Education vs Recidivism by Valerie Cheers Brown

I have done soul-searching and researching and figured ways to help with recidivism in the United States.

I have come to the conclusion that online or distance learning would be good for prisoners, inmates to continue their education.

This way while incarcerated the time can be put to good use for when they go back onto the outside world and not return causing the recidivism rate to escalate like it has and is in the United States.

Online course for skills to get back into work, aimed at a huge group who are unable to step into a conventional classroom is what could be implemented in the prison system.

These are the more than 2.5 million people in prison in the US and many millions more who are former prisoners who feel like society has let them down and also that there are no second chances for those who have records or criminal history.

We must do something to help cut the recidivism rate down and I do think that the solution to our problems is distance learning or online courses where they can even earn their degree while in prison,

If we offer some means of hope for those who are incarcerated while they are in there, this shows that we care and don’t want them to return and keep on going in and out-and-out and in of prison.

If we don’t care and are just continuously building prisons why should the prisoners care and this is where crime comes into play for when they get out nobody will hire them because of their record.

America has got to start to caring about its own people and if we don’t take care of own people in our own country, what country will respect us?

Read a very interesting article in BBC News 29 July by

This article states, “”There is a huge opportunity to address recidivism through free online education, so much so that we foresee a day when the obligation to complete free courses could represent an alternative to traditional sentencing,” said Alison’s chief executive Mike Feerick.”

It goes on to say, “Doing 200 hours community service may never change someone’s mind or outlook on life, but completing a course of study does have that potential,” says Steve Steurer, director of the US Correctional Education Association, which is a partner in the project.

More stories from the BBC’s Knowledge economy series looking at education from a global perspective and how to get in touch

We all have room for self improvement and online and distance learning courses are the way to do this in your own time and also helps with improving writing skills.

I just feel that there are so many ways nowadays to help with the recidivism rate and this could work helping all inmates while in prison to learn something.of substance like being required to complete their education and it should be mandatory and this in itself will make them think before getting into trouble and could cut down on the recidivism rate increasingly!

This could become a requirement when entering into prison depending on your sentence and can also help with them getting out sooner and decreate inmate recidivism rates down too.

There is a college in Colorado named Adams State University, where they know how important education is to all individuals, especially for those who happen to be incarcerated.

Through correspondence courses, Adams State University provides an opportunity for incarcerated students to work for college credit and towards a degree.

We have helped thousands of incarcerated individuals throughout the United States to reach their education goals.

We have got to do something in this country and the crime rate continues to climb and shooting crimes also will continue to climb if we don’t do something sooner than later.

We could do programs where kids come into the prisons and sit and talk with prisoners and could also help each other to read.

Our kids would be the best mentors if you ask me and inmates could do sort of like practicuums while incarcerated while they are in there so that when inmates get out…… they will be ready to become entrepreneurs and/or ready to work in the real world which normally fails them and won’t hire them because of their past records!

NOTE: These are just ideas and just wanted to help!


Kids Need To Be Kids by Valerie Cheers Brown

“Americans could learn a lot from the Finnish Education System.”

According to Abby Jackson of the Business Insider, “Finland is an innovative country when it comes to education, and its innovation yields results. It’s consistently one of the highest performing developed countries on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), an important tool for measuring education systems worldwide.”

“While Finland’s ranking dropped to 12 in the most recent PISA ranking, it’s still a lot higher than the US ranking of 36.”

Finland students rank so high due to:

Better standardized tests which only take one standardized test during their entire primary and secondary schooling.”

By contrast, the US, driven by No Child Left Behind and Common Core mandates, requires students in third through eighth grade to take annual standardized tests to track their performance. Critics claim constant testing doesn’t make students any smarter but instead creates a “teaching to the test” environment in schools.

Karen Magee, the president of the largest teachers union in New York, went so far as to urge parents to boycott standardized tests recently.

The Finnish test, called the National Matriculation Examination, is taken at the end of high school and graded by teachers, not computers, as Pasi Sahlberg a professor and former director general at the Finland Ministry of Education, explained to the Washington Post in 2014. The test also doesn’t shy away from controversial or complex topics.

