Charmisse Morency Owens is a wife and mom to her two year old, Donald. Charmisse obtained her undergrad degree at Clark Atlanta University and is currently attending Brenau University where she is pursuing her second Masters degree in Communications. She is a published author and plans to open a non-profit to assist and serve first generation college students.
What is your passion and mission in life?
I discovered my passion in graduate school. I am a first generation college student and when I got my bachelors degree I immediately went into grad school. Navigating all that as a first gen is hard. I didn’t necessarily know what I wanted to do or how I was going to navigate through everything or where I was going to land really. So I ended up getting my Masters in Arts and Teaching from Clark Atlanta University. At that point I had to do my practicum and it is there where I found my passion for children, not at the teaching capacity, but at the motivation and encouragement capacity so that they can pursue things outside of school. I wanted to focus on encouraging them for anything post high school. Living in Augusta, Georgia some of those kids don’t even plan for after high school. Getting that diploma in that particular setting is a big deal.
I started writing my book called Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Started College. In the midst of that I really found a passion for communicating with kids and parents and schools, as they prepare their youth for higher education. So I have been aspiring to be a public speaker and I have also written a children’s book. I was inspired to write that while I was pregnant. My children’s book is called Donald Goes to College. My passion is people and pouring into them the way I didn’t necessarily have someone pour into me. My mom and my dad didn’t have that educational background so they couldn’t necessarily help me. I am kind of atoning for that. I want to ensure that youth feel supported and they have all the tools and they feel equipped to pursue anything post high school. That means going to the military, going to trade school, going to community college, going to a regular university. In the midst of that passion I want to start my own business and I’m also looking to start a non-profit for first generation college students. I want to mentor them, send them care packages and I especially want to send them stipends to make sure they make it home for holidays, for spring break and for things that they just want to be around their family for.
What is your biggest fear or hardship and how did you overcome it?
With that being said I have all these passions but I think my biggest fear and the thing that worries me most is failure and also rejection. Those are things that you can’t even necessarily overcome, or should I say you overcome them daily? I have never completely let go of those fears, but what I have done is turn those fears into fuel.
How has this adversity affected raising children?
Being a mom is extremely hard and it doesn’t come with a manual. So for me, I fear that I’m not the best mom. I fear that I did something wrong. I fear that I’m going to give my child trauma. I fear that I can’t do it all. I want to balance being a wife. I want to balance being a mom. I want to pursue my career, I gotta finish school! I have to do all these things and I fear that I won’t succeed. Or that I might be rejected for one of my book ideas or business ideas. My child might reject me at some point. I fear those things. You can’t control those things either. So I have learned to control my controllables.
If I can’t control it I have to let it go. When it comes to letting my fear fuel me, I always try to make sure I don’t psyche myself out and I make sure that it’s in the back of my mind so I can keep pushing forward. A lot of times when you get nervous or have those fears and you are antsy or anxious you quit or take a strong pause. I am trying my best to ensure that I don’t do those things. I am allowing my fear to be my fuel to be consistent, be persistent and continue to strive. I am letting my fear of rejection stay in the back of my mind to allow me to keep pushing forward. I am going to be a good mother! I am going to succeed in my business! I am going to finish my degree! I just have to continue on a positive path and that is going to be how I succeed.
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