NATIONSPRODUCTS.COM ~ Independent Online Family Book Store- Hundreds of Books by Black Authors

Interview with Independent Education Consultant and Author, Dr. Dedra Muhammad



 Photo Credit: Dr. Dedra Muhammad 

In my interview with Dr. Dedra Muhammad, she shared with me the story behind her book,  My Mom Wants This, but I Want That: High School Guide for Educators, Parents, and Students.

Nadine Muhammad: Please, would you tell our readers about yourself? 

Dedra Muhammad: I am Dr. Dedra Muhammad, an author and independent education consultant and a public school educator and college counselor.  I am  the author of Hidden Princess: The Rebirth of Making Mary, and My Mom Wants This, but I Want That: High School Guide for Educators, Parents, and Students. I use the latter book to help students make the most out of high school.  I help diverse groups of students from rural, low-income, and urban areas raise millions of dollars in scholarships every year. I have worked as an administrator in a homeless facility.  I  have done extensive work in domestic violence awareness and prevention. I  have a long history of community work utilizing theater, drama, and a host of other artistic events focusing on themes permeating abuse prevention, predatory lending --and other issues plaguing families and societies. I  have worked with artists and groups such as WHODINI and Chuck D. from Public Enemy #1 to bring awareness to challenging problems like gun violence, date rape, land grabs, and crimes against the elderly. I am the widow of Brother Phillip Muhammad, and the mother of twins Hanif and Shafi Muhammad. 

Nadine Muhammad: What is your motivation for writing your book, My Mom Wants This, but I Want That: High School Guide for Educators, Parents and Students?

 Dedra Muhammad: As a writer, it is a good idea to write about areas of one’s expertise.  In my career as a college and counselor in one of the largest high schools in Alabama, I have become an expert consultant when it comes to college scholarships and student support. I was motivated to write this book because I want to use it as my curriculum for the college and scholarship bootcamps I currently conduct. The desire to help others was my biggest inspiration, especially low-income and first generation college students and their parents. This is not to say the book is only for college-bound students. I was also motivated to write this book to give students options pertaining to their post-secondary planning.  

Nadine Muhammad: Would you  tell us what your book is about?

Dedra Muhammad: This book is a valuable reference tool. It is a compilation of blogs, resource lists, short stories, essays, emails, and how-to sections—everything needed to aid students in their high school to post-secondary journey. The topics range from advice on postsecondary planning, emergency timelines, understanding how scholarships work, the truth about letters of recommendation, consideration for student-athletes, types of careers, career interest inventories, resources, post-secondary planning terms every high school student should know; jobs in the medical field, jobs in Engineering and STEM, liberal arts, gap years, graduating early, student-parent scenarios, and so much more.


Nadine Muhammad: What are the benefits that readers will obtain from reading  your book?

Dedra Muhammad: The book is absolutely necessary because one, people from all over the United States contact me with questions they have pertaining to navigating through high school. Two, students ask me the same questions every year. I felt like the information would be useful for parents and students as early as possible, like between 6th and 8th grades.  However, if students do not get the book until their senior year in high school, I even have emergency timelines and links to scholarships. Parents with students in grades 6-12 can find something in the book to save them time and make their lives easier. For example, every year, parents miss out on the PSAT. Either they don’t know what it is, or they miss the deadline. Instead of waiting for the annual announcements, parents nationwide can learn about these types of events years in advance. They can even use one of the several timeline variations to know when the PSAT will occur and plan accordingly. 

Nadine Muhammad: How will readers lives be transformed?

Dedra Muhammad: My son, Hanif’s life was transformed not because he read the book, but his story produced the fuel to help other parents and students in need. Hanif’s story and how I was able to help him is embedded in the book, and thus the book can transform the lives of other students to help them attain success.

Hanif was targeted in third grade as a student who had a learning problem. The teacher spoke conclusively that ADHD was the issue.  As I was frantically trying to identify the breakdown between what he could learn, and what he was exemplifying that he had learned thus far, I imagined what parents must be going through to be faced with similar challenges. At that time, I had multiple years of public education experience, but that was not enough.  I had to be creative enough to come up with viable resources to benefit my son.  In my mind, medicating him and allowing him to be placed in special education was not an option.  Thus, I expanded my expertise and helped my son surpass that shadowy time, by the Grace of God.

Hanif learned what to do when he was met with academic difficulties. Over time, he no longer required my assistance. In "My Mom Wants This, but I Want That: High School Guide for Educators, Parents, and Students," I included some of the tips I was blessed to give to my own children.

By high School, Hanif became a member of the English National Honor Society. He was accepted into Honors College at Jackson State University where he graduated magna cum laude; He is currently working on his master’s degree in cybersecurity. In addition, he is now building home alarm systems and drones -something he taught himself to do from scratch.

Hanif’s twin brother, Shafi did not experience the same academic challenges in elementary school, but he had other challenges: Shafi was a gifted learner who did not apply himself given that good grades came easily for him. In my experience as a college counselor, I knew of some of the future challenges Shafi would face, so I added tips to the book to help students like Shafi, and like the over a quarter of a million students who have crossed my path, each with their own set of idiosyncrasies and tertiary destinations.

A deeper transformation might happen if students also get the accompanying workbook. Right now, the workbook is not on Amazon.  For the ultimate experience, students should also consider attending one of Dr. Muhammad’s scholarship bootcamps.

Dedra Muhammad: Here are ten 5-Star reviews from students who used the book:

  1. Explaining the steps on applying for scholarships was absolutely amazing! I learned that you don't have to wait until senior year to apply for scholarships, you can start applying in the 8th grade!! Brown, KenDarius 

  2. Going into the seminar I expected surface level information, but instead I was given an immense amount of important information that will greatly help my chances in getting a scholarship. Tovar, Melvin 

  3. The information I received was very beneficial. It allowed me to know more about unknown scholarships. She gave us a handful of great information in an orderly manner.  Coats, Zameriah 

  4. Man, I wish we had more time!! I learned so much!! So much good information for scholarships! But I also learned value information to add to my portfolio I already do with my classes.  Abby Presley 

  5.  It was very informative and I actually learned a lot. I recommend this class 10 out of 10.  Nichols Hunter 

  6. The presentation seemed informative and well planned, I have heard only positive comments from parents and students who were in attendance.  Derry Smith

  7. I really enjoyed the session.  Dr. Muhammad was very helpful and answered all questions that I and others had about scholarships, financial aid, and various other topics.  I would recommend and attend other sessions where Dr. Muhammad is chosen as the facilitator. Atkins-Warner, Birvid 

  8.  It was very resourceful. Cotton, Darryl 

  9. She described very well what was needed. Khamya Williams 

This experience was great teaching and exposing how to earn scholarships. Greene,Clifton

Nadine Muhammad: Thank so much for taking the time to share your very inspiring story behind your book with us.

Dedra Muhammad: What an honor! Thanks for your kindness.

To build your home library with Dr. Dedra Muhammad's book, use the following link to get a copy:



Leave a comment