Basic Education For Adults – A Safety Net Success Story – Pamela Covington

Video Transcript

good morning good evening good afternoon everybody out there in podcast land you are Jin to another episode of intrinsic motivation from a homies perspective this is Hamza and I am Davis and really excited about our guest today I guess the best way to say is that Hollywood movies lied to us or their traditional Hollywood movies like list we usually have the you know struggle at the beginning the hero’s journey and then at the end everything’s peachy keen you’ve covered and tackled all your demons and life is fantastic you right off to the sunset and our guest today didn’t have that kind of linear life so she’s going to share a safety net success story and just give you some insight into what she’s been going through without further ado I’d like to welcome the speaker author and advocate pamela covington welcome to the podcast thank you thank you for having me on your show today Hamza and David appreciate it well pleasure our pleasure yeah I want to go let’s do a little bit of a Hollywood because for most people I think that’s how we started the intrinsic motivation of oh there’s a hardship and just keep your chin up and then you’ll go ride off into the atmosphere of bliss and in many cases many people interpret that as being linear and in your case you didn’t have that scenario so I like to talk a little bit about how you got to become a radio announcer or a newspaper reporter and then go from there okay let’s see the radio announcing I just naturally came from my own personal love of music and I like so many different genres of music that has afforded me the opportunity to be able to spend music and a couple different radio station formats and that was something that I did primarily in Savannah Georgia where in my story a day at the fair the story actually begins my experience as a journalist came up as my means for pulling myself out of poverty but that came a little later several years later and it began ironically with my community college education I was enrolled in a class and had a professor tell me in class one day Pamela you be sure and come and see me when this session is over and because I had so much domestic turmoil going on from a financial perspective having gone from living a very comfortable middle-class lifestyle and finding myself I mean plunged into ugly unimaginable poverty I thought that for sure I had done something wrong maybe I hadn’t performed as well as he knew I could or that the last paper I turned and must have really been bad well contrary when I met him in his office he turned to me with that same paper in his hand mind you and says Pamela you have a few weak spots here and there he says but really he says overall this is great he said to me he said you can turn words into dollars now mind you I am living in the worst unimaginable condition it’s possible I’m in an apartment that I didn’t have a I want to make sure I’m not exaggerating now I didn’t have a refrigerator for maybe three or four months and I didn’t have a stove for eight months there’s no heat there’s no air conditioning there’s a window in the front and a window in the back and on a good day my children and I were cooking Vienna sausage and grits on a kerosene heater so I’m living in these god-awful conditions and this professor just told me I could turn worse in two dollars and I was just I was just floored I just never thought much of my ability to think of something and instantaneously be able to find a perfect verbage to express myself and so here I am living on public assistance in this box approaches to be quite frankly and somebody just told me that I could turn words into dollars and that Professor continued to guide me through my years at the Community College and one of those was written inside until an internship at a magazine and this is 1986 mind you when we didn’t have the so accessible access to the electronics I started computing when the apples first came out and they didn’t have hard drives so that’s an era technologically that this all took place well I did an internship at a city lifestyle magazine through the college and one day a brand new newspaper called USA Today it’s calling all over the city the daily papers and other magazines trying to find someone to go and cover a story well the editor at the magazine because everyone on staff was on deadline turned to me and said Pamela I think you should take that well I’m scared I’m going to tell you this was the story was in a place called st. Mary’s Georgia a beautiful of a charming predominantly white city along the coastline and if the topic was the advent of the Trident submarine program at that time then President Reagan had signed off on funding of that big project in st. Mary’s and the newspaper wanted someone to go cover it I was knocking at my knees I was coming up with every excuse possible what but but I don’t have press credentials and nobody is going to believe me I mean this is a time where you could count on one hand the number of black journalists there were and it turns out I’ve made the trip up from Jacksonville Florida to st. Mary’s Georgia and they were so nice to me they helped me every way possible including after I had interviewed several individuals in the pound in regards to the impact that the submarine expansion program would have on the area I was even invited to come back and do the telephone dictation because that’s what we had been and lo and behold the next morning that same newspaper machine that I walked by every morning on my way to class and thought nothing of I stopped at it took two of my