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Scott Pharoah shaking things up in the property world in Johannesburg

Scott Pharoah shaking things up in the property world in Johannesburg

Scott Pharoah made his debut to the property industry in 2015, by acquiring the Hyde Park Licence for Engel & Völkers in South Africa; he then expanded his portfolio to Houghton, Bedfordview and Midrand. This was just the start of more exciting things to come, as Scott just recently acquired the Sandton licence area. His network of property shops now covers a vast area in Johannesburg. Chantalle Bell, Feature Writer for Engel & Völkers Southern Africa, sat down with Scott to find out who he is when not investing in the real estate sector, what makes him tick and where he plans on heading from here on out…

 

 The personal side of Scott:

Those of you who have met Scott will agree that you can’t help but notice his passion and love for all that he does. The exuberant, enthusiastic, positive energy he has for being part of an International Real Estate brand, and the Johannesburg city life is definitely infectious. He noted that he has seen the ins and outs of Johannesburg, and is yet to come across an area that he doesn’t like. “I can truly say that I love Johannesburg – every single corner”.

We started at the beginning and gained a peek into his younger years. Scott grew up in Limpopo in the small town called Duiwelskloof, at that time it only had a population of 2 000 people. He then moved to the big city, Johannesburg, to pursue his studies where he also managed to land his first job in sales, which he did whilst completing his studies. The vibe of the city became part of his blood, and he has now been living here for the past 27 years.

Scott says his passion lies in his family and his faith. He is very blessed to be able to have grown up with rock solid role models in both his parents and grandparents, and this played a big role in the success he has today. He now lives in Atholl, Sandton with his stunning wife of 14 years, and their 4 children aged 2, 5, 6 and 7, equally divided between 2 boys and 2 girls which keeps them quite busy most of the time, not leaving much time for ‘hobbies’. “I do believe that a hobby is just something which you enjoy, and I love any time which I can spend with my family. We have a rule of taking 2 dedicated holidays a year, where we completely go off-grid and quality family time is the agenda of the day. In today’s busy life, I think we tend to allow technology and work to distract us without us even noticing, and we sometimes just need to take a step back and focus on what is most important.

“I recently returned from our 2 week break at our holiday home in Mpumalanga and it has re-energized me completely, ready to get all the new ventures going – so even if one does not always have the time, I do believe you need to make time”. You also need something to take your mind off work when you cannot be on holiday, and during weekends they spend their time relaxing and unwinding at various restaurants in Johannesburg where they love the energy of the city. Scott highly recommends taking a family trip to 44 Stanley, Salvation Café, The Parks, Vovo Tello and New Town JHB to name a few. It is clear that his childhood dream of becoming a restaurateur is not completely dead – the passion is still alive and being lived.

 

 

 Scott and property:

When asked whether he thinks that property is a good investment – Scott simply smiled with a bit of a frown, almost as to politely say, ‘I own 5 real estate licences – of course it’s a fantastic idea’. He says that in his opinion, next to gold, property is the investment that appreciates the most. After moving out of his parents’ home to Johannesburg, the first property he lived in was a room he rented above a double garage from an elderly couple. After he had a bit of capital built up, he proceeded to obtain his first property in 1997, which was a 2 bedroomed apartment for just R350 000 and it all just grew from there.

Scott noted that he can’t tell us where his dream home would be, as he is already living in it – in the heart of Atholl, although his ideal holiday home would be on the West Coast in Church Haven, Langebaan. He did however quickly answer our question with regards to his favourite room in the house without any hesitation or thinking – “It is definitely the playroom – it is our family’s heart. In this room anything goes. Although I do believe in discipline, I also believe that we all need a space to let our hair down – and this is what our kid’s playroom represents. It is a room where there are no rules – toys and crayons lying around… fabulous, organised chaos.

 

The Red & White side of Scott

The biggest risk which Scott ever took was leaving formal employment and taking the risk of opening his own business in 2004, this risk has turned out to be the biggest reward! He has since then only continued to expand his business portfolio with the addition of his first E&V shop in 2015.

Scott was introduced to the Engel & Völkers brand by way of visibility in his area, which led him to approach the Engel & Völkers Bryanston shop to assist with the marketing and selling of his property. Needless to say, this resulted in a successful sale and he was very happy with the service received.

