Dr. Anesha Fuller, Ed.D. is a New York City public school teacher, adjunct professor, and graduate of Capella University with a Doctorate of Education specializing in Curriculum and Instruction. She is the founder of the No Rest Until Success Foundation, which serves the NYC community in education awareness, but whose central aims are helping NYC high school seniors pursue their dreams of college by providing them with scholarships. Dr. Fuller’s success story stems from her upbringing in the Brownsville/East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, NY, and being exposed to the power of education and the places that a solid education can take you. Raised without either of her parents, she managed to put herself through school and remain student-loan and debt free. Her personal struggles have created in herself a sense of purpose to motivate and encourage others to use education to lift themselves out of poverty or the battle or rut that they may be in. She hopes to inspire people to a promising tomorrow.
Dr. Fuller is also the author of the book “Growing up Forsaken,” which describes parental abandonment and the mental health issues that plague so many people, who then hide their hurt and pain from a judgmental society.
Her purpose for the No Rest Until Success Foundation (NRUSF) is to leverage the resources that were made available to her to help students tap into the resources available to them in order to WIN!!! Education does not encompass only formal education—educating the mind with knowledge of all sorts can deliver people out of their present situations and unlock the doors to success.
Who is Dr. Fuller and what was your motivation for starting your brand?
I am an author, educator, professor, and founder of the No Rest until Success Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to raise and promote awareness of today’s educational issues. I am my own motivator. My story stems from being born in Jamaica and raised in the East Flatbush/Brownsville section of Brooklyn, NY. I never met my biological mother, and I basically raised myself with the help of my dad’s family. I’ve always been a very smart child and at the top of my class. I was always self-motivated because I never wanted to become a product of my environment. Throughout my life, I have met people that have helped to guide me and show me that if I use education, I can take myself out of poverty. I have been educated through the public school system and I eventually became a teacher, so I know the power of a good education.
I tell people that I have three personalities, and people who know me laugh when I say this, but so far I’ve gone through three stages in life. The first one is Anesha. People who are very close to me like family, friends, and the people I went to school with know me as Anesha; a very spunky, outspoken girl.
Then we have “Juicy”, which is what some people from my senior year of college up until now know me as because during my last year in college, I got into photography and created a business, which I am still currently pursuing. I have a wonderful photography service that has allowed me to meet some of the most influential individuals. So, most people know me by my nickname Juicy and she is a business owner who is fun and spontaneous.
The last personality is the professional side of me that people are getting more familiar with now, Dr. Fuller, the leader. In my book “Growing up Forsaken” I opened up about the issue of parental abandonment and the importance of mental health. I spoke out on these two issues because people normally turn a blind eye to it because they fear judgment.
I highlight the importance of these issues which influenced my research for my dissertation and my nonprofit “No Rest until Success Foundation” because, over the years, I’ve been seeing that a lot of children are struggling because they do not have a strong foundation. The ball was dropped somewhere along the way in their academic career and now we have so many children transitioning out of high school into college and the real world who cannot read and write properly. It’s a nationwide crisis. We’re in the age of social media and modern technology, and it’s so much easier for you to use an audio book. So there’s no reason to actually sit down and read a book because you can just listen to it. You don’t have to write a sentence because you can just speak into your phone and it would write the sentence for you. But what happens when you can’t use these things? What happens when you are in college and cannot submit a plagiarized paper? What are you going to do when you have to go to work and the boss asks you to send an email? These are life skills that our children are lacking, and especially the children that are not accessible to these resources. We also have to keep in mind that some of our parents are struggling and cannot afford to make a choice between paying rent and hiring a private tutor for their child. I consider myself a leader because I see the need and I am actively addressing it.
What are the main challenges you’ve faced with building your brand?
Self vs. Self
I’m shocked with where my life is going because I always knew that I was a leader, outspoken, different, and born with a purpose. I never actually knew what my purpose was until somebody prophesied over my life and told me what it was going to be. Now that I’m stepping into my manifested destiny, I struggle with questions like “Is this really happening to me?” and “Is this where I’m supposed to be?” A lot of people have not been exposed to Dr. Fuller. I’m stepping out from how people normally see me, which is as the party or picture girl. I’m scared of critics and what they might say about me. I fight this battle every day, but I pray on it because when I look at other great people, they’ve all been through criticism and had to fight through it. This is what God wants me to do so I have to walk in my purpose and live my manifested destiny.
