Kimberly V Marshall, aka The Closet Conservative
Conservative, Patriot, Grandmother, Entrepreneur-in-Training
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I was a married but separated mother of three small children and a lifelong democrat when I converted to Christianity. Life had taken its toll from a series of bad decisions that left me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually destitute. I realized that I had to change or be destroyed. Meeting Christ and the love of my children were the catalyst to my conversion to Conservatism and a total change in my value system.
I began paying attention to politics and researching American History. I soon learned that my new values did not line up with my old values. In 2000, during a stomp speech, George Bush said, “We have to get rid of the soft racism of low expectations”. That one quote made my conservative conversion complete. I have not looked back since. However, I was in the minority with my new views, even among many Christians not to mention my family thought I was crazy. I stayed in the closet to avoid conflict. Fast forward to 2015, with Donald Trump’s campaign for president and the #WalkAway movement thrust in the limelight, I was willing to come out of the closet. I always say it is harder to come out as a black conservative than a gay person. But here I am.
I discovered a passion for teaching during my stint as a substitute teacher in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System. I carry that passion into my current profession as a life insurance agent. I conduct life insurance educational workshops at churches. I coach and train life insurance agents. And I help entrepreneurs protect their business with life insurance.
My greatest joy is being the grandmother to Karson, Leo, Dalven Jr., and Donovan. Surviving breast cancer strengthens my faith in the creator and helps me realize that I have a purpose during my brief time on earth. God’s calling prompts me to be vocal about values and views that make America great. The Closet Conservative is my small way to make a difference.
Kimberly Marshall aka The Closet Conservative
Victoria Thomas-Ramos is an educator, an innovator and an inspiration to all. A lifelong native of New York City, Ms. Thomas-Ramos comes from a tight-knit family of nine children. She attended New York City public schools, graduating from Jamaica High School in 1984. An Alumnus of Nyack College, she received her degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2005, setting the path for her to become a special education teacher with the Board of Education.
While working with the Department of Education, Ms. Thomas-Ramos crossed paths with Captain Obadiah Baker who is the founder and president of Tender Hearts Crusades. Captain Baker pitched the idea to start a nonprofit organization that directs its attention toward community involvement. Inspired by his vision, Ms. Thomas-Ramos took his idea and expanded it to include at-risk youth from ages 8 to15 in the areas of tutorials, mentorship, arts and music, CPR training, and certified educational workshops. Under Ms. Thomas-Ramos’ guidance, these services are geared toward parents with children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and autism, along with recreational activities, parent support groups, and outreach through community involvement in Queens County.
The fusion of Tender Hearts Crusades came to fruition in December 2009 when Tender Hearts Crusades was incorporated and later received tax-exempt status.
However, Ms. Thomas-Ramos’ initiative did not stop there. Captain Baker and Ms. Thomas-Ramos decided to further their organization abroad, and in August 2011 Tender Hearts Crusades officially became an international government organization with its first project in Afghanistan, where the Tender Hearts Crusades founder is serving.
As Tender Hearts Crusades expands and grows, Ms. Thomas-Ramos is involved with every step the organization takes. She is right there staying true to her organization’s mission to bridge the gap between school and community.
Ms. Thomas-Ramos’ sense of compassion and dedication and her call to serve are what make her an inspiration to all.
Victoria Thomas-Ramos was selected as a 2012 Woman of Distinction by Senator Makolm A. Smith.