The brand stuck with him, and when it came to the decision to expand his business interests to the real estate industry, Engel & Völkers was his next logical step as he loved the brand awareness, the shop concept and the exclusivity. He joined Engel & Völkers as the brand epitomises luxury, professionalism which translates into success. The brand also offers phenomenal systems, classic corporate governance and is truly an international brand.

He believes that the secret to owning a successful business is running a sales team, in a service industry that needs to revolve around good, solid and honest leadership of your staff. Promoting staff and being empathetic to both the buyer and sellers is the philosophy. At the coal face, agents need to be sensitive and understanding to the needs and wants of their clients. “In business, I view staff and clients equally as my responsibility to nurture”.

Any industry has its rewards and challenges, and we wanted to know what his experience has been on this front. Scott says the most gratifying side of real estate is the thrill of fulfilling people’s dreams and ambitions of being property owners. “You get to re-live the excitement of becoming a property owner. Think back on the day when you bought your first or last home, and that moment when you were handed the keys – it is hard to explain the feeling, but I am sure that all property owners will be able to relate”. On the opposite side he also shared his most challenging aspect, which he noted to be maintaining motivation levels of staff in incredibly tough economic times. He added a bit of advice to newcomers to the industry and that is to never let up on their dreams despite the adversities.

 

The future according to Scott

We all have goals and targets of what we would like to achieve, and Scott is no different. In fact he has already marked out the timeline and is on track to achieve all of his set goals.

Scott is busy getting his Johannesburg office set up as a MMC (Metropolitan Market Centre) in order to get it recognised as an official MMC by Germany. “The ultimate goal is to be Africa’s ‘Manhattan office’, the first of its kind on the continent. It is not a matter of if it will happen; it’s simply a matter of when”.

As we mentioned earlier, they are indeed on track with their plans and we wanted to know what exactly has been happening and what they have been busy with. Between his 5 shops, he will have a team leader for each area, which is assisted by admin staff to support the team in reaching their success. They are currently looking for managers to head up these positions as Scott is looking for exceptional individuals who will share his dream of where the company needs to be.  “I believe one needs to utilise any opportunity to its max, so I am embracing this feature, by inviting anyone who reads this article, and feels as passionate about the industry and growth as I do, to contact me about filling one of these positions”.

We almost need an organigram to keep track of the empire which Scott is busy setting up, but we have tried to keep up. Starting at the top, Scott is hands-on involved in the business, but believes in having a strong team who can run with things. For this specific task, he has appointed Debbie Robertson as Operations Manager of the entire group. Debbie is more than qualified for the position. Her career in E&V has grown immensely over the years, starting off as an intern agent; she used the expertise she had acquired over the years to grow into the Team Leader position at the Engel & Völkers Midrand office. In just a short time another opportunity came across her path, and she is now the Operations Manager for all 5 of the shops.

Debbie will be overseeing all 5 team leaders mentioned above, as well as the sub-divisions which are already in place. These include dedicated teams to service all areas of the industry and company. “We have a legal division headed up by Kiki Smith, our in-house attorney who will oversee all the contracts, together with her legal apprentices. Next will be our HR Manager to look after our staff and their needs (we are currently also looking for the right candidate – applications are welcome). Our finance department is overseen by Brendan Pharoah and our in-house marketing by Robert Ogall who looks after the social media, branding and events side.

Scott’s vision is to gain a sizeable and dominant market share in all of their areas in the next year, and whilst he understand this will take time, their teams are driven and pushing towards exclusive listings and gaining market share on a daily basis. With their support staff structure they have in place, there is no doubt that anyone will be able to make a success of their career in real estate, and Scott & Debbie invite candidates for a cup of coffee to see their offering in real time.

If you share Scott’s passion and vision, feel free to make contact and meet him yourself and chat about the opportunities available – or even if you simply feel you would like to meet this ball of energy in person – life is full of possibilities…

Wrapping up Women’s Month with Dane Van Niekerk, Captain of the Proteas Women’s Cricket Team

Wrapping up Women’s Month with Dane Van Niekerk, Captain of the Proteas Women’s Cricket Team

In the month of August we paid homage to the women of our nation and we celebrated the women in our communities. “We have celebrated all types of women this month and have acknowledged and still applaud the women of South Africa who take a stand, and who continue the fight against all the issues which seek to bring women down” says Tihara Baker, Relationship Manager of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.

