Category Archives: Education

A Conversation with Zahn Patin, Founder of Comprehensive Solutions Inc.

I grew up on the notorious west side of Chicago where walking down the street exposes you to random violence and stray bullets. There seems to be a race to death. Between gang pressures, the lure of drug life, and police brutality, a child’s path to success is riddled with societal landmines. I appreciate the “safe places” I had growing up. Church, Vacation Bible School, Upward Bound, and Metro Achievement Center for Girls, were all safe havens where I could focus on learning and developing as a young woman. These educators chose to affect the future of children out of an internal desire to see excellence thrive in the next generation.

Zahn Patin
Zahn Patin, founder of Comprehensive Solutions, Inc.

Zahn Patin is impacting the lives of students as a successful business woman and founder of the nonprofit Comprehensive Solutions, Inc.  Zahn’s program provides a unique approach to addressing the gap in traditional education and the skills needed for personal success in college or the employment field. It is a pleasure to introduce her you.

 

 

  1. What is your business and what unique value do you provide to your customers?

My business is Comprehensive Solutions Inc. and we are a non-profit organization founded to develop unique academic and social enrichment programs that serve students, parents, and educators.

We fill a gap for middle-class families who need academic support services normally only accessible to wealthy families or households with low-incomes. Our programs are focused on engaging students to explore their purpose and allow that purpose to guide their academic career as they pursue personal success.

What are you passionate about? How does your passion help you with your current business?

I used to think I was passionate about education, because I love to teach and learn, but now I would say I am passionate about helping people find the light. The light to me is a game-changer. The light means; truth, knowledge, and information–a formal recognition of power over one’s circumstance—emancipation.

My passion motivates me to create an environment where the light it is the priority. I aim to encourage staff and volunteers to be the light to the students who we serve. To be an example of love, patience, and joy so even if the kids don’t experience that in their home lives, they can see it in us. In my direct work with families, I try to empower parents to get involved and explore their child’s interests and further assist him or her along the path to find the light. When I get frustrated, I remind myself that God created out of love but He destroyed out of frustration. I try to let that truth guide me in my decision-making and business activities and operate out of love / light.

2. What are some of the unique challenges you face? What will you need to combat these challenges?

One of our biggest challenges is that we sell something that most American parents don’t think they need–education. Parents assume by virtue of school attendance, their kids are learning. They are unaware of policies designed to mislead them into thinking their child’s school education is adequate. So even with scholarships and financial assistance, getting parents to actually sign up and show up is a hurdle.

In order to combat this challenge, we have to educate parents on the harsh realities of the school system and its effects on their child’s status as a key stakeholder. In addition to advertising about these facts, our podcast, scheduled to launch in August, will address some of these topics and raise awareness so that we can reach more kids in the future.

3. How do define fear? How do you deal with fear?

Fear is a device designed to delay execution of purpose–usually, based on a lie. Also masked as logic, risk aversion, or having too many advisors.

I have learned that sometimes I have to jump up and do things immediately, before I talk myself out of it. I deal with fear by praying and reminding myself of God’s track record in my life. ‘I cast down anything that rises itself up against truth’ (God’s Word). I try to think about why I am afraid, and then address that issue specifically with the Word. It’s a process, but it’s gotten me this far.

4. What would you do/try if you are guaranteed to succeed?

That’s an interesting question. There are a few ideas unrelated to this business that I would love to be successful financially. Oddly, in this particular venture, I believe I am guaranteed to succeed but by unconventional metrics. In this business success is that all men be saved/shown the truth. In 2016, I wanted to launch summer camp but it fell apart for several reasons. I was devastated, embarrassed, and angry with God etc. I prayed and said, I know YOU told me to do this. Why didn’t YOU make it work? He said, you prayed to have no stain on the organization and the rental agreement/insurance would have caused a stain. I accepted that and moved on. Then God allowed me to learn that folks who’d attended the staff training were motivated and excited about their role to be the light in their classrooms and schools. Co-workers who I’d invited to fast and pray with me were like I haven’t prayed that much in years or I’ve never fasted before. I was like, Ahhh I see it. I recognized ‘the light’ at work and realized that it was never about me being ‘successful’ by traditional metrics; this was about His purpose prevailing. If I aim for that, I will be successful every time.

5. What message would you give your 18-year-old self that would prepare you for what you are doing today?

You have a very real enemy, but you have already won as long as you choose to fight. Do not doubt–your purpose is worth fighting for.

