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Meet Roshanda Casteel of De’vine Sisterhood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Roshanda Casteel.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Roshanda. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I had the vision to start this nonprofit organization after going through devastation and trauma eight years ago when finding out my husband was diagnosed with bipolar schizophrenia, and kidney disease which left him on dialysis and blind. This was a horrible experience for my children and myself. At that time, I was a single mother of three children with no outlet looking for a support system. I started to attend church and try to establish a better relationship with God so I can find my purpose and to get clarity. As time went on, I noticed the needs of the women in my community were different but we all shared the common dilemma of going through tragic situations with our children and we all needed a positive outlet. So, I started sisterhood meetings which were held every month at my house. Us single mothers would talk about different topics as far as trauma, abuse, mental health, and parenting regarding our own situations.

As time went on, I begin to obtain more clarity and direction for the nonprofit organization.  After two years, our nonprofit organization currently offers five different programs to service the needs of the families in the community:

  •   Family Counseling – wellness program focusing on mental health in the area of trauma, anxiety, and suicide within the family.
  •   Amazing Me – an awareness and support program for young girls between the age of 8 -17, who has experienced molestation and suffers from trauma. This program also provides awareness in personal hygiene, goal setting, and financial planning.
  •   Brother to Brother – mentoring program where we pair up young men in our community between the ages of 8 – 17 with a mentor in the field that they desire to become professionals.
  •   Total Woman Experience – monthly meeting of women who are experiencing trauma, low self-esteem, suicidal, depression, and anxiety.
  •   Fresh start – this program teaches parenting and fatherhood skills, job seeking skills, help with resumes writing, job placement, and housing.

Has it been a smooth road?
It has most definitely not been a smooth ride. Most people do not like to embrace the topics we address. It has been very challenging to find a team, and we must be very strategic in finding the best way to get buy-ins because this topic is very sensitive. There have been moments where I have taken a step back, even two or three steps back. But those steps have been very beneficial because it allowed me to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate what it is that the community really needs so we can better serve them. Even though this journey has not been easy I wouldn’t trade it for the world my passion is to help families overcome trauma fears and self-doubt.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with De’vine Sisterhood – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Over the past 2 years, Divine Sisterhood has serviced over 5000 people by means of going to shelters, providing workshops for our young girls ages 8-17, providing mentorship for our young boys ages 8-17, and the women and men within in our community. Divine Sisterhood is a nonprofit organization dedicated to help the families in our communities and we are known as a family wellness organization. Our goal is to make sure the family is Healthy (Mind, Body, and Soul) so they can be able to be productive in society and move forward from trauma.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love the fact that my city is so diverse and have many different cultures. This promotes diverse approaches to dealing with trauma. Everyone seems to be open for change and want to figure out how they can overcome trauma so they can become better in every aspects of their family lives.

The things that I dislike about the city is there is not enough support I would say when it comes to leadership on these issues. The topics we support are very traumatic and very serious and they can’t go unrecognized because mental health is one of the leading reasons why a lot of crime in misunderstood or occurs.

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Image Credit:
Roshanda Casteel

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