Dear Tom and Family,
I have a cousin, Shantelle Wells who epitomizes what Maya Angelou describes as a "Phenomenal Woman". She is a mother of two children Alan, 11 and Bri O'nna 17. She was a teenage mother and moved out of her parents’ home by age 18. She has always been independent, worked the jobs to support her family and in 2001 after giving birth to her youngest decided to go back to school. As many young people do she went to community college directly after graduating high school. She was not ready and ended up leaving without withdrawing from any of her classes. So, when she re-enrolled some years later she found that she had F's in all of her previous classes that needed to be retaken.
Shantelle took on this daunting task, she was working full-time, raising two kids as a single-mom with little to no outside help, she was also experiencing personal turmoil in her relationship and going to school full-time. She got through community college and decided to keep pushing toward a college degree. It took a while, but she received her Bachelor's in Criminal Justice in 2007. She then decided to pursue her Master’s Degree and will be graduating with her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology this May.
Tom, it has taken her eleven years on this journey; she has worked hard and has never given up even though she has faced many life-challenges along the way. She has never asked for anything; she is the woman who opens her home to cook for family, she is the woman who always has kids at her home. Her interest is working with the kids that everyone else has given up on or forgotten (even the tough- teenagers Tom) she loves them and believes in them and the kids respond to the respect and non-judging demeanor she has.
This last semester is stressing her greatly and the weight of what she is carrying seems to be even heavier right now. I would love for her to have a few days of peace, no stress, just a time to enjoy her children and the time to reflect on what she has been able to accomplish before she starts studying for her licensing test and taking on the new stress of finding a job in her field.
If there is anything you can do Tom to make my hope for her a reality it would be greatly appreciated. She deserves it, I think it would help lift her up into a joy-filled space that she needs to be in. I know that when all is said and done it will be repaid by Shantelle in her passion for the kids she will impact on her new journey. She is as I said, a Phenomenal Woman-mother, daughter, student and cousin. Thank you for taking the time to read this; I appreciate your efforts in recognizing those who rarely get the "thank you" they deserve.
God bless you and the entire Tom Joyner crew,
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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