On Friday, May 27, 2016, our son, Tayair Ishmael Blake participated in a Convocation held at the University of Delaware where he received a Certificate of Successful Completion of Career and Life Studies (CLSC).
He along with his fellow classmates were part of the ceremony which also included hundreds of graduating students receiving an undergraduate and graduate degree from the College of Education and Human Development. Oh by the way, there was a gentleman who received his degree at the age of 64 which was also awesome!
If you remember from previous posts, due to Tayair’s early medical history he is classified as Intellectually Disabled, but you also know from his recent presentation at a staff meeting at the Delaware Health and Social Services his motto “Being Disabled Does Not Mean We Are Not Able”. The events of the day is only further proof that anything can be done when you decide not to give up.
Needless to say, his father and I were super excited as was his brother and even the misspelling of his name on the certificate couldn’t put a damper on the day.
There are also more pictures on my Facebook and Instgram pages.
I could write more about the event, however, for this post I am just going to let the pictures and video speak louder than my words!
Being Silly Before Being Serious!
This sums up the day!
For more information on the CLSC Program check out their website
The CLSC program offers specialized coursework in career studies and life skills, as well as other inclusive learning opportunities on campus, including participation in UD undergraduate classes, clubs and activities. An individualized plan is created with each student that includes peer mentoring, staff coaching and support as identified through person-centered planning.
Hello friends, are you ready – this is it – the first official weekend of the summer – woohoo. The sun is shining, the temps are rising and I am ready to be outdoors until late into the evening.
This afternoon we will be heading over to the Bob Carpenter Center at the University of Delaware to see our son graduate from the CLSC Program and I am so excited!!!
CLSC stands for Career and Life Studies Certificate. CLSC is a two-year, nonresidential certificate program at the University of Delaware for students with intellectual disabilities (ID). CLSC provides integrated academic, career/technical and independent living instruction in preparation for gainful employment. CLSC students attend classes, participate in internships and work experiences, and engage in all aspects of campus life.
Keep an eye out on my Instagram and Facebook pages to see our smiling faces! Speaking of which, if you saw the pic of my #OOTD on Monday you would have known that I wore white shoes and carried a white purse which according to old fashion rules is a no-no!
Do you still adhere to the “no white before Memorial Day” rule – or is it alright to wear white right after Easter? This skirt is a recent purchase from Ross and initially I was going to pair it with a different top, but with all the rain we had this month I decided to wear it instead with a crisp white shirt.
Then after looking deeper into my closet, I said, hey what the heck and grabbed these white sandals and purse. I was comfy all day and with just a few pops of orange this outfit really made the start of my week less dreary.
So are you ready, will you be heading to the beach or the shore or just hanging at home with family and friends? Whatever, you decide to do – be safe and have fun.
Next month, our oldest son Tayair will be celebrating his 24th birthday which is a miracle.
You see, Tayair was born on June 23, 1992, 3 months prematurely weighing only 2.8 lbs, with a condition called Trachea Esophageal Fistula. He had more surgeries than I care to remember and had a feeding tube inserted into his stomach until the age of 5, which meant he didn’t eat his first real meal until around the age of 6.
He was not able to be around others without health complications so a home nurse was his first friend and formal teacher. When he was able to attend pre-school the nurse would follow behind the bus then sit in the office until it was time to administer his nebulizer treatments and pour a can of Pedisure through his feeding tube which was his lunch.
Tayair struggled through school but was mainstreamed into regular classes so that he was able to learn despite being labeled “intellectually disabled” This miracle son of ours is going to be the next speaker in our house.
A few weeks ago we attended a meeting with his DHSS counselor and she was very impressed in what he stated with regards to his career path as well as his ability to create Powerpoint presentations. He had been chosen to be a representative for the UDel CLSC Program last summer and had presented at a workshop in Virginia.
She asked him if he would be interested in presenting at one of their monthly staff meetings and naturally he said, “yes”.
Tayair’s father and I have been presenting in front of audiences for years and Tayair has been the photographer at many of my Social Media Workshops, therefore, public speaking is literally in his DNA.
However, this was the first time we both had an opportunity to hear him speak and our hearts were filled with pride and excitement!
The audience was quite large and he did an amazing job as you can see from the following video. Tayair spoke briefly of his experience in learning how to drive and being stopped by a cop for speeding and how the Trooper treated him.
His father and I were then asked how we felt about having an adult child with disabilities and letting go so the presentation became a family affair.
Tayair is definitely destined to be the next speaker in our house and I know he will carry on the legacy with greatness. Remember, “being disabled doesn’t mean you are not able!”
Louis L. Redding, prominent African American lawyer and civil rights pioneer, was born in 1901.
