Sound of the Genuine

Building Communities of Support - Sister Scholars

June 17, 2022 FTE Leaders Season 2 Episode 20
Sound of the Genuine
Building Communities of Support - Sister Scholars
Show Notes Transcript

AnneMarie Mingo works as an Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Penn State University, and an affiliate faculty member in the Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State. As a Social Ethicist her research and writing centers on the lived experiences of Black Churchwomen involved in Black Freedom Struggles including the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, South African Anti-Apartheid Movement, and Global Movement for Black Lives. She is the founder of the Cultivating Courageous Resisters Project which works collaboratively with intergenerational religious activists to help meet critical contemporary needs for social justice. She is also the founder and CEO of Sister Scholars, an organization for women of African descent who have or are pursuing doctorate degrees in various fields. Dr. Mingo seeks to join theory and praxis in the Academy, the Church, and broader society in ways that transforms lives and transforms the world.

Twitter: @annemariemingo

Instagram: @annemariemingo

Web: &

Music by: @siryalibeats

Portrait Illustration: Olivia Lim

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AnneMarie Mingo

Patrick Reyes: Hey, what's going on, it's Dr. Patrick Reyes here. And I am excited because our mentoring award winner, our mentor of mentors, our leader of leaders, the one who founded and has kept Sister Scholars going, Dr. AnneMarie Mingo is with us today on the Sound of the Genuine. And you are in for a treat.

All right, Reverend Dr. Mingo, it's so good to have you on the Sound of the Genuine. How are you doing?

AnneMarie Mingo: I am wonderful Dr. Reyes, so glad to finally be here with the Sound of the Genuine. I love this podcast and what you all are doing here.

Patrick Reyes: And part of this is we're hoping that you tell your life story, not the entire life story cause we only got 30 minutes here, but we want some of it! I know all the cool things that you're doing. You're an edupreneur, you're a faculty member, you're a Guild member, you do all kinds of mentoring, but can you take me back to your family, to your people, your place of origin to say where does this spark to be the human, the scholar, the mentor that you are?

AnneMarie Mingo: So I was born and raised in Gainesville, Florida, which is a little different because I don't have any family there outside of my parents. Actually, my dad is from Key West Florida, my mom is from Tallahassee, Florida. They met and married at Florida A&M University. And after my dad got out of the military, they were on their way to Key West. My dad was going to become a vice principal of a high school there and they were driving, literally. They had stopped in Tallahassee on their way back. My dad's just getting out of the military. He ran into a couple of his former colleagues from ROTC at FAMU and one of them happened to say, you should stop by Gainesville on your way to Key West because I hear that they have jobs there. My parents stopped in Gainesville and they never left. So now close to 50 years later, they've been there in Gainesville, because the University of Florida was hiring. 

I've always had to create additional family units because we didn't have any family there. And so I've always had these extended groups and populations of families; play aunts, play cousins, play grandparents, that we were able to create. And I think that that's a part of how I build community today and how I build networks today and trying to make sure that people have systems of support, regardless of where they are or how they've gotten to the places where they are.

Also my parents are educators. My mom was an elementary school teacher. She taught fourth grade for all of the time that I knew her teaching and her area of expertise was history. So she taught Florida history, she taught black history. She's still known as a black history instructor throughout the state and throughout the Southeast, because she does these sort of mobile museums that she's curated and shares around.

My dad was an administrator. He was the director of the TRIO* programs at the University of Florida. A big thing for him was making sure that students had access and that once they received that access, that they had support to succeed. I saw that in many ways through my parents. I would watch my parents always bring in other people. The University of Florida it…has not always had, and it still at many times, doesn't have the best reputation for supporting and helping black faculty persons to succeed there. As new black faculty would arrive at the University of Florida - often they were women which is, now when I think back at it, I'm like this is so interesting - my dad was trying to help change things and I didn't even realize what was happening. 

But he would welcome, within our family, these women who were new assistant professors and give them space. On Sunday afternoons after church around our dinner table were 3, 4, 5 new black women faculty members that would come and eat with us on a regular basis. We created space and created family for them. And my dad was also a voice that they could count on at the university because he is not one to back down from things. So he was always one who would be, you know, able to speak up if they needed it. But we created family and he created support systems for them.