Self vs. world
People may feel like I’m leaving them because now my circle has changed and my life is changing. But for what I want to do and what I want to be about, I cannot take everyone on this journey with me. Some of my friends will stay close to me and others, I have to leave them alone because what they want to do and I want to do are two different things. We cannot do this together. As your life changes, your circle changes. Some people weren’t too fond of me getting my doctorate because they felt I thought I was better than them. In life, you have to stop worrying about what other people think about you.
Self vs. other brands
Everyone is fighting for the number one spot. I’m always secure with myself because I feel like if this is what God wants then I’m doing the right thing. But then when you put yourself out there, some people would say “you’re doing too much” because you’re outshining them and they’ll try to tear down what you have to make their platform look better.
How did you discover your purpose?
I discovered my purpose since I was a small child. During my freshman year at Brooklyn College, the professor asked what we wanted to do in life. I said that my purpose was to give back, and what better way to help but to give the lifelong gift of education. I’ve always been aligned with things that allowed me to give. Even stepping into the classroom, my job always extends beyond just being a teacher. I’ve paid for trips, bought book bags etc. My friends call me the human Google because I am always willing to give information and resources when I can. So, my whole life has been geared towards helping others and being God’s servant.
What motivates you to keep going?
I do a lot, but I like to keep the structure in my life. I feel like if you do what you have to do and keep yourself extremely busy, you really don’t have time for drama. People don’t realize that the time is now. Every year, I put together a video compiling pictures that I’ve taken through the year and step back to admire how much I have done in just one year. Sometimes I feel like I don’t do enough because I’m very hard on myself. I’m my own biggest critic. I always self-reflect and self-evaluate: How can I change the situation? How can I be better? And I take advice. However, I pick who I take advice from because not everyone giving advice is constructive. I take meaningful advice from people that been there, done that and know the role. I also self-reflect and go to therapy every Friday. I vent, I say what’s wrong, I pick up the pieces and keep going because I do a lot.
Tell us about some of your accomplishments so far and which one you are most proud of.
Graduating with my Doctorate degree was extremely important to me because it taught me willpower. I paid $60,000 out of pocket for a program and sacrificed so much. In fact, I haven’t shopped or been on a decent vacation in about three or four years because I sacrificed that to put myself through school. It taught me how to manage my money. Paying my bills, keeping a roof over my head and paying my tuition were essential to me. It taught me how to grind different.
My second biggest accomplishment is writing my book “Growing up Forsaken”. I put it out in the universe that I am going to write a book before I turned 40 about my life. Crazy thing is, I looked at a Facebook memory and it was something that I said. I opened up about my parental abandonment and many people that know me didn’t know that side of me because I never talked about it. So, the book was very therapeutic for me. I put myself out there, and took off a mask that I was wearing for 32 years of my life. Nobody knew the pain and the hurt it was causing me because I am very private, but I was able to share my story because I know in my sharing my story, I can be helping someone else.
What can we expect to see from Dr. Fuller in the future?
I feel like I am Pinky and the Brain, but I just don’t have Brain yet. It’s just me running the show. I have so many great things in store for NRUSF. We’re going to be giving away our first scholarships this coming year. We have our January workshop about writing, and we have our March workshop called “Raising Better Boys, Raising Better Girls” where we are going to teach life skills to children in the community. Eventually, when I get funded, I want to get closer to standardized testing and have the children come in to do free test preparation. I also have my second book that I’m getting ready to put out in the spring which will discuss success. What does it mean to you? And How do you achieve it? You are going to get into the mind of a go-getter because that is what I consider myself.
What advice do you have for women who are looking to follow in your footsteps?
Success is not overnight. I used to look at other people and wonder why I was traveling the same road as them and still not getting where I needed to be. Then, I would self-reflect and remember that everybody’s journey is not the same. It takes time and greatness in the process. When you take your time and lay your bricks for your foundation and it is solid, it cannot crumble.