When you think about syrup what comes to mind? For most, the breakfast condiment that makes a short stack of pancakes taste so sweet. But today, allow your mind to deviate from that image and imagine another meaning. Deidra Fulsom is using S.Y.R.U.P. to reach out in the community and be an ‘Agent of Change.’ DIVINE sat down for a one on one with Deidra to get a taste of S.Y.R.U.P.
Deidra: What brought about the formation of S.Y.R.U.P.? The fact that we have numerous amounts of women in the world enduring hardships, heartaches, trials, struggles, tribulations, pain, suffering, and other stress giving situations and circumstances in their life alone and in silence. Either they are ashamed of it, afraid that if they talk about it that they will be targeted, assume that others will not care to sympathize, empathize and understand, or even think that their situation will not make a difference to others if it is revealed. Living with this mindset is a trap. It is the type of trap that digs us deeper into the circumstances and situations that we are actually attempting to endure. This mindset leads us to try and fight battles that are not even ours. Two things that God has truly blessed us with are self-control and the mind to make a choice and decision for ourselves that could benefit us and not harm us. Even though we may make these beneficial decisions for ourselves after going back and forth with the situation, we rarely have those that we can trust to genuinely sympathize and empathize with our troubles.
DIVINE: The name itself is unique. What is the story behind it?
Diedra: I was initially going to call this non-profit organization Humble Divas. Then I took in consideration that people are not accepting to most divas nowadays due to the media. The word diva itself has developed a stereotypical image behind it and I did not want to make up for what the world has created over the years for the rest of my life within this organization. Also, I took in consideration that people can take something that could be inspiring, encouraging, motivating, and life changing and turn it into whatever they want it to be just because of a label that it is connected to. So, I decided to go from Humble Divas to something else that could stand out even more. Just to add a piece of me, I have an incredible love for breakfast and poetry that is undeniable. While eating breakfast which was at the time, two waffles and a boiled egg, my poetry juices uncontrollably began to flow and I glanced at the word syrup while pouring it on my waffles and instantly it came to me. I had substance behind the organization but just did not have a name in which I consider as flavor. For some reason people think that style is connected to certain individuals or things but style is for anyone who desires to be a part of it. This was the last thought that I took in consideration before the final decision was made. In the bible it says that we are to die to ourselves so indeed I give all due glory and honor of the creation of this organization to Jesus Christ. The love that I have acquired for him when I began to live a saved life a few years ago was truly the inspiration behind all of the components within Sisters Yielding Righteousness Under Pressure. So, indeed all glory and honor to God and his only begotten son Jesus Christ.
DIVINE: Who is SYRUP’s target audience?
Diedra: Any sister, meaning girl or woman who is yielding righteousness. Which means trying to do or is actually doing what is right and good in their life. While at the same time they are going through the trials and tribulations that life brings but standing up to the pressures of the world. This could mean any young or mature woman fighting for her life by doing what is right and not becoming indulged and overwhelmed by what is going on around them.
DIVINE: What is the goal and mission for SYRUP?
Diedra: Founded in December of 2012, this organization was created to encourage and motivate every young and mature woman to live out the desires that are in their heart regardless of the situations or circumstances that are happening in their life. These situations can include domestic violence, victimized by rape, unruly children, neglect, divorced, loss of faith, disabled, depression, substance abuse, fatherless, suicidal, lack of self-love, and any other circumstance that could possibly hinder and stand in the way of our love for God. All women are considered sisters which makes us all spiritually connected regardless of race, ethnicity, disability, age, skin color, size, mind- set, nor the amount of support that is for or up against you. We stand for and yield to morals and values that have been abandoned due to worldly conformity. This conformity is those neglecting the righteous laws that have already been established before we were even created by God. Even though women are put under a lot of pressure; which includes work, children, marriage, family, friends, church, and other pressures of the world, we still have to continue to live a life not only for the benefit of our families but also for ourselves because we are part of a family that depends on us to be the women of the family. S.Y.R.U.P. encourages and inspires women to live a life of integrity, dignity, and righteousness even though the pressures of their life may be consistent in their life. S.Y.R.U.P. reaches out to girls age 5-17 through a mentoring program filled with discussions and activities called, Ladies R Us. S.Y.R.U.P. also reaches out to women ages 18 and up through a program called Girl Talk that is also filled with discussions and activities that focuses on breakthroughs.
In June 2014 S.Y.R.U.P was given an opportunity to become an official Ministry for girls age 18-25 at Soul Winners Baptist Church in Memphis, TN.
DIVINE: Give the DIVINE reader’s a testimony of how SYRUP has changed the life of its participants?
