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CHARLETHA WARE: Superwoman, Cape Optional

A colleague of mine hit me online to tell me about her friend who would be an awesome subject for a Positive Black Images story. She described her friend as the consumate super woman. I was intrigued and now I'm glad I met Charletha Ware. Charletha is currently the Site Director at a head start preschool, holding a Bachelors in Child Development and double Masters degrees. This woman has done the most under adverse circumstances and just shrugs it off. When I asked her what it took for her to stay centered while maintaining a household of three kids, working two jobs and obtaining her degrees, she just said, "I can't really say I have a definitive answer for that. Because I'm the kind of person that just does it when I set my mind to something. It just gets done. I don't have a checklist of methods to get stuff done, I just do it."

"And honestly, I can't say that I did it all on my own. My friends and my mom was very instrumental in my getting through school; especially when I was going for my Bachelor's degree. With me being a single mom, my mom understood my going for my goal and understood what it would mean, as far as opportunities, when I earned my degree." Charletha's mom practically moved into her home to help coordinate kids, meals, and wherever she could lend a hand. "She made sure that school was all I needed to focus on. I focused on school and I focused on work." Charletha also worked two jobs in the early days. She made it work with no car, up at 5:00a.m. daily, on the bus daily with two kids heading to work. Luckily, one of her jobs was at a daycare center (somebody upstairs was looking out) and her kids were able to go to daycare where she worked. Charletha worked a split shift at the daycare center, opening the center each morning, leaving mid-day to report to a high school to work in the cafeteria during lunch periods, then back to the daycare center to close out the work day. Her day didn't stop there as next she went home to drop off the kids to mom and then off to school at Cal State Los Angeles.

Charletha ultimately had three children, two girls and a boy, and stopped school for awhile to maintain the household and family. She dropped one of her two jobs then was laid off the other. She was fortunate enough to get a single job to replace them. "I worked at a drug treatment center for 7 years; still working with kids, but in a different scenario."

"We eventually were able to find a house that was a fit for us. We still live there to this day. I was able to get back on track and back in school to finish my studies." Bachelor's degree, check. After a brief hiatus, Charletha forged ahead and started in her Masters programs. She completed dual Masters degree programs in February of 2014. She now holds Masters degrees in Education; one in Curriculum and Instruction and another in Early Childhood Education.

I should mention that along the way, Charletha tied the knot with her off and on boyfriend since high school. She and Dakode Ware were married April 13, 2013!!

She is now the Director at a Head Start preschool, teaching and managing 11 teachers and caretakers. She handles enrollment, recruitment, setting the curriculum for the young students and LOVES her job!!

With stories like Charletha's it's hard not to stay inspired and motivated to do whatever it is you envision for yourself. Hard work is the key and if you need pointers on how to get it done, just ask Charletha Wade, superwoman.

Vernon R. Heard

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