My Journey to Victorious Living…
Most people who know me (or know “of” me) know about Nikeya the model, actress, singer/songwriter, or Nikeya the fashion blogger. I began my official pursuit of a career in the entertainment industry in January of 2008. After wanting to pursue this dream my whole life, I decided at the end of 2007 that I would just “go for it”! I would start with modeling first. I booked a photo shoot and once I put the 50% deposit down, there was no turning back! By the end of January 2008, I did my photo shoot, and within 60 days of doing that shoot, I learned of the Miss Plus America pageant system. By the end of that 1st year of pursuing my passion, I became the 2008 Miss Illinois Plus America (went on to place 4th Runner-Up at nationals), modeled in at least 20 fashion shows, and made all sorts of connections, and even ended up starring in a stage play! That was ten years ago. I have achieved several other milestones since then and I am just getting started!
While I possess an abundance of “Godfidence” NOW (confidence in God and the fact that because I am created in the image of God, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” - Phil. 4:13), that was not always the case. I have had to overcome a LOT of challenges in my past! In fact, I have been sort of an “underdog” since birth…but I LOVE a challenge!
1. Technically speaking, I shouldn’t even be here right now. My mom had 5 miscarriages before I was born. She had a slew of health issues, and doctors did not know exactly what was the culprit, but they knew that pregnancies seemed to exacerbate her health problems and told her that she likely would not be able to have kids. Two years after I was born, my mom was officially diagnosed with Lupus. I should also mention that my parents were married and divorced…TWICE! The slew of miscarriages happened during their 1st marriage. When they re-married and my mother became pregnant again, friends and family weren’t exactly ecstatic because they had been here with her before and the last thing anyone wanted was for my mother to have to experience yet ANOTHER heartbreaking loss. My mother knew in her heart that this time would be different, & she was right! But, me being me, I couldn’t just enter the world with no drama at all! I was a preemie (due in mid-March, born January 31st) & weighed 4 lbs and 9oz.
2. Poverty. So, after my parents split for GOOD the 2nd time around, things were rough. My mother and I moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to be near family. Because of her illness, my mother had to receive dialysis treatments three days a week. Working full-time job was out of the question, so we were on government assistance and lived in housing projects. People who are from single-parent households who have lived in the rough neighborhoods that I grew up in are NOT supposed to have bright futures! I guess I didn’t get that memo.
3. Loss of a Parent. When was 14 years old, just weeks before my 8th grade graduation, my mom passed away. There are FULL GROWN women who have felt immense pain at the loss of their mother/best friend! There is never a good time to lose your mother, but from experience, I must say that one of the WORST times to lose your mother is as a newly teenaged girl right before starting high school!
For the sake of time and space, I won’t list every single challenge that I have been through (to read more on my personal testimony & how God brought me through, grab a copy of my book “Virtue Chic: Classy Takes Center Stage”!), but what I will tell you is that I have learned some VERY valuable lessons along the way! Through my life’s experiences, and the teachings from my mom during my short time with her, I have developed a strong faith in God, and a very strong sense of self. Ever since I was little, I have always wanted to help others to become better in some way. I even earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, and a Master’s in Special Education and went on to become a school teacher for 5 years. Though teaching in the public schools system was not necessarily the best fit for me, flexing that muscle helped me to pick up a lot of other transferrable skills that I am now using as a motivational speaker, author, and certified master life coach.
It would be a privilege and an honor to work with you and help you find the solutions needed to overcome obstacles and live the VICTORIOUS life that God intended for you!