 

As our Women’s month draws to an end we have the privileged of speaking with Dane Van Niekerk, the right hand batter and Captain of the Momentum Proteas Women’s National Cricket team and gain some insight into her sporting career.

 

Dane’s journey started when she was just 4 year’s old playing cricket with her dad and brother in their backyard. She then started playing cricket as a sport and went through all the ranks in woman’s cricket:  U/9, U/12, U/13 and U/15. She was spotted at the U/19 woman’s cricket where she then went to trials for the South African side and was later picked for the 2009 ODI Women’s World Cup in Australia and since she has not looked back and is living her dream.

 

What advice would you give to other women who wish to have a successful sporting career?

If you fall in love with any type of sport you must follow your dreams. Talent only takes you so far. You have to work hard. You don’t jump into any professional environment. You really have to work hard and train, but if you follow your dreams and if it’s something you really want to do then the opportunity in South Africa is there to pursue it, more so in cricket to be professional and do it as a job.

 

 Do you have a role model? Who and why?

That’s difficult; if I have to look in cricket probably AB de Villiers at the moment. It was Shane Warne, but AB de Villiers is the best batter in the world and, you know, critics are getting him, but he just shows his class every time he goes onto the field and he never backs down from a challenge and he leads his team really well and that’s something I wish to do. He [AB de Villiers] has never been anything less than respectful to anyone that\s ever said anything to him so I think any person would strive to be, first of all, a person like that and a cricketer.

 

What is your motto in life? / What is your favourite famous quote?

“For with God, nothing shall be impossible”, we have a few players in the team that pray before a game and I believe in that and I guess I go about that before every game.

 

How do you conquer fears?

Pray

 

What is your outlook on investing in property?

Yeah, look, I think it’s important to invest. People like different things. I like property, because I like houses – it’s there and I can live in it. We’re actually in the market for a new house at the moment so I’m all for investing [in property].

 

Do you own any property?

Yes I do. A townhouse.

 

Where would your dream home be located?

Probably a beach house down the Garden Route. I would love anything by the beach so Knysna and those places.

 

Which room in your home is most important and why?

My room, because there’s a nice TV in there and it’s my bed. We don’t get to sleep there often so when we are there it’s probably the best room. And then the braai area (laughs).

People & Property: Jacqueline Grobler, South African Gin Maker

People & Property: Jacqueline Grobler, South African Gin Maker

Engel & Völkers Southern Africa believes that property is more than just the actual houses for sale, it is about the people and the lifestyle. With a love for people and a passion for property, we enjoy a moment on the red couch with some of South Africa’s high profile personalities, to gain some insight into their lives on both a professional and personal level, and by delving into their property insights and preferences.

 

“This week we are kicking off our Women’s Month and focusing on some of SA’s powerful ladies. We had the privilege to sit down with Jacqueline Grobler, South African Gin Maker (Ginifer) and entrepreneur. Here is what she shared with us…” noted Chantalle Bell, feature writer of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa. “

 

A bit of background on Jacqueline:

A woman seldom daunted by the unknown, Jaqueline Grobler took each new challenge to heart, embracing the learnings and the education afforded by the school of life. Building a distillery from scratch, managing contractors, planning layouts with engineers was all in a day’s work and while at times intimidating, she still found it incredibly fun. Not someone who can be contained – this vibrant entrepreneur loved every moment of her journey to launching – believing boredom to be the real killer.

When talking about the tough days, she says that everyday made her realise just how deep she could dig for strength, always finding the resolve she needed to press on and retaining her sense of humour through the small setbacks along the way. Her first delivery of glass bottles came in two containers and she didn’t have a forklift operator to assist her. She laughs when she recalls single handed offloading 30 000 glass bottles with her little 3 ton forklift – a process that took five hours and left her unable to move her shoulders the next day.

 

A Quick Q&A:

If you were to wake up tomorrow and find that you are a man? What would be the first thing you would do?