Many of them didn't know each other well in the beginning and they became a sisterhood. And then they also, as a result of being so close in my family, became my adopted aunts. And when I look at them now, I'm thinking about a few in particular. One that's a very high distinguished chair was in the area of psychology, one that's the Dean of the college of arts and sciences at another institution, one that was a vice-president at another institution, Um, one that is now deceased, but was also very high up in administration and I've been able to watch their careers, but I remember them as new assistant professors and the way that having each other's back enabled them to do well where they started and then to move forward and do great things.

And so when I think about what I'm doing now, this shift that I've made in my career path having started out in business. So my first two degrees are in business. I've got a bachelor's of science from Florida A&M University in business administration. I started working at Proctor and Gamble, I was a brand manager. While I was doing that work, I also got my MBA from Rollins College in an executive MBA program where my classmates were like the vice president of human resources at Walt Disney, the CFO for SeaWorld, you know, so all of these high level executives, and I was running these big businesses for Procter and Gamble.

I was living in Orlando, which is why I was doing that degree there in Winter Park, and at the church that I was attending, I started a dance ministry. And as a part of that dance ministry, I was writing, you know, Bible studies and making sure that we had biblical study connected to every dance that we did so that we weren't just performing, but we were actually ministering. Right. So that was really important to me. And I was thinking great, this is a part of me doing what God is calling me to do. You see how I'm writing these Bible studies, God I got you! I heard you. I'm doing it. And then there was still this push. I had been speaking in churches since the eighth grade.

Youth Sundays, collegiate Sundays, people joining the church after I'm speaking, but I'm speaking. I'm not preaching because I'm not called to be a preacher. All of these things start coming to a head though while I'm there in Orlando. Actually on the weekend that I graduated with my MBA, it's the same weekend that I answered my call into ministry. So my family is there because they've come down for graduation and I go forward and let my pastor know that I was answering my call. So within a year of receiving the MBA, after all of that work, I left it all. You know, got rid of my BMW, sold my house, moved to Princeton, and started seminary - which began this path back to, ultimately, back to the family business - which is being in the area of education and helping others to gain access. And once they gain access to succeed.

Patrick Reyes: That was the most incredible formative story, I have heard like so many pieces I want to follow up on. I'm thinking of the aunties you name, the extended family, these faculty members when you're really young, I'm also thinking of this now executive MBA program. Like you're surrounded by, throughout your life, it sounds like a nurturing community. What were their hopes for you as you're in your own vocational discernment and what were your hopes? What were you saying to these new faculty members, when I grow up, I want to be, and when you were grown up, what were you saying, hey, I want to be? What was that conversation? What was that back and forth with this incredible network that you have?

AnneMarie Mingo: What's so interesting is growing up I wanted to be an accountant because I have a cousin who is like a sister to me. We were the only girls, you know, there were a whole bunch of boy cousins, but we were the two girls so we called each other sister-cousins. And she was an accountant. And she made a lot of money. I didn't know what she did, I just knew she had to be good with numbers and she did things on computers. So starting in the fourth grade each summer, I would ask my mom, can you sign me up for summer school?

So I took computer classes in the summer. I didn't know that programming and learning to do that was not what she was doing. I knew she did things on computers so I was taking computer classes. I was working, trying to come up with other things around accounting. And actually for my first two years of undergrad, I was an accounting major. You know, following this path. She made good money, she did good stuff, every body was proud of her, so I was going to be like my big cousin Sondra. 

In the school of business and industry at FAMU you're required to do internships. I got into General Electric's financial management program, which was highly competitive, this big, big deal. So I'm up in Connecticut doing this internship and I absolutely hated it. And so I was like, there was no way in the world I could do this every day. Like there's nothing creative about it. The number is the number. Like I didn't get it. And so I went back and switched to business administration so that I could do marketing. As a young person, if you were to ask me what are you going to be when you grow up, I'm going to be an accountant. One day I was going to own my own firm. I was going to have this big thing. And yeah, not so much. 

Somewhere in that first/second year you know, I go home during one of the holidays and I'm going through my whole, “I'm not sure if school is for me right now. I think I should take a break and just go explore…” And my dad was looking at me like, you've lost your mind. You've got a four-year scholarship so you are on the four-year plan. You need to figure out whatever you want to major in and get done in four years. But the other thing that he told me was that you really are just showing that you can learn. It doesn't matter what your major is, what you're showing people is that you have the ability to learn. And so that freed me up honestly. I was able to come back after realizing that accounting was really not going to be for me and that type of a career was not going to be for me. I knew I could switch and do something else, I just needed to make sure that it was going to allow me to finish in those four years. Because I believe my dad when he said you got a scholarship for four years, you need to be out in four years. 

