Nicole Brisco is an innovative and passionate educator, a devoted and creative mother and an award-winning artist! Each role is strongly connected, balancing and fortifying the other, to earn her the incredible success she has found in all three. … Brisco loves her role as an artist and believes it makes her a better educator. She has always been artistic, and at an early age, she remembers sitting at her mother’s feet drawing and coloring at the end of the school day.
Life is full of challenges. We can see some of them coming and therefore steady ourselves as we prepare for the impact. However, some of them show up out of nowhere, surprising us with no rhyme or reason, offering us a choice. On some level, we may actually seek challenges. We want to learn and grow, and it seems life’s most effective tool for growth appears in the form of our experiences. But with these, what do we co-create with that reality? What awareness do we develop because of it? What glimpse of our highest self does this give us?
Pleasant Grove alumni, Anish Sheth, graduated from The University of Texas at 19 with a degree in Government and graduated from Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law in 2001. He practiced law in both Washington D.C. and New York for international law firms. Anish also worked in international finance at the Hong-Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in Hong Kong. He founded and later sold World Peas Brand of plant-based snacks.
Hang on to your Hat … No one will be writing a sonnet about my Easter bonnet. As a little girl I always felt my Easter outfit was incomplete without a hat, and every year I begged my mother to buy me one. Though she was a tough sell, she usually gave in to my badgering. Hat in hand, I would happily anticipate Easter Sunday. Only on Easter Sunday would I remember the idea of wearing a hat, and the actual wearing of said hat are two completely different things. I kept trying, though, and even took a few stabs at wearing an Easter hat as an adult.
Heart-shaped candy boxes, heart-shaped balloons, heart-shaped cookies… February really is all about the heart. Every year, we use the fourteenth to celebrate those we love and express to them how much they mean to us. However, our heart obsession is not limited to the parties and confections of Valentine’s Day. February is also National Heart Month and serves to bring awareness to the importance of heart health and the millions across the nation who suffer with heart conditions.
Mark McWilliams lived in Texarkana for 18 years. He is owner of Arista Winery and Vineyards, founded in 2002 in Sonoma County, California. Arista has become one of California’s most sought after producers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Arista’s wines are produced in small quantities and have deep, rich flavors that reflect the unique sites from which they come. … What is your favorite Texarkana memory? … Growing up in a place, you have tons of memories and it’s difficult to pick one.
The communal roots of talented artists find their homes in the twin cities. Growing up here, I enjoyed the music of my parents, Professor Samuel and Rosie Williamson-Collins, both singers of gospel music and pianists. After performing with the Dunbar High School Marching Band in 1968, I continued my music studies with the late Bob Ingram, former Texarkana Independent School District Supervisor of the Instrumental Music Program. I also enjoyed singing in the choir.
Hometown country music star, Collin Raye, has had 24 top ten records, 16 number one hits and is a 10-time CMA and ACM nominee. Getting his start in Texarkana, he has enjoyed a successful career and continues to release incredible music. His newest album, SCARS, is now available. … What is your favorite Texarkana memory? … Probably our mom sitting in my brother’s room with us, with our guitars out singing harmony. Didn’t truly appreciate it at the time, but that’s how I learned to sing harmony. … Where was your favorite place to eat in Texarkana?
I grew up in a large family, and my favorite time was Sunday dinner after church, sitting around the table eating fried chicken and talking. Everyone discussed the previous week’s events and spoke about their plans for the following week. In those talks around the table, I learned so much about my family; the areas where they were struggling, where they were succeeding, what their hopes were for the future and their plans for making those dreams come true. It was precious time. … It is as true now as it was then; the table sets the stage for some of the most meaningful conversations.
A famous philosopher once said, “We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” This statement stirs something inside the heart of even the most dedicated wallflower. Whether for fun or romance, in worship or in performance, there’s just something about dancing that takes stress and worry and sets them aside for a brief moment and replaces them with joy.