Updated: Mar 27
When thinking about the genesis of The Success Foundation (TSF) I am reminded of the Chinese proverb: “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step”. In the case of TSF however there were many steps that coincided that led to the founding of TSF. The first was the sudden passing of my middle brother Chris in December of 2016, my lifetime mentor, who had dedicated his retirement years to doing the work of the Lord. His premature passing made me realize how short our life journey can be and therefore the need to “carpe diem”.
The second was assisting my wife Christie with caring for her mother, Marian Joiner, in Griffin Ga following her stroke in December 2017. It was during these months prior to her passing in September 2018 where I connected with the Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) who provided the care to my mother in law, when I first realized that there was a significant need in the community for teaching basic financial literacy to the underserved population.
The third was reading a book recommended by a good friend, Voice in the Night by Pastor Surprise, “the story of a man and the miracles that are changing Africa”. Reading this book at that time in my life inspired me to realize that if you are truly trying to do the work of the Lord the Holy Spirit will open doors for you along the way that you never knew existed. As we recount TSFs journey we will share the impact of the guidance of the Holy Spirit in opening doors to us during our journey which has been nothing short of amazing!
The first door that opened was to be introduced to The Star Foundation, a non profit located in Brunswick Ga. When I described my interest in conducting financial literacy training to a local CPA in SSI,Ga, she introduced me to Kyajuana Gilbert, the Executive Director for The Star Foundation. The Star Foundation has been teaching basic computer skills and financial literacy to many residents in low income housing neighborhoods for the past 20 years in Brunswick Ga with absolutely amazing results. I was greatly impressed and inspired by the incredible work of The Star Foundation.
Throughout the summer of 2018 I discussed the success of The Star Foundation and my thoughts with Don DeLaney and Steve Oswald about trying to replicate what they were doing and possibly do something similar in RVA. Following my mother in laws passing in September 2018 I called Don and told him I was ready to move forward with starting The Success Foundation and to see if he was ready to join me. Naturally Don was all in. Steve encouraged us (as he continues to do so today) and assisted us as an initial silent financial partner.
Don and I officially began our journey in October 2018 when we started The Success Foundation by purchasing a collection of 130 courses to use in our Workforce Readiness Training program. We had no idea back in October 2018 where our journey would lead or what doors if any would be open.
Even though we had no idea where our journey would ultimately lead, we were energized by the promise that as long as we remained true to doing the work of the Lord He would open doors for us along the way that never would have been opened to us otherwise. Don and I can attest that we have been totally blown away over the past two and a half years as to the doors that have been opened to us as we have met some absolutely amazing people in RVa who are doing some incredible work that for the most part has flown under the radar screen.
In subsequent posts Don and I will share the subsequent phases of our journey and introduce you to some of the amazing people we have met and the great work being done in RVA.
We are pleased that you are now a part of our journey...
Gary S Powers, TSF Executive Director