By staying in business and finding a path that worked for me, that next internship that I did was with Proctor and Gamble in their brand management program. And during that time, I was able to create things that when I came back to school that following Fall, I went into the store and I saw my designs on the Pantene bottle that I had been interning on. That was amazing to me to see that type of process make it all the way through. And so then I shifted and brand management provided an opportunity for me to not only do marketing and be creative, but to run large businesses, to work with teams, to motivate people. 

And so I think that being shaped…I was actually, I should say this too, I was shaped as a young person to be a leader. My parents did that. They saw things in me really early. I was a leader within the church at a very early age. I started speaking publicly at the age of two, you know, Easter speeches, Christmas speeches, but I was able to stand there boldly and say my thing without anybody prompting and my parents kept nurturing that. And my parents kept nurturing the things that they saw within me as a leader.

And similar things started following me when I got to undergrad. Right. Then when I made it into the corporate world and people would see these leadership traits or just see she's very comfortable doing XYZ, and more opportunities would be given to me. But really when I trace it back, it's to my parents seeing something in me, giving me the space within the church environment to nurture it, and then to go out and do it.

Patrick Reyes: Hearing you back, I want to make the turn to ministry because it sounds like, you know your dad's piece here around you just gotta be able to learn. And then you have an incredible gift to be able to do that, to learn and develop. And so you have these two things that are working together - that internal drive to learn and a community that supports you in that learning and finding ways to nurture that. Now you've mentioned going from a dance ministry to getting an MDiv to going off and trying to pursue this call to ministry. Tell me about that transition because that's a different set of learning out of the business world into ministry. 

AnneMarie Mingo: Man, tell me about it! It's different all right. And this is one of those times when my dad was like, are you sure? My mother didn't ask anything. You know, she's going to go right along…the Lord has called you. You know, she believed all of that stuff for a long time. She just wasn't going to push it ‘cause we're all of the belief that the call is from God and not from humans, right? And so we were all very careful around that, but my dad had additional questions. “So now you're going to walk away from what? And how much does that pay over there? Are you sure?”

I was the North American brand manager for the Secret deodorant business, at the time. And as I'm finishing out my MBA, I'm flying back and forth to Florida every weekend for it, because I had been brought back into the corporate headquarters to run this business and the great thing for me is that I hired a woman as my administrative assistant, whose husband was a pastor. And so she understood things that I would say that I wouldn't have to explain, that I would've probably needed to explain to others.

And so at one point, God called me into an absolute fast. I'd never done one before, I've never done one since. but I did an absolute fast three day fast, no water, no food, no nothing - but I still had to work at the time. And so I just let Glenna know, hey, this is what God is calling me into. And she blocked my schedule.

She protected me so that I would have that time, even as I was working, to sit in my office in silence, to be able to hear what God was saying to me during that time. God would wake me up early in the morning, and I'm not a morning person to be very clear. But things would come back to me and I would just start writing.

And so God was showing me things like, what was that like maybe ‘97, ‘98. I had been given an opportunity with the World Council of Churches to go and represent the United States with this group of young women leaders. And so we were in India training and preparing to come back. There were all of these things that the Lord was showing me of how... I actually went and got certified in group fitness thinking that I was going to do gospel aerobics, but God was like, no, you're going to teach dance. I've been dancing since I was two, I was a part of performing companies. I was a part of an African dance performing company, there were all of these pieces.

And so as I'm writing early in the morning God's like, and this is why I've called you to this part, and this is why you are doing this type of teaching. And this is why this opportunity came and this opportunity came. What I've called you to is to preach, to teach, to do organization and administration and to do global outreach and in-reach - that was the language. 

And so after the end of that three-day absolute fast I had this document that was my call narrative. And it was all of these things from literally being two years old through that point of how God was saying, these are why you've had all of these different types of experiences.

This is why you've done this here. This is why I've sent you here. This is why you've had this level. I was a global officer for my denomination. Starting in college, going through my first few years of the corporate world. Like, this is why you've done X, Y, Z. The preaching I got - clearly understood that. Even now when people have often said within my denomination, are you going to pastor? No, the Lord didn't call me to pastor. I walked away from a lot to answer the call. So I'm really clear about what the call was for me and what the call is for me. And so preaching is the call. It's not to pastor. But the teaching portion, when I went to seminary, I thought I was going to become an executive minister bridging my administrative skills, the high leadership skills, all of these corporate things that I had run, being able to run big businesses and organizations.