I would take full advantage of having a wife; I’ve always said I want my own supportive, loving wife. I would also be unapologetically bossy and enjoy telling people what to do without feeling guilty.

 

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? I don’t wear a wedding ring – I haven’t for years – and I was proposed to by a customer who was sampling our cocktails. I think he believed that any woman who can make alcohol must be the perfect woman.

 

What is the best advice you have ever been given in business and who gave it to you?

That no degree or age will ever prepare you for what your own business will throw at you. You should always celebrate the small successes. It was my mother – a very wise woman indeed – who shared this sage advice with me.

 

Any exciting new future plans on the horizon?

We have a few very exciting new products in the pipeline that are fun and light hearted. To be honest I am enthusiastic about every new product we launch; it’s like I’m growing our family. We have – Luvoa – a Craft Vodka and Venom – an African Moonshine – both of which are launching soon. Without sounding arrogant – these products are master pieces – truly exquisite; from their bottles to their unique taste profiles they are exceptional. We are confident that like our other brands, they will be well received by the market.

 

You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?

I would most definitely learn to ride the elephant and go ahead and cause chaos in the Sandton traffic; I’m not so keen on cleaning up after this animal though.

 

What is the most important room in your home?

The kitchen is the centre of my home; I find creative expression through my love of cooking and baking.

 

Could you tell us a bit about your own home?

I own a very old farmhouse in the centre of Sandton with thick stone walls fashioned in the shape of a Rondawel with a thatched roof. It’s quirky and odd, but it suits our family perfectly. We are surrounded by large trees; it’s our sanctuary.

 

Do you have any interior style tips you can share with our readers?

I studied interior design and my favourite type of house is eclectic and individual. Style cannot be bought or imported. It comes from within and it comes from being you.
In the Spotlight: Tom Davids – up-and-coming real estate agent in Centurion

In the Spotlight: Tom Davids – up-and-coming real estate agent in Centurion

In the Spotlight: Tom Davids proves a positive attitude, faith and hard work does pay off

We have a chat with Tom Davids, an up and coming real estate agent in the Centurion area. Tom is an inspirational sales advisor at Engel & Völkers Centurion who has only been in the industry for 10 months but already making a success of his new career.

 

Tom will tell you that it is by pure chance that he pursued a career in real estate. His journey began when he ran into a friend of his whilst shopping, and she invited him to come meet her manager who just happened to be the Team Leader of Engel & Völkers Centurion and the rest is history. Tom shares some of his career tips to his success and what he has learnt along his journey to being an agent and having a successful career.

 

“Coming from a retention & sales managers background the transition was fairly easy for Tom and he has certainly worked very hard to earn his status as a successful rookie agent in Centurion, we are very proud to have him as part of our team” states Wendy Williams, Team Leader Engel & Völkers  Centurion.

 

The other side of Tom

Upon asking Tom to tell us a bit about his family life, he shared that he is married to a stunning lady, Cindy and that they are blessed with 4 beautiful children, 3 girls and 1 boy. He says that his family is his world but they come second as God is on top of his list of priorities. Tom loves people and love helping others when possible.

 

Tom’s hobbies include selling properties and having 3 little children in the house, other than that there is no real time for relaxing. When he is busy with his hobbies, he relaxes, which is why he loves spending time with my family and doing show houses and expos. Tom added that this personal goal in life is to always try and make a positive difference in the lives of others. “I love helping people in general and my goal is to be able to help so much more than what I am currently helping.  I am most passionate about sharing as I do believe that sharing is caring” Tom added.

 

 

On the more serious side

Tom’s says that his greatest achievement would be when he made a decision to serve God and to be obedient to His commandments. Getting married to his wife and being blessed with their 4 kids is most definitely also one on the list. “Let me just mention that the last set are twins just in case you think that we don’t have any hobbies” Tom smiled.

 

We got to do a quick Q&A to gain some more insight into Tom’s life:

 

 

Tell us a bit about the market you specialise in?

I cater to both Full and sectional title in The Reeds area of Centurion and have noted that a new trend is developing where young couples (newlyweds) are buying property together. This proves that buyers are educated about their financial growth and focussed on investing in property from as young as possible.

 

What are your top three secrets to success?

Hard work, positive attitude and prayer.

