This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine. I’m partnering with Folgers® at Walmart through the Share A Cup & A Story campaign to create personal connections within my community
After serving as an assistant district attorney in Durham for over a decade, Shamieka Rhinehart set her sights on impacting Durham in a new way, as a district court judge. I’ve known Shamieka for many years now and am constantly inspired by her in many ways. She devotes so much of her time to the betterment of our community. There are groups of people that we know we should always thank – police officers, firefighters, military service members – but so many times we forget to thank the people doing the smaller, more mundane tasks, in the background of our communities.
In an effort to thank those around me more, I decided to put my thoughts into words about how thankful I am to have Shamieka as an inspiration in my life. After writing the letter below, I invited Shamieka over to share my words with her over dessert and a cup of Folgers coffee. It was truly an honor to get to spend this time with a dear friend who I admire so much. As always, she was truly an inspiration and I hope to work with her in the future to help her accomplish some dreams she has for the community!
Years ago, I was blessed to have you brought into my life through a great women’s organization for Durham & Orange counties. During one of our very first provisional meetings I was instantly drawn to your positivity and genuineness. I knew right then that you were going to make a powerful impact! Since that time, you have only continued to grow in your role within the Durham community and make a lasting impact in a community that so desperately needs a ray of sunshine like yourself. Even when things are hard, like they have been here in the past few weeks, your positivity is contagious and just being around you motivates me to make an impact too.
I love listening to you speak about absolutely anything – from speaking to young kids about staying in school, to your experiences as a public service in the criminal justice field, to your ideas and dreams. You have such a strong desire to help children in schools, especially young girls, to understand their worth, their potential and their strength. I can only hope that my own daughter grows up with you as a positive role model in her life! You volunteer countless hours each year in our community, but I think your biggest impact is felt in our community government.
You have dedicated your life to public service and I was so proud to vote for you this past November. I had no doubt in my mind that as a community government member, you would carry out my interests just as much as those that having differing views. You see someone’s potential and you are aware of how your decisions will impact others. You use the law to empower others and to effect real change in our community. You embody everything that our legal system should be. I know it is a tough job – in a highly emotionally charged environment, you have to put your emotions aside – but you do it with grace and strength.
Thank you for dedicating your life to this wonderful city of ours. It is an honor to know you and call you friend! Thank you for demonstrating strength in the face of adversity and for inspiring myself and others to strive for greatness always!
Learn more about Folgers Classic Roast and other great Folgers flavors including Colombian, Black Silk, Half Caff, and Gourmet Supreme! I purchased Folgers Classic Roast at Walmart in the coffee aisle.