I thought, great I'll be an executive minister at a larger church. I'll preach occasionally. Perhaps I'll teach occasionally. It wasn't until the fall of my third year of seminary that God spoke more clearly to me or maybe I heard more clearly God's voice in that the teaching was to be in the academy. And so it was October of my third year that I had this aha awakening and it got real clear when it was clear, you know, once I heard it, it was really clear. And so I had a month to prepare to take the GRE. 

So I'm literally studying, I hadn't been doing the academic route. I had never gone to AAR hadn't paid any attention when people were doing that stuff. And what's interesting for me is that when I was applying for seminary and the Lord only told me one place to apply so I only applied to Princeton Seminary. I didn't know people apply to ten-gazllion places. I don't know. I've just…this is what the Lord said to go. I applied there, got in and got some funding and I was like, okay, great, this is what we do. 

For the PhD, I only heard one school and it was Emory. However, by that point, I'd figured out enough to know that the persons who were going to be writing for me were not going to take me seriously if I only applied to one place because they were of the understanding that you need to apply to all of these places. And this is how this works.

I was clear that this is where God told me to go and I believe that God's going to open up a way, and it happens. So I got into my first choice and my second choice but I got full funding for Emory, you know, and I got some additional funding. I got a call saying, Hey, can you send us this? We're going to put you in for this other thing so that you can get more money.

That's the way that I do stuff. I stay until God says go. That's a part of how I made my way into hearing the call, answering the call and then following each step of it, as I understand it, up until now.

Patrick Reyes: Here's where I get curious. Cause you're doing this PhD down here in Atlanta, at Emory, and you are so talented in so many different areas. I mean, it makes so much sense hearing your story, around the business background, around the ministry, the writing, the teaching, the preaching, the performance piece but when is it that you start thinking about it's more than just a tenure track call? Like this is more than just doing research and scholarship teaching in a classroom. When do you start thinking through that? Is it in your doctoral program, is it after? And tell me a little bit about that.

AnneMarie Mingo: Yeah, so it was in the program. So what I now have is Sister Scholars, as people are beginning to know it, but Sister Scholars gets started in 2008 while I'm in the middle of my coursework still. Like I'm finishing up coursework. And the impetus of it was I was serving at Big Bethel AME church on the ministerial staff there. I'm AME by denomination - ordained, for the past 15 years. Well AME all my life, but ordained for the past 15 years, but I was at a funeral for the first black architect in Atlanta, Mr. JW Robinson. And as I'm sitting there, the church is packed. You know, he's had such an impact on Atlanta, all of these communities that he's helped build, you know, other buildings, et cetera.

I was sitting there, I think I was sitting by Raphael Warnock, like we're all just sitting there in this ministers area. And what stuck out to me the most was that there was this group of older black men in Atlanta, and they would get together pretty much every day, or on a very regular basis at a McDonald's over in this area. And they would just sit and talk like they're just old retired men and they would just sit and talk about stuff and help strategize on how they were going to fix XYZ and just all of the experiences that they brought to it, they would bring it to this table - sitting in McDonald's and they called themselves the breakfast club.

And so I thought to myself, well I'm a create the new breakfast club. And it's going to be for black women and we're going to come together over breakfast and we're going to strategize and we're going to support each other. And so that's how Sister Scholars got started. I started it as this breakfast club and so we would have breakfast/brunch. We started out at Pascals because it was important for me to be supporting black owned businesses. And I also knew the history of Pascals. Again, my family has always sprinkled history around me.

So 4, 5, 6 years old, we would go to the original Pascals where they still had the carousel. And my parents would intentionally take me there to eat because they would tell me, Martin Luther King was here such and such. I didn't know who these people were yet, but I remember those things. And so when I started Sister Scholars, our first few meetings were at Pascals for its historical relevance as well as for us to create this space to come together as black women pursuing doctorates in various fields and to just support each other. We could talk, we didn't have to explain what comprehensive exams meant, we didn't have to explain to somebody what it meant when your advisor wasn't responding. Like we got it, right? We could relax, we could just share, we could strategize. We could share, I found this great coffee shop, they only make you buy something for $5 and you can stay all day. Like that was a good tool! We needed to know that. And so the shift happened also because I needed it. I needed that type of community to be able to have conversations with and I knew that others did too. 

