Spotlight on Shamell Wagstaff

| January 27, 2017
Jeanie Summerville

Jeanie Summerville

A lesson on perseverance and the importance of family support

By Jeanie Summerville

What’s up, babies?

On New Year’s Day, did you start it off the way you wanted and were you with whom you wanted to be? I sure was and I loved it and actually, I didn’t want the beauty to end because it was so special. This New Year’s Day was a day to celebrate the graduation of another Fort Wayne native from college and we’re all so proud of her and her accomplishments. Not only that, she wants to encourage other young people so they too can open doors for themselves by not giving up. So at this time all we’d like for you to do is just sit back, relax and feel the love:

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Shamell Wagstaff and I was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I graduated from Wayne High School class of 2012 but I was one of those students that attended Elmhurst High School before they closed and played girls basketball, went to State in my freshman year, won and got a ring. That was a great experience and I would have loved to experience it again but it didn’t happen. Now, I’m a graduate of Indiana State University with my Bachelor degree in information technology, which is a mixture of hardware/software with computer engineering. I chose this field because I like working with computers and I’d like to work in a hospital and help with their computer systems but my dream job is to work at Google and we’ll see where that goes.

Shamell Wagstaff

Shamell Wagstaff

“I’m very proud of my accomplishments and I had a lot of support from my family. I also had a baby in my senior year of college and I got a lot of support with her too. Everybody really came through for me when I needed them and I appreciated that and them. So if you want to further your education you can do it too but it may get hard sometimes but when it does, you got to keep pushin and never give up. You must also have a good support system for yourself whether it’s family, friends, mentors or teachers and success will come eventually.”

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Carmella Norfleet and I’m Shamell’s mother. I’m very proud of my daughter and I feel as though I’ve accomplished something as well because I’m so excited for her. She has accomplished her second goal, the first being graduating from high school. I feel, I had a lot to do with her success because I know how it can be when you’re in college, since I’m a college graduate as well and so, I pushed her and pushed her. I also told her, there’s no other choice but to graduate from college and now, since she’s done that, I’m pushing her to get her Masters.

“I’d like to encourage other single mothers or if, there’s two parents in the home, constantly push forward and support your child or children because they need a lot of positive support if they want to go to college and graduate. No matter how hard it may be, keep pushing forward and don’t look back. Do a lot of praying on your knees and pray hard. And, be their number one fan because I’m Shamell’s number one fan and I support her in everything she does. She’s my oldest child, I also have a daughter that’s 16 years old and twin boys that are 12 and I’m looking forward to pushing them to graduate and go to college as well and it can be fun and exciting when you’re working together.”

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Claudia Marie Norfleet and I’m Shamell’s grandmother. I’m really ecstatic about her graduating from college and it feels fantastic! I am a proud grandmother because I know it takes a village to raise a child and it took this family together with everybody’s input from mama on down. I’m just grateful that I had it in my mind when Shamell was born that, she was going to be a part of the generation of the graduates because her mother Carmella graduated from college, as well as her uncles Roosevelt, Ryan and Reggie and so I’m pretty proud.

“When I saw my oldest child Carmella working so hard while in college, I just knew this was going to be a family tradition and with traditions, it involves that perseverance to be motivated from childhood. Because when you’ve raised your children to know and to think, they’re going to be what the Lord has for them to be, it’s already in the mindset. Like it says in Jeremiah 29:11, ‘I know the plans that I have for you and, the plans are not to harm you but plans for you to prosper and be of good health’ and so, it’s all in the Lord’s plan and I’m just so proud just to know that, God worked it all for Shamell’s good (Romans 8:28).

“My encouraging words to parents, remember God is always number one and never give up. Know within your mindset, the plans that God has and that’s to instill in that child that they are precious and they have the empowerment of the Holy Spirit so their life can stay focused and always keep your child involved in positive things and never ever let them give up. The word says, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ and knowing the power of God that’s a mighty power.

“So, I encourage mothers who are struggling, just keep your eye on the prize and keep that child knowing that they are important and to always elevate them no matter what because we all have down times. But elevate them, follow them, be with them, support them and encourage them do whatever God has inspired you to do with them and you can do it. Be encouraged by a loved one, others, teachers and make sure that you’re involved from kindergarten on up no matter how tired you get.”

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Emma L. Summerville and I’m Shamell’s great grandmother. Shamell, I’m so proud of you for graduating from college so you can be successful in life and I’m also proud of you for being a good mother. I’m also very proud of your mother, my granddaughter Carmella for encouraging you and for her being a college graduate and a Nurse. I’m so proud of my daughter Claudia for being a great mother, a great grandmother and a great daughter. I’m very proud of all my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, great, great grandchildren and I’m happy to still be alive to be here for all of you.” 

Now in closing I say, great job Shamell and let me know when you have your interview with Google. I’m so proud of you, Carmella, Claudia and Mama too. Spread the Love because as a mother, we may have children but all of those children, only has one mother. So until next week you’ve been Up Close with Jeanie. Bye bye, babies.

P.S. If you’d like The Spotlight shined upon you or someone you know, in the name of love, send me an email to I’d love to hear from you.

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Category: Community, Education, Features, Local, People

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