Human Interest

Dr. Ellen Savoy

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As time has progressed in my life, I thought that my purpose and my passion went hand-in-hand. In some ways, I can fathom the similarity and appreciate that one can find purpose in their passion and vice versa. On the other hand, I have come to realize that the two can also present themselves vastly differently. A good friend and coach has helped me establish an understanding of what purpose really is. As long as I can remember, I have been the center of attention in some fashion. As a young child and one of nine, I was the singer in the family as well as the jokester. In high school, I became known as “most-talented” and the pageant queen of my high school. Later in college, I sang and danced my way to campus queen. From that point, I went on to compete in local and state pageants. My community members coined me as an individual who was on the rise for greatness.

After meeting the man of my dreams and relocating to Houston from Virginia, I shortly became a mother and wife (yes, in that order). It wasn’t long after moving that my first encounter with real tragedy struck and possibly began my coming to identify my purpose. My first-born daughter was born with a rare syndrome of which we had no prior knowledge. As first-time parents, we were unsure of our union and her life span. A short time after her birth, I experienced episodes of facial paralysis and suspected I had a stroke but was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy. I was quickly cautioned that if not caught in a timely manner, it can be permanent. God spared me of the grim news and I was completely healed of it!! At the time, though I worked as a teacher, my husband was in law school and our financial situation was extremely challenging.

Fast forward to an awesome hubby and five ”presidential” kids later, I was promoted to one of the highest positions in my department at my job and my husband owns and operates a successful law firm. My kids and especially my first-born daughter are all thriving. While working, I was able to successfully complete my Doctorate in Educational Leadership. This all happened in a span of 20 years and I’m just recently understanding my true purpose.

My reason for chronicling this story is that I discovered my true purpose and passion is in none of what’s mentioned. Please don’t misunderstand me, I absolutely adore and love my family beyond words and loved my job but my purpose isn’t to be a wife, mother, singer, dancer, or educational leader. As mentioned earlier, my mentor, Jade Simmons, plainly and unapologetically stated that purpose is not what you do but the thing that happens to or in others when you do what you do.

I am often asked, “How do you do it and look so fabulous?” Many also affirm that I make it look so easy. “It” has proven to be a working mother and wife on the move while rearing five children-to cooking a three-course meal in less than an hour in red-bottom stilettos-to packing up the family with four wheelers and guns to go hunting (after nails and lashes and done). Yes, I hunt in fresh lashes and nails! AND I tend to keep cool and smile.

I’ve come to realize that this is my standard. This standard has developed from a refusal to succumb to adversity. There is a standard in what I do and how I look doing it that has caused the impact and reaching others. This impact has caused many, especially women to “want the tea”. While none of what I do is an easy task, I believe in encouraging others to develop a standard, whatever that may be and live by it! By living, I mean discover your place and how you relate to others in that place. Most of all, I learned that you must not give up on yourself!!! Give yourself permission to be great!!

Samira: Ellen, besides the 30 million other things you do full time, what is it that you are actually doing now? Without disclosing too much, what are your plans for the future?

Ellen: Currently, I am working as a school administrator for youth who are on probation and/or incarcerated. I have been doing this for the past 20 years. It’s been a privilege serving these youth and their families. While working in this field and at the organization, I’ve been asked to lead classes in the areas of projecting professionalism, speaking, writing and grammar, and screen for potential employees. This may sound like overload since working in such a field can easily cause compassion fatigue, but my services were being requested by head executives to help employees and potential ones in the areas of some type of presentation. I am often asked by many women (sometimes men) in the workplace about my home life. Some are curious if I am as happy as I look and act while others are just snooping about my husband and kids and wonder if they are ALL ours together. I get asked the strangest questions. Largely in part, many want to know how I make the time to keep up my appearance and sanity with such a busy life.

My friends and my mentor constantly summoned that I pay closer attention to the questions being asked. I didn’t think much of it but they helped me realize that struggling women needed my help in the areas of effectively prioritizing their lives at work and home, upgrading their self-image, and re-capturing who they once were.In August of 2018, I will be launching my first in-home session for mothers and working women who struggle in these areas. My hope is to develop this into a full-time business in order to take care of my special-needs daughter who will be completing school in one year. Additionally, I am also in the process of completing my first book that will surely be a resource to women. Lastly, our family is also completing a farmhouse and land development to host families of special-needs kids and a place to just get dirty with some animals and have fun. Moms often forget to do that!

Samira: I love this! My initial reaction was questioning whether or not I should publish your plan but I have that constant voice in my ear saying, “there’s enough to go around, this is the purpose of this celebration”, you asked her that question because moms need her help. Moms with special-needs children need to know there is strength in numbers and help is on the way.

University of Michigan Alumni. Master’s in Business Administration and Health Care Management. Currently working on a Doctoral Degree in Health Administration. Samira is happily married, living in Texas with her husband and two beautiful twin daughters.

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