Are you ready to get to know your second SOAR! Recipient?!  Meet Charisse Rhodes!

If you missed Charisse’s video submission, check it out below!

Some of you may remember seeing Charisse from last year’s SOAR! submissions.  It takes a lot of guts to try again (and we are so glad Charisse did).  This is her year!


Initial Thoughts by Charisse Rhodes

In being asked how I have felt these last few days, I am hard pressed to explain in a way that makes sense and does not make me sound like a rambling head case. Seriously, I just keep replaying the entire thing in my mind over and over. While I now know that I don’t have to be pinched, I am already awake; I do realize that as one of the 2010 SOAR Recipients, I have received a blessing that was truly unexpected.

As I sit here to write this initial post, I am consumed again with tears and overwhelming appreciation. I am totally excited and elated that somehow the stars aligned, or as I believe…God said to me, “Yes my dear, now it is your turn” and he gave me the opportunity to receive this amazing blessing of the SOAR Scholarship. I quickly saw that I was also given an even bigger gift. It was the gift of this amazing community of women who I get to live my journey out loud with. You are all the most compassionate beautiful group of women I have never met!

Last year at this time, I sat watching Linda, Jen and Lindsay receive their gifts. I remember the disappointment juxtaposed with a sense of relief and excitement for those three ladies. I knew in my spirit that it was not my time for this scholarship. There was other work in me that I needed to do to prepare myself and to learn on my own. I needed to make some baby steps by myself, yet not alone. I realized I received what I needed at that time. It was not gear, but a community of women and new associates…many of whom I have never met in person yet whom I can call upon for support! These friends are different though. They are not caught up in the drama of my everyday life. They share with me and allow me to share with them a passion and creative expression that I love so dearly. Over the year we have gently and at times, strongly encouraged one another to move forward, shared in our joys and disappointments. Trust me ladies, there are no winners and losers with this SOAR community.

What I found is that Me Ra & Brian are the most amazing people. They birthed this community of women and men who support us, to come together. It’s done in a way that we can learn, grow, achieve, and lean on each other in a way I have never seen in any other community. For me, that is huge. I so miss the sense of community that I remember growing up with in my home town. To think they created a place where we can find it on cyberspace is an amazing achievement!

My video showed a little sense of who I am. I am a nurturer who put almost everything and everyone’s needs before her own. I haven’t allowed myself to dream about my personal desires for years. Sometimes I was nearly at the point where I felt I was not supposed to.

The first video I did was a struggle.  Yet I showed myself I could do it and that it was okay to come out of the shadows of my life. I almost did not apply again, thinking I had no chance of being selected. Encouraged by some friends, along with several SOAR sisters from last year, I gave it a try. You can only imagine that I am so glad I did!   I made jokes about cleaning my house to prepare,  but boy oh boy if I only knew. I had no idea! My husband is usually terrible about keeping things from me. This time he and my one of my best friends really pulled one over on me! I thought I was going to a bridal show, only to hear my door bell ring and see Genie and Linda standing on my porch! OMG…the shock! Well, if you watched the video of my open mouth and wide eyes…well… you saw the shock. It was REAL. I couldn’t catch my breath!

However, within days my elation quickly went through a series of emotions. The other reality hit, that I had just expanded my little bubble of safety, and now I would need to fulfill, live out loud and dare to share dreams and fears that before now had been kept in a very private place. I can not duck and run for cover when life gets in the way as I have done before. The reality that I can share the other facets of myself beyond my motherhood was going to manifest. Wow!

While it is true that I may have access to a few extra tools and resources, there is still much work to be done.

I can not end this amazingly long post without thanking Me Ra, Brian, Genie, Sony, jill-e, Shootdotedit, Barefoot Memories,  SmugMug, Wisdom Connection, Pixel2Canvas and all the other sponsors that make this opportunity possible! To Linda, Jen, and Lindsay thank you for paving the way filled with authenticity and your willingness to support us over this next year. Thank you for believing in me! Thank you for your heart for helping women all over reach for their stars! I implore you my SOAR Sistas….let’s ROCK this thang!


Will you join me in welcoming this beautiful lady!! Congrats Charisse!  We are so excited to see this year unfold for you!



p.s.  To follow the individual journey of all three ladies, tune into the SOAR! blog on Tuesdays for Rachel, Wednesdays for Charisse and Thursdays for Ali!  It’s going to be an awesome year!

39 Comments: “Meet Charisse Rhodes, 2010 SOAR! Recipient!”

  1. It is your year Charisse! I am so excited to watch you SOAR! It is going to be fabulous.

  2. Freida Hall says:

    How much does your beauty just shine through in the above photo?! Lovely. :)

    Very excited for you to see what this year has in store & thankful you decided to expand your bubble of safety. :)

    Much love,

  3. Christen says:

    You are beautiful and worthy to receive Charisse… I am so excited to see you SOAR this year and how you will bless others through pursuing your dreams.

  4. pamela says:

    Eek! Excited for all of you ladies, as you share your journeys. Thank you for sharing & congratulations on the new path that is opened for you.

  5. Addie says:

    I love, love, love the idea of your submission video! It was very creative and put a woman’s perspective on the important “missions” in life. I think I can already hear the flutter of your wings! No doubt you will reach the heights of your dreams. Congratulations!

  6. Addie says:

    ….oh and I almost forgot….the images you shared were fantastic and beautiful.

  7. Wendy Roob says:

    Congratulations Charisse!

    Woman… it’s your turn!! YAY!! Divine timing is always perfect :) Can’t wait to watch what this glorious year is gonna bring to you!


