MDI: Tells us about yourself. Accomplishments.
SW: I was born and raised in the DMV area. I spent half of my childhood in Washington DC later moving to Bowie, MD at the age of 15. After graduating from Bowie High School, I attended Cosmetology school. I later studied Biology at Anne Arundel Community College. Currently, I am the Marketing Director for a major beauty/brand school.
One of my biggest accomplishments to date would be achieving my childhood dream of making the 2018-2019 Washington Redskins Cheerleader roster! Stepping out on faith, I am very proud of my accomplishment, owning my very own hair extension company, MINK PERSUASION.
MDI: Who would you consider as your role model?
SW: I have two role models. One of them being Kandi Burruss a successful multi business woman and entrepreneur. The other being my grandmother as a faith-based woman of god and my amazing mother.
MDI: Who in your life would you say has contributed to your level of self-esteem and yourself-confidence? How?
SW: My mother has played a huge role in me being the confident woman I am today. It wasn’t easy growing up with a name like “Special” believe it or not. The story behind the name was that doctors told my mother she would never be able to conceive and if she was to try neither her or the baby would make it. She took that risk anyway and had me and named me Special.
On many of days I would come home in tears due to being bullied by my peers from my name or my complexion. To the point where therapy was necessary. That therapy became dance. My mother would always remind me that I was unique and that someday my name would be lights. She would also constantly remind me that I was a beautiful chocolate girl and would never let me forget it. She has never missed a recital, competition or performance, she has always been front row and the loudest in the crowd with her bullhorn and noise makers. She’s my biggest support system.
MDI: If you could lead a workshop on empowering girls, what ideas or suggestions would you recommend to moms to help empower their daughters?
SW: I feel that pageantry is an excellent way to start young girls in confidence or self -empowerment. It gives them the opportunity to show off their uniqueness and individual talent. Pageants are normally very diverse competitions and there are many different categories for winning. Whether it’s Best smile, Best Hair, Best Talent etc. It shows young girls that its okay to be different and that everyone has something special about them. All of this while gaining acceptance and friends from various backgrounds. In child pageantry everyone goes away with something whether it’s a title, crown or trophy.
MDI: If you could teach young women how to bring about bringing more happiness into their everyday lives. What would you teach them?
SW: I would teach young girls a seminar on meditation and speaking positivity into their everyday lives and I would title it “Letting go of self-doubt”.
MDI: What words of advice would you give the next generation ofgirls/young women?
SW: The advice I would give young woman is: Life is like a book.Some chapters are sad, some happy and some super exciting but if you neverfollow your heart and your dream’s you’ll never know what the next chapter mayhold. I would also instill in them to never compare their journey to someoneelse’s. These are some things that we should all constantly remind ourselves throughout life.