Woman uses ‘Morning Motivation’ to spark change

Posted at 10:10 PM, Jun 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-23 00:23:31-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- If you ever wanted to know what positivity looks like, search no further than Zenobia Bey.

Before the school bell  rings at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Richmond, Bey delivers a lesson in smiles and support through her "Morning Motivation."

“It is a divine responsibility," Bey said. “It is awesome, because I can relate. It is easy.”

Throughout the year, the founder of Community 50/50 arrives on campus to spread her message.

"I say, 'Hey. You’re a king. You’re a queen. You don’t have to act like that,'" Bey explained. "Recognizing the power they have within themselves."

Zenobia Bey hugs a student outside Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Richmond.

Zenobia Bey hugs a student outside Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Richmond.

Friend Yvonne Libron said Zenobia's energy is infectious, but Bey admitted her attitude was sour growing up.

“When I was 12 I got into an altercation and got expelled from all Richmond Public schools," Bey said.

But Bey doesn't want these children to make the same mistake she did.

“As an adult I’ve realized we can intervene and help and listen to them. Maybe they’re crying out for help and we can prevent," Bey said.

Since her teens, Bey has righted her ship and graduated high school and then college with a Masters. She even served in the U.S. Army. But she is determined to do more especially for others.

“It is my responsibility. My mother always told me, ‘You know better you do better,'" Bey said.

Feeding the hungry in Blackwell

Feeding the hungry in Blackwell

Her non-profit goes beyond just helping little ones. In fact, once a month her group partners with business owners to feed the hungry.

“We feed a starch, vegetable and meat to people the third Sunday of the month in the Blackwell community," Bey said.

She also leads clothing drives and holds critical thinking workshops for young people.

“A lot of times the children are not getting what they need at home -- and that is just a reality," Bey warned.

She said one person can be that drop of water which can ripple across the city.

And Bey doesn't plan on ending her mission anytime soon: “Till forever. Till my time is up. Til my time is up on this earth."

Bey, an enthusiastic role model for boys and girls, provides a boost for children and adults when they need it most.

“Positive affirmations: reminding them that they are great, reminding them wherever they came from or wherever they are going at this moment, it is fine," Bey said. "We’re here to support you.”

Bey will continue her "Morning Motivations" for students attending summer school beginning June 27.

Greg McQuade features local heroes in a weekly “Heroes Among Us” segment. Watch Greg’s reports Thursdays on CBS News at 6 or here on If you would like to nominate someone to be featured on “Heroes Among Us,” click here to email