My name is ShaVonnie Copeland. I am a junior at Hamline University, and I was blessed to be a part of the first group of participants to enroll in Project Empowerment Academy: Project Restore Minnesota. Since Project Restore Minnesota this program has had life-altering effects on me.
Honestly, in the beginning, I knew this opportunity would divinely open opportunities to learn new ways to navigate through life but I am proud to say my expectations have come to fruition sooner than expected. I was able to be fulfilled with so much knowledge, knowledge that I must preserve with this information. The importance of Project Restore has had a high impact and experiential learning opportunities, offering African Americans opportunities to be enriched in a variety of ways is an impact that all African Americans can benefit from.
During the curriculum Project Restore has made it possible for me to produce my work from a perspective of determination and optimism. This program has created a safe place for me to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. I am able to face the reality, conqueror life lessons with an ease.
The lessons, the legacy, will be used for new acquisitions. I was able to acquire new knowledge, better understanding of my internal self. My time management, preparation skills, organizational skills, are embedded into us as a whole. I am able to maintain a high level of preparedness for all things. I realized that I wanted much more in life than what I witnessed around me. Participating in this program has unburdened me with how others may see me as a Afrcan American woman. Curriculums in the program have lifted self doubt at home, in public, and, especially in a work environment. I have learned a lot about myself, my family, my culture, more in 16 weeks than I have ever done in a lifetime. The power in learning all of these things has improved my skills as an overall human being. I was able to grow in self development, professional development, trauma response, and so much more. My determinants of self efficacy have officially improved.
While in the program I couldn’t pick which class was most preferred because all information was needed. Without Project Restore Minnesota my goals and ambitions, with the help of the program, my goals would burden me with a scene of “maybe” being achievable. Learning so many historical literature sites and books, investing into how we as black people are powerful sparked a light in us all. Being able to learn information we can most reflect on yourself, our experiences, our families. Made it much easier to perceive the truth about who we are and what we as black people can make possible.
After a few weeks of class. One lesson I will say I hope all Afican Americans can get is the trauma and healing piece in this group. The trauma and healing course should be broadcasted and I hope soon, accessible for everyone to learn. It more than helps knowing about the history of your people and not what America thinks we should know about our own self, our own identity.
Now that I am more sophisticated than I have ever been about my culture, and self identity it lifted a burden off me. I am able to be comfortable when I am in any situation, any environment. I hope that that ease, that comfort comes to everyone. This program has enlightened me, and encouraged me to be more invested with myself tak upon new skills and actually do something with them. We have learned so much from life planning, decision making, trauma response, healing, professional writing, and so much more. I hope all is welcomed to have the opportunity I did building onto and being able to participate in this beneficial program.
In conclusion, I believe every aspect of Project Restore was beneficial. All aspects of this program have helped me navigate through life and prepare me for my future more than any class or program I have ever been in. My goals and ambitions are to take advantage of this course and persist in spreading knowledge like Project Restore has given to me, to give to others. Thank you so much Project Empowerment Academy: Project Restore Minnesota for allowing me to be a part of this program.
Special thank you to CEO Elijah Norris.
Best Wishes, ShaVonnie Copeland