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To the best mother in the whole wide world, you are my inspiration. I could not have been provided with a better example of what it means to be a woman of God. I will never forget the sacrifices you made and the unconditional love you bestowed upon us. Every success I have is our success and I love you with all my heart. To my father, thank you for listening to me, offering advice (and parables!), as well as making me laugh when I felt like crying. Oftentimes, your words reached through the telephone wires and gave me the strength I needed to put my feet on the floor.

To my stepparents, brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, aunts, extended family and in-laws, I dare not try to list all of your names. Instead, just put your arms around your shoulders and receive this great, big, giant hug from me.

Joylynn, throughout this process you have been more than an editor. You have been a cheerleader. Quite literally, there were times in which I felt as if you were standing in the first row of a choir stand, waving a handkerchief and yelling at me to go forth. As writers, seldom do we meet people just as excited about our work as we are. It was indeed my pleasure to have the God in you tugging at the God in me.

To my mentors: Ilinda Reese and Yvonne Pointer, thank you for opening the door for me to be who I am (flaws and all!). In a whirlwind of uncertainty, God used you to encourage me to bring my dreams into fruition and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Clarence (CJ) Miller, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to give me advice and inspiration. I don’t know very many people that would do what you’ve done for me and it will never be forgotten.

Ailene Rodriguez, you had to listen to my thoughts and struggles on a daily basis. Not once did you complain or tell me to go back to my own office (lol!). I want you to know you are appreciated. Andre Weir, I can listen to you talk non-stop. One day I’m going to learn to keep a pen and paper handy whenever I am near you. Rekha Tailor, words can never express the extent of my gratitude for what you have done. Years ago, God showed you something in me that was greater than my environment. Your encouragement and faith in my ability spoke volumes and I am truly grateful to have you in my life.

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