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Here are some resolutions from West Volusia residents – add your own New Year’s resolution in the comments!

Helping working families

Vernon Moore

When it was New Year’s 2020, I asked God to expand my territory. Not only did my family obtain homeownership, I gained 15 pounds due to working from home.

I will be more specific for the year 2021. One of my resolutions I will share with the public is to expand my financial-services business and help five retirees better understand their retirement options.

I will help 50 young working families get on track to understand how money works, so that they will be able to understand the importance of generational wealth.

I will help 50 families obtain homeownership.

I will also help train five people to be part-time entrepreneurs because multiple streams of income can really help working families.

If you would like to help me reach these goals, then please contact me at 386-795-2343 or vernonsmoore@gmail.com and let’s set up a time to have a conversation.

— Vernon Moore, West Volusia resident and Economic Development Chair for the West Volusia NAACP

Being authentic

Janae Ponder

I have decided not to have a New Year’s resolution for 2021. My goal is to focus on being authentic and not being hypercritical of myself, my goals, and my accomplishments.

In 2020, I was able to adjust to being a new mother, a business owner, a wife and a full-time employee of the Volusia County School District.

2020 helped me to learn how to truly embrace the different seasons that life brings and to embrace how I evolve during these seasons.

In 2021, I would like to see others embrace what is necessary to achieve mental wellness, peace, prosperity and community adhesiveness.

— Janae Ponder, West Volusia resident

Holding on to hope

Dr. Primrose Cameron

As a mother of an adult son, a mentor for girls in all grades and a person who cares strongly about others, I spend many days wondering about the next phases of the world. Will there be adequate health care? Will the job market meet the needs of the able? Will my future grandchildren have adequate resources to excel?

I can honestly say that 2020 brought awareness and patience to many. Across the world, many of us were in a standstill for months, cooking and eating dinner with the family, parking our car and awaiting Zoom-call meetings. But the wait is not over, for we remain in a pandemic that directly impacts the lives of our families.

There is no need for me to complain about our current situation, because that would not be the answer to the problem. I too feel boxed in and often helpless when hearing of the loss of loved ones, racial inequities across the land, and the ongoing political debates.

I want to do my part. I want to remain with an open mind, while following CDC guidelines and encouraging others to the same.

I want peace in our land, and will continue to host courageous conversations, and when I see something, I will say something.

I want to not forget the lessons learned, but to use them to create a stronger platform for tomorrow. So, for 2021, my word is hope. I am hopeful that we will come together and turn this year around.

— Dr. Primrose Cameron

Cameron Chronicles

Focus on the ‘why’

Alex Herron

My New Year’s resolution is to keep focused on my “why.” Why I continue to do what I do for Stetson University. To not let the challenges within my job, or what goes in the world, keep me from staying focused on why I work to leave Stetson a better place than when I found it.

I am challenging myself to stay focused on creating a welcoming and loving environment for everyone in the Stetson community — whether that’s current students, alumni, parents, friends or fellow colleagues.

I want to focus on the positives we have, and how we can expand on them and make Stetson — as well as the rest of the world — a more loving place!

— Alex Herron, Stetson University

Resolving to enjoy life

Alicia Ramirez-Ordonez

2020 was clearly not only a challenging year, but it was just … weird. I think we all have been impacted by this horrible pandemic in some way, shape or form. Uprooting us from what many of us called monotonous and at times tiresome everyday life, and transplanting us into total chaos and uncertainty. But for me, I would have to say one of the most taxing things was the 2020 spring and summer that seemed to have no end.

My kids, for example, did a 180 in the middle of a school year. What we thought would be a weeklong Spring Break, turned into an endless spring and summer.

My son went to spend Spring Break — in the middle of March, right before a nation shut down — with his dad in Texas, only to return in late July because of fear of flying during a pandemic. And I am sure many parents out there with teenage daughters during a full-blown pandemic experienced some type of mild psychosis like I did.

Oh, but my duties were not limited to dictating the amount of toilet paper being used at home. I also had to report to work every day, because I work for a financial institution and I am considered an essential worker.

The last time I saw people entering banks with a mask and gloves was when we were robbed at gunpoint in the summer of 2014, but that’s a story for another day.

All jokes aside, it was and still is incredibly stressful exposing myself to the virus and knowing that I can bring it back to my loved ones. I do have to recognize my employer, though, for going above and beyond to making sure that my teammates and I work in the safest environment possible.

2020 was rough and testing. My husband and I lost family and friends to COVID. It has humbled and made me reorganize what’s really important and what I can do without.

And I often thought how cliché it is to say never take anyone or anything for granted, but that has really resonated with me and I’m sure with many of us in these past months.

2020 has taught me that no matter how much I plan Spring Break vacations or prepare for an important event, nothing is set in stone, and that was a tough pill to swallow, especially when I had an actual physical planner that dictated my every move.

This year will be different. No resolutions that die in the first three weeks or get forgotten by February. I will not be partaking in dry January, mostly because I never make it.

In 2021, I want to enjoy my family and friends. I want to be more compassionate, empathetic and understanding toward other people. But, most important, I just want to live in the moment and enjoy life!

— Alicia Ramirez-Ordonez, West Volusia native

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