This post was written by VoyageMIA: http://voyagemia.com/interview/meet-abraham-sculley-speaks2inspire-pensacola-fl/
Today we’d like to introduce you to Abraham Sculley.
Abraham, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up as the second oldest of four siblings (now 7), it was normal for me to take the responsibility of being a positive role model, and mentor to my younger siblings. I always made myself available for them because I felt that it was my duty as a big brother and I loved the feeling that I got from it! As I got older, I found myself seeking out opportunities to continue to be that positive influence for people outside of my immediate family and it became fuel for the passion that I brought into every area of my life.
In 2014, I graduated from high school in Pembroke Pines, FL and moved to Pensacola, FL for college two months later. I was extremely excited about the new journey that was ahead of me, and I was clueless about what to expect. If I would use two words to describe myself during that time, I’d say that I was Humble and Hungry!
I knew exactly what I wanted to study (Information Technology), I knew exactly how long it would take me to graduate, and I knew exactly how much money I was going to make with my new college degree. So I thought. I forgot to factor in all of the challenges and adjustments that I would need to make as a college student who has never been to college before.
To sum up my first semester as a college freshman, I worked two jobs to pay rent for my new apartment, I took 16 credit hours, I attended as many school events as I could, and I barely slept. It wasn’t long before I became overwhelmed with stress and started to lose that motivation and drive that I started the school year with.
At the time, I felt the effects of stress, but I ignored it because I thought it was a part of the college student experience.
Ignoring my thoughts and feelings quickly turned into isolating myself, and that’s when things began to spiral out of control. It became the norm for me to miss classes and sleep in all day, I called out of work, and I turned down every opportunity to go out with friends. I knew something was wrong with me, but I could not clearly articulate what was going on and so I continued to isolate and harbor my negative thoughts and feelings towards myself.
One afternoon while I was at my apartment, I got a call from a good friend who was concerned about the shift that she saw in my behavior. She noticed that I hadn’t been myself lately, and she called to check up on me. During our conversation, I gave surface-level responses to all of her questions and I was determined to keep my issues to myself. I felt that if I told her what was going on then she would think that I was soft and that I was making excuses. My friend saw right through all my lame responses, and simply said to me, “I’m not getting off of the phone until you tell me what’s going on.”
To make a long story short, I opened up to my friend that day about how I was feeling and she recommended that I see a counselor on campus. I later found out that I was suffering from Major Depressive Disorder and I started my journey towards getting well and prioritizing my mental health.
Through conversations, I found that, like me, other students on my campus were suffering in silence. The truth was that we all were going through similar struggles and we all felt like we were alone. With my own experience having to overcome the stigma of mental health, I made it my mission to do something about this problem. That desire is what birthed Speaks2Inspire and all that I am doing now to encourage the conversation around mental health and eradicate the stigma of mental illness.
This journey has been one of the biggest challenges that I have ever faced in my life, and it has also been my greatest opportunity. Battling with my mental health and working through my challenges has given me a deeper sense of self-awareness and a greater level of empathy and compassion for those who I work with and interact with daily.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I don’t think smooth roads exist, and I’m glad that I haven’t found any because these rough roads force me to grow and constantly assess where I am and where I am going. For me, some of my struggles have come from chasing this idea of perfection and not having the patience for my business to grow and develop.
One of my mentors has a phrase that he tells me all the time. “Hurry up and slow down.” As I continue to grow, I also learn that building my business is not so much about the destination as it is about the process. Although I need to have goals for my business and targets that I want to hit, I am much more excited about what I learn during the process of achieving my goals.
Please tell us about your business.
Speaks2Inspire is a lifestyle brand inspiring millennials to share their mental health stories and promote mental health awareness. I am a mental health speaker and advocate and I do most of my work in colleges and universities. I specialize in educating students, faculty and staff about mental health and teaching them to “Unlearn The Lies” surrounding mental health and mental illness. I am known for inspiring others to be transparent about their mental health, and for making mental health fun!
Along with speaking, I also offer one on one coaching for individuals who are motivated to change but need direction and guidance to make the necessary steps to improve their overall health and well being. I also have a group coaching program that is specifically designed for men in college who desire to grow and develop in the areas of their mind, health, relationships, and wealth.
I am most proud of the growth that I’ve seen in the individuals that I have worked with over time. I think what sets me apart from others is that I share and coach from my lived experiences. I am honest open and transparent about my life and I am always ready to sit with you in your mess and push you to grow through it.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I would not be where I am today without resilience. I define resilience as the ability to bounce back from adversity. My successes have come from the relentless attitude of always bouncing back. When the option to quit is no longer an option, you are forced to come up with a creative solution.