I grew up in a small village in Louisiana. Some of the people in the area still prefer to
speak Cajun French. We were not rich but both my mother and father made many
sacrifices to make certain that my siblings and I felt that we had everything. Education
was vitally important to both my parents. Our family was the only one I knew that had
their own library complete with a full set of gilded black leather bound Encyclopedia
Britannica.This was back in the days of door-to-door salesmen. Witnessing the
purchase of those volumes was my I first lesson in marketing and leveraging. I
remember my mother and I studying those books together.
We spent hours sifting through the pages of foreign language lessons, geography
lessons from our atlas and countless lessons from the encyclopedias. We picked the
places I wanted to visit when I grew up then we would practice the languages together.
I knew I wanted to be a lawyer at 6 years old. I still remember when and where I first
made my announcement. I followed my dream to fruition despite being born to humble
beginnings. At the time of my birth, my mother only possessed an elementary school
education. I first experienced college life at age 4 when I sat with my mother as she took
courses to complete her high school equivalency test and college courses in nursing.
Sadly my father died when I was nine and my mother never remarried.
I attended Assumption High School where I was asked to participate in Upward Bound.
That decision changed my life. It was my first lesson in self-help. Our moto was taken
from a quote made by Napoleon Hill – “Conceive, Believe, and Achieve.” I still have the
T-shirt they gave me. I attended a college enrichment program on the very same
campus that I had sat in class with my mother years before at Nichols State University.
My Upward Bound counselor was Mr Rosario Slack from Dillard University. I still use
some of his stories of motivation. He was gregarious and a great motivator. He
encouraged me to apply to Dillard. Ms. Katherine Moore was the high school English
teacher who impressed upon me the importance of mastering the English language and
the love of literature. I owe many debts of gratitude so many at Assumption High.
After high school I attended Dillard University, a private school, on academic
scholarship. Unfortunately, that scholarship did not cover tuition and housing. On the
day of registration, I was asked for the balance of tuition which I did not have and I
walked away from the registration table with tears in my eyes. I was devastated at the
thought of not attending school. The dean of academic affairs saw me crying and asked
me what was wrong. When I explained my dilemma, he scheduled an appointment to
see me the next day and assured me that everything would be okay. He helped me find
another scholarship to supplement the remainder of tuition. Dillard University will always
hold a special place in my heart for introducing me to Upward Bound and not turning me
away when I was so eager to learn. I went on to become yearbook editor-in-chief and
Senior class president.
After graduation I attended Southern University Law Center. That was my first
experience in the art of intimidation. I attended each class my first year scared out of my
mind. They promise to reshape the way you think. The Socratic method is still my
preferred method of reasoning today. The knowledge and skills that I learned are
invaluable to me. My law school education transcends all borders of occupation and life.
I am happy I made the decision to attend despite some opposition. I became managing
editor of our alumni magazine, a position I held until graduation.
During law school, I fulfilled yet another childhood dream of world travel. I studied law in
Paris, France. While there, I traveled throughout Europe. I enjoyed every moment of
every adventure. When I returned to the US, Napoleonville seemed so small. Paris
ignited my affinity for metropolitan cities, so I decided to move to New York! I worked for
some of the biggest names on Wall Street.
On September 11, I worked in One World Financial Center which was attached to World
Trade Tower 2. After that experience, I considered each day of my life a blessing and
pursued the fulfillment of another childhood dream of working as a litigation attorney.I
opened my law practice in 2003. Winning my first jury trial was one of my most
exhilarating experiences. It was a moment that I could never forget.
My life and career began to spiral when my sister, after fighting illness for years died
and left me to rear her two young children. In that same year I was hospitalized and
thus began my fight for my own health. As a childless, single woman who had recently
started a new law practice, I was overwhelmed and grieving. In the beginning, the
children played and slept in my law office as I worked. The youngest preferred to sleep
under my desk at my feet in her sleeping bag. If I had a court appearance I would beg
the judge to let them sit quietly in the back. They would amuse themselves with silent
video games and books. Sometimes they would just watch quietly. As my sister’s
children sat in the back of courtrooms as I presented my cases, I was often reminded of
my own childhood, sitting in class with my mother.
My story is far from over. I wrote I Am Reshaping book about my life and the lessons
that I learned along the way in hopes that I can help someone else along their journey. I
share my perspectives as a single parent and entrepreneur and motivator. The book is
a celebration to life that I share with friends incompassing all its twists and turns. There
is enjoyment of every moment and always a lesson to be learned. Let me inspire and
motivate you to greatness.
If you’d like to stay on top of my writing, the best place is Google+. You can also follow
my adventures on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and Ticktok.