One of the non-profit organizations I devote my time to is Reveal to Heal. I use my professional business background to address a wide range of needs the organization has. Reveal to Heal offers a variety of cost-efficient services aimed at individuals and families in need. They provide counseling services, workshops, retreats, a food pantry, and clothing drives. The organization was started and is led by Octavia Bradley – CEO who is a true inspiration.
How Octavia Overcame Many Obstacles to Become a True Inspiration
Octavia grew up in the mid-1980s at the height of the crack epidemic in the Bronx. She lived with her mother a well-known crack dealer and a drug lord. Because of her vocation, she provided Octavia with stylish clothes, expensive toys, and other luxurious items.
At age seven everything turned around when her mother started using her own supply and quickly became a crack addict. Her mother would do almost anything to get money to support her habit and eventually Octavia was placed in foster care where she moved from house to house.
Octavia periodically escaped and naturally became a kid of the streets in many ways replicating her mother’s habits as children with a history of trauma tend to do. For more on the negative outcomes of growing up with Adverse Childhood Experiences read here. She was on a dangerous road.
How Octavia is a True Inspiration Today
With the help of mental health counseling, mentorship, and pursuing higher education, Octavia overcame her traumatic childhood and today holds a Master’s Degree, and is a Licensed Social Worker, working towards a Ph.D. She is highly motivated to help kids who are experiencing similar traumatic childhoods overcome their obstacles and become stable adults who can dream big.
After spending 15 years working as a substance abuse counselor, case manager, and family services worker for the state of New Jersey, she wanted to make a bigger impact on families who have suffered similar traumas and started Reveal to Heal. The name signifies the continuing stigma of seeking mental health assistance in the black culture.
Since its inception just a few years ago, Octavia has expanded Reveal to Heal to include a summer enrichment program, a therapeutic childcare center and, has set a goal to purchase a transitional home for kids aging out of foster care. Kids in foster care age out of the system at the crucial age of 18 and have no place to live. In turn, they often become homeless. Her vision of the transitional home (she calls Rise ‘N Hope House) would offer qualified young adults an opportunity to live for free while receiving mental health counseling, career counseling, and higher education counseling thereby giving them a shot at pursuing a successful life with real purpose. Octavia continues to identify needs in the community and address them with real solutions and that’s what makes her a true inspiration.
Did I mention she is also married, a mother of five, has written a book (available on Amazon), and does appearances and podcasts? Her drive and determination push the boundaries of how one person can truly make a positive impact on an entire community. She is a true inspiration. And personally, I find her problem-solving skills, leadership, and creativity to be contagious.
How are you helping to make your community a better place? For ideas on how to get involved use the resources provided below. Together we are powerful and hopefully, we can be a true inspiration to all.
Reveal to Heal – there are a number of ways to get involved. Follow the link provided and find out how you can help.
Volunteer Match – a nonprofit that matches your skills and interests with local charities. Once you sign up they email opportunities that match your profile.
Court Appointed Special Advocate – a national program advocating for kids in foster care in each state. Follow the link to see how to get involved in your area.