Monday, July 12, 2010

Thankful for Reminders

I know for certain that writing can be quite therapeutic for me. I have really enjoyed blogging during these last few weeks. Most people that follow or read my blog know me very well and I don't have to worry about how I express myself because I know they (you) understand me.

Today I was a bit discouraged regarding some plans that did not work out for Summer Academy next week. Exactly 7 days away from our Philly launch, I woke up this morning meditating on my week ahead and told myself that I needed to remain relaxed and to be encouraged despite any potential situations that might arise. To that extent the Daily Word I read today emphasized that the most direct path to an answer is to pray for divine guidance. It acknowledged that guidance can come as an urging, a clear sense of direction or through the suggestion of a friend, but knowing that it was meant for you.

With that said, by early afternoon I was a bit discouraged regarding some plans that fell through regarding next week's launch. My mother noticed I was a bit out of sync and gave me her spirit-lifting devotional (Daily Guideposts) and told me to read the entry for today. It was called, "I will bless you...and you will be a blessing to many others." The premise was that tough stuff happens to us that it is really a gift in disguise. Simply put, Life can be interesting blessings disguised as struggles.

It warmed my heart because of the root of the title passage and it coincided with what I read in my Daily Word just hours earlier..."it was meant for me!"

So, as the sun sets on this day, I'm thankful for reminders. My reminder today brought me back to a place of humility, peace, sincerity and love.

I founded Make Your Name Great with the intention to bless high school students through lessons built on my many successes and failures, so they could matriculate through college successfully. That my friends is what myself and the entire MYNG family WILL do...BLESS MANY OTHERS!!!

Be encouraged in your own struggles because if you allow them, they could be blessings in disguise.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Could It Be?

Could it be that the 40 day countdown is now a 14 day countdown? Two weeks until the launch of Make Your Name Great Summer Academy. Crunch time has finally arrived. I feel a wealth of emotion. I'm nervous, excited, scared, confident, worried and encouraged all at the same time. What if the students do not show up? What if the dog eats my lessons plans (lol)? Then I catch myself and proclaim the students will show up and enjoy every minute and subsequently realize I don't even have a dog!!!!!!

All that said, seriously, I am excited for this moment to arrive. I'm ready to begin and launch what I consider to be a historical moment for the life of MYNG and the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection:-)

14 days to go and we are still in need of your financial support. Remember, IT TAKES A VILLAGE!!! MYNG cannot do it without your financial support. Today I encourage you to give $25 or ask four (4) friends to give $5 and add it to your $5. Whatever system you find that works for you, please assist the MYNG family in supporting the programs and services we provide to our students free of charge. Click here to donate now. IT TAKES A VILLAGE!!!

Ms. G

Monday, June 28, 2010


As the launch of MYNG Summer Academy in Philadelphia draws closer I want to take a moment to "SHOUT OUT" all of the wonderful people who have been working to assist with planning, phone calls, emails, internet searches, letters, applications, requests, the curriculum, lesson plans, student recruiting, marketing, etc. In this recession that has many people stressed, overwhelmed, overworked and under paid I count it a privilege to have those that are willing to donate their time and services to MYNG. I wish our organization could repay each of you for the dedication that you have shown, but I believe that your kind gestures will come back to you. I tremble at the thought of calling names and forgetting someone, but I have to take a moment to say thank you to a few people.

Mom Dukes--What can I say? Office manager, Senior Coordinator, Secretary, P.O. Box pick-up person, fund-raiser, motivator, encourager but most importantly Prayer Warrior. I could NOT have done ANY of this without you. You are my "ULTIMATE RIDE OR DIE CHICK"

K-Natile--Marketing/PR person, midnight hour proofreader/editor (lol), facebook updater, but most importantly CONSISTENT BELIEVER IN MYNG

Kami--the "digit dialer"...thanks for all the phone calls. The baby will arrive in November with great phone etiquette:-)

Kidada--thank you for the pep talks, sermons and encouraging words. Most importantly thank you for VOLUNTEERING to fly across five states to assist with MYNG Summer Academy

Keba--How could I get through this curriculum without you? Thank you for working in the summer when the school board says you don't have to:-)

Buffy--the $ Lady. Raise those funds!!! Raise those funds!!! Raise those funds!!! Thank you for doing what you do best!

