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Dreams Fulfilled: Doreen's Triumph Over Adversity

“Step into a realm of resilience, empowerment, and community impact alongside Doreen Sinclair-McCollin and Elevated Minds CIC! Uncover the remarkable narrative behind her mother Abigail's enduring legacy and the groundbreaking initiatives shaping destinies. Come along as we dismantle barriers, amplify voices, and cultivate meaningful change in Part 1 of Doreen Sinclair's journey with Elevated Minds CIC.”

Doreen SinclairCo - Founder of Elevated Minds CIC

In the quaint English town, nestled amidst querky cottage style houses and reams of greenery surround, Abigail, my mother, graced our home with her presence.

Despite her petite stature of 5’1″, she exuded an aura of gentleness, quiet confidence, and self-assurance that filled the air with warmth. Her love knew no bounds, radiating from her like a beacon of light in the darkness.

I often found myself expressing to her the depth of her importance in my life, declaring her as the greatest blessing I had ever received. This sentiment, delivered with sincerity, would elicit from her a playful gesture – the kissing of her teeth and her mouth pushed up in amusement, a small yet endearing display of affection.

Mum’s journey to our shores began in Jamaica, a land rich in culture and vibrant with life. With a heart filled with pride and armed with extensive training and qualifications as a nurse, she embarked on a voyage that would lead her to England.

Here, amidst the bustling streets and unfamiliar landscapes, she found her calling as an Auxiliary Nurse in a hospital situated miles away from our humble abode. It was a position she often talked about with an air of bitterness as she was far too experienced and qualified. However, it was that or nothing.

Throughout her years of service, mum remained steadfast in her dedication, tirelessly tending to the needs of others with unwavering compassion.

Despite the distance from her homeland and the challenges she faced, she willingly set aside her own pride to nurture our dreams and support us in reaching our full potential.

Her sacrifice and selflessness became the cornerstone of our family’s journey, a testament to her boundless love and unwavering commitment.

Her saying remains with me to this day.

“You will never be given a dream that you cannot fulfil.”

And I’ve thrived to achieve my dreams ever since.

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming after all is a form of planning.” Gloria Steinem

Trials and Triumphs

As Abigail’s daughter, now 61 years young, I reflect on the pivotal moments of my past, and one memory stands out vividly against the backdrop of time.

It was a moment that shaped my resilience, tested my resolve, and ignited a fire within me that would burn brightly for years to come.

At the tender age of 17, brimming with youthful optimism and boundless ambition, I embarked on a journey that would set the course for my future.

Inspired by my mother’s gentle yet unwavering strength, I applied for a part-time office junior role at a large supermarket in our hometown of Oldbury, all while balancing the demands of college.

The excitement of possibility pulsed through my veins as I awaited the outcome of my application. And when I received the news that I had been shortlisted, I couldn’t contain my joy. It was a validation of my abilities, a testament to the values instilled in me by my mother.

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Suited and booted, I exuded confidence as I entered the interview room, ready to seize the opportunity before me.

My performance was nothing short of stellar, a reflection of the resilience and determination that ran deep in my veins, inherited from my mother.

At the end of my interview, my feat was immediately shared with me.

I found it hard to maintain decorum and almost succeeded, but I gave in to the pressure of elation and shriek, “yes!” What’s even worse was the fist-pump action that accompanied the shriek, followed by a very sincere apology for the unprofessionalism displayed.

However, what should have been a moment of triumph quickly turned sour as reality came crashing down around me.

In a cruel twist of fate, I was informed by the Deputy Manager that I had been mistakenly given the wrong job offer. Instead of the office junior position I had interviewed for, I was being offered a role as a cashier.

The sting of disappointment cut deep, threatening to overshadow my spirit. In that moment, I felt the weight of injustice bearing down on me, casting a shadow over my dreams. But amidst the turmoil, a voice echoed in my mind, a voice that belonged to my mother, Abigail.

“The most powerful reaction to upset is to breathe from the depths of my lungs. Never get angry,” her words reverberated within me, offering solace and strength in the face of adversity.

With a steely resolve, I clung to those words like a lifeline as I stood before the Deputy Manager, my mother’s unwavering spirit bolstering my own. Though every fiber of my being screamed for justice, I refused to succumb to anger or despair.

With a silent determination, I turned on my heel and walked away, my head held high despite the turmoil raging within me. I refused to be defined by the limitations imposed upon me, choosing instead to forge my own path forward, one step at a time.

“Silence is a source of great strength. The best fighter is never angry.”

Lao Tzu.

And though the tears threatened to spill over, I held them back with sheer force of will, refusing to let my oppressors see me break. For in that moment of defiance, I reclaimed my power, my resilience shining like a beacon of hope in the darkness.

As I stepped out into the world, the echoes of my mother’s wisdom guiding my every step, I knew that this was just the beginning of my journey.

And though the road ahead may be fraught with challenges, I faced it head-on, ready to conquer whatever obstacles lay in my path.

For I am Doreen, daughter of Abigail, a woman of strength, courage, and unwavering determination, and nothing could dim the light that burned within my soul.


This was my first real experience of Racism.

It significantly impacted me, changing the direction of my life. I chose to become a leader, in fact, a teacher.

Not only was I determined to protect my younger siblings and anyone else who looked like me. But I was also determine to show a certain teacher my real abilities.

I talked with whoever I could, whenever I could, to prepare the few young Black people I knew at the time for future rejection and how to come back stronger.

“Changing attitudes is not easy to do and must come from within. Drawing on inspiration can empower us to do this.”

June Sarpong

Many years later, here I am. Still realising my dream, having worked with a multitude of educationalists and in educational institutions, significantly impacting positively on students, staff and parents.

Change has been present but very slow. Teaching young people about self-awareness is one of the strongest weapons they can use to defend themselves from their enemies.

If they have a strong sense of who they are, it becomes difficult for other people to manipulate them. When they are aware of who they are, it is far easier for them to become who they want to be.

Self-awareness will help young people to live up to their full potential as they make better, more informed choices. Young people who have good self-awareness will develop a strong sense of identity.

They will not only be aware of who they are but also where they are from, how they got to where they are and where they can go, if they so choose. The essence of great leaders is knowing yourself first and then leading others.

That is, knowing your strengths, your areas for development and learning about your blind spots.

Elevated Minds CIC, its programmes, in particular, The IDENTITY Project, delivered throughout educational provisions, and everything we do evolve from this belief of the importance of knowing yourself.

Click here to learn more

To be continued…. 

“"Limiting beliefs about ourselves and each other prevent us all from achieving our full potential."”

June Sarpong



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