precious quarters that I probably saved from food stamps and put them in there and pull that paper out and tour to the section of that paper where I saw my name imprint for the very first time initially I was worried what if my caseworker sees this and I said to myself you know if she sees it she’s gonna look at it and say oh no it can’t be that Pamela she’s just another welfare mother and so once I had an article published in a national newspaper it was easy to convince other newspapers and magazines locally to let me write and that’s how my journalism career jumped off Wow yes it’s very great there yet I need you’d be and we’d be in for a treat to see any some of it I think David had something he wanted to add no no I’m just too asain the same thing that you were it’s a it’s a tremendous story trying to start it you said two things Pamela that when we stood out you were in a middle-class lifestyle and then you something happened where you were no longer in that so you had to learn some humbling things and then the second part that stood out for me was the what if the caseworker sees it and so it made me think of if you hadn’t had that middle life lifestyle before then you would have had this internal belief that you were only allowed a certain station of your life and so that kind of crept them a little bit of oh you got some success with the USA Today but you were concerned about your caseworker seeing I like for you to talk a little bit about that yes well you know because there’s always implications when you’re on public assistance you’re not allowed to have any more income than they have allocated you in this incidence that total income was a whopping 150 two dollars for myself and my two children our box of roaches was a hundred and seventy dollars a month so every first of the month I was already functioning at a deficit and still had to find some means to provide other things I had to pay a water in a sewer bill my had a baby we had to have diapers I had my personal needs as a female and now if she saw that article I could probably have gotten called on the carpet for it because there would surely there was going to be money involved in me having written that and you bet there was I think the actual portion of the story that they used might have totaled somewhere between 75 and 85 words and we’re talking 1986 I was paid 150 dollars for that that is the same amount as my welfare Jay so if they would have found that out no doubt I would have been left with two dollars in the long run Wow and it made me think of 2018 because the latest news was leave it yesterday or Friday they were talking about the newspapers were talking about Wesley Snipes and he’s back in the news again potentially owns multiple millions of dollars because he hasn’t been showing that he wasn’t in that lick you’re saying they want you to stay in a certain lifestyle to get whatever they’re sending you but they want you to stay there and not make any changes in your life or you know it seems like servitude well I I considered it to be the way they handle your additional income situation to be punishment I mean after I was in the college for a while I’m able to demonstrate academic excellence I was provided a scholarship when it was time to recertify and I was asked have there been any changes to my household income I did the right thing and I reported it I reported the money I had received and as a result of that my food stamps were reduced to $25 so I was livid I remember stomping down the halls at college and just renting because I thought that’s what that system was there for for me to use as I found my way to getting back on my feet and for me education was that way yet I was being punished for it because I got a scholarship for demonstrating academic excellence well yeah I love it and I love before we had gotten on our first one of our first podcast was about God winks and that there’s no accidents and we were looking at all the synchronicity in our lives and before you and I had gotten live on the call we were talking about the book journey of souls by Michael Newton and in the book he most people are familiar about past life regression but in journey of souls he about life between life regression so you’re actually looking at your past lives interpreting that and using that information to determine what your next phase of incarnation is going to be and so as you were talking and made me think of that one professor that saw that light in you even when you didn’t and then there was an opportunity where he told you that and you could have self-sabotage like oh I’m not going to listen to them at all but something drove you to do this USA Today article yes and you know in terms of past lives just from the top of my mind I must have been a scribe I am so obsessed with all forms of communication writing oral speaking and anything that has to do with disseminating or handling information and I know that you know back in those days and the time absque ribes those persons were entrusted with those skills they were the recorders and what have you and I have so many books as I’ll tell you that when I do decide to move no one will help me move unless I pay them I have a closet that was a clothing closet that I put shelves on all three sides and it turned it into a book room from floor to ceiling and then there are stacks throughout my home but you see that is one of the reasons why I also try to promote literacy at every turn I get because I’m totally aware that there are strong correlations between poverty and those who lack the ability to comprehend the huge amount of information that surround us on a day to day