Call Me Mister – A Better Life

Call Me Mister – South Carolina program aims to boost number of black male teachers at elementary level

Mark Joseph and Barry Tolbert are passionate about becoming elementary school teachers and have learned to ignore the skeptical looks, the discouraging comments about the profession and the fears of low pay. So let’s see what they did about it. They developed Call Me Mister – A Better Life program that’s helping so many.

”Lots of families encourage kids to be doctors and lawyers just to make money,” says Tolbert, 19, of Charleston. ”I think a teacher is the most effective person in America. You don’t hear folks say ‘I look up to my lawyer. My lawyer has done so many things for me.’ But teachers make a difference in lives.”

The young men are in a program developed by Clemson University to address the looming shortage of teachers. This program, though, plans over the next four years to train 240 young black South Carolina men to be elementary school teachers. The program, named ”Call Me MISTER” after the 1970 Sidney Poitier movie They Call Me MISTER Tibbs, offers the participants full college tuition, room and board and small stipends in exchange for teaching for a minimum of four years in South Carolina after graduation.

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Donating Clothes – Why it should matter to YOU

It is that time of year again- the seasons are changing and the fall wardrobe is about to come out from storage. Here is my biggest issue, I hold on to things that are dirty, tired, run-down, and have seen better days. That is right, I hold on to items that simply do not make me feel good anymore. The same way I insist on riding my old car that is economical anymore. But think about it. Shouldn’t donating things be an option for you? So let’s talk about donating clothes and why it should matter to you.

Yes, the same with clothes. If you are anything like I am, tossing out clothes, accessories and purses is a really difficult task. There are memories attached to those skinny jeans that haven’t fit in five years. Those stained shirts can be covered by a sweater, right? Continue reading

Are gifted students missing out on quality education?

Is your child one of the gifted students are missing out on quality education? Chintan is a “bookish” middle school student. Unfortunately, it is not cool to be “bookish” at his school. He is teased for studying eighth-grade math while still in the seventh grade. Still, even the eighth-grade math is too easy and boring for Chintan. He needs to be challenged to his full potential and surrounded by intellectual peers.  Sadly without help to grow both emotionally and mentally, Chintan will never live up to his potential (Davidson and Davidson 128-129).

Signed into law on January 8, 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was intended to raise the standards of special education. NCLB was created to give underachieving students better educational opportunities, thus closing the achievement gap between the gifted and struggling learners. The United States Department of Education organizes NCLB into four main points.

First, the Act declares stronger accountability for annual school progress results. Secondly, NCLB allows states to have flexibility with federal education funds. Third, NCLB assures the use of proven education methods. In fact, federal funding is set aside specifically for programs that work to improve student learning.  Finally, NCLB declares more choices for parents. In low-performing schools, parents may transfer their child to a better performing school within their district at the expense of the original school.

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Business leaders should have learned from Pope John Paul II

Let’s go back and take a closer look at what business leaders could – and perhaps should – have learned from a remarkable leader, Pope John Paul II.

“Be not afraid,” was one of Pope John Paul II’s favorite sayings, words that should give more leaders the courage and backbone to carry out their mission, says Laura Nash, senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School and co-author of Church on Sunday, Work on Monday.

So many years after the Enron scandal broke, business remains in the throes of corporate scandal. Ethics and moral courage are among the hottest topics. This article highlights some comments from experts for some of the leadership lessons that Pope John Paul II left behind.

Of course, the pope is one tall benchmark. But one quality of a leader is an ability to stretch.

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Our love for Supporting Local communities

We are a strong supporter of county Work Ready Communities. I talked with people from local government, economic development, workforce development, community/technical college, K-12 system, and business/industry. When I say we I mean my sister, I and my son.

I work well under pressure. In fact, I always seem to do better on tests, projects, or anything when I have a hardcore cram session, trying to put in as much information in my small brain, or put forth tons of effort toward something physical.

Why is this? I don’t know, it’s just one of the many, yet interesting things about me.

