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About the Founder

betty-s-headshot-1.jpgBetty Jean was born in Augusta, Georgia into a big family during the time when “Jim Crow Laws” ruled the south. During this time, little chocolate girls were supposed to feel dumb and ugly. Somebody forgot to give Betty Jean’s family that memo. On the train ride to Philadelphia, she was bright eyed and excited about her future. Her late parents, Bless their Souls, showed her love, right or wrong, the best way they knew how. Her father told great stories about their ancestors, and riddles about everyday life, while the music of Dizzy Gillespie or Lena Horne played in the background. Her mother was a full-fledged Southern Baptist. She sang like Mahalia Jackson, and played guitar like B. B. King. Art and storytelling contests were big fun for the family. Betty Jean remains thankful for those days.


Fortunately, she was lucky enough to have a few teachers that recognized her academic excellence. Some encouraged her to pursue singing. In high school, her English teacher told her to become a writer. Betty Jean laughed immediately. The next day, the teacher pulled her aside and gave her a book written by Claude Brown. This teacher continued with a steady flow of books by Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Lorraine Hansberry, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Ralph Ellison. It changed the direction of her life.


Betty Jean (also known to many as Betty Thompson) was divorced and raising her children, when she earned a degree from Community College of Philadelphia and Temple University. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education. She continued her education at various institutions. She has received several awards, which includes, being nominated for “Teacher of the Year.” She has presented several papers which include topics such as; African/American History, Language Development,Perception, Reading & Writing, Thematic Teaching &Portfolio Assessment, Architecture, Design & Community History, and The Achievement Gap for African American Males.


Once upon a time, there was a teenage mother, on welfare, and living in a Philly Housing Project that defied the odds. She was poor and abused, with no voice. She proudly says that Family Support, Education and Prayer was the Blueprint that helped her find her voice, and cope with horrifying and difficult times. Knowledge is a powerful tool. It’s not just about academics, it is also about rebuilding character, having Faith, feeling good about yourself, and helping others.


A Small Candlelight,” is based on the life of the author and her son, Larry Thompson. When she began this journey, self -reflection was required. The tragic moments in her own life helped her to better understand her son’s pain and confusion, as he tried to make sense of his own harsh world. Sometimes, harshness creates sadness and confusion, numbs our brains, and makes us do stupid things!

Quote By Betty Jean- “Let My Testimony Be a Blessing toYou!”