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Meet Vonetta Watson MA Ed., MCT of Techgem Educational Technologies in Cedar Hill

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vonetta Watson MA Ed., MCT

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
“When purpose meets passion, a liberation of self is birthed.” – Vonetta Watson

I vividly remember a conversation with my father about the direction of my life and career. During this conversation, he said, “Vonetta, you are an educator, a teacher at heart!” he said it with such conviction, and although I heard his words, it would be four years before I realized what he meant. Honestly, I had not considered the possibility of teaching or facilitation as a career; I thought my path was Corporate America. In 2005 two significant events happened. I graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a Minor in Management and the company I was working for laid off the entire workforce. Naturally, I sought employment with companies that focused on planning and organizing. Well, things did not go as planned. Remembering the words of my father, I decided that during my search for the “perfect job,” I would give teach. Between 2005-2006, I worked for a small healthcare consulting business, which delivered health education to children while subbing for an ISD, and this sparked my passion for teaching. I felt drawn to work with children, K-9, and decided to shift my path and obtain my teacher’s certification. In early 2006 I transitioned to a full-time job as a youth public school educational instructor with a nonprofit outreach organization whose focus was on Adult Education, career, job placement, and supplemental education.

As time progressed, I moved into an academic program coordinator for youth and adult education. I worked with many students from varying socio-economic backgrounds and educational levels. Still, I wondered if I was genuinely making an impact on their long-term educational success. I pondered my role, passion, and purpose so many times. I developed a deep desire to exam the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) methodology from and andragogy perspective (no adult left behind). I examined the possibilities of holistic learning to bridge child to parent educational and social-economic gaps. In 2007 I became the Academic Programs Director in Adult Basic and Secondary education, computer training, certification, and career development. While in the role of director, I realized the impact technology has on primary, secondary, higher-ed, and the workplace. A second love manifested; teaching with technology. In the role of director, I found my true passion and purpose; I wanted to, hands down, train adults with just-in-time technology skills that would allow them to close educational and social-economic gaps to secure or obtain a career.

I returned to college and obtained a Master in Adult Education and Training, certified in Microsoft Products, became a Subject Matter Expert, Special Learning Needs Resource Specialist, and Master Trainers of Trainers in Participatory Education. In 2009, TechGem Educational Technologies was established; however, it would be another nine years of skill-building and becoming a Technology & Software Educational Specialist before it (I) would truly bloom. In 2016, I decided to step out on faith and become my own BOSS.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
This journey has been long, and honestly, I still feel as if I am on it. I don’t think a real journey ever stops. It took me nine years to build the skills and confidence that I sit in today, and I, like many black women in Corporate America, feel as if they have to prove themselves every day. There were many naysayers, inside and outside my circle then, and there are some I’m sure now. See, my goal was not just to teach adults, but to teach educational technology. I wanted to empower people with skills that transcended their very own expectations of themselves. I knew it would not be easy. Technology is a vast industry that is predominantly male-driven. Women make up only 25% of the industry, and of that 1 % are black. This has made it an uphill battle at times; however, at the same time, I have found ways to bridge the gender gap and add gender-diversity balance into the fold, but it is also what pressed me to forge my path and become an entrepreneur.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Techgem Educational Technologies – what should we know?
Techgem Educational Technologies provides on-site and virtual software training solutions that are customizable, hands-on, high-energy, interactive, blended learning environments for individuals, small groups, corporate, or conference settings. Our goal is to come alongside our clients and train them in new knowledge-based skills or reinforce their current skillsets. We use Immersive Learning Experiences and Constructivist teaching tailored to multiple learning intelligence and learning styles to foster a community of learning. We also have services that extend to coaching, consulting, mentoring, and certification.

Since opening our doors in 2009, we’ve helped countless individuals & companies achieve their career and personal goals. We are committed to providing excellent education, training, and resources so that our clients will thrive in today’s competitive world, with flexible program options and excellent instruction. Guidance, Inspiration & Support is our mantra. At Techgem Educational Technologies, clients learn from industry professionals thoroughly invested in their entire learning process.

We are a mother and daughter team. A unique team is bringing chemistry like no other! Our love and respect for each other are what drives our team to do our utmost to bring quality training each time, no matter what. We have shared values of excellent customer service, education, and training, and accepting diversity is what makes for great chemistry!

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Many have left their footprints of encouragement; this list is endless. I have an excellent tribe; personal and professional. My Grandmother, Faye Foy, is my shero and one of many who have and do inspire me; she was an entrepreneur at heart. My father, Leroy Watson, pressed me and saw in me what I could not see in myself at the time; the love and heart for teaching. My mom, Brenda Daniels, one of my biggest supporters and cheerleaders; she is also my office manager. My bonus mom, Dr. Sharon Watson, a mighty prayer warrior, supporter, and cheerleader. I have three sisters, Kristal, Miracle, Shuntel, and five brothers, Shawn, Dezmond, Chris, Bradley, and Stephan, who are constant encouragers and supporters. They all started this journey with me. Rodney Edwards, my special guy, is walking advertisement, he is the perfect example of word-of-mouth marketing.

My mentor, Dr. Martin Hawkins, has supported, prayed, and walk me through my leap of faith. My dear friends and I have formed a business resource roundtable, Renewable Knowledge, designed to undergird, encourager, and serve as sounding boards for one another. Thank you, Heather White, owner of Make Your Mark; Patrice Powell, owner of All things That Bling; and Damion Trout owner of Damion Markies Consulting, LLC.

When it comes to clients, the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) and its members have been an intricate part of my company’s growth, they have supported, cheered, and advocated from the beginning. Some clients are so near and dear to my heart because they have stood, encouraged, and supported me as I made my leap of faith. They believed in me when I had no clients; Sowing Seeds of Joy, Whitney Metal Art, Urban Taste Catering, Edify Style, Southwest Minority Financial Group, Rated Purity Girl, Rollbounce Skate, and Redbird Skateland.

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YMCA Dallas

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