Interviews

Dr. Hopelyn Mullings-Brown — A Jamaican’s Journey of Hope

Written by Debbie Campbell

Humble beginnings……
Hopelyn Brown was born in Bull Bay, St Andrew. I was born at home, she added, I am a home baby. I came into this world, thanks to a midwife-Nurse Rose’.   She reminisced about the time she went home in November 2007 ‘the little board house was still there, old, but still standing; It was a nostalgic moment,’ she recalled.
Hopelyn has nine (9) sisters and three (3) brothers. She sadly states that one sister died in 2002 from breast cancer. Her name was Stephanie. Her mother and father, Joyce Lindsay and Stafford Mullings, are currently residing in Jamaica. However, they are legally separated. Hopelyn reported that her parents divorced after about 40 years of marriage. It was not the ideal situation for the children, but Hopelyn says it was the best for them, as her father continues to be unfaithful to the marital vows. She described her mother as a strong woman, ‘Her perseverance and spiritual foundation are to be embraced’.

While growing up as a child, she had fond recollections of her mother praying for all her children, walking from room to room in the middle of the night. Hopelyn remembers just being awake listening to her mother as she prays for her and the rest of her siblings. She is convinced she received her ‘warrior’ spirit from her mother; ‘she made me feel safe, and I still do feel safe even now, knowing my mother is still praying for me’ she commented.

Starting the Journey……
Hopelyn’s educational journey began at the tender age of 4, where she attended the ‘Aunt Ruth Basic School’ in Bull Bay. She moved on to Harbor View Primary, and from there she went on to Excelsior High School. Hopelyn likes being active and independent, so it was no surprise when immediately after graduating from High School, she found her first official employment with her high school, working as a lab tech, hoping to get the needed GCE qualifications to enter Nursing School as this was her childhood dream ‘to become a nurse.’. She eventually moved on to her next employment, where she was a clerk and switchboard operator. At the beginning of her college years, Hopelyn started out at the Institute of Management and Production (now known as University College of the Caribbean) where she was completing computer programming courses. She was employed as a secretary at that time, and she eventually decided to discontinue her computer programming college program, and pursued a certified secretarial course instead. She obtained her certification in the secretarial field and found employment with GI Industries, Zinc Factory (which no longer exists) as the Administrative Secretary. 

Hopelyn was employed with GI for approximately a year, and then transitioned to the Cigar Factory-Cifuentes y Cia (no longer exists). Hopelyn’s professional journey continues and led her to Kiskimo Limited where she worked as a Receptionist and Account Assistant, and shortly thereafter, she became the Administrative Manager for a small private company called McCallas Laboratory, off Weymouth Close. She later on went with a sales company, The Investors Choice, for which she was selling advertising space. 
he finally entered the marketing arena. This appeared to be her niche, because in a short while, friends and acquaintances began to try to recruit her to work with other marketing companies.. She learnt about Life of Jamaica from people who told her she could make more money with Life of Jamaica. She listened to them and in 1990, Hopelyn officially joined Life of Jamaica as a Life Insurance Representative. She was happily employed there for five (5) years, during which she was a Million Dollar Round Table Member for three (3) consecutive years. The MDRT was a prestigious club for successful financial professionals. Due to this career success, she was granted the opportunity to travel to the United States for various professional and business events, sponsored by the MDRT. It was on one of those trips, she was privileged to meet Dr. Ben Carson, the world renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, and Les Brown, a renowned international motivational speaker and author.

Transition…
Hopelyn’s mother had filed for her all her children, but she was resolute in her decision that the only way she would go to the US, is if she was awarded the opportunity to go back to school. Her increased longing to receive more training and pursue a higher form of education was the propelling force in her decision. She was also acutely aware of a yearning to mentor women, and she aspired to receive appropriate training. Her manager at Life of Jamaica had discouraged her when she shared her thoughts with him of going back to school. He told her ‘you are making enough money and in a comfortable job and your career is booming’. Yet, Hopelyn could not deny the disquiet in her spirit. Needless to say, she resigned from her prominent job at Life of Jamaica and boarded a plane for New York on April 1995. She acquired a job almost immediately, and worked in Brooklyn for approximately three (3) months. She left Brooklyn to work with Virgin Airways Data Center in Manhattan, and then she moved on to World Book Products Company. She enjoyed working with World Book because they encourage and assisted the helpless mothers/families within the communities to obtain resources for education. 

Hopelyn’s focus to go to school did not wane. She sought out colleges and sent out applications. She finally got accepted into the Oral Roberts University, Tulsa Oklahoma. In July 1995, Hopelyn boarded the Greyhound bus and headed to Tulsa to begin her August semester.
Why Oral Roberts University? She had no intentions of heading to ORU, much less Tusla OK, but she had received recommendation from a Jamaican friend who lived in Brooklyn and was an ORU graduate. She was desperately trying to get into other colleges/university in and around New York, but no positive results from her efforts.   Hopelyn arbitrarily applied to ORU and they responded. She recalls that it was her mother’s dream to send her to ORU. Her mother knew it would be unaffordable after Hopelyn’s graduation from Excelsior High, so she made efforts to get a scholarship which was not successful and had to give up on her dream of sending her daughter to ORU. Everyone thought Hopelyn was crazy to go ORU which was so far away and in the ‘middle of nowhere’. But her mind was made up.

