"It's amazing how much my mom did on my behalf. As a seventeen-year-old single mom with relatively little support and all the chips stacked against her, she was able to provide an incredible amount of support for me. Her lessons enriched my spirit, my emotions, and my relationship with God."
When Lisa, a seventeen-year-old from Queens, New York, found out she was pregnant, she knew she only had one choice—to keep the child and give him the best life she could. That baby was Terrence Jenkins, better known to the world as Terrence J. From hosting gigs on BET's 106 and Park and E! News to roles in some of Hollywood's biggest movies, Terrence J is living a life he could have only imagined when he was a young boy. But it was the lessons he learned from his mother that helped make him a man—lessons about sacrifice, courage, loyalty, dreams, and perseverance. Through her words and her actions, Lisa showed Terrence the right path.
From an early age Terrence's mother pushed him to succeed and led by example. Most important, she put her son first—even if it meant leaving behind the only life she had ever known in New York City in search of a safer environment for her son, having the drive to go back to school to learn a new skill, or having the courage to start her own business and build it from the ground up. Her drive eventually became Terrence's drive.
Inspirational, funny, current, and down-to-earth, The Wealth of My Mother's Wisdom offers advice for a new generation. With stories, lessons, and advice from one of the top young names in Hollywood, along with input from some of his famous friends like Kevin Hart, Ludacris, T.I., Trey Songz, and Laz Alonso, Terrence J offers a positive, powerful message: with a strong family bond, the possibilities are endless.
There is no greater love in this world than the love of a parent. Whether you have one or both, that unselfish sacrificial guidance of tough love, empowerment and unconditional support is something that is priceless and irreplaceable. There are so many people who don't get this gift but for those who do, its greatest acknowledgement is through life's success. In this inspiring homage of validation, The Wealth of My Mother's Wisdom, not only is a story about that special bond between a mother and son but represents every great parent who embodies the true definition of role model.
I didn't know much about Terrence J before I read this book but his story is one that I think can inspire and touch so many people. What I can appreciate is how refreshing it is to read a story about someone who defied the stereotype. We hear about so many people who have grown up in similar upbringings but always seem to hear about the bad but never the ones who succeed because they had a parent who fought for their hope, character and future.
From the very first page, you feel invited by a welcomed voice. The book chronicled his life through the lessons he learned from his mother that was followed by his mother's perspective on them. It also included stories told from some of his celebrity friends about their own experiences with their mothers. What I thought was a great way to pay it forward was throughout the story, we follow a girl named "Tiffany". She represented not only the young women they he mentored at the Boys & Girls Club but she could be any young girl today. Through the wisdom he learned from applying to his own life, he empowered her by helping her lay the foundation to make her life better.
All a parent can do is hope that the lessons they teach in their child's life is one that will foster their ability to soar when the time comes. I encourage every young person to read this because here is someone whose environment could've determined his fate but through diligence, hard work and all that he has learned, he is reaping the benefits of what was sowed. For every parent that has put their child first, you should read this to know that one day their success will be yours. Grab this book because not only will it inspire you but it will empower your heart to be better and what ever dreams you have to reach higher.
Reviewed by Michelle Bowles
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/1/2013