Born in Alexandria, VA, Louis Lorenzo Redding grew up in Wilmington, DE, and graduated from Howard High School in 1919. Lawyer Redding, as he was affectionately called, continued his education and graduated from Brown University in 1923 and from Harvard Law School in 1928. In 1929, Redding became the first Black lawyer in Delaware. He was a respected civil rights pioneer for Delaware and America. prominent lawyer and civil rights advocate from Wilmington, Delaware. Redding, the first African American to be admitted to the Delaware bar, was part of the NAACP legal team that challenged school segregation in the Brown v. Board of Education case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1950, Redding compiled a case against the University of Delaware, which barred black students. But the university’s chancellor, wanting to avoid a trial, decided to desegregate, becoming the first federally-funded institution to do so.
He also presented legal arguments that provided for the desegregation of schools in Claymont and Hockessin in 1952. In 1954, Mr. Redding assisted Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, legal counsel for the NAACP, in the Brown vs. Education case, which struck down the “separate but equal” system of public school segregation across the country. These are but a small portion of the many great deeds that Lawyer Redding accomplished in his lifetime.
He fought to open schools and housing for minorities. A school The Louis L. Redding Intermediate School in Middletown, DE, was renamed for him.
“What we were doing was not addressed to the purpose of singularly changing lives,” wrote Redding. “We were trying to change the status and experience of a minority of Americans who happened to be Black. We were not trying to change our lives; we were trying to change the opportunities of American citizens.”
Louis L. Redding died on September 28, 1998. In 2000, the University of Delaware established the Louis L. Redding Chair in their School of Education.
Rysheema Dixon, Wilmington City Council Member At-Large candidate, hosted her first campaign fundraiser on Friday, February 5th, 2016, from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. The campaign fundraiser was held at the Chris White Gallery located at 701 North Shipley Street in Wilmington, Delaware.
The fundraiser was a free event open to the public, but a suggested donation was requested. If you would like more information on making a donation please contact Porsha Hargrove, (973) 842-5864.
I was invited to attend this political fundraiser and be part of the media coverage by Porsha Hargrove PR and Consulting. It was a highly energized and fun filled evening attended by many of Rysheema’s constituents as well as several movers and shakers from in and around the Wilmington community.
“Strong from the Ground Up” Candidate, Rysheema Dixon is running for Wilmington City Council Member At-Large. As an At-Large member of city council, Dixon hopes to continue her dedication to serving Wilmington residents by empowering them through her community development and entrepreneurship platform.
You can see her complete speech on my YouTube Channel – click here.
Hosting the fundraiser at the Chris White Gallery was a perfect venue because on this crisp winter evening many people came in and out, mixing and mingling and reminding me a bit of being in SOHO, New York City.
An eclectic mix of music provided by a DJ; lively conversations and laughter; finger foods and drinks was enhanced even more so by the various art pieces hanging on the walls, including this one of Audrey Hepburn in the ladies room.
As you can see from the following photos and Flipagram, everyone had a great evening in downtown Wilmington in the Shipley Lofts on the 1st Friday of February in support of Rysheema Dixon!
For more information on Rysheema Dixon, please connect with the campaign via their website: www.rysheemadixon.com, you can also LIKE her on Facebook at Dixon for City Council At-large and be sure to follow on Twitter @rysheemadixon to keep up on other campaign events.
Hello friends, I trust you all had a wonderful week and perhaps are now gearing up for the best holiday of the season – THANKSGIVING!
I don’t know about you but I think the industry is pushing Christmas way too early, I am still eating Halloween candy! The commercials, the songs, and now the decorations three weeks before Turkey Day is a bit much for me,
What are your thoughts?
Anywho, I finally broke out the winter boots and have worn my favorite pair twice last week, the over-the-knee suede boots and I am lovin’ them.
Today’s Sunday Style Roundup is featuring only two outfits and they are both entitled “Black N Boots” I also wore one of my Infinity Scarves purchased from Burlington Coat Factory to break up all the black in this outfit. The dress is a sleeveless sheath from Ross and the blazer is thrifted from Goodwill.
I always feel so corporate in a blazer and Goodwill is definitely the place to go for them.
In this second outfit the skirt is Worthington and cowl neck are both from JCPenney. The necklace was a new piece thrifted from Goodwill.
Lovely fall leaves
Today I am also featuring my oldest son, Tayair, not for what he’s wearing although he is handsome in his suit jacket. He spoke at his CLSC Open House on Tuesday evening. CLSC is the University of Delaware’s Career and Life Studies Certificate program, a 2-Year, non-residential college certificate program for young adults with intellectual disabilities and I was very proud of him!
What do you think, have they started promoting Christmas too early?Enjoy the rest of the week!