Diedra: S.Y.R.U.P. has changed and greatly impacted the life of not only its participants and volunteers that we encounter through events and mentoring projects but, also its members including myself. To know that doing what is right in the first place is absolutely rewarding in more than just one way. It makes you feel good, it makes you look healthy, it could make you successful, it could prevent a lot of bad decisions from being made in your life, it could help others endure what is going on in theirs. It helps you cope and deal with the things that are occurring around you without becoming impacted by what is going on. And it could also prevent a lot of stress and sicknesses from occurring in your life. Recently one of our first fundraisers was a beauty contest that really focused on inner beauty. We encouraged the participants to live a healthy lifestyle by discussing the things that actually occur in life through activities, discussion and other mentoring tactics. We also shared life experiences from within our own personal testimonies that were appropriate for the age groups. In doing our mentoring programs, we run into amazing young ladies who have great dreams and ambitions for their life. But, have no one to guide and listen to them in the process. As these young ladies inspire us with the desires of their heart, we encourage and motivate them to set approachable and obtainable goals to move toward their desires. It’s almost like we feed off of one another’s ambition and it becomes an ongoing process for both parties. We offer them the necessary and proper tools that will be needed to stay on the right path.
DIVINE: What inspires and encourages you to keep going?
Diedra: What inspires me is to know that faith in God does more than make you successful. It also gives you a peace of mind, help in the time of need, strength in your weakness, courage, answers to questions, assurance in doubt, healing in sickness, and love in the times of war. What encourages me is to know that I serve a God who is unlike man and cannot lie and who’s word does not come back void. Knowing that pushes me further and further into my own destiny and desires by just believing that he is who he says he is.
DIVINE: How does faith play a apart in your life? My faith in God plays a part in my life by being the guide in all of my decisions. By being the wisdom that I need in order to make the decisions and offering me the peace that surpasses all understanding after the decisions are made. How my faith in God plays a part in the leading of S.Y.R.U.P. is that it gives me the tools of knowing the truth and having the knowledge of what to do with it.
DIVINE: How has leading SYRUP transformed your life?
Diedra: Leading S.Y.R.U.P. has transformed my life by giving me the ambition, dedication, determination, courage, faith, wisdom, love, and endurance that is needed to press forward regardless of how things may actually look or seem. To know that it is more than just me going through obstacles in my life that can affect the trusting of God. Having a promise for my life makes it much more motivating and worth it to endure those times. Being able to know where to go for comfort, shelter, wisdom, trust, genuine friendship, love, and patience has been the biggest reward within this entire journey.
DIVINE: How has the community embraced S.Y.R.U.P.?
Diedra: The community has embraced us with open arms like, “where you been?” Every time we are brought up or discussed women and men surprisingly are actually offering themselves to the organization. This organization actually gets referred to women by men in which is pretty flattering considering they are implying that there is a great demand for more organizations as this one. They are offering help and assistance in any way that they can possible. Honestly, we are flattered and honored to be able to bring such a positive force in our community. We actually are pushing forward, looking ahead, and becoming available to more bigger and better opportunities.
DIVINE: In what areas do you need assistance? Donations, volunteers etc.,
Diedra: From day one, this has been a self-funded ministry. When you love something, you will do whatever it takes to keep it going in spite of what is going on around you. The areas that we need assistance in are monetary donations for the furtherance of the organization, volunteers, school supplies, toys, food, clothes, personal hygiene products, gas vouchers, coupons, and any other donation that can be given.
DIVINE: Tell our reader’s about S.Y.R.U.P.’S upcoming events?
Upcoming events that we have currently lined up are a few mentoring projects for girls ages 12-years old at different community churches. S.Y.R.U.P.’s upcoming event towards the end of this year is to launch a S.Y.R.U.P’s Sober Living Campaign. Things are certainly in order for this exciting treat within our community considering drugs, gangs and violence is such a huge factor. We encourage all individuals to lean towards better living by any means necessary including living sober.
DIVINE: Someone reading this interview has a DIVINE inspired idea and needs a little encouragement. What do you want to say to them?
If a 17 year old girl ventures out in her life on her own and endures being victimized by rape, giving up a full basketball scholarship to college, grows up fatherless, lacked self-love, used drugs, endured domestic violence, lost faith in God, mentally neglected, a divorcee, and much more. But, still decides to push forward alone to become an entrepreneur and own her own house cleaning service, went back to school and received her degree in Criminal Justice. And actually lives a life that encourages other women to try and get their own life together with an idea that is becoming a dream unfolded. I say to them….what are you waiting on?
S.Y.R.U.P’s President Diedra Fulsom, Vice-President, Secretary and pageant contestants and volunteers
S.R.Y.U.P. Vice-President Julia Cole and 2013
Beauty Pageant Winner Essence Sparks
S.Y.R.U.P. Beauty Pageant Contestants and Volunteers
Diedra is an example of how a person can put their Faith into Action! She is not allowing the disappointments and obstacles of her past affect her present and future. After reading this article, the next time you see or hear the word syrup it will have a whole new meaning. It’s not just the condiment that makes a short stack of pancakes taste much better. But, it represents a person and organization that is changing lives one girl and woman at a time.
To connect with Diedra Fulsom and find out how you can be a part of what she is doing through S.Y.R.U.P. go to the website at: www.syrup4us.com or email: email@example.com and check them out on Facebook at: SYRUP Outreach.