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Empowering & Educating GEN NEXT
Thandi |Ton-dee| noun
Wife. Mom. Motivator. Writer. Creative. Distinct. Enthusiastic about business, travel, professional and personal growth. Radiant.
My name is Thandi Montgomery and I am the proud founder of Radiant Legacy, Radiant Girl & Radiant Mom Inc.
- Radiant Legacy’s mission is to empower & educate GEN NEXT & ensure they are well-equipped with the tools needed to impact the world.
- The mission for Radiant Mom is to inspire and provide a practical approach to help moms pursue their dreams, rediscover themselves as well as balance self-care, motherhood and success.
- Radiant Girl is an organization committed to leading girls on a journey to self-discovery and equipping them with the tools needed to impact the world.
As an entrepreneur, mom coach, writer, speaker, and mentor, I am passionate about equipping moms with the tools they need to rediscover themselves and live life to the fullest.
A LITTLE GIRL WITH BIG DREAMS
I was raised in a small town called LaMarque, TX (on the outskirts of Houston). To put things into context, the population size was about 15K. We had 1 high school, 1 middle school, 1 movie theater and 1 Walmart.
Although I was born in a small town, I never suffered from having a small mentality. At a very young age, my mom and dad would always tell us that you can be anybody you want to be, you can do anything you want to do and do not allow anyone to stop you from being great.
From that point on, my dreams and aspiration begin to exceed the city limits of LaMarque, TX and I began to see myself traveling overseas, graduating with honors and becoming an entrepreneur. I was a straight-A student who enjoyed acting, writing poetry, singing in the choir and being an active member of the National Honor Society.
Although I had a great support system, the pressure that came with being a Pastor’s kid and the daughter of a prominent educator within the community, became a weight that I could not seem to lift. After a while, the unrealistic expectations took a toll on me and I went through an identity crisis. I was trying to figure out who I was and often found myself on an unstable emotional roller coaster ride.
My parents got a divorce when I was in the 7th grade. During that time, it seemed as though everything around me stopped. That life-changing event caused me to question life. Although in different homes, my parents continued to support me and my siblings, however, things were never quite the same. Though faced with disappointments, I often found hope in every situation. I learned how to bounce back and use life’s lessons as a tool to help elevate me to the next level.
I graduated number 7 in my high school graduating class and was accepted into Florida A&M University, Clark Atlanta University, Hampton University and the University of Houston. I decided to begin the next chapter of my life at Florida A&M, which set the stage for a new beginning, new friends, and new opportunities.
LEAVING THE NEST
I remember counting down the years, months and finally the days to go to college. I could not wait to leave the small town of LaMarque, TX and finally experience ‘life’. My parents really helped prepare me for the ‘real world’ and although I got homesick from time-to-time, my four years in Tallahassee, FL really helped to shape me into who I am today.
My college days had its share of hardships. I remember standing in the financial aid line semester after semester trying to figure out how I was going to pay for my classes, housing, and books. Although I had received a few scholarships, it was not enough to cover my out-of-state tuition. But I was determined to stay in school and make it on my own.
I remember setting up appointments with my financial aid advisor and even the interim President of the University. I told them my story and asked ‘Is there anything you can do to help me?” I ended up getting a job on campus, but it wasn’t the most sought-after place of employment. I was offered a job in the University’s cafeteria and I had to wake up at 6 a.m., walk a few miles (because I did not have a car) to fix sandwiches and salads so that I could save enough money for my books and transportation from Florida to Texas. I also received financial assistance to help with my housing and I stayed in a scholarship house with 15 other girls.
Regardless of the financial hardship, I had some of the best 4 years of my life in college. I discovered my purpose and learned how to be creative and find solutions when problems occurred. I traveled, developed my love for entrepreneurship, mentored students, graduated summa cum laude, fostered friendships from all over the country and met my amazing husband!
THE BALANCING ACT
Fast forward a few years, my husband and I got married and decided to wait 5 years to have kids. During that time, we moved to Atlanta to start our careers, we traveled overseas and I went back to school to obtain my Masters of Business Administration degree (graduated with honors).
During our 5th year of marriage, it was game time and the plan to start our family had finally come to fruition. At that time I was an Associate Client Partner at an advertising agency in Atlanta. I was working on the Verizon account, I helped launch the iPhone campaign, and took the lead on other prominent marketing initiatives. Oh, did I mention that I was pregnant while working over 50 hours every week? After months of trying to squeeze in doctor appointments, work and family, I began having complications when I was 6 months pregnant. I went to the hospital due to excruciating pain and they had to slow down my contractions in order to prevent a preterm pregnancy.
A few months later, after being in labor for 34 hours, a handsome baby boy named Joshua was born. I have to be honest with you, although I was grateful for the gift of motherhood, it was not love at first sight. So many thoughts flooded my mind. I thought about my career, my relationship with my husband and most importantly the I feared that I would lose my identity.
I decided to leave my job and I became a stay-at-home mom for 6 months. During that time, the fear of losing myself became a reality. I was so consumed with ‘trying’ to do everything right. I was overwhelmed with changing diapers, washing clothes, nursing, cooking, food allergies and finding the best remedy for eczema.
I put my dreams and love for acting, writing and designing on hold. I began to live a life of regret and I thought to myself, “there has to be more to life then what I am currently experiencing.” What about me? What about my dreams? I struggled with balancing motherhood, being a wife, going back to work and not to mention having time for myself.
While being a stay-at-home mom I decided to birth Radiant Girl. The organization was birthed out of a desire to help positively mold and shape future generations.
A few years later, organizations begin to request that the Radiant Girl programs include boys as well. Therefore, the Radiant brand was expanded to Radiant Legacy, which is now the parent company.
I have accepted the challenge to be a beacon of light and to remind the GEN NEXT that they were born to shine, even in the midst of dark places. They were born to not merely exist but to be a world-changer and impact the lives of many.
Something had to be done, so I became the catalyst that I wanted to see. I welcome you to join me on this journey to make a difference in the lives of many…one student at a time.
I love seafood & gourmet popcorn (think Garrett’s)
I enjoy traveling overseas! I have been to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Dubai, France, Italy, The Netherlands & more.
I am a Dallas Cowboys fan.
Books & Netflix are my escape from reality on Friday nights.
“Don’t fear failure, fear being in the EXACT same place next year as you are today.”- Unknown
- Theodore Roosevelt
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”
- Mark Twain
- Milton Berle
To empower & educated GEN NEXT & ensure they are well-equipped with the tools needed to impact the world.
Thandi Montgomery is the founder of Radiant Legacy, Radiant Girl & Radiant Mom. She is also a dynamic speaker, writer, successful entrepreneur, and a coach who helps moms & girls rediscover themselves and live a successful, balanced life.