Monday, March 3, 2014

The World Is Waiting For Your Vision

Imagine for once YOU had the "winning idea." Imagine you had the "solution" to change the world. Without action or voicing it, your idea would merely drift away from your thoughts like a wave in the sea.  Without planting your idea and nourishing it, your idea would never blossom. However, if you were to share that idea with others and were able to make that idea into reality - imagine the impact you would make.

Capturing the sunrise in Wyoming during my road trip to California
Capturing the sunrise in Wyoming during my road trip to California.
Four years ago I journeyed 3,000 miles away from the comfort of my Philadelphia home to an unfamiliar city in Northern California because I had a dream. A dream to eradicate poverty by closing the opportunity gap and work with tech companies to share high-quality resources to underprivileged communities (pretty specific, right?). I had a dream that I could make a difference. I didn't know how I would do it, but I wanted to make the world a better place by making it more equitable.

I shared this radical idea with numerous of strangers I met through random conversations in coffee shops and during networking events until one day I connected with someone who shared a similar vision as mine. After years of hard work, preparation and execution I was able to help a nonprofit educate over 3,000 girls in computer programming in the United States and co-founded a computer technology program in a rural village in South India. Often I sit and wonder, "What would have happened to the lives I have impacted (and to my life which has drastically changed) if I never shared my vision with the world and trusted the universe to connect me to others?"

Teaching a student how to type during my stay in South India.
Blessed and humbled, I thank God every day for allowing me to go on this adventure but I know this is just the beginning of my journey. The universe is listening and waiting to conspire like-minded individuals to go out and do great in the world. This journey is not easy, it is not clear but one day the dots will connect. You just need to have faith in your work. 

What is your vision?  What idea are you holding on to? I know it is hard to imagine that you, yes you, have the next big idea the world is waiting for - but you really do. By giving your all and sharing your vision with others, the world will be able to benefit and connect you to others that will help bring your idea to life. You just have to believe in it and work towards it. As stated best by Helen Keller, "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." 

A group picture celebrating the finale of Startup Weekend Oakland - Black Male Achievement.
The world is waiting for your vision. We all have something to contribute to the world…I wholeheartedly believe that to be true. 

Peace and Blessings.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Once Upon A Time... There Was Humanity

A man almost died today on a public transportation platform filled with 30+ people watching him as his body shaken back and forth and he cried out random noises hoping someone would stop and help. I looked back to see where the noise was coming from before I boarded the subway train and noticed his body on the floor. People stared, watched momentarily with confused eyes but continued on their way. Instantaneously I quickly maneuvered to his side and asked if he was okay and yelled out "someone call 911." Two gentlemen quickly joined me to shift the man to his side as his face was turning purple. 30+ people standing around but only three stopped and helped, not even the people standing closest to him reacted to see if he was okay.

This occurrence made me think: "Are we, as a society, too busy to stop and be humane?" As I looked around the boarded train, I thought "How many times have we, as a society or as an individual, noticed someone in need and did nothing?" Sure, we all can read this post and think, "Shame on them," because no one wants to think they would ever be so nonchalant and cold towards another person but day in and day out people walk pass each other without hesitation for their well being.  Most of us can walk pass another and not even share a smile.

James 2:14-17 reads, "What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."

I share this scripture to say, if we are to restore the faith in humanity we must first start with our actions. What good is it to refer to ourselves as decent human beings if we fail to participate in the simplest acts of humanity? Saddest part about this story is I am sure there were greater number of people who shared this incident on their social media platforms vs. helping the person in need.

My final quote to you, "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."

Be Blessed.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Beautiful People Do Not Just Happen

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen. ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

It amazes me how often I feel the world mistreats me yet here I stand trying to shine a light for others to see and be inspired by. People interpret my smile and benevolent spirit as naïve and excessive as if I a) have a malicious motive of wanting to be nice, b) am being fake or c) have no clue of the darkness of the world. Many are unaware I was born and raised in the shadows of this world. I have seen and experienced events some do not even dare to live out in their darkest nightmares. Through it all I have survived and gained an immeasurable amount of understanding for people, granting me to be empathetic and nonjudgmental.

