Versiti - S2: Episode 1: Survivor to Thrivor | Stand Out From the Inside Podcast Series | Versiti

Survivor to Thrivor

This podcast episode of “Stand Out from the Inside” features Candace Sanchez. She went from being lost to motivational speaker. She inspires others to share their truth, to talk about taboo topics, to promote healing. From abuse to empty nest syndrome to career change, her experience helps so many others own their past to define their future.

Guest: Candace Sanchez

About Our Host:

Edgar Daggett born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI. He currently serves as the Specialty Programs Marketing Associate at Versiti Blood Centers, where he focuses on direct involvement and campaign management on specialty products and diverse groups. Past family experience inspired him to begin his journey at Versiti in 2020. He knew that the need for diverse units was growing year to year, and because of his personal history, he decided to make the change – and help make a change.

Through the Stand Out From the Inside podcast, he hopes to empower new and bright individuals in his community and beyond to spread the word on the need for diverse blood products through donation and blood drives.  

“I hope you all enjoy the Stand Out from the Inside podcast presented by Versiti, where we talk about the needs of the community and ways we can become stronger!”

About - Podcast Show Series

STAND OUT FROM THE INSIDE presented by Versiti is a podcast where—we recognize community with light, uniqueness, and identity. Edgar Daggett will talk with individuals to celebrate ethnicity and blood type — it is part of our survival. Because within our communities, we have attributes that we give and serve in our community. This is a fresh podcast that will give voice to diversity and inspiration. We will promote strength, trust, caring, inclusivity, and positivity. And will go deep on the lifesaving impact of blood donation. How do you Stand Out from the Inside?

Download Transcript

Edgar: Welcome to the Stand Out from the Inside podcast presented by Versiti. I'm your host Edgar Daggett. And we are back with season two! Super excited about this season. Super excited to meet some amazing members of the community who are standing out from the inside. If you didn't catch season one, go back, go to all the platforms where you can visit the many podcasts. Hit the hit the search button Stand Out from the Inside. And catch up on all of the favorite episodes of [00:01:00] season one. You know, I'm super excited about this season and we're going to meet some amazing people, amazing community members, amazing individuals who are finding light, being unique in their communities and finding new ways to get all of their friends or family, the community members involved; you know, and that's the point of this podcast. We're here to shine a light on all of those amazing people. You know, here at Versiti blood centers, we are doing amazing things, you know, around the world blood — around the world that isn't blood — and how we can be, you know, how can we all work together to make our community amazing. But you know, this podcast is not only about Versiti, not only about, you know, donating blood, being a host if you can't donate blood, but also finding new ways to be out there; to be part of that community; to stand out. And as the first guest of season two, we have not only a motivational speaker and author — [00:02:00] a person who literally started from the bottom, began her career as a receptionist and has worked her way up through the IT department. And also has a podcast herself. She is based out of Wisconsin. Please welcome to the Stand Out from the Inside podcast, Candace Sanchez.
Candace: Oh, thank you, Edgar. What a great introduction! Thank you so much. I really truly appreciate the opportunity to be here today.
Edgar: Thank you so much for joining. You know, again, this is all about highlighting those individuals and you're one of those individuals that has stood out, you know, are making a difference in your own community. And it's amazing to hear your story and I'm, and I can't wait for everyone who's watching and listening to this platform to hear your stories. So, you know, can't wait to dig in, but let us know a little bit about yourself, you know, who is Candace Sanchez? You know, what's new, what's happening?
Candace: Sure. So, you know, Candace Sanchez born and [00:03:00] raised in Racine, Wisconsin. Moved to Oak Creek, though, that was an area than Franklin. And now I've resided in Milwaukee here. You know, I come from humble beginnings, I like to say. And I also like to say, “I'm not the Jack of all trades. I'm the Jill of all trades.” By day, I'm a healthcare IT professional. I'm a director with Advocate Aurora Health. So I've been in the healthcare industry, healthcare operations, IT space combined total 30 plus years. I pretty much grew up in health care operations and then IT. And then I also have an entrepreneur spirit.  I'm an author of my own book titled Unspoken. I am a podcast host of my own show titled Unspoken Conversations with Candace. I am a life coach. So anyone needing personal professional development or any survivors of trauma, I'm also a life coach to those individuals. And then yes, I do motivational speaking, keynote speaking whenever I possibly can, whether it's related to [00:04:00] IT, STEM, promoting higher education... Like I said, Jill of all trades right here. I like to get my hands on everything. I'm a servant leader as well. I give back to the community that I grew up in. I'm the vice-president currently of the Por La Gente Association out of Racine. It's a nonprofit organization that we have fundraising events to promote scholarships for Hispanic youth. So, you know, at a very young age, my mom instilled that giving back; serving others, it'll come back to you 10 fold or a thousand fold. You'll be blessed upon blessings when you give to others. So servant leadership was instilled at a very young age for me.