Anyway, along with that project, I had a test today which I could not study for since I didn’t bring my book home over my four day weekend, nor did I even know we were going to have a test. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, the test came.

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Anger vs Frustration

Frustration and anger are both natural responses. Wise books say that the difference between Frustration and Anger is related to the source. Frustration originates from within and anger is commonly a response towards external conditions.

We are all human, therefore we all come to face situations that will make our blood boil. It’s just part of life. Even the most positive of people will confess to feeling frustrated at times.

So what do we do with the feelings? Kick, scream, and slam doors. You can try this route. Most likely you will have temporary relief followed by a sore foot, a lost voice, and a broken door.

Or you can try a different tactic when taking on anger. Just don’t go there. Simple, not easy.

I love this one quote “All the justified anger in the world is not going to get a drop of happiness” – Mama Gena

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Improve quality of life thanks to your workout routine

Time to branch out beyond the same old workout routine. Bye-Bye elliptical, I will miss you! For the next thirty days, I am pushing myself to try some new exercises way beyond my comfort zone.

First on the list: Pop Physique. It is a barre class that uses a mat, a ball, and two-pound weight to sculpt your whole entire body. How? Think ballet but on crack. But upon looking at all the raving reviews on Yelp, and close proximity to my apartment, I have to see what it is all about.

Next: Soul Cycle. Nothing scares me more than stationary bikes and really enthusiastic people yelling at me. I want to get away from the crazies not stand still and listen to them tell me how to pedal. Alas, I will succumb to the ever-popular work out of cycling, and see why Bon Jovi loves this drill so much. If I am going to do this, I am going to the best- Soul Cycle, and branch off of the elite Equinox. You can buy sessions at a time, so it makes it easier to test out.

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Unconditional definition -you should read it

Unconditional is defined by the dictionary as “not limited by conditions; absolute” And this post is about Unconditional Support. This is probably the most personal post I could come up with, but it is also the most relevant.  So here it goes, what is love really? What does it mean to feel loved, be loved?

Recently I sat down at my regular writing routine and saddened by the discovery that I have yet to fully understand what it is love.  And before anyone jumps to any conclusion, no this wasn’t coming up because of relationship, friendships, or family conflicts. Ironically, this topic came up while on the journey to fully understand and seek out a deeper relationship with a higher power.

You see I do believe that God, Buddha, Allah, The Universe, The All-Powerful and Knowing Spirit, whatever you want to call this thing that is bigger and greater than I am, does love ALL people unconditionally. But I couldn’t come up with how that love would feel or look like and began making excuses as for why that love wouldn’t really happen to me. Continue reading

Why Spending Quality Time with Family Matters

“Read the book!” “Read the BOOK!” My son keeps asking me in his very loud outside voice. As he’s asking me, he’s also poking me with the book.

After having spent most of the day running errands, picking up after the kids, making multiple meals and squeezing in some work, I should be ready to spend some quality time with my son.

But I’m not. I’m just tired. “Not now, sweetie,” I say softly with a hint of frustration, “maybe later.” My eyelids feel heavy and all I want to do is just lie down on my bed.

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Supporting Local initiatives

Did you know that by participating in local initiatives, organizations help to identify skill gaps and decide how much help is needed, and it can be done in some many ways. Therefore all of us should support local businesses that understand that. And we all have the power to do so by “voting” with our wallets.  For example, companies that support “the ACT College and Career Readiness Campaign” deserve our attentions. if you agree please read on to see how you can help.

I am for example a huge discount shopper and love to save money—and actually have become a pro at it.

But it wasn’t always that way. I (Quinn Lumber) used to swear up and down that my brain is hardwired to spend money excessively. Once I started college, however, living on such a low income and constantly think about your paycheck, taught me exactly how important it is to spend my money wisely. Having that conviction, though, didn’t make it any easier. But having good parental examples enabled me with money-managing skills that will carry me beyond college and into my professional life.
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