#RIP53| Lessons in Excellence. Don't Quit!


Girls in Fashion and Tech [GiFT] is a community of women focused on the convergence of the fashion and/or tech spaces and the need for more women to be involved in this shift. McKinsey & Co’s 2017 Women in the Workplace report says women remain underrepresented at every level in corporate America, despite earning more college degrees than men for the last thirty years. 

Companies have blind spots when it comes to diversity, and we can’t solve problems that we don’t see or understand clearly. But there’s power in numbers, GiFT is a space to share and celebrate what women are contributing – ensuring we are no longer diminished, discredited or marginalized in areas we are uniquely designed and socialized to shine!

Next to to the healthcare industry, surprisingly retail and fashion face the highest attrition rate for women from entry level positions to the c-level suite when women are leaving the workforce at the same rate as men across all sectors, and just as interested in progressing their careers toward senior management despite commonly held notions stating the opposite and people think women are well represented in leadership, because we’ve gotten comfortable with the status quo. More importantly, companies overlook the realities of women of color, who face the greatest obstacles and receive the least support as the most underrepresented group in the corporate pipeline—behind white men, men of color, and white women.

[caption id="attachment_798" align="alignleft" width="302"] In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16[/caption]

My cousin, Edwin Jackson was a fun loving person who used his platform to encourage a commitment to excellence. A walk-on at Georgia Southern University, Edwin knew the financial, physical and emotional challenges of non-scholarship student athletes. Despite those challenges, he became the starting inside Line Backer for the Indianapolis Colts in 2016 and committed his life to making it easier for walk-on student athletes to succeed through The Edwin Jackson 53 Foundation and The PoundCake Club!


Edwin tragically and suddenly lost his life, but his commitment to excellence and the way he inspired others will live on forever through the people he touched. The lesson I will take with me from Edwin is to pursue your passions with excellence and Don't Quit! Don't Quit was a favorite poem of Edwin's and reflects the way he lived his short, but very full life.

As someone touched by his example and having celebrated his life with friends and family this week, I am now more committed than ever to the mission of GiFT, sharing my light and pursuing my passions with excellence. I encourage you to mentor, comment, share and support other people on their path to greatness and wherever that leads! To keep Edwin's Legacy alive, please donate to his foundation. Click here to learn more.

Don't Quit by John Greenleaf Whittier

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,                                                                    When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,

As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than

It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
Whe he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out -

The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.