"Writing has always been my passion, a way to express my emotions, and more importantly…heal. I hope that when you read this book of poems, you smile, you cry, you relate, and you join me on the journey of unmasking to become unmatched. You belong. You have purpose. You are imperfectly perfect. So many people have let me into their lives, but only a few know about me..."- Unmasked: The Journey and Its Lessons
I'll admit that I was apprehensive about straying away from the traditional office, " couch" therapy role because I didn't want people to lose sight of what a therapist "looked" like, which was a preposterous thought when I really heard myself say that aloud. I mean, mask off, I'm breaking stereotypes, and crashing glass ceilings, anyway! From a more spiritual space, God whispered to me, "Remember your calling." God called me to reach lives, bring hope, and healing to teens. I also reflected on the idea that Jesus went out among the people to do his heartwork, so why can't I? Doing so wouldn't make me any less of a professional.
Once again, I followed my heart, and it lead me to create "The Unmask the Gift Project". When I wrote Unmasked: The Journey and Its Lessons, I set out to share my story, and show people who I was behind the mask (imperfections and growth). I wanted to be transparent to let others know that we have all suffered with mental issues (yes, even me), and overcame them with therapy and support. Lastly, the educator in me, desired to promote literacy, and be a living example of how writing (journaling, reflecting, etc.) can be a powerful healing tool.
Ironically, I partnered with a childhood friend, who was dropping his album, "The Gift Box". Our visions of encouraging people to be true to themselves, and use their gifts to achieve greatness aligned, so we decided to use our talents to help students discover their truths. We both attended GLEC, an HISD Fine Arts Magnet School, so we knew the impact that music and literacy could have on improving behaviors, academics, and overall self esteem. Yes! Music and writing saved our lives, and our passions became our careers. This is our way of saying, "Thank you", and giving back to a community that fostered our love for the arts.
Our goal is to partner with schools, and community organizations to mentor students, inspire them to use their gifts, and provide positive outlets through writing and music. Allow me to introduce The Unmask the Gift Project. Join us in this endeavor.
Mission: The Purpose of the Unmask the Gift Project is to promote mental and self awareness through creative art and self expression
Vision: To inspire audiences to unmask their potential and operate authentically in their gifts.
Kick off is Feb. 23rd. Check out: www.unmaskthegift.eventbrite.com