Just because you’re you

Twanna Monroe

BY MARCY NORTHRUP PALMERI, Contributing Writer

GULFPORT – It wasn’t Twanna Monroe’s birthday; it wasn’t her anniversary and she’s too young to be retiring, so what was the surprise party for Sat., July 12? Simple, because she is awesome. Pauline Robinson threw her daughter a surprise party to honor her sheer determination and high level of commitment to the community.

“My daughter deserved that party because she’s awesome. She does so much work in the community. She stepped out into faith and opened her own learning center,” said Robinson.

The center Robinson speaks of is called Infinite Potential Learning Center, and Monroe is reaching the next generation by nurturing, inspiring and engaging infants and toddlers by implementing a more holistic approach.

By the number of people who showed up for the party and who helped make it a night to remember, Monroe is accomplishing all that she has set out to do—helping young ones reach their full potential.

Robinson enlisted the help of family, friends and a plethora of others to create a unified effort in duplicating the popular game show “This is Your Life” in honor of her daughter’s accomplishments.

Each of the special guests had written a poem with clues that would subtlety disclose their identity to the unsuspecting guest of honor.

As far as Twanna was concerned, she was getting dressed up and ready to go to dinner with the possibility of dancing with her husband Kori and friends. She thought it was a little odd that they were picking up their friends at the Gulfport Recreation Center, but she had no idea what was in store for her. Upon arrival, the charade continued as the guests had all parked out of site.

The lights were out as she entered the building when suddenly she heard, “SURPRISE!” She was truly surprised.

“I still didn’t get that the party was for me. It wasn’t April or June; it wasn’t a birthday or anniversary. One by one they walked up to me and I thought, ‘How in the world did this happen?’”

Reality had set in. This party was for her.

She asked her mother why she threw the party for her to which Robinson replied, “I like what you’re trying to do in the community.” Her daughter’s accomplishments have a special meaning to her as they were both born and raised in St. Pete.

     
 

Her husband had been eager for his wife to open her own school for a number of years, but she had to prove to herself that she was ready. When she gave him the go ahead, he began working to build the bank-turned-school by closing off the drive-thru lane as part of the project.

Infinite Potential Learning Center is located at 2250 62nd Ave. S., St. Petersburg next door to the South Branch Public Library.

Her mother isn’t the only one who thinks she’s awesome. With each endeavor Monroe takes on, she makes it her own and somehow weaves it into the next project, attracting willing participants along the way. In all that she does and says, Monroe models the very behavior she hopes to instill into the lives of children. Her voice, tone and mannerisms echo that of a woman on a mission to change the future of her community one person at a time.

As an education interventionist, the former Pinellas County schoolteacher and business owner has been afforded the opportunity to explore alternative learning techniques that enable infants and toddlers to learn on their own terms. Dr. McHale and the University of South Florida are responsible for Monroe attending extensive workshops in both California and Washington.

“It doesn’t feel like work when you enjoy what you’re doing. It takes a village to raise a child and so many people are getting involved. I want the children to thrive not just survive. I want them to reach their maximum learning potential.”

Monroe celebrated the night away with her husband, friends, family and neighbors with her pride and joy sitting at the table beside her: her 21-year-old son Dejour and her 15-year-old daughter Dejhai. Her son Dejhaun was in Spain and unable to attend.

Congratulations Twanna for just being you!

For more information of Infinite Potential Learning Center, please call (727) 864-4752.

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