Winthrop University realtors doing it big!

Many Winthrop University alums have entered the real estate game over the past decade. Home ownership, marketing and entrepreneurship have become a huge for the latest generation of WU graduates. Many alums realize this and have bought in to the real estate game.

They have exceled from simply becoming licensed in North and South Carolina. Many have also won sales honors and started their own real estate companies. All of them have the common goal of helping others achieve the American dream of owning their own home.

I have compiled as many names as I coikd of current WU alums that are realtors. Please tag any others as I want all to be recognized. Lauren Taylor (NorthGroupRealEstate), Tashia George (Costello REI), Roscoe Douglas (Excel Real Estate), Candice Wright McCuein (founded and own Excel Real Estate with her husband, Kenny), James Means IV (Excel Real Estate), Greg Lewis (HK+ Co.), Kawana Wilson (Bloom Realty),  Erica Simpson (EricaHomes, LLD), and Seniqua Breazeale Griffin (Keller Williams Preferred), Tori Robinson (Keller Williams) and Chris Gaynor

Trust me, these names are among the first I mention when someone is in their respective areas and they are looking to sell and/or buy a home. We Winthrop alums look out for each other and support each other. The WU experience extends far beyond our time on campus. I encourage you to support these folks also if not at least by sharing their names, listings and such!

#wuforever #WeAreTheStandard #imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine

Simone Winn: Local Actress Showing All How You Can Win!

Spartanburg, SC native Simone Winn is many things. Mother of two sons. Massage school student. Sister, daughter, friend, woman. College graduate. Last but not least: actress. Her new release, which she acted and assisted with casting is “Collateral Damage” The Ambassadors Ball.” is currently the top streaming movie on Tubi.

Simone began her acting from participating in the school play in the 6th grade “The Wizard of Oz”. She auditioned to play Dorothy but was cast as the Wicked Witch of the West. Despite having the smaller role, Winn made the most of her performance. She was good at impersonations and she cemented the role with her signature evil witch laugh. Simone had the long end of the stick with the smaller role but she had fun, scored her first acting win, and it was the start of something great.

Winn also honed her craft by studying it at the University of South Carolina-Upstate, earning a mass communication degree with a concentration in theatre. Her current film is the second time she has appeared on television. She has also acted in several local performances at the Chapman Cultural Center which include A Raisin In The Sun as Miss Johnson and To Kill a Mockingbird as Calpurnia. Simone simply lights up and brings the stage alive. That is apparently by watching any of her performances. Winn has a captivating spirit and dynamic personality that makes acting seem natural for this woman.

Simone’s biggest inspirations have always been her family, but more specifically, nowadays, her two sons.

Winn would feel honored to work with many of the A list actors and actresses. Some of her absolute favorites are Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Tarajii P. Henson, Sanaa Lathan, Regina Hall, and Viola Davis just to name a handful.

Simone’s advice is to go after what you’re passionate about and stick with it! Know that times will be tough, but stay focused, keep God first, and you’ll eventually see the promise.

Simone Winn is living proof of her own words and story. It’s gratifying and inspiring to see a local woman on the larger screen exceling. Acting is a tough profession but Winn is definitely passionate, driven and motivated.

It’s fitting that this is written on International Women’s Day. Women such as Simone win on this day and everyday! I cannot wait to see what is next for this talent.

Spread The Word and the Love

It seems that many of us are so quick to spread hate and criticism, especially when triggered.

What happened to spreading love and happiness?

I have a good friend that’s probably reading this that despite what may not be perfect in her life is always showing love and positivity. She’s in her own garden having fun, hanging with the sunflowers, jumping on trampolines and walking up to 3 miles with her young daughter.

People like her move and inspire me. They make the best parts of themselves open and available without complication. The Russian/Ukraine fracas has really shed light on all of this. This is the time especially while the pandemic is still active to really show that love and affection to all of those around you.

Be sure to really walk that walk, talk that talk. 2021 “action” was my word. This year it’s “consistency”. Love is both an action word and based on consistent and constant actions.

Let’s show consistent love in all we do in our lives, especially in our behavior towards others. Love yourself, respect yourself, and show the same towards others. It sounds simple but others make it hard.