Principal Jones/Puddin/Dr. Proctor/Ms. Gail/Ms. Jo--thank you for your individual efforts that contributed to student recruitment. There would be no MYNG without any students. THANK YOU

Rev. McDuffy/Mr. Holts and the St. Paul family--thank you for giving MYNG Summer Academy a home.

Even if I did not call your name, if you made a phone call, sent an email, donated financially or simply said a prayer, from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the students that will benefit, THANK YOU!!!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010


...AND I JUST CAN'T HIDE IT (singing with hairbrush in hand)!!! I don't think the Pointer Sisters will be recruiting me for the reunion:-) Nevertheless, I'm so excited and I just can't hide it. We have just under four (4) weeks to go before the launch of MYNG Summer Academy in Philadelphia. My excitement increases each day that we get closer to seeing the planning and hard work unfold. That's not to say that I don't have the occasional stressful moments. Anyone that knows me is aware that I do get slightly neurotic (did I just admit that publicly? overanxious sounds so much better) but nothing compares to the excitement I feel daily. I cannot wait to get to know this group of students, they are already very special to me.

Before the tears begin to fall, I think I hear all of you asking me, "Gina, What can I do?" Glad you asked. MYNG students need your financial support. Your donations support: transportation, organization t-shirts, paper, binders, folders, pens, highlighters, books, printing services, venue, closing day festivities, etc. Remember IT TAKES A VILLAGE!!!

Click here to donate or mail Donations to Make Your Name Great, Inc., P.O. Box 16929, Philadelphia, PA 19142.

Until next time my friend,

Ms. G

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Day 39 before the Philly launch. Today we are busy getting ready for the Open House at my High School Alma Mater, Motivation High School next Thursday. We are also soliciting sponsors, forwarding student applications, confirming facilitators and the list goes on. Our team has much more to complete, but we are enjoying every moment. Philadelphia here we come!!!

Almost forgot...Have you sowed today? Now worries, you still have time. Just click here: IT TAKES A VILLAGE!!!

Duty calls,

Ms. G

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The 40 Day Countdown Begins

We are 40 days (July 19, 2010) away from the launch of Make Your Name Great Summer Academy in Philadelphia, PA. Our team is hard at work ensuring that our students have a wonderful experience. There is only one thing missing...YOU!!! I am personally asking each of you to show your support of our students and the program by contributing a financial donation. Your donations will be greatly appreciated and the students will benefit tremendously.

Please visit to donate today.

Peace and Blessings

Ms. G

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Philadelphia, PA Summer 2010

I'm extremely excited to share some exciting news with each of you. Summer 2010, Make Your Name Great ("MYNG") Academy will be coming to Philadelphia. June 2010 will mark our three year anniversary and I am most excited to launch our second chapter in my hometown.

MYNG Academy first launched in June 2008 at the Westside Branch Y.M.C.A., Atlanta, GA. MYNG Academy is now a two (2) week summer program strategically designed to provide program participants with examples of the day to day challenges and experiences of college students, while developing the student's leadership and social skills. This is accomplished through scholastic sessions (African American History/Literature); College Life Skill Workshops (Networking, Conflict Resolution, Creating/Maintaining a Budget, etc.); Community Service and Social Outings. Whereas, this is a focus group launch, Summer Academy will be approximately one (1) week.

How can you help? I'm glad you asked!!! We are currently searching for a location (community center, church, conference room, etc.) to house our one (1) week Academy, recruiting students and other resources (free breakfast/lunch, SEPTA fare, passes to recreational activities, etc). If you have ANY information or contacts that you can pass along to assist in the process it would be greatly appreciated. Additionally, you can sign up as a volunteer for this summer (facilitator, chaperon, administrative assistance, etc.). Lastly, always feel free to visit our donations page ( and contribute to our organization.

Thank you in advance for your assistance and support. It is greatly appreciated.

Working to Make the Names of youth Great,

Ms. "G"