Today we’d like to introduce you to Eraina Ferguson.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Eraina. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
Almost 20 years ago, I gave birth to a baby girl named Taylor. At the time, I was a 20-year-old sophomore in college. Despite her diagnosis of deafness, I was determined for us to build a good life. When she was three years old, I moved to New York City to become an NYC Teaching Fellow. After teaching in East New York Brooklyn by day and graduate school by night, I decided to move to Boston to attend Boston College.
There I received my Master’s in Education, in order to become the best advocate for Taylor, who by this time had received a diagnosis of Autism. My time at Boston College was amazing, and I developed a passion for academia. In hopes to one day get a doctorate, I took the train to New Haven, Connecticut where I fell in love with Yale, and enrolled in 2008 for my second Master’s Degree in Religion, with a focus in Black Religion and African Diaspora.
In 2010, I started a blog in my dorm room at Yale called Good Life. It highlighted the everyday good things that were happening in my life despite raising a deaf and autistic daughter. After Yale, I moved to downtown New Haven and opened a consulting business called Good Life. Soon after, I reconnected with my amazing husband, a guy from high school and moved to Chicago to get married.
In 2013, he accepted a position at Team Rubicon, the #1 disaster relief organization that utilizes veterans. He built their training department from scratch, and now is a full-time Consultant for Constant Associates. We’ve had three children together in the last five years. After serving as a contributor to over ten digital media platforms over the last seven years, I built My Good Life as a media platform which gives wellness content to parents of special needs children.
My Good Life is also a 501c3, and gives self-care opportunities to parents of special needs children through our monthly Meetups. We recently received makeovers at Sephora through the Class for Confidence Class. On Saturday, March 16th actress Marla Gibbs read my monologue at the WACO Theater Center in NoHo that I wrote for the 50in50 project. It was amazing. My Good Life recently presented our project at SXSW’s Wellness Expo and gave a presentation at Conscious Conversations.
I am excited about the release of my book My Good Life, in late May, and I am grateful for the opportunity to impact the lives of special needs families through wellness and self-care. My book will be published by Elm Hill Press, a component of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. To learn more, check out www.mygoodlifenow.org
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not always been a smooth road. I’ve had to advocate for Taylor along the way while raising her on my own for twelve years. As a single mom attending an Ivy League University, I was blessed with tons of resources and opportunities to thrive. Along the way, especially at Yale, I had to seek mental health counseling to make sure that I was practicing self-care.
In the beginning, as a toddler and throughout the years when I was a single mom, Taylor did not sleep all night. I had to manage our lives with minimal sleep, and still produce the same as my peers. It’s not fair, but it’s life. After getting married, I had to navigate being a stay at home mom while supporting my husband’s ambitions of building his career. Many times, my dreams were placed on hold, and I was very deliberate about building while I waited.
I took coding classes through Women Can Code, attending tech conferences, and learned the Lean Startup Method of building a business. I also volunteered alot through my Yale Alumni Network through each city we lived in. I co-chaired a committee that creates a Yale Tech Conference for urban youth in Dallas. I’ve also led 5 Yale Day of Services throughout the country.
Last year, Taylor had ten seizures, as we navigated the health system to find the right medication for her. She graduated from South High School in Torrance, CA last year and we are so proud of the progress she’s made.
I live a life of deliberate self-care and wellness because I have to in order to be a good mom and wife. I’ve had to build a team of people that believe in my mission and have a desire to create wellness for families of special needs children.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
My Good Life is a digital media platform for parents of special needs children. We are committed to giving families with special needs children resources to help them live a good life despite their reality.
We are known for our monthly Meetup where we give away self-care and wellness experiences and items. I am most proud of our relationships that we are building on a monthly basis. I love it when parents tell me that they are invested in their lives and their wellness.
What sets us apart? Our content. We believe that there is a niche for parents of special needs children as consumers of positive and important content that serves their lives. This sets us apart from other digital platforms that paint the lives of special needs families as sad or pitiful. We want to empower families through content that changes their narrative.
What were you like growing up?
Growing up I was always very deliberate about my thoughts and actions. I grew up in a regimented and strict household. I felt safe and loved because of our routine and parameters. I think this prepared me for life. I entered the military as soon as I turned 16. My decision to join the National Guard like my dad, and become a 71L, which is an administrative assistant.
My parents signed the waiver, and after my 17th birthday, I went to basic training during the summer of my junior year of high school. This laid the platform for my personality too, because before I turned 18, and while I was still in high school, I became equipped with tools to succeed.
Deliberate and focused decisions have always been a part of my palette. I also LOVED cheerleading. I continue to cheer for my close friends, family, and even strangers; encouraging them to follow their dreams and be amazing, no matter the circumstances.
- Website: www.mygoodlifenow.org
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mygoodlifenow/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thegoodliferaina/
- Other: https://www.classy.org/give/226696/#!/donation/checkout
Mallory Harris – https://www.betterlenzsphotos.com/