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16 Nov

Legacy Of Excellance & 40 Pus Wonders: Gratitude


Hi Brandistas! Where has the time gone? Aside from building my own personal brand, helping others grow their brands, and loving and supporting my love ones; I’ve  just been really grateful. Over the last months, I found myself in situations that have left me reflective and grateful. Most recently,  I had the opportunity on behalf of Wade Ford to present the 2015 Fulton County Schools ‘Teacher of the Year’ and ‘Principal of the Year’ with  2016 Ford Focus Hybrids.  Having the ability to present at the Legacy of Excellence Awards granted me the opportunity to be in a ballroom amongst many of the top educators in the state of Georgia. That in itself was AMAZING for me. The positive energy, innovation and leadership that filled the room was contagious.  I left the luncheon with a renewed sense of responsibility for engaging young people however and whenever I can.




Jameda Owens, Fulton County Schools 2015 Overall Teacher of the Year, personal brand is humorous, intelligent and oh-soo passionate about educating. During the brandista’s acceptance speech, I giggled, howled (literally)  and shed a few small tears.  She shared personal and career stories that at times were brutally challenging, to say the least, still- in true brandista fashion, she strived. Jameda earned the honor of being selected among thousands of other well deserving teachers, + and did so with a world wind of passion and vigor.  As I listened to her- I imagined what her days must be like finding the creative ability and influence to keep her students excited and engaged to learn day after day.  I can only imagine the challenges but more refreshingly, the rewards that come along with being a class act educator. I hope the car and other tokens of appreciation she received  represents a small reflection of the gratitude felt for her great deeds.



Over the weekend, I attended the calendar release party for the 2016 40PlusWonders calendar “What’s Your Sexy?” The philanthropic project celebrates the inner and outer beauty of women 40 and older. In complete gratitude, I  joined Rashan Ali, Pennae Akpuru, Teena Gamble, Skyy Wonders, Christina Johnson, Carolyn Benson-Butts, Sharlinda Parker, Bo Talley, Yolanda Owens, Toni Acey and Drea Kelly on the project.  The proceeds from various fundraising activities around the calendar’s release supports the Carrie Steele-Pitts Home.  The orphanage is 127 years old, making it the oldest African-American orphanage in the country. So- what began as a great project to raise funds for a phenomenal place, turned into an incredible journey of sisterhood, inspiration and gratitude for all of us. I’m so proud to represent the month of March- which happens to be my favorite, Women’s History Month!



As the year winds down and I reflect on the past few months, I’m lost in gratitude and I hope you will join me this holiday season by giving the gifts of gratitude for and to everything around you!





Courtney Rhodes

Courtney R. Rhodes is an author, brand building and marketing strategist, and speaker with a passion for style, traveling, and sharing interesting and informative content. She is founder of The Brandista Guide + www.CourtneyRRhodes.com; a volunteer for women development and empowerment initiatives and a student of the arts, humanities, and the pursuit of happiness. Courtney is a graduate of Morgan State University ('98) and The University of Baltimore M.A. ('03).

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