basis I was looking at some numbers today this is about 49 percent of US adults can’t read beyond eighth grade level and you see if you can’t read first of all how would you even apply for public assistance how would you fill out a FAFSA form how can you serve how can a parent serve as a navigator for their child through the public school system so reading is just just totally so crucial I mean I can’t envision not being able to found out where the fact my love of literacy happened inadvertently I remember it quite clearly I was about five or six years old and my dad used to get the Sunday paper and he’d get in that naugahyde orange vinyl recliner and stretch out with that paper and one day I noticed the section of it was really pretty I’m like oh I asked for that it was the comic section obviously and I spread it out on the floor and got down on my knees with both hands on the floor and I’m like totally into this paper and then I saw a cartoon that really caught my attention and I got frustrated because I saw these things above the characters heads and I couldn’t read what they were saying and I cried so my dad came down there with me and helped me sound out the words and I was able to find out what the little bear was saying to the big bear Yogi and boo-boo right and at that moment I came to realize wow now I know so that means if I can read all of these words so that I see everywhere I can note everything and that is when my mind just came alight you know I’m so reading it is just so crucial I’ve been in many homes especially black homes in the south where the only book and that whole household was the Bible I can remember going to visit some relatives of a family member and there’s not a lot to do where they were living and I was bored to death so I got up and I tried to find something in the house of read I’m looking for magazines I’m looking for any they and there was nothing so literacy is totally crucial had I not had the love of learning and reading and writing I could very well still be in that poverty situation so I stress it to my children as they grew up I had we all had favorite books that we could laugh about and talk about to this day and in my book a day at the fair one woman’s welfare passage I described many of the scenes that we’re talking about and one of them talks about how my favorite books that I read with my son was a series of books called Richard Scarry and hit Busytown and it’s a book that’s just full of illustrations with all kind of transportation and machines and characters and we just love that and to this day my daughter and I we we could laugh about Lilly’s purple plastic purse you know so growing up and giving your children a love of learning is probably the greatest gift that you could give them beyond any material thing and even today I still serve as a volunteer I read in public schools in two nearby cities once a month and I bring the characters to life using my voice and I think it’s important for the children to see that someone besides their teachers has shown them how much fun and how important and how vibrant one can be in reading and learning so I’ll never let go of that yeah like the right now give a shout out to my main man at the Grand Clarence capers who was my grandfather and as you were telling that story maybe think of Sunday when he was reading the paper and I would sit next to him and after he finished the section I’m like well let me get that section and I thought it was touching them off but it really wasn’t it was a really good binding bonding on scenario totally missed that guy and as you were talking about and my mom used to take us we used to walk across town to the library and I’m just thinking what do you do I love that you volunteer at the public schools but you know at twenty eighteen everything digital so we have digital books audio books how else are how else would you suggest parents to bond with their children in the form of reading by tying in and that’s where Family Literacy comes in by tying in everyday things to reading maybe for example one of the examples I like to give is taking up some post-it notes and a sharpie and labeling everything in the room and sticking up post-it note to it what a sight that is when you’re done you know just basic things getting together in the kitchen to bake a recipe having someone read out having another child measure you know there’s so many basic things that you can do and I also do a presentation called building a family legacy building a legacy of learning where I talk about and share low budget or no budget activities that families can do and to promote literacy as part of daily routine because the naturality that’s how you and I use it and how to build a library on little or no money at all to have a library in the home I must say that with the post-it notes that is huge and I remember Mike one of my sisters when she moved overseas she used the post-it notes all the time just to pick up another language and it was easier for her to pick up a language just by constantly seeing these different words so it works just not in your native language mm-hmm I do want to ask you I do want to ask you about a historical question so those are saying that the more things change the more they stay the same and so historically the has been lagging let’s say for lack of a better term for from the rest of the country David always talks about paying body and when you said that in a lot of homes in the South don’t anything that but there was the Bible and from a history lesson that was used as a control mechanism to keep people on line I wanted to get your take on Family Literacy black homes