KALISHA HAWKINS: “IF I SURVIVED, ANYONE CAN”
It is not the events that happen in our lives that make us who we are, but the meaning we give to those events that control the steering wheel of our lives.
The road hasn’t always been easy for Kalisha Hawkins. She tells Flourish Africa her story below.
When I was in elementary school I was told I had a learning disorder and that I could not read. I was held back twice within my elementary school career. My teachers not knowing that I was dealing with a lot at home (making sure that my sisters and I were having food on the table in a crack house with both parents being drug addicts). At the time, my parents had a $1,200.00 a week crack habit.
From molestation to being shot by a 38 pistol that threatened my ability to walk. Let’s just say my life was no walk in the park. That I am alive and walking is a testimony that I never take for granted.
I always stated that the devil should have killed me when he had a chance but he let me live. Unfortunately for him, I’m taking back everything he stole from me. My name, my dignity, my strength, and my determination.
During High School, Kalisha made bad choices in life so she started making drug runs to make money. Even though she was doing this during high school she still managed to be the first in her family to graduate from high school. After graduating from high school Kalisha applied to a college in New Orleans however, that did not last long because she went back to becoming a drug runner.
Then one day, the Holy Spirit told me that I had to make a change in my life or I was going to end up in jail or in the grave.
Kalisha Hawkins would then decide to make a change in her life by applying to Southern University A & M College in Baton Rouge, LA. That was her ticket out! Kalisha received her BS in Psychology and her Master’s Degree in Public Administration (Southern University). After receiving her Master’s Degree, Kalisha Hawkins was hired with the USDA Forest Service in Milwaukee, WI where she made history by being the First African-American female with that position within 100 years. Kalisha decided to return back to school at Southern University where she’s currently in the Ph.D program for Urban Forestry.
Kalisha is currently a Professor at Virginia College where she teaches Learning Framework. Since she has been teaching the school drop-out rates have gone down. She is also blessed with a marriage of over 13 years.
She remembers vividly what it’s like to go without the bare necessities, raising herself and her siblings due to drug addiction which had gripped her parents, the inability to fit in with peers and the sadness where professionals had written her off that due to an alleged disorