Shandrea Moody-Wilson is a Los Angeles born native of California. As a mother of student athletes, she is well aware of the commitment it takes to nurture youths into reaching their full capabilities as outstanding athletes. In her urban community Shandrea is a fun spirit who draws families, friends, and the community out to social events so that they can connect socially and to support great causes.
Although 2020, has had several profound setbacks, “I am happy to state UNA will continue use this time wisely to create effective programs designed to respond to current community protocols to keep our youths safe while playing and learning. We also will continue to reach key 2020 goals buy supporting student success scholarships to urban youths, sponsor many youths nationwide, as well as stabling and establishing key partnerships that will launch us to starting 2021 with the infrastructures needed for program delivery and overall success.” Says Shandrea
LR: What was your inspiration to start Urban Not Average?
SW:As a single mother, of a prominent student athlete, I was very aware of the commitment it takes to nurture youths into reaching their full capabilities as outstanding athletes. Since 2012, I saw the challenge it was for me as well as other single mothers. I too adore the smiles and cheers from the children once they won medals and trophies was priceless. Yet, there too are many children whom are blissfully talented and unable to perform athletic duties due to the lack of their family financials. In her urban community, I wanted to establish a fun spirit organization that draws families, friends, and the community out to social events so that they can connect socially and to support great causes.
LR: The name Urban Not Average in itself speaks volumes and provides a sense of hope just by reading it. How did the name come about?
SW: As an individual, you tend to live, learn, and grow. Youth grow and seek to enrich their lives with meaningful activities that will profoundly foster their well-rounded adulthood. In urban societies, there are many situations that children face at an early age, such as broken homes, lack of funding, food, and shelter. Despite the struggles, and with the help of many programs, urbanized youth can block the negative and transition that energy into a more positive resource. It makes you wiser outside the average. Being urban, the struggle is part of the story.
Which makes you urban but not average.
LR: What are some of the challenges that Urban Not Average encounters and how do you overcome them?
SW: Like all nonprofits, we faced many challenges in 2020 that derailed some of our initially planned activities and fundraising for our cause. But even with profound setbacks, we are happy to say we use time wisely to create effective programs designed to respond to current community protocols to keep our youths safe while playing and learning. Currently, UNA is planning for a successful 2021. Where we will continue to partner with local corporations and individuals to provide food, clothing and basic essentials to the student athletes, homeless and families. In the month of December, UNA is planning on financially supporting several student-athletes and families with Holiday cheer. By providing funding, families will be able to purchase the necessities for the holiday season, such as food, gifts & more.
LR: Is there a recruit process or referral process for individuals to be a part of Urban Not Average? If so, what does that look like for people who are interested in acquiring your services?
SW: At the moment, there is no recruiting process. It is formally word of mouth.
LR: Your program offers a few scholarships. The scholarship that stood out to me the most because it’s a “non-traditional” one, was the James Smiles Entrepreneurship Scholarship for Future Business Owners. How does this scholarship equate to applicant’s vs the Sports Division and Performing Arts Division scholarships?
SW: We, Urban Not Average, use a holistic approach in assisting young, talented youths as they work towards finding their purpose in life. We created a scholarship division in various areas to target their dreams and not just sports. Developing plans A, B, and C helps students have multiple visions of the world and not just what has surrounded them. In this day and age, many past and current generations have waited until their late 30’s, 40’s and 50’s to start a new career in what they acquire at having a high level of passion. The James Smiles Entrepreneurship Scholarship allows the students to dream, at an early age, of a bigger perspective of life choices outside of the traditional Doctor, Dentist, Lawyer & Peace Officer careers. Having a network of local businesses and retailers throughout the county of Los Angeles who will donate in-kind services, products, and/or cash grants and sponsorship to support our services is a plus.
LR: Boss Summit 2021 X is scheduled. Tell us a little bit about it and how other Boss Women can get involved.
SW: Boss 2020 & 2021 has been and will continue to be a joyous humanitarian experience for entrepreneurial women. A Bossed-out experience is a ravishing event where women around the world can share stories, be mentored and network while building an empire. BOSS Summit 2021 will have several empowered workshops, masterclasses, first-class catering, social activities, private spa treatments & more. Inside the Boss Summit 2021, it will feature 15 luxurious bedrooms, 17 full bathrooms, six half bathrooms, a multi-level pool, and a spa. For four days, women will learn about Business Licensing & Trademarking, Web & Graphic Design, Branding & Marketing, Business Taxes & Non-Profit Information as well as Insurance. Other Boss Women can be attentive to Urban Not Average & Boss Summit social media outlets for upcoming events and opportunities. For the highlights of this event is a portal to success for today and tomorrow entrepreneurial women.
LR: Your husband played a prominent role in wanting to secure the futures of athletes in Urban communities. His legacy lives on in the work that you and your team of Boss Women continue doing daily. Finally, if you could describe Urban Not Average in one word, what would it be and why?
SW: Urban Not Average can be wrapped up in one word, Benevolent The reason being is because our goals are to provide compassionate philanthropic services provide support for Student athletes and families nationwide. By providing the following resources and support vitally needed for them to focus and excel, UNA wants to help student athletes reach their goals :
-Academic Advising and School Schedule Coordination
-Financial Support – competition, family support, & scholarships
-Mentoring – Nutrition, Health and Mental Wellness Support
-College Prep Support
By allowing student athletes to utilize these resources, UNA helps to facilitate more youths involved with activities and keep them off the street, help them gain lifelong skills such as sportsmanship and friendship, allow the student to witness and understand that sports are a diverse game and mainly help them learn and understand the concept of team at an early age.