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President Obama’s Farewell Address

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This photo is blurry af but I could care less. I was there!!! I literally cannot make this stuff up!!! I woke up this morning to the wildest thing. (The) UNIVERSE sent me an email saying The White House purchased both, my & my guest’s tickets to President Obama’s Farewell Address at the McCormick Place tonight! 🙌🏽 Is this real life?! Of course, my guest-by-default was my lil bro. He gets all the perks – games, concerts, presidential events, you name it. This was such an amazing moment, we were so blessed to be in the building! Come to find out, this was even more special for lil bro because he was a part of the festivities at Grant Park the night Obama won in November 2008. I am truly going to miss this man, the First Family, and everything they embodied and stood for. Enjoying these last few days with him in office before everything goes straight to hell. 

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Categories: News, People, Places

True Friends Are Always Together In Spirit

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All of my close friends are scattered around the globe. It’s definitely bittersweet – bitter because I can’t see them as often as I would like to, and sweet because I can always visit them in their respective city/country. I cannot wait for the day where all of us can be in one room at the same time and honestly, there are two times I know this will likely happen – my wedding day and my funeral.

I know for a fact I am a great friend and I take great pride in that. While we’re here on earth, I know I make a true effort to let my close friends know I love them, I appreciate them, be there for them, and truly take the time to enjoy them while I’m in their presence. I don’t come from a large family, so my friends are for sure the family I have chosen for myself. I travel so much, who knows when the next time I’m going to see them is. I thank God for advanced technology, especially FaceTime. One of my most favorite things to do is to be able to call up one of my girlfriends who may live on the other side of the country and have Bible Study via FaceTime.

This particular quote spoke directly to my Spirit. We all have friends that though we may not speak to on a daily basis, we can pick up right where we left off when we do speak to one another. Very recently, a close girlfriend of mine went through a heartbreaking situation. To be honest, we hadn’t physically seen each other in years, but always kept in touch via social media. However, when her husband passed, I showed up and stayed with her for a week, and we literally picked up right where we left off. It’s something I can’t fully describe, but I know for a fact that no matter how near or far, true friends are always together in Spirit.

Categories: People, Places, Spiritual, Thoughts

Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions

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What a pleasant surprise to be gifted tickets to this sold-out game from a good friend who plays for the team, and minutes before kickoff, at that! It’s so funny because it happened in front of two of my homies and all they could do was shake their head in amazement like, “Trish, how do you always make things happen out of thin air?!” That’s just how I roll, baby! I truly love and appreciate good people with kind hearts. But then again, like attract like. Though I wasn’t in Detroit to hang out this time around (due to unforeseen circumstances), this game was definitely just the breather I needed. A great way to kick off the new year, indeed!

Categories: People, Places, Sports, Travel

How To Choose A Good Mentor

06/10/2016 1 comment

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Can I share how beyond grateful I am for the mentors in my life? As I take inventory on those whom I can call on as a ‘mentor,’ I am humbled that they even want to be a part of my life! Now, also allow me to share this – in order for it to even have gotten to the point of it being a mentor/mentee relationship, I literally had to put myself out there,* and it is scary! At least it was at first. Now I just have fun with it!

(Note: “putting yourself out there” means within reason, and is not to be taken out of context. Always keep God, your morals, values, and integrity to the highest regard. We are not in the business of selling our souls in order to land a ‘dream job.’) 

With so many outlets, you have to be mindful of how you reach out to your potential mentor. I’ve absolutely utilized the phone, old-fashioned snail mail, email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and SnapChat DM’s (with the utmost professionalism, of course). And now you play the waiting game, and this is something that I’ve struggled with – being patient. There is absolutely no telling whether or not this person will respond, let alone see your message. The worst thing that can happen is no response at all, or a flat out “no.” And I’ve totally had people not respond even after having seen the message (the read receipt will get you every time). You get over it.

However, I have been very fortunate that most of the people I have reached out to over the years have welcomed me with open arms, replied back with their personal contact info., connected me with their personal friends, colleagues, and other individuals that they feel may be helpful to me, and all in all, have been extremely resourceful. I have had friendships turn into apprenticeships and mentorships, and vice versa.

