Christal Vincent – Ready 4 Change Inc.

Dr. Marrissa Dick | July 16th, 2018
Christal Vincent (Photos by Still Shots Photography)

Christal Vincent (Photos by Still Shots Photography)

Many of us have heard the all too familiar “teenage mom” story. In fact, MTV had a reality series 16 and Pregnant which captivated a large rural viewership. From that series several other reality spinoffs were also highly successful. In these segments the young girl was often cared for in her home by a parent with other siblings around for emotional support. These teen moms were also able to continue their high school education – – if they desired. Unfortunately, these television series often ‘glamorize’ this real-life situation. There are some situations where the teen mom is fortunate to receive this type of support but what about the mouthy teenage girl whose parents put her out of the house because she has a rebellious spirit? What happens to her when she conceives because she must sleep on someone’s couch because she has nowhere else to go? Where are the television production crews to highlight these teen mom stories?

Well here’s one story that can be highlighted. Meet Christal Vincent, a survivor, a phenomenal multifaceted entrepreneur, a successful life coach, a professional consultant, an author, and owner of Ready 4 Change Inc., Transitioning Minds and Transitioning Home Care, respectively. Both entities work in conjunction with one another as each provides individualized, family, and comprehensive therapeutic life changing services in a holistic environment.

A native of Newark, NJ, Christal was a 16-year-old single mother who was told that she would end up in jail or wouldn’t make it past the tender age of 17. Though she was raised in a two-parent home her parents were unable to provide her with the mental, emotional, and spiritual support that she needed. She shares, “I was what everyone called the ‘bad seed.’ My mother put me out of the house when I was 15 and in the midst of that I became a teenage mom at 16.” Unlike reality television, Christal didn’t have parents who supported her. She recalls, “I wasn’t able to do life the traditional way because I didn’t have parents who knew how to nurture me and speak positively into my life but it’s funny while I was in the streets I wound up meeting people who encouraged me. One of my best friends said, ‘I’m going to pay for whatever you need for school because I want you to get up out of here.’ Here I am thinking I’m grown doing my thing and I’m saying no I want to hang with them, but they said, ‘no, you have to much in you. You don’t need to be here. I had friends that encouraged me to become a business owner and assisted with supporting me toward those goals. That’s how I learned my lesson about friendship and loyalty. Here are people with no blood ties to me, but God chose them to help me. Even though I had help financially I still did my part by working. I knew I needed money to provide for my son because I wanted him to have everything I didn’t have. And there were times when I had to take my son to school with me and I sat in the back of the classroom breast feeding him because I was determined that I wasn’t going to buy into being a statistic.” To meet her goals, Christal knew that she would have to make some major changes when it came to her life style and her thought process. She shares, “My son was an unexpected blessing. When I had him I realized that I had to change everything about myself because I had another life, another person depending on me.” Defying her naysayers, Christal graduated from high school, married at the age of 20, had another child at 21, then divorced at 24. Not too bad for a young woman who wasn’t supposed to survive past the age of 17.

As believers we often espouse the phrase, God is good, but do we ever stop to truly understand what that means? In Christal Vincent’s case He’s been “really good” because she has defied the statistical odds spoken over her life. Without a personal mentor; instead, relying on her God given discernment, she has been able to fashionably pull it all together from the inside out. In essence, she doesn’t look like where she came from. Unless she shared her personal testimony with you no one would be able to tell that once upon a time she struggled with making commitments and needed help with her diction. On the contrary, she has been gifted with eloquence and grace, enveloped in poise, and has garnered excellent command of the English language.

Christal recalls, “I didn’t come from a family who had a strong educational background or even from a family with good diction. Growing up I had dreams of becoming a lawyer but all I was ever told was that I couldn’t be one because I wasn’t smart enough; I didn’t speak or spell well enough; and you’re not good in school – – you know all the negative stuff. So, when I finally had the opportunity to attend college I had a teacher who gave me constructive feedback instead of criticizing me. When people speak to me I immediately begin processing their words to see if it makes sense and how it makes me feel. For example, I remember distinctly working at a shoe store and I went outside during one of my breaks to smoke a cigarette. Well, a lady walked by and said, ‘you’re so beautiful why would you want to put that cigarette in your mouth?’ and then she walked away. Instantly I put it out and never looked at a cigarette again. That made sense to me. So, it’s moments like these that have pushed me to be a better person. I don’t believe in making the same mistakes twice. There was a lot of stuff that I just didn’t know. Stuff that I had to figure out on my own. Well now I understand it was with God’s divine help but back then I didn’t know that. But when you know better you can do better. God loved me enough to send strangers or maybe I should say, angels along the way to impart His will inside of me. So even though earlier on in my life I didn’t always have the best experiences, but the experiences I did have were enough for me to know that I desired something more for my children. I knew I had to be a better parent for my children, so they could have the opportunity to be greater.” Ultimately, Proverbs 22:6 is what most parents intend to do for their children and that is to “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”

