This book is a compilation of my poems since I was a little girl. In 1982, as a fifth grader, my Mother encouraged me to write in a journal. As an English teacher she always emphasized writing and I was able to use my poems, stories and essays as an outlet for my feelings. These poems are precious, personal and they are expressions of me. I was told it was time to share them. Join me on a trip from being a little girl to a teenager who thought she was a woman and who thought she knew everything. This literary journey of poems starts with me tells my dear Grandmother that she is my best friend. One of the poems confesses my love to my unborn son who is now a man. These poems chronicle my relationships with teenage boyfriends and also my marriages with men whom I loved and hated… Read on as I reveal the deep friendship and spiritual bond I shared with the powerful “Man of God.” Finally, the last essay expresses my joy and sense of relief after finally having my doctoral dissertation approved! What a journey… This project is a labor of love, of smiles, of fear and of tears that spans a period of over 25 years. Enjoy this time as you travel with me on this, “Journey to Womanhood: Chronicles of a Girl Grown –up to Soon.”
Dr. Nicole M. Ford-Francis was born in Baltimore, MD. She was raised in Havre De Grace, MD; a small town 45 minutes North of Baltimore City. She spent her early years living with her Grandmother in Havre de Grace and attended school there and in Cecil County, MD until the third grade. In third grade, Nicole moved to Baltimore City with her Mother and went to Baltimore City Public Schools. She graduated from the prestigious Baltimore City College High School: Advanced College Preparatory Program and went to Morgan State University (Baltimore, MD) as a Biology and Pre-Medicine major. After several years at Morgan, she transferred to Towson State University (Towson, MD) and graduated from there with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She immediately enrolled in graduate school at Coppin State University in Baltimore and earned a Master of Education degree in Special Education. Six years later, Nicole earned a Doctorate in Education with a specialization in Management of Human Service Organizations and Bio-Sociology from Nova Southeastern University in N. Miami Beach, FL. While in college she was married and had her three children (Christopher, Chad and Nikayla). Christopher was born while she was in undergraduate school and she had Chad and Nikayla each year of graduate school. She achieved some of the greatest things in her life with and because of her children and is proud about this part of her journey. After graduation Nicole worked as a Biology teacher for Baltimore City Public schools and served as a Special Education Department Chair, she also worked for the National Headquarters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in several education and policy roles. Nicole moved to Houston, TX and served as a school principal and a consultant. She soon returned to the East Coast and worked as a graduate school professor and as a Government Contractor in Washington, DC. She formed her own consulting company, Visionary Policy Institute, LLC and has worked as a civil rights advocate, a labor union administrator and lobbyist, a program manager and a grant writer. She continues to work for herself and the US Government as a contractor in Washington, DC. Nicole loves to spend time with family and friends and enjoys Science, writing and the arts. She currently resides in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area.