 

Can you remember how many properties you have sold?

I joined the industry in January 2017 as an Intern agent and have managed to successfully sell 5 units in the past 6 months since my career took flight.

 

Which part of the property industry do you enjoy most?

Selling property

 

What is the most vital business tool that estate agents should have at their disposal in today’s market and why?

A positive attitude and a determination to succeed and not to give up.and not to give up.

 

Do you remember the first property you sold? Please tell us about it.

Yes! I do not think that you will ever forget your first deal – the rush and excitement is simply unexplainable. It was a cash deal and the client came all the way from Limpopo to view one of my properties. He was adamant that he only wanted to deal with me which obviously gave me a confident boost as being new to the industry is a bit nerve wracking. I had been working with the client for almost 6 weeks by sending him properties from my colleagues that matched his requirements and being available to answer all his enquiries. We are still in touch till today, and we have built a solid relationship.

 

What do you find to be the most enjoyable and the most challenging aspects of the job?

Most enjoyable would be the freedom, flexibility of time (It’s not necessarily working shorter hours) but you are not trapped in a 9 to 5 job. The most challenging is iff one is not disciplined and focused in managing your freedom and flexibility of your time, you could end up being discouraged.

 

What characteristics, in your opinion, make for a great estate agent/broker and why?

A person that is disciplined, has a positive attitude, is self-motivated, a driven/go getter and they must have faith. Selling property is not child’s play and if no one is standing behind you to “manage” you, it is easy to become despondent and that is why you need to believe that things will work out for you.

 

Please tell us a bit about your best listing currently on your books

It’s a 134sqm duplex in an estate selling for R1,27 million. Web ID: ENV98112 just incase you are curious to have a look. I believe this is a fantastic investment as the area is excellently located and security is guaranteed. It is well priced and the owners are realistic about their expectations and informed on what the property market is doing at the moment.

 

What is your personal goal to achieve in turnover for the financial year? / What are some of your career goals?

I wanted to achieve R1 million in commission earnings and I would also like to become a motivational speaker as I believe that helping others should be a target for everyone.

 

What is the one thing you wish someone had taught you or told you when you first started out in property and why?

That it requires a lot of patience.

 

What advice would you give to new kids on the block about making a success in their career in property?

Don’t think success will just happen without your commitment and hard work. You need to love what you are doing.

 

 

On the lighter side:

 

Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?

I am both.

 

You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?

I will make sure he understands that sitting on cars is not allowed.

 

A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

Ola Amigo, he is looking for a bachelors flat.

 

 

Celebrating Women’s Month with the Momentum Proteas

Celebrating Women’s Month with the Momentum Proteas

With Women’s month underway, we take a step back from property and look South Africa in general, as it is after-all our home. And we celebrate the females of the house in celebration of Women’s Month.

The Momentum Proteas Women’s Cricket Team are rising to their strengths internationally and in South Africa. They are rising as role models, national heroes and inspirational sporting champions. They are rising with the launch of the very first television commercial for the Momentum Proteas, which celebrates the sport, the team and every young girl who keeps rising to the challenge.

The commercial follows the story of young girls who all share a love for cricket. We witness their grit and determination to play well and always be better. Their hard work, passion and joy is inspired by, and paralleled to, the Proteas’ training and matchplay. The juxtaposition between the girls and the Proteas team displays the talent, commitment and love for the sport, despite age or gender. It shows both the girls and the Proteas as exceptional talents, who love the game (despite some people saying it’s not for them) and who are always willing to get better, summed up in the #alwaysrising hashtag.

The underlying message of the commercial rings clear – South Africa’s girls can do anything and be anything. The Momentum Proteas are testament to that. The team is proud to represent our country, they are professionals who have the talent, the grit and the determination to win at an international level. They are proud because they are #alwaysrising.

The team is made up of women from all corners of South Africa and from all walks of life – from a grade 11 learner, to a mother of a small child. From a young age each of them was relentless in taking their innate talent for cricket and fostering this potential. Daily discipline and practice honed this skill until it shone through for the country, and now the world, to see.

From a young age, each team member was #alwaysrising. Always rising to meet the challenge and always rising to go beyond it. Always rising to take their talent and their skill beyond the threshold. As the Momentum Proteas, they are #alwaysrising.

