Cassandra Ferguson, radio show host and owner of Elevation Global Media Group in Towson, overcame a turbulent childhood that allowed her to uplift and inspire others.
“I was tired of seeing other women not motivating women,” Ferguson said. “So I decided to follow Gandhi’s quote, ‘Be the change you want to see in others,’ and I became that change for others.”
The Harford County resident was born in Buckingham, Virginia. Ferguson’s father was a drug addict and beat his mother, she recalls. Eventually, her father was sent to prison for robbing a bank.
His mother moved the family to Baltimore when Ferguson was 12 with a “desire to start a new life,” Ferguson said. Ferguson and his brother became latchkey kids, living in a single parent home while their mother worked four or five jobs at a time.
“My childhood was actually very painful,” said Ferguson, 53. “Most of the time I spent visiting my father in prison.”
Ferguson said she carried that pain with her into adulthood until a sermon she heard from her pastor, Bishop Clifford M. Johnson of Mount Pleasant Church and Ministries in Baltimore, changed his perspective.
“I remember Bishop Johnson preaching ‘Even if the person is gone, you must forgive them,'” Ferguson said. “I remember that Sunday. This is the day I truly freed my father.
A month after graduating from the now-closed Eastern High School, she married her husband of 35 years, Antonio Ferguson, whom she had dated since she was 16. Around the same time, her father died of a drug overdose.
Ferguson and her husband moved to Harford County for her job and raised four children in the Harford County public school system, all of whom are now accomplished adults.
Ferguson acquired business acumen and graduated. She worked in the mortgage industry until the recession of the late 2000s, then in corporate compliance, but when she sought out other women as mentors, the response she received did not. been welcoming.
She remembers reaching out to a woman in her church for encouragement, “and was shot,” she said. Another woman she asked for help when she wanted to start speaking in public told her she “didn’t see it in me” and advised her to consider another career path.
“I needed support and mentorship, but saw the truth that some women aren’t willing to share,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson started a women’s networking group to motivate and encourage women, especially young girls. She also founded the “Be Extraordinary Conference” to help young girls connect with women in leadership positions.
After Freddie Gray’s death in April 2015, Ferguson said she was heartbroken to see the answer. “When I saw the young people in the streets rising up, I cried out to God and asked ‘Where are the leaders?’ and his response was that I go out and be that leader,” she said.
She approached the local Radio One office in Woodlawn and began hosting “The Cassandra Ferguson Show” on WOLB-AM every other Friday at 4 p.m. Six months later, they asked him to host a show on the network’s FM station, Praise 106.1, which became known as the “Elevation Talk Show”.
“I wanted to create a platform where leaders can come together and talk to the younger generation,” Ferguson said.
In a dream in early 2020, Ferguson said she saw herself sitting in an empty radio station and later in the dream she was being lifted up on a platform. This prompted her to give notice to the radio station in March, just days before the world was shut down for the pandemic.
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Working full-time from home like everyone else, she started a live show, ‘Maintain Monday,’ on Mondays at noon “because people still needed to hear encouragement, even though they’re at home. “, she said. “We had to help people sustain themselves during the pandemic, and we still are.” She’s had guests from all over the world, and now she’s featured on her own streaming radio network, Elevate Your Life Talk Radio.
All of this prompted Ferguson to open his own business in May 2020 in Towson Commons. Elevation Global Media Group has studios for television, live streaming, podcasting and voiceovers. His team, which includes interns from Towson and Morgan State universities, also offers media training, coaching and branding.
“Our mission is to help people bring their ideas to life,” Ferguson said. “Our place is for anyone with a vision and a voice who needs to be in a creative space.”
Ferguson’s goal is to develop a community of creators – men and women – who can dream aloud and share resources with each other, and connect with people around the world, in a creative and innovative space for development and expansion.
“When you’re walking it’s easier to talk,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson pursues his mission in another way. She serves on the Women in Leadership Advisory Council at George Washington University, recently started the Maryland Chapter of Christian Women in Media, has written and published a book, “Dear Daughter,” and the follow-up book, “My Son,” will be published soon. .
“My mom ended up doing some things to be successful in life, but the pain and trauma kept her from living life to the fullest,” Ferguson recalled. “If God gave you a voice, use it.”