in the South only having a Bible in 2018 that’s that’s unimaginable for me now I don’t totally I don’t disregard the Bible but I do consider it one of many available quote unquote holy books however no matter what we believe in we have physical bodies and we have to exist on the physical plane and so for that reason it behooves us to be totally aware and to take in knowledge as it relates to how best we can exist on a physical plane not to so much have more belief in this thing this pie in the sky it will take place when we make the transition but that we are put here by the Creator with all these wonderful offerings whether it’s nature or diversity among peoples and those are two classic examples of something that we could come to know so much about if we read we can learn about other people’s we could gain a understood more understanding about nature and so yes to to see that even if the previous generation held that as the one and only book surely they have to want in wanting more for their own children they have to be willing to know what they don’t know but not want to have their children follow suit I mean most parents want their children to have more than what they had and there’s no greater means for bringing that about then promoting lifelong learning we know also that of that particular generation that tends to only have that book many of them never even finish school and we also know that many of them want to insist that that next generation their offspring does finish school but a lot of support really needs to come from home and if indeed we do provide our children by example that’s another reason why we need to be not just talking the talk but actually having our children see us take time to read because they will envision that Wow if mom spends that much time doing it it must be something to it for those parents who cannot read there’s a solution for that there are Family Literacy centers and Family Literacy has the goal of seeing to it that everyone in the household can participate in reading and learning and comprehending information and they actually conduct activities at their centers that promote families doing that that just because someone is of a certain age does not mean that they cannot learn to read if they have that the dot desired to do so they can and Family Literacy centers have all available resources can also provide different means of promoting and supporting literacy in the home so if a person wants to say well I need 50 something years old and I’m 30-something or 40-something years old and I can’t read how can I help my child not be like me and not be so limited it the way they can do that is to take it upon themselves visit your local public library inquire at your nearby public schools there there are people there who are as dedicated in the work of promoting and assisting individuals who want to learn to read as I am dedicated to the work I’m doing absolutely made me think of the Denzel Washington movie with Viola Davis or at the end you know you realize that spoiler alert but see the movie did though couldn’t read and so just hampering his life you know he wanted to do so much worse child and he was harder on him because he couldn’t read yes Lee people people have excuse me I don’t mean to cut you off but people are really uncanny and hiding it yeah you see the time and time again I forgot my glasses today honey can you read this for me mm-hmm you know Pamela as you talk about all this it it makes me think of my mother and her sister they were you know they were born in Detroit and in the 40s and fortunately for them their mother my grandmother all her brothers and sisters pretty much all went to college and got degrees which is pretty incredible thing back in the 30s and 40s and my grandmother would read she insisted that my mother and her sister knew how to read so she would read to them daily and have them read in the newspapers and stuff it was super important and then when they were about 8 8 8 9 they moved to California and where they went to school was predominantly white I think as a matter of fact my mom said that they had like an assembly to announce they had two black students that were going to be joining us Wow I know so she said all the students didn’t treat him bad or anything but what she said was they were the education system in Detroit at the stay at the time my mom initially I was born and raised to the first like eight years was really good so when they went out to California they were ahead they had to put them up like three times because all the information that they already knew but on top of that they could really like adults so yeah little mimes when the teacher asked someone stand up and read the first time my mom did it she just read completely at everyone in the room just gasped like they couldn’t believe my girl was sitting there to read like that floor like an adult just blew away then her and her sister and so I know to this day my mama says I’m so glad you know grandma pop you know taught us how to how to read out of early age and she insisted in every day she read with us because she knew that was even though my mom and her sister probably didn’t realize at that time but you know she can look back now and see the importance of learning how to read at a very young age and understanding you know what you are reading and comprehending it yes I mean I’m okay and when I’m talking on literacy one of the points I like to make I pull up this little cartoon of it’s illustrating the various ages could occur ages of mankind you know you have the Iron Age where they learned how to shape metal into swords and what-have-you