The women started coming. October of 2008, we had our first gathering at that Pascals and at that point, we were all students. We all joined together and then started getting together every month. And then we started moving around the city and finding other places that we could support. And then we would periodically begin to write, we’d find a coffee shop that had great tables and great lighting, and we would write in community. That has now evolved all of these years later to us having virtual writing groups. Our first retreat will be coming up in 2022 where we'll be bringing people together. 

I'm now doing one-on-one coaching and group coaching. I've got a 10-week writing program that multiple cohorts have gone through and have been able to go up now for tenure and get that successfully, get grants, get book chapters, get articles, get actual full books written.

And so what started as the new breakfast club, let me be clear the new breakfast club, we only kept that name for the first meeting. After that sister scholars came to me and it stuck. That's who we are and how we've been ever since. But when I really think about it, not only did I need it, but I'd also had this modeling for what creating supportive networks of black women looks like from my home as a child.

A few years into sister scholars I reflected on that and realized, oh my God, this is what I've been around. Yes! This is how black women make it. Because we still are only about, you know, less than 2% of the people who are in the academy. How do we change that? By intentionally supporting each other, to help each other make it through to the next stage. 

Patrick Reyes: What's incredible about this to me as I think, and hopefully no one listening to this thinks, oh you did your PhD and you went and started this organization and that's all you did. You also live the academic life. Like you're an incredible scholar and teacher. You have a full teaching load, tenure position at a major university. Tell me about how you balance academic scholarship life, this supportive network that you're the backbone of. You're continuing to push and bring other people along. How do you do it?

AnneMarie Mingo: Sometimes it doesn't always work to be honest. But I'll say this, when I answered the call, it wasn't an easy answer, but I'm clear about what I'm supposed to do. And I walked away from so much that what I'm clear about is that I'm navigating the academy even, on my own terms. And so I've not always made the choices that others would think that I should make, which would have been to only focus on my own stuff, to get my own writing out as possible, you know, keep your head down, stay focused, do XYZ. You can do these other things when you're done. I've been delayed in my own work because I've been supporting others, but it's been an intentional choice.

Not only for other women of African descent who have or are pursuing their doctorates, which is what Sister Scholars is based on, but also students. When I arrived at Penn State, which is so interesting now that I think about it…So I came here as a post doc. I thought I was only going to be here for nine months. I was on the job market and they asked me to get off and they said, we're going to offer you a tenure track position here. We'd like for you to get off the job market so that you can just have this. And I did. The ’14-‘15 academic year became my first year here. And if we think about that fall of 2014, that's Michael Brown. You know, all of these other things that are happening and I knew at that moment that I was here for that reason to support the students as they were trying to find their voice and activism. 

I'm a civil rights scholar. I study the movement, but I've also been active in various aspects of movements since I was a child. I was in the NAACP as a young person. I was on political campaigns at eight years old. My parents had been active in the movement, like I've been seeing these things. So I was able to help the students here, especially the black students, who didn't have a whole lot of other support to find ways of bringing their voice forward and to use their academic thinking and training in an activist way. And to show them ways forward of how they can live out what they were starting to study. And so I've made choices to be, you know, advisers to the black student union, advisor to a bunch of these things that others would have said wait until you're tenured to do. Wait until you've at least got the book at this stage to do, but I saw the need. 

I saw that there weren't others that were coming to support the young people and in a place like Penn State, which this town that I'm in State College/University Park is the campus town, it's 3.8% black. 

So when you've got students who are trying to make these types of steps and stages and to use their voice and they don't have adults who can step up and say, I've got your back if something happens, it could be real dangerous for them. And it actually was. And so I made the choice, and it's not necessarily been the best for me to move quickly academically, you know, through this stuff, but it's a choice that I made intentionally and so I stick by it. So to say that it's easy to balance it, it's not always, but to say that I'm clear about the choices that I make and how I want to try to empower others and find ways so that they can become activists on their own terms and to teach. And to almost be - not quite - an Ella Baker but somewhat of an Ella Baker in this space. Who has experiences, right? Who stays in the background and gives them strategies. Who shows up periodically or goes to the places where other voices are needed to make sure that the higher-level administrators don't give them problems. 

I've gone to work with the D.A. to get students out when they were in trouble for protesting. Like that's the work that I find important. I know that that is a part of why I’ve been here to be in the place to do that. So, all that to say it's not easy, but it's a choice that I've made, recognizing that there are ramifications for it - for me personally, but I see the bigger picture of how I've been able to help young people, to go off and to do great things.

