Claresa is the Founder & President of All I Know Incorporated, a non-profit organization committed to improving the quality and quantity of comprehensive community-based programs for at-risk children, youth, and families.
In addition to running All I Know Incorporated, Claresa is also a Certified Life Coach and Public Speaker. She recently launched a talk show Still Surviving and Walking in Your Purpose, featuring stories of survivors to increase empathy and create an open and honest dialog. Still Surviving and Walking in Your Purpose focuses on how guests have taken the ugliest experiences in their life to find some semblance of good and meaning and how they used those experiences to discover their purpose and are now walking in their purpose.
Through All I Know Incorporated and Still Surviving and Walking in Your Purpose Claresa is helping her community build future leaders and giving survivors a platform to share their stories to inspire others!
Can you share a little about All I Know Incorporated & Still Surviving and Walking in Your Purpose, and the story of how and why you created it?
All I Know Incorporated is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization that provide workshops and seminars to at-risk men women and children. We provide onsite training such as resume building, conflict resolution, interpersonal skills, etc. We bridge the gaps between individuals in northeast Florida and available little known resources. We also provide a means for other nonprofits to create a footprint in challenging neighborhoods.
Still Surviving and Walking in Your Purpose began as a workshop. Designed to increase empathy, while facilitating open and honest dialogue. Many people live their lives believing that no one could possible understand their life’s challenges. That there is no way out of their current situation.
The guests of the talk show come from all walks of life and bring with them different stories of pain, abuse, struggle, survival. They discuss how they used the ugliest experiences in their life to find some semblance of good and meaning and how they are use it to discover their purpose and now are walking their purpose.
I believe that there is no such thing as “I survived” period. The lens through which we view life is formed by our experiences, good and bad. All it takes is a trigger; a taste, sound or smell to bring one right back to a particular time and place.
What was the process of creating a nonprofit like for you? What is the biggest overall lesson you learned?
I did the work of All I Know Incorporated a full year prior to deciding to incorporate and form nonprofit. I ran into a lot of roadblocks. Naysayers, lack of money, lack of knowledge. Fundraising can still be a challenge.
The biggest lesson I learned was to not give into doubts and fears of others. People will reflect their own misgivings and insecurities onto your vision. Be mindful of the company you keep. Surround yourself with likeminded individuals who are of good intent and are willing to provide constructive feedback in a timely and mutually respectful manner.
You recently launched your own talk show featuring the stories of survivors… the stories on the show are so impactful – what is your mission for the show?
As previously stated, the main focuses are to increase empathy and generate open and honest dialog. I was one of the people who was instantly judged without anyone ever knowing or caring enough to ask about my story. People would jump to hurtful conclusions and spew comment without realizing the negative impact it was having on me. This caused me to sometime go deeper into states of depression.
I chose the name Still Surviving and Walking in Your Purpose, because I believe we all live in a constant state of survival. Something as simple as a taste, sound, smell or even a single word can propel you back in time to a particular time and instantly you are reliving that experience. All of our past experiences form the lens through which we view the world.
There are people dying, believing that they are in unique situations and no one in the world understands or has experienced their pain and that they are “less than”. By generating open and honest dialogue, we allow those who feel that all hope is lost, to see someone who has walked the same of similar path and have come out on the other side. We are providing hope to those who consider themselves lost, alone and hopeless.
What is your personal motto and do you live it in your life?
“The worst they can say is no.”
I ask for whatever I want. It took years to learn how to do this. If I see something I want, and I don’t have the funds to purchase it, I simply ask for it. You would be amazed with what happens. Ask anyone who knows me and they will attest to this fact. There is an old saying: A closed mouth does not get fed.
If you could share any message with the women in our community, what would it be?
You are greater than your circumstances. No matter what situation you may struggle through, there is greatness inside of you. Look to yourself. Search your heart. Trust your spirit.
What are some of your biggest successes you have experienced since joining the She Is Fierce! community?
Oh my goodness!! Meeting Kelly Youngs has been such a blessing. Kelly has such a beautiful spirit/energy. If you have never met her in person, make it your mission to do so.
- Without her of course I would not have been introduced to She is Fierce!
- Without knowing Kelly, I would never have met Nadia Ramoutar!
- Without Nadia, I would have struggled to find the resources to launch Still Surviving and Walking in Your Purpose as quickly as I did!
What does being a member of She Is Fierce! mean to you?
When I first starting attending the She is Fierce! Women’s Wednesday, I was a little nervous about it being another one of “those” sessions where everyone is cliqued in their own familiar groupings. I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case. Everyone was welcoming to one another. Information was freely shared. Great business connections and friendships were formed. The entire atmosphere was amazing. I drove from Jacksonville to St. Augustine almost every single week, simply to be in the midst of such phenomenal women. One of the best business decisions I’ve made.