You often hear me talk about my grandfather who came to Chicago from Flora, Mississippi during The Great Migration seeking a better life. Grandpa Robert’s better life consisted of him driving a pick-up truck and working his finger to the bones everyday at the meat factory. He was diagnosed with prostrate cancer and didn’t tell the family until it was in the fourth stage. I was 12 years old when my grandfather died. I didn’t have much time with him here on earth, but little did I know his memory would follow me throughout my life.
When America received her first Black president I didn’t initially think of how proud I was for the Obama family. As tears streamed down my face I thought of how my grandfather didn’t live to see the first Black president of the United States. I took a deep breath and inhaled that moment for him.
When I walked across the stage to receive my degree in Media Studies at North Park University, here in Chicago, I became a first generation student to graduate from college. Again, a flood of tears rolled down my cheeks as I thought of Grandpa Thompson. We’d come a long way. And again, that moment was for him.
This is why when Cameka Smith (BOSS Network) asked us women at the #WomenInspired Prudential event what motivates us to keep going- I answered, “My roots.”
Last week Prudential invited a group of women entrepreneurs to The Gwen Luxury hotel in Chicago, to have a transparent conversation about our finances. Grammy award winning singer and actress, Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child) was in attendance, as well as Cameka Smith (BOSS Network) and a intimate group of women entrepreneurs.
The conversation was full of “aha” moments like these:
Question: did you know you don’t have to have “a lot” of money to have a Prudential financial planner? I didn’t. Shout out to Dr. Renee for pointing out that fact. It makes sense to get a head start on things while watching it grow. Especially for entrepreneurs.
A HUGE thanks to Prudential for this awesome experience! The conversation was extremely helpful and inspiring. Ask I enter the world of entrepreneurship, I’m inspired by my grandfather’s life to do everything with a spirit of excellence. A big part of that is being a wise steward over my finances. I MUST do better. I WILL do better.