Khadijah’s Journey: Skid Row to Harvard

Culled from

For more than 100 years, Los Angeles’ Union Rescue Mission has been a refuge for homeless families. At night, women and children fill the bunk beds on the shelter’s fourth floor, a safe place for those who don’t have a home of their own.

Khadijah, a young woman from California, spent many nights doing her homework in one of these beds. She wrote English essays, practiced math problems and studied for exams until the lights went out at 10 p.m.

Khadijah began moving from shelter to shelter with her mother and younger sister when she was 6 years old. When there were no shelters available, Khadijah says she and her family slept in bus stations or on the street.

Despite their circumstances, Khadijah says her mother always held her and her sister to a higher standard. “No matter where we lived, no matter how bad our circumstances may have been, my mom was always positive,” she says.

In 12 years, Khadijah attended 12 different schools, but she kept up with her peers by spending day after day at the Los Angeles Public Library. “It changed my life,” she says. “The library gave me some control over some aspect of my life. Even though I couldn’t really control where I would live or anything, I could control how much I wanted to learn.”

During Khadijah’s sophomore year in high school, she decided to do whatever it took to stay in one place. From that point on, she woke up every morning at 4:30 a.m. to catch a bus from Los Angeles’ Skid Row to Jefferson High, which was two hours away. “Who wouldn’t want to escape that kind of life in Skid Row or in the shelters to come to this?” she says. “That’s what I focused on.”


Do you have a difficult ‘Type A’ boss?

6th Oct, 2015

 mean boss

According to, here are tips on how to work constructively for a Difficult Boss…

Make yourself as valuable as you can – It all starts here, with positive performance on your part.  If you’re a highly capable, perhaps even indispensable, employee who knows your job code, you have leverage.  No manager, except an extraordinarily inept one, wants to cause unnecessary problems for someone who’s great at their job.  So the most powerful lever you have to positively influence your management’s behavior is your own strong job performance.

Realize that complementary skill sets can create a strong team – Let’s assume you’re a calmer Type B and your boss is a more excitable Type A.  You might well be surprised by how much your temperaments can complement each other and actually help each other succeed.  As a Type B, I observed this dynamic many times over the years in relationships with my own managers.  For example, I tended to have a calming influence that provided perspective and prevented someone from rushing to conclusions.  At the same time my Type A managers tended to have more natural forcefulness and authority and could easily wade in and help me resolve difficult conflict situations.  Management is a complex endeavor, and it’s safe to say no one excels at every facet.  Complimentary skill sets smooth over gaps and create a stronger team.

Develop the hide of an armadillo – OK, I’m exaggerating here.  My point really is that it’s in your best interests not to be too sensitive, not to take things too personally – but to be thick-skinned and insightful enough to recognize that this is just the way your Type A boss is – and sometimes he or she will shoot first and ask questions later.  Most of the time the intensity of Type A behavior isn’t about you; it’s simply the way Type A individuals relate to the world around them.  If you can speak your mind diplomatically but candidly (and I know this is easier said than done in employee-manager relationships), this can be a very constructive step. For example: “You know, people don’t do their best work when they’re anxious.  I just want to help you and our team be as successful as possible – but I can’t do it if you’re constantly stressing me out.” Open communication is often the pathway to a better working relationship.

Recognize the admirable qualities the other person has – Very little in this world is all-or-nothing with no shades of gray.  To the extent you focus less on the frustrating qualities your manager has and more on the positive ones, that’s a constructive mindset.  For instance, his Type A impatience might be great at helping complete difficult projects in a tight time frame.  Or her Type A forthrightness might be valuable in cutting through bureaucracy and increasing operational efficiency.  It’s easy to become mired in personal frustration; looking beyond it at the bigger picture may help adjust your attitude.

