May 17, 2023

Episode #80: Paradise Bradford – Pretty Passionate Hands

My passion for our youths who started families at a young (teens) age inspired me to start a nonprofit organization. Eight years ago, with what was just a dream, has now become a reality and my daily life. Advocating and bringing others together to support and encourage our teen parents to excel in life is my main goal and priority. My major motivation is my personal experience having been a teen parent who struggled through the process with little or no recourses.

I am currently training to improve in Professional Leadership, Early Childhood Education and Development. I have experience in Home Health Care, Hospice Care, Restaurant Management, Night Club & Lounge Hospitality, Administrative Assistance, Project Management, and Program Coordination. My greatest interest is compassion for others and building my skills and education in nonprofit organizations.

My professional journey has resulted to various opportunities to take part in many Cohorts and leadership committees, endorsements, scholarships and trainings. I hope to use the skills knowledge acquired in both my professional and personal endeavors.

I enjoy networking and connecting with community partners to share real stories of real teen parents because I work directly with our teen parents. I build safe environments for our teen parents to share their stories and ask for the support they need freely without fear or intimidation. Meeting our teen parents where they are and giving them the opportunities to further learning, while they thrive in life but mostly believe in their self is paramount.


hello this is coach Tim Campsall and I’m your host for the self-made as a myth make a difference together show where we are introduced or interviewing successful business owners and entrepreneurs to learn about their journey to uh developing a a successful business and because we know that business success doesn’t happen on our own we’re taking some time to recognize the folks who have helped us along our journey and recognizing them giving them shout outs and explaining how they have made a difference uh and helped us to excel today I’m excited to have a non-profit business owner with us today from Indiana my guest has a superpower of being at check this out a mother of seven wonderful kids she loves to learn about the about non-profit organizations and how she can be more impactful and she’s most proud of the fact that she’s taken all the lemons that life has given her and turned them into lemonade it is my pleasure to welcome Paradise to the show today hello Paradise hi Tim how are you I am fantastic thank you for asking well hey I’d love to start with having you introduce yourself to the audience tell us a little bit of your personal story right where you were born and live about your family and some of your hobbies okay my name is Paradise Bradford I am the founder and CEO of pretty passionate hands it’s a non-profit organization that supports teen mothers and fathers we’re located in Indianapolis and like you said I am a mother of seven I have one child that’s in heaven and I have six deaths here on Earth between the ages of 16 and um three I was born and raised in Niles Michigan and when I turned 16 or sorry when I turned 15 I moved to Indiana and that’s where I became a mother I am an older sister of six brothers and three sisters so I’ve always been like the one that’s in control or the bossy one but um my family um I have two sets parents and two biological parents um my hobby really right now um number one is being a mother uh I think just being a caretaker in general I love providing services for people whether it’s family or you know community and I also I love music I love to listen to music and um let’s say yeah I’m yeah I think that’s about it for the holidays I mean I mean I love networking I’ll get that one networking awesome uh tell us um is there a funny story that your family likes to to tell about you that you’d be willing to share with us today I think maybe all of my life I’ve been the babysitter and no matter where I go no matter what events happening anything they’re always like she has to be in control and I do because there’s always something that’s not going so everybody knows when I come they’re like okay here’s the bossy one coming and here I am I think that would be doing that everybody will say no matter where she goes she tries to make sure everything is running her way even funny or it can be either way yeah yeah that’s awesome and and we all know that uh it’s impossible to control every variable so something inevitably is going to go wrong right absolutely tell us how the business came about and at what point did you have the confidence to be able to start your non-profit oh so um pretty passionate hands came about in 2015 is when um I was released from prison and it was formed while I was in prison between the times of 2012 to 2015 and I was there at a moment in my life with a lady that was spending her life in prison and she’s like you know you’re not supposed to be here young lady I’m much younger than her um but she’s like I’ve seen a lot of girls come and go and I don’t believe this is the place for you so I’m like okay she’s like you need to really sit down and decide what you’re going to do to never come back because I see girls come and go but I just don’t see this happening for you so I wrote down all the things that um I had suffered with through my parenting um through my childhood and just through family you know and trying to figure out how did I really get here so during that time um while I was there I had like about 18 months left and I wrote down in a folder all the things that I needed when I got home and from there I kind of branched off to all the things I needed personally all the things that I needed for my children and family and community and friends and I was I had a list of things that I wasn’t going to do anymore and this is a new thing so my grandma always told me your people your places and your things that you that control what happens for you so I decided to