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Micki-Esposito-The-Faces-of-Augusta-GA-Realtor-Monique

MONIQUE BRASWELL

We must say, Mrs. Monique Braswell was our very first interview for “The Faces of Augusta Ga” Project and I am not sure, we knew exactly what to expect from the project or more-so, how we would connect prior and/or how we would feel thereafter.   I must say, what a wonderful way to kick-start this local community project — Monique is special. A true #UnsungHero of Augusta.  We must also mention, that she is a 2018 WJBF NewsChannel 6 Woman To Watch recipient.

 

Upon meeting Monique in a quaint little coffee shop on Broad street (Metro Coffee House) on a bright and warm afternoon; we were met with such cheerfulness.  As we started our interview it quickly began to feel as if  we were being re-acquainted with an old friend; Monique was vibrant, transparent and passionate and we felt truly welcomed.  As a twice Breast Cancer Survivor, you truly get a sense and feel as to where she gains her internal strength from to overcome such unfortunate circumstances — her inherent mission as a servant appears to just come so naturally and her sense of happiness I tend to believe has healed her in so many uncountable ways.  Monique puts the needs of others first and foremost above the needs of self and it is so evident in her journey thus-far.  She oversees the Braswell-Manigault Foundation.  The foundation is instrumental in empowering deserving individuals with scholarships and some of their fundraising activities include:  Pretty in Pink for Breast Cancer Survivors, Book Bag drives (collecting 10,000+ bags), a yearly dance competition, etc.  Her sole mission: Community and Child Advocacy.

 

One of the questions we asked Mrs. Braswell was, what piece of advice would you give to a crowd of people? She said something that we think is focused towards her passion for being a community and child advocate and fosters the love for her community– “Relax, calm down. Think about it. And ask– Are you the problem or are you the solution?” Having this type of response to various situations in our lives affords us the opportunity to make ‘better’ choices in our lives. #goodstuff

 

We began to pose the following questions too Monique to get a better sense and feel as too . . . her insight and thoughts of Augusta.

 

QUESTIONS: 

 

Q. What inspired you or led you to your current career?

A. I do a little bit of everything. I do whatever I think is needed in the community. Mostly, child based; if there’s a problem in our school system, I’m there. If there’s a problem with the elderly, I am there.  A problem with the homeless, I’m there.  I just move with whatever needs to be done and I stay in my lane.

Q. What is your favorite restaurant in Augusta, and what do you love there?

A. Red Lobster. I love seafood.

Q. How long have you lived or worked in Augusta?

A. It’s going on 16 years.  I am originally from New York.

Q. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?

A. I really, really, really, really, really want to go to Hawaii. I want to go somewhere where I could relax and lay in the sun and see another side life and still be within the states without going outside of the country right now.

Q. What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?

A. “Five on the Black Hand Side” and another of my favorite movies is “Cornbread Earl and Me”.  “Dirty Dancing” is another good one. I’m at that age; where I remember going to the movies for only a $1.00.

Q. What advice would you give a crowd of people?

A. Relax, calm down. Think about it. And Are you the problem or are you the solution?

A. What is something on your bucket list?

 A. I honestly don’t have a bucket list.  Simply, I go with the flow.

Q. What is your favorite music/ 3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?

A. 1) Chairman of the Board (steppers) and 2) Eric Mayweather

Q. What current / former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Augusta?

A. Club Night, off of Deans Bridge Road.

Q. Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Augusta would you have lunch?

A. Veronica Bolton.  She inspired me to be better; a mentor to me. I would bring her into my kitchen and cook her a home cooked meal; she would really enjoy that.

Q. What is your favorite thing or something unique about Augusta?

A. Augusta is very family oriented .

Q. Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?

A. Honestly, I see myself doing exactly what I’m doing now; still here in Augusta and advocating for children. Every year, our activities grow and expand. We recently received my 501C3 – we are a Non-Profit.

Q. (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?

A. I will say, I am overly sensitive. I really care about our community and the well-being of children. Accolades are not required for my giving it comes from deep within me, from my heart.

Q. Can you describe the neighborhood you grew up in?

A. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York. I lived in the neighborhood. Back then my mother’s rent was, I think $107.  Today it is $3,000 for that same apartment that we resided in. We lived in a Brownstone. I grew up in a neighborhood where it’s like the saying goes:  it takes a village; well, it took a village. You understand?  Back then that is what neighborhoods where like; a true connected community. If a neighbor three houses down saw you going somewhere you wasn’t suppose too; your mother would know about it before you returned home. Whereas today, we do not do that. Our parents back then did not play. My mother, Miss. Janice was a strict parent.

Q. What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?

A. New York City (that is three words)

Q. If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?

A. Tyler Perry

Q. If you had a full-time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose?  {Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny} WHY?

A. Driver. You know, I cannot see very well at night; so, I do not drive when it gets dark. Having a driver would alleviate this issue.

Q. If you could hold on to one memory from your life forever, what would that be?

A. The day my kids were given to me; 4 children I did not give birth too. In 2000, I was given temporary custody and then full custody. My sons today are full-grown and productive young men in our society. I am extremely proud of them. No one should have to endure the circumstances that they experienced as very young children. God brought these children into my life; hence, the reason why I am so passionate about the welfare of our children. It is my mission.

Q. Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?

A. Delores. She made a huge impact in my life; she taught me how to survive. Survive.

 

OUR FINAL QUESTION

 

Q. IF YOU COULD SHARE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

A. Getting involved with everything concerning your children here in Augusta.

 

Thank you Monique. You made my experience easy and comfortable.  To new beginnings.  Friends for Life.

~micki

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