it you had the Stone Age where if you couldn’t make it like Fred Flintstone you weren’t going to survive well people we’re in the Information Age and if you can’t master the tools of information there is no place for you yeah when I when I’m reading to the children in the public school before I leave I always tell them that anything that they want to know about to do or to be they can find out by reading in a book and then I give them my example which is my son when he was about eight or nine years old he had this infatuation with astronaut and the maybe by 10 it changed he was the lover so much into outer space as he was aviation and I noticed this so when I saw him make the switch I started by every book I could find on aviation the history of aviation James book of planes old FAA pilot flight manuals Tuskegee Airmen I built this library for my son and that was seven the twenty-seven years ago today my son is FAA certified mechanic to work on everything from single-engine cessnas to the biggest jumbo jets and he just purchased and fully restored his own second airplane well so what I try to tell parents is as parents it’s kind of up to us to pay attention to what our children’s inclinations are because if we notice that and we support and nurture that there’s no telling what that is that that child in this particular incarnation it’s here to live out and the the thing that happened with my son was just unbelievable as a teen when other boys were concerned about being cool my son would be in his room I kid you not one of the cells likeness of him not being home anymore if there’s no one down at the end of the hall and I hear keyboard ticking and foot stomping because my son bought Microsoft Flight Simulator back in the day and he got every airport scene and everything and he dark in that room and have those airplane instrument gauges on that monitor and that is how he taught his self fly Wow I love it so this is what I try to stress the parents pay attention to what your child likes if you want to get them books I can pick them let me ask you Pamela so it’s the beginning of November and we are calling paths that we’re officially into holiday season and most people would do the soup kitchen for Thanksgiving and it’s kind of a checkmark of yes I’ve done my community service and I’ve done my part what made you go above and beyond that to become not only a literacy advocate but a poverty advocate my my personal lived experience with poverty you see and I feel I’m qualified to do so because you see when I lived my cushy middle-class lifestyle and how could she was it I lived in the restored historical section of Savannah Georgia in a two-story fully restored Victorian home that overlooked a park that is about 20 blocks long complete with private garden of wisteria and off the Spanish wispy mark hanging off the trees and everything was good and food abundance music entertaining friends and family you name it and then all of a sudden find myself in a matter of a week living in the conditions that I described to you gentlemen the reason being my partner suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of having gone to Vietnam and he would go into these violent fits of rage and I had to make a decision to stay enjoy the material comfort were to go to protect my and my children safety and mind you I loved him dearly I never ever found anyone with such a capacity of sensitivity he was talented he was so interesting on his good days he was everything to me and my children but on his bad days it was just scary so I had no choice but to leave and in doing so that is how I ended up about four hours away living in these crime-ridden drug-infested neighborhood zooming box of roaches and so I feel qualified as a poverty of a git because when I meet with congressional members to tell my story in support of anti-poverty programs I feel qualified because you know I tell them I just have the same attitudes about the safety net that you did because I did when I was living comfortable and I just heard a rumor about welfare I’m like oh lazy non-productive blahblah freeloaders I had all of that I didn’t even know anybody on welfare but I was making those judgments and then fate knocked in my door and after living on the streets and then a moving truck and staying in the home of a stranger and everything I realized that the only choice I had next to nothing was for me to swallow my pride and go apply for welfare so you see I have both perspectives I know what it was like to be comfortable and cozy and not have a care in the world except maybe what color the drapes are going to be and then I have the doubt driving the experience of living in a place with no heat no air and this was in Florida mind you when the bedrooms are upstairs so try sleeping in a bedroom upstairs in Florida with no AC with one window in the front and one window in the back he said as I mentioned in my book on some of those days I was the crayons left behind in a hot car that’s how bad it was so I feel qualified as a poverty advocate because I have Linux I know what it’s like to be judgmental when everything is good and cozy in your world and to have it taken away and reduce you down to nothing on a physical level and there’s also outside now you had said another good point we had covered it maybe two or three podcasts ago about the black community we were talking about taraji Henson and she was on late night and she had just started this fund because she was talked in and honour for her father or father a transition but before he transitioned he had gone through the same scenario as your spouse with the post-traumatic stress