When Queens Talk: Keepin’ it REAL with Shalise McClure

She asked God to give her a vision. A vision that would not only shine light on her purpose, but a vision that today’s youth would gravitate towards. Indeed, He answered her prayer.

With her God-given peculiar and passionate vision, Shalise McClure is dedicated to reviving young girls and women to refocus on their goals and purpose in being successful. It is her mission that every area in their lives be focused in the right direction. After all, that is what REAL is all about.

TNJ had the pleasure to speak with the 27-year-old Founder about the launch of REAL, her work with Everything Girls Love and why she finally decided to step outside of her comfort zone.

Congratulations on the success of REAL! Tell me, what inspired you to start it?
SM: I’m 27 years old and I’m at a time in my life where I really needed to focus. I needed to figure out what it was that I wanted to do. I wish I would’ve started earlier. I needed something that people could relate to. I asked God to give me something people could relate to and He gave me REAL. And then I asked Him to break it down and He said “Refocusing Every Aspect in Life”. Every area in my life I need to be focused in the right direction.

Your mission is so simple yet so powerful. How are you putting your mission to work?
SM: By going into the areas where the young people really need it. Schools, churches, after-school programs; anywhere I can be to uplift young people and let them know, especially young girls, that they can start young in their purpose.

Would you say REAL is similar to a mentoring program or that it is one?
SM: That’s exactly what it is. I have a partnership with Wing Diva program and we go into the schools and listen to the girls. The conference was just a start!

That’s my next question! Congratulations on your first conference that you had in June! How did it go?
SM: I cried it was so good! I had a lot of business women come and pour into the young girls. They gave them tips, they interacted with the girls. The girls had the opportunity to go to each table and get a one-on-one with each person. I made sure the speakers were diverse so that the girls knew they can do anything they put their minds to! The guest speaker was Denise Renee, she was awesome!

I’m so happy I stepped forward into this! I’m the laid back one in the family. But I stepped forward and I’m so happy!

Can we expect another one?
SM: Yes! It will be next June in Atlanta! It’s going to be crazy!

You worked with EGL for quite some time. Would you say that her leadership helped to influence REAL?
SM: Well, Everything Girls Love is a blog that a group of women started, including Yandy Smith; this blog goes from beauty to business and more. I worked with the senior staff and interns as Executive editorial assistant. I learned so much from working with them and I’m actually back with them now. It’s helping me to stay focused. When you’re doing a bunch of things, it’s easy to get distracted. But being under all of these great women really helps me take the leadership role.

Would you say you’re upbringing in the church is where your love for mentoring young people started?
SM: Yes, growing up in the church really helped me. My parents instilled in me as much as they could. Young people nowadays? It has to be something in the milk! [laughs] They’re coming out doing different things and saying different things. I just want every young person that comes to me to find their purpose. Follow God and listen to God’s voice! Finding purpose is something very passionate to me. They cling to me! I don’t know why! When I realized it, I realized I needed to be an example. I’m not perfect and I do let that be known. I do the best that I can!

What’s the legacy that you want to leave behind?
SM: Just going after what it is that you want! I don’t go to my parents’ church because it’s their church. I go because I actually get something from God. I want young people to focus on hearing God’s voice, praying and getting direction from Him. Because He can give you anything that you need, just go and rely on Him! I want to leave a legacy of being that person that people can just come to. My faith is so strong!

Who is Shalise?
SM: I’m the life of the party! I’m very fun, very down to earth. You can come to me about anything and I won’t judge you. I hate when people judge!

What’s next for Real?
SM: We’re going back into the schools, the New Haven Public School System. New t-shirts are coming out! People really love it and I’m so happy. It’s time to get people to refocus. Even if you fell off, God gives chances so keep going!

If you had to choose one word that describes you, what would you choose and why?
SM: Passionate. I really am in a place where I want to find who I am. Not just the preacher’s daughter but who I am as a person. I’m passionate about everything that I do! I’m passionate all around.