Shana Gourdine: I would say it all started at the age of 9 but really took form by 12. I have a love and passion for putting words on paper that make others smile while feeling empowered and motivated.
Jason Bourne: Most children are more enamored by TV not so much reading books. I know that must've felt different.
Shana Gourdine: Yes I can agree. (Giggles). A lot kids do love television, but I guess I was different and I am thankful for that. Kids like to be stimulated, if you can stimulate them with literature, I believe they will follow. It is all about keeping them interested.
Jason Bourne: How were you academically ? Do you feel that passion for reading gave you an advantage in the classroom ?
Shana Gourdine: I was an honor roll student in high school and my college years .Yes I do feel it gave me an advantage in classroom. I actually loved school. How many people have you heard say that? In elementary I went to summer school to do enrichment programs, in high school, I went to a math and science program on a college campus for the summer. Education was everything to me.
Jason Bourne: You are from a small town - were you ever hesitant about dreaming big?
Shana Gourdine: Yes I am from very small town in South Carolina. When I think about it I would have to say that no I was never hesitant about dreaming big. I was always taught that you can be whatever you want to be. I was inspired to work hard and let my goals come to pass.
Jason Bourne: You went on to college in state; Morris College is a religious institution correct?
Shana Gourdine: Yes Morris College is a religious institution and a Historical Black College as well. Shout out to all the HBCU alums.
Jason Bourne: You received a B.A in Sociology; what intrigued you that much about society?
Shana Gourdine: I was very intrigued about society and diversity in people and the differences in their behaviors. I was very observant as a child. I am until this day. I wanted to know more about how people thought and behaved. I like to help and listen to people, so it all made sense to me. Why not be able to help people understand themselves and also essentially I got to understand myself.
Jason Bourne: What prompted your eventual move to New York, and why Troy?
Shana Gourdine: I already had a part time job out here in Troy. I visited the summer before graduation. I guess ultimately I wanted a change of scenery and a bigger population of people than what I was accustomed to in my home town.
Jason Bourne: Shortly after came the greatest blessings, in motherhood; you are a mom to 2 lovely daughters. How did that change life?
Shana Gourdine: Becoming a mom changed me for the better. My daughters gave me another reason to be determined. It motivated me to follow and pursue my dream. My greatest purpose is as a role model to them.
Jason Bourne: Your professional career has afforded you many administrative opportunities at the supervisory level of course; when did the inspiration to write a book arise?
Shana Gourdine: My inspiration was life experience. I have dealt with some hard situations in my life. I was a victim of domestic violence. I was inspired to help people heal from their tribulations. I have dealt with depression, loneliness, anxiety, and lack of hope. Another motivation was to empower people to work on their wellness. I suffer from Fibromyalgia and I wanted to be a spokesperson for health and living healthy. I also have Ankylosing Spondylitis, and polycystic kidney disease. My life is a testimony to young kings and queens that you can do anything despite all odds. I live to inspire others to love themselves. You are not alone. You can make it after the storm. Just because you're given certain cards doesn't mean you have to lose, you play the hand you were dealt to win.
Jason Bourne: This year you have added actress to your resume; tell us about that.
Shana Gourdine: On February 23rd I put on my speaker hat. I was asked to tell my story about domestic violence. I was asked to open a show with my inspirational words. It all comes to fruition in a play titled "Secrets: The Eviction Notice" I dropped my mask in order to heal others from and strengthened them with the reality of my pain and survival. On June 29, 2019 "Secrets 2: Past Due " will be released and I will be on that stage again walking in my truth.