Secondly, “Students in Finland spend relatively little time on homework, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). A 2014 study of 15-year-olds around the world by the OECD said that on average, Finnish students spend 2.8 hours a week on homework. This contrasts noticeably from the 6.1 hours American students spend per week.”

Third, now get this……college is free! Yes, college is free and “In Finland, not only are bachelor degree programs completely free of tuition fees, so are master and doctoral programs. Students pursue higher education goals without the mountains of student loan debt that many American students face.

“And the same goes for foreign students. Tuition is free for any student accepted into a college or graduate program in Finland.”

Last, but not least……”In Finland, teaching is one of the most revered professions with a relatively high barrier to entry.

“Only one in 10 students who apply to teacher education programs are admitted, according to the Center on International Education Benchmarking (CIEB).”

“Teachers in Finland are treated like professors at universities, and they teach fewer hours during the day than US teachers, with more time devoted to lesson planning.”

“They also get paid slightly more in Finland. The average teacher in the US makes about $41,000 a year, compared to $43,000 in Finland, according to OECD data.”

So what’s in charge of the error? According to Sarah Kaufman of the World.mic ” Finland doesn’t stack the weight on its understudies nor test scores — it empowers creative ability and flexibility.”

“It doesn’t demand that A’s in cutting edge level classes characterize an effective individual.”

“Rather, the Finland Educational system cultivates a domain of accomplishment through independence or critical thinking of students.”

“The main thing American educational systems can gain from Finland is that there ought to be less emphasis on being successful in academia….but instead to be “fruitful” in the scholarly world.”

“The schools in Finland don’t have gifted classes and again….they don’t believe in excessive test scoring either, but put less pressure on students and encourage higher performing from students.”

“The Finnish schools believe that schools which encourage their students to participate or performing students helps weaker counterparts or students.”

The result? “The Finnish educational system environment thinks less about rank and much more about learning.”

“This would seem to be a more caring technique of learning for American students.”

Finland does put big emphasis on getting into the best college and this begins as early as when children are in preschool.

“In Finnish schools, there are no skilled classes, which implies less weight.”

“Rather than urging youngsters to contend, Finnish schools urge higher performing understudies to help their weaker partners.”

The outcome? “A situation where understudies contemplate rank, and more about learning.”

What can Americans learn from Finnish Educational Systems?

“In the U.S., on the other hand, parents worry about getting their children on the fast track to a good college from as early as preschool.”

“This puts pressure on the child to get good grades at a young age.”

“Self-reliance isn’t taught as much as how to conform to specific expectations.”

“Gifted classes in American high schools create hierarchies among students and parents.”

“Rules in the classroom sometimes repress their creativity.”

“Multiple choice tests, book reports and tough discipline can cause brilliant students to fall through the cracks or lose interest in school.”

“It’s additionally in Finland they believe that is it the teachers’ business to guarantee that each individual student stays engaged and roused.”

“Educators are getting it done when they feel rested and respected or better still, regarded; which is the reason such a large number of Finnish instructors are great at what they do.”

The way of life encompassing instructing in Finland is a greater number of prestigious than that of the U.S., and the showing calling is hoisted on a larger amount.?

“To be a teacher in Finland is very aggressive: More than 40 individuals here and there apply for a solitary occupation.”

“And here’s the kicker: Their salaries are similar to U.S. teachers. It’s with the responsibility that comes the prestige. They are considered the entrepreneurs of Finland’s curriculum.”

Read more:

A Wish Come True by Valerie Brown Cheers

“A twisted dream of chance and fate, is to have you back my loving mate. My arms out wide, it’s never too late. A wish come true, I just can’t wait.”

~ Valerie J Brown

Inspirational Stories

“Success never comes to look for you while you wait around.  You’ve got to get up and work at it to make your dreams come true”

~ Poh Yu Khing

“I have always been a big dreamer and  also have loved to dibble and dabble,  yet I need to turn into a writer.”

“I need to take advantage of my spirit and share my internal most contemplations.”

“I need to touch your heart with my words.”

“I want to create the magic for others that I feel when I curl up with a good book of inspirational quotes or quotes for entrepreneurs.”

“What I realize is that…. like everything else, this is a path you not only have to want, but you actually have to take.”

“A dream by itself just is not enough.”

“I thought I was taking a seat to examine a business procedure for another venture.”