  8. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sony Artisans, Me Ra Koh. Me Ra Koh said: New blog post: Meet Charisse Rhodes, 2010 SOAR! Recipient! […]

  9. jessica ho says:

    Its your turn, your year, your moment, SHINE on! :)

  10. Dawn Beirnes says:

    amazing post! I can so relate to always taking care of others and feeling like you’re not even suppose to have your own dreams. I am still that way, and at times feel like I will NEVER get to do photography full time. Can’t wait to follow you and the other two wonderful women on your journeys!

  11. Summie Roach says:

    Charisse thank you for listening to those around you and believing in yourself by submitting your video! Because you did, you are not only getting blessed but blessing us as we share in your journey, one that I am sure is going to be full of many aspects of life that we get to live as you did last year! As a “SOARer” from last year, you have experienced what we all are getting ready to and that alone is an encouragement! Thank you for your honesty, sharing your heart and embracing this journey with the rest of us! Spread your wing cuz we are ready to soar with you!

  12. Delanae says:

    Congratulations Chairisse. You are so beautiful and your video was fun to watch and I’m so excited to share this journey with you. You educated me today with the word juxtaposed. (Had to look it up). :)

    Keep bringing on the fun!

  13. ali anderson says:

    hey, lady! i absolutely cannot wait to learn from you this year. and i have a feeling that’s going to go waaaay beyond photography.

  14. Good for you Charisse. I remember my initial viewing of you Soar submission video. It made me smile as you were trying the Mission Impossible of running after your children as they flee from mom’s crazy camera. My family can relate as well. I am very happy for you. With your committment, I believe you will SOAR! We will be watching and wishing you much success.

  15. Brianna says:

    Congratulations Charisse! I’m so excited for you..and me because I’m going to be riding along with you! ;)

  16. ajira says:

    Yay Charisse! So happy for you and so proud of you to boot. Can’t wait to watch you ROCK this thang!

  17. Jill says:

    Love your post. I am so excited to follow you on your journey this year. Your initial thoughts hit home with me any many ways. Your gonna rock this thang!

  18. Samantha says:

    I am so happy for you and excited to tag along. I’m coming to understand that Soaring with Me Ra means embracing all of it- elation, disappointment, sadness, laughter, etc. Thank you for volunteering to be one of our guides for this year!

  19. Charisse,
    The moment I read that you had won, I was in tears, I was so happy for you. I know that this is exactly what your need to get you out of your comfort zone. I can’t wait to watch you grow as you embark on this journey in 2011.

    Congratulations again my fellow SOAR sister!

    Celebrate Life and Capture It!

  20. Somer says:

    Charisse, your video was my absolute favorite! You showed creativity and heart, and talent! I’m so glad that you won this scholarship and I can’t wait to follow along with your journey. congrats!!

  21. Tammy Snyder says:

    So looking forward to seeing you SOAR! this year as well. And excited to see you grow. Congratulations!

  22. Rachel Abelson says:

    Beautiful words, beautiful thoughts…thank you for sharing them! Can’t wait to do this together!

  23. Karen says:

    Charisse, I loved that you said you would need to “…live out loud and dare to share dreams and fears….” I’m sure that many of us who are following your journey will have some of the very same dreams, feelings and fears, so thank you for sharing from your heart! Blessings for the coming year!

  24. Charisse says:

    I just wanted to thank you all for being so kind and supportive of us in this journey we are taking together. Again my heart is warmed by your kindness. I really look forward to the year ahead with you all.

  25. Nicky says:

    So excited to watch and ride along with you in your journey!! Love you my friend!!

  26. Rhonda Kane says:

    Woo hoo Charisse!!!!
    It’s your year girl.

  27. Helene says:

    Charisse, your post is beautiful….congratulations!!!

  28. Congratulations!! Ready to follow this year with you & watch as your dream comes to life!!

  29. Lisa W. says:

    Mission impossible…. whatever! You are not only going to complete your SOAR! mission this year, you are going to ROCK iT all the way! I can’t wait to follow your journey. You go GiRL!

  30. charisse, it will be such an honor to follow along with you!! i LOVE that you said there are no winners and losers in the SOAR community…that’s the truth…the support makes it possible for everyone to succeed. i just love that you took advantage of that last year and love how amazing it will serve you in the coming year!

    way to go, charisse!!!

  31. Judith I says:

    You go girl!!!!! I cannot wait to follow along with you on this journey!!!!!!

  32. stacey samuel says:

    I am sooooo proud of you that I can not be put it into words. You inspire me! I love you. This is YOUR time to SOAR!

  33. Oh Charisse, I can not tell you how happy and excited I am for you to have this opportunity. It is rare as Mom’s that we feel it is okay to reach for what we want or need, but I challenge you to fully embrace that in the upcoming year. This is a truly special time that will be over in a blink of an eye. I hope that you grow in unexpected ways and that through this you become more than a better photographer, but instead a better mother, wife, and woman. You shine so brightly now my dear, I can only imagine how blinding you will be at the end of 2011. All my best!! I will be reading, listening, and watching. Your new stalker from up North!!

    Shine On!!

  34. Charisse,

    It’s funny when you hear another mom speaking – it almost feels like your own words. Moms definitely put everyone else’s needs before their own. Why is it that things like the daily dinner menu outweigh our photography or other personal goals and dreams? Why is it that we continue to let that happen? I am so proud of you especially when I read that you tried last year and weren’t selected. It’s so amazing that you made your dream important and tried again and succeeded!! I am so excited to follow along on this journey with you!


  35. Charisse ~

    Ever since last years submission… your smiling face has been a joy to see and follow from time to time! Yeah for being able to really witness your full journey and growth in Soaring to new found heights! You are beautiful inside and out and the Lords timing is always Perfect….Congrat’s Charisse….

    It’s officially your time to SOAR! xoxox

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  37. […] and people all around me to help make it happen. This is me being all in. Will you join me? Charisse, Rachel and I want to know What Is So for […]

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