take that chapter of my life and put it into full force when I was released in 2015 so that’s where pretty passionate hands came from um and during that time I’ve always been a giver my grandmother has always been a giver so it’s been something naturally that we you know my grandma lived on the Corner House so when we barbecued everybody came and fortunately every time I bought a house as an adult it was either on the corner or maybe even one house from the corner so I was like that’s how it was for me so naturally when I see the community out and they’re hungry I’ve always welcome everybody into my yard I I love it when I see little girls at the store with their babies or dads at the store with their babies and he’s confused on what he’s buying I naturally just you know jump in so um that is I believe where it started at the core and that’s just me being raised that way and um as an adult I’ve always gave back um very appreciative with life very appreciative to community because I didn’t come from a nice tight-knitted family so it was mostly Community or people in my neighborhood that became my family um so in 2019 I wanted to open a child care um right before cover so it was December 2019 and um I had a lot of friends of mine who um were supportive and we invested 20 000 into a child care and when I went to file for my paperwork the government shut down um so I was like what am I supposed to do so I tried to think of different things to use the space for while we were waiting for our documentation for child care and it didn’t go correct so I lost the space a few months later lost twenty thousand dollars and I was very depressed and trying to figure out what’s going on had a few deaths that came in my family from my step parent uh my stepmother passed my stepfather pass and then my brother was murdered and I lost myself with like going to a nine to five and I kind of just started laying around on what am I going to do I went through a couple of my folders and see my 501c3 sitting there and I’m like I do this naturally let me kind of see what this is so I went to a networking event and the lady was like you know I was asking her questions about what are these people doing like how do you use this and she explained to me what a 501c3 was and that was a day that changed my life and so in July of 2022 I went to a pitch competition and I didn’t know where I what I was walking into but I went I’m like I Googled non-profit on Eventbrite and was like oh I’m gonna try this out so at six o’clock I walk in it’s the pitch going on and I see them give away thirty thousand dollars wow that’s all I had to do like they can do that I know I can do this so from that day on the ball has been rolling in um in 2022 of November I actually got my first um space I was granted a grant through RM Indiana Foundation here in Indianapolis and that was the that’s where the ball went off from there and so I’ve been going going I’ve been doing cohorts been training myself I watched webinars and pretty passionate hands has sprouted from there so that’s how we got here fantastic so tell us a little bit more about the company um what do you guys do how do you help people it’s all pretty passionate hand supports teen mothers between the ages of 12 and 18 if you are a first time Mom you’re also able to enroll into our services um we are located in Indianapolis as I mentioned and we give mentorship we do one-on-one um mentoring with our families we do groups we take them out into the community so that they can have access to activities or places they don’t have on their own we teach them about parenting we do safe sleep we do CPR we do first aid they are trained um how to take care of their child in a crisis and remain calm we also have doulas at 28 weeks that our mothers receive for free we um have a pantry where they can come once a week or whenever they actually come they can come inside and grab whatever needs that they um need as a parent um we have partnered with other neighbors around us so if we don’t have those services that our families need like rental assistance or maybe you know job training we have partners that we send them there we’re focused more on the core values of sustaining a healthy and quality in the quality of life wow what an amazing um way to help your community I love it so Paradise share a story where someone pushed you or inspired you that you could do it even though maybe you didn’t think that you could and the impact that that person had on you there’s a very important person in my life that I met when I was working three jobs and they’re like you can do all this for other people what do you think you can do for yourself this person I would cry to them after I’m done I’m like I am exhausted I’ve worked all day you know I got all these excuses I’m this I’m back and they like looked at me and said when are you going to take care of yourself you know if you can find the strength to put into other people’s business you can do this for yourself so I’m a project manager and I always I work in management as well so I just never believed in myself that I would be able to do something myself and so I’m like I know I’m great at fixing everybody else’s problems I know I’m very confident in going to a business and don’t tell me I can’t do anything I can do it but for myself I’ve always found myself very insecure so when this person came along they’re like listen no take a little time out learn what patience is and stand still and figure out what you like to do and I believe that you can do anything and I just decided the non-profit was I just felt like sharing my story there was going to be the key value of this but also walking the journey that my teen parents walked you know but that day that this person said go ahead and try it for yourself I got your back I’m gonna be here to support it just took somebody to know that that scares that I had in my heart like what if something fails it didn’t matter there was someone there and I’ve thrived ever since yeah that’s awesome would that person be okay if you told us who they what their name is to to give them recognition