So, this message is for the person who may feel shy, timid, too afraid to ask for something or put themselves out there “like that”…  CLOSED MOUTHS DO NOT GET FED! You have to put yourself out there, especially in a time where the entire world is at your fingertips. If you’re not putting yourself out there, know that the next person is. We all have the ability to get in contact with literally, any & everybody we want. NO ONE is off limits! How amazing is that?! The internet has been a game-changer in countless ways. Just a little over a decade ago, all we had to rely on was email. Then, along came Facebook where people can now put a name with a face. Why wouldn’t you take that to your advantage?

Even though I was raised to never ask for help, I have learned along the way that pride and ego will keep you from succeeding. Please do not be afraid to a) pray big prayers – remember, no one is off limits and you don’t know how God can connect you, b) pray about your specific situation, and then c) execute; ask the right person for guidance or direction, which are essential tools to make it in life.

We all need help! Just make sure you give back a double-portion to those who will one day reach out to you because you are now where they want to be. Listed below are ten of my own personal tips on finding a good mentor.

 

HOW TO CHOOSE A GOOD MENTOR:

1) What is a mentor?  To me, a mentor is someone whose life and work I value, admire, and am inspired by. Someone who is willing to make a long-term commitment to my career, and someone who wears many hats: coach, adviser, critic, instructor, etc.

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2) Why do you want a mentor?  Are you looking for guidance? Direction? Someone to offer specific advice? Someone to be a sound board to bounce ideas off of? Or just because it sounds cool that you “have a mentor?” Make sure you’re being real with yourself and check your motives. If you are seeking a mentor for superficial reasons, just know that they can see right through you, and you don’t want to burn any bridges before you even start crossing them. Also, think about what type of mentor best compliments you. We usually have a tendency to gravitate towards those with whom we have a lot in common, but when you’re seeking out a mentor, seek out people who have strengths that you lack. An extrovert to your introvert, or vice versa.

3) Qualities of a good mentor.  In my experience, a good mentor is someone who is knowledgeable, open-minded, encouraging, supportive, a good listener, and a good communicator. Additionally, I feel they should be someone who is well-known and well-respected in your specific field of work.

4) Look for clues of success.  Successful people are successful people for a reason. They found a formula, stuck to it, and reaped the fruits of their labor. Ask yourself what it is you want to achieve both, personally and professionally and look for people around you who exemplify the very skills you want to acquire.

5) Who to consider.  Think outside the box. Go beyond former bosses, coaches, professors, etc. It’s beneficial to think more along the lines of elderly family members, relatives, community and/or spiritual leaders, etc. I literally sat down with a pen & pad and broke down my entire network. It is true what they say – “your network determines your net worth.” Start breaking it down.

6) Why them?  Be prepared for your potential mentor to ask you, “Why me? Why would you like for me to be your mentor?” and have a damn good response ready! If you’ve done your homework, this should be a breeze. For me, I like to remind them who they are, how far they’ve come, some of their work and/or accomplishments that has inspired me, and if they currently have my dream job, I make sure to let them know that, too.*

(*Note: this last part is key! If they are intimidated by the fact that you may one day replace them, there’s a possibility the information they share with you might only be enough for you to get by. This is a red flag and you need to continue on with your search. However, if they are humbled that you would even consider their role a “dream job” and see that you’re willing to do what it takes to get there, and in turn, they’re willing to help you however they can to get to their current role because they realize that they, too, will move onward & upward into bigger roles, then clearly, you’ve found a match! Use your gift of discernment wisely.)

7) Do your homework.  Let’s be real. You more than likely aren’t going to know whether or not a potential mentor has your desired traits until you start working together, which is why it’s so crucial that you do your homework before approaching someone to take on this important task. Time is money and neither of you have time to waste.

8) Mentoring is a two-way street.  In your mentor/mentee relationship, you both should be able to learn from one another. Offer help. Don’t feel that you have nothing to offer because this person is “accomplished.” Add value to their life. Give them a reason to want to help you. Successful relationships happen when a mentor and mentee are the right match.

