Overcoming Disadvantage and Prejudice: An Interview with Joyce Scott
Joyce Scott is often heard saying, “I’ve lived a life beyond my dreams.” She is a woman of vision, determination, skill, and heart. When I interviewed Joyce about her life journey and experience with the Transcendental Meditation technique, here is what she had to say:
Q: Tell us a little bit about your early years growing up and your career path.
I started working as a kid picking cotton and cleaning white women’s homes. As a Black child, my experience of the environment was very hostile and racist. When I entered high school, I experienced what it meant to be one of a few Black kids who desegregated. I became a secretary at 16 after I learned typing, shorthand, and bookkeeping.
Nothing was ever easy, so I used the public library and talked with the librarians to plan my career, which evolved into being a computer programmer, systems analyst, and IT manager by the time I was 29 years old. I was recruited by IBM and when I left the company I was the Top Sales Leader in North America. I had earned contracts to speak to companies and organizations based on my achievements in leadership at a time when women were not leading older men!
Q: How has practicing the TM technique benefitted you?
I took the TM course when I was 24 years old (I am now 71). Yes, I do say that I have lived a life beyond my dreams—practicing the TM technique enables me to do that. But, let me say, I was very skeptical when I went to take the TM course—I didn’t think it would work. Within a few weeks, I noticed that my ulcers and migraine headaches were gone. It was amazing! Then I started encouraging others to take the course!
Life is not always easy, but I’ve been able to evolve past major obstacles all along the way. Although I was told that I would never have children, I’ve had two wonderful sons. (I learned TM during my 2nd pregnancy.) In addition to my profession in IT, I started a business called Superb Speakers and expanded it into a bureau that represents experts who provide speaking, training, facilitation, and coaching to clients. I ran that business from 1992 to 2022. Now it’s time to retire to my next phase: writing and other projects that have long been on the back burner.
Q: And how is retirement suiting you?
I’m newly married. George and I had a virtual wedding in 2020 and, between us, we combine 90 years of marriage! I moved to New Mexico from Houston and ran the business for a period from here before retiring from it. I am a very active caregiver to my mother, brother, and son. It’s a challenge making sure everyone has in-home care, arranging doctor’s appointments, updating their medical records, and managing their finances—all done remotely. The TM practice keeps me calm and focused on whatever task is at hand for that day. My husband has had two major pulmonary failure attacks since I’ve been here, and he is doing much better with our routine of rehab and workouts to improve our health. And I am so grateful that George took the TM course in March of this year!
Q: Any final thoughts for our readers, Joyce?
My short story is I am a girl from the projects who conducted business in boardrooms by the age of 30. I am a grateful, blessed woman. TM has been integral to my growth and the success in my life since I was 24 years old—and now I’m 71 years young.
About the Author
Amy Ruff, RN BSN, is the education director and director of TM for Nurses nationally in the United States.