July 13, 2017

Don't Save Face, Save our Children!

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
Nelson Mandela

Education isn't a powerful weapon for many students in Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS). It has become a barrier for students who want to succeed.

It is alleged that graduation requirements decreased to increase graduation rates, and students' grades were changed to camouflage the accuracy of their in-class performance.

These allegations are serious and should be addressed to ensure PGCPS students have the proper resources and aptitude to excel in college, work, and life.

PGCPS are replete with minority students. Should it be assumed minority students aren't smart enough to meet basic graduation requirements? If this is the spirit among PGCPS leadership, don't save face; change its leadership.

June 26, 2017

Stand Out from the Crowd!

According to CIO.com there are thirteen IT certifications that have emerged that can help you get a leg up on your career. Whether you're a seasoned IT professional, recent college graduate, or an individual transitioning to an IT career, an IT certification can help you stand out from the crowd and show hiring managers you have the credentials to meet their IT business needs.

We've highlighted our IT certification courses that made the list to help you emerge in your business and/or career.

Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

The Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) is a certification program developed by ISACA to develop an individual's career as a a security manager. Once certified, the CISM qualifies students to design, manage, asses and oversee an enterprise's information security infrastructure.

IT Security without question is one of the hottest and most lucrative areas of Information Technology and the CISM is one of the most valued credentials in the marketplace. This online course promotes international practices and provides management with assurance that those earning this certification have the necessary knowledge and experience to provide effective security management. This course is best suited for IT professionals like risk managers, security auditors, compliance officers, information security managers, security analysts, and IT security architects. Learn more.

Annual salary for individuals with a CISM certification is $59,000 - $225,000. (Source: PayScale)

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

Created by ISACA, the CISA certification is globally recognized and is commonly associated with every phase of the IT auditing process. This online course will help professionals gain the knowledge, skills, experience and credibility to leverage standards, manage vulnerabilities, ensure compliance, offer solutions, institute controls and deliver value to the enterprise. CISA is commonly associated with IT auditing roles like senior information technology auditor, information security manager, and security analyst. Learn more.

Average salary for a CISA certification is $48,000 to $171,000 per year. (Source: PayScale)

Certified Scrum Master (CSM)

A Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certification demonstrates your ability to manage large-scale business projects and serve as a servant-leader to ensure Scrum team members work together to learn the framework commonly used to develop software and hardware. CSMs understand Scrum values, practices, and applications and provide a level of knowledge and expertise above and beyond typical project managers, which makes this certification a valuable skill to add to your resume. CSM certifications are best suited for IT project managers and software engineers. Learn more.

Average average salary for a CSM certification is 56,000 to $142,000 per year. (Source:PayScale)

MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure

Microsoft Cloud certification validates you have the experience, knowledge, and skills to manage and implement Microsoft cloud computing technologies. It also certifies you have the expertise to build a Microsoft private cloud solution and gain IT infrastructure automation and flexibility. This certification will benefit IT managers, directors, system administrators, system engineers, and network administrators. Learn more.

Average salary for an MCSE certification is $47,000 to $145,000 per year. (Source: PayScale)

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)

Individuals with a MOS certification demonstrates their skills and efficiency in using one or more products in Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, or Access. MOS certifications are great for office managers, executive assistants, administrative workers, and individuals transitioning to an entry-level technical career.

According to an IDC White Paper, individuals that hold a MOS Certification can boost their salary by as much as $16,000 more than individuals not certified based on their current job title and certification level (i.e., core, expert, or master). Learn more.

Average salary for a MOS certification is $45,000 and to $65,000. (Source: PayScale)

Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project managers who have proven skills and experience can find exciting, highly-visible opportunities in a wide range of fields. This course is specifically designed to provide the proven, practical body of project management knowledge and skills you need to demonstrate your project management mastery. Additionally, this course can be a significant part of preparation for the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam.

The skills and knowledge you gain from this course will help you avoid making costly mistakes and increase your competitive edge in the project management profession.

