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

I Am My Brand

by Dr. Sheila Pope

What are You Selling?

I remember having a discussion regarding the best way to sell my products on my website. I had so many services to sell but my website did not have a focus. I could not figure out what was main product. I do so many things. During a conversation with Khufere, a great consultant from LEAP72, he said, “Dr. Pope, you are your product.” Suddenly, fireworks and bombs exploded immediately in my mind. The light came on because within an instant I understood my real role in the building of my company. I could move forward with branding because I understood how to sell my thoughts, my work, and my skills.

The Right Fit

Image: Pexels.com    The Right Fit

Who Am I?

It was easy for me to decide how to best promote my skills once I asked myself a great question. The question: Who are you at your core? My answers were as follows:

  1. I am a business woman.
  2. I am an avid reader, writer and a critical thinker.
  3. I love to laugh at myself.
  4. I find humor in almost any situation.
  5. I make no apologies for loving money and the freedom that it brings.
  6. I love convertible cars and the freedom they make me feel.
  7. I have opinions about everything and I do not mind sharing them with the world.
  8. I love technology and I understand its power.
  9. I am a woman who supports and promotes other women.
  10. I love generating ideas and concepts that result in profits for my businesses.
  11. I am a woman that works best in a pair of Cole Haan shoes or a good pair of sneakers.
  12. I enjoy my classic a Movado watch with diamonds.
  13. I rock Coach and Dooney and Bourke handbags.
  14. I was meant to drive a Mercedes.
  15. I make no apologies for being honest, direct, and thinking outside the box.
  16. I will spend my last dime on furthering my education.
  17. I sign important business deals with my Mont Blanc pen.
  18. I prefer T-shirts over suits because I love comfort.

Branding Me

Once I said all these things outloud and owned them, it was easy to see how I wanted to market myself and my company. I knew where I wanted an office. It had to be a location that I could afford, close to home, and it had to scream “You must pay me!” The location had to speak to my consumer base. I needed a location that I could expand and grow my companies. When I saw the conference room and the view from my office, I knew it was the spot.

A Simple T-Shirt

T-shirts

T-Shirts Image: Pexels.com

Next, I needed to find the right product to push my company’s name everywhere I traveled. I decided the best product for me, my supporters, and my customers to wear consistently anywhere was a T-Shirt. For 10 years I wore suits to work. As my own boss, I decide what I want to wear daily. When I am in the office, running errands as a mom, my T-shirt comes in handy. When I am creating my blogs, working in the community to bring awareness to my company, when I am collaborating with partners, recording my podcast, conducting FB Live segments, and writing my books, I wear my brand. When I wear my T-shirt, people often ask me, “What is the Resource Center?” I take the opening and I start to sell services, to promote services, and to share information about my company. Plus, my T-shirts represents who I am at my core.

My friend and Boss Lady, Susan Gonzales, founder of Chic Blessings worked with my logo and designed my first company T-shirt. The shirts sold super fast. Then, I decided I needed to produce more shirts at a lower cost. Eventually, I went to a T-shirt company and had them print bulk orders of my shirts. I love the finished product. The shirts are simple and comfortable. I can easily transport them anywhere. They do not cost a great deal to ship to consumers. I use them as gifts for fundraisers donations and I sell them in my e-commerce stores @TheResourceCenter. I plan to sell more products online soon. However, I must admit they are one of my best ideas. It is so cool to see my entire family rocking my brand (see slide show)!

 

 

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Leap of Faith

by Dr. Sheila Pope

leap of faith

Leap of Faith Image: Pexels.com

Taking the Leap

Today, I jumped! I took a leap of faith and conducted my first Facebook Live segment. I had said I was going to eventually take the leap, but was not clear on the date. As an entrepreneur it is important that I remember it is great to take calculated risk. I just have to count the cost of every decision. I counted the cost and then I took a leap of faith!

Making the Decision

I decided that I would post from my Facebook group: Boss Ladies. I was directing my segment to the members. I wanted to introduce myself. I created the group at the end of November 2017.  It was time that they “met the founder.”  I felt comfortable with the group because we have things in common. We own businesses or have founded nonprofits. I also felt I have friends in the group that would help me improve my next FB Live segment.

Acknowledging Support

One of my good friends, Bridgett McGowen-Hawkins and my sister Michelle Batise were live with me. I did not announce it until four minutes before I went live. I did not invite friends. I remembered to avoid the words huh/um. I have made videos for my classes, but no one was on the other side of the camera. My phone was not on vibrate in the beginning, but I managed to put it on vibrate. Then, I had a few issues with the lighting, but I talked through it. I did not type during the segment, but I verbally acknowledge my supporters. They knew I was aware they were somewhere watching and rooting for my success.

I survived the leap and I felt proud that I did it. I want to encourage you to do something out of your comfort zone. Let go and enjoy the process. Drum roll…………..

Joint Venture

by Dr. Sheila Pope

Accomplishments in 2017

Gift Present Celebrate Party Wrapped Simple Concept

Images: Pexels.com

It has been a year since I went into full-time entrepreneurship. During my first year, I focused on getting all of the legal stuff and paperwork in place. I development my faith level. I was preparing mentally and spiritually to never return to traditional employment. I was letting go of past battles and preparing to experience new success. In August 2017, I stepped out and secured office spaces for The Resource Center, Dr. Pope’s STEM and Liberal Arts Academy 501c3, and The Next Move Re-entry Program 501c3. I took my dream from my home office to a new destination! I went from working part-time on my business to dedicating my full attention to my businesses. I trusted God to do more than I could think or ask.

Focus for 2018

This year, my focus is on cultivating partnerships, developing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and securing joint ventures with my companies, The Resource Center, The Next Move Re-entry Program, and Dr. Pope’s STEM and Liberal Arts Academy to provide more services so each business can grow financially. I am excited to announce that I have signed my first joint venture with LEAP72!
Joint Partnerships

 

Joint Venture with LEAP72

The Resource Center and LEAP72 are working and planning together to bring services, products and professional development to support female entrepreneurs who are making Boss moves. I founded a Facebook group called Boss Ladies. We are a community women (some men too) who owns their own businesses and/or have founded nonprofits. We are collaborating and supporting each other’s successes and missteps. With this joint venture, we plan to help these entrepreneurs and many others reach a new level of success. I look forward to doing great things with Khufere Qhamata, founder of LEAP72, and a constant source of advice and wisdom. He is also the founder of SMAART Incubator, an awesome organization that supports and helps African-American owned startups. Keep your eyes peeled to see some of the results of our partnership. We are going to invest and improve other start-ups and make a profit in the process.

Leap72