Q&A with Deanna Moore
City of Residence: Kathleen
Occupation: Speech/language pathologist
QUESTION: Youve had an exciting couple of weeks lately -- why?
ANSWER: I found out I was chosen as winner of BETs and MassMutuals Local Icon contest for my work with my foundation and I also received copies of my second book, The Power of Choice, Even in My Shoes.
QUESTION: Whats the name of your foundation?
ANSWER: Its the I Think I Am Foundation.
QUESTION: Whats its purpose?
ANSWER: Primarily, our goal is to help foster-care children but we help other at-risk children, too. We work to improve their self-image, self-worth and self-actualization.
QUESTION: What motivated you to start I Think I Am?
ANSWER: I was given up for adoption and placed in foster care at birth and adopted at 3. I struggled with low self-esteem. When I was 5, a body told me I was a nobody because I didnt know who my momma was. My adopted mother told me that because she chose from among many I was special. She was so wonderful and always so positive and encouraging, but still in the back of my mind there was that thought. There were family members whod say things like, Youre my niece, but not really blood. That hurt. I did all kinds of things to please my mom -- graduated salutatorian, best female athlete, had a college basketball scholarship and more -- but internally I didnt feel like I fit in.
QUESTION: So it was born of your own struggles -- and overcoming?
ANSWER: I figured if I struggled even though I had such a good foundation with my mom, what about kids who dont have that kind of support? Youre not responsible for how you come into this world or what youre environment is, but we all have choices. I want to help kids make good choices and think the best of themselves, no matter what shoes theyre walking in.
QUESTION: That brings up your books. How do they relate? How do they help kids?
ANSWER: We want to help children and families change harmful beliefs into helpful, healing ones. The word of God has a lot to say about that as did the philosopher Descartes. If we change what we think, we can change results and our environment.
My book I Think I Am, Its All In Your Mind is about that and encourages positive beliefs and good choices. It also has a workbook to help kids dream about their future and set goals to realize their dreams.
QUESTION: And the new book?
ANSWER: The Power of Choice, Even in My Shoes has the same idea but is a lot of my story. No matter what shoes we walk in, we all have a choice and shouldnt let negative experiences crush, kill or depress us.
QUESTION: What are some of the foundations other activities?
ANSWER: Weve done Back to School Bashes in Kathleen and Fort Valley to give school supplies to youngsters and provide a way for kids and parents to have fun together. A lot of parents, like my mom, dreaded the start of school because they dont have the money to get supplies. We take care of that. Plus, families have forgotten how to have fun together even with simple things like pushing kids in swings, going for a nature walk.
QUESTION: Other things?
ANSWER: We have our Family Empowerment Summit, our national Celebrity Sports Moms Tour with stories of overcoming difficult circumstances, we have a free books literacy program and were putting together a TV show called Sightline with Deanna Moore. It will feature stories of different people who set and reached goals despite adversity.
QUESTION: How can people find out about the foundation, books and your fundraising events?
ANSWER: The books are on amazon.com and at my website, thedeannamoorevision.com, which has tons of information about the foundation.
Answers may have been edited for length and clarity. Compiled by Michael W. Pannell. Contact him at email@example.com.