Category Archives: Uncategorized

Talk About IT Seminar 2016
Sep 01 2016


Yep, Carmen and Bobbie always have those beautiful smiles on their face.

That’s why they’re the perfect people to greet our attendees!




Let’s get some food in those tummies!

These girls needed fuel for the fun filled day they had ahead of them!

(Thank you Panera Bread for being our breakfast sponsor two years in a row!)

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Ice Breakers

Let’s break the ice by working together and laughing at ourselves!

You would have thought the girls knew each other forever after this!

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Snack time

All that work, we had to refuel them for the first workshop!

The girls did not hesitate to grab a yummy snack during break time.

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Workshop II: Masked Emotions W/ Leanna

Unmasking those emotions that we often hide

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Lunch time

Thank you to our lunch ladies who always make us yummy lunches!


make a new friend!

We encouraged the attendees to sit with someone they didn’t know to make a new friend.

They did & learned three new things about someone at their table.

Workshop II: Connected

Proving that they’re all connected in ways that they would have never guessed.

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Workshop III: Booster Jar W/ Shakia

Because we all have those days when we need a little boost

and our TAI sister does too.

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Certificate Ceremony

Each girl is presented with a certificate of completion

you can see that they sometimes get a little shy .


Coming to a close

what better way to end the day than with Ice cream, raffle prizes & dancing?

…I can’t think of any way better either!

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Look mom, we did it!

certificates in hand, smile on faces & friends on each side.


The second Talk About IT Seminar was a great experience & a very emotional one.

I would say that at least 50% of the attendees cried. They cried as they spoke something’s into the atmosphere that they had never spoken, they cried as they expressed the love and admiration they had for their sister (but had never shared it with her) & they cried because they witnessed their fellow attendee deal with some hard emotions. I even cried. However, those tears were cathartic.  We felt good after letting those tears finally escape.

don’t worry, we didn’t cry all day.

We laughed .

We created.

We uplifted.

We cheered.

We encouraged.

We danced.

We hugged

We ate.

We inspired.

We bonded.

I left the TAI seminar in sheer amazement.

I am always amazed at how a group of young girls can attend an event for 8 hours and do all that I previously listed; with people they have just met.

They come in as strangers looking for a safe space & leave with a group of sisters they will forever have this experience with.

I wish they knew how thankful I am to have witnessed their vulnerability, their strength and ability to create a safe space by expressing both.

Special Thanks:








Panera Bread


FAT, just in case you didn’t know.
Apr 08 2014

Image Credit:

One day I was in the office chit-chatting with one of my co-workers. She began to tell me a story in which she had been called fat. I was immediately annoyed.  She explained:

” We were watching a video of me playing my violin. As I was bringing attention to one of my favorite parts, I was interrupted by “you look fat ! “


I CRINGED! As my coworker was bringing attention to her talent someone else had brought attention to her weight. My eyes weld up with tears and the moment she asked “are you ok Shakia?” the tears left my eyes and found a home on my cheeks. I was so upset because not only have I witnessed this co-workers struggle with weight loss, but I can only imagine the impact that 3 lettered, one word had on her self -esteem in that moment. I can imagine wanting to be invisible as everyone’s attention was no longer focused on your talent, but now on your weight.


When a person points out another person’s “flaw” I often wonder what is their purpose? Like what do they expect the person to say? I mean I’m sure that person was fully aware of that “flaw” before it was pointed out to them.  Do they want them to confirm the observation by agreeing? In my co-workers case was she supposed to respond “why yes, I do look fat.” Do they want them to laugh? Or maybe they just want them to feel bad about themselves.


Where is that filter, that empathy, that compassion that we all possess? Or at least I would like to think we all do. Oh, I guess we have lost it all in the right to freedom of speech. I think, we, as a people have become desensitized while exercising our right to freedom of speech.  However, just because you are “free” to say what you please does NOT give you the freedom to diminish someone’s self-esteem.


Do me a favor; better yet do society a favor. The next time you want to share your opinion on how someone’s looks, smells, sounds, feels (taste doesn’t fit lol. At least in my head it doesn’t :/ ) insert a filter, muster up some empathy and  find some compassion. After doing so, it is my hope that the adage “think before you speak” will cut your opinionated thoughts in line and stop them from being spoken.