9) Popping the big question.  Asking someone you look up to, admire, or even consider a hero, to be your mentor can be pretty intimidating. This is the part where there’s that awkward moment of silence and my stomach will usually hit my back, but I take a deep break and go for it. “Would you be willing to be my mentor?”  Or if it’s in written form, I’ll probably delete that line about 30 times only to come back to the original, “Would you consider being my mentor?” I’ve been nervous every single time I had to ask, but I sucked it up and went for it, and here’s what I found. Most people who have achieved a place of accomplishment in their life are willing to share their wisdom, knowledge, and experience with others. In asking someone to be your mentor, you are offering them high praise. In the event they say no, do not be offended. It could very well be they are busy people and genuinely do not have the time to take on such a role. Thank them for the consideration and ask for a referral.

10) Communication is key.  Major key! How often should you reach out to your mentor? This is subjective. For me, I have more than one mentor, and all of our relationships are different and we are all on different schedules. Depending on the person, I’m checking in with them once a month, bi-weekly, or weekly. I also always ask if there’s anything that they’re working on that I can shadow. I’ve even asked if I can be brought on to do an apprenticeship (a fancier word for an adult internship).

Final thoughts.  Always be teachable and moldable. Apprenticeships are a great way to show you are willing to learn and be taught. Be open to constructive criticism. Communication is key. Be transparent – they are there to help you, not judge you. Never ever go into the relationship asking for anything. Always offer! As much as you may think it is about the value your mentor adds to your life, it’s really about the value you bring to them first. Then only can they reciprocate and add the value back into your life. Be prepared to invest in yourself. It shows that you’re serious. And last but not least, you are totally allowed to have more than one mentor. By no means is it a numbers game though. Quality > Quantity

A personal story.  I had been going back & forth in my mind for months about whether or not I should reach out to this woman who has my dream job, and is one of the best in the business. We already know the stereotypes about women helping women. I’m all about empowering other women and those are the type of women I typically attract to me. I figured I had nothing to lose and basically, slid into her Instagram DM’s one day. She responded back with her email, and before I knew it, we were about 50 emails deep into our thread. This led to our initial ‘consultation’ (which, by the way, she invoiced me for and I gladly paid). During my first face-to-face interaction with one of my now-mentors, she asked me, “What is your dream job?” and with zero hesitation, I responded, “Yours!” to which of course, she laughed. I followed that up with letting her know that any “dream job” I’ve had to date, I’ve gotten. Anything I’ve really wanted to do, I’ve done. It’s a mindset. From winning city championships to running at State Finals in high school, to attending Michigan State University, hell… to graduating, to being an On-Air Personality at the radio station while in college, to interning at BET Networks, to now living in Los Angeles, CA after living in 5 other major cities – anything I have set my mind to, I have accomplished, and it would only be a matter of time before I landed her role. And once I landed that role, I would then have a new “dream job.” Her response, “I like you! If I didn’t think you had it, I wouldn’t even have set up this consultation. We can definitely do great things together.” Not only is she my mentor, but is also my media coach.

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Categories: Advice, Career, People, Thoughts

Hoop 4 Water Celebrity Basketball Game

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Mo Pete leading the fast break down the floor, giving Uncle Snoop a run for his money.

FLINT, MI —  It was a blue carpet affair indeed on Saturday, May 21st at the Dort Federal Credit Union Events Center (better known to Flint natives as the old IMA). On behalf of World Artist Refuge, founded by Morris Peterson Jr., I had the pleasure of interviewing each guest as they walked in to the arena. The highly anticipated celebrity basketball game brought to you by Snoop Dogg and Mo Pete was finally happening!

CELEBRITY GUESTS

One by one, the guests started trickling in – Flint and Detroit natives, alike. From the first ever elected woman Mayor of Flint, Karen Weaver to Mari Copeny (Little Miss Flint), and many others. You may remember Mari from the national attention she gained in recent months from the letter she wrote to President Barack Obama about the water crisis happening in her hometown. Other celebrities included Flint native and boxer Anthony Dirrell, MTV personality Sway Calloway (who coached Team Mo Pete), Eric Ebron (TE, Detroit Lions), CalicoeJJ Green, HaHa Davis, Detroit’s very own Trick Trick (who coached Team Snoop), Flint native and Morris’ former teammate, Mateen Cleaves, of course Mo Pete himself (who thankfully got the night off from his broadcasting duties with TSN in Canada), legendary Coach Tom Izzo (better known as God, if you’re a Spartan), and many more. It was truly quite the spectacle.