Steps are ordered……
Her bus trip to ORU lasted approximately 24 hours. It was fate that while she was residing in Jamaica and attending the Fellowship Tabernacle Church, she met and befriended Madeline Manning Mims, who was visiting the island. Madeline Manning Mims is the first and only American female to win an Olympic gold medal in the 800-meter event, accomplishing this feat in Mexico City in 1968. Hopelyn’s church was getting ready to open their newly formed theater house at the Fellowship Tabernacle church building, and Madeline was invited as a special guest singer/speaker at the launching event. Hopelyn was the designated hospitality attendant for Madeline while she was a guest, and they became fast friends. They had kept in touch; therefore Madeline was aware of her plans to come to Tulsa. Madeline resided in Tulsa. It was Madeline and her family who met her at the bus terminal in Tulsa, and they assisted her in settling comfortably in a studio apartment.

Hopelyn graduated from ORU in 1995 with Bachelors in Social Work, and a minor in Spanish. She had traveled to Spain in 1999 and studied Spanish for four (4) months. After completing her Spanish studies in Spain, she moved to Virginia Beach where she completed an advanced eighteen (18) month Masters in Business Administration program at Regent University. She graduated in May 2001. Dr. Winston, one of her professors, asked her if she wanted to conclude her doctoral program at Regent University in Strategic Leadership. After consistently praying for a scholarship to complete the doctoral program, her request was granted. To her delight, she received that scholarship and she completed her Doctoral Strategic Leadership in May 2005. Her sister, Stephanie, died in 2002, at the beginning of her second (2nd) residency. Even though it was a traumatic blow for her, she continued her program. In the midst of it all, she also gained full custody of Stephanie’s only child, Jahmarley.   He is legally her son and their relationship has been strengthened as mother and son. Was it a difficult transition? Oh yes! Hopelyn shared that they both attended counseling to assist them in the relationship transition, and also assist them in dealing with the pain of losing a loved one. It was a challenging time for both of them. Hopelyn mentioned that she even went and completed a parenting class to aid her in developing her parenting skills. She is happy to announce that they have both adjusted and her son is a well adjusted teenager. He is very involved in youth activities in church, and she declares he is a good child. Hopelyn still has those growing pain moments with him, but she is so grateful that he is in her life. 

He makes all things beautiful in its time…..
Then Audley appeared. Audley was her High School sweetheart and he suddenly appeared in her path a year before her doctoral graduation.   Hopelyn says she received a call one day that her estranged boyfriend from high school days in Jamaica was seeking her whereabouts. He later told her that she was lingering on his mind and he decided to go in search of her. At that time, he had two beautiful sons, now young men of 20 and 23 years. Needless to say, the waned relationship fires were rekindled and Audley and Hopelyn nuptials were tied on April 16th 2005. Hopelyn graduated a month later. In response to what its like to raise or have step children, she says ‘sometimes it is hard work, sometimes I don’t want to do it, it is not my choice I don’t want to, because God gave me charge over them, and if I chose not to, I will have to answer to God about it.’ The adjustment period had its challenges, but she is totally happy and settled in her family at this time. ‘I am so blessed to have them in my life and they are truly a blessing,’ she says.

Hopelyn International……
Hopelyn is the creator of Hopelyn International, an organization that offers tools to assist in the transformation of ordinary people into exceptional leaders. The focus of her ministry is for individuals to understand and embrace their life’s purpose. Her passion is to work with women, but she is open to share with any group, male or female, because that message of hope is for both genders. In addition to her educational success, Hopelyn is also a Certified Life Purpose Coach. She believes each person can reach their highest potential in life if they get a grip on their life’s purpose. 

She now resides in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her husband and her youngest son, who is now 14 years old. Her two older sons work and live away from home at the moment. However, she shared that one will be going away to University to study Marine Biology, and the other son may be coming back home for while. Her prayer for them is “that they all grow to their highest potential and be all that God has called them to be”.

In closing, Hopelyn shares her final thoughts with her Jamaican brother and sisters:
“My life is a summary of where I am now. I am still on the journey because God has greater things in store for me. The two words I would say to you are “Rise Up! and become filled with hope- in God. You can have hope in a world that seems hopeless; I can show you how.”

Contact:
Hopelyn International
Dr. Hopelyn M. Mullings-Brown 
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.drhopelyn.com

About the author

Debbie Campbell

Debbie is a Mental Health Counselor, and has been working in the mental health field for over ten years. A native of Jamaica, she has resided in the United States for more than twenty years. Debbie is the (2nd) second child of (5) five children. She came to the United States at age 17 to pursue her education in the field of Computers. However, her education pursuits led her into the field of Mental Health/Psychology. She obtained her Bachelors in Psychology in Miami and her Masters in Counseling in Oklahoma. Debbie's first book, 'Writings of the Soul: The Journey Vol. I' is only the beginning and a taste of what is to come in her writing abilities.