African proverb, Elephant, Mother’s Day, Power of Love, Sermon, Truth principles

The Power of a Mother’s Prayer: Answered via elephant’s trunk

As parents and guardians, we often believe that we know what’s best for our children. You’re on the right track if are responsible, loving, nonjudgmental, generous, open and truthful parents.

You’re off track if you have those same qualities and your children are young adults who decide on their careers and life passions, sans parental advice. If you’re a parent like me and guessed what each of my children would do after they left home, you are likely surprised when you watch their deepest desires come to fruition and are not quite what you envisioned. Yet, it is all well with our souls.

“It may seem you are over your head,” Rev. JC said, pointing to the large screen behind the pulpit.

The image showed the tiny trunk of a baby elephant who was in waters over his head while closely following his mother.

“When you are moving through muddy waters, someone has gone before you … keep moving forward,” said Rev. JC aka my daughter, Jocelyn Cheryl Kimbrough.

Her sermon or “Journey in truth,” was previewed by one of my favorite songs by the late Luther Vandross. Vandross’ song was appropriately the background music for the beautiful images of mother-and-baby animals who led the congregation to “The Power of Motherhood” message.

Rev. JC continued: “We are all uniquely equipped with the resources” necessary to live our best lives. Amen is what I was thinking while rapidly reflecting upon Jocelyn’s colorful life that kept me in constant prayer and humility.

There she was: Standing before the congregation at the Living Truth 365 church in Marietta, Ga. My mother, her grandmother and I were seated on the second row. Jocelyn’s remarks were peppered with humor, Biblical references and “Jocisms” as I refer to her wisdom.

I learned lots from her sermon including the elephants’ way of successful living. Elephants travel in herds that can number up to 25. Women are the bosses and the male elephants remain with their mothers for about 15 years and then join the male elephants for the remainder of the young elephant’s development. Elephants cannot jump but they are fast movers. Finally, the elephants are pregnant 22 months!

“The end of something is better than its beginning. Patience is better than pride.” — Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NIV, NET, Araimaic).

Indeed. The challenges I had in my pregnancy with Jocelyn and twin John Charles, paled in comparison to their joyous births. That beautiful baby girl who was born with a headful of thick, curly black locks, erased all memories of the heavy weight of carrying two 9-pound fraternal twins. Her 8:27 pm arrival was 2 minutes behind her brother’s. Her sermon reminded me of her little elephant-like trunk following closely to make it through the murky process to begin another phase of her living.

Blessings Rev. JC. Another great Mother’s Day gift.

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects.

African proverb

Leadership is like an egg held in fingers: ‘The Paradox of Power’

The strong hand with fingers firmly, yet gently holding an egg, is at the root of an African proverb that speaks to how chiefs or those in authority are reminded on how to treat human life.

This fine gift was given to me via a relative from a Haitian visitor to the United States. He provided our family with the wood carving and offered his native interpretation:

  • Notice the perch of the egg — it is angled upward to receive the universe’s blessings.
  • It is held firmly in the fingers to symbolize the steadiness and yet its hold being just right. That is to ensure that the egg will not shatter at the hand of its holder.
  • The egg, therefore, requires attention. It cannot be ignored.

In 2006, U.S. President Barack Obama visited his ancestral home in Kenya and acquired the symbol of the man’s hand holding the egg, or the “Paradox of Power” wooden desk statue. It is believed that this monkey wood carved feature symbolized President’s Obama’s presidency.

What does my Haitian sculpture symbolize in your life?

A future blog will highlight the importance of the “OneEgg” program that feeds schoolchildren in Musanze, Rwanda. 




Comedy life

What comedy classes taught me (a seasoned college educator)

Winters in Chicago can be grueling. Taking on new adventures is exciting.

Combine the two and walla — I enrolled in comedy classes at the world renowned Chicago-based The Second City.  The humor and great camaraderie warmed my soul.  Learning from the best comedic teachers reshaped my life, underlined my strongest beliefs and enhanced my multi-genre professional writing skills.

Here’s how:

  1. First-day group orientation leaders stressed the fun and serious sides of Second City comedic learning.  It is best expressed in the mission statement that is easy to remember and great to execute:
  2. The mission of Second City is to a) Show up. b) Take care of each other. c) Do stuff.  This mission is transferrable to every walk of life.
  3. My first class with Comedic Teacher yielded the obvious and not always remembered by students. “It’s more guts than talent,” she said of Stand Up Comedians who grace many stages across the world. Erin also urged us to write, write and write our stories. Yet, “don’t try to write to be funny. Tell the truth. The comedy will come.”
  4. Learning the background of comedy was thrilling. We learned the different styles of comedy (will share more in a future blog) and we had to perform. After all, the “final exam” was to perform on stage as a group of students before an audience of family, friends and other supporters. I loved it all.
  5. I enrolled in Stand Up 2. Enter Sydney Davis Jr. Jr. (yes two Jrs. for the Arkansas lady).  She is a rising star on Amazon’s Prime Video and is an in-demand hosts for comedy shows. She also holds down a full-time, non-comedic job.
  6. Sydney brought even more understanding of the fun world of comedy writing and staging. We performed in class in front of our classmates. Critiques dominated our growth. We learned where to practice our comedy and how to be civil comedians.
  7. Our final exam for Stand Up 2 was even more thrilling. I never forgot Second City’s mission as I toiled through what amount to 16 weeks of instruction, critiques, lots and lots of laughs.
  8. The best lessons for me as a college educator?  Strive to teach every course and conduct every meeting with the spirit of  inclusiveness, purpose,  bonding enhancers and learning without looking at the clock for the class to or meeting to end.  Also, it is important to guide folk to their next experiences such as Open Mic performances or Internet comedic stardom.
  9. What sticks with me in this comedic world as presented by Second City instructors and staff” Take care of one another and especially yourself.
  10. Amen to that!

I will present a lot more on this topic of comedy and its intersection in our lives. Check out future blogs.


Avoiding resume mistakes, Resume tips, Uncategorized

How to write your resume for right job

Nearly everyday, including today, I work with university students and recent graduates to help them reach their next greatest opportunities. Whether an internship, entry level job or entrepreneurial venture, your resumes MUST reflect the requirements of the opportunities.

That seems simple enough, yet usually it is not. We write our resumes or curricula vitae (for those published higher education folk) in a generic format and then try to match it to the opportunity descriptions. In short, it does not work with you at least tweaking your resume or LinkedIn profile to match what you are seeking in the marketplace.

Attached is a sample resume. It fits a format that has worked to secure assignments in most situations. Consider resume formats as a guide for adherence to style, grammar and other format “rules.”

Format tips:

1. Write a one-page resume in 11- or 12-point typeface. If it is a CV for education assignments, multiple pages do not count against you. If you are asked to provide references, do so on a separate page.

2. The “profile” or “summary” atop your resume is not needed. That is, unless you are applying for certain business-related assignments, jobs that have numerous requirements, and/or to fill the page. Instead, utilize the words in the profile or introduction section of your resume as a good start for your cover letter.

3. Unless you are applying for an education job, your academic accomplishments should be placed at the end of the resume.

4. Please do not use the phrase “professional experience” or segregate your volunteer and other valued assignments. Simply, “experience” will suffice as a heading. Some career advisors suggest a “technology” section on your resume (see below for inc. link).

Content tips:

1. Review and review again and again each word in the opportunity description to make sure that the key words in your resume closely resemble or match the advertised assignment.

2. Utilize active verbs to describe your experience. Past tense usage is allowed for former positions, yet action words should be incorporated. For example, your LinkedIn profile and resumes should emphasize “Collaborative, visionary manager with award-winning experience in digital television production” rather than “Experienced television producer with vast assignments as a field reporter and editor.”

3. Eliminate jargon that may relate to your university, your industry or everyday words used by my favorite Millienial or Z Generation folk. Keep in mind that your resume will likely be viewed by Baby Boomers who may not understand abbreviations and technology short cut words.

4. Keep sentences short and adhere to the same style in the writing and graphic design. For instance, do not omit the location of one job while including it for all other assignments. Another major flub is when the typeface styles are all over the place.

5. Spell check is free. Grammar software programs are inexpensive.

6. Read your resume aloud. Allow someone else to edit your resume. You will be surprised how many mistakes you can catch by following these final steps before hitting the send button to distribute your resume and cover letter.

I am including more tips for your to check out. Some of my favorite links include:


Cover letters, video and audio interviews and online application monitoring are among my future blogs.


New career platform to enhance career experience for Northwestern students

New platform for Northwestern University students seeking careers

Northwestern Career Advancements

A new career platform that allows for a more personalized job and internship search experience is now available to Northwestern students and alumni. Northwestern Career Advancement (NCA) introduced Handshake today as its new career platform, replacing its current system, CareerCat, and integrating Medill’s career platform, MEDILLINK. The two systems now share the same platform on Handshake, while still maintaining options for employers to recruit from specific schools or majors.

Northwestern Career Advancement launches new career platform, Handshake, on June 5

Students will use Handshake to search for and apply to jobs and internships, schedule appointments with career advisers and counselors, and view educational and employer-related programs. A personalized user experience driven by student preference, a more user-friendly interface, and more options for profile customization are just a few of the features students can look forward to using as they explore and prepare for career opportunities.

“Handshake provides Northwestern students with a modern, customized interface designed to support all of their…

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