Photo of Sam Claflin
It has been a true privilege reconnecting with Alpha again after many years since our U.P. Diliman years in the Philippines. We’ve kept in touch a few times, but it was when she contacted me about featuring me on her blog last year that I have begun to rediscover Alpha and her many talents and abilities to inspire her friends and family, near and far. Ever since our communication last year, I have been following Alpha’s blog AMS Daily regularly, and I am always inspired by the stories and quotes she shares with her growing audience about living life optimistically and purposefully.
Coincidentally, a couple of weeks ago, I read that she was publishing a book with the same theme as her blog, and I thought to myself, “Why hasn’t anybody written a success story on Alpha?” So, after sending her a congratulatory note, I asked her the question, and I offered to interview her and write an article on the interview to be published on her blog if she would agree to it. She accepted graciously (not to mention humbly), and we started working on the written interview right away, exchanging messages and chatting on the telephone to complete the interview and of course to catch up on each other’s lives.
I must share that talking with Alpha on the phone brought me back to my interactions with her in college; she is still the same friendly and cheerful individual I’ve known. It is also amazing how she continues to exude graceful humility despite all her achievements as a mother, a wife, an inspirational blog founder and editor, an author, and as a Special Education Chairperson at Randolph High School in Boston, Massachusetts.
This interview article is evidence to Alpha M. Sanford’s passionate dedication to her goals, and through which we could to celebrate her, the epitome of a true success story. She has not only worked remarkably hard to share with us others’ success stories, but she herself is an example of one, and continues to be for each time she touches someone’s life through her blog, her books, and personal interactions with her friends, family and colleagues. Again, it is a privilege knowing and reconnecting with Alpha, as she truly is a constant blessing to everyone around her.
Below, Alpha shares with us her journey to success and her perspective on family, humanity, and aspirations.
Charm: Hello, Alpha. It’s been many years since college; how have you been, and what is keeping you busy these days?
Alpha: I know Charm it has been years! I am glad we are still in touch through emails. What is keeping me busy? Well, currently, my little one who is actually not little anymore keeps my husband and me busy. It is the summer time so we go out and do some fun activities! Aside from that, I am currently promoting my book, which is a collection of stories written by seven inspirational writers from amsdaily that will help guide readers to live purposefully. I definitely cannot wait until it is released on July 30th!
Charm: You are a second-time author; please share with us how you began your journey as an author, and the triumphs and challenges you’ve had as a writer.
Alpha: It probably started when I was just little. I remember keeping journals, diaries and notebooks of poetry, stories, etc. One of my more formal trainings in writing was when I was the editor-in-chief of my high school paper. Then in college, I wrote for Peyups.com (an online magazine for UP). Mimi, the founder of Peyups used to be my classmate in at least one education courses, and when Peyups went online, I was one of the very first contributors and I enjoyed it!
My first book was a collection of poems from my experiences as an immigrant. When I first arrived in the U.S., there were just so many things I had to learn and writing was my way of capturing my thoughts. In 2008, a year after I had my daughter I realized that my hometown library did not have the same quality of books that my daughter had, so I decided to publish a selection of my poems with the aim of donating all its proceeds to buy globally-themed children’s books. This project was realized with everybody’s help.
I like the fact that I can be an agent for change through my books in many ways possible. And of course, the challenges are numerous but as long as I stay true with my passion, I know anything is doable!
Charm: You also found and edit your own inspirational website. How did you come up with the site, and what else do you wish to accomplish and share with your readers?
Alpha: Last year, when I was finally done with my graduate degrees (yes I was in school practically every year since 2005) I felt like I had so much time! So, right before the school year ended I started communicating with my siblings back home just to catch up and share all the books, lessons, experiences I’ve had. I was so eager to share with them that I promised I would continue to do so in 30 days! We all enjoyed it – so at the end of the 30-day period, my youngest sister, Honey, requested to keep it as long as we can. That is when I decided to share what we have been talking about through a blog. And that is the beginning of it all
What I would like to happen for Aspire.Motivate.Succeed! is to continue to grow its readers and fan base, as I know that the more people who are aware of what we do, the more people are encouraged to become more motivated, more inspired and more successful. I would like our readers to feel each message that we share every day – and when I receive wonderful emails, thank-you emails from readers, I know our mission is being accomplished. However, I also know that there are more people out there (especially the young and hopeless) who will benefit from daily inspiration and I want them to know that our site exists for that sole purpose.
