April's Person of Inspiration, Claudine Moore, "Manifesting Africa: Yesterday's Dreams.

I was born in London, England to Caribbean parents from Barbados and Jamaica. While we were a proud British/Caribbean family, I was taught from a very young age to know that while born in England with Caribbean parentage my skin was black therefore I was an African and I should always be proud of this. The foundation set, I absorbed this notion without knowing how much Africa would feature in my future.

I took the bold move of moving to New York with no job, but I did have the support of amazing Grandparents who I lived with when I first moved to the big apple. All I wanted was to get a job in a Manhattan skyscraper building like the ones I had seen in American movies when growing up. With no experience, I landed a temp job working in a Public Relations department (yes in a sky scraper building on 5th Avenue) and despite being a recently qualified Psychotherapist, I knew that I wanted to go into PR and so began a successful PR career working with the world's biggest agencies and Fortune 100 brands.

I loved my work especially when I landed a regional leadership role with one of the world’s biggest agencies. I was the first black woman to hold a regional role in the history of the company. Despite the challenges that came with being one of a few women and person of color in a leadership role I loved my job and the opportunities it provided me. Out of nowhere, the economic downturn of 2008/9 happened, and I was unexpectedly laid off and had no new prospects as companies were downsizing. I was devastated. My job had become a part of my identity, and I felt like a lost failure, and as if things could not get any worse, my beloved Grandparents both died unexpectedly. All this happened in a matter of weeks. I did not know it at the time, but I became despondent, depressed and felt a complete lack of purpose and direction.

Dealing with grief, severance money running out, no new job on the horizon and rent to pay, I had no choice but to figure out a way to independently make money and somehow find a new direction and purpose. I decided to brush off an entity I had incorporated years before and launched my own PR consultancy called C Moore Media. This was an entity I had created but hardly used. The company name used my initials and my beloved Grandfather's initials, Colin Moore.

Since being told as a child that at my source I was African, I had always wanted to visit the continent; I decided to shift my previous focus to incorporate business with and travel to Africa. Shortly after this decision, I won a British Airway's competition, and the prize was a trip for two to a country of my choice. I chose South Africa, and my dream of visiting the Continent became a reality.

Around this time I began creating a vision book full of images, words, and phrases that reflected my dreams and aspirations. I prayed and continued to pray over all the dreams I have placed in this book. While many of them are yet to come to fruition, many of them have manifested themselves. In my vision book, I have a map of Africa with a sequin on each country I want to visit, most of them in West Africa. A few weeks…yes weeks after creating this image, I secured a new contract with West and Central Africa fastest growing airline and began traveling back and forth to Africa several times a year. Talk about the manifestation of a lifelong dream. I have been to Africa for business and pleasure at least 25 times since 2011 visiting countries such as Kenya, Cameroon, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and more. During this time I expanded my business and consulting work in the US and Africa. I spent some time living and working in Nigeria and have worked with global and local brands as well as some of Africa's biggest business leaders including the former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Nigerian billionaire and Philanthropist Tony O. Elumelu.

To say I love Africa, especially Nigeria is an understatement. I stay in Lagos and while a hectic and crazy place, the energy, vibrancy, resourcefulness, and humor of Nigeria and Nigerians has made me fall in love with the country and its people. From a young age I have gravitated to Africa and to have the opportunity to live, work and travel there is a dream come true.

My vision book and prayer has and continues to be a powerful force in my life. As a born-again Christian, I have learned that having faith is an ‘active’ not ‘passive’ word. My Pastor A. R. Bernard teaches that we have to ‘fight to have faith’ and over the years I have learned how true this is.

I have faced challenges and disappointments over the years. For every success, there have been failures, and for every smiling picture on Instagram, there have been tears, but as Maya Angelou says ‘…and still, I rise…" and we all will if we continue putting one foot in front of the other. Accepting the setbacks as lessons and successes as gifts of encouragement along the way.

About Claudine

Claudine Moore is an award-winning global public relations, corporate communications and new business consultant working with agencies, companies and global business leaders. A passionate entrepreneur, Claudine has extensive experience working across the US, Europe and Africa. She is a six-year board member of Social Media Week Lagos, and sits on the board of the World Communication Forum, Davos, Switzerland. Claudine is also an Adjunct Professor at New York University teaching Global Public Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility.

To learn more about Claudine visit www.claudinemoore.com and follow her @ClaudineMoore on Instagram and Twitter. To learn more about C Moore Media visit www.cmooremedia.com and follow the company @CMooreMedia on Instagram and Twitter.

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