I was born in South Carolina, and raised in the small town of Orangeburg. My mother and father provided a loving, nurturing, and supportive home. Being the oldest of three children and an academic and athletic stand out, my leadership skills were recognized early. Even in high school, I loved working with my peers to accomplish a common goal. I enjoyed motivating others to reach their highest potential, encouraging team work, and managing projects. My peers and the village that raised me also cultivated important life and character skills like self-discipline, hard work, and integrity. These formative years prepared me to attend the United States Naval Academy (USNA).
At the Naval Academy, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in English (2002). Highlights from my Naval Academy college experience include life-long friendships, opportunities for leadership, and travel and diversity outreach and recruitment with the USNA Gospel Choir. These leadership, mentoring, learning experiences and relationships have shaped me into the person I am today. The greatest change was growing in my faith. Although I grew up in the black church, I did not have a personal relationship with Jesus until I was mentored by an older and wiser woman of faith. The diverse experience of worshiping in a predominately African American gospel choir (which felt just like home) and being led by this white woman clarified my life’s purpose, and my perspective about reconciling diverse people groups. My life was made new in Annapolis.
Upon graduation, I was selected to serve as a U.S. Marine Corps Officer. My occupational specialty was financial management which included everything from budget development, to executing several multi-million dollar accounts, overseeing government contracts, and payroll management. After completing my duty at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, I returned to the Naval Academy and eventually became the Senior Diversity Admissions Counselor in the Office of Admissions. This job gave me the opportunity to serve candidates on the entire East Coast, while offering leadership to our field officers and volunteer workforce all across the United States. I was grateful for this platform to teach and train leaders, engage the public, dialog with national influencers, and counsel potential college students while mentoring current midshipmen (USNA students). I had the privilege of being part of the team that recruited the most racial/ethnic and gender diverse class in the Naval Academy’s history at the time. I was honorably discharged from the Marine Corp after six years of service and obtaining the rank of Captain.
Following active duty, I continued public service as the Director of Finance and Administration for the Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate, International Cooperative Programs Office (where I worked for 2 ½ years). This opportunity expanded my professional experience to include the facilitation of international partnerships, the awarding of international grants, interagency agreements, and executive reporting to the White House. At a time when I was advancing professionally, God was also granting me grace to teach Bible study, lead small groups, and mentor others to grow in faith. I wanted to do all of that well so I enrolled as a full-time student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Charlotte, where I graduated cum laude with a Master of Arts in Christian Leadership (2014).
While attending Gordon-Conwell, God began preparing my heart to write so I started my blog, A Sista’s Journey, and began writing and publishing professionally in 2010. I specifically write about being a servant in God’s kingdom with a focus on leadership, mentoring, reconciliation, and biblical justice. Attending seminary was personally transformative for me as I learned and practiced spiritual disciplines, explored the practical elements of mentoring and discipleship, and completed independent studies on the topics of prayer and fasting, racial reconciliation, and biblical justice.
Recent years have given me the opportunity to write regularly while serving my community and championing causes of passion. This work includes anti-human trafficking advocacy, promoting education, and raising up the next generation of leaders. The latter work is a goal of Leadership LINKS, Inc., the nonprofit organization I founded with a team of like-minded friends and leadership experts.
When I am not working, you will find me at home living a quiet life with my husband and little girl. My joys of solitude include reading, writing, watching movies, or spending quality time with family and friends. I also love dancing, celebrating theater and the arts, listening to life-giving music, having a great laugh, partaking in intelligent conversations, and eating delicious food!
I look forward to connecting and learning how I can best serve you and your organization.