I was once a student at Philip A. Murray (Murray-Wright) high school. I took Ms. Shelby’s class and learned so much that could be applied in today’s society. I started a job at AT&T 13 years ago climbing the corporate ladder, however there’s no job like one when you’re able to work for yourself.  I currently run “Color Corridors” it’s an interior design and interior painting company servicing the metro Detroit area. I am able to go into people’s homes and do what I love. In order to run a business, even if it’s not one rooted from entrepreneurship you will need business skills, and management skills.  Applying what I learned at such a young age made everything come full circle. Often, we think “we will never use this stuff in the real world”. Well, the real world came sooner than I thought, and I’ve applied those skills daily! Thank you, Ms. Shelby, for being a “leader of the new school.”


Color Corridors



We all have a backstory, well mines go all the way back to me in a classroom at Murray-Wright High School in Ms. Tonia Shelby Computer class classroom.

She has always been very direct, real, and authentic in her teaching style, unknowingly to myself at the time instilling so many principles in me. Like the principle to always try, go a step above and beyond. How to take on opportunity and how critical it was to not only survive but thrive.

She was raw in telling us that we're not all going to make it, but it would be at fault of our own. Thinking back, I used the lessons Ms. Shelby instilled in me through her constant "preaching" helped me grab a rein on my life and get it right this last time.

One word that I include on every single document I create that Ms. Shelby taught me in Computer Class is "preparatory", it speaks to building a foundation, a path. This computer class was groundbreaking at that time when technology was new, but Ms. Shelby knew how vital it was for us to have foundational insight on how to prepare documents, have a professional image and be positioned for success.

Now that I think about it, I would have to credit Ms. Shelby for my swiftness and adaptability to create professional well-presented documentation. I wouldn't have completed any of my paperwork and grant applications if Ms. Shelby had not taught me this introduction. She is a gift to the education community, and I am forever a phone call away for anything she needs. Consistent and Authentic professor she is empowering youth with her intentional instilling that, “You Are Somebody”. or “I am Somebody Amazing”.

Fast forward to current date I finally got it right, although be it late - I made it! I'm soon opening Detroit 1st Balloon Store, achieved over $400k in Grant funding, International Balloon Artist, and Mompreneur.

I am living my best life but If I had any advice, I would encourage you to listen NOW, don’t waste time get on your business now, you can make monumental steps that will define your life. I got it right at 40 years old, but you have the chance to get it right while you are young and retire by 40.

Is it going to be easy, Oh Goodness no, I am appreciative of my journey, I did it my way, wholeheartedly saying “Thanks Ms. Shelby”.

Cathryn Coleman, CBA

Detroit Balloon Boss ~ Bouncing Around The Motor City Event Planner