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine

Old Soup is Still Good

Heating up and defrosting certain foods do not diminish the value of the food. Neither does television reboots

We have had two successful TV reboots and both of these are Black History Month appropriate: Bel-Air and The Wonder Years.

I was highly critical and skeptical of both of these as I grew up with both shows and still watch reruns of the originals.

Both shows have delivered and I look forward to each new episode. They are using the formula of showcasing Black excellence and not ruining the originals. Regarding Bel-Air, there are notable differences, specifically with Carlton. It’s still a solid, provoking show.

Therefore it’s showing us that reboots can work and do not have to be corny or clich√©. I still haven’t changed my mind on Back to the Future or Forrest Gump but I am certainly more open.

Some old soup is actually good when reheated.

#imjustdrew #scaredeyes

Unfinished

Always a work in progress

Back and forth, continue to regress

It’s never a fast finish nor sprint

Sometimes you just want a thin mint

Lemons are my favorite: I always make lemonade

I cannot hold a tune but you I can serenade

You will not recognize me six months from now

I’ll sound, look and be different all will wow

Keep building and creating like I85 or Madonna

It’s the cake with the frosting, the gym with a sauna

Warm and tasty, doesn’t that sound good

That’s what others are thinking it would

Patience is key as well as clarity

Kindness has become a rarity

Construction will continue and everything will fall in line

The process will have to be trusted, while it’s aging like fine wine

Mental Illness Always Matters!

There have been two high profile suicides in the past week and many more that happen daily.

We often spend the New Year talking about improving our physical and financial health. Few speak of their mental health.

It’s hard even in 2022 to beat the stigma. That’s why I check up on people, look for the signs, try to learn the triggers, etc.

Good mental health goes beyond medicine and even your therapist and psychiatrist appointments. It’s all in how you live your live: work/life balance, interaction with others, having interests and hobbies and not feeling alone.

I’ll continue to harp on issues such as race relations, mental health awareness and bullying until they improve and become like your car or home: only need maintenance.

Also remember you can be born with it but your environment can make it worse. Let’s strive to build and maintain these healthy environments and comfortable spaces and keep the conversations going.

#imjustdrew #scaredeyes

Snow Day: How Peaceful the Pause Can Be

There has been a lot of snow and ice the past week in the Carolinas. The snow even spread past Columbia, SC, which is rare and more special for children and the adults.

Adults often associate their inner child and some of their best memories with snow days. Snow fights, sledding, tubing, snow cream, snow angels and just relaxing.

Snow/ice pauses things for us Southerners as it generally shuts down everything for a few days. We don’t get this type of weather often and honestly aren’t equipped to deal with it. Therefore it gives us a chance to pause and relax, just as we did as children.

The falling of the snow alone is soothing and nostalgic. We can all take solace in the beauty and purity of a snow day.

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine #scaredeyes

Just Apologize

We all have wronged someone or made a ton of mistakes. It’s embarrassing and hard to admit you’re wrong.

You have to be adult enough to admit you’re wrong, apologize, move forward, and be the best person you can be.

Apologies don’t fix everything but they are a good start and often prevent escalations. You of course have to put in the work to become and be a better person and don’t make the same mishap twice.

Put your pride aside, realize you’re human and simply say you’re sorry, my bad, apologies, etc. Don’t worry if it’s not accepted. You at least owned your fault and mistakes..

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine #scaredeyes

2021 Christmas Letter

This is truly my favorite piece of the year: my 2021 Christmas Letter. I got through the weird 2020 and have powered through 2021

2021 saw a more return of normalcy in the world, daily interactions and seeing lots of family and friends I had not seen since the pandemic began. I got vaccinated in full in the spring and boosted in November. It made the year safer and more confident to vacation, go to Carowinds, sporting events, cookouts, and the movies

I have continued my writing, reading and #injustdrew movement. I also have found a renewed love for fitness, stress relief and working out. I ballooned back to over 300 again and my blood pressure followed suit. I had to go on medication to get it down enough to pass my DOT certification and donate blood. My goal now is to return to the mid 200s. Short term, I simply want to fit into 2XL clothing, be able to ride the rides at Carowinds and run once again. It’s that and a health thing more than a looks deal.