his name is um kayode kushimani awesome father and um he’s been very very supportive during my journey awesome wonderful so what’s been your biggest learning as a business owner patience

patience I know it’s different when you’re making money and you’re working and I mean you’re running a business for profits that’s completely different than the business you’re running that’s not for profit because um the first thing is we have to um be very patient when you’re applying for Grants be very patient where you’re waiting for outcomes be very patient with your families but also just be patient with the way that the business runs it runs completely different than a for-profit so my biggest my biggest um my biggest goal that I have put for 2023 is to just remain still and not brush things and ever since I’ve done that things have come out I mean I don’t know if that has been the key behind it but staying still and being patient definitely yeah I love that advice because I I believe it strongly applies to for-profit organizations as well right because at the end of the day a non-profit has to still make money or get money right in order to be able to to serve all the different areas that you’re serving and and for-profit same thing right we we all want you know generally speaking we all want success yesterday right we all want the new program that we launched or the marketing activity that we’re running to to pay dividends uh tomorrow instead of this month or next year um and sometimes that’s just not how it works you know sometimes there’s things that we have to learn and grow through and become you know better versions of ourself before we see the fruits of our labor so I love that that concept of of patience so how do you find that patience how do you keep yourself grounded and centered on that I just breathe being a mother of seven children I think everybody should know I’m very busy so I’m wanting results instantly you know it’s like the confirmation I need results instantly and the biggest I I don’t even really know how to answer that question because I don’t think I’ve mastered it yet but the results of what happens when you’re patient so that makes a huge difference for me but I don’t think I’ve mastered it but I do know that’s the key value that I’m gonna have to learn is patience and I think running a business you don’t you’re not gonna it doesn’t work that way you want like you said we want results yeah oh yeah I saw I was reading your uh your bio on your website and and you talked about your face so the the be still and know that I am God is a is a great reflection moment right of being able to trust that trust that it’s going to work out and it still is my biggest and and my faith absolutely praying and um staying consistent just staying consistent and believing and that’s what has worked out I mean every time I get confirmation it’s usually on a project that I have been rushing and I’m like okay I’m going to set this to the side I have control over this and then I’ll get that email and I’m like huh got it so yes um we know that business success doesn’t happen in isolation so tell us about one of your biggest challenges um as a um as you’ve been you know running your business and maybe a fellow business owner who came alongside you and helped you through that challenge I have a friend named Sierra Dotson I met her um in 2022 at a summer youth program conference that we were having for a grant invitation and I don’t know it was like God dropped her from heaven for me this lady is in the non-profit business as well and I call the non-profit business The Hunger Games because it’s like and I will never take that back because I read The Hunger Game before and I was just like wow when I thought of non-profit I thought this was going to be a healthy relation with everybody coming together and loving the community it is the popular games and when I met her she was so sweet and she has never changed she’s been the same consistent friend and and I mean she’s amazing and to walk alongside of being like we are in real life we’re we’re best friends but on the work life it’s not having a Burger King in McDonald’s it’s like May the best man win

