Sometimes it seems like only yesterday, Cindy Lumpkin was the person who didn’t know how valuable, fearfully and wonderfully made she was. The famous line from Langston Hughes’ poem, “life for me ain’t been no crystal stair,” was certainly true of her life. Like most, she had her share of challenging life circumstances.
She was born to a single mother in small-town Franklin, Virginia. The last to be born of three and the only girl; statistics says she didn’t have a chance at a successful, productive life by virtue of her mother life’s conditions. Cindy’s mother was born to a single mother, who passed away much too early, leaving her children to be reared by family. Cindy’s mother was also a high school drop-out as a result of a teen pregnancy.
The odds were against Cindy’s mother and they weren’t looking much better for Cindy.
From the very beginning, Cindy experienced failure at school and as a result her teacher suggested that she repeat Kindergarten. Her loving mother, who has always been her biggest advocate, wouldn’t hear of it. However, the inevitable happened in first grade. No longer a suggestion, she had to repeat the first grade.
She endured low self-esteem throughout her teens and into adulthood. She share the circumstances of millions of people labeled with a learning disability or others who, as a result of life challenges, are predicted to loose before the race even starts.
She hated the hand that was dealt to her. But she was determined to not only learn how to play it, but win. Thus, her journey to overcoming a learning disability, low esteem, and reclaiming her self-worth began in the 5th grade. There were many times along the way she was unable to fight for herself. However, She always had a Helper (John 14:26), even when she didn’t know it.
She has been asked over and over again, “what has been your secret? What was the catalyst that drove a 5th grade student in self-contained special education classes to go on to defy the odds and experience great academic success? Why hasn’t the shame and guilt that comes along with being labeled cause you to retreat?”
It was and is her relationship with Jesus. Once she allowed the Source to come into her life and engulf her with His wondrous, miraculous love, her life, although not easy, has never been the same. He has been the source of her success and everyone and everything else He has used as a resource to help her overcome insecurities, low self-esteem and increase her academic skills.
In her debut book, Destined for Success (TRIUMPH Publishing, 2008), she shares all the resources that helped her to succeed: She had a tremendous amount of family support; she had wonderful teachers who taught her “how to learn” and she somehow developed the self-determination needed to rise above the circumstances of her life. She also gained confidence as a result of playing sports and participating in pageant and modeling contests.
Her education at Virginia Union University (VUU) had an enormous impact upon her life. It was there that she started to learn more about learning disabilities and where she committed her life to helping others like her to overcome the label of “special.” It was also at VUU that she achieved a childhood dream of being a collegiate athlete and being named a queen. She had the distinct honor to not only play Volleyball and Softball, but serve her Alma Mater as Miss Virginia Union University.
Her days at Virginia Union were special. Those years prepared her for the field of teaching and for continued academic studies at Clark Atlanta University, where she earned a Master of Education Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration.
She is fortunate that she is now able to use the struggles of her life and lessons learned as a message of empowerment to show others (students, women and young girls) how to have the courage to TRIUMPH over every circumstance that is holding them back from achieving their dreams. She has been able to experience success as a student, professional, wife and mother.
She has authored In Search of True Beauty: Discovering Beauty from the Inside Out (TRIUMPH Publishing, 2012), and is founder of TRIUMPH in Life, Inc., The Bly/TRIUMPH AwardsTM and Someone Like Me Mentoring ProgramTM.
She has spent the last 10 years teaching and inspiring others to surmount every obstacle that stands between them and their dreams. As a result of her past and current success, she is more equipped now than ever before to show and help others to TRIUMPH in Life over every circumstance that may hold them back from achieving their God inspired dreams.
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