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To Think or Not To Think by Valerie Brown Cheers

One day during class at college, Ms. Virginia stood up to her teacher in her Algebra class…..and told her Professor, “Sometimes change may not be needed especially when it comes to math and if there is new math, and I don’t know what that means……..but still we should be able to do and learn many ways of solving and there are many ways of thinking….. which helps us to be better when we go out into the real world.”

“Yes….I do understand that schools are trying to make us believe they are trying to help our kids to think for themselves…but from my taking classes” Ms Virginia stated……”I am understanding it as their way or no way and this is not fair to our kids nor to some confused teachers who believe this to be right.””

Ms. Virginia went on to say, “But…you teachers today are not even giving the poor kids a chance and even before they start using their way of getting to the solution….. you are marking their problems wrong….not even allowing them to show you how they think and came up with their answers ….which are the same answer you are getting and having your computers to do for them.”

“What Ms. Virginia meant was that there are all types of ways of doing one problem to get the same solution…and it is good to work in groups when doing math and learn to be diverse….. and learn many different ways of thinking and allows our kids to think using their processes and sharing with other kids learning their processes and helping one another to think too, yet learning other ways which makes them more diverse and able to help others.”

Ms. Virginia said, “When I was in school in the early 1900’s we worked in groups and many students did the problem differently than many students and still got the same solution and this is how they were taught to allow children to think and do their own work at the blackboard and share with the class.”

Ms. Virginia did not understand why teachers today think that students are wrong when they get the same answer but solve and do the solution entirely different than them.

“Some of the teachers today….need to go back to school and learn how to be diverse….Ms. Virginia thought to herself.”

Ms. Virginia went on to tell the Professor, “Math is a subject all in its very own class and it is the only subject where you can do this problem using many different solutions, yet you come up with the same answer, but the way this so called new math or the way math is being taught to our new teachers….is absurd and even confuses parents who were taught using good ole fashion methods and coming up with the same answer!”

“So parents cannot help their kids for if they do and the kid takes their paper or homework to be checked the dumb teacher says it is wrong because they solved it differently than she was taught.”

“Ms. Virginia thought….how in the hell can you teach our kids when you are only taught one way and that way is asinine and absurd and nobody but you…..the book that taught you that nonsense and your absurd teaching school methods authority.”

“You see some of the teachers today in 2015 are only taught one way…. and if the students don’t show how they got their answers their way, they then say the students are cheating even though the students got the right answer.”

“So the dumb teachers or computers mark the problem wrong, and what is worse if doing on the computer….the computer won’t even let you get any further in solving the problem…if you don’t solve their way……. and so they mark the problem as wrong.”

“The professor went so far as tell the students to try working the problems on the computer……and guess what a lot of our students are being taught math on the computer and this is probably why the kids and teachers are both confused?”

“It was even worse…..…for the computer would not allow you to get to the answer if you did not know their way of solving and their way was only one way….like some of the teachers today are being taught.”

Ms. Virginia thought…..there are just some things you don’t do on the computer and when she I in was in school………..she said “We used the calculator only to check our problems and if we got caught using a calculator……then that was cheating and our parents and teachers wanted us to learn how to think on our own.”

Ms. Virginia said “Too many Kids today freak out when the computer goes out or down….. They cannot do anything without it…….. Many students and teachers…… not know how to use their minds as backup plans and use the old pencil, paper and brain power.”

You see it was a blessing that Ms. Virginia was taking those classes and she did not take to get a better job…….but she was an Angel and there for God’s reasons to help save our kids from catastrophe of failing or thinking something was wrong with themselves.

“In reality, they don’t know jack shit and were only taught one way in their Teaching Schools and should have taken upon themselves, being teachers who have students who are all different, teaching themselves all of the old ways of solving problems.”

Ms. Virginia went on to say to the students and the Professor, “Math is like life and you have to learn more than one way to appreciate it and then check it by doing other ways coming up with the right and same solution.” Ms. Virginia also said to the students and the Professor, “Some teachers today think if the students don’t anything the way they were taught….they are wrong and this is not fair!”

You see Ms. Virginia was in her eighties and was placed in those classes by God to try and help the students who were complaining about the math teachers telling them that their work was being done wrong….even though the students were coming up with the solution…..their way of solving steps was totally different than the Professor had been taught in school.”

Actually….the way the students were doing their homework assignments was the ole fashion way we were taught in the 1950’s. In Ms. Virginia’s case is was way early on the 1900’s of doing math, but the kids were doing their solutions the same way Ms. Virginia was being taught when she was in school….. A very long time ago!

Ms. Virginia wrote a letter to the School Board explaining how she was being placed as a lifetime student into classes to help some of the struggling students who were getting the correct solutions but were being told they were solving the problems wrong….even though they were coming up with the same answer as their teacher, she was marking it wrong because of the way they came to get the answer.

So students began expressing outside of their classes amongst one another how they had to do something because their homework and tests assignments were being marked incorrectly due to the students solving the problem differently than the teachers or the computer wanted them do it…. which before they even got to the answer was not understood even by the supposed to be smart computer…..which is not so smart after all and depends on what we put into it which makes it not so smart.

“This way really confused many students and also Ms. Virginia and this is when the…brave enough to say something Ms. Virginia would go to work on their behalf and actually goes and speaks to the School Board.”

Moral to this story: With math, there is no such thing as a new way…..instead a more complicated way by society’s absurd ways of teaching!

“No matter how you solve the problem in math what makes the problem correct is the answer and not the solution. Math is one subject where it can be done many different ways depending on student’s brain of thinking and solving for solutions to problems.”

“Maybe that is what is wrong with the world today…….we get complacent to doing things only way or this is the only way I know how to do it mentality!”

“This is where teamwork comes into play and it is so good for our kids to study in groups and get to learn many different ways of coming up with same answer or solution to problems by thinking.”

“What society needs to learn is that many different ways of doing things is important and in the workplace, we figure out as teams which will best save money, create less stress in the workplace and less kids dropping out of our schools mainly graduating from college.”

“We need to encourage our students…….. not discourage them and allow different ways of thinking back into our school systems.”

“Too many students are dropping out of school because of the American way of teaching math and not allowing many to graduate from college and there are way too many failing themselves due to the school system failing our kids.”

First Do No Harm by Valerie Cheers Brown

“Side effects can cause bad effects to our bodies for life.” These two words are often confused and one is a verb and one is a noun.”

  • Affect is a verb. It means to produce a change in or influence something. (when medication changes your mood, gives you suicidal thoughts, etc.)
  • Effect is a noun that can also be used as a verb. It means a change that occurred. When an “s” is added, “effects” means personal belongings. (I think when a medication has caused a new problem, it becomes a very personal belonging along with the original illness you were taking medication for in the first place).

“When it comes to medications these two words almost go together hand in hand when it comes to reactions and what will cause to happen and an ‘affect’ is to have an influence on and ‘effect’ is something brought on by a cause or a change which has occurred.”

“Now tell me if I am wrong, but when anything which we put into our bodies is supposed to work to help us it is known to have an influence on our illness or disease, and when it does not work well in our bodies and we have problems from the medication, we have side-effect which is something brought on by a cause.”

“I may be wrong but this sounds logical to me and to go even further the word ‘affect’ when used as a verb can mean to ‘attack  or infect, as a disease.”

“When we have side-effects could this not be an attack of our body and cause strokes, such as when taking, i.e.. NSAIDS?”

According to the “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is strengthening an existing label warning that non-aspirin non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke. Based on our comprehensive review of new safety information, we are requiring updates to the drug labels of all prescription NSAIDs. As is the case with current prescription NSAID labels, the Drug Facts labels of over-the-counter (OTC) non-aspirin NSAIDs already contain information on heart attack and stroke risk. We will also request updates to the OTC non-aspirin NSAID Drug Facts labels.”

“Patients taking NSAIDs should seek medical attention immediately if they experience symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, weakness in one part or side of their body, or slurred speech.”

“When making a decision about whether to take drugs it is important for you to know the facts about the drug you choose, and understand the risks related to taking that drug. Feeling confused about whether or not taking drugs is the right choice for you is not unusual.”

“Remember I am not a doctor, physician nor pharmacist, but I do have common sense and highly recommend that anyone taking prescribed medications to have in your possession the Nursing2016 Drug Handbook, it’s easier than ever to stay current on the more than 4,500 latest changes to drug information and to avoid even the most common medication errors.”

“Mosby’s is another good drug handbook to have on hand.”

“This book should be your bible when and if taking more than one medication.”

Mosby's 2016 Nursing Drug Reference, 29th EditionNursing2016 Drug Handbook

According to Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, “Drugs can appear initially to have positive effects – lifting your mood, relaxing you or even giving you more energy. However, they can also have negative impacts on your mental and physical health, your relationships, and your life in general.”

According to Merriam Webster dictionary, “The word ‘Affect’ means: the conscious subjective aspect of an emotion considered apart from bodily changes; also :  a set of observable manifestations of a subjectively experienced emotion <patients … showed perfectly normal reactions and affects “

According to Merriam Webster dictionary “The word ‘Effect” means: : a change that results when something is done or happens : an event, condition, or state of affairs that is produced by a cause : a particular feeling or mood created by something : an image or a sound that is created in television, radio, or movies to imitate something real.”

Merriam-Webster defines affect as “to produce an effect upon.” Grammar Girl says affect “most commonly means something like ‘to influence’ or ‘to change.’” Merriam-Webster uses the following words to define effect: “intent,” “appearance,” or “accomplishment.” Effect can also be defined as a result of something.

Side effects: Problems that occur when treatment goes beyond the desired effect. Or problems that occur in addition to the desired therapeutic effect.

Example — A hemorrhage from the use of too much anticoagulant (such as heparin) is a side effect caused by treatment going beyond the desired effect.

Example — The common side effects of cancer treatment including fatigue, nausea, vomiting, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss, and mouth sores are instances of side effects that occur in addition to the desired therapeutic effect.

“Drug manufacturers are required to list all known side effects of their products. When side effects of necessary medication are severe, sometimes a second medication, lifestyle change, dietary change, or other measure may help to minimize them.”

Side Effects: Older Bodies Handle Drugs Differently

“While everyone needs to be careful when taking a medicine, older adults frequently take more than one medication at a time. Medicines can interact with each other in unexpected ways, so anyone taking several medications at the same time should be extra careful. Also, as the body ages, its ability to absorb foods and drugs changes.”

“As people age, the body’s ability to break down substances can decrease. Because older people may not be able to metabolize drugs as well as they once did, they might need smaller doses of medicine per pound of body weight than young or middle-aged adults do.”

How can two different drugs influence each other’s effect?

“Medicines can sometimes influence each other inside the body, producing an increased effect, extra side effects, or decreased effectiveness of one or more drugs. This is called a drug interaction.”

“Again, am not a doctor, physician nor pharmacist, but do highly recommend that people realize that those plastic pill container  which are being sold…. are not to put all of your medications into and to be taken at AM, PM, NIGHTTIME all together.”

“Instead prescribed medications should be taken or given by somebody who keeps track of medications being taken and should be taken directly from the prescribed medication bottle and taken per physician’s directions on the prescribed medication bottle.”

“Think about it…..if you take 5 different medications each pill bottle will have different prescription directions and how will you be able to take accordingly when all thrown into a plastic pill container?”

“Do you realize that these medications react totally differently when all taken together and can be dangerous and harmful to our health and bodies.”

NOTE: “Drug interactions can occur when people take two or more different medicines at the same time.”

Increased Use of Black-box Warnings

“Although black-box warnings have been used for decades, in the last 10 years, there has been an explosion in the number issued.”

“Here’s how many black-box warnings are created: Before a drug is made available to the public, limited clinical trials are performed. After the release and widespread patient use, however, the FDA typically has more of an understanding of the drug and its potential adverse effects and may decide to add black-box warnings.”

“Between 2005 and 2008, about 14 percent of safety-labeling changes have been related to black-box warning additions or revisions, according to an editorial in Hospital Pharmacy.”

“Still, black-box warnings are not just for relatively new drugs. For example, Darvon/Darvocet, a widely used pain reliever for more than 50 years, was issued a black-box warning in July 2009 when it was linked to fatal overdoses. Yet it wasn’t until November 2010 that it was taken off the market because it was found to dangerously alter the electrical activity of the heart.”

“For more information on “Black-Box Warnings” :

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Why Did God Make Them Birds and Not Me? by Valerie Cheers Brown

“Why did God make them birds and not me?”

“Birds can fly and this makes them free.”

“He made me where I can try….. if I only be me.”

“Why Did God make them birds and not me?”

“Birds come in all shape and sizes and have their own unique beauty, strength and weaknesses..”

“Thank God everyone is not the same..for how would we embrace our differences?”

“Change is important and when God made birds He made them smart enough to find better conditions by migrating.”

“Why did God make them birds and not me?”

“Birds are smart enough to know when to prepare for the upcoming seasons for bad weather conditions.”

“People can learn from birds how to adjust to change and be flexible when things aren’t going their way.”

“Why did God make them birds and not me?’

“There are weaknesses… yet more strength in numbers and we can learn to partner like birds.”

“Bird’s-eye’s viewing can see better when way up high.”

“We can too when we pray to our heavenly Father in the sky.”

“We as people maybe should step back to see the whole world and gain better perspective.”

“Why did God make them birds and not me?”

“Birds know how to keep balance and know how to walk the tightrope.”

“If only we humans could have such hope.”

“Even in powerful winds and rain.”

“Birds are able to keep their balance for gain?”

“There are moments when life knocks us down.”

“Birds don’t even have to be on the ground.”

“If we maintain our minds physically and mentally we can keep our balance better too.”

“Why did God make them birds and not me?”

“Birds keep right on pecking until they get what they are aiming for.”

“We as humans need to do the same thing in life and keep on working hard and don’t give up until we get what we want in life.”

“Birds don’t mind taking from each other.”

“We as humans can learn that it is okay to do that too… when it inspires us to grow and do better.”

“But….don’t forget to give back even if it is just a smile, I love you or a thank you.”

“Why did God make them birds and not me?”

“Birds spread their wings and fly.”

“We can too if we want to reach our fullest potential in the sky.”

“If we live our lives to the fullest potential we can go way up high.”

“This great big world is our destiny and is ours for the taking.”

“If we are not afraid to spread our wings and fly and start making.”

“Why did God make them birds and not me?

“Why God made them birds and not me…. now I can see.”

Encourage One Another by Valerie Cheers Brown

“Keeping on living will eventually cause us all to go through days where we are discouraged.”

“It can be somebody verbally expressing how stupid your dreams are….to or even ourselves believing we will never reach our goals because it seems that the journey is a constant uphill climb.”

“What is most important is to keep your head up high and be strong no matter what.”

“All you have to do is get away from those negative people and keep positive ones in your life.”

“YouTube is filled with inspiration and I recommend my friend Evan Carmichael and I always stalk Evan and love listening to what he has to share for motivation.”

“What I really love about Evan… how he actually listens to us and responds and says thank you and chin up and he actually does care.”

“Music encourages myself and what works for others may or may not work for you….but try it.”

My motto is “When you treat everyone the way you want to be treated it makes you stronger too.”

“When I visit the sick with my church auxiliary they end of helping me and also encourage us and inspire us too!”

“So when you help others and especially put a smile on somebody’s face….it comes right back to you.”

“When you are feeling a bit down……..and when you inspire others…God puts these angels into path and life and He makes sure you get that same inspiration you shared with somebody right on time.”

“Being kind to others is free and we can share it all of the time no matter what or how we may feel and it is the medicine which heals us when we are down.”

“It is such an amazing feeling to have these incredible individual’s who you don’t even know come into your life…and the best thing is they don’t have to see your face or personally know you….yet…they feel you,,,,and they can feel when you are a bit down and put that smile back on your face which you shared with them just when they most needed it.”

“We all need loving. We all need adoration.”

“We live in this present reality of a world where numerous haters and skeptics will attempt to bring you down or even make you self-doubt.”

“Don’t let them!”

“More often than not individuals can be disheartening without notwithstanding acknowledging it.”

“We must be solid in our spirits at all times, however in particular, give the gift of empowering others and you will harvest the advantages of those kind demonstrations when it’s your turn.”

“Feeling debilitated and cynical may discover its way into your framework, however….. don’t give it a chance to hold you down for a really long time.”

“Continuously look for that means of motivation and inspire and you never know when they will discover you.”

“Always remember…..If you look to give. You will receive.”

“Tell somebody something encouraging or share something to Encourage One Another.” ~ Valerie J Brown