Although we should all take caution of people’s actions because we are unaware of their intent, try not to be so judgmental. You cannot tell a book by its cover just like you cannot understand a person’s journey by their current state. Behind a smile are stories and memories you may never understand. A person may be so giving and caring because they know how it feels not to be cared for and what it feels like to be without. Be inspired by beautiful-spirited people; don’t knock them down because you feel life has not done a good enough job of hurting them. Appreciate them because after all the pain they have endured they decided to hold on to positivity and shed light for others to see. Sometimes life can hurt you so bad, all that is left is to smile and move forward hoping to see the start of a new day and be of encouragement to others. 

As Always, Stay Positive and Encouraged! 
<3 Abby

Sunday, June 3, 2012

“Be the Change You Want To See”

Often I found myself staring at the celling as I lay awake in bed thinking about ways I could make a difference in the world I live. I would hear about all the inequalities taking place around the world due to an individual’s social class and would feel terrible but always thought to myself: “There is not much I can do because I myself am from a low social class and have also missed out on so many opportunities, like a good education, which sets me apart from other scholars and visionaries.” I am glad to announce that is now a past thought, recently I realized regardless of your present situation you can “be the change you wish to see in the world,” all it takes is the following ingredients: A dose of passion, dedication, perseverance and determination.

Martin Luther King Jr. did not share a plan of action that included thousands or millions of dollars to change the world he lived in…he shared a dream that inspired and continues to inspire people across the world. Ghandi and Mother Theresa both were extremely poor but saw the world needed to change and started their mission helping one person at a time and currently both are world-renowned inspirational leaders. I guess living in the Bay area (located in Northern California) and working along the side of many startups and founders I now understand it’s all about having an idea and knowing how to pitch it to others in such a way, others too believe in your idea and feel inspired by your vision. Not every founder I met in the Bay area has had the privilege of being connected to wealthy friends who could help fund their idea, many of them did not start out with having thousands of dollars dedicated to invest in their idea or had the brand name of a prestigious educational institutional accrediting them and their resume but they did have passion, dedication and determination to help their vision persevere and with those traits many were very successful in starting and sustaining their businesses.

With that I will share with you my vision of closing the digital divide amongst the youth and women living in underprivileged communities not only across America, but across the world. They say “Teach a man and you teach an individual but teach a woman and you teach a nation,” this quote has inspired me to start my mission and share my dream of the changes I want to see in the world.

Coming from a poor and uneducated family living in one of the many ghettos of America (Badlands, Philadelphia), I was not giving a high quality education which (I feel) sets me apart from many individuals in my field. This does not mean I cannot reach the same accomplishments as others, it just means due to my learning curve I require to work harder and longer to get the job done. Nonetheless, I recall touching my first laptop as an 18-year-old and learning the basics of Math, Science, English and many other subjects by simply having access to Google, and Youtube. I would search endlessly for formulas, lesson plans and tutorials on various topics I should have learned in school prior to my enrollment in college but missed the opportunity to learn these areas due to the limited access of quality education provided to low-income communities in America. I found that over time, sometimes as fast as watching 3-5 tutorials or reading 2-3 different lesson plans and practicing the material shown, I found a way to close my achievement gap. I went from being on academic probation during my freshman year of college to being a Dean’s List student who eventually graduated with high honors and received the Frederick Douglas award for being a high performing minority with one of the highest grade point averages in my field of study (SWAG!). Trust I am not the sharpest tool in the shed but I believe if you give a child access to a laptop and internet, regardless of the education being provided to them, you can truly change their world.

My mission is clear: Help close the digital divide between poor and rich communities across the world, with a special emphasis on women. Today, with my very limited access to resources and very high amount of debt, I have courageously started my first pivotal step in my mission by volunteering as a project manager to the Computer Technology Program taking place this summer in a rural village in South India. As project manager I was able to raise $3,000 in fundraising to start a computer room for the school. I have also dedicated 3 weeks of my time traveling to India to train the teachers and students on the use of technology. In addition I have also volunteered to be the marketing manager of BlackGirlsCode, a non-profit organization dedicated in closing the digital divide among young girls of color living in the United States.

Again, regardless of your current situation you too can share your dream and take your first step in positively impacting your world and being the change you wish to see.