Edgar: That's a mouthful. Holy crap. That's a lot, that's a lot, but that's so much of amazing work that you're doing and, you know, just to dig into it. So what is it like, what is it like juggling all these different heads and tasks, like what is that like? What's a day in the life of [00:05:00] Candace?
Candace: Wow. So, you know, you wake up. And the first thing I do is I pull out my devotionals. I have been to be honest, studying the Book of Proverbs these last 20 days in May. And I've been, you know, I'm, I was rooted in my faith from a very young age, you know, born and raised Catholic. But I just promote the fact that if you have some sort of spiritual guidance. You believe in the Creator or the Holy One, whatever your faith-based might be. For me, it's just always been, you know, it gives me a sense of the community. So I always start my day off with a scripture — with prayer. You know, and reflecting and waking up with a positive attitude. It's a mindset. Right? And so every day, Edgar, I have— so today is Friday: it's faithful, fantastic, Friday; tomorrow, super Saturday; Sunday is spiritual Sunday; and then motivational Monday; terrific Tuesday; winning Wednesday; and thankful Thursday. So I'm all about waking up with a positive mindset, but by day, like I said, I work in my healthcare profession, working on IT projects, connecting care to communities that we serve that [00:06:00] don't have access to care. And then, like I said, by night I do all of my, I call it my side hustles, but my entrepreneurial spirit comes out at night. That's where I'm working on my book and my podcast, and really just promoting you know, helping to inspire and encourage others in their truth.

Edgar: Wow. That's amazing. So to start off, have you always had an interest in IT?
Candace: Actually, you know, when I was 19, I entered the workforce in order to support my family. I had two daughters by the time I was 19. And so I was a single mom and I entered healthcare basically just to have a job. I was collecting a paycheck. That that was the mindset I had back when I was 19. But little did I know that being in healthcare, it would shape me into the professional that I am today. And I was working as a receptionist for department doctors, way back when; Kurt Medical Group Racine, Wisconsin, and I was [00:07:00] working 20 hours without benefits. You know, at that time it was just very casual part-time basis. And then I realized they had a full-time position available. And then I got into being a data analytics clerk, kind of patient registration. And then that's where I kinda got the knack for computers. I started to understand the importance of entering a person's insurance card and how that affected the revenue cycle on the backend. So, my billers were really my key trainers, I should say. And they helped me to understand the impact of revenue cycle, insurance payers, what did that mean for the organization and the healthcare system that I worked for; and really that's where the seed was planted. I kept digging and asking questions about, well, “how come the system can't do this and how come the system can't do that?” And then, my career grew. I went into the managed care department and I was in managed care for at least 10 plus years. And then I had my chance to cross over to the quote unquote dark [00:08:00] side of IT. Once I got into IT, I basically, it was a blessing because I could talk the talk and walk the walk. I wasn't talking technical to the people in operations. I was actually, I could understand the business need that they had. And I could translate it. So if they needed a report or they needed a schedule or they needed something out of the system, I was able to kind of navigate that a little bit easier because I wasn't talking to all the technical. But then that was my drive to go back to school. I went back and got my bachelor's degree — bachelor's of science and information technology. I graduated, I was 33 going back to college. I couldn't promote college if I didn't go to college myself, to my daughters, I wanted to be that role model. And then the rest is history. I went back, you know, in 2000, I got my MBA in 2014 and throughout my healthcare, IT like crossing over to the quote unquote dark side; I really wanted, I had my, my purpose, I felt was I wanted to lead a team. I wanted to be a manager [00:09:00] and I had finally landed a tech services manager role. I led a team of 28 and then I got promoted within 11 months to be in a director position. So that's pretty much how I feel like I climbed that corporate ladder of success. But again, I believe in “it takes a village.” I had a lot of good mentors and coaches throughout that journey that helped guide and shape me and mentor me to get to where I am today.

