KISH: Tell us about you..
Driven by a mission to encourage reading and writing in children, I create literary works that aim to ignite curiosity, creativity and excitement through the reading process. A Dallas native, I’ve since planted roots in Houston after earning a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Texas Southern University, and later, a master’s in Psychology from Houston Baptist University. Inspired by a desire to engage children through imaginative literature, I use my work to highlight practical life skills against the backdrop of the strength and immensity of Black History and culture. My goal is to educate youth while encouraging a sense of wonder, self-worth and purpose through the limitlessness of the arts, history and language. My first offering, Mason Makes Money, chronicles a child’s journey through fundamental concepts of entrepreneurship and money management in a fun and engaging story as told by Mason; a thoughtful and resourceful second-grader who is eager to help a friend in need.
As an offshoot of the book, I’ve launched Mason Makes Money Fund, a nonprofit organization which teaches entrepreneurial education and provides grant funds to kid entrepreneurs three times a year. Entrepreneurial based workshops are offered virtually throughout the country, and in-person in schools which have included YES Prep Southeast, and in community-based organizations including The Re-Education Project, the SAiD Institute, and Project Row Houses. My second book, Joseph the Great, encourages healthy coping skills in readers, while illuminating important people and events in Black history.
KISH: What is your dream and how will accomplishing your dream benefit you and others?
Candace: My dream is to create a successful career intertwining literature and philanthropy. Beyond accomplishing my own personal mission of becoming a successful entrepreneur, all that I do is in benefit to the next generation within my community and abroad. I believe the more we invest in our children through information, time and resources, the better they will be equipped to eventually inherit and lead our society. I aim to shake up societal norms, and to encourage the evolution of how we think and operate within ourselves, and with each other.
KISH: Who or what inspired you to pursue this dream?
Candace: What inspired me to pursue this dream was my own inner knowing that I was created for more. I feel a great responsibility to live up to my fullest potential, and to encourage others to do the same.
KISH: What challenges have you encountered while pursuing your dream?
Candace: My greatest challenge I have encountered is my minimal social capital. This has forced me to do a lot of grassroots work to try and build a community that understands and is invested in my mission.
KISH: Who or what inspired you to keep pushing regardless of the challenges you’ve encountered
Candace: I’m inspired by people, particularly people who look like me, who have set out to pursue something great, and have achieved their goals despite their challenges. Oftentimes, I’m inspired by those who have faced seemingly insurmountable odds, and have exceled. Some of these people include Madame CJ Walker, Maya Angelou, Ermias “Nipsey Hussle” Asghedom, and Ida B. Wells. More simply, my ancestors, who have encountered struggles I thankfully have never experienced, have built businesses, raised healthy families and have contributed positively to society despite being relegated to a second-class experience in America. I’m especially inspired by them.
KISH: Please provide final thoughts/advice for others by finishing this sentence… dream.
Candace: To dream is to take the first step in realizing your potential; dreaming is imaginative planning, and the divine validation that what you can conceive with your mind can be manifested physically.