“I learned it’s okay to not feel the need to be in control of everything… I have begun to establish a monthly Mental Health Check up with a Professional, something I suggest women, especially women in business to explore”
1. Who is Charlotte Miller-Lacy?
She’s a woman of many talents and skills. Charlotte is empowered, freely and passionately following her dreams and passion to leave a legacy of excellence for young girls and women. Charlotte is a girly girl who loves to be fabulous from head to foot, who is funny and challenging. Charlotte is an event planner at heart who loves taking a simple Tea Party making it a sold out Gala. Charlotte is a believer in the impossible becoming a reality. Charlotte is a changemaker who helps others realize their potential. Charlotte enjoys music, her family especially her grandchildren. Charlotte is a social butterfly who loves Easter Egg Hunts, Tea Parties, Fashion Shows, Showcase events and Parties. She and her husband love to dance, hangout with friends, entertain and have backyard barbecues with lots of eating, drinking and most of all laughing having a great time together.
Charlotte has been blessed to spend 27 years with her awesome husband David L. Lacy. Together they are parents to 5 young men, and 1 bonus daughter, 7 granddaughters and 2 grandsons. She is the Director of Student Services at Parkway Academy North. An Alternative Placement School in Wilmington Delaware for at-risk youth. Charlotte is also the Founder/National Executive Director for I Am My Sister’s Keeper. A mentoring program for at-risk girls ages 6-18. (MSK believes all girls are at-promise) Within 4 years and under Charlotte’s leadership I Am My Sister’s Keeper has gone nationally with other Sister Chapters in the States of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Atlanta and Texas with other additions on the horizon for the 2020-2021 program year.
Programs under I Am My Sister’s Keeper Delaware Chapter include:
i. MSK Rites of Passion Program for girls 12-18
ii. MSK Next Generation Confidence Club for girls 6-11, this program is a STEM initiative with self-confidence building
iii. MSK EDGE PROGRAM Engage, Dream, Grow, Empower for youth grades 9-12 this program is for soft skills.
iv. MSK UPSTART Program for 4 years, an in-home Kindergarten Readiness Program that supplies Free laptops, internet and technical support to parents and guardians.
Charlotte Miller-Lacy and the organization have received numerous tributes, accolades and acknowledgements from the State of Delaware, Governor Carney and House of Representatives, City of Wilmington President Haniffa Shabazz and City Councilmembers, New Castle County Government Executive Matt Meyer and Council President Karen Hagley-Nagel for their work in the communities.
She is many things to many people, one of the best things to her is being known as Momma Lacy to a Community
Charlotte has five Principles that have framed her journey to success;
v.Faith, Family, Friends, Persistence and a Positive Attitude
2. The uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic weighs the heaviest on most working mothers. How has the pandemic affected you mentally?
I had a feeling of uncertainty in how to keep myself and family members who have compromised immune systems safe. I have started couponing to stack up on some of the staples for everyday existence. Toilet paper, hand towels, lysol wipes and sprays etc. LOL I have a feeling that I don’t ever want to get caught without what we need to survive physically and financially. We are resetting, re evaluating, re-valuing everything and everyone in our life.
3. How are you supporting your local community during the COVID-19 crisis?
a.Partnered with the Tarbiyah School in collaboration with Every Man Counts Better Dads, Girls Incorporated Of Delaware and I Am My Sister’s Keeper to distribute Free Grab & Go Lunches for Children and Teens in the City of Wilmington Delaware.
b.Sending out several PSA’s in reference to updates on Flattering the curve and staying safe, especially for Black and Brown people. African-Americans account for 70% of the deaths in the United States when we only make up 12% of the population.
c.Supplying cloth mask to female youth who don’t have any
d.Using network to connect several families to community resources and food within New Castle County
e.Partnering with Senator Elizabeth Lockman for I Am My Sister’s Keeper girls and Volunteers to send cards and letters to the ladies how we are coping in the midst of COVID-19
4. How can your local community support you and your business during this pandemic?
Before this Pandemic we had several fundraising events and campaigns scheduled to take the program to the end of the program in June. As well as to prepare for the 2020-2021 program year starting in October all of which stopped. Last year we had to turn away 13 girls to our program because we did not have funding to accommodate over 25 girls per program year. Along with the Board we were looking at several grants and fundraising strategies to be able to accommodate 40 girls in total. This includes 24 girls who are returning. To date we have not been able to execute those fundraisers and the grants we applied for have been diverted to COVID-!9. If anyone would like to donate to the 2020-2021 program year, become volunteers, be a presenter, become a member of one of the Board committees, or know of other resources to help the continued success of the program it would be greatly appreciated.
5.What are some challenges you have faced at home due to the lockdown, and some adjustments you have had to make? What lessons can you share with other working moms presented with these challenges?
As a mother it doesn’t matter how old your children are, you are still a mom. Our oldest son is Mentally Challenged. Even though he is 43 his cognitive skill level is that of an adolescent. He is usually at a day program with professionals who are trained to keep him engaged throughout the day. He has a schedule that he is used to and looks forward to those things. He is also one who does not do well with change or off schedule. Even at home there are things he is used to doing on schedule. He also has a compromised immune system so the Pandemic, self isolation, stay at home and social distancing became a nightmare for him, myself and husband. We found ourselves establishing new norms and schedules for him, myself and husband so we could coexist at home in a manner that was healthy for all of us.
If you are in a marriage or committed relationship make sure each partner knows how schedules and the household functions all come together in the event you are not there to make it all work.
6. What are some challenges you have faced with your business or career due to the lockdown, and some adjustments you have had to make? What lessons can you share with other working moms presented with these challenges?
The business as we know it came to a complete halt. We usually hold our monthly meetings on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays from 9:30-12:30. With the Social Distenting and no more than 10 people gatherings we were not able to gather for our Sista Circles. These circles consist of 23-29 girls, 8 volunteers and any invited guest. And if both Wilmington and Chester Chapters meet that is near 80-85 in attendance. We had to cancel all community service activities as well as incentives and award ceremonies acknowledging the girls accomplishments. Technology has allowed us to conduct a few Zoom meetings with the girls. It’s not perfect and does not have the same effect as meeting in person and a few of the girls have disconnected most of them are participating. I am technology challenged, and was certain trying to connect virtually was going to be a complete flop. I have learned to remain open minded in my inadequacies.
7.What/who is one organization or individual that has been very supportive or inspirational in your journey, or simply during this pandemic?
Actually 2 individuals and organizations have been supportive and inspirational to me personally as well as professionally. Terra Harrison, Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Delaware and Ajawaui Jackie Aja Ajavon, of Every Man Counts Better Dads Better Lives. Both of these ladies are fiercy in their respective organizations and great mentors and role models of community servants.
8. What are some valuable lessons you have learned that you can share with other women as we navigate the pandemic, or to be better prepared personally and professionally in times of a national issue affecting our health and economy?
I learned it’s okay to not feel the need to be in control of everything. During this Pandemic everything I felt I handled and controlled the outcomes, shut down. I went into a panic, suffering anxiety, something I had never felt as strongly as I felt during the beginning of the Pandemic. Going forward I will put my best foot forward and not beat up myself or put my husband or family on hold to get it all done. I have begun to establish a monthly Mental Health Check up with a Professional, something I suggest women, especially women in business to explore.
9.What keeps you inspired and motivated?
My Faith and the unconditional love from my family and friends even in all my mess, keeps me inspired. My passion for Community Service and being an agent of Positive Change keeps me highly motivated.