Edgar: Wow. That's amazing. So who were those mentors? Like? Who were they to you? Was it— and who motivated you? Was it your children? You know, being a single mother, a lot of people just like, okay, they hear it and it grows and more, grows more and more. But it's difficult. You know, you have so many things to balance. You want to provide an amazing life, quality of life for your children. And especially for you that had a, had a job, you know, you have to take care, that's hard. But what [00:10:00] does that mean to you as a that was a single mother, who is a mother, like, what does that mean to you?
Candace: Well, you know, my mom, she, like I said, she was my, she was my first... She was the person that I think inspired me the most, my mom. Right? She gave me my foundation. She, my mom was always driven. She was always passionate. Her work, her work ethic. And if it wasn't for my mom supporting me and my girls, like she was kind of like my secondary income. I hate to say it. She worked at the post office. She quit her secretarial job to go work at the post office so that she could help to help support the gaps that I might've had. So, you know, kudos to my mom. But I think when I think about my health care profession and just growing professionally, it was people that were on my teams. So there was always someone that I looked up to on my teams that was either, you know, a seasoned analyst. It was the leaders. When people leave an imprint on you professionally, you carry that with you. You know, Tim Bellack, he's the first one that gave me my chance. He was like, “we're going to do a trial run and have you be the manager,” but within 30, 45 days, he's like, “you're the one for the job, Candace. I can't deny you this position,” you know? So I remember names because they were important to my, to my development personally and professionally. So I give credit to those and then I remember crossing well, when I had to leave tenure, 29 years of tenure at one organization for anyone who's listening and you have to start over, like, you have to leave your current position because you get, you know, with healthcare, everything is transforming. So organizations that transform, maybe they're going to cut positions, or you have to reapply for your job, or, you know, things are going to shift and change. You either pivot, either update that [00:12:00] resume, or you prepare for plan B, plan C, plan D, plan E. And that's what I did. I had to kind of really look at what I needed to do to pivot. And I left 29 years of tenure and I started over with another organization, so it can be done. And I just had to take that leap of faith. And know that I have the right skills and mindset to start over. You know, everyone says the grass isn't greener on the other side, but you know what I believe? I believe it depends on how you water it, how you mow it and how you take care of it.

Edgar: Wow. So it's always about kind of like innovating. It's almost like innovating yourself, you know, you always, you never stop learning. That's something that we always try to push is: you can learn something today, but maybe in a week, two weeks, a year or two years, it's new. There's something always going to be new and you have to keep adapting and keep learning and kind of adjust yourself to make yourself to be in a better position.
Candace: Correct.

Edgar: And that is something that we have to continue to teach the younger generations around us, in their [00:13:00] communities that, you know, life isn't easy. It it's difficult, you know, and it's about how you approach it. You know, you can have a mindset where, why do I have to learn this? If it's just going to keep changing. Or, you know, learn a new task, learn something, evolve yourself. And you know what I'm saying? I'm going to go for it. And whatever's in my way, I'm going to tackle it head on and just keep moving and keep going forward.
Candace: Absolutely. Yeah, I think, yeah, I think you have to invest in yourself, right? You have to invest in yourself. Whenever you do get stuck, you know, sometimes it means hiring a mentor or asking for help, being vulnerable. Saying “I'm kind of lost. I don't know which direction I'm going in” There's nothing wrong with asking for help or looking for guidance or mentorship. I'm a firm believer in that, you know, connect with the right person and you'll see your life change for the better.