I lost so many loved ones and extended family this year, some to COVID. These include my cousin G-Baby, Robert Perky, Aunt Margaret, Spoon Davis, Chris “Farley” Blackstone, Lynn Bell (I had my watermelon milkshake in your honor), Fred Mosley, Coach Terry Kiser, Reggie Ross, Mrs. Dorothy Moore, Ernie Spearman, Wanda Bradley, Booger Smith, Uncle Darnell, Cal Dawkins, Jackie Sansing Beattie, Betty Hannah, Coach Steve Wilson, Ted Darr, Jim and Nancy Fitch. Going to these funerals and wakes have been draining. I do know I have more angels watching out for me now.

I got into more personal interests such as properly growing my beard into a downward fashion. It has been a journey but my beard is attractive, full and healthy looking. I have also gotten into painting miniatures which has turned into a fun, stress relieving hobby.

I have still been hanging at Wisefire Cafe frequently. I’m proud that the owner, Thomas Dover, is now DHEC certified for pastries and smoothies, on pace to buy his building and the one next door and still serve great coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Also, I have gotten involved with his spiritual worship group Ekklesia. I haven’t been into regular religion in a while, only spirituality. I have found a place with Ekklesia and I enjoy it.

Career wise, things are coming full circle for me. I had an awesome time and run as a Driver Trainer for Amazon (in my 6th year) and even became a travel trainer. I traveled to train on Amazon’s dime to Charleston, Atlanta, and Northern Georgia. I was recently rewarded for my hard work and prowess with a promotion to Assistant Station Manager in Charlotte at CLT6. I’m very proud and humbled to receive this honor and I’ve been hard at work in training during the company’s busiest time. I even got to travel again and spent a week in Virginia Beach training for my new role. It’s been a great year from that aspect and I look forward to what’s next for me in my Amazon career.

Sports wise, it’s been exciting around my way. Green Bay has still been winning, the New York Knicks have come around. My Atlanta Braves won their first World Series in 26 years. The local Gaffney Indian football team won their first state championship in a decade with an undefeated season. It definitely felt like normal again in the sporting world.

My mom has been receiving more medical attention although I would hope for more. We have completed more home improvement projects but there are more to come. Given all of the friends and family that lost their mother this calendar year, I’m very grateful for mine and cherish her daily.

Homecoming returned to Winthrop University in a limited fashion as I ended up celebrating my 20th anniversary virtually and Homecoming was much smaller minus the popular tailgate. I celebrated 25 years as a Blacksburg High School alum and I helped gather my class for a shindig. Overall it was one of many events that I enjoyed. My aunt Betty turned 80 this year and overall I got to see more of my family on both sides due to milestones and other events.

I want to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday season (Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus, and Happy New Year). Let’s continue to cherish and love each other and make 2022 as great as we can!

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine #scaredeyes

2021 Festivus gripes

I have plenty of gripes, mostly as of late. Some are serious, some are comical. I’ll allow my readers to decide the difference.

First, I FULLY expect my tribe and true friends to ensure I get invites to Diner en Blanc, Top Golf and a Friendsgiving.

Second, I’ll continue to call out bs on any situation at least ongoing. Note I won’t call out old nor dead situations nor folks I no longer deal with.

Can we please stop saying “understood the assignment”, “owes me nothing” and most catchphrases from a rapper or celebrity? Where is our creativity.

Stop allowing folks to plan events that are horrible at it or blatantly exclude folks to be petty and spiteful. Some of you won’t get this and that’s okay.

COVID is still around so let’s not give up yet on practicing safe protocols

WU, ok, it’s simple. You didn’t have a Homecoming tailgate this year, attendance at sporting events is down and you want more donations. Whoever is reading this that can get to the powers can be needs to work on making the first happen. The others will fall in line.

If you’re a vibe killer or negative overall, please don’t come around me. I am all about the positive and don’t need that bad energy.

Basically, be good to myself, others, kill the exculsion, talk to me and others like humans, realize we are all humans, and always work on bettering yourself and others.

Stay tuned for my 2021 Holiday Letter!

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine