Allow me to introduce you to the loverly Angela Stokes, this week’s Everyday Hero.
Angela and I first met in Philadelphia back in 2003, when we both took a job working with children and adolescents in a mental health facility. While we both found the job to be less than ideal, the friendship we formed was.
Many jobs and miles later, our friendship continues to grow. I am continuously in awe of Angela—from the strength and grace she showed throughout their journey to have a child, to her professional growth and development.
Angela is fiercely loyal, brilliant, and kind-hearted. She is strong and strong-willed. And her friendship has been an anchor, knowing that no matter where life takes me she will always be there to lend a helping hand or an ear to listen.
Here’s to hoping you have at least one Angela in your life.
Name: Angela Stokes
Job/Title: Network Improvement Accountability Collaborative (NIAC) Clinical Consultant
Where you call home: West Oaklane section of Philadelphia, PA
Where are you from, where are you located now, and what led you there?
I’m originally from Lancaster, PA and no I did not grow-up in Amish country. After graduating Lancaster Catholic High School, I moved to Philadelphia and attended Beaver College. During my senior year of college, I met the love of my life on a semi-blind date arranged by a mutual friend. After leaving Beaver, I headed south to Maryland to attend Towson University for my Master’s degree and work as a Residential Hall Director. During my second year of graduate school, my then long distance boyfriend proposed and of course I said “yes”.
I returned back to Philly after graduating and settled in Northeast Philadelphia and landed my first job, where I met the now infamous Emily Levenson. My first job as a Mental Health Therapist for children and adolescent was definitely an interesting experience to say the least; however without it I would have never met Emily. I married my husband in 2004 and we moved to the West Oaklane section of Philadelphia in 2005.
I stayed two years with that agency, and then took a position with an Employment Assistance Program (EAP) as a Triage Consultant and then became a Clinical Consultant. Shortly after starting my EAP career, Emily too left her position as a Mental Health Therapist and followed me, which I took as a sign she could not live without me! Working in a Call Center was probably one of my favorite jobs and I had the opportunity to meet some great friends. However, after two years, it was time for a change and I moved to my current employer and have been with them since 2006.
In 2007, my husband and I decided we wanted to start a family, which did not come as fast or natural as we had hoped. After one year of fertility treatment, acupuncture, and life style changes we conceived our now 4 year old son, Marshall. Being a parent has been the most rewarding, challenge, and fulfilling experience of my life. The whole fertility process was truly an eye opening experience to the silent struggle many couples are coping with day to day. I am thankful that Emily has created Without Child to provide support and encouragement for couples. My life is constantly busy and crazy, and with my loving husband, Marshall Jr, and inquisitive and funny son, Marshall III, and two super excited dogs, Jade and Onyx, I somehow make it work.
If we really knew you, what would we know?
I do not like negative people or space, either one of them can drain you of what is good in your life. I want people to honest and straightforward with me, essentially I do not like “BS”.
I am an organization freak and everything has a place. If the rest of my family followed this rule, life would run so much better.
I am a friend for life and will invest time and energy in my relationships, and I expect the same.
Where do you find your inspiration?
My 4 year old reminds me to find the fun in everything I do and allows me to re-live childhood.
Running gives me time to think and process what happens in life, and the women in my group Black Girls Run of Philadelphia inspires me go a little further.
Being around positive and motivating people, pushes me to want more for myself.
What “rules” do you live by?
“Keep it moving” and “It’s not that deep.” Life is too short to focus on the unnecessary things we cannot control.
Remember to breath—seems simple but something I sometimes forget to do it.
What three things, people, or roles have contributed most to your success?
My belief and love of GOD has afforded many opportunities in life that has shaped who I am today!
My husband has always been a constant support in every decision I have made, and has been there for me when life gets too difficult!
My friends whether in my life for a “lifetime, reason, or season” are part of my success.
What was the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
I have really good selective hearing, so if bad advice was given I probably chose not to hear it.
What women inspire you?
My Mom, as a single parent she ensured I was given every opportunity and never complained about her situation
Angela Davis-even though my maiden name is Davis I was not named after her, I admire her fight and determination
Dr. Deidra Anderson—a phenomenal leadership coach who fostered in me the desire to be a more effective leader and seek challenges in my professional and personal life.
What books are sitting on your nightstand or are currently on your must-read list?
“Feel the Fear…and Do It Anyway,” Dr. Susan Jeffers, “Game On-Finding your Purpose and Pursue Your Dream,” E. Smith, “A Disobient Girl, “ R. Freeman, “The Book of Chakra Healing,” L. Simpson, many journals, and my NOOK.
If there’s one thing you could change about the world, what would it be?
Better education for America’s youth would be a great place to start, which would impact so many of our other world problems. A strong education from pre-K on sets the foundation for the future of our country, and with budget cuts looming, especially in Philadelphia it is
Famous last words—share your favorite inspirational quote, thought, image, or idea.
“Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and be that perfectly” St. Francis De Sales
“A man can’t ride you back unless it’s bent” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not” Dr. Seuss