Sally Ann Gray - Shifting mindsets and transforming lives
A woman of virtue, living to fulfil her purpose, Sally Ann Gray exudes poise, grace, and power wherever she goes. This educator, author, empowerment coach and transformational speaker, has embarked on a mission to change lives, seeking to shift mindsets.
Hailing out of Kingston, Gray often tells her story. Not a tale of smooth-sailing victory, but one that has equipped her with tools she uses to help others.
Before sitting her common entrance exams, she lived happily with her parents. But that all changed when she discovered that her protectors were not her biological parents at 11. She learnt that her mother had given her away to strangers when she was just three months old.
"I recognised that my name was different from my parents and I started to ask questions. My adopted parents told me that my mother was walking along Lyndhurst Road, on her way to RJR in the drizzling rain. She wanted to make an announcement on the radio that she had a baby that she wanted to give away. And my father (the man who raised me) was driving and saw her. He stopped and asked her if she wanted help and she went in the car. It was then she explained to him her intention. He told her that she didn't have to do it, that he and his wife were unable to have children so they will take me," she explained.
Gray became uncertain of her identity and lacked self-worth and value. She grew into a defiant wayward youth and disruptive student who always sought trouble with her peers and teachers. Her behaviour eventually led to an expulsion from the St Andrew High School for Girls.
Ironically, this signalled a new beginning, one fuelled by dedication. Soon after, she enrolled into the HEART Academy and upon completion, she was placed at a financial institution in Crossroads, where she worked for a year.
"During this course, my life changed. I started reading more widely. I read Ben Carson's autobiography and I remembered meeting him as a child at a summer camp at the University of the West Indies. It was so vivid, I recalled him kneeling in front of me and telling me that I was going to do great things," she explained.
According to her, this memory and the lessons she gained from Carson's story ignited a fire inside her that pushed her to become successful. It caused her to pursue a teaching career, focusing on special education at the Mico Teachers College. She is now an eductor with more than 15 years' experience under her belt and a proud holder of the Jamaica Association for the Deaf Shield award for best performance in education. She has taught at several institutions locally and internationally, including her alma mater and Danny Williams School for the Deaf.
Gray has also held positions such as school inspector, special-needs curriculum designer, and is currently the head of school and programmes director for TGL School of Sales and Sales Management.
As she matured, she became wiser and started to bubble with the idea of pushing others to reach for their purpose. So, she started her speaking career and has travelled across the world to motivate and empower others.
Her latest book, The Renewal: Revive Everything Necessary Empower Within, is one of her master tools in transforming lives. It's cleverly crafted with practical exercises that guide you to develop the right attitude to get the goals you yearn for.
It focuses on managing your thoughts, ridding yourself of self-sabotaging ideas that run across your mind, and managing fears.
To set you on your path of mind renewal she advises: "The first thing that you should do in shifting your mindset is to read. It helps you to see what you could be, because you cannot be what you can't see. Then you have to create a vision."
Her book is available on Amazon.