Can working for demanding Type A bosses be difficult?  No doubt.  But can these challenges be overcome and can you build productive working relationships?  Absolutely.  Nothing is Impossible if you try…



7 Principles of an Eagle – Dr. Myles Monroe by Kwee Lain (CONT’D)

29th of September. 2015

eagle and logo

The Eagle tests before it trusts. When a female eagle meets a male and they want to mate, she flies down to earth with the male pursuing her and she picks a twig. She flies back into the air with the male pursuing her.
Once she has reached a height high enough for her, she lets the twig fall to the ground and watches it as it falls. The male chases after the twig. The faster it falls, the faster he chases it. He has to catch it before it falls to the ground. He then brings it back to the female eagle.
The female eagle grabs the twig and flies to a higher altitude and then drops the twig for the male to chase. This goes on for hours, with the height increasing until the female eagle is assured that the male eagle has mastered the art of catching the twig which shows commitment. Then and only then, will she allow him to mate with her.
Whether in private life or in business, one should test commitment of people intended for partnership.
When ready to lay eggs, the female and male eagle identify a place very high on a cliff where no predators can reach. The male flies to earth and picks thorns and lays them on the crevice of the cliff, then flies to earth again to collect twigs which he lays in the intended nest. He flies back to earth and picks thorns laying them on top of the twigs. He flies back to earth and picks soft grass to cover the thorns. When this first layering is complete the male eagle runs back to earth and picks more thorns, lays them on the nest; runs back to get grass it on top of the thorns, then plucks his feathers to complete the nest. The thorns on the outside of the nest protect it from possible intruders. Both male and female eagles participate in raising the eagle family. She lays the eggs and protects them; he builds the nest and hunts. During the time of training the young ones to fly, the mother eagle throws the eaglets out of the nest. Because they are scared, they jump into the nest again.
Next, she throws them out and then takes off the soft layers of the nest, leaving the thorns bare When the scared eaglets again jump into the nest, they are pricked by thorns. Shrieking and bleeding they jump out again this time wondering why the mother and father who love them so much are torturing them. Next, mother eagle pushes them off the cliff into the air. As they shriek in fear, father eagle flies out and catches them up on his back before they fall and brings them back to the cliff. This goes on for sometime until they start flapping their wings. They get excited at this newfound knowledge that they can fly.
The preparation of the nest teaches us to prepare for changes; The preparation for the family teaches us that active participation of both partners leads to success; The being pricked by the thorns tells us that sometimes being too comfortable where we are may result into our not experiencing life, not progressing and not learning at all. The thorns of life come to teach us that we need to grow, get out of the nest and live on. We may not know it but the seemingly comfortable and safe haven may have thorns.
The people who love us do not let us languish in sloth but push us hard to grow and prosper. Even in their seemingly bad actions they have good intentions for us.
When an Eagle grows old, his feathers become weak and cannot take him as fast as he should. When he feels weak and about to die, he retires to a place far away in the rocks. While there, he plucks out every feather on his body until he is completely bare. He stays in this hiding place until he has grown new feathers, then he can come out.
We occasionally need to shed off old habits & items that burden us without adding to our lives.
Culled From



7 Principles Of An Eagle – Dr. Myles Monroe

by Kwee Lain

28th of September. 2015

eagle and logo


Eagles fly alone at high altitude and not with sparrows or other small birds. No other bird can go to the height of the eagle. Stay away from sparrows and ravens.

Eagles fly with Eagles


Eagles have strong vision. They have the ability to focus on something up to five kilometers away. When an eagle sites his prey, he narrows his focus on it and set out to get it. No matter the obstacles, the eagle will not move his focus from the prey until he grabs it.

Have a vision and remain focused no matter what the obstacle and you will succeed.


Eagles do not eat dead things. They feed only on fresh prey. Vultures eat dead animals, but eagles will not.

Be careful with what you feed your eyes and ears with, especially in movies and on TV. Steer clear of outdated and old information. Always do your research well.


Eagles love the storm. When clouds gather, the eagles get excited. The eagle uses the storm’s wind to lift it higher. Once it finds the wind of the storm, the eagles uses the raging storm to lift him above the
clouds. This gives the eagle an opportunity to glide and rest its wings. In the meantime, all the other birds hide in the leaves and branches of the trees.

We can use the storms of life to rise to greater heights. Achievers relish challenges and use them profitably.

To be continued…

Culled From



Start Saving Up For Retirement In Your 20s

Sept. 21st 2015


Saving for retirement in your 20s is the key to harnessing the magic of compound interest and making the most of time while it’s on your side. For less than the cost of a night out monthly, you could begin building a firm foundation for your retirement.

“A little effort can go a long way,” says JJ Montanaro, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional with USAA. “I think the biggest challenge people have is getting their foot in the door.”

