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Regal Lady Spotlight: Gari McIntyre

"Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough." --Mary McLeod Bethune Investing in the human soul is exactly what this devastating Diva is doing. Meet Gari McIntyre, community servant, leader, role model and all around beautiful spirit. Over the last few years Gari and I have grown closer and I am grateful that I am able to receive the positive vibes that radiates from this thoughtful soul. What I admire the most about Gari is her hard work for the community and how she has “STEPped” up to help the next generation of young ladies and most importantly---her humbleness. I was super excited when she agreed to do this Regal Lady of the Month’s interview, because as Tay-Tay (Tamar Braxton) says “She is booked to capacity honey!” lol Check out our interview below. How has your upbringing inspired you to work with the youth? I was influenced by the “It takes a village” upbringing. My mother and father raised me to be very independent. My Grandmother instilled responsibility, accountability, and the principles of spirituality. I had family friends and neighbors who instilled the principles of religion and leadership. For example my best friend’s mother Miss Tanya had a vacation bible school annually and a youth group that instilled giving back to youth and acknowledging that the youth is our future. I also was a part of many teams, organizations, and groups as a youth that exposed me to the importance of giving back to the upcoming generation and the community. I had so many influential people around me growing up including my friends who encouraged me to do positive things and work with children and teens. Those are the people that inspired me to work with youth. What challenges do you face with this new generation of young ladies? The biggest challenge I face is not being able to accept that all the young ladies I encounter will make mistakes that I forewarn them about. I am getting better though! I have this unrealistic expectation that they will listen and learn from everything I say, that they will not make the same mistakes as I have, and that they will all be perfect. Because in my mind, I can change Baltimore one young woman at a time. Overtime I realized that everything I have poured into these young ladies, they indeed are taking something away from it. They all have learned something and I am still making a significant impact on these young girls from Baltimore. I can keep up with those millennials I just have to accept some things as a mentor.

Recently you and your step team were featured in an upcoming documentary. Can you touch on the focus of that project and what we should be on the look out for? The documentary is called “Step” and is about Baltimore girls who are attending The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women affectionately nicknamed BLSYW (BLISS). This school houses students from the 6th grade to the 12th grade. The school’s mission is to have 100 percent college acceptance of the graduating senior class and the documentary follows that process. How step is involved is the girls who are seniors and are major leaders at the school are also a force to be reckoned with on the step team. The team includes the Valedictorian, Salutatorian, Miss BLSYW, SGA President and a host of other student leaders. The documentary shows the step shows, step competitions, and how step is therapeutic to the stresses of the college application process and many other challenges that senior girls face at BYSLW. Often your pages advocate for self love. How have you been able to find this inner strength and confidence? Was there ever a moment where you felt like you weren't “good enough”? If so, how has that motivated you? If not how do you plan to pass this teaching on to young ladies? Self love is something that I instilled in myself. I have the confidence in myself where I feel as though anything is possible.

Any last words? Words I live by: ”Love Yourself” What makes you a Regal Lady? I am a Regal Lady because I instill class in young women. I am Confident in everything I do. Most importantly I am a leader.

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