Edgar: 100% agree. And I have something as well, like, so people are always afraid to make mistakes. And for me, you know, a great leader once [00:14:00] told me. “Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes will come. It's about how you react to them. Accept the mistake, you know, learn from it. And how do you apply your learning to it” Cause maybe it was something as easy as, instead of going left, you go right. And everything's so much better. What you wanted to happen, happened. You know? Sometimes a little bit— a couple more stages, a couple more steps, but. Completely agree, like, you know, learn from mistakes, ask questions, and just keep your head up. Because we all, we've all done it, you know, I've had my share of mistakes, you know. I'm pretty sure a lot, you know, my friends, we've all had our shares of mistakes or, you know, sometimes we get down a little bit, but just keep moving forward, you know? Keep going.
Candace: Yeah. We're perfectly imperfect.

Edgar: Exactly. Exactly. So, you know, and now shifting from the IT world, you know, what came first? Was it the motivation, motivational speaking? Like what made you say, you know, I'm doing very [00:15:00] well? Because most people will be like, okay, I got promoted within a number of months. I'm now at a director level. I can do more. Like, what made you say “I can take the next step” and be like, “I want to share my experience with others?”
Candace: So, interesting story. In 2017, I was in the middle of a healthcare transformation. So I had worked for Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, but they were acquired or, you know, acquisitions, mergers, joint ventures, however ... that ascension was coming in as an organization, the national organization.
And so, there was a lot of shift and changes that were happening within my realm of directorships. And, you know, the buzz was out there about positions, or people being let go and whatnot. And again, it is scary, you know, when you think about that, but I had to figure out, like I said, a plan A, a plan B , a plan C, but then in 2017, this was where the shift happened. Actually in 2014 I hired a life coach. So that was the first thing I [00:16:00] invested in myself and hired a life coach to help me through some of my transformation within myself. And then in 2017 I noticed that the #MeToo movement had happened and it sparked something within me. I realized through that with Hollywood and watching others come out with their truth of abuse or domestic violence or sexual assault, I realized I had a story to share. And so as a child, I had experienced child abuse, sexual child molestation from the age of five to 15 by two family members. And it was then that something sparked something inside me. And I said, I have a story to share. So I saw a friend who published a book. I reached out to his publisher and I worked with that publisher and it took me three years to write that book because anything traumatic that someone experiences, it never truly goes away. It always stays and lives with you, but it's how you work through that from the inside out, that's where the true healing begins.  So I did the work. And I [00:17:00] was so proud that during that three years I published it in 2020. So right smack dab in the, during the pandemic of the COVID-19. Right? I started a new position. I was in the finishing process of my book, but really my push was I had to finish my book because I was so afraid I would die of COVID and never tell my story. And that was my push. And then during those three years of writing, the seed of a podcast was planted. I thought, well, I'm not the only one. So my voice is one voice of many. So then I created my podcast called Unspoken Conversations with Candace, and that was a platform to give to others so that I could reach you know, anywhere; to anyone that might need a place, a safe place to listen to other stories and hopefully save someone's life or make a difference and have them go get help that they need. And then motivational speaking and life coaching. Those are kind of two bonuses, you know, because of my story shining the light on something dark and now being a beacon of light and hope for others. It's a [00:18:00] personal responsibility. Not only am I an advocate for myself, but an advocate for others.
Edgar: Oh, wow. So, you know, tell me a little bit about that, about your book. So, you know, most people think what was that process first creating the book, you know, saying, what do I want to share? What's okay to share from my life story? And what is the response that you want to hear from people or what is the response that you want your readers to get?
Candace: Yeah. So really... You know, going to that process, it was, you know, you have an outline, it's like writing a journal; a diary, “dear diary.” That's the method that I took. I remember having a notebook, a journal book and writing chapters one through whatever I had — 12 — and then writing specific memories. It's different from writing in a journal to taking that to an editing document, Word document. Right? And then giving it to someone else to read. I can tell you that the minute it got into the hands of my publisher and people that were editing my book, they were like Candace, you're going to make a difference. You're going to inspire and encourage others to speak their truth. Because a lot of people don't and a lot of people are uncomfortable and that's okay. You don't have to, but just know that you're not alone. Right? That you matter. And that your story matters. And there's more power when you're in a community of other survivors. Because I, now I'm going from survivors... I'm going from a survivor mode to a thriver. I'm thriving. And that's what you can do if you really do the work. So yeah, that journey was eye-opening. It was healing. It was therapeutic, but it was also traumatic. It was reliving that trauma over and over again, and I'm not going to lie. I went into a couple of bouts of depression. I was angry again. I was upset; all those feelings. They really don't go away. But I just want people to know that no matter what your past is, it doesn't define your future. And you can live your best [00:19:00]