So how does a woman who experienced grave disappointments in life, who at one time struggled with being on her own, had trust issues, and survived a major accident that almost stole her life end up becoming a professional business woman and life coach? A prayerful woman, Christal believes that her journey began when God placed Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God,” inside of her heart. She is adamant that besides her degrees, professional certifications and licensures, her life experiences qualify her to connect with the clientele she serves on multiple levels. The impetus for Ready 4 Change Inc. came out of her establishing personal and therapeutic foster care relationships with the children she has taken inside of her home over the years. She shares, “I love helping each child learn how to walk with dignity, pride, and love. Which is why I started Ready 4 Change Inc. and Transitioning Minds.” Ready 4 Change Inc. offers a flexible curriculum designed to meet the evolving and individualized needs and demands of the client. Their passion is to help turn dreams into reality, fears into strength, objections into subjections, and turn isolation into belonging.

Ready 4 Change Inc. is committed to helping people achieve and transcend above any hurdles that might get in their way of recovery and growth. Likewise, Transitioning Minds exists to assist, edify and cultivate all individuals, and families that are transitioning in life; challenged with mental health, substance abuse, addiction, and/or overwhelming life challenges that may be causing unmanageable problems in their day-to-day functions. Transitioning Minds also works to reduce and alleviate problematic concerns that affect the families and children transitioning from the family home to foster care or homelessness or transitioning back into families or back to the care givers home. They also have a collective of community-based constituents working cohesively to connect each client with the necessary resources to succeed in their lives. According to Christal, “I’m inspired and motivated when I see a client go from a defeated life style to one that’s filled with promise, forgiveness, self-esteem, and relationship building. Their success reminds me ‘why’ I do this type of work.” Though her current businesses are flourishing in Greensboro, Asheboro, and Virginia, Christal is never complacent. It is her desire to expand her services on an international scale by combining her businesses under one umbrella – – ChrisSherell. She shares, “When I set out to do something I’m committed to it. I had to go to God and ask Him what my purpose was, and he gave me Ephesian 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” I understand that ChrisSherell is supposed to coach people about starting and building a business, as well as having effective leadership in their business, and offering training sessions in the areas of emotional and mental health. You know, I’m not just transforming the minds of my clients for success, I’m speaking to myself as well. Ultimately, my goal for ChrisSherell is to travel around the world to countries like Africa and Afghanistan where women are oppressed simply because of their gender and minister to them so they understand how valuable they are. I also want to teach people how to collaboratively effect change in themselves and in their communities. ChrisSherell is so much greater than me.”

So, what makes her businesses unique from the many other agencies in the community offering similar services? Christal will tell you that she is coming from a “more authentic and genuine place” because she is able to sympathize and emphasize with her clients. She has been where they are and understands what it takes to find the strength to come out of it. She shares, “Just because you don’t look like it doesn’t mean you haven’t gone through anything. You know people look at me and think wow she’s really got it together but they’re looking at my flesh. They’re looking on the outside, but they didn’t fight my war physically or spiritually. Since God allowed me to live through it all I know I have purpose and I know I’m not alone in my story. Teenagers and adults need to be healed from their past. I want to pre-expose people to what’s really out there, so they don’t make my mistakes. I told my children I want them to experience their own mistakes, but I also tell them that everybody doesn’t get to bounce back from their mistakes. There are just some experiences you don’t need to have. Basic life experiences yes, but some of these other things absolutely not. So, from a coach’s perspective I want to teach people how to process those poor experiences or those poor choices. So, when clients come to me I understand what most of them have gone through emotionally, mentally, and physically and that’s why we are able to facilitate their care. My staff and I are licensed from accredited educational institutions and we have also been licensed by life. Life is a great teacher.”

Christal firmly believes that success is a conscious decision. She also believes that the keys to generating success are transitioning your mind, remaining persistent and being determined. Christal earned her undergraduate degree from Kaplan University in Early Childhood Development with a minor in Psychology. She also holds the master’s degree from Winston Salem State University in Rehabilitation Counseling.

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