Motivational Speaker | Writer
Meditation & Yoga Instructor| Model
If you would have told me ten years ago, I would graduate from both St. John's and New York University, present a policy paper on adoption subsidy fraud to President Obama's Administration while interning on Capitol Hill for Senator Kristen Gillibrand; that I would travel the country sharing my extremely traumatic upbringing; that I would study abroad in Ghana and speak to disadvantaged high schoolers on the shores of South Africa; and that I would loc my hair and travel alone to Nepal and India to study meditation and yoga for nine months, only to return to start my own 501(c)3 nonprofit called Fostering Meditation -- I would have laughed and then said "wrong guy." Truth is, I have been fortunate enough to do all these things and more.
I spent 22-years inside NYC's foster care system, transferring between 30 placements throughout the five boroughs, was adopted twice, placed on prescribed medications, namely Ritalin and Adderall, spent time in a juvenile detention, and struggled with anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. I was destined to fail, to become another unfortunate statistic and end up either homeless, in jail, or worst -- dead. Instead, by God's grace, those few who believed in me, and my resilience to make a better life for myself, here I am an accomplished black man on a mission to change the world before He calls my name.
I welcome you to learn more about my journey through any of my former speeches, blogs, and poetry. I also invite you to join me for a Mindfulness-Meditation and Yoga session. It is my hope you will be inspired by my journey and be reminded no matter what cards you were dealt, in the end YOU have the power to choose your destiny rather than allowing anyone else to dictate to you who you are and your worth.
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." - Robert Frost
Here I share a little about my journey in foster care, and you get a glimpse of my speech in South Africa to elementary and high schoolers!
I spoke extensively at Keene State College about my journey in the system and how I created my forever family.
In 2015, I was awarded the Robin Hood Foundation Heroes Award, and asked to speak in front of hundreds of New Yorkers!
I spoke at CCAI's Angels in Adoption Gala in D.C. where I share why I chose to research adoption subsidy fraud.
While in Munnar, Kerala I explain why you should meditate and then lead a 5-minute breathing practice.
The Broken pieces of my life, all scattered throughout my body tonight
I seek the help of another, but here I am all alone with my breath, and the desire of a mother
Someone to hold me, tell me my healing is coming,
instead I'm forced to comfort Self without running
My limbs are hurt from my previous falls, both physically & mentally, perhaps it's now Karma knocking at my door
Accept! Accept! Accept! Spirit tells me, as all the other doors I knock on remain shut without a key
So, I shall remain here in my Brokenness with my Breath, accepting all of the sesnsations of what's left
In the summer of 2016, I joined the Foster Youth Internship in Washington D.C. and wrote why Congress should adjust its adoption subsidy program, given my former adoptive mother garnered thousands of dollars for me while I wasn't in her care.
In the summer of 2020, I oversaw New Yorkers for Children's summer internship, where seven interns and myself researched extensively why mindfulness meditation should be introduced to youth in foster care.
Meditation & Yoga
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Mindfulness Meditation is about deep attention and awareness of every moment with the intention to understand and allow to be, rather than to judge and critique. It is while we are practicing mindfulness on our mat, we become aware of passing physical sensations, arising emotional states, and roaming thoughts, which follow us throughout our day. The same patience we learn to cultivate in practice, leads us to enduring patiently with impermanent emotions and mental states, therefore allowing us to live more holistically healthy and mindful lives. I invite you to listen to one of my free tracks below, and then joining me in class as we continue fostering mindfulness meditation together!
Free Meditation Track:
is a 501(c)3 non-profit aimed at helping alleviate the high stress, anxiety, and trauma youth within and without the foster care system face by teaching them Mindfulness Meditation & Yoga; helping them change their diet, while encouraging therapy and cathartic writing.
Hatha Yoga with The Harlem Yogi
I completed my first 200-hour Hatha Yoga certificate in Rishikesh, India in 2019, and after realizing the power of the practice, I am now aiming to bring the discipline to as youth within the foster care system and within the black community to help foster greater self-love, self-knowledge, and self-awareness! My classes are typically 75 minutes as we focus on mindfully moving and breathing into each pose, therefore freeing our mind from wandering into the future or past, calming any anxiety, and strengthening our connection to our mind, body, and breath.