Would the canvas remain colorless if the artist had no brush? Would the stories go untold if the writer had no pen? Would change halt and progress cease if the visionary had no voice? Of course not! She will always find a way.
Change is not shaped by the tools at our disposal but by the indomitable spirit that guides them in its creation. However, by increasing access to these tools, we can more impactful change on a grander scale. YWCA South Florida’s WE360 program is designed to help women of color overcome barriers to starting, growing, and sustaining businesses while providing them with educational tools to increase their knowledge and confidence as entrepreneurs. We are thrilled to see the entrepreneurs in our WE360 program not only use the tools they gain to build success for themselves, their families and their businesses but also to inspire it in their communities.
Michelle Singh, a WE360 graduate, is an example of this. As the owner of LCT-E Learning Solutions, Michelle provides teachers with the tools to help students rise.
A former Miami-Dade County school teacher, Michelle’s passion has remained laser-focused. Her mission? To create impactful change in the educational system that allows students to reach new heights.
“I worked for 15 years in Miami-Dade County public schools as a teacher and a district leader,” Michelle shared, “and then I decided that I wanted to leave that career to start on a new path.”
“There was a need in me to do more with the skills and experience I had from years of serving in the classroom,” she said. “When you’re behind the red tape, you can’t always do the things you see as the big vision. And so, I stepped away from my position to overcome these restraints and find a way to reach the students the way I saw they needed.”
Departing any career is no easy choice. Michelle knew stepping away from the classroom was a difficult but necessary action to develop solutions that address the educational gaps affecting students around the globe, especially those of color.
“I started as a full-time consultant for Microsoft and, in my trainings with teachers worldwide, I realized that there was a gap in how teachers were addressing students, particularly students of color,” Michelle shared. “I wanted to be that resource for teachers, to help them support and reach these students and bridge cultural gaps.”
This important work is at the core of LCT-E Learning Solutions’ mission to empower teachers so they can empower their students to find success in all aspects of life. LCT-E, which stands for “Leading, Creating and Teaching to Empower,” focuses on diversity, equity and inclusion to address the needs of often underserved black and brown students.
Now, Michelle is partnering with the very company she once consulted for. She developed her own teaching method, the Equal Methodology, which focuses on ensuring all aspects of teaching are aligned and equal: training, content and teaching systems. This method has been backed by Microsoft, which has asked LCT-E Learning Solutions to become the provider of their DEI content.
Alone, we can. Together, we will. That sentiment is seen throughout WE360 as our program cohorts work with one another to learn and grow themselves, their skills and their businesses. As a spring 2021 cohort alumni, Michelle shared how WE360 helped open her world to new possibilities as an entrepreneur.
“I had never pitched before WE360,” shared Michelle. “Kim (WE360’s instructor) provided resources and teachings on the process that ultimately helped me win second place in the national competition!” The capital from this success would be the “fuel” Michelle needed to realize her vision.
Using the knowledge she gained in WE360, Michelle was able to secure its Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certification from the National Minority Developer Supplier Program..
Michelle recently embarked on a new journey as one of 18 companies from across the country selected for the Walker’s Legacy Propectus small business accelerator. This unique 12-week program unites black women entrepreneurs at all stages in their careers in sharing knowledge and elevating one another to develop themselves and their businesses. This is done through developing professional and personal relationships and masterclasses that include pitching and marketing, government contracts, and more.
Since launching her business in 2020, Michelle and her company have trained more than 30k teachers globally, developed a proven teaching workshop series, given keynote presentations, appeared on podcasts, and much more. Most recently, she has been accepted in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program at Miami Dade College, and has secured a new partnership with Prezi, in which she created DE&I content for the company. We are so proud of the work Michelle has done and cannot wait to see her continued impact on the world!
Visit us at ywcasouthflorida.org to register for our next WE360 cohort and learn more about the WE360 program and all our community initiatives.
Interested in getting in learning more? Connect with Michelle at http://meetlcte.com/.