Patrick Reyes: This is the last question I got for you. And this is really, I mean I ask all the guests some version of this, but I am captured by something you said earlier that the call comes from God or the divine, but your dad said I got questions. So how much of this sense of call where you're supporting students, building institutions, bringing along black faculty, how much of that is driven by all of these experiences from your community, the folks that you were surrounded by, and how much is your sense of call to continue to do this work?

AnneMarie Mingo: It's a combination. I think other people have probably thought that too, or mentioned that too. What I try to do is to keep going until God tells me to do something else. So once I hear the first thing, I go down that path and then other aspects of my community might come to mind and I realize, oh, this makes sense now. Or as I'm going down that path, I see this opportunity and I'm like well, I see where I'm needed here - now I understand why I'm on this path. One of the churches that I was serving at when I was in Atlanta, one of the pastors preached, Go until you hear a no, and that's a lot of what I do.

I go when I hear God say go and I keep going until I hear the no. And then when God says no, then I make my shift - I listen again and make my shift and I go again down whatever that next path is until I hear a no. That's a big part of what I do and why I do it. Then there are also times when I see the need and I know that I've got a particular set of experiences and skills and gifts, that might be able to help in that way. What I've been trying to become more conscious of more recently is to not overstep. Just because there's a need doesn't mean that I'm the one to fill it.

But as a young person, very young, I don't even know probably elementary school, my mother taught me or raised me to live by this sort of mantra that in the absence of leadership, leaders lead. And so in the absence of leadership, if I see that there is something, and especially if somebody is going to be negatively impacted by the lack of leadership, I'll step in at least for that moment. And then try to get that person into safety or help that person to do whatever they need to do. And then I may step out. But yeah, I go until I hear a no, and then once I hear the no, I shift and then I go down the next path.

Patrick Reyes: I mean, you know, my own personal thing. I need to go until I hear the no, I need to hear no sometimes. How do you hear the no? 

AnneMarie Mingo: Well that's a great question. Like how do you hear the no? Sometimes I get so focused on how I'm helping and how I see things going that I ignore the no. And in that case, what's happened time and time again is that things get really uncomfortable for me. It makes me start paying attention. Like, why is this so hard? That's a part of my no, that's a part of the it's time to shift, it's time to move. You're not the one for this right now. Your season has come and it has ended, or this wasn't for you in the first place. This is why this is now uncomfortable.

I believe that the no's come to us sometimes we're so committed to the work that we ignore it. But for me, that's when stuff just starts to get uncomfortable and I realize ooh wee, maybe I'm not supposed to be doing this. Okay. And then when I stop it's like, oh, I wasn't supposed to be doing this anyway. My time is over, this wasn't my call! I picked up somebody else's stuff. And so you release it and then you go till you get the next one. 

Patrick Reyes: So let me do the wrap up just to say thank you to you. I mean, I love and appreciate you so much. The leadership, AnneMarie, that you bring to the world, it's incredible.

I know you've focused in on the way you were supported when you were younger, the way you're supporting black scholars now, but I know the extended family, FTE family, and myself have all benefited from the gifts of your leadership to step in and love and support us. You're such a gift. And I hope you feel the appreciation. And for those who don't know, you're an award winning mentor. You’re in very good company in the folks who we believe really do embody what does it mean to support the next generation?

I'm just so grateful that you spent the time to tell us about your story and to share all the love and good wisdom. I need to find my “no,” I think that's my next most faithful step.

AnneMarie Mingo: Hey, get you a no committee! You know those exist too. The committee that you bring your stuff to. And if they tell you this doesn't seem consistent with what you’ve said your goals are for right now, or the path that you've identified, you know, having a no committee is also a tool that helps. Yeah, thank you so much for this opportunity. I enjoyed being able to think back and to just see a part of where my journey has brought me so far, and I'm interested to seeing what the next steps are because I feel like there's some new things on the horizon. And so I'm looking forward to what those are going to be. 

Patrick Reyes: President Mingo, it's going to be spoken. So I'm just saying! 

If you were inspired by Dr. Mingo's story and have one to tell us, write us! Let us know, drop us a line on FTE leaders social page on Instagram or Facebook. As always subscribe and share this podcast with a friend. Thank you to Heather Wallace, Elsie Barnhart, Diva Morgan Hicks - the FTE team, and @siryalibeats for his music. And we'll see you next time on the Sound of the Genuine.

*TRIO programs refers to the three original programs that were funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act – Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search, and Special Services (later named Student Support Services), that were designed to assist eligible students to begin and complete post-secondary education.