Edgar: And how do you get out of those spots? Because, you know, I see a lot when we talk, we do a lot of outreach at Versiti and, you know, sometimes some of our donors or some of those community members get into those funks, or sometimes they hit that depression and it really takes a toll, you know, and everybody's different on how they react. But you know, if you can share, like how did you get out of it yourself? Like, you know, you said you did a couple of times. So how did you get out of it?

Candace: I'll be honest, I think exercise is one thing. I'd go take a walk. I do meditation. I was practicing yoga. So as a life coach, I can't practice wellness if I don't do it myself. Right? So I have to be the living example. And so I was really quick to shift — real quick to shift my mindset. If I was having a moment or I was having a day, what do I do? [00:20:00] I go back to the practices. I gotta practice what I preach. I'd go back to my affirmations. I pull out study. I would read the word. I would listen to something motivational, anything to kind of just shift my mindset and get out of that darkness. And so I had to train myself, but then I also educate and train others that that's something that you have control over. You know, looking at yourself in the mirror. How many of us can't look at yourself in the mirror and give yourself a freaking high five? I learned that from the Mel Robbins book, right? She talks about the high five habit and giving yourself a high five and telling yourself how strong you are, how fearless you are. You know? So, and there's times I forget, but because I have these tools in my toolbox, I make sure to practice what I preach and I put those methodologies into practice.

Edgar: That's amazing. And if you want to know more about the book, where can our listeners get that book?
Candace: Absolutely. So you can go to my website at www(dot) Hopefully, you'll put the website on the show notes or in the link. And if you click— if you want a signed author copy, you want to click on my swag store. I have my own Unspoken swag store if for a signed copy. Otherwise, you can find it on Amazon. So, whatever you'd like, if you want a signed copy, go to my swag store. If you want to buy it from Amazon, that is perfectly fine as well.

Edgar: Go get a copy of that book. Learn about the story. Super motivating. So, with everything you've done, what has that led to? What is current right now that you're working on in the community? Cause you, I know you mentioned what was it Por La Gente which is a scholarship fund for Hispanic individuals?
Candace: Yeah. Yeah. So Por La Gente Association is, is from Racine. It's an organization that basically has created a scholarship program for Hispanic youth. If you're a senior in high school, in the Racine County area, you're able to apply for our scholarships. It's an annual scholarship. So we do fundraising events. Sporting events. [00:22:00] We have a softball tournament, a golf outing, volleyball tournament. We do all types of events, more sporting, that are geared towards raising money for our scholarship programs. So that's just one area that I help give back to the community, to my Hispanic community. Right? Born and raised out of Racine, it's very important to me. And you know it's just kinda cool. 'Cause my daughter's grandpa... so, Randy, who's father of my children, his dad was a founding member. So, I kind of have a little bit of roots in that organization. So that's kind of cool. But I also recently, because of my story, you know, coming out as a survivor of child abuse, I've, I now have partnered with a national foundation called ENDCAN, And they're a national foundation. I will be bringing a walk here to Milwaukee, Wisconsin as the event lead for that organization. And it's, we're going to have a walk together to end child abuse and neglect. So, it's a really enlightening event to inspire and kind of raise awareness. [00:23:00]  You know? This is a difficult topic, but just like we have the Susan G Komen for breast cancer, just like we have the American Heart Association. This is another foundation that's just trying to shine a light on child abuse and neglect and how we can try to help stop it, prevent it, and educate around it and do more research. I'm so glad that I found this organization and it's aligned with my personal mission and I'm excited. The walk is in the fall. It's September 17th. If anyone listening would like to join a team, create a team, volunteer, donate, we would love to have your support. Thank you for letting me plug that, Edgar.

