Revitalizing Detroit through the kitchen

Detroit Oprah Tour
Detroit Oprah Tour

By ASENATH ANDREWS, founder of The Catherine Ferguson Academy and a 2012 Toyota Mother of Invention recipient

When I saw the Toyota Standing Ovation recipient Davita Davison introduction, I was so proud that Ms. Davison was a native Detroiter and more proud yet to see one of my former students, April, from Catherine Ferguson in the video. April now owns a bakery, working with Detroit Kitchen Connect to bake her delicious treats in unused church kitchens, as do all of the Detroit Kitchen Connect food entrepreneurs. She is proof of how important Ms. Davison's work is in Detroit. There are so many reasons to celebrate her and her efforts.

A first-hand account of 'Oprah's The Life You Want Weekend':

I find myself reenergized after a weekend with Oprah & friends at the Life You Want Tour in Detroit. I went without great expectations, or at least candidly not knowing what expectations I should have.

For the past 28 years, I have been the founder and Principal at the Catherine Ferguson Academy in Detroit- a high school for pregnant and parenting teens. I am recently retired and thinking about what I'm going to do next. Quotes from this weekend's tour landed on "fertile ground" in my consciousness.

These were words that gave me pause, made me reflect and gave me inspiration. Thoughts that were important to me and that I am compelled to share with anyone who may not have been a part of this special Oprah experience.

"Give yourself time. When you really know, you don't have to ask anyone for confirmation."

I've been working, giving my time to the girls at the Academy for most of the last 40 odd years. When I was working, I almost never asked for confirmation because I always "knew." In my new life I'll have to learn to operate with that same certainty.

"It makes all hesitation useless."

I hate the waiting and second-guessing, but too often I easily tolerate and participate in the procrastination. What am I afraid of? Failing? What a revelation. Hearing "hesitation is useless" helped throw me back into gear.

"Live it and look at life in simple sentences."

I look for beauty every day. I have a breezeway leading to my back door and I work to make it a visual treat. So every day, when I get home I just smile at what's growing and blooming-saying "happy day Asenath."

"When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it."

There have been so many times in my professional career and personal life when I had no idea how I was going to be able to achieve something and yet somehow things, people, permission and support just come to me.

"Your best life is in your hands to create"

The exercise we did to create a life for a loved one was the most outstanding I've ever participated in-really beyond anything I've ever done. I spent the whole time envisioning the life I wanted for my 96 year old mother. I cried all throughout, never thinking I was really envisioning the life I want myself. WOW!

Oh what work I realize I need to do to give myself the life I truly want.

This post is part of a series from Toyota's Mothers of Invention who are attending Oprah's The Life You Want Weekend. Asenath Andrews is the founder of The Catherine Ferguson Academy and a 2012 Toyota Mother of Invention recipient.