*Are you happy at the moment?
Yes. To me, there is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is temporary and joy is something that is permanent. I am happy right now and I have joy. I am happy because I’ve completed an accomplishment that I’ve wanted since I was a child. I’m happy because I have an amazing support system comprised of family and friends who really love me, and I get to do what I love daily.
*If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
I would tell her to persevere and know that change is inevitable. When I was 16, I had already experienced my home catching on fire and moving in with relatives. My parents’ relationship was super turbulent and we had filed bankruptcy. I was overwhelmed. Although that was a difficult time, I realized that those experiences have shaped me into being the woman I am today. Things have changed drastically and so I want her to know that life gets better…just stay focused and believe that all things are possible.
*What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
I’ve learned that when I put my mind to something, I can do whatever I want to achieve. This was one of the most difficult years I’ve experienced. I was working full-time supervising a team across the country in addition to being married, rearing a teen daughter and finishing my PhD. Conducting research and writing my dissertation was difficult in light of everything I had going on. I completed this degree in four years and despite how grueling it could be at times, I realized that I had everything I needed to make my dream a reality.
*What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
I want to publish my second book, learn Spanish, and work on being accepted into a short term fellowship program in Italy.
*What’s your secret to happiness?
My faith is critical to me and reminds me of the things that are important like family and friends. This is what keeps me happy and fulfilled. Spending time with my child makes me so happy. Watching her grow up has been an incredible experience filled with laughter and fun. By nature, I am a connector and I really enjoy bringing people together to make amazing things happen.
*What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
Going home to Louisiana keeps me grounded. Always remembering my past helps me not to lose focus on those things that are important. It fills me with gratitude and an awareness that life is so much bigger than me.
*What’s your biggest regret?
I regret that I didn’t get to tell a dear friend what she meant to me before she passed away.
*What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
I’ve been deliberate in teaching my daughter a number of lessons. It was so important for me to raise a daughter who understood both individual and collective responsibility–being independent is great but it is also critical to know that your decisions can impact others (So choose wisely). It is imperative that she understands that she has been blessed and to not take anything for granted.
*What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
Not working out consistently.
*Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
I’ve mentioned it earlier but I am proud of finishing my PhD in Leadership and Change from Antioch University. My research evaluated a group of diverse women in determining how they build social capital (relationships) and the barriers they have to creating individual change. It was fascinating and based on the work of Harvard professors, Kegan and Lahey who are the authors of the book, Immunity to Change. Their work had never been used as a tool for building social capital. I learned so much!
*When were you happiest?
This is hard because there are so many moments in my life that brought me extreme happiness. Having my daughter was a gift. I had such a difficult pregnancy and to be a part of the creation of a healthy, beautiful child after being on bed rest and having such a difficult labor was incredible. I couldn’t believe that I had something to do with this amazing gift!
*What ten words best describe you?
Mother, Wife, Friend, Daughter, Coach, Mentor, Connector, Lover, Seeker, Writer
Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is a partnership broker, author, life coach, speaker and currently National Community Engagement Director for World Vision, US Programs supervising a team across the United States of Engagement Officers. She is the author of the book, Rules of Engagement: Making Connections Last which is a workbook for women designed to help women understand their stories in order to better connect to others. She was a part of the documentary, Friendly Captivity, a film that follows a cast of 7 women from Dallas to India. She was a semi-finalist for the SMU TED Talks in 2012. Froswa’ is a graduate of Antioch University with a PhD in Leadership and Change with a focus on diverse women, social capital and their immunity to creating change as individuals.