I was born on September 26 in Newark Beth Israel Hospital. As a young girl, I’ve always been very Independent. I’ve shared a love for Math, Language Arts, Reading and Writing. So much so that everyone in grade school knew me for being smart. There’s this one memory of grade school I won’t ever forget. I was attending BELMONT RUNYON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL in NEWARK, NJ. I can’t quite remember the grade. It might have been 3rd or 4th grade. I was supposed to go on a Class Trip with my class but my mom didn’t sign my permission. Saying that I was sad is an understatement. But this day turned out to be one of the best days of my life. I had to “sit in” with one of the 4th or 5th Grade class… I can’t quite remember. The teacher at that Time was Mr. Kenya Moncur. He is my favvv-ooo-rite teacher of all time. I think I might have had a crush on him.
But any who. He announced to the class that I would be sitting in with them all day. He gave me some coursework so that I could follow along. I don’t think he thought I’d be actually completing the assignments. But little did he know, I LOVE math! Once I was finished I walked up to his desk and handed him the assignments. He was shocked! He gave me another work and I completed those As well. He was impressed. So much so that he spoke with I’m guessing the principle of maybe even the guidance counselor? All I know is my mom was informed that I was recommended to be “skipped” also known as Promoted, to a higher grade level. My mom declined because she didn’t want my older brother to feel bad about his younger sister being in the same grade. That SUCKS right? Imagine how I felt!
I moved on to my next grade and lo and behold… My home room teacher was Mr. Moncur. I was so excited… those two years were the years that exposed me to some of my passions. Mr. Moncur was the head of a club called “Newark Do Something.” You had to write an essay to join the club and if your essay got selected you’ll get accepted. I wrote a nice essay and I place it in the “submission box” outside of the classroom. A few days later in the intercom an announcement was made of the winners od the essay contest and the selected students. After a few names were announce they called out “Asia!” I was so excited. We were instructed to report to the designated room. As I arrived, so did another “Asia.” Asia Nelms… I’ll never forget that name. I’m not sure if she actually wrote an essay but they decided to let us both join. I guess I was so excited to submit my essay that I might have forgotten to write my name on the essay. Why didn’t I ask them to show us the essay? Hmmm…
In 2000 “Newark Do Something” by way of DoSomething.org held The National Kindness and Justice Challenge. It was pioneered in 1994 by students and teachers in Newark, New Jersey, involves dozens of national educational and service organizations. These organizations provide schools with an education curriculum that encourages all students to do acts of kindness and justice.
At our school BELMONT RUNYON ELEMENTARY, we participated in different acts of kindness all over Newark, NJ like cleaning abandoned lots and planting gardens. We pledged to partake in similar acts in our school and in our homes.
I won 2nd place in the Kindness and Justice Challenge for participating in random acts of kindness through the duration of the challenge.
That same year we were introduced to the Entrepreneurship program. We learned how to;
- Create a Tagline
- Create a Business/Brand Name
- Define a Target Audience
- Importance of Location, Location, Location
- Design a Logo
- Decide on a Product, Good or Service
We even wrote down our goals for the future and our teacher said she would keep them in all a lockbox to give to us when we get older. Unfortunately, I can’t quite remember her name.
Ever since then I just knew I’d be an entrepreneur. I’m the type of WOMAN who has so many ideas that I often start multiple projects and spread myself too thin!
I enjoy DIY. I enjoy Math. I enjoy Writing. I love being in control, or should I say Leadership Roles. So what business could or would I possibly start was the question?….
As I got older I starting having social and spiritual conflicts. I was born and raised a Muslim. Being in an environment that doesn’t quite reflect the values and the Islamic Ways of Life, proved to be difficult for me. I became subject to social and physical pressure. As a result I made some poor decisions that led me to be a teenage Mom not once but twice at ages 15 and 16! I gave birth to my Daughter Zahnya and my Son Jaamir.
In 2007 my mom passed away. I was forced to grow up faster than I had already needed to. She was my provider and caregiver, as well as my children’s. I didn’t have a plan nor a clue of what was next. I used the resources Social Services provided to fund my education. I used their childcare assistance so I can remain in school and complete my courses.
I gained a Career as a Dental Assistant. With my hard work and determination I worked my way up to a Dental Receptionist turned Patient Care Coordinator. I was proud on the day I walked into the Public assistance office and voluntarily closed my case.
As time passed, I eventually “bumped into” the love of my life. From that point on we were inseparable. We gave birth to 3 more beautiful baby boys, Matthew, Zachary and Joshua. We lived happily ever after. In July 2013 my children’s dad and the love of my life was killed in a hit and run car accident.
This has been one of the hardest experiences I’ve been through apart from my mom passing. It took me exactly 11 months to mourn, grieve and fight ever so hard to regain my strength, courage and sanity. My family is estranged and I have no friends.
I pride myself on being Independent, Hardworking and Goal Oriented. My greatest challenge is being Independent yet some how needing help.
If I could ask for anything it wouldn’t be money, it would be Family. My very own Village. A Mom, an Aunt, maybe even a Sister. With my skills, experience, resilience and determination I can earn my own money and make a living to provide. Without Mental, Spiritual and Physical support, who’s going to raise my children into respectful, mature, kindhearted, God-fearing people while I’m working?
“If you look through the mirror of today’s World, I am a reflection of you.
Transparency. Everybody wants to be seen. Heard. Felt. Loved. Praised. Supported. Respected. Feel important.
I value and require Substance!
God took away my mother, my father and my lifetime partner so that I can CALL on him. DEPEND on him.”
Written By: Asia S.
Just Like You… I Am Every Woman!