SPECIAL FEATURE / ARTISTE “ ...I wanted mentors who would pour into my life... ” Family and Faith Magazine: Many women have 1 or 2 insecurities. Do you have any? If yes, how have sought to overcome? Samantha: Wow this is a biggie. I have many insecurities, several of them I have addressed but this is one that occasionally comes back to haunt me – it’s the one about my beauty. I recently cut my hair and the way I grew up “a woman’s hair is her beauty” so cutting my hair to centimeters from my scalp was a scary process for me. It was an act of necessity but in that moment, I started to think about my beauty and get concerned about the shape of my face and whether people would want to relate to me with no hair. The size and darkness of my beady eyes, the shape of my nose and the color of my skin came into question. References of beauty that I didn’t think of had come to the surface. So to overcome it, I reached out to some of my friends who had done something similar and asked them some of the hard questions. I asked them what motivated them to make the move, how they felt about it and I shared my fears with them. These supportive women from around the world walked me through it and were the first ones to see what I looked like with no hair when I made the transition. 8 familyandfaithmagazine.com Family and Faith Magazine: Do you have spiritual mentors that help to keep you focused on God's calling for your life? If yes, share how those relationships empower you today. Samantha: You know if you had asked me this question a year ago I would probably have said no, I have no mentors. This was such a sore topic with me and God, I wanted mentors who would pour into my life and instead I found myself flailing all by myself, I thought. However I learned that I needed an enhancement in my awareness level to see those around me who in direct and indirect ways have mentored me. I’ll try to share that in a single sentence about each of them: • Elector Pearson – my pastor in Barbados is the first official life coach I ever had. He helped me expose several of my limiting beliefs • Sonia Preddie – my high school teacher and mentor who was the first person to believe in me academically and spiritually. To this day we still have meaningful conversations (not often enough though) • Everton and Jillian Thomas – they believed in my ability to sing and minister even before I did and gave me platforms to share my gift. They helped me hone the talent both on and off the stage. • Grace Silvera – I worked with her as one of the first highly influential women in the corporate world who was willing to openly live and share her faith. She found subtle and direct ways to mentor me professionally. • Sam Vassel – he is my Big Bro, this guy keeps me grounded and helped me to understand that God loved me not for what I could do with the talent He gave me but that God loved me in an unconditional way. As a person given to performance this was a hard concept to wrap my mind around. • Oral McCook, this guy gave me wings to fly and grow within his organization. He let me learn and grow and refine the creative and management processes in myself. • Bobby Allen – he is one of my newest mentors. He helps me with emotional intelligence and awareness of who I am. He is helping me create guard rails for my ministry. He keeps me in check. There are many other relationships like these; with some persons I schedule weekly or bi-weekly calls to ensure I stay on track and meet my goals, yet there are others I speak to only once a year. Regardless of how little we connect there are invaluable people in my life who love, support and believe in me, even when I can’t do it for myself. To get more of Samantha’s inspirational story and to learn more about her music visit our website www.familyandfaithmagazine.com.