Charm: Your sharing of individual success stories on your website allows your readers to admire successful people and realize their dreams in various levels. However, do you realize that your own advocacy for a positive and grateful outlook in life really ties all the stories together, and thus you yourself are an epitome of a success story?
Alpha: Oh, thank you Charm! You are so sweet! To tell you frankly, I had never thought of it. I know I love reading stories of successful people and in almost all stories that I’ve read I always ask myself, ‘How did he/she do it? How can I be like her/him?’ From there, I gather all my motivation and copy what applies to me. It is my intention to spread great success stories to people of different walks of life, especially the youth. I want them to be inspired and perhaps start emulating the successes of exceptional people – as I do to myself.
Charm: They say behind every man’s success is a woman, but in your case, how has your husband played a role in your own success? How do you both measure each other’s success and your success as a team?
Alpha: My husband, Danny, is my rock. I am not where I am today without his support and his love. It was him who pushed me to ‘try it one more time’ in pursuing my Massachusetts educator’s license. It was him who said, “Go ahead, and enroll in your CAGS degree; besides the school is just down the street.” It is him who takes care of the details in our lives. I see the big picture while he paints the dots. He does everything that he can for our happiness. I believe we compliment each other: his strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa. In fact, one of my colleagues at work recently said, “Alpha, you must have a good husband!” And I told her, “I have the best husband in the world!” And, I would like to emphasize that having a prayerful husband really helps a lot. I told him one day that I intend to write an entitled, “Marry a Guy Who Prays,” as I think it is important for women and young girls to know that marrying a guy who has faith in God is incredibly helpful – and Danny, of course, agreed!
Charm: Children are another source of inspiration for many women’s success; how has your daughter inspired you in accomplishing your life goals?
Alpha: A lot, Charm. I always view each decision that I make as how it will impact my daughter’s future. As a parent, I want the best for her. My husband and I always say that she is the reason why we do our best, work our butts off and continue to live rightfully. We always thank God for she is a blessing to us.
Charm: From reading your blog, I am also inspired by how you celebrate not just the successful individuals you feature on your website, but also everything else that is optimistic about being human. How does this celebration of humanity allow you to fulfill your personal and professional goals?
Alpha: When I read and edit the articles I post on amsdaily from our regular contributors, I take that as a reward for doing what I do because I get to read those articles first and do them. Take for example the questions posted by Ronald Colunga on Tuesdays. When I hit the publish button, I answer the question first before it goes online. The same is true with Elizabeth Scala’s Health and Wellness tips, Stuart Young’s Monday “Take the Opportunity” series, the inspiring videos of Kenton Sefcik and Avdhessh Arya’s beautiful messages – I apply and use them in my daily life as a professional and as a regular citizen. These are also wonderful reminders for me to live each day purposefully.
Charm: You share with us many inspirational and motivational stories through your website and your new book; to date, what is your greatest “nothing is impossible” story?
Alpha: : I attended a seminar entitled, “The Millionaire Mind Intensive,” by T. Harv Eker recently, and one of the exercises we had was to defy fear by walking through an arrow with a sharp metal head being held by a partner on the softest part our throats. The men paired up and took turns walking through arrows first, and then the women went next. Naturally and like the others, I was afraid I would hurt myself, but after a failed first try and encouragement from other seminar attendees, I talked myself into walking through the arrow and was able to break the wooden shaft on the second try. This exercise was an analogy to life, mimicking our everyday fears of the unknown and the impossible, but proved to me once again that we could overcome fear and do anything we set our minds to if we try – all we need is that first breakthrough, then everything is possible.
Charm: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Alpha: “Give your 100% or nothing.” I received this from a mentor and former assistant superintendent, Dr. Alice Shea, whom I worked with at the local school district.
Charm: What else does Alpha dream of and aspire?
Alpha: Plenty, Charm! If I were to share them all with you at this moment, it will take a few hours to name them all.
About the Author: Charm Moreto Damon is a mother, a TESOL professional and a freelance editor. She graduated from the University of the Philippines, and pursued graduate studies at the Ohio State University, where she also taught academic writing and research to international students. She is currently a stay-at-home-mom, and keeps herself busy with family, friends, and editorial work. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.