 My words to you: Stay focus and good luck on your (long and difficult) journey. Remember nothing in this world is impossible, the word itself says: Im Possible!
To read more about the Computer Technology Program taking place in India follow the blog.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The meaning of Easter: To Believe

Then [Jesus] said to Thomas, “… do not be unbelieving, but believe.” 
- John 20:27

If you never went hungry I guess you would never truly appreciate the feast that has been prepared for you. If you never felt loneliness I guess you would never truly appreciate the meaning of fellowship, friendship and companionship. 

If you do not know something how can you say you can relate to it and appreciate the entirety of its nature? 

Perhaps that is why so many people tend to overlook the significance of Easter, the day of Resurrection. How can you believe a “man” who was crucified for the sins of the world “rose from the dead” on the third day to give us His final message: BELIEVE.

What does it mean to believe? If you never needed Jesus I guess you would never understand what it means to truly believe in Him and all that He can provide. You wouldn’t know how He whispers in your ear when you are filled with doubt and how He tells you “If I am for you, who dare be against you?” How He tells you to “Let go and let God” when all of your burdens are weighing you down and you feel all hope is gone nor could you understand the depth in His words “I am with you always” if you have never felt the cruelty of the world when you feel all you have is yourself and like your back is against the wall.

I suppose a healthy person would never appreciate medicine as a person who is dying from a disease would. Thanks to my trials and tribulations I have gotten to know Jesus and seen His work. I have witnessed His comfort when all I had in this life seem to be gone and I hope you would take today to get to know Him and believe in all He has to offer. 

Do not be misconstrued with the flesh, with the pope, priests, pastors, and nuns who help spread the name of Jesus because under the clothes and over them they are nothing more than human and are in need of God just as much as the next person. Do not turn your back on Jesus because a Christian may have turned their back to you, for at the end of the day Jesus’ greatest message to the world was “To Love your neighbor as I have loved you. He rose on the third day to show us all that it IS possible. Nothing in this life is IMPOSSIBLE. The word itself says IM -POSSIBLE! So Believe! Believe that you too can make the world a better place, you can transform your life and sing victory onto your day, believe in Jesus and the love and power He has given to you…because to know Jesus is truly a beautiful thing. 

Happy Easter Family! 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Embrace your past: Don’t regret it; learn from it

How many of us are still holding on to that moment in time where someone hurt you? That friend who should’ve had your back, a significant other that should’ve protected and cared for your heart, a parent who should have showed you more love and told you how important and great you truly are?

We live in a society that sells perfection but deep down we know nothing is perfect so why measure our experiences and the people in our lives against the figment of being flawless?
The truth is your parents weren’t the “perfect” of parents and tried their best to raise you while growing and maturing in their own skin. Your past lover did not realize the power they possessed or the power of their consequences and weren’t mature enough to love you the way you wanted to be loved at the time. Your friend, with all their flaws and imperfections, could still be a friend but at the time your opinions and desires didn’t align. As painful as the situations you underwent you must realize people are not perfect and at times are ignorant to the overall outcome of their decisions and actions.

In the crucifixion of Jesus, Luke 23:24 reads “Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

Even as they crucified Him, Jesus understood that people are oblivious to the full extent of their actions. They may not know the significance of what they are doing today but one day they may and when that day comes we should pray that our Father can help free them of any guilt and pain they will endure.

The world we live in teaches us how to be weak individuals. It shows us ways to practice revenge, hatred, rejection but Ghandi said it best “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” Embrace your past: Don’t regret it; learn from it. As a Christian or a believer to a greater positive force you should allow life situations to mold you in a stronger and more understanding person. Allow your past to give you wisdom not despair.

As always, stay positive and encourage!

Love Always, Abby!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fight For Your Life

How many of us walk around with a big smile on our face while thinking: “Nobody knows”; nobody knows the burden my heart and spirit is carrying, nobody knows my struggle, no one really understands me?

For those that struggle with these thoughts I want you to know: you are not alone. Many people experience these thoughts that are inextricably connected with heavy emotions that tend to strip us from our happiness; they make us feel as though we should isolate ourselves from the world because no one will ever understand. Isolation is never the answer and although many people may argue with my next thought, I think these thoughts are common and there will always be moments in our life when we will feel like this. These are the moments that fuel us for our comeback. How can you experience the good without the bad? If you are always content, what would fuel you to keep pushing forward?