disorder from Vietnam and my dad kind of went through the same thing and it was kind of it was one thing that our community didn’t really talk about until this generation recently so it’s just more of people feeling isolated or by themselves whereas there was if there was a collective outreach I think people would have transitioned a lot better and I think that’s happening today yeah yes well you know one thing I always like to clarify is that as a poverty advocate anti-poverty I am not on any one side I am NOT saying that person should be given some unlimited amount of money and remain in the system for a unlimited amount of time nor and I think that okay government do away with those programs you see because people always like to come up with a well there’s all these people who abuse it actually statistically it’s been shown that’s a whopping two percent and my response to the abuse question because I had to come up with a 4os because I hear it all the time is you tell me what is it that mankind has access to that is not subject to abuse you have domestic abuse you have drug and alcohol abuse you have abuse of power were so now all of because this is some taxpayer paid program that’s being provided to persons who are struggling to put food on their tables or have a roof over their head do you think it’s supposed to have some magic force field around it that will enable it to not be abused come on let’s be for real so I’m not on either side but if resources was no option I would personally take on the task of revamping not reforming because when they say reform now it’s only associated with let’s cut it I’m talking about revamping the program and turning it into something that initiates self sustainability from day one of completing the application and gives the person a tract of success of something they can hope to accomplish before event three to five year period or whatever it is I’m drought so that they can see that when it’s all over they’re going to be better off and you see that’s another reason why I embarked upon the motivational speaking because I feel like this all the people who get this formal motivational emotional intelligence and all the other professional buzzword type things they’re always managers or supervisors and all of that so who needs motivation more than a person who is down on their luck so because I’ve been there I feel that I I qualified to speak on what that’s like and to share with them personal tools or personal strategies to hang in there and keep scratching at that dirt till something comes up out of it so I always like to clarify that I’m not on either side I’m only on the side of doing what’s right I’m not saying that abuse doesn’t exist or happen and I’m not saying let’s do away with the program but I am saying it needs to change it needs to be more pliable flexible more goal-oriented because when you are down and out and you’re broken and lost like that you’ve lost something already and so I think there should be training programs I have I have this whole idea that if I had the time I would write this paper in this report on how to apply it and turn it into something that can be a reward rather than infinite and then people don’t realize why one of the reasons why people stay on the system is the cliff effect the cliff effect is when you are working towards independence as I did and you take each individual step then at some point you have to know for a fact before you jump out of the system that you are now going to be able to afford a childcare be health insurance see decent housing and come on let’s face it with the way wealth inequality continues to blossom the especially in this last few years how do you think anyone making $7.25 an hour can do that it’s not going to happen so you have to be able to make that decision if you read my book you’ll see where I went back and forth and back and forth and worried about can i really get out of it now do I think I can step out on my own and handle paying for daycare paying full 100% of my own rent buying my own groceries at the rate of inflation providing transportation affording medical care that’s a whole lot to be trying to do with $7.25 an hour here here so that’s why some people are staying there because when they give to that cliff they can see it but I can’t jump yet I don’t have a parachute I’m not capable of making sure that I can provide all of that I mean that’s a commitment if I took my baby out of daycare for some piddly little job I’ve heard us more than anything else so a lot of people probably I can’t speak for everyone but I can only speak from my experience I cannot do that until I was absolutely positively sure that my income resulting of my newly born career in journalism was going to make that type of independence possible so if we can revamp a program that puts that as what’s at the end of the tunnel and people can see it you could give people something to strive for but otherwise they’re taking a risk so my overall attitudes about the system again I’m not on either side I’m not saying everybody should stay on it indefinitely and I’m not saying the government should take it away but it needs to be a road it needs to have a track it means to have something because you see one person’s idea of success it’s different than another’s so you have to define what will that look like and then maybe it will government could see it more as an investment but the way it isn’t the way it is now with the rules differ from state to state and all of it it’s a mess yeah yeah you’re also touching into the conversation over Civet ISM so from an economical standpoint they’re the jails are anticipating