Broken is Broken

Why is it when people have grown up with a physical disadvantage, or physically broken in some way we make adjustments for them when they try to be productive members of society despite these circumstances; however when people have grown up spiritually broken and try to also be productive we shut the door. If someone has a slight limp we give them more time to enter the elevator, or to cross the street to get to work.  If someone has a criminal background because they grew up spiritually broken (homeless, in poverty,etc.) but has since moved passed it we judge by who they were and not who they are. It frustrates me to no end everyday to see the disparities.  You never know the whole story.  Even though you cant see scars doesn’t mean there was no hurt.  After the healing has happened and they have moved forward the only difference in them and you is…nothing.  -Shaper

Chosen: Gifted and Set Apart (Video)

If you missed it, this weekend I had the opportunity to get together young men to learn from some awesome professional and life teachers. The goal was for them to learn that each of them had a destiny greater than even they knew. Each of us has been Chosen or selected to be more than what most music and media tell us we are supposed to be. God’s selected each of us for greater things even before we fully realize it.  Presenters like Isaiah Hunter (owner of Wilmington JetSki Rentals), Jay Ross (Former NFL Defensive Tackle), Christian Hip-Hop artists Electionsure, and powerful poet/motivational speaker “Life” all came to share their wisdom. Students learned that it’s alright to be a professional but you need to be committed to your call and not get distracted by other’s.  Check out the short video to share in the experience.

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DSC_0057Chosen Boys

Stickered Up! Listen to a new episode of ShaperSpeaks Here!


My Vote Will Count!


Warning: This show was previously recorded. The early voting period was from Oct. 23 – Nov. 1, 2014.


Hopefully by now you’ve been hearing it over and over again. Vote! And Soon! Well, not only did I get the message but I made sure I took it upon myself not only to vote, but to vote early.  And while its not the Presidential Election of 2016 its still important to be heard in local elections. Voting locally can help support whatever policies you want to see moved forward on a national level.  This is also a way of you practicing being heard in, or for your community.

Anyway, whenever you do decide to vote one thing that you always need to take note of are new rules and changes to the process. When can I vote, where do I vote (the appropriate station is critical), and what can affect whether my vote counts?  Recently I had the opportunity to speak with a couple of gentleman that were happy to oblige by answering these questions for us. One shocking remark by Ronald Spark is that on November 4th poll representatives legally cannot tell you where you are supposed to be voting. If you vote at the wrong place your vote will not count!  Early voting however could be taken care of at any poll within your district. Click above to hear what they had to say on our most recent episode of ShaperSpeaks.

For more accurate information on voting check out the following link:

Little Girl Getting Her Bachelors at 14

Its been a while since ShaperSpeaks has put together a post. Chalk it up to trying to become a better blog site.  With that said all of us should be looking to get better at whatever we are doing.  Thessalonika Arzu-Embry is no exception and has already accomplished more than most 14 year olds.  This little girl has inspired me to spread the story about her journey to be better.  Better than AVERAGE!  Thessalonika was home schooled from 8 to 11 by her mom, Wonder Embry, who is a veteran of the United States Navy.  Thessalonika being African-American, many try to make her story about race.  I think its more about her example not only to children but to parents that being a teen scholar is possible if you work at it.  Prepare your children using whatever resources you can.  Using the average resources will probably produce average results.  One thing is for sure Thessalonika is definitely not an average young woman. Congrats!


Make sure you also check out the video!

My 2014 Youth Workshops

You’ve Been

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Living Chosen: Our Student Principles

At the beginning of any Shaper course, program, or presentation you may hear the same mantra that tells participants, “You’ve been chosen for a greater purpose, destined to live beyond measure, and designed to be more than conquerors. Everyday is your opportunity to live your best life now!” In 2014 we want to reach as many students as we can with those words in mind.  Whether church groups, schools, or Universities I want to be involved with helping you create student change and develop your young leaders. Book ShaperSpeaks to perform or provide these workshops today!

 Workshop  1

Follow A New Script!



Helping teens with decision-making by teaching them to break free of following negative media and music role models to become leaders.


