Monday, December 1, 2014

Interview Series: Young, Gifted and Fresh-Jackie 'Dr. Diva' Walker

"True self-discovery is a lifelong journey, successfully mastered by those with tenacious drive and who are unafraid of failure." -Stacy Robinson

The people featured in this Young, Gifted and Fresh interview series are not necessarily what most people would consider to be accomplished, because the majority of society equates a sizable bank account as the only measurement of notable success. Instead, they are featured because they have veered from the beaten path and decided to take the road less traveled.  

Life is a journey is as clichĂ©d a phrase as one could imagine, but sometimes there is profound truth in simplicity. Life's journey is complex, and a formidable burden, especially when there are no guarantees having not been born with a silver spoon. The Young, Gifted and Fresh that are featured are in the process of making their own way and living out their dreams.  

This series is one that I hope will be ongoing and ever evolving. For now, let me start with a few entrepreneurs, educators, stylists, and a nonprofit founder. They all have one thing in common; they have discovered their purpose and are chasing their dreams. Tune in every Monday over the course of the next few weeks as I introduce a few people worthy of the title, Young, Gifted and Fresh.  

Jackie 'Dr. Diva' Walker

Dr. Jackie Walker is a glamorous, young, educated woman with an infectious smile. She has written a children’s book chronicling the life a cat, Prada Rose, who dreams of being adopted into a loving family. In addition to being an author, Jackie has obtained a doctoral degree all by the age of 32. Take a few minutes to get to know Jackie ‘Dr. Diva’ Walker.

What is Glamour Prestige?  

Glamour Prestige is a mobile educational consulting business that provides workshops that enhance education with elegance. However, two non-profit foundations also fall under the company. “Mind over Matter” (Independent Foundation for the Alzheimer's Foundation) where the motto is "Because your Mind does Matter". This foundation and rehabilitative services are dedicated to the late Annie Lee Rogers (mother of publicist) and Erma Lee Hoggard (grandmother of CEO) who both died of Alzheimer's disease. This foundation will actively execute research, provide services such as companionship, stimulate the brain and fundraise for the disease. The second foundation is the “MAN Foundation” (Men Alleviating Negativity) where the motto is "All Citizens deserve a Second Chance". This foundation and rehabilitative services are dedicated to African-American convicted felons that want another chance at life to stop recidivism. This foundation will provide services such as resume writing, classes on professional etiquette and training on how to become readjusted to society after incarceration. Glamour Prestige also includes motivational speaking and an advice column. We have also collaborated with another company, “My Destiny Empowers” to host vision board parties. 

Why the name, "Glamour Prestige"?

My publicist, Leatha Ballard (who is also my cousin) and I were discussing names in reference to the business that I was trying to build. She instantly said Glamour Prestige and I loved it immediately because I feel like that many girls are starting to “shy” away from educational careers because they do not think that it is glamorous. Subsequently, I want girls to know that you can be glamorous in a career that will also make you prestigious. 

Why is education so important to you?

Education is important to me because I come from a long lineage of educators. However, when I think of my education, then I think of one of the most inspirational people in my life. A quote comes to mind when I think of this person and it is by the famous philosopher, 2 Chainz. In one of his songs, he says they ask me what I do and who I do it for. I can whole-heartedly say what I do is improve myself and I do it for my grandmother, Erma Harris-Hoggard. If she was living today, then she would have been 97 years old and she had a college education. She was in the first class in 1935 at Norfolk State College, which is now known as Norfolk State University. See, back in those days, it was rare that African-Americans had college educations, so if my grandmother could achieve education in the 1930s at the undergraduate level, then there was no excuse for me not to achieve education at the graduate level 79 years later. I thank her for handing me the torch of persistence and determination and I will continue to light the torch and pass it on to my future daughter or son.

Explain the 3Es of your vision. 

Our Vision for our Educational Services will be accomplished through the 3Es:

Enhancing: Glamour Prestige wants to enhance what your educational arena is already executing by intensifying it or elevating it to another tier.
Education: Glamour Prestige wants to not only improve your educational tools, but also give you a "toolbox" that can not only improve your institution of academia, but become the blueprint for other educational arenas as well.
Elegance: Glamour Prestige wants to enhance your educational experiences with a gracefulness and sophistication that will not only leave your educators and students speechless, but eager to learn more.

