Meet MDI Dream Team Mentor Ayanna Moo-Young

MDI: Tells us about yourself.  Where are you from?  Education.
AMY: I am a Maryland native, who grew up in Prince George’s County and attended college at Bowie State University, where I’ve earned a BA in Sociology and a MA in Counseling Psychology. 

I am a personal and professional development consultant, trainer and author. I help aspiring entrepreneurs to pursue and achieve their dreams, particularly those who want to become full-time business owners and those who want to become authors. I also work with companies and organizations on creating positive company cultures, strategic planning, and other business development services

MDI: What is your definition of success?
AMY: Success is being willing to fail, over and over again, until you get it right. 

MDI: Who in your life would you say has contributed to your level of self-esteem and or self-confidence? 
AMY: My parents, coaches, and great friends who’ve believed in me. I’ve also done a lot of self-development work on my own. 

MDI: If you could lead a workshop on empowering girls, what ideas or suggestions would you recommend to moms to help empower their daughters?
AMY: A great workshop would be for girls to learn about the power within themselves… how to awaken it, use it to become more self-aware and to manifest their desired life, and to help others. 

MDI: If you could teach young women how to bring about bringing more happiness into their everyday lives. What would you teach them? 
AMY: I would teach them to live life day by day, and moment by moment. Being mindful enables us to live in the present without harsh feelings about the past or anxiety about the future. I would also teach them to become their best selves and to avoid comparing themselves to other women in an envious way.  Comparison is a thief of joy. 

MDI: What words of advice would you give the next generation of girls/young women?
AMY: You have everything that you need to be great right now, right where you are. 

Please contact Ayanna Moo-Young for your personal or professional development training needs at or visit her website

Meet Washington Redskin’s Cheerleader Special Wade

NFL Washington Redskin’s Cheerleader Special Wade

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.

Day 17- Project You- Make Every Day Count


Journal entry– When I joined the 50 + club over 3 years ago, I began to cherish every moment, every minute, and every hour of each day more than ever before.  At 53 years young, I wake up happy to be alive and grateful for a chance to live my life on purpose.

Most mornings my iPhone alarm goes off at 4:45am, I wake up with the intention of doing a morning devotional and making a to-do-list so that I have a game plan for each day.  I hit the snooze button.  During my commute on the train (Metro) to work, I pull out my “You Are A Bad Ass” book by Jen Sincero and create a to-do-list for the day.  Creating a to-do-list has helped me accomplish several professional and personal goals.  

I’m excited for what 2019 has in store for me.  I will continue to live a purpose driven and fulfilled life.

Check out the article below for ideas on how to make every day count.







Day 16- Project You- My Dream of Meeting First Lady Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Journal entry– Page 103 -“If you could ask any successful person in the world one question, who would it be and what would you ask?”

The successful person I would love to meet is our First Lady Michelle Obama.  She is my role model.  I dream, visualize, and imagine meeting her one day.  I LOVE so many things about her i.e., she is BEAUTIFUL, EDUCATED, CLASSY, ELOQUENT.
I could go on and on.

I recently downloaded parts of her speech from the 2016 Democratic National Convention.  One of my favorite quotes from her speech, “With every word we utter, with every action we take, we know our kids are watching us. We as parents are their most important role models.”

In this journey of self-discovery, self-love, and reflection I want to be a better role model for my children and to the youth I encounter on any given day.

Questions I would love to ask First Lady Michelle Obama:

How and when did you set dating expectations and boundaries your beautiful daughters Sasha and Malia?

How and when did you start the conversation about healthy relationships i.e., respect, trust, honesty, communication, and support?

Hoping my dream of meeting our First Lady Michelle Obama comes true.

#Project You #Day16 #BecomeARoleModel #ChooseYourWordsWisely

Day 15- Project You – What’s Holding Me Back- FEAR


Journal entry– I responded to the journal prompt “Overcomer’s Journey.”  Fear is holding me back from taking my public speaking to the next level.  As a member of Toastmasters, I usually speak in front of 20 people at my club meetings.  In 2019, I want to speak in front of 200.

In January of next year, I plan to join the National Speakers Association.  Fear has kept me from creating the life that I want as a public speaker.  Moving forward, I’m going to start looking for opportunities to speak.  Bucket list item # 3.

Overcomer’s Journey: Is your fear standing in the way of your goals or dreams?  Write about it. Share with us.

#LivingMyBestLife #FightFear #BucketList #MotherDaughterInitiative

Day 14 – Project You – What Other People Think About You Doesn’t Matter


Journal entry- While reading the book “You Are A Bad Ass” by Jen Sincero, chapter 7, page 67 said it all.  I’ve been guilty of allowing what other people’s opinions about me, matter to me.  What I’ve discovered when I’ve asked for approval or feedback from people, the only thing they offered was an opinion. 

It’s so easy when people tell you what you should be doing with your life but they fail to share their own shortcomings.  Bottom line, I’m going to work on seeking my own approval, acknowledging areas that need improvement, and seek out those individuals who can not only offer an opinion but can provide tangible ideas or ways to help me accomplish my personal goals. 

On page 64 in the book the author suggests:


The only questions you ever need to consider when making decisions about your life are:

Is this something I want to be, do or have?
Is this going to take me in the direction I want to go (not should go)?
Is this going to screw over anybody else in the process?

#ProjectYou #Day14 #YourOpinionMatters #MotherDaughterInitiative