6. What new things do you have on the horizon?

As I continue to grow the non-profit organization, I am working on building up my consulting business, as well as some family businesses, and a video game. In the non-profit world I am excited about piloting the Ally program in the fall of 2018. It’s really the brainchild on which the organization was founded, and I think it will prove to be highly effective in its out-of-the box approach to nurturing intrinsic learning behaviors in elementary school students.

7. How can interested parties get in contact with you?

Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/zahn-patin-6993307/ and I’d be happy to exchange info there.

 

You can check out the foundation and summer camp at the links below:

Blues for Mr. Charlie – James Baldwin

I was going to go see Think Like A Man when I decided to do something a little more intellectually stimulating. I perused my email for event alerts and check out Art and Seek and find that SMU is performing a James Baldwin play. I recalled reading the play in college so I thought this may be interesting and it is only $13.00.

I was simply blown away. The caliber of production and acting was far above what I have seen in college productions. There were a couple of weak cast members but overall quite professional.

Above the production quality the story drama was shockingly relevant today. Let me backtrack a bit. Blues for Mr Charlie is about the killing of a young, cocky black man who comes back to the south after being "ruined" up North by a white man. The dialogue and character development are so layered. Baldwin gets into the psyche of his characters and the story develops into something more complex than the black versus the white side of things. A picture of Trayvon Martin hauntingly swung from a tree wrapped in newspaper headlines.

I cannot tell you how Think Like A Man ends. I have heard a thing or too about Michael Ealy and a seen with Taraji Henson and chocolate. lol I can tell you that I made the right entertainment choice and left the theater feeling a little more enlightened than when I came.

My Dear Readers . . .

Il y a longtemps que je t'aime/ Jamais je ne t'oublierai. . .

004

My Graduation Flowers and My Painting
 

But baby I'm back.

If you have been following my blog over the past few years, you have seen my struggle and progress.

The things I have prayed for years ago are now coming to fruition. I am learning to get my life in divine alignment and think in terms of eternity. *Courtesy of Bishop TD Jakes**

I happy to say that I am now an MBA graduate.  I am once again a published writer. I am writing for an MBA Association. It felt really goods to see my real name, lol, in a byline. I know good things are headed my way.

Approximately three years ago, Bishop Jakes preached a message that mentioned how three years of struggle can lead to a lifetime of breakthrough. I have been in Texas now exactly three years. I graduated last Friday. I am in my breakthrough season.

What is in store for me, my dear readers? You have to stay tuned to find out.

P.S. Expect some major changes to this blog. It's gonna blow your mind!!!!

If you love me, leave a comment!!! lol

As Graduation Approaches. . .

I am starting to see myself in the light of my future and I am eagerly anticipating what it holds for me. It seems these past few years in Texas has been fraught with many tests and trials. Through it all, I believe I am on purpose, in the will of God.

As I evolve, I am maturing in insight. I no longer see men as trees but as merely men. I have learned that I can cast my own life. Friends of the past are not necessarily going to be friends of the future. I deserve reciprocity of love, respect, and support. If we are not on the same page, the story will continue without you.

This is hard lesson for me. I have a habit of holding on to things and people for the sake of having something or someone to hold. I am so over it.

God is showing me how to open myself up to new relationships, friends, experiences that I would have been to timid to embark upon.

At this stage of my life, I am truly ready.

Oh yeah, I graduate next Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!This is a hallelujah moment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

High School, uh, Memories

I was over at Lyfe Simplified, it got me to thinking about my life since high school. I used to have this recurring dream, maybe I have shared it before. I would be sitting in a classroom taking an exam. All of  the students around me were young and supposed to be there. I, however, was the only one left of my graduating class. I was supposed to take this test and had no idea what it was about or why I was still there.

This dream really used to bother me and I shared it once with my brother. He said, "You have to stop being so hard on yourself. You're doing fine."

It was an epiphany for me. The secret of the dream revealed. I had long harbored this self-doubt that I really didn't belong in my gifted program with all of the rich kids who took Latin in like fifth grade. Yet I was there working twice as hard to make up for the public school deficit of my previous eight years.

I happened to run into one of my fellow high school alums on a Chicago bus once. She actually went to Princeton, freaking PRINCETON! Yet she was on the bus with me, disillusioned and slightly bitter. Gone was the happy-go-lucky nerd I had known in high school.

Truth is, life is complicated, period. Success is more than a great GPA, trust, I know.