And the moment everyone had been waiting for… in walked Snoop Dogg, who postponed all interviews until post-game (with good reason). You want to talk about someone with tunnel vision? He literally walked into the tunnel, was embraced by a tight hug from Little Miss Flint, before disappearing into the locker room to change and get the game started.

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Little Miss Flint embraces Snoop Dogg with a massive hug.

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With the legendary Coach Izzo (aka God, if you’re a Spartan)

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With legendary MTV personality, Sway Calloway

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With fellow Spartan & NBA veteran, Mateen Cleaves

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Detroit’s very own, Trick Trick, & Trish Trish

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Interviewing Flint native, JJ Green


GAMETIME

The basketball game was nothing short of a treat! With close to a thousand people in attendance to watch this fierce match-up, each player brought their A-game and held nothing back. From fast breaks to dunks to Snoop’s half-court shot to no-look passes, things got even more intense leading down to the wire. With the score tied at 97 in the final 2 minutes of the game, Mateen got fouled on a lay-up, and Snoop miraculously came back with a pass to Eric Ebron who dunked that ball right in. As the clock was winding down with just seconds left in the game, leave it to Mo Pete to come through with a clutch 3 pointer, for the win! You already know Coach Sway couldn’t be more proud to be “the winningest coach in Flint” (his words, not mine) while Uncle Trick Trick took the loss like a true G. Final score: Team Mo Pete: 104 | Team Snoop: 99

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Coach Sway, Peterson, & Cleaves share a laugh mid-game.

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DoGGy style!

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Post-game.

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The Godfather (Izzo), The DoGGfather (Snoop), Mo Pete, Hooper

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Mayor Karen Weaver, Coach Izzo, Mateen Cleaves

 

KEY TO THE CITY

Post-game, Snoop Dogg was presented with a Key to the City of Flint from Mayor Karen Weaver for showing impeccable support during the Flint Water Crisis. When called out for getting a bit emotional, Snoop replied, “I was emotional because I don’t even have a Key to the City where I’m from. I’m from Long Beach, California. I put Long Beach on the map. I’ve been repping Long Beach ever since I could remember and I don’t even have a key to that city, so for them to give me a Key to the City, it felt good.” All the while, Mo Pete said he knew about the surprise but had to keep his mouth shut. “We kept that under wraps,” he told Uncle Snoop. “I wanted to say something so bad.”

But the real surprise was for Mo Pete, who had no idea he would also be receiving his own Key to the City that he calls home. Morris has been extremely influential in organizing several water drives across Flint and distributing water to local residents.

Mayor Weaver proudly said, “That’s one of the highest honors that you can get from the City of Flint. I believe it’s well-deserved by both of them because they care about Flint and have been helping us keep this story out there.”

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Mayor Karen Weaver gives Snoop Dogg a kiss after presenting him with a Key to the City post-game.

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Morris hand-delivering bottles of water this past winter from one of the several water drives he and his foundation have organized.

 

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN SNOOP & MO

One thing everyone has been curious to know is the connection between Snoop & Morris, so I had to ask. “This is a cause that Mo & I discussed back in February at another celebrity basketball game during the NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto.” Only a month prior to that, in January, Snoop was in Detroit for a show and made a special trip to Flint, MI to meet with Mayor Karen Weaver. What most people don’t know is that Snoop does a lot of what he does on his own dime. For him to go door to door in Flint, hand-delivering bottles of water to the people speaks volumes to his character. This is what it’s all about!

Snoop and Morris first developed their friendship during Morris’ 11 year NBA career and maintained their friendship through the years. Snoop made it clear from Day 1 that he wanted to continue to help the city in any capacity he could, and a few short months later, him & Morris put on a show-stopping game in Flint to help benefit the water crisis.  “I am Snoop Dogg, and how Snoop Dogg handles issues, I get right into the belly of the beast. This is deeper than sending money and sending bottles of water and bandaging the situation. We have to fix the deeper, underlying issue.” A man of his word, indeed.