When you are feeling blue, reconsider isolating yourself from the world and instead plan to “fight for your life”, as stated in the lyrics in the video below.

I found this video and thought it was the most amazing and intriguing video I have ever witnessed. Once I listened to the soothing lyrics the artist softly sings I understood the young lady is going through a difficult time in her life where she feels alone...but she fights until she sees the light :-)

As always people, stay positive and encouraged! The key to happiness is to be happy! Never lose the fight.

Enjoy the video! (It is one of my faves)

Her Morning Elegance by Oren Lavie

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


"When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place."

We all have a purpose of why we do what we do, whether its a little one poking at us with their innocent eyes admiring their parent; whether you are that child that wants to make your parent proud and bring a change in your family; or whether you had to struggle by yourself and are inspired by your personal testimony....we all have a purpose of why we do what we do.

Never lose sight of your vision. Write your purpose down, hang it up, and when that day comes when you are doubting yourself and the path you have chosen...just remember the reason you are doing it all for.

Stay positive ladies and gents....remember to always be encouraged. Speak victory over yourself!

Have an amazing day! :-)

Sunday, November 14, 2010


One of the greatest gifts in life is to love, and to be loved in return. We can all agree that at times love is a bittersweet experience that tends to find ways to strip us from where we stand and forces us to think outside of our normal self.

My friend recently shared a message with me that I wanted to share with you:
“Someone close to me once said relationships are like a dance: One factor they miss is that dancers must be able to BEND. If you are unwilling to bend in your relationship then it will surely break. A dance is always about BOTH partners and THEIR ability to complement one another, but perfecting that dance takes WORK and DEDICATION.”

It is easy to get wrapped up in how we operate as individuals that we hold our significant others accountable for not doing things the way we want them or what we consider to be right. In a relationship I do believe both partners must learn and master how to be flexible and how to make room for error if you intend for your relationship to last. We must remember that all relationships are about that four letter word: W-O-R-K...and if you are not willing to put in work, how can you expect your relationship to last? Remember to recite this phrase when we encounter days and moments where we feel unbearable with our significant other: (Please recite the following to yourself before you make any actions or utter words that might hurt the situation rather than making it better)

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

Remember we are human, with every new second that passes by we are learning and experiencing new things; with each new experience and lesson we go through in life, come changes. No person remains the same, the "five year old" you thought and reacted differently than the "today" you so why expect that you or your significant other will be the same? Learn how to relearn your loved one EVERYDAY, remember that it takes a lot of work to keep a successful relationship and more importantly learn how to respect them: Body, mind, and Spirit. 
Let us look to our Holy Father for learning how to deal with relationships: He is patient, He thankfully does not hold a tab on our wrongdoings, and more importantly He WORKS with us on a daily basis…remember that “Love never fails”


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fearing Achievement

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond imagination. It is our light more than our darkness which scares us. We ask ourselves – who are we to be brilliant, beautiful, talented, and fabulous. But honestly, who are you to not be so?

You are a child of God; small games do not work in this world. For those around us to feel peace, it is not example to make ourselves small. We were born to express the glory of God that lives in us. It is not in some of us; it is in ALL of us. While we allow our light to shine, we unconsciously give permission for others to do the same. When we liberate ourselves from our own fears, simply our presence may liberate others."

- Marianne Williamson in Return to Love: Reflections on a Course in Miracles

In reading this powerful quote I cannot say enough how many times I doubt myself and see others doing the same. God gave us the ability to move mountains, yet we continue to stumble over the smallest pebble in the road. We were blessed with the tools that will guide us in life, yet we fear that we are not good enough and we are not equipped to complete our purpose.

We continue to ask the same repetitive questions “Which way do I go?”, “How do I take on this task?”, “Am I good enough?”. Here is your answer: You are not LOST, you are not CONFUSED, and you know what you have to do ~ let God guide you to that better path and stop fearing achievement. Stay encouraged and hopeful that you will make it to the top and accomplish your goals.
The road will not be easy but if God is for you who dare be against you?

Thank you for reading,
Stay Encouraged and remember: NEVER surrender to negativity!