I know of two people from Hoboken, NJ. One you may have heard of, Frank Sinatra. The other name you may not have heard, Checka Cee. If you haven’t, I think you will.
Both are what I call “forces of nature” and both found their voice. Sinatra through music, Checka behind the mic in radio, and more recently, podcasts, vlogs, and all that encompasses our digital world.
Checka Cee’s voice was first broadcast on radio close to her home in New Jersey, where she interned in her final year of college at the Beat of New York and for the Wendy Williams radio show…before Williams had a syndicated TV program.
After college and the intern phase of her career, she longed to “move up” and proceeded to take on some part-time radio slots wherever she could find them. She wanted more.
“A mentor from New York advised me to look at stations in smaller cities where I could get more airtime, so I applied to 100s of stations across the country,” Checka explained.
She finally got an offer way down yonder in Columbus, Georgia, and hosted a mid-day and night shift. Two years later, Atlanta called and Checka answered. Along the way, she was building her brand.
In radio, the only constant is change, as in turnover. In between jobs, Checka was often called on to help with charitable projects. She developed a radio journalism program for a kids’ music camp and helped teach similar programs for helping inner-city children learn computer technology, and for children with mental health challenges.
“When I worked in radio, I was always getting calls from people needing help. I loved giving a voice to good causes and helping people in any community where I’ve worked on-air, it’s very much a part of who I am.”
She proceeded to host events to raise money for charities, first in Columbus, then in Atlanta. Checka was on the mic at fashion shows, festivals, live remotes, and putting together campaigns to promote all of it.
And she did it to give a face and a voice to promote a cause.
Whether working, promoting charities, or while in between radio gigs, she was always focused on building her brand, Yo!Checka.
“I always loved the marketing and promotions side of broadcasting. The mindset, hustle, and branding poured into a format for YoChecka.”
Getting married and having children refocused where she was headed. Life does that sometimes.
The Snapback Journey
Checka found she needed to “dial back” when she became a mom. One of the hurdles while pregnant was developing gestational diabetes. The other was finding a way to channel her bundle of energy into a way to not only help herself but other women in the same boat.
“I needed to work on my health, for myself and my family. It was about snapping back to who I am. Not just that but every phase of my life physically and mentally.”
She launched a podcast to focus on something that was important to her and to many other women.
“I was in the middle of it. I am the core demographic for women who are struggling and trying to find a balance between self-care, family, and career. It was an aha moment for me and for them.”
According to Webster’s dictionary, the definition of a snapback is a sudden recovery. Truth be told, we are probably all dealing with challenges where we need to snap back and learn to be a better version of ourselves.
Whether struggling professionally, personally, or with “life tests”, the Snapback Journey and Yo!Checka podcasts offer the opportunity for all those conversations. For Checka it’s, “Let’s do it together.”
What’s next for the wife and mom of two, with a big heart and an even bigger voice?
“I love being able to be home with my babies and work at the same time, although it’s not always easy. I want to continue growing the courses for the Snapback Journey and continue to help more women…and keep learning!”