East Florida State College | Energetic leadership and motivational speaker Pegine excites students


Energetic leadership and motivational speaker Pegine excites students

November 16, 2022 – Best-selling author and award-winning businesswoman Pegine shared her inspiring journey from a tough upbringing on the streets of New York to an advisor to US presidents and CEOs at the Simpkins Speaker Series event Wednesday on Cocoa Campus.

Pegine opened up about her teenage years, when she lost a sister to a drug overdose and became a gang member.

She knew when she wanted to come out, change her life and find out who she was meant to be.

“In my mind, in my head, this was happening: I’m so not going to be like my sister. And in my mind, I said, just show me who I’m supposed to be,” Pegine told the crowd. .

With just $1,000 in her pocket, she got on a plane and moved to Spain when she was 17.

She went to several kindergartens looking for a job, but since she didn’t speak Spanish well, everyone turned her down.

With the need to earn money quickly, she had the idea to open what she called the first bilingual kindergarten where she lived in Spain.

“I remembered that in the United States, bilingual education was happening,” she said. “I finally decided to open a bilingual preschool for English and Spanish and with the help of a local investor I was able to do it,” Pegine said. “That’s when I knew I could do anything.”

An introductory video showed how far she’s come, showing Pegine as an advisor to US presidential task forces, international organizations, and many Fortune 500 companies. She focuses on teaching leadership skills and on the importance of engaging effectively with people and stakeholders.

Pegine, who lives in Jacksonville, is the founder of Power Women Worldwide, and goes by a name while joking that if it’s good enough for Oprah and Beyoncé, it’s good enough for her.

Her latest book is “Called to Lead: Success Strategies for Women”.

Pegine shared many of the tools, tips and techniques that helped her become the entrepreneur she is today, including stories about influencing, impacting and inspiring others to increase profits. , productivity and positivity.

“There is this beautiful buffet of life in front of you and you have to find what you love and take leadership of it. Either way, you are destined to do it. You feel much happier when you do your passion and that you are living your purpose.

Pegine interacted with the crowd, which consisted of EFSC students, as well as students from Brevard County high schools including Viera, Rockledge, Space Coast, Merritt Island, Titusville, Astronaut, Cocoa, as well as the ‘Emma Jewel Charter Academy.

At one point, she asked if there were any teenage entrepreneurs in the crowd and selected a young woman who said she made custom t-shirts. Pegine then walked her through how to build a personal brand in an engaging exchange that led to laughs and lessons every student could build on.

The Simpkins Speaker Series is the legacy of highly successful Space Coast entrepreneur and Brevard County business leader Bernard W. Simpkins, who created the event to bring the nation’s top business innovators to the Eastern Florida State College.

Four people on stage with a $1,000 ceremonial scholarship check

Fall 2022 Simpkins Scholarship recipient E’ala Burgess (left) receives her ceremonial check from EFSC Foundation Executive Director of Operations Tonya Cherry, Jill Simpkins, daughter of the late Bernie Simpkins, and the Dr. Mike Cadore, EFSC’s Executive Director of Community Engagement.

At each event, an EFSC student receives a $1,000 Simpkins Scholarship from the Eastern Florida State College Foundation for classroom excellence and true entrepreneurial spirit.

The fall 2022 recipient was EFSC student E’ala Burgess, who is currently pursuing an associate’s degree in business administration and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

“Because of the life I lived as a youth, entrepreneurship now runs through my soul and I have the determination to succeed with my business no matter how long it takes or what obstacles come my way. will present,” Burgess wrote in her scholarship application essay.

“I am a driven, ambitious young woman who knows what she wants in life and in business,” wrote Burgess, who also works full-time and is developing a local pet-sitting and home-based business.

Pegine encouraged this type of entrepreneurial initiative even when she was young, emphasizing that entrepreneurship involves being powerful, strong and having an impact.

“Just because you’re where you are doesn’t mean that’s where you’ll end up,” she said. “Be bold. Be brave. Be seen. Be heard. Get paid well. If you don’t, it’s only you who decided you can’t. Decide you can because you’re worth it .


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