Local author and life coach speaks at Hillside

Latoya Rose (middle back) stops for a photo with staff of the Hornet Bank after her talk with students. Priscilla Ross (far left in blue dress) helped coordinate the entire event. The student include, Nicholas Fuller (back left), Samone Melvin (front left), Juvontre Rogers (left of Rose), John Batey Jr. (middle front), Victoria Watson (right of Rose), Monae Shockley (far back right), Jada Evans (back right) and Elaijah Gibbs-Jones (front right). (Photo courtesy of the Hillside Chronicle)


By Elaijah Gibbs-Jones

Hillside Chronicle Editor


In early February, a majority of Business and Finance Academy students filed into Hillside’s auditorium to receive professional advice on transitioning from high school to the real world.

LaToya Rose, author of Money Matters: Life After Graduation, spoke to Business and Finance Academy (BFA) students. Rose spoke to students about several life tactics needed to be successful after high school graduation.

Rose spoke on purpose, passion, and profit and related it back to how students could find success.

She discussed discovering one’s passion, owning your own purpose, and combining both for a profitable life. She also spoke about the importance of increasing cash flow, reducing expenses, and making skills available for the job market.

“She actually found us after discovering Hillside’s Hornet Bank,” said Priscilla Ross, BFA coordinator. “She was very impressed with it and wanted to come and share her story with us.”

Even though this was a big event for BFA, this was not the first time the program had a motivational speaker present at Hillside. Ross explained that last year BFA had another motivational speaker, Young Money, come and share his story of financial success.

“We’re trying to start a tradition for speakers to come throughout every school year,” she said.

Career Development Coordinator, Darian Harris, accompanied Ross in planning the event. He believes that it is “imperative” for people to hear other people’s story to learn how they’ve gotten to where they are.

“Because everyone has a story,” said Harris. “The young lady who came in has had success, so her sharing her story and knowledge allows our students to learn from her.”

Inspiration is just what students said they got out of Rose’s conversation with them.

Nicholas McCray, president of the marketing club DECA and BFA senior, was personally inspired.

“She told us not to give up despite the circumstances, or drawbacks,” said McCray. “Giving up destroys your chances of ever being successful.”

Rose has risen above some difficult circumstances in her life, like molestation, but wanted students to be motivated after hearing her own tragedies.

“After some difficulties and tragedies, she turned her passion into a profit,” said Monae Shockley, Hornet Bank Manager and senior.

Rose was essential to the BFA program as she taught students life lessons important to the business world.

Harris joked and quoted Wu Tang Clan to explain business as the foundation of our economy.

“Cash rules everything around me,” he said. “The Business and Finance Academy is a way to get our students acclimated to the business world.”

Likewise, McCray believes that BFA is helping young students like himself.

“Get that knowledge needed to overcome financial obstacles when we become adults,” he said.

Later in the year, Rose is scheduled to make her way back to the Nest.

She will be hosting another seminar for freshman girls and enlightening them with her story. Ross and Harris both said they would like students to experience the benefits of networking and meeting Latoya Rose.