11 Dec From Opposition to Living the Vision – 5 Things you Need to Get Started


We all have dreams and visions, but somewhere in the process of striving to attain these goals we’ve asked ourselves “How do I do this?” or “Can I do this?”.

Opening Mott Hall Bridges Academy was truly a labor of love. Like many dreams birthed from a desire to do something great it was coupled with the pain of observing what was lacking as a motivating factor. I set out to create MHBA to not only disrupt the school to prison pipeline, but to create a safe haven for young scholars to know they mattered. What drove me was the simple need to help people; along the way I’ve found 5 steps that have helped me silence the doubt and stand strong in the face of opposition.

1. Surround yourself with motivators, innovators, and initiators: Not everyone in your life is equipped to support your vision. Often times the people we love the most are the ones who offer all the reasons why you shouldn’t pursue your dreams. Its extremely important that you find a mentor who can offer constructive feedback about your ideas sound advice for those crucial next steps. It can be an educator, pastor, coach, even a web expert. You can even receive mentorship through a book or videos that offer the how to’s of what you need to do in order to get what you want.

2. Don’t be afraid to take risks: Starting MHBA as a HUGE leap of faith. I didn’t know if the community would accept me or if I would find educators with the same mind and heart I had for children. But I knew that not being a part of the solution is being a part of the problem. Fear will keep you from accomplishing your dreams more than failure ever will. Be bold, be brave and take a step forward!

3. Be willing to adapt to change (quickly):  Your visions won’t come with a blueprint, you have to create it! When the school opened in 2010, we only had 24 scholars who had a tremendous amount of emotional needs, one of which literally set the bathroom on fire. During that first year nearly $250K was taken from my budget so I couldn’t purchase the necessary materials or hire qualified staff. Instead I had to teach and serve as a guidance counselor for the entire year, while running the school. You have to learn to work through what you have while you pursue what you need. The sooner you let go of the ideal or “what it should looks like” the better you will be at adapting to change that is beyond your control.

4. Social Media Game Changer: I am a HUGE advocate of social media! Every year I teach my scholars how to create content and control their personal brand via IG, FB, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. In fact, it was social media and a digital campaign that thrusted me into the public spotlight and became an the avenue to raise 1.4 million dollars for our scholars. With no money down or major overhead to consider, you can create your own brand and understand the power social media platforms give you to connect with people around the world. It’s pretty simple with one photo or 140 characters you can establish a community of followers, it’s just that simple!

5. Pray, Pray, Pray! I remember voicing my frustrations while searching for kids to attend MHBA, only to be told that I should look for children in chicken spots, laundromats, and nail salons because that’s where they might be. I think back to feeling helpless and emotionally torn down, fighting for the dignity of a community against those whose privilege allowed them to be judgmental and  oppressive. What got me through these dark times? Prayer! After I did all that I could, my faith and belief that my true desire to benefit the community of Brownsville coupled with my hard work would transform lives.

Now all you need to do is get started! You can read all about my journey and much more in “The Bridge to Brilliance”, available on Amazon. Purchase a copy today for you and a friend. I promise you will be inspired!


XO – #theLopezEffect

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