With that in mind, here’s why it can make sense to save for retirement as early as possible:

  • A little goes a long way.You need not wait until you’re at the peak of your earning power to save. If you have a 401(k) and already make maximum contributions, even saving $50 more a month will add up, says Michelle Green-Dacres, product management director of retirement solutions for USAA. 
  • Compound interest is powerful.With compound interest you make money on interest earned, and time is the secret to letting that compound interest grow into a substantial nest egg. Consider this: If you start at 22 with $1,000 in retirement savings and add $100 per month, in 40 years, at an estimated rate of return of 6 percent, your balance would grow to $210,106, according to USAA’s Retirement Savings Calculator. But if you were to wait to start saving until 42, all factors being equal, your balance in 20 years would be just $49,514. 


  • You must take ownership.As employer-paid pensions become the exception rather than the rule, more workers now shoulder the responsibility of planning for their own retirement.
  • Life can get in the way. Get into the habit of saving for retirement before marriage, home ownership, children, college savings and other responsibilities make it harder to commit resources. That way, “when life happens, you are committed to that habit,” Green-Dacres says.
  • You don’t have to be perfect. While it makes sense to pay off high-interest credit cards and other expensive debt as quickly as possible, trying to eliminate all of your debt before saving anything for retirement can delay your progress. “You can’t wait until everything is perfect to start,” Montanaro says. “If you wait until you have every single debt paid off, you may never get started.”

Culled from



Sept 17th, 2015

Gabrielle Turnquest

Gabrielle Turnquest

She is the youngest person to be called to the bar in 600 years and at just 18, Gabrielle Turnquest has already become used to questions about her age. By 12 she was ahead of her classmates. She started her first degree at the age of 14, graduating two years later on the day she also graduated from high school. “I guess it feels really good to have a law degree,” she says, “rather than the age part of it.”

Not many people knew how young Turnquest was at the University of Law, where she was studying with her 22-year-old sister. Most of the other students were in their mid-20s, although there were much older people too.

“I think once people figured it out, there was shock,” she says, “I think that we had assumed that I was the youngest but there hadn’t been any confirmation. Then it was all over with and we got back to studying.”

Turnquest is the third of six children. Are they all high achievers? “We try to be,” she says with a laugh. Their mother can take much of the credit for their academic success. A lawyer from Nassau in the Bahamas, she moved the family there from Florida when Turnquest was a child. Deciding the school system wasn’t challenging enough for her bright kids, she spent several months researching curriculums from around the world, looking at which countries were doing best in which subjects and why.

Then she turned all that into her own educational plan, rented space in her office building, hired teachers and enrolled her children on to a programme she named Excelsior Academy. She even made a school uniform for them.

Turnquest insists there wasn’t any pressure to excel. In fact, she says, because she wasn’t comparing herself to her peers, she didn’t really know what was expected of her. She just soaked up as much information as she could take, regardless of what age range it was aimed at. “My mother never gave us the impression that we were expected to complete everything,” she says.

When Turnquest was 12, the family moved back to the US and the children went back to schools. By this time she was far ahead of her classmates.

When she got to high school the following year, she was able to take more advanced courses and she started a degree in psychology when she was 14. Turnquest’s university classmates knew she was still a high-school student, though most assumed she was a senior (around 17).

When a mentor suggested she might not be taken seriously as a counsellor at such a young age, Turnquest thought about what to do next. Her sister had applied to study law in London and she thought this would be a good next step. “I guess the same could be said [about her age] for law, but it seemed as though there would be more opportunities to do behind-the-scenes work and the age thing would never come up.”

Although she could have stayed in the UK and become a barrister, she now plans to work as a lawyer in the fashion industry – she starts an apparel industry management course in the autumn, while studying for the multistate bar exams.

So, does she ever feel that she has missed out on anything, that she has moved too fast? “I guess I missed out on going to university with the people I knew before, but I’ve met a great group of people going to university the way I did. I now have this time to figure out what I’m going to do next and I already have a degree, so I have more opportunities open to me. I honestly don’t think I’ve missed out. I don’t think there was anything I could have done at 15 or 16 that I can’t do now – just with a law degree.”

Culled From The Guardian, UK