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Ashro Woman: Cheryl M.

Meet Ashro Woman of the Week, Cheryl from Chattanooga, TN

Faith, family and education. These things are near and dear to this elementary-school counselor’s heart. They are also a big part of how she was able to earn her bachelor’s degree at the age of 45 and master’s degree at the age of 55. 

Cheryl’s mother was her first cheerleader. “Since the day I was born, [she was] encouraging me, praying for me, instilling in me that I was just as good as anyone else—and that I was capable of doing anything I desired to do.” 

Her husband of 35 years also helped Cheryl to achieve her dreams. “My husband encouraged me by constantly telling me that I was a capable person, that I could earn a degree.” He even allowed her to become a full-time college student, taking on extra shifts to provide for their family. 

While it’s been a struggle to balance being a wife, mother, employee and full-time student, Cheryl is proud that she has been able to persevere.

Name
Cheryl M.
Where do you live (city & state)?
Chattanooga, TN
How would you describe the Ashro woman? How do you embody her?
The Ashro Woman in my opinion is BOLD and CONFIDENT and I embody her in appearance, pride, and humility.
What makes you get up every morning?
The Blessing of a new day, and the fact that because I was blessed to see another day means that there is something that I need to do to bless myself and others.
What do you do for a living? What do you like most about it? What don’t you like?
I am a School Counselor. I enjoy the elementary students that I serve and to be able to make a difference in their social and emotional lives; thus helping them become better students wholistically.
How do you spend your free time?
I spend my free time reading, listening to Praise Music (especially Babbie Mason and Wintley Phipps), sewing, arranging gift baskets, and spending time in meditation.
What small thing makes you happy?
One small thing that makes me happy is to know that my family members are well…and spending time with my grandchildren.
What is your best dish? Who do you make it for—and where do you typically serve it?
My best dish is Sour Cream Pound Cake. I make it for all of our family gatherings, especially special holidays and celebrations.
What has been your greatest struggle…and your greatest (or latest) triumph?
My greatest struggle has been balancing being a wife, mother, employee, and full-time student. The greatest triumph in those is that I persevered and have been married for 35 years as of June 1st (2020); my children are God-fearing, formally educated and lead productive and fulfilled lives; I was able to earn a bachelor’s degree at the age of 45 and a master’s degree at the age of 55 which enables me to do the job that I love and I am doing now as a school counselor.
Who influenced you the most in your life. Why? And in what way?
My mother and my husband have influenced me the most in my life. My mother has been my biggest cheerleader since the day I was born-encouraging me, praying for me, instilling in me that I was just as good as anyone else and that I was capable of doing anything I desired to do. My husband encouraged me by constantly telling me that I was a capable person; that I could earn a degree, and even allowing me to quit work to become a full-time college student, while he took on extra shifts to allow our family to continue to have the things we needed as there was only one income in he household during that time.
Do you volunteer or do charity work? Tell us about it!
I have served on several advisory board in the community and have served those in senior living facilities.
Are you in a sorority? Or is anyone in your family in a sorority? If so, which one and what does it mean to you?
I am not in a sorority, but most of my family members are Delta Sigma Theta.
What do you love about fashion and style?
I love the fact that there are now wonderful fashions with the Afro-centric woman in mind-especially for fuller figured women as myself.
Has anyone in particular influenced your style?
No one in particular has influenced my style of dress but I would often browse fashion magazines to find the latest styles. Being a plus-size teenager and woman, I learned to sew at age 16 and would make all of the things I saw in magazines that were not available in my size. I even made my wedding dress-because in 1985 (the year I married), most bridal shoppes did not carry a size 22!
What occasions/events do you dress up for? (for example-do you often dress up for church, cultural events, charity events, going out, etc.) And how often do you typically get dressed up?
I dress up for every occasion. I love to be fashionable. I typically dress for cultural events at school and in the community; I dress for church; and I dress for going out on dates with my husband and friends.
How has your style evolved over time?
My style has evolved over time as I am now middle-aged but still want to represent this era well while aging gracefully fashionable.
Do you wear hats? How often and what type of hat? Do you wear them to church? If so, be sure to share a pic of you in a hat with us!
I wear hats on occasion, but I do not often wear them to church.
Do you wear headwraps? How often? Where did you learn how to tie it? Share a pic of you in a headwrap with us!
I wear head wraps especially to cultural events. I learned to tie it-trial and error.
Do you wear wigs? How often and what length or style? If so, be sure to share a pic of you in a wig with us!
I do not wear wigs, but I do have a couple on stand-by in case I want to have a different look other than my short natural.
Are you a woman of faith? How does that faith affect your life? Please tell us more.
I am a woman of faith and because of that, I have been blessed and favored in every area of my life. My faith has sustained me through hard times (emotionally, physically, mentally) and has made a wonderful difference in my spiritual life.
Do you attend church? What church do you go to and what do you love most about it?
I attend Destiny Church of Chattanooga, and I love the spirit-filled worship and participating (with my husband) as leaders of the church’s marriage ministry.
How are you passing along your faith traditions onto your children/grandchildren?
I am passing along my faith traditions to my children and other family members by being a living example and constantly sharing with them the blessings of my faith and how faith can be a benefit to them as well. My family has also witnessed areas of faith-healing, and blessings that I have been bestowed on me.
Are you a First Lady or a Pastor?
No
Your best advice?
My best advise is my favorite scripture-Philippians 4:11; “I have learned in whatever state I am, therewith I am to be content”.
What lessons has motherhood (or being a grandmother) taught you?
The lessons I have learned from motherhood is that it is self-sacrificing, but it is rewarding and a blessing to see my children learn from my sacrifices and mistakes.
Are you an Ashro Credit customer? If so, how has our credit helped you?
No, I am not an Ashro Credit customer.
Do you have a memory to share of when you first heard about Ashro or when you received your first catalog?
When I was first introduced to the Ashro catalog, I was so excited to see outfits, home decor, etc. that spoke to my heritage and my size.

Thanks for inspiring us, Cheryl!

If you’d like a chance to be a future Ashro Woman of the Week, share your story with us—then watch your weekly Ashro emails to see if you’re featured next! Already filled out our questionnaire? Then you’re all set (you may see yourself featured in next week’s email)! Make sure to tell your friends and family to sign up for emails. We can’t wait to see you!


 

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