going to each Grant round the same rooting for each other and you’re not going to find that much but to actually find a genuine business partner that is completely different when she finds out stuff she sends it to me when I find out stuff I send it to her she’s amazing and you don’t get that in this world um being very supportive as a friend and really genuinely wanting to see your business grow as well as the other is one of the great things about um the friendship that I have built with her that’s awesome I love that so I’m going to put you on the spot here a little bit Paradise if I um ask you to pick three people in your business Journey that you are most grateful for being there for you to help with your business’s growth who are those uh three people and how they help you I mean would be coyote it will be tiara and my friend Kenya and Kyle day has just been there to make sure you know I stay focused on what the path is for and that’s my children and what I’m doing and remembering what is the intention behind the growth yes the nonprofit is to support my um Community but it’s also to leave a legacy for my children to know this is who my mom is this is my mom was and a lot of people don’t get the the privilege or the um advantage to be able to share their story like this so he keeps me leveled and grounded especially when I feel like giving up because this is really stressful um so I’m very appreciative with him um Sierra she’s that friend that reminds me of who I am in the rooms you can get discouraged sometimes you know when you’re seeing the awards going to the same people or when you’re seeing that you’re driving every day you’re getting up and you’re driven for this and it doesn’t work out all the time she’s the person that reminds me that actually walks in the work field with me and say this is where we’re going and everybody’s not going to say yes and everybody don’t know who we are just yet but guess what it’s coming so I am very appreciative to her and then I have a friend named um Kenya who has been here in the non-profit world with me from almost day one like we started in the same classroom today with her kids and that’s how we met she has a non-profit as well um and she I mean we sit and we talk in I think we’re on the same she continues to let me know even though you’re so you’re past me and you’re growing quicker than I am I am so proud of you right I look up to you and I look at her like I look up to you so those are the three main people and if I could just add the rest my children are my inspiration if you look at my logo those are my children and those are my hands they’re my complete world and I wouldn’t change it for anything I do everything I do for my children oh that’s so sweet um you bring in tears to my eyes Paradise as you think about the the next three to five years what are the biggest challenges that you see that you’re gonna face in in get into your goals and who are the types of people that you’re gonna need to overcome those challenges um the next three to five years I am hoping um pretty passionate hands um beliefs in everybody having high quality and access to child care so I am hoping that our first facility will be up and operating and we are serving our families with complete intentions to change their lives and support them through their Journeys and also um I I believe that we will be serving more families and a lot of our families that are here now will be in a better success story and really letting people know what pretty passionate hands is I feel my biggest barrier right now and I think that’s the only barrier we’re facing is our financial state to make sure that we’re still here I do know that we will be here no matter what but as far as like being in the place where the families can come um but I do believe over time and with everything that is going in God’s plans that I haven’t no doubt that in five years there will be I’ll say from Indiana to California will know about pretty passionate hands yeah I love it so um how can people help is there are there things that folks listening can do to help support the the mission absolutely so we have a website it’s PPH you can get on there and I’m and we update our needs frequently but our biggest needs is um diapers and wipes obviously we need um car seats and strollers and the basic essential needs for our families just soap toothpaste toothbrushes people really don’t understand how useful that can be our teen parents they’re only they’re 12 to 18 so a lot of them are still learning how to be individuals but they need the basic needs and that’s our goal is just to provide the basic things for them to get up take a shower and have clean clothing on um another great thing that we um have just started this year is receiving gift cards for our families because we don’t always know what our team parents need in in our pantry I feel like if I put this here they feel like oh this is what I have to pick through I want them to have their own experience to walk into the store and purchase what they want because a lot of our families don’t even have access to be able to some of them only get hand-me-downs or you know may go to Thrift Store or sorry pantries and receive things so I want them to have that experience to go to the store and purchase what a team mother will want for her child on her child’s birthday and that’s why we asked for gift cards so um there’s more details on our website they can always give us a call at 317-737-6435 but we’re always accepting any donations we do ask that any donations that are given to us they’re new because our parents are not privileged to have new items that is the purpose is for them to unwrap and feel that this is fine yeah I love it so you just mentioned something that I’m sure a lot of folks listening wouldn’t even have awareness of I think you said that your teen mother’s age from 12 to 17 is that did I hear that right yeah it’s 12 to 18 yes sir 18. wow so yeah so so there’s a you guys are making a significant difference in the lives of of like you said earlier people who are still kids right they’re still learning how to how to be an adult and now they’ve got the responsibility of of uh also taking care of their child so absolutely so um I want everyone to know the difference because a lot of people say well what is different with your organization the key point in our organization is those 12 to 18 year old 18 year olds they can’t go to other organizations and get support because they’re underage so when you go into other organizations they want your ID they want this my families are coming from backgrounds that you may not even imagine and their parents won’t get up and come and sign a paper for them to get diapers their parents won’t take them to the WIC office to sign those papers and as long as you’re under 18 you cannot sign for yourself so what we do at pretty passionate hands is there’s no questions if they come and say I need milk we give them the milk that’s on our Shelf they say they need diapers it’s there for them these are children