Eshonda Blue of Innovative Senior Solutions speaks at SGTC African American History program
Sumter County Primary School Singers, led by Director Mike Ryan, performed two vocal selections for the enjoyment of the crowd.
Eshonda Blue, CEO and Co-Owner of Innovative Senior Solutions, was the speaker for South Georgia Technical College’s annual African American History Program on SGTC’s Americus campus. Members of the community were in attendance at the program with SGTC faculty, staff, and students.
“You may have heard the phrase, ‘You know my glory, but you don’t know my story.’ Well, today, I’m going to tell you my story,” said Blue. “To get to where I am today, I had to overcome three obstacles,” she explained. “Those three obstacles were rejection, going outside of my comfort zone, and myself.”
Eshonda spoke of the struggles she faced in the working world before ultimately deciding to start her own business, citing the early career failings of Oprah Winfrey as a particularly significant lesson on the importance of not giving up. “I had always struggled to fit in,” she said. “I was so jealous of people who were social butterflies and had no problem being a part of the crowd. But one day, I had an Aha! moment, and I realized that I was born not to fit in.”
“Find your purpose,” she encouraged the room full of supporters. “Define your obstacles, and overcome them.” Blue said that she found the theme of overcoming obstacles especially fitting for the topic of black history.
Blue founded Innovative Senior Solutions (ISS) with her sister, Jessica Wright, in 2007. The two sisters started their business in South Georgia Technical College’s Business Expansion Center (BEC), which provides assistance to entrepreneurs in SGTC’s six county service area of Sumter, Schley, Marion, Crisp, Macon, and Webster counties to help small businesses build a foundation on which to be successful. Innovative Senior Solutions, which provides adult day health, personal care/sitter services, respite care, and skilled nursing, became the first licensed home care provider in Sumter County, and over the past decade has expanded to provide services in 19 counties. ISS also offers CNA and PCA training.
She graduated from Georgia Southwestern State University with a degree in nursing and has over 20 years of experience in long-term care and healthcare management. She is the co-founder of the nonprofit organization Caring 4 Seniors Foundation, and serves on several local boards of directors.
Sumter County Primary School singers, the SGTC Gospel Choir, and Barbara Wiggins performed vocal selections at the program. South Georgia Tech’s 2017 Instructor of the Year, Charles Christmas, presided over the program. SGTC Special Assistant to the President Don Smith gave the invocation, and SGTC NTHS President and State Officer Maria Rivera of Vienna gave the occasion. Christopher M. McGee of Cordele, SGTC’s 2017 GOAL (Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership) Winner, closed the program with the benediction.
The committee who organized the African American History Program included SGTC faculty and staff members Cynthia Carter, Director of Career Services; Paul Farr, Director of Business and Industry Services; Victoria Herron, Aviation Maintenance Instructor; Dorothea Lusane-McKenzie, Cosmetology Instructor; Teresa O’Bryant, Executive Assistant to the President; Dr. Michele Seay, Psychology Instructor; Sammy Stone, Director of Campus Safety; and Vanessa Wall, Dean for Academic Affairs.