Teens consume 7.5 hours of media per day. If you as an adult ever take the time to see what they are watching whether on television, cell phones, music videos, movies, or social media you would see that most of the media they consume is completely against the principles you are trying to raise them to have. Even though almost all of us have had times where we’ve watched reality television, or some viral video via the internet we as adults are aware of how to separate fact from fiction, and film from reality.  Teens however are in completely different head space. They are still trying to fit in with their friends, impress that girl, or simply have someone make them feel like they are cool!  This session will teach and prompt them to think as individuals and not base their decisions on media images and peer opinion. Depending on time, format, and client budget this session can include a brief musical performance.

Workshop 2 

Young Mogul Development Workshop

Young Mogul


This 2 session workshop is designed to teach students the following skills



Prioritizing dreams versus gifts

Professional behavior on or off the job


Entrepreneurship has been the saving grace for so many people.  From those looking for something to fill the void left by unemployment and financial strain to those that simply feel a lack of purpose successful business ownership can serve the needs of many.  In late 2012 with the goal of teaching young people the importance decision-making and self-branding I began to develop an idea into a curriculum called, “The Young Mogul.” The purpose was not to teach young people to be moguls but instead to help them realize that the successful principles of moguls are useful whether you decide to be a business man or a garbage man.  We all can learn from what makes the people who have reached the top of their game great. Students love the exercises and what they are learning from them. Putting my work into practice I have started the Young Mogul Group which teaches these principles to young men. So far our moguls have accomplished some wonderful things.  My goal is to help them build their resumes now, so that it won’t be an issue later, and also to help them effectively self-brand. Scholarships, 4-year college acceptance, and local teen accolaides have all been accomplishments these young men can boast of.



Young Moguls working on business presentations.

Young Mogul

Young Mogul Meeting 1 Pose

…We also are now offering virtual student-athletic coaching 

Check us out on for athletic and life coaching. To purchase individual coaching or training contact

LIFE Speaks, to Fathers at the N.H County Fatherhood Conference


For about 7 years now I have been involved with a group known as the New Hanover County Partnership for Fatherhood. The group’s focus is to help provide resources and opportunities to get fathers more involved in their children’s lives. We all know, all to well, the crisis in many families that exist in the form of fatherlessness in the lives of many young men and women; white and black.  Every year we host a conference to distribute resources and share ideas with families.  Well, I had the pleasure of being apart of bringing in one of the guest speakers for this year’s conference.  The artist known as ‘Life’, is a spoken word poet that has touched hearts all over the world with his raw and honest delivery of poems everyone can identify with.  It’s rare that I am in awe of a gift. However, Life reached out to so many with his words and lessons about being a great father and raising children that believe they can accomplish whatever they put their minds to. The New Hanover County Partnership for Fatherhood Conference theme this year was “Parenting: Time Well Spent”. And I must say this years conference was not only time well spent but huge success.

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Wilmington On Fire!

Listen to the ShaperSpeaks interview with Travis Corpening and Christopher Everett discussing “Wilmington On Fire”. Click Below

Though many rarely discuss the pain, and horrific whispers echoed in the rich and powerful history of Wilmington North Carolina, there are a few that are brave enough to analyze its beginnings and tell the story.  Documentary filmmaker Christopher Everett is such a person.  Wilmington’s widely known yet rarely discussed 1898 race riots are the only known successful Coup D’Etat in U.S. history.  On our most recent episode of ShaperSpeaks Christopher graced us with his presence to discuss the often untold truth about the history, and future of race relations in the Port City.

In his much awaited new film, “Wilmington on Fire,” Chris takes us on a journey into the 1898 race riots as no one ever has.  The riots marked the overthrow of black, and some white, government officials by a mob of white supremacists armed with rifles and pistols that marched on City Hall in Wilmington, N.C., on November 10th of that year. The impact of the riots was felt not only on a local level but throughout North Carolina and some say are still being felt today.  Imagine removing  all of the successful black business owners from a community by fear and murder.  In a time where opportunity was already limited for a race of people, that type of economic turn-over could be felt for generations.  In the film you hear in-depth analysis of the riots by nationally recognized figures like William Darity, Professor of Public Policy, African and African-American Studies, and Economics, at Duke University and Pennsylvania psychologist Dr. Umar Johnson.

Although all of the filming is complete in order to give the film the marketing and production it deserves the project is in need of about 16,000 dollars. To help with this important historical film please take the time to support in anyway you can by clicking the link below to get to the film’s Kickstarter webpage.

To hear my candid interview with Christopher Everett, the filmmaker for “Wilmington On Fire,” please click the link at the beginning of the post.