who can’t speak for their self and again they’re learning they don’t know how to go somewhere and say hey my baby does have a diaper rash can you help me with this because I’m short on cash this week that’s the difference with an adult speaking for their family and the child just saying my baby needs diapers you have to be able to say okay I understand but when a 12 year old tells you that and you would think where’s your mom some of them don’t have a mom there so that’s what we’re there for so that’s what makes us different that’s what I’m pressing for the community to understand these children do exist they do and until CPS or until something tragic happens we don’t notice and we shouldn’t have to get there when you know we we know that maybe some of us have walked in that path and I had the privilege of being that team parent wow whatever just an incredible difference that you’re making in the community I’m so uh I’m so proud of you for stepping out of your own fears and and uh and leaning into this and and trusting that um that God’s Gonna provide for you God congratulations thank you so much and everybody can look out for us um hopefully we’ll receive this grant for our first 24-hour child care that provides high quality child care to low-income families so that is a great thing that we are waiting on so patience [Laughter] that’s a big thing so if you guys see these people these nice lavender houses start popping up into your communities that’s pretty passionate hence providing home child cares to our families who may not even have a home so when they come to that daycare for those two hours they get that experience two hours eight hours they get fixed I love it yeah last question here Paradise so Jim Rohn um an amazing uh business uh Guru and and author one of his quotes is that we become the average of the five people that we spend the most time with so as you think about that quote and your own Journey what advice would you have for business owners who are trying to do it on their own who think that they they don’t need to ask for help or shouldn’t ask for help and that they need to do it by themselves what would what advice would you have for them I would tell them it’s impossible I believe it’s impossible no it’s very lonely at the top so just think if you try to climb there by yourself it’s not going to be what you feel it should be business owners only become successful when you build a group of people around you who want the best in your interests and you don’t find that it’s hard to find it but it’s out there and those people are not your friends they’re not your family members these are people who you’re going to come across through networking they’re going to be people that you have to be vulnerable and look at and say hey can you teach me that and be okay with that you don’t know everything and I think being authentically yourself and being able to say hey I need support it will come to you and that’s when the best support comes I I love what you just said about it it’s Lonely at the Top I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spoken with business owners and and that’s what they say right when when we were an employee we always had a manager to go to right and bounce ideas off of and get guidance and Direction and now I that a lot of folks tell me I don’t I don’t want to take this this burden home and share it with my family so I just carry it by myself and it’s stressful and it’s you know it’s overwhelming at times but I don’t want to you know I don’t want to scare my family and let them know what’s really going on so I just do it on my on my own so yeah um so being able to have somebody to share that with and and right and and unburden ourselves and get advice and tips and and stuff like a mentor you need it it’s it’s very much needed in the business world because your wife or your husband does not work with you and again like you said we don’t want to carry that home but it’s a different language that you speak and it’s going to help you get over a lot of barriers that you’ll stress to yourself about I understood when I found my friends in networking that the questions that I would go to Google and ask they know if they’ve been there so you want to have those people around you it’s going to save you a lot of stress save you a lot of stress it’s going to save you a lot and then again be patient with other business owners because even though their intentions are to help you people are busy this is a busy World sure you step into entrepreneurship you have to understand I will keep going back to this work patience is a virtue and I’m telling you you get your friends around you you make your networks you find your key value people and that’s who you thrive into what is the what is their need that I can get and what can I get back and I think that’s been my best thing what I find that is good for me for my friends I am the network I am community so I always send to them and they just need to be a listening ear for me because I just need somebody who listens and give me a support when needed so it balances so definitely patience and you have to have people around you that’s just how life is we bring our clients together once a quarter for a 90-day planning session and the thing that the magical thing that happens is other people share some of their struggles or challenges and everybody there’s just there’s like this sigh of relief in the room of oh my goodness I’m not the only one that struggles with that wow right there’s a there’s a successful business over there that has the same challenges or similar challenges and wow I’m not alone right it’s it’s amazing how how much we all think that we can’t be real and honest and so we keep it all inside and then once we understand that you know we’re all on the similar Journey it allows us to to let go of that fear and just you know embrace it and and open up to others right and have those conversations and share best practices and and help one another along the journey yep Paradise sounds like you’ve had um some pretty incredible people in your life that you’ve been blessed with so um that have helped you on your journey if they were all here on the show today what would you want to say to them I would tell them that I love them with every cell in my body and I wouldn’t be here without their support genuine support and I appreciate them every day and um outside of me texting them every morning to let them know how much I appreciate them I would like to tell them on this show I wouldn’t be here without you guys and I love you I love it um Paradise it has been an absolute pleasure speaking with you today thank you so much for being on the show thank you for having me to everyone who tuned in thanks for listening to the self-made is a myth show with your host coach Tim campsel be sure to help us spread the movement by liking the show and posting about it on your social media and to join our movement go to be mad all right folks that’s a wrap make sure to pay it forward and I’ll see you all next time take care