Edgar: Of course. And how many scholarships have you given out since you've been a part of it?
Candace: Yeah. Yeah. So Por La Gente has been around almost 45 years. I mean, I can't believe that I grew up with this organization and in total they started giving out scholarships since 1985, when the program was established. And I believe our amount totals over $60,000 in scholarship money, actually out to the Hispanic youth. [00:24:00] So it's been a fantastic— and if you go to that website Por La Gente has their website and you click on our past recipients. A lot of them are, you know, graduates, master's degree, bachelor's degree. And our president, our current president was a former recipient and he's a lawyer by day, but he helps lead our organization. So I think that's pretty cool.

Edgar: And I love to see that. 'Cause I love seeing that Hispanic community grow. For those that don't know, I directly come from Panama, and you know, we're growing, we're growing off of the United States here in the Midwest and we're always giving opportunities. At Versiti, actually, we are this year 2022, we'll be able to process fully speaking Spanish donors. For the first time. Anyone who just speak Spanish can come in, donate. You know, we're still trying to increase the number of phlebotomists that we had that [00:25:00] speak Spanish, but you can call the 1-833-SANGRE. We can now apply that to the details or to the, you know, to the captions down below. But... to make a blood donation. And, you know, I love seeing our community grow and, you know, seeing these opportunities for the younger generations, it's amazing. And a scholarship fund is phenomenal, you know, pushing more individuals to go to college, universities. And, just growing I mean, as you said, invest in yourself.
Candace: Yes. Yes. And a lot of these students, you know, even the ones that, you know, 'cause we only have so many scholarships to award and we might get like 20 applications and you have to pair it down. They go through an interview. I mean, how, you know, how scary is that to come in as a, as a senior in high school and interviewing with a panel and like, that's scary, but you know, these kids come in and, and I think since COVID, it's really shifted a lot of their mindset, like I see them chasing passion. Instead of like, you know... They don't want a job, they want to live out in their purpose. [00:26:00] So I really think COVID has shifted the way people think and what they want in life. And they value family. Like, it's amazing how important family is to them. So, it's just, and they inspire me to keep doing what I'm doing. 'Cause you know, I'm like I got to keep up with the Joneses here.

Edgar: That's amazing. And I love seeing that, you know. People are viewing, you know, what, you know, after college or after high school, as jobs, you know, they're looking at as careers and something that they're going to enjoy doing and love, you know, seeing progress in themselves. And they keep teaching that to their children. And so far, it's just like you did so.
Candace: You know, I'll promote the trades; the trades and we need plumbers. We need people of diversity backgrounds, right? Plumbers, heating and cooling. I mean... anything, you know. Be your own business owner, be an entrepreneur like, you know, whatever your calling and your purpose is. Just make sure you're happy with what you're doing. That's the meaning of life, you know, making sure you're, you're enjoying the work that you're doing. And I believe in servant leadership. When you're giving back, you know, it does give you a warm and fuzzy, at least for me, in my heart that I'm actually making a difference.