Things that have helped me cope with OVER ACHIEVERS SYNDROME:

1. Throw away the TIME LINE you (I) created in eighth grade.

2. Give yourself a break. A lot of people would kill to be where you are now.

3. You have to keep that swagga you had in high school and move toward your dreams. IMHO. Turn your now into WOW.

Just a few things I have learned. Drop your advice in the comments.

After The Party Is The After Party

Chickenaccountant_2This summer intermester has been a paradoxical experience. On the one hand, I had the Operations Management class from the pit of Hades. This was the worst class of my graduate experience. I truly struggled from start to finish and I’m a bright girl. No really, I am. I skipped the fourth grade. LOL Anyway, I finished that class last week and barely squeaked out a C+. What kind of mediocre crap is that? I guess the plus means I am not relegated to the short yellow bus.

On the other hand, my Value Based Leadership class has been the best class of my graduate study so far. I currently have an A in that course. I like everything about this class; the professor, the students, and the assignments.

Why am I boring you with this mundaness? Well because it’s a curious observation and what else am I going to write about.

Tonight was our final class in VBL. The entire class went to Champs for drinks and repartee. I was REALLY hesitant about going. The last time I went out for dinner and drinks with colleagues, I ended up driving my drunken manager’s car so that she could drive my drunken co-worker home.*sidenote* I don’t drink and at the time did not have a driver’s license and could NOT drive. I will skip past the carrying the coworker up the stairs and the confrontation with her husband. This was my first week!

Tonight, I actually enjoyed myself. It was refreshing to see my classmates out of the classroom setting. Everyone was engaging and having a nice time. No one got drunk and I got to drive my own car home.

So what does all of this mean? I guess I have learned not let my past experiences dictate my future choices. Someone actually told me that tonight. I will make a conscious effort to be more gregarious. I will be sure to update you on how this turns out.   

Weathering Humiliation

I like to think that I am a pretty smart girl. After all I did skip the fourth grade.

Today, I learned how the other half lives.

I am sitting in class,  grateful for WIFI, so that I can write this post. I have just completed the most humiliating experience of my academic career, a group project that was a failure of EPIC proportions.

I am a pretty good BS-er but its difficult to sugar coat coming in dead last. Anyway, I didn't cry. Although, I noticed several students snickering as we concluded our presentation. And these are adults.

This is probably much ado about nothing to most of you but I HATE losing, I hate doing a bad job, and I hate doing all of this publicly.

Oh, well. There is still the final.

Pray for me !!!!

The Finish Line Is Closer

A few days ago I wrote about my horrible management operations class. Well to day is the bog presentation. After today, I have one week for the final and its all over!!!!!

I feel as though I have been neglecting my blog but this class is taking the wind out of my sails, but when it is over WOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!

Just wait.I have so many wonderful things to write and stories to tell. Check back for the updates!!!

I Can Almost See The Finish Line

Finish_line Ever have a class that you can’t wait to be done with. I mean a class that is soo boring, challenging, so unrelated to your field that you would do anything for it just to be over with.

I am in that course. It’s Operations Management, a supposed intro course, whose professor thinks it’s the most important class in the universe. The killing part is, I am a good student. I have a great GPA. It’s just this darn class. Argggh!!!!

I know I could have studied more and paid attention to those long monotone 3.5 hours lectures but Chinese torture is preferable.

Thank God it’s almost over. Two weeks and counting. I can almost see the finish line. 

I Have Been A Student A Long, Long Time

When is enough, ENOUGH!

I left undergrad with the wind on my shoulders feeling I had reached the mountain top. Then I moved back home.

I found the job market to be tough and ended up making $7/hr working for a museum. I later moved into the wonderful world of banking and thought, "Surely, I have arrived." NOT!

I found the banking setting to be rigid and BORING. Tallulah Zoe Apple could not envision living her life working 60 hour weeks and hating every minute of it.

So what’s an Apple to do…Yes Go BACK to school.

I have been completing my MBA for about 3 years now and I am tired. I feel like my entire life has been in a classroom.  What’s worst is that I have worked in industries where the GED reigns supreme.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not an elitist by any means. If I had known I could become a bank manager with a mail in certificate, I would have saved myself thousands of dollars and tons of mental anguish.

Anyway, what’s Tallulah Zoe Apple to do. Ah, that’s right start a blog and rant about it.

If you share my frustrations. Let me know.