Team captain, Dané van Niekerk says, “We know what we’re made of. We have worked really hard to prepare for the World Cup in England and we’re incredibly proud to represent our country and our badge. We want to be able to inspire women and girls of all ages through our work and the manner in which we go about it. As a team, we just want to keep getting better and to make sure that the women’s game in South Africa is always rising.”

The Momentum Proteas Women’s National Cricket team are:

Dané van Niekerk (captain, Eastern Province), Trisha Chetty (wicketkeeper, Gauteng), Moseline Daniels (Boland), Nadine de Klerk (Northerns), Mignon du Preez (Northerns), Shabnim Ismail (Gauteng), Ayabonga Khaka (Border), Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province), Masabata Klaas (Free State), Lizelle Lee (North West), Suné Luus (Northerns), Raisibe Ntozakhe (Gauteng), Andrie Steyn (Western Province), Chloe Tryon (vice-captain, KwaZulu-Natal), Laura Wolvaardt (Western Province)

People & Property: Interview with Cindy Pivacic, Founder of AID My Journey-Support

People & Property: Interview with Cindy Pivacic, Founder of AID My Journey-Support

Cindy Pivacic, Founder of AID My Journey-Support

Cindy Pivacic founded AID My Journey-Support in 2011, an organization dedicated to creating awareness, counseling and training on HIV & AIDS. 

 

What is the most important room in your home?

Definitely my bedroom. It is the place I rest, recoup and feel the most peaceful.

 

Where would your dream home be located?

I would love to live along the Garden Route, close enough to get to Cape Town, but just distant enough to appreciate the peace and bliss of the country life.

 

Do you have any interior style tips you can share with our readers?

Live with what is most comfortable and provides you with that feeling of well-being. You don’t have to follow every trend if that is not your style. If you prefer the warm embrace of wood, work with that. If stark, cold and minimalist is your preference, then follow your heart. As you can gather, I choose the feel of earthiness. Wood gives off that inviting aura of welcoming warmth.

 

What advice would you give to other women who wish to have a successful business career?

Follow your instinct and don’t be influenced by others. Ensure you have the best mentor possible and network, network, network.

 

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

I recently got flashed by a “Bergie” who was asking for money. He dropped his jeans (scary red boxers on show) as I stepped out of my car. You think my stopping outside the men’s clinic where I collect my medication had anything to do with that? Add my short cropped hair. I think he may have had his services engaged there before! I looked him up and down and said: Ugly boxers, pull up your pants………and strode off, laughing hysterically. When you get to a certain age, you see the humour in such situations.

 

What is your motto in life? / What is your favourite famous quote?

Motto: Live your life to the fullest, you only have one! Quote: Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. – Winston Churchill –

 

How do you conquer fears?

Fear is an exhausting emotion and if you allow it to fester, it will engulf you to the point of destruction. I have the ability to walk alongside fear without allowing it in. Furthermore, I engage in a pastime that will take up those energies in a productive way. I will start a new project, go for a walk, read or briefly discuss the situation with a trusted person, usually my mother, and move on.

 

You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?

As I love all things elephant, I wouldn’t even consider giving Ellie away never mind selling her. She would live in the pool for a day, I will feed her copious amounts of marula fruit, (she loves it and doesn’t get drunk, it’s a myth) finally, ensure she is calm and put her back in the wild where she belongs.

  

About Cindy Pivacic

Cindy is not one to sit around and wait for things to happen! Surviving HIV and Aids after diagnosis in 2004, she decided, packed and moved from Durban to Cape Town within ten days in June 2014. Having endured various life-threatening disease, including, HIV, Shingles, Pneumonia, two Strokes, TB Meningitis and Cancer (Angioimmunoblastic lymphadenopathy) between 2004 and 2008, is in the unique position to add valuable information from her life changing experiences.

These afflictions were attributed to her HIV diagnosis, she, however, currently thrives and is the epitome of good health and intends to prove that an HIV diagnosis is not the end of the World. She is a Speaker, Trainer, Author and Activist on HIV & AIDS as well as a PR Ninja. Cindy has shown that adversity can be overcome and turned into a rewarding and educational experience.

She encourages everyone to celebrate life now!