Inspirational Pat Troy-Brooks Encourages Cheyney University's Young Women

Angelitta Anderson

April 4, 2014

Cheyney University Students stand in unison to read and affirm Pat Troy-Brooks' Pledge for Navigating My Future

Cheyney University Students stand in unison to read and affirm Pat Troy-Brooks' Pledge for Navigating My Future

A Sister Circle discussion featuring motivational speaker and workforce expert Pat Troy-Brooks on March 31 at Cheyney University turned out to be practical, real, up-front and personal.  Brooks, a consultant, breast cancer survivor and author of “Your Job Search GPS: Navigate to Your Career Destination in 10 Steps," started by asking all of the women present to stand in their circles and answer three questions: Do you wear stockings? Do you wear a slip? Do you wear a girdle? 

The idea for the evening’s motivational discussion was first conceived by Director of Student Activities Sharon Thorn. She split the girls into two groups.  One circle, called Getting Ready to Go, was comprised of CU juniors and seniors. They focused on the preparations and anxieties associated with exiting college.  The second group, Balancing Academics and Activities, was composed of freshmen and sophomores.  Both groups dialogued about topics such as health, womanhood, and education.

In addition to Troy-Brooks, Cheyney University’s staff nurse, Tina Aina; CU Wellness Specialist Lorna Best; Vice Principal of the Coatesville Area School District and CU alumnus Bridgette Miles; Account Executive Camille Gadson; and Vice Principal of Universal Charter Schools Sabrina Feggins, spoke to the girls.

“Always wear stockings and foundational under garments to an interview,” Miles shared matter-of-factly. “They give you a polished and finished look and you need to go that extra mile to present yourself favorably when you are on a job interview.”

“My goal is to provide quality behavioral workshops and programming to help meet the emotional and behavioral needs of Cheyney’s students,” explained Best, “I believe my efforts and activities will have a positive impact on students' grades and success here at Cheyney University.”

Feggins, a CU alumnus who once served as a resident advisor in Tubman Hall, offered some good advice to seniors. “As you prepare to leave college and enter into the real world, your first job offer may not be the job you want or the first salary bid may not be the amount you anticipated,”  she said. “Be prepared with a backup plan.”

Miles agreed by sharing her personal story.  “When I graduated from Cheyney, I thought I was going to make all this big money," she said.  "I thought my first offer letter was a joke. I graduated with a master’s degree and a teacher’s certificate and I was hired as a teacher’s aide making $8 an hour.” Today, she's Vice Principal at that same job, "but I had to work my way up the ranks," she admitted.  "I had to humble myself, and I had to persevere.”

Near the end  of the evening, Brooks selected three names and surprised three students with copies of her book.  She then offered her final advice.  “You create the life that you imagine,” she declared. “There are three things I want you to remember: there are no short cuts to success, always be prepared for any opportunities that might arise, and show up early and stay late."  She ended with the famous quote-- The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary.

The evening concluded with everyone standing and reading Brooks' Pledge for Navigating My Future which states:

I AM the author and creator of my future.
I CAN achieve anything that I set out to do.
I WILL spend 10 minutes each day visualizing a positive future and then take steps to move forward achieving my goals.
I WILL express gratitude for the blessings that I receive.
I WILL follow my passion and explore the extraordinary possibilities that exit within me.
I WILL remove limiting beliefs and be the gatekeeper of my thoughts.
I COMMIT to being a lifelong learner.
I WILL be an active participant in my life.
I WILL do the work and create the life I imagine.

The event wrapped up CU's celebration of Women's History Month.