Posted by TFOCB Studios on May 17, 2022 8:00:00 AM
Shamilya Woods is an author, motivational speaker and the CEO of Candidly Speaking; all while being a full time Principal at the University of Chicago Charter School.
Born to teen parents, and raised by her grandparents, Shamilys spent her entire childhood in different areas on the west side; attending and graduating from Chicago public schools. Eventually, also teaching at Chicago public schools.
Though growing up in a segregated community, Shamilya had the opportunity to attend school outside her neighborhood. It was the first experience she’d have with others from different cultures and ethnicities, but had a profound impact on her personal development. As a principal, she relied on her experiences to identify with students and parents from predominantly Spanish speaking families.
“I stay grounded in who I am and where I'm from, but I understand and I empathize with different races. For example, I was an assistant principal at a Sarah charter school for eight years, the majority Hispanic kids. It was my first encounter with and learning about second generation Mexicans, first-generation Mexicans, families that didn't speak English, just learning their history.
What really helped me was that I didn’t change who I was, but I immersed myself in the Hispanic culture, learning about them, learning about different holidays that they celebrate, learning about how they operate as a unit. Just like how black people operate as a unit, how they operate as a unit, so that I was more understanding and could be a better leader and communicate better with people and be more personable to parents.”
The author of three books, her first book “Hey Girl Say It with Me … “#Iknowmyworth” was written to help others overcome adversity.
“My first book was developed for a few reasons., After I had my first daughter, I was distraught, I was completely distraught. Not because of her, but because of the situation. I was clinically depressed, I was so sad. I thought, ‘this is not the way I wanted my life to be.’ So it started from there.”
Seeing that the middle school girls Shamilya was working with were suffering from depression, she wrote the book using real people that related to the message.
Tune in to hear more about Shamilya’s journey from Charter School Principal to Author, Mentor, Public Speaker and CEO.