I am a Business Law professor, author, and speaker who infuses my lived experiences as a Black woman who has experienced foster care and homelessness into every aspect of my professional identity.
I launched DaCasiom, LLC because as a former foster youth who was shuffled through the system, it felt as if pieces of my identity were physically scattered across the city of Chicago. Self-destruction was lurking around every corner. It took an extraordinary mosaic of help from teachers, mentors, friends, and even strangers to slowly inch forward. My business name therefore represents an embodiment of my avatar who epitomizes my younger self. “Da” represents my prior yearning to be a daughter as a person who had experienced foster care, and how that impacted my journey in higher education. “Casiom” is mosaic, scrambled. It represents how I felt when I first started college. I possessed an abundance of extraordinary gifts that I could not even see or appreciate. The larger picture of the immense value of my identity was scattered into pieces. As such, the name is pronounced just how it looks; Duh-Casiom (long A sound). Through DaCasiom, I am now helping other college and graduate students who are facing comparable adversities, to assist them in identifying and deploying their gifts while optimizing their higher education experience. I intend to do this through workshops as a public speaker, our annual DaCasiom Care Package Drive, community-building events, and in books, op-eds, and the DaCasiom Blog. Click here to learn more about my professional background.
-Cary Martin Shelby
Founder of the DaCasiom, LLC