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.

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 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 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 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 school 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 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 due restructuring of 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 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 suggest a RESET. Having a contingency plan is WISE. I also felt they should have invited a potential partner to talk to 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

After the First Year!

by Dr. Sheila Pope

Decision 2

Today, I had the realization that on January 30, 2017, I walked away from a career and job that I loved. My health could not withstand the stress that I encountered from constant harassment on my job as an educator during the last few months of 2016. I am still an educator, but in December of 2016, I knew I needed a RESET. By nature, I am a fighter. If someone attacks me mentally and/or physically, I am going to do everything in my power to stop them. This battle was a not a street fight; it was a spiritual and mental battle. I was able to walk away, but I was traumatized. I never understood WHY the harassment started. I was loyal to the school; I loved the students; I demonstrate I could teach in urban high school in a community with high crime rates; I demonstrated I could raise STAAR ELAR test scores significantly! Yet that was not enough!

Time Lapse

I did not know how bad my wounds were until January 30, 2018. I was looking at my W2 Form asking myself, “Why was my income from my full-time job and my part-time position so low?” I kept counting my time from August to January until a friend said, “You left the job in December 2016 and you resigned in January of 2017.” It finally resonated with me that I was only technically employed for the month of January in 2017 at the school. Although I physically left the job in December of 2016 and resigned in January 2017, I was still THERE mentally. I had healed, but the memories were still painful. I had not realized that I had not worked physically at that job since 2016. I could still see a few scars.

The Leave

In January 2017, I had been on a needed medical leave. My body was failing in multiple areas. I was sick and exhausted. My psoriasis was the worst it had been in years. It was all over my body. My hair was shedding to the point that I was wearing baseball caps to hide the damage. I was ready to launch an all out legal war to fix the issue. Yet one day while seeking legal advise, I heard in my spirit I could not finish what I was about to start. I did not have the mental nor physical capacity to do what it took to WIN. When I fight, I go for the kill. Whatever I do, I give 120%. There was the problem. You cannot continue to give your all in too many areas. You will crash and burn. I crashed, but for GOD, I did not burn. Instead, I took a seat! I walked away and worked on getting my body back on track. I wanted my hair to grow back. I wanted my anger and pain to go away. I love to laugh. I laugh hard. I had stopped laughing due to the harassment. I was crying frequently because I could not continue to withstand the mistreatment that I was dealing with on a daily basis.

The Decision

I had four children to raise. I had a mortgage and a major car payment to continue to make. Yet on January 30, 2017, none of that mattered. What mattered most to me was having a peace of mind. I needed time to heal spiritually, mentally and physically. My return date for work was February 2017. I knew I could not return to the school. I loved the students but I had to love me more. I told God that I would trust Him and move forward in building my company. I always viewed my business as a part-time thing. In January 2017, I said I was going to dedicate all of my energies into it. I was never going to be in the position that someone else could control my destiny. I would never allow myself to get back to the way I felt from October through December 2016. I would never allow myself to be publicly shamed and harassed. I would never allow a man or a women in leadership to abuse me in my place of business or in my personal life.

Anniversary Date

On January 30, 2018, I realize I am laughing hard again. My spirit is strong and I have my fight back. I no longer need to fight my battles. I truly understand and believe God fights all of my battles. I know He will multiple your blessings; He will meet all of your needs. He enlarges your territory. I have three businesses that I have founded; I created a FB group: Boss Ladies. I have a podcast on Sound Cloud: Boss Ladies. I trust my gut about people and decisions I make. I have strong friendships and healthy relationships.

I have moved into the STEM arena. I am the Founder and Superintendent of the nonprofit (501c3), Dr. Pope’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and Liberal Arts Academy. Instead of trying to convince others that we need to do something different to educate children in 2018, I have created a school to try new innovative ways to educate all children regardless of their socioeconomic status, race, gender and sexual orientation. As the founder and CEO of a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB), The Resource Center, I use my tech skills, coaching skills, professional develop development skills, and writing/editing skills to serve clients. While working in the school system, I discovered in the current school system there are too many students being prepared for prison; they have criminal records before they earn their diplomas. I am the Founder of the non-profit (501c3), The Next Move Re-entry Program, to help advocate and provide services for those students and other non-violent ex-offenders. On this day, I am grateful for the health issues I experienced in 2016. They made me stop and RESET. I am glad I am reconcile God rescued me and he placed within me a vision for three businesses. I love being a CEO & Founder. I cannot wait to see what God does in 2019.

The Resource Center

https://www.popesresourcecenter.com

Dr. Pope’s STEM and Liberal Arts Academy

https://www.drpopesstemandliberalartsacademy.com

The Next Move Re-entry Program

https://www.nextmovereentryprogram.org

Something New! by Dr. Sheila Pope

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I have been super busy evolving and changing my mindset. On January 30, 2017, I made some tough decisions that propelled me to my next level. Many of you know that I have has a small business for 10 years. However, I considered it to be my part-time business. 

In February, I decided to pour into my small business so it can become a major contributor into my multiple streams of income. I am proud to announce 

HUB Certified

The Resource Center has been certified as a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) by Texas Comptroller. What does that mean? It means my business is a vendor for the State of Texas.  I am also going to be a vendor of other agencies. Yes, that means I am now an employer for multiple people instead of a few.

Thanks to this awesome group, NAACP’s SMAART Incubator,  lead by Mr. Allen Provost, chair of NAACP Economic Chair Committee, and Khufere 

A SMAART group of business people

Qhamata,  I am surrounded by African American entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas and plans. Khufere Qhamata, called Q, helped me move to the next level of branding myself in the publishing industry. Thanks to Q’s fabulous knowledge of the publishing business, I have my own publishing company under the umbrella of my company, The Resource Center.

Under the umbrella of The Resource Center, I have also earned my first tech client, Peoples United Summit 501c3 (nonprofit).  I am their website designer. I also built their social media platforms, and I manage those platforms.  

I make sure their mission and goals are visible via social media. I am helping to build their brand.  I am finally a CEO of a tech company! Peoples United Summit and my company, The Resource Center, have partnered together to serve the Sunnyside Community. We are focusing our efforts on improving education in the schools and ending sex trafficking. 

Supporting Worthing High School

My partnership with Peoples United Summit has helped me see myself as a Superintendent, CEO, and an employer.  It is an exciting time in my life.

I also joined this fabulous group on Facebook called Courage to Earn-The Community (closed Group with 2.3K Members). I am learning so much about using my blog to earn serious income. The women in the group are powerful entrepreneurs.  More important, they support each other, and they share valuable information that is practical to use.

I have more to share, but I will stop here. I will start posting weekly blogs from this day forward. I have had a ton of false starts with other business partnerships, but they paved the way for me to reach this level in my adventure.

Dr. Pope