Edgar: Oh man, that's amazing. And where are you like directly? So, you said near Wisconsin, I forgot what city, but Where are you? Like, where are you speaking? Where, where can they find you?
Candace: Yeah. So I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin but I do have some upcoming events. I will be at the Concurrency IT conference, I'll be at that conference being a keynote speaker there for the Empowering Women in Tech Networking Event. Women tech field. So that's exciting. And in the Fall, I'll be at a business retreat. And then I'm also looking to be a speaker, hopefully, at the conference for Healthcare Financial Management Association, HFMA. I just got the email, so I was like, oh my goodness. I have to make sure it doesn't conflict with another one. [00:28:00] I just try to engage in anything that's out there in the community. I like to attend some of the Milwaukee tech hall events. I attend anything. I nonprofit with a nonprofit group called i.c.stars. I do their mentorships, the MARS Returnship. I'm a mentor for that program. So I just plug into wherever I can to help others and be their number one cheerleader. So help inspire them to be the best version of themselves.
Edgar: Oh, man. There's so much that you're doing. It's super amazing to see and watch and hear other community members are doing great things. So question: Five years from now, where do you see yourself?
Candace: Five years... let's see, I'll be 55. And if I'm on track, retired, exiting corporate and living in my true purpose. Full-time with my podcasts and just being able to enjoy my five grandchildren that I have right now. So, because I was a young mom, my girls have blessed me with my next generation, my legacy. So I just really want to enjoy them and continue to just spread the word; you know, hope, perseverance, love. You know, you can, you can live your best life. You just gotta plug into the right community, center yourself around the right people and people will rally around you and anything is possible. So that's where I see myself in five years: retired, enjoying my grandchildren, and just continuing with podcasting and being a speaker and just living in my purpose every day of my life.

Edgar: Any trips coming up in five years; if retirement and everything goes well, any places that you want to go?
Candace: I, yes! So, I love— so my biological family. So even through my trauma, my book ends on a positive note. I found my biological dad and I have a, there's like 14 in our family, 13 or 14, we have a lot of siblings. So my dad, I grew up an only child, but now I have this huge family in Texas. So San Antonio is where I go spend my time. [00:30:00] But I do like to travel. Oh, I just like to travel anywhere. I've I just enjoy travel; Texas, Arizona; I have family in Minnesota, family in Florida. So, Georgia, wherever I can go where it's warm because Wisconsin is cold sometimes. And I like to get out where it's nice and warm.

Edgar: Any places outside of the country or just—
Candace: Oh no. So I've been to Puerto Rico. I've been to the Dominican. I would love to go to Australia. I would love to go there. I'm actually going to Jamaica in October of this year. So yeah. I went to Los Cabos for my 50th last year. So that was a lot of fun. Yeah, Candace likes to celebrate. I take off time from my business. You know, I still work with by day and my healthcare IT space, but then from June, Father's Day until the end of July, I take time for me and I completely celebrate my birthday the whole month of July. So I celebrate from the first to the 31st because I'm all about YOLO. You got one life to live. So I like to live to the fullest.

Edgar: That's awesome. Well, Candace, it's been an honor having you on the podcast. You know, you are an amazing person, your personality... it just... it's contagious. You know, you get us all going and you make me want to do more; to get out there and to continue to shine a light on any other individuals out there. So it's been amazing having you on this podcast.
Candace: Thank you. And, you know, I just will say, you know, with community engagement and servant leadership and mentorship, I really believe that's how you stand out from the inside. And, you know, if you put yourself out there in the community and you create a great network you'll go places you never dreamed about. Like, and so that's what it's been, that's what it's done for me. I've been around a lot of great people. It takes a village and I'm very blessed. So, thanks for again for having me on your show. I really do appreciate it.

Edgar:  Definitely. And for everybody listening, go and get her book. You can go on and go get that book. [00:32:00] If you want a signed copy, you can go to her shop, but you can also get it on Amazon as well. And as well, you can also register for the walk together Milwaukee event. We'll attach the link down there to register. But you can also follow her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter. So to learn more and find out where she's going to be at. So maybe you can be looking up to hear her speak and to learn more about her story.
Candace: Yeah, and if they want to download my podcast, I'm trying to hit my 3,500 downloads by June 26th. So my podcast will be one year old. So please, please go download, follow, listen to my episodes, share it with your family and friends. The statistics show one in four, one in six, for those who report by the age of 18 will have some sort of sexual violence committed against them. So please help us change that number and thank you for allowing me this opportunity to shine a light on and let me be a beacon of light and hope for others. Thank you so much,

Edgar: I truly appreciate you from the bottom of my heart. Thanks.
Edgar: No, thank you. It's been quite an honor, so we'll see you definitely soon. And we can't wait to hear more about your story.
Candace: Awesome. Thank you. Thanks everyone. Thanks for tuning in!
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