Dr. Shardae Womack is a woman of vision. To the world, she is plethora of remarkable things such as an author, motivational speaker, and mentor. To me, she is the beautiful spirit I met in college who has supported and encouraged me in many endeavors. As the founder of SIAMS Mentorship program, Shardae also talks about her latest book, “Aim High: Create a BluePrint To Conquer Your Life”, getting sworn in, and what God and success means to her.
Dr. Shardae Womack Esq., Speaker, Author, and Founder of SIAMS Mentorship Program
What was your mental process in writing the book, Aim High?
SW: “I started writing Aim High in January 2018. I came from a party and decided to write down what I wanted to do with my life. I started gathering information about being more accountable for my goals. Before I knew it, I was writing everyday and it didn’t take me long to complete the book. My mental state was positive during the writing process because I knew it was part of God’s will.”
How did publishing your book change your process of writing?
SW: “I’m way more organized! I’m more fluent in my vocabulary and I’m part of a ministry now. When I wrote my book, it was filled with spiritual terminology that everybody wouldn’t understand, so I changed it because I thought about who the message is going to go to. I write more authentically now. I always remember staying true to yourself gets you through anything.”
What are some books that changed your life?
Overcoming Hurts And Anger: Finding Freedom from Negative Emotions – Dwight Carlson
BattleField of the Mind: Winning The Battle in Your Mind – Joyce Meyer
Boss Women Pray– Kachelle Kelly
Think Big: Unleashing Your Potential for Excellence- Ben Carson M.D. & Cecil Murphey
The Purpose Driven Life – Rick Warren
What advice can you give to someone who feels stuck or stagnant in life?
SW: “TO LAY IT ON THE ALTAR…LIKE FR FR! In the midst of finding your purpose, go back to the vision and touch it again. Seek God about it. Most of the times when God is the for front, we get overwhelmed with the sacrifices. We have to be intentional and trust him him even when it doesn’t make sense in our eyes. Usually, you do it in your own vain and your own way, but you have to touch the vision and get right with him to get out that place. Touch the vision in 7 days and something will happen. PUT YOUR HANDS ON IT. Go back to the beginning to where it inspired you and it will shift you back in that place. Visionary and having goals are different. When you’re a visionary, its a lot when you’re doing it from God. You have to move into the space you desire. When you don’t do anything, it’s fear that you don’t have what it takes to be required. When God gives you a vision, there is provision in place.”
I remember us having a deep talk about the career transition you had before you decided to write a book. How did you change your disappointments to blessings?
SW: ” I viewed life initially as a victim. Everything is happening to me. This shouldn’t happen to me. I’m a good person. I do everything right. You get frustrated by people who are doing less and getting more. My mom never went to college, but she built a life where I was able to go to college. I took the focus off me because there’s so much more to me. It was good I was afflicted at the time because God re-directed me to the place I needed to be. All I did was sit and think about how good he had been to me. Even though my career plan didn’t go as I wanted, God revealed to me he never wanted me to go to law school. I had a plan…but God has something BIGGER AND BETTER waiting for me!
Speaking of bigger and better, I cried tears of joy when you told me you were getting sworn in! What was that experience like?
SW: “The Louisiana State Bar Exam is the longest bar exam in the country. I was relieved when I passed on the first time. After a delay in my swearing-in process, on Monday, October 21, 2018, at 10:00am, I was sworn in by the Honorable Bernette Johnson to practice law in the state of Louisiana.
Tears fell and my knees started to buckle as I gasped for air to appropriately repeat each word after Chief Justice Johnson. Over 30 Family and Friends with tears in their eyes and cameras recording witnessed the occasion. Everyone cried for different reasons. Some cried because they witnessed the turmoil, depression, ups, downs, anger, frustration, and setbacks over the past 12 years of my collegiate experience and knew that the goal was finally accomplished. Some cried because they saw my Faith tested time and time again and questioned how I kept going and believing but realized at that moment it was worth it.
I cried because my grandmother (who raised me but is no longer with us) worked as a cook, maid, and nanny for 3 generations of attorneys in the Garden District. If she was here, she would know that she birth greatness too. I also cried because so many sacrifices were made by my mother, grandmother, aunts, friends, dad, and countless others to accomplish this goal. At one point the weight of the room surfaced as I looked into the eyes of the first African American to serve as Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, glanced to the left and saw my great grandmother proudly smile that she lived to see this moment, while being held and drawing strength from my mom as her eyes said thank you for being the first person to graduate from college and go this far.
It was in the moment that the weight surfaced, this quote by James Baldwin was commemorated, “Your crown has been bought and paid for. All you must do is put it on your head.” “It takes a village to raise a child.”
I’m honored to say it took a village to bring me this far. This day was filled with legacy and purpose, and I’m still privileged to have a village to carry me through my best days, which are still yet ahead of me.”
Tell us about your mentorship program, Surely I am my Sister.
SW: “SIAMS consists of a coalition of women of various careers, backgrounds, ethnic groups, and generations. This group of women has joined forces to impact the lives of young women who desire to achieve academic success on the collegiate level. SIAMS mentors all have experience in conquering life’s hardships successfully. We are women from all walks of life that credit our success and accomplishments to God.
For the 2018-2019 academic school year, we have partnered with Southern University at New Orleans to mentor some of their freshmen women on campus. All of our mentors are college graduates in various career areas, several are graduate and doctoral level professionals, and many are business owners. Our aim is to support women of the next generation by sharing our resources and experiences. We mentor women between the ages of 17-25 that are enrolled in college or aspiring to attend college. We assist first-generation college students and economically disadvantaged students in navigating their college experience by encouraging wise decision making and exposing them to their aspiring careers. SIAMS past mentees consist of young women who have graduated from college and continued their studies in graduate or professional school programs, some of which have businesses and nonprofits and are thriving.”
What is your definition of success?
SW: “Success is the ability to create something that will impart and spark something into something else that will spark another person. It’s a love that will leave a legacy. “
How do you want the world to remember you?
SW: “I want them to say they could see God through me with who I showed love to the world.”