High-Flyer Spotlight: Dedra Eatmon, Ph.D.

Meet Dedra Eatmon (Dr. Dee), founder of Tassel to Tassel and college transition strategist. She is a first-generation college graduate with over a decade of high school and college experience. Dr. Dee began working with high school graduates to share strategies for navigating the sometimes tricky college environment. Some may even consider her to be a freshman whisperer.

What She’s Rockin’!


High-Flyer Spotlight: Natasha Hinds

Meet the Founder and CEO of Keep Your Hair Headgear, LLC., Natasha Hinds, an Army veteran turned entrepreneur. She is an alumna of Saint Paul’s College and Webster University where she did a master’s degree in Computer Resources and Information Management. She also attended Syracuse University and the University of Maryland where she did a Master of Public Administration and Master of Business Administration, respectively.

Keep Your Hair Headgear manufactures satin and silk-lined products that have proved to be the perfect solution for hair loss. Their innovative silk-lined military headgear and satin-lined officially licensed headwear are empowering women and men transforming lives one strand at a time. Click here to check out her business. Click here to connect with Natasha on LinkedIn.

What She’s Rockin’!


High-Flyer Spotlight: Shelia Higgs “Shiggs” Burkhalter

Shelia Burkhalter is a 27-year higher education executive, educator, change-maker, culture shaper, and executive and leadership transitions coach. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and political science from Southeast Missouri State University, a master’s degree in student affairs administration from Indiana University- Bloomington, and an M.B.A. in management from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.

Burkhalter is currently the vice president for student affairs at Winthrop University. Before that, she served as the vice president for student affairs at the University of Baltimore, a director of the first-year experience program at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, and associate dean of students for campus involvement at Bowling Green State University in Ohio among other roles.

Click here to get connected with Shelia.


High-Flyer Spotlight: Neferteri Strickland

Neferteri Strickland is a military service member and a cybertechnology strategist. She is the founder of Teachers&, which looks to provide the Pennsylvania industry with world-class educational talent focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math, (STEAM) education and post-secondary career readiness.

She is also the host of The Third Lieutenant Podcast, a first-of-its-kind podcast that focuses on the role that higher education plays in the journey of United States military service members. Often balancing a career, family, and multiple assignments and deployments, men and women in uniform and their support network are invited to share their success stories on this platform. In 2020, Neferteri began hosting “Design to Disrupt and Reimagine Education and the “Edupreneur Roundtable” at Venture Café Philadelphia.

Click here to get connected with Neferteri.


High-Flyer Spotlight: Dr. La’Tonya Rease Miles

Dr. La’Tonya Rease Miles (second to the right) is the Founder and Chief Strategist of First Gen and Juice. She also started and manages the dynamic Facebook group Empowering First-Generation College Students and is a co-founder of The Black First-Gen Collective. LT established two successful programs for first-generation college students. One at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the other at Loyola Marymount University. The programs are national Best Practices models, transforming the two universities into First-Gen Forward institutions. 

La’ Tonya is a trusted national expert on all things related to first-generation students. She advises higher education institutions around the nation as well as local high schools about first-gen students, new to college students, and students of color, assisting them in developing student-centered resources and programs. She earned a Ph.D. in American literature from the University of California, Los Angeles. her research interests include the hidden curriculum in higher education, narratives about the first-generation college experience, and the representation of first-generation students in popular culture. Her most recent publication explores the positive relationships between campus service workers and first-generation students.

Click here to get connected with LT.

What She’s Rockin’!


High-Flyer Spotlight: Tinisha Agramonte

Tinisha Agramonte (on the right) is the Architect of the First-Generation Professionals Initiative which is a first-of-its-kind Federal government diversity and inclusion program. Although she once identified as an at-risk youth, with the help of mentors and educators who saw potential in her, Tinisha was able to overcome significant challenges.

For over two decades, she’s been “paying it forward” as a champion for the advancement of equitable opportunities for all. In her many roles, she’s been a leader for federal agencies that include the Departments of Commerce, Veterans Affairs, Army, and Air Force, and the U.S. Small Business Administration. In those positions, she worked at various locations throughout the world including England, Japan, Germany, and stateside. Now, Tinisha is the Chief Diversity Officer for Motorola Solutions, Inc.

Recently, Tinisha was bestowed Eleanor Clark Diversity Leadership Award and named a Top 100 African American in business. She received her BA in Mass Communications from California State University, Hayward, and her MA in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma. Tinisha is also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Click here to get connected with Tinisha.

What She’s Rockin’!


3 Ways to Take Care of Your Drinkware

We’re excited that you’ve gotten signature drinkware from The First-Gen Shop! We want to make sure that you have the knowledge to take good care of it so you can enjoy it for as long a possible. With that in mind, here are a few ways to take care of your very fine beverage bestie.

  1. Discard any content that remains in your drinkware. In the event that the contents are sticking (especially if you have an item with a lid), run some hot water and add a dab of soap to let it soak for at least ten minutes.

  2. Handwash with warm, soapy water. (We can’t speak for others, but… You certainly want to wash your drinkware.) We suggest adding a drink of bleach or vinegar to the water to sanitize before your next use.) If you must use the dishwasher, be sure to place it on the top rack.

  3. Use the cloth to gently dry your drinkware. If you don’t have time to hand dry your drinkware, placing it on a dish rack or bar mat will do.

  4. Bonus: Put it in a place where it can’t be borrowed (and not returned… ha ha).

So, be it coffee, tea, water, hot cocoa, or a “special” grape juice, we want you to be delighted with every sip for years to come (just like Granny)!


6 Tips for Taking Care of Your Apparel

You’ve invested in apparel from The First-Gen Shop. As important as it is for us to offer you quality clothing, we want to ensure that we equip you with the knowledge to take good care of it and get the most out of your purchase. Hence, we’d like to offer you 6 tips for taking care of your goods.

  1. You’ll want to turn it inside out before putting it in the washing machine. A simple but easy and effective thing to do to make your apparel last longer. By doing so, you will create more “protection” and far less contact with the print on the apparel and anything else that you’re washing.

  2. Use cold water and wash apparel with similar colors. Cold water is always much better than hot or warm water. Also, this will help with colors fading and dyes from bleeding and messing up whatever is being washed.

  3. Be nice to your apparel and keep from washing it with jeans or harsher fabrics. When you do, harsher fabrics, like denim, may cause prints to peel when rubbed with softer fabric or prints during washing.

  4. Skip the bleach and/or fabric softeners. Regular detergent will do just fine to get your apparel to be “so fresh and so clean, clean.” When it comes to bleach, or any strong detergents like softeners, they’ll likely damage prints on your clothing. We know you don’t want that.

  5. Don’t iron the print at all. Prolonged ironing will damage the prints–they’ll peel. If you must use an iron (cause we don’t want you in the streets looking like a crinkled fry), lower the temperature settings of the iron, turn it inside out, and then iron it. Or, you can do like my elders used to do, put a sheet or towel over the print then get to it.

  6. Skip the dryers at all cost! Again, heat is always bad for anything that’s been printed. Don’t get us wrong, dryers are great and can certainly save us time, but they are terrible for apparel and their prints. Heat shrinks garments (especially those made of cotton) as well as damage prints, making them crack or peel. Again, be like the elders (cause you know that they know some stuff, right?) on this one and hang dry. We promise this is the best method.

Aight. That’s it for now. We hope you found this to be helpful and employ these tactics (hopefully all of them) to fully enjoy your apparel.