What Black Love Looks Like

by Terry Watson | July 21st, 2020
Cory Graves

Cory Graves

To accomplish almost anything in life, a purpose is required. Yet, in order for a purpose is to be fulfilled, a sound and trusted direction must be first established. It must also be defined.

Cory Graves of Greensboro, NC has assembled a group of diverse professional men and women to form the team of SFCDefined (Strong, Focused, Confident). From their vast array of experiences and knowledge , they’ve concluded that before there can ever be social reformation, there must first be individual transformation. As a result of this philosophy, SFCDefined was formed. They’ve made it their mission to assist people from every age group, ethnic background, and genre to define who they are while not allowing other people’s opinion to be more important than their own. “Despite past experiences, present struggles and future challenges anyone can decide to be strong, be focused, be confident,…. and be defined,” he says.

Cory was born and raised in Brown Summit, NC. He attended and graduated from East Carolina University, majoring in Special Education and Psychology. He is a former educator as well as the Lead Pastor of White Oak Grove MBC in Greensboro, NC.

SFCDefined has been in the works for quite some time. In 1996 Cory started his teaching career as an elementary school special education teacher in North Carolina. He shares how he was asked, around mid-year, to help a group of kids who were considered to be “at risk” for passing their current grade. “That meant that I needed to prepare them for their end of grade testing. I knew it would be a difficult challenge because these kids had already been determined by their teachers without the ability to succeed. The request was to basically teach them how not to distract the other kids who were seen as those who had “more potential” or a greater probability of passing the test. For me, it wasn’t an assignment, it was a personal challenge. I knew these kids had potential and I was about to watch it come forth,” he says.

As the group formed, the need for a name came about. Cory came up with “Club SFC” Strong, Focused and Confident. Those kids quickly adopted this philosophy. They needed to be defined by something positive and powerful. With each meeting, there was a declaration from them being strong, focused, and confident. “I refused to allow these kids to be defined by their behaviors, their exceptionality, or the system. Once I saw their enthusiasm and willingness to give it their all, I realized that the more I changed the way they saw themselves, the more confident and creative they became. Though once counted out, they ended up scoring average to above average on their end of year test, and became eligible for promotion. Not only did they change, but so did I and as a result, SFC became my mantra,” Cory shares.

Cory shares there are many things that inspires him. People in general are his biggest inspiration and he says they inspire him to be the best version of himself. “My five year old grandson has made the biggest impact on my life and career. He introduces me to new challenges, new ways of problem solving, new thoughts, and new ideas. He is the reason why I want to leave a positive impact on the world.”

The products and services provided by SFCDefined range from transformational speaking, life coaching, training seminars to T-shirts, sweat shirts, hats, and books. There are plans to soon launch a men’s and women’s fragrance line.

SFCDefined has experienced its shares of challenges, though Cory says they have been very minimal. “I’ve put together an awesome team of professionals who know how to get things done. It has definitely been a learning experience for each of us. When we think collectively we come up with unique ways to overcome every challenge,” he says.

Moving forward he hopes to change the fabric of our country, our nation, one person at a time. “My plans are to help change the way people see themselves by helping them to discover their unique qualities and abilities so that they will realize that they have something amazing to offer to the world,” he says.

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