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Interviewing Snoop Dogg & Mo Pete

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With Uncle Snoop & Mo Pete


COACH IZZO

It’s safe to say Coach Izzo could not have been more proud of his former player, Morris, and his commitment to give back to the City of Flint. When I asked Coach what his connection was to Flint, besides the obvious Flintstones helping win the 2000 National Championship, he replied, “Flint means the world to me. This is home. We are all in this together. The entire State of Michigan. All of us gotta help Flint just like all of us had to help Detroit. I owe a lot of my success to our guys from Flint, so if they’re suffering, we’re all suffering. Giving back to the community is more rewarding than anything, because that’s what it’s all about. To give back.” I asked Coach Izzo to stress to our youth the importance of voting, and he was not messing around. “It is crucial that our youth gets out there and votes. It makes more of a difference than you think. Your votes matter. Your voice matters.”

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Coach Izzo, Mo Pete, & family

 

WHAT FLINT MEANS TO ME

I’m sure by now, many of you are probably wondering what my connection is to Flint. For me, having graduated from Michigan State University, many of my close friends are from Detroit and Flint. I’ve been going to Detroit now for the past 14 years and it has become something like a second home to me, and Flint is literally a stone’s throw away from the D. Even though my friends and I may live in different cities spread across the US and the world, their families still live there. Quite naturally, to see such a tragic situation happening there, it’s exactly what Coach Izzo said, “If they’re suffering, we’re all suffering.”


A SPECIAL TREAT FOR UNCLE SNOOP

One of my favorite moments from the event this past Saturday was that I personally got to hand-deliver some goodie bags (or DoGGy bags, in this case) to Snoop, sent from Detroit with love. Now, if you truly know me, you know that I love to give gifts. And no gift is better to give and to receive than one that requires thought and effort. Our friends over at The Dirt Label and at Detroit Vs Everybody came through with some goodies for Snoop & Mo Pete. The GET LIT tee was perfect for Snoop because, let’s be real, we all know how he gets down, and the Flint Vs Everybody shirts were the perfect touch. And can we talk about how it’s almost a week later and Snoop is still posting photos with his Detroit Vs Everybody bucket hat on? Classic.

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Mo Pete, Snoop Dogg, Tonda Peterson-Bryant

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When your uncle loves his gift… #DetroitVsEverybody

 

GRATITUDE 

I am so grateful to Morris for bringing me on board and also to his sister, Tonda, the Executive Director of the Morris Peterson Jr. Foundation. This was such an amazing event for such a special cause, and I am truly humbled and honored to have been a part of something so great. During some post-game reflection, Mo & I’s conversation took a very spiritual turn and we both said the same thing – “This is what you are supposed to do. We are put on this earth to serve others and to have a servant’s heart.”  (Mark 10:45) In my eyes, people like Morris, Snoop, Tonda, and quite frankly, everyone that was involved with this event in any capacity, will always flourish in life because of their genuine want and need to put others before themselves.

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#SpartanDawgz

 

A QUICK BACKSTORY

I, along with 10.3 million other people, follow Snoop Dogg on Instagram. When I saw him post the flyer below, I just knew I had to be a part of this event. I immediately reached out to Mo like, “This is amazing! HOW can I be a part of this?! I know you’re letting me do all of the interviews, right?” His response was nothing short of epic. “As long as it’s for World Artist Refuge. You’re a Spartan Dawg. I got you!” And the rest… is history.

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And the cherry to top it all off had to be when I saw this come across my Instagram….

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I may have died a little.

(Certain photos courtesy of Lansing State Journal, Detroit Free Press, and MLive)

Mogul Prep Academy

Detroit, MI — On Saturday, November 7th, the Sean Anderson Foundation presented the inaugural event for ‘Mogul Prep Academy’ at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Big Sean and his mother, Miss Myra, the morning after his sold-out show at the Joe Louis Arena.

 

Currently Reading… ‘Gandhi: An Autobiography’

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How can I claim to be an Indian woman and not fully know this man’s life? And so I purchased this book and have indulged in it. I’m not going to lie – it’s a slow read and I’ve been reading it in parts. I have a hundred other books I’m dying to read but am making myself read this in its entirety.