the person to go back into jail or have that revolving door yes once they once they get out they’re just like like you said that cliff there’s no way I can handle this I might as well just go back and get my three hots and a cot yeah you know so it made me think of I don’t know if you know about him but Curtis wallstreet Carol are you familiar with him no I’m not so Curtis wallstreet Carol he was big he did a send it to you afterwards but he did a huge TED talk last year he was a gangbanger and I think he’s in Northern California and he didn’t know how to read he got arrested when he was really young you know familiar story he was doing the trafficking but while he was in jail I think he was in there he was when he had first gone in I think he had a violent crime and so he was supposed to be in there for 20 plus years when he had gone in as a teenager he couldn’t read he couldn’t write he taught himself to read but he also taught himself how to trade stocks and so that’s why he was on TED Talks because you know he became financially literate and he was also able to read the law books of how he got incarcerated and was able to shave time off of his acsent ins say yes yes but you know I used to visit a maximum-security prison and the most it was the most heart one of the most heart-wrenching things I’ve ever faced because so many of the young black men all black men men period that were in there had some epiphany once they were there of course you hear it all the time well I converted the Islam I found Jesus blah blah blah so on and so what essentially I observed is that when they have the distractions that were on the outside removed they come to realize their essence of who and what they are and can be and so I want them to learn to start focusing on that before it comes to that I saw artists who just were astounding I saw how they’re not being able to have certain things or supplies they were some of the most exceptional people improvising I have one example I’d like to give you I was invited and asked to come up initially as a speaker during a gradual ceremony of a black history group within the prison and they wanted to use can taste those you know the sashes of the embroidered African threads and all of that but of course they weren’t allowed to have those because they can be used for strangling somebody or what have you I kid you not these brothers took pieces of eight and a half by 11 paper cut them the exact width of a Kent they stole connected them with tape to make the length of a Kent they stole and then here’s the remarkable part they meticulously pen-and-ink every single stitch on that sash of paper and it looked so authentic it was unbelievable it’s great they made those can’t they sashes out of paper and pen and ink earlier in the podcast you’re talking about literacy and you were talking about people were unfamiliar with fat food and that was no kidding financial aid for Scott for college and things like that I like you and to talk about literacy with historically underutilized businesses I understand you’re part of swam which is in in Virginia they have different names in different states but it’s the small women minority-owned business how how were you able to get that designation and how could people learn more about that that once they learn how to read dirt yes they can contact their state Small Business Development Corporation sometimes called SBDC and what they are as the name entails they have provide foundational information to small businesses and I was at an event where that information from the SBDC was presented and one of the things they went on to talk about was how small businesses would qualify as swamp which stands for small women and minority businesses in which you own at least 51% of the company as well as a micro business which is super small and then you have enterprises and so I am a swamp but there are other subsets of this program as well and it just took two full day sessions for me to achieve that certification so if people would go to their state look up their small business development council or if you can’t find that if you contact your local score office which is another acronym that has something to do with retired executives who serve as mentors for businesses someone can help you find your local SBDC and find out what your state’s name is for the program that certifies small women and minority businesses and the reason why the certification is valuable they have the most remarkable database set up and most states are required to use a certain number of suam or dbe’s and micro businesses for their work and so when you become certified you go into this database and you’re provided these occupational codes so that those procurement people from different companies or local and state governments can go in search of you based upon that code if they have a need for let’s say it’s public speaker they can type in whatever those five or six digits is and they will see a listening of all of those public speakers who are designated as moms in this database and then there’s some other information there that enables them to look at you there’s a link to my website and maybe how many years I’ve been in the business and I have more than one code because I also serve some other have some other small business ventures but yes they can contact their state look for your SBDC if you can’t find that most states have a score office SC o re and they can perhaps guide you and it’s the process itself like I said took two days and involve paperwork that most of us already have on hand hopefully you have a business license you’ve opened a business bank account