IT professionals who can benefit most from a PMP certification are: IT project managers, directors of operations and IT directors. Learn more.

The average salary for an individual with a PMP certification is $58,000 to $177,000. (Source: PayScale)

June 23, 2017

The Truth Shall Make You Free

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

If the truth makes us free, why are so many of us bound? Are we bound because we haven't defined our truth? Bound because we live through the lens of people (i.e., their opinion) and not our values and beliefs? Bound because we govern our lives according to what we're told, which is contrary to who we are, or who we're striving to become.

No one knows us better than the One who created us. We were fearfully and wonderfully created in His image to glorify and honor Him in everything we say and do. If we're not living our lives to please God, are we neglecting His divine plan for our lives? And, if we're choosing to live according to the opinions, beliefs, and values of others, we're not living authentically. We're forfeiting our true divine freedom.

June 16, 2017

She's Not a B****, She's Confident

Why are women called a B**** when they exude confidence? Confidence has nothing to do with lewdness, selfishness, or being a female dog. It has everything to do with relying on an inner power and strength to achieve and succeed in life. Once a woman reaches a level of self-confidence, she doesn’t need to be torn down. No one knows her journey to reach her height and our level of confidence will never increase when we tear women down.

We've launched a tee-shirt campaign to end negative languages and images associated with confident women and women in general. And you can show your support here.

June 12, 2017

How We Get Here?

Having access to statistics about the status of women (especially minority) is great. However, it would be even better if women of color would use data to collaborate and harness their power to change the trajectory of the economic conditions that lingers among women of color.

Over the next few months, The SOFEI Group will host community forums addressing the question, How We Get Here? to discover the underlying causes that negatively impact the lives of women throughout the Washington region. We will seek and encourage input from the community-at-large, social change agents, politicians, spiritual leaders, and subject matter experts. Following are topics we will discuss during the forums:
  1. How We Get Here? – Why black women and their issues are ignored in politics? - Source: Status of Black Women in Politics
  2. How We Get Here? – Black women 16 years and over has experienced the highest unemployment rate among all other ethnic groups since 2007. - Source: The African American Labor Force in Recovery
  3. How We Get Here? – Black women are more likely to have children outside of marriage than other racial or ethnic groups. - Source: Congressional Research Service
  4. How We Get Here? – Women and Violence – 1 out of 5 women is sexually assaulted in college. Source: insidehighered.com
  5. How We Get Here? - Women Living with HIV and AIDS - Source: CDC.gov
  6. How We Get Here? - Women are 80 percent more likely than men to be impoverished in retirement. - Source: National Institute on Retirement
  7. How We Get Here? - Women of Color are more likely to suffer with depression. - Source: Huffingtonpost.com
Click here if you would like to join us as a speaker or panelist, and here as a community forum participant.

June 9, 2017

Allow People to Grow

Women of color spend a great deal of time tending to the needs of immediate and extended family members to prevent them from dealing with the consequences of their choices. Women will:
  • Mortgage their homes to prevent a loved one from going to jail.
  • Expend their retirement to prevent foreclosure or pay for college.
  • Become a custodian to their abandoned or neglected grandchildren.
  • Decrease their savings to pay their children’s expenses to keep their lives afloat.
Stepping in to tend to the needs of family members every time they experience a set-back, doesn’t help them become accountable or responsible for their choices. It teaches them to stay on the path of self-destruction because they know they have access to a reliable source that will catch them before they fall.

Every one can’t be saved from the consequences of their choices. Part of the growth and healing process is to learn from the error of our ways. So if they’re old enough to get into a ‘pickle’ let them grow up to get out of it.

June 7, 2017

Take Back Your Power

Is your current stance in life stagnant? Do you know how you arrived here? You may have landed here because of the power you gave to someone or something that depleted your true being. This can cause you to feel stuck, out-of-balance, or out-of-touch.

If you’re not satisfied with your life right now, you have the power to change it. No one is stopping you from creating the life you want and deserve, but you! All it takes is a vision, a transformed mind, faith, and the gift(s) within that needs to be ignited.