“What you want in a mentor is someone who truly cares for you and who will look after your interests and not just their own. When you do come across the right person to mentor you, start by showing them that the time they spend with you is worthwhile.” – Vivek Wadhwa
It is impossible to overstate the importance of having professional black mentors in the end of life and death care industry. Individuals who selflessly give of themselves, teach, encourage, uplift, and provide opportunity without being competitive all the while allowing apprentices, students, and professionals to stand on their shoulders and to build careers while passing the baton forward. Historically those who’ve held positions of power and influence have been white male gatekeepers. For young black professionals like myself and those that are constantly emerging, seeking help, guidance, direction, and support from these gatekeepers has been intimidating, disappointing and unfruitful. Luckily this changing.
In 2019, I was blessed to meet my mentor Mrs. Anita Grant. Anita Pollard Grant, RN, MS, BSN, AAS, MLD-C is the Founder and CEO of GranEnterprise LLC, the parent copy of the NBE Review Coach. Anita graduated cum laude from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree. As an undergraduate, she was a member of Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society for Nursing. After graduation, Anita became a licensed Registered Nurse and a Commissioned Officer in the United States Navy Nurse Corps. During those active-duty years, she gained hands-on experience in Same Day Surgical Care and Behavioral Health Nursing and in supervising staff, facilitating interdisciplinary communication and coordinating patient care. Years later, Anita transitioned to the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps where she served as a Nurse Manager as well as a National Healthcare Recruiter with the Department of Justice/Federal Bureau of Prisons, a Nurse Consultant/Surveyor with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and a Senior Program Manager for the National Institute of Corrections. In May 2021, Anita retired as an O6/Captain from the USPHS after almost thirty (30) years of honorable service.
Anita has been an answer to my prayers since the first time we met. Over the years she has poured into me in ways that would take too long to share in this 500-word blog. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Anita for The Death and Grief Talk Podcast. Though she and I have worked extensively together over the past 3 years developing course, trainings and much more and surprisingly, after all this time and sharing I had no idea what bought her to the death care industry.
During our time together, Anita and discuss the foundation of her career in the armed services, her transition into funeral services and her passion for combing her unique life experience, academic and professional skills to help students nationwide achieve licensure in both funeral directing and embalming. Anita also shared what legacy she hopes to leave behind.
Connect with Anita Online
About the Death & Grief Talk Podcast
Death and grief are sacred aspects of our human journey that we all witness, honor, and process uniquely. The Death and Grief Talk Podcast is here to host open and honest conversation about the questions, fears, anxieties, and emotions that we all experience when someone dies.
I am your host The Grave Woman. I'm a licensed funeral director, embalmer, insurance agent and scared death/grief care practitioner. I have over a decade of experience working in the death care industry. I am dedicated to helping everyone navigate individual journeys to find peace and purpose with life, death, and grief.
Ways you can listen on the go:
Anchor FM https://anchor.fm/deathandgrieftalk
Watch on YouTube www.youtube.com/thegravewoman
Follow @thegravewoman on social media
Joél Simone Anthony, also known as ‘The Grave Woman,’ is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. She is dedicated to eliminating misconceptions about post-life preparation while stimulating an open, honest and straight forward discussion about death. You can submit your comments, questions and requests to email@example.com or by using our contact page.