What is your name and how do you shine your light (entrepreneur, student, community leader, strong family, etc.)?
Njeri B. Maldonado. I'm a judge, mentor, and community volunteer
Why do you believe you are Bright Flavor(Bright flavor being the light of the world, salt of the earth)
I believe I'm a Bright Flavor because I believe in paying it forward. I truly believe that my testimony is not for me - it's to teach and heal others. I want to give others all that I've been given and to encourage them to pass the torch.
How do you pass or have passed the salt in your daily life in your community?
I listen to people. There is much in WHAT people say but way more in HOW they say it. After taking the time to truly understand a person's why, I feel better equipped to share relevant information with them that will help them with their journey.
How do you pass or have passed the salt in your daily life in your worldwide?
I've recently authored a book about growing up with an absentee mother. I understand that those like me shy away from having discussions about our mothers, so I hope that my book will start a global conversation about this upbringing and how it affects a segment of society.
Who or what was most influential in helping you become Bright Flavor and why?
I've talked about writing a book for years. My husband, Ramon, encouraged me to put pen to paper. Also, I've encountered more and more young people who were also raised in motherless homes who are in search for someone to understand their struggles. They have also influenced me to shine a light on this issue.
What was your turning point in knowing it was ok for you to shine and pass the salt to others while doing so?
When I became a mother to my three older children (step children), I realized that I needed to stop hiding my story as if it were shameful. For too long, I avoided questions about my relationship with my mother. Now I realize that I'm helping myself and others heal when we engage in an open and honest discussion on the topic.
What are some challenges you encounter while letting your light shine?
A lot of people don't understand what its like to be raised with an absentee mother. Mothers are revered. Even when they struggle, they struggle for their children. People don't like to hear bad things about mothers so they subconsciously block their understanding.
How do you plan to continue passing the salt and lighting the world in the future?
I will continue to mentor and volunteer with my community. I will continue to be a listening ear for those who want to be understood and a voice for those who believe they are not being heard. I will continue to share my testimony with others and will encourage others to share their testimony as well.
Where can you be contacted?