have set a timeline to finish. I am going to publish this book on several formats. It will be published via Apple; then, I am going to have my publisher publish it in paperback. If sales are great, then we will go to hardback.

The Official Announcement

I decided to let my followers know my new book will be released in March! Five years ago, I published “Writing Essentials: Strategies to Master Freshmen English and Writing Placement Exams” (ISBN: 978-1-61549-765-2).  It was a textbook, but this book is not a textbook. I have a new publisher and I know what to expect this time around. Moreover, the new book is a personal story which has been more difficult to write. My fear of sharing its content has been more difficult than I anticipated. I am not comfortable sharing all of my fears, but I am going to release them. I am grateful I adopted three children, but the process took three years to finish.

img_20180123_215051_137439233464.jpgIt took some time to get my thoughts together and to decide what I wanted to share about the process, but I have my direction and I am working consistently on writing. I am being considerate as I write because I was not the only person that went through my journey.  It is important to tell our story correctly and with respect to my children’s privacy.  I will continue to post as the deadline nears on my social media platforms.