Tell us a little about your passion not for profit organization. What is it about & why do you do it?
I recently started the Strong Hinkson Organization (SHO) a Montreal based nonprofit whose mission is to help provide resources for single-parents who are going to school full-time. I do it because from experience, I know how hard it is to be a single-parent going to school.
If you have don't have help you can feel overwhelmed and like giving up. I want to help relieve the stress from some "single-parent-scholars" so they can fulfill their academic dreams in a timely fashion. When you help a regular student go to school, you help one individual. When you help a single-parent, you ameliorate the lives of both the parent and the children.
What is the change that you would like to bring to the world?
Ultimately, I would like to see the minority lifted up and supported by the majority. Most people don't choose to raise children on their own and if custody arrangements aren’t split evenly, there is often one parent who puts obtaining their dreams of education on hold in order to raise the children because they don't have support. My NPO’s mission is to help single-parents to have the same opportunities as other parents with healthy living arrangements and to create lives full of support, encouragement, partnership and love.
What happened to make you want to do this?
I was 16 years old when I had my first child, in my in the beginning of my last year of high school. People were talking about me, calling me bad names. I was told I would be another statistic "a high-school dropout, who cannot offer their child a bright future..."
An older woman who I looked up to told me that I should drop out of school and raise my child properly. Thank goodness my parents said "NO WAY" and told me I was going to finish school. I graduated high school with honours, I was valedictorian and received 13 out of about 40 awards. I went on to university and obtained a degree in Biochemistry & Theology and in my last year of university I had another baby.
I am now a scientific lab technician and a teacher...people say that I accomplished a lot, but I honestly would not have gotten this far if it were not for the support of my parents and and other loved ones. They say "it takes a village" to raise a family and my village is the reason why my daughters and I have obtained success!
My daughters grew up seeing me work hard at my studies. Recently my eldest daughter was also valedictorian and is currently in college studying International Business. She also works and plays on the school basketball team. My youngest daughter wants to follow in my footsteps as a scientist.
I exhaled and said "Man, we did good..." then I thought about what I said: "WE did good..." There are so many single-parents out there, who want to be exemplary role-models for their children, and would like to obtain a good education, but they don't have the support like I had. I want this NPO to provide support. For example if they need money for a book, school supplies for themselves or their children, someone to vent to, a shoulder to cry on I SHO to be there for them. This is what prompted the birth of The Strong Hinkson Organization (SHO).
What drives you to strive for more?
I registered my nonprofit organization in September 2017 and already, I have received good feedback from my community.
I have raised the money through donations for three book bursaries, and my goal was to raise money for two and was also awarded the "Kickass Singlemom Grant"
I implemented a program called "Adopt A Single-Parent-Scholar for the Holidays. I reached out to my community and we raised money, groceries, toys etc. for a young lady to ensure that she had a happy holiday. Someone even sponsored her monthly bus pass for 2018 and a hair appointment!
I think about my NPO 24/7 and every day my motivation increases (it is almost like a fire that I cannot tame)... I received a beautiful thankful message from a single-parent-scholar we helped that made me cry and it was another sign that this is what I'm supposed to be doing... no doubt, this nonprofit organization is a part of my destiny.
How do you think being a woman of colour has impacted your journey?
I think being a woman of color has impacted my journey in a positive way...Black is beautiful, black is unique, black is exotic, black is attractive. I used to only post text on my social media platform, and I didn't get much feedback. Since I have started posting my videos, to get my message across, I have a wider audience and more feedback... I may sound shallow, but I'm using my exotic and unique features as a black woman to attract people to listen to what I have to say. Being a woman of color has given me an upper-hand, where marketing my brand is concerned.
💜 💜 💜
Thank you for sharing your story Sabi. We look forward to hearing more kick-ass news from you in the future!