Last week Tayair and I attended a 1-day Freshman Orientation for his CLSC Program. The CLSC Program is a new post secondary education option in Delaware for students with with intellectual disabilities. You see, Tayair was born 3 months premature, weighing a mere 2.8 lbs and hospitalized for 6 months in NICU to treat and repair his esophagus because he was born with Tracheoesophageal Fistula. Years of hospitalizations and surgeries led to a partial colon interposition at the age of 5, and it was the first time he was able to eat solid foods.
Needless to say, all those years of medical procedures and medications although they kept him alive and healthy, also put a strain on his brain. But today at the age of 22, he is a High School Graduate, Class of 2010, is working steadily and ready to pursue higher education and for that I applaud him – he is my hero!
If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you know he had maxillofacial surgery on the 30th of June so his face is still a little swollen but that didn’t stop us from taking pictures on this great day.
You may not be able to tell from his swollen face, but my smiling face tells it all – we were excited to be there!
There was a lot of paperwork to complete as well as a homework assignment which is due on the 25th – BACK TO SCHOOL
Parents had their own orientation session as well.
A quick break for lunch led us to the on campus Saladworks, Tayair had soup-through-a-straw!
A walking tour ended this great day, and he is looking forward to classes beginning next month.
Malik leaves for Bowie on the 27th and I also look forward to that Freshmen Orientation.
I am so thankful that our son was selected to attend the CLSC Program at the University of Delaware. This program offers him specialized career studies and life studies coursework with access to a variety of integrated academic, work, and social activities on campus.
I believe it is going to enhance his social skills and provide him with the tools necessary to navigate the world without barriers and guide him towards a very productive lifestyle. I am also so very thankful that his surgery was a success despite the aspiration pneumonia that followed.
I am thankful for you my followers, my family, my friends and of course my faith. Now heading over to share at Katherine’s Corner, join in if you have a chance.
Now, it’s your turn, what are you thankful for this week?
On Thankful Thursday February 1st, 1996, I gave birth to a healthy son, al-Malik Glorian Blake, his first name in Arabic means “King or Monarch”. His middle name was given in memory of my sister, his aunt Gloria whom he never met.
On Thankful Thursday May 22nd 2014, I watched that son walk across the stage at the Bob Carpenter Center on the campus of the University of Delaware to receive his High School Diploma.
I am thankful but where did the time go?
As a young boy, I helped him learn how to walk and then last week he walked out the door a High School Senior with his Cap and Gown…walked into the gymnasium with a glow of excitement and anticipation, yet filled with anxiety of an unknown future…he then walked back into the house a High School GRADUATE…soon he’ll walk again, but this time it will be off to College.
I am thankful but where did the time go?
Where Did The Time Go?
It was a beautiful Thankful Thursday and the weekend was filled with family and friends with love and support because “it take a village to raise a child!’
I am thankful for my family, my friends and of course my faith. I am thankful for the love and support that I receive from my family and friends and they will never know just how much it all means – I am thankfullyblessed!
Now it’s your turn, what are you thankful for this week?
This has been another blessed week, with our oldest being accepted into the CLSC Program at the University of Delaware and tonight our youngest is graduating from Appoqunimink High School!
I don’t let grass grow under my feet either because in addition to working full time outside of the home I also sell Avon and have been since 2002. Honestly, I don’t have a large customer base but enjoy selling products for a company that has been in business for over 125 years!
I use Anew products on my face and I love how Avon has changed their clothing selections to keep in line with the current trends. Unfortunately, it eats into my profits but that’s okay because I love their accessories, the shoes, sneakers, scarves and especially the totes and purses.
Check out this comfy casual outfit that I wore at the end of April, it’s was totally thrifted from Goodwill but accessorized by Avon.
Scarf – Avon | Polka Dot Top – Goodwill
Polka Dot Sneakers – Avon | Skirt – Goodwill
Color Block Tote – Avon | Black Studded Pumps – The Salvation Army
Hello friends, I hope you had a nice weekend and was able to do something special with the extra hour on Sunday.
As you know, I’ve been on a mini self-imposed shopping freeze so I didn’t need to…but I wanted to…therefore, I did! I thawed the freeze just a bit and this is the result of a mini thrifted haul from GW Boutique in Newark! It was my first time at this location on the campus of The University of Delaware, but it definitely will not be my last.
You can never have too many skirts!
I am a proud, card carrying Goodwill VIP
This thrifted haul cost less than $20 and it even included a Graduation Gown that my son wore to a Halloween party last weekend
(he better be wearing a real one in May!)
I love love love this Talbots Floral Skirt – $3.75
J Crew Grey Skirt Skirt – $3.75
JCPenney Worthington Suede Maxi Skirt – $3.75
You know I couldn’t pass on these polka dot capris – $3.75
What do you think?
Have you done any Fall thrifting?
Linking up today with Thrifters Anonymous so come on over and meet some other great thriftanistas.