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Never, Never, Never Give Up!

Updated: Aug 19, 2021

FINALLY, Welcome to MY blog!! If you are following me on my social media accounts (Lana The Influencer, LLC) you all know that I post every Monday with My Story Monday was created to show the world that you can make it in any circumstance and situation. If you ask my friends, I've always said that one day I would write a book. I would joke and say, "I do not have enough words in my vocabulary to even write one". Well... I guess writing a blog will be interesting LOL... So here it goes...

While growing up I never really knew who or what I wanted to be. I thought about going to the Army once (epic fail) LOL. Well during my Senior year in high school I finally took my ACT. As you all know (or do not know) I am an adopted person who once was in foster care. I went through some difficult situations as a child and I believed that if I became a social worker I could prevent those same situations from happening to other children. That is how I choose my major. I admired my godfather so much and so I decided to go to Mississippi Valley State University. This was the BEST choice I ever made and my undergrad career was AMAZING. So let's fast forward ......

I graduated from Mississippi Valley State University and moved to Hattiesburg, MS to begin my next goal in life. Well ..... what I wanted in life at this point did not come easy. I wanted to go to graduate school, get my degree, pass my license, and moved away from Mississippi. I had it all together... or did I? I attempted to apply for the University of Southern Mississippi - School of Social Work Master's program on three separate occasions. The first time I applied I was denied. I was completely embarrassed and ashamed that I even lied that I got in.. (thank God for growth Hunny).

I am the type of person that will not give up. So here I went and applied again. I was DENIED a second time !!! Okay, at this point, I gave up.

A couple of years went by... I was struggling severely to pay my bills and to take care of myself. One day I and a good friend told me to try and apply for graduate school again. At that moment, I took her advice. I had to decide (will I give up or not). I applied again on the strength of FAITH.

The School of Social Work denied me again!

The difference between the first time I applied and the third time I applied was my perseverance. I decided that I did not come this far to not become who I was meant to be. So one day I was at my job General Dynamics and I was on a call. A thought came to my mind and it said to walk into the room. I also was curious to know why I kept getting denied. So... I walked into the room!

Well, when I walked into the room I was introduced to Jerome Kolbo, who was the Dean of the Social Worker Department, at the time. He informed me that the teachers felt like my personal statement (Why I want to be a Social Worker?) was too traumatic and appeared that I did not need to be a social worker. I then in return explained to him why I would be a great social worker. As the conversation was ending he told me, "I am so glad you came and spoke with me today". As I walked out the door, I thought what will I do with my life now. Who am I meant to be?

I went back to work and tried to finish my workday. I then went to break and sat in the break room to get my thoughts and emotions together. I then received a text message that said, "Check your email". As I open my email, I had an acceptance letter from the University of Southern Mississippi!!!!!!!!!

Let me encourage you for a minute. Yes, I was denied three times but I was one of the few people chosen for the paid internship (Mississippi Integrated Health and Disasters Program). I also received the Beulah Elizabeth Roberts Compton Scholarship that same year and I also graduated with a 3.8 GPA in 2016.

I also recently received my LMSW in 2019. Receiving my license is a story within itself. I failed the test two times and the practice test once. I did not stop studying, I had a tutor, and as I stated before I took the test again on the strength of FAITH!

So with that being said, "Never, Never, Never, Never, Never, Give Up!!!!!!! My question to you: What have you given up on? Are you going to start now?

With Love,

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Lana Speakz
Lana Speakz
Aug 30, 2020

Awww sis I love you 😘


Inspirational and genuine as usual 😘 For people who are always pouring into others like myself. It’s refreshing to be poured into and inspired.



Lana Speakz
Lana Speakz
Aug 20, 2020

Aww I’m so glad I was able to encourage you !!! Keep striving. I’ll be back next week with another one 🖤


Lana you truly are a rare vessel. I definitely appreciate the merit of your work. You’ve managed to encourage me with your blog. Continue to illuminate and liberate .


Lana Speakz
Lana Speakz
Aug 17, 2020

Aww thank you !!! Y’all gone make me cry this morning ❤️❤️❤️

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