or will can show them that you’ve made some investment in the business you know have some skin on the table and past w24 past our income tax return so there’s nothing complicated about it of all I went one day to learn about the whole thing of what it was about I’m with the next day to actually fill out and submit the forms and necessary paperwork and I believe it takes 90 days before you get that eat analysis you made it here’s your certification number you’re now in our system no one to thank you for sharing that I wanted to highlight it because with people listen to this now which is November and you said it takes a couple of months to get approval going through whatever process they don’t have to wait until January to start their new year’s resolution oh yeah for real for real yeah that puppeteering thing just drives me crazy which takes me back to your previous question about why I have decided to be a poverty advocate one of the reasons is in fact I just have a recent letter to the editor published in two papers here that reminded people that listen homeless people are hungry need medical care and shelter all year-round it is not a seasonal problem absolutely absolutely and you just said you just highlighted how the world can open up to you just based off of literacy and things that we take for we take for granted others have no idea about and that’s why I wanted you to highlight the small business – because and I noticed this in college that a lot of scholarships and a lot of funding are never even taken advantage of because people aren’t accessing it yes I heard of that well I can assure you like I said when I first started out I was looking for everything that I could find and of course there was a lot more available back in those days and let me just add a real quick thing when Mother’s was going through my little stint with poverty one of the things that made it most difficult and again we’re talking 1984 to 1986 you know what had happened in our communities back then that made it so awful then crack cocaine creep and the places that were kind of just cool like I was in the grove of skating and I’d go out over the basketball courts when the brothers weren’t out there playing and skated there were other places that I could go and just kind of chill well those places became some of the most dangerous places you could not want to be all because of crack cocaine and my neighborhood was one of them yeah it’s funny now 20:18 you have TV shows like subject entertainer about the neighbors so that kind of opened the scenery if you will to regen to vacation oh yeah and most people would know that without the literacy so I think it always goes back to literacy and what would you say to someone because we’re at the at the top of the hour and I’m going to give you time to highlight your book and where they can get touch with you but what would you say to that one person that you know they they can’t read but they somebody had given them as podcasting or listening to it and they may be in a situation that they would consider dire how would they pull themselves out of that situation well I would suggest that they find if it’s immediate situation by someone who does have the literacy skills enough to read and guide you through the document and perhaps paraphrase what it is that the document is saying don’t sign anything that you don’t have a clear understanding of and then if you’ve solved your immediate emergency then do reach out as I mentioned contact your local public library maybe you’re even public school and find out where your nearby Family Literacy Center is because there are people who have dedicated themselves to helping you expand your horizons and let me assure you that once you do so and you find yourself able to read you won’t want to stop reading and your whole world will open wide up nice right so where could they get a dead affair and how could they get a touch with you for speaking engagements and everything else I have a website that they can see speaking demos then I fill out a contact form and I’ll be revising it soon to put a place for emailing list I do have an email list my website is Pamela that’s P am like an Mary e la mm-must Covington CoV I ng T like and Tom om Pamela M Covington dot-com is my website and my email is the same it’s Pamela s Pamela M Covington comm you can find a day of affair 1 women’s welfare passage is available on Amazon as both a paperback and an e-book and should be available as an audiobook sometime in 2019 in addition I’m also working on another book called inspiration for everyday people a self empowerment workbook which will also be out sometime in 2019 fantastic you have just been in tuned to another episode of intrinsic motivation from a homeless perspective this is Hamza and I’m David and Pamela it was a pleasure speaking with you and learn more about you and becoming an advocate and we’d love to stay in touch thank you well thank you for the invite I really enjoyed being on the show thank you so much thank you [Music] thanks again for checking out another episode of intrinsic motivation from a homeless perspective podcast please check us out on our website at a trinsic motivation dot life where you can click on the speak pipe button and leave any suggestions for a future podcast that you like us to cover also check us out on our social media sites we have a YouTube channel Facebook page iTunes podcast in addition to stitcher and Google Play all under intrinsic motivation from a homeys perspective check you out next time have a great day you

Please follow and like us:

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email