#TheLoveLife Spotlight

Margaret A. Brunson Ph.D, MPA.

Margaret A. Brunson Ph.D., MPA.

 

At the end of each one of my column posts, I will highlight individuals who are striving to live #TheLoveLife! This month, I place the spotlight on two of my amazingly dynamic friends, Keshia Smith and Nicole Campbell!

Who is Keshia Smith?

Keshia Smith

Keshia Smith

“I am a broken vessel serving broken middle schools students at Youth 4 Hope, an after-school program offering opportunities they would not normally see in the environment in which they dwell, while instilling academic, leadership, and spiritual developments. I come from a place where resources were lacking, however; my parents made sure that I received necessary opportunities for success by enrolling me into the Boys and Girls Clubs. With my challenged upbringing, I feel as if I have been called to cultivate the drive, knowledge and passion that adolescents possess within but are not given a fair chance or the option to exploit; sometimes because of their family’s status quo mentality and lack of knowledge. My joy comes from the feedback from parents, teachers, volunteers, etc. about the mindshift they have seen in a student since they have been attending Youth 4 Hope. My sleepless nights come from the mental overhaul of creating a better program that will reach and change lives for countless students in surrounding communities. I recognize that I have the POWER to pursue my PURPOSE with PASSION! Passion can NEVER be taken away!

 

  1. What does #TheLoveLife look like for/to you?
  • a renewed strength
  • peace
  • self-worth
  • giving of self
  • passion
  • grace
  • daily growth
  • new leaf
  • meaningful relationship building

 

  1. What is one life experience that caused you to look at love, your life, and/or your work in a different way?

The reason for my love with passion for the work that I do was simply others taking the time out to walk alongside an impoverished kid whose parents didn’t possess quality resources for a successful future. There have been many experiences that attributed to current life that I live.

 

  1. What would you say to motivate or encourage people who desire to live a life they love and love the life they live?

Love the life you live. Live the life you love with Power, Purpose and Passion.

Who is Nicole D. Campbell?

 

Nicole D. Campbell

Nicole D. Campbell

Nicole D. Campbell is from Cove City, N.C. She currently resides in Raleigh, N.C. with her family. She earned her Master of Social Work Degree from East Carolina University in 2002. She is currently pursuing a Master of Christian Ministry Degree from Liberty University. She has worked as a Social Worker for over eighteen years serving families and children in Craven, Moore, and Wake counties. Nicole is a talented poet and the author of two published books entitled “Release Me” and “Trust Me and Go Through”. Nicole’s life purpose is to help others as they journey to reach their goals. Nicole actively works within her purpose by organizing community events through the project entitled “The Edification Room”. This project hosts events in various venues with the sole purpose of ministering to the community through the gift of performing arts and testimonies.

  1. What does #TheLoveLife look like for/to you?

The Love Life looks like a life that is lived in freedom. I believe that love liberates us from all bondage. I believe that the Love Life is about trusting your inner light and allowing others to come into your place of freedom. In order to do this, it requires a level of openness and vulnerability. This can be a hard task for many but I believe that love offers safety and fulfillment to anyone who dares to truly experience it fully. You have to be willing to take risks to achieve the ultimate Love Life.

  1. What is one life experience that caused you to look at love, your life, and/or your work in a different way?

Grief and loss have been an experience that forced me to look at life and love differently. I lost my mother to cancer in 2012 and my husband to a massive stroke in 2013. These losses were significant and rocked me to my core but I knew I had to begin a process of rediscovering Nicole. I had to embrace the process and do the work to seek the answers to some important questions. I needed to find out how to carry on with my purpose in this new season of my life. What on earth could a motherless widow offer to anyone? With some time, I have found some profound revelations for myself. I now understand that God can birth ministry in the middle of your weakness. God can take the broken pieces and make something grand. I now understand that there are some parts of my life that are no longer required. They were appropriate for my past but they are no longer appropriate for my future. Letting go of these parts little by little has brought me to a place where I can start to be open to hope and a new perspective on life and love. I don’t have all the answers but every day I am faithfully working towards them. I have discovered that I am worthy of a life filled with love.

  1. What would you say to motivate or encourage people who desire to live a life they love and love the life they live?

I would encourage people by telling them to keep turning the page in the storybook of their lives. I would tell them that life will always be filled with new and exciting chapters and they will have to be open to embrace the journey that leads to life and love more abundantly.

Dr. Margaret A. Brunson is a trained executive leadership professional with over fifteen years of experience in the public and non-profit sectors. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Master of Public Administration degree from North Carolina Central University and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in leadership studies from North Carolina A&T State University.