Tell me about the book you wrote, "The Adventures of Prada Rose: Prada's New Home". 

The Adventures of Prada Rose is about a black cat that lives in the S.P.C.A. She dreams of going to a family that will love and care for her. On the 8th week that she is in the S.P.C.A., the director tells all of the animals to do something cute to try to be adopted. Prada Rose does every trick that she can think of, but no one notices her. The book takes the reader on a journey with Prada Rose to see if she will ever get adopted. This book is loosely based off real events and characters because I adopted Prada from the S.P.C.A. in 2006 and decided to release the book on Kindle in 2014.

Tell me about the upcoming bibliotherapy children’s book, set for release in January of 2015.

The bibliotherapy children’s book set for release in January 2015 is “The Adventures of Prada Rose” in a paperback format. This book serves a dual purpose because it is for entertainment and therapy purposes. Bibliotherapy or a social story is therapy for people to address their problems through books. The story of Prada addresses this because it talks about adoption, foster homes and foster parents in kid-friendly language.

What are some of the future goals for your educational services? 

Future goals for my educational services are to become the “BeyoncĂ© of Education”. The reason why I use this analogy is because she exudes glamour/prestige in the entertainment business and that is how I want to be in the educational arena. In addition, I want to start a DIVA Academy that will be a non-public or private school for girls with special needs. This academy will be held to the same standard as the public school system with the exact same academic curriculum, but students will be required to participate in character education and therapy sessions. I also plan to market the Prada Rose series as an instructional tool that will eventually turn into a cartoon, movie and a billion dollar brand.

What inspired you to obtain a doctoral degree?

As I stated in another question, I was inspired to obtain a doctoral degree because of my grandmother’s quest for knowledge when it was taboo. However, Zig Zigler stated, “You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.” These words that Zig Zigler spoke throughout his life are still very prevalent on today because I feel that my whole life is how I impact people. I live my life with the intentions that people are watching my every move and I need to make a good impression. That is another reason why I received my doctorate degree at 32 years old because I want my life to “rub off” on my family, friends and strangers. I want them to know that if I can achieve it, then you can achieve what I have and much more if you have drive and determination.

As an author of children's literature, what advice would you give parents concerning the reading habits of their children? 

My advice to parents is to make children read by any means necessary. There was an old saying that said, "The best way to hide something from Black people is to put it in a book." This quote always speaks to me and I want to make sure that all children especially African-American children help to dispel this myth.  During this time of technology, we have the opportunity to allow children to read books online, download an app or even listen to a podcast and all of these concepts help with reading. I also urge parents to work fervently with the school and ensure that their child is learning how to read because in the 3rd grade, then it switches to reading to learn.  If the child is having difficulty with reading skills like decoding or phonemic awareness, then parents need to ask the school to test their child for a reading deficit.

What do you want Faith and Stars readers to know about Jackie Walker?  

I want Faith and Stars readers to know that you need a support system of family and friends to help you make it in life. I needed my village to help me on this journey and I want to thank my parents, Jack & Phyllis Walker, the love of my life, Antoine Jones and my 6 non-biological sisters (Leatha Ballard, Aisha Wells, Velvet Smith, DeboRon Elliott, Yolanda Thomas and Ebony Hudson). I also want the readers to know that I live my life through scriptures and quotes because words speak to me to help me make it. I have to say that so many bible verses come to mind when I think of my life and all that has happened in a short period of time. My favorite scriptures from whence I live my life are as follows:
Life and death lie in the power of the tongue
Your gifts will make room for you
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for you
I know the plans I have for you says The Lord.
God is a miracle worker and if you keep the faith and believe in his grace and mercy, then he will give you he desires of your heart. In closing, I want to say a quote by Elijah Mays which states, "Whatever you do, strive to do it so well that no man living and no man dead and no man yet to be born could do it any better."

There is something fascinating about a person who is humbly, dedicated to helping others achieve success. Education is such a powerful device that can be used to accomplish so much. Jackie has made it her life’s mission to equip people with the tools needed to succeed. It is evident that she believes in God's purpose for her life, and has surrounded herself with people that stand behind her and support her dreams. Believing in oneself and consciously being surrounded by other inspiring people is basic in concept, but sometimes notoriously difficult to master-Jackie ‘Dr. Diva’ Walker has done just that.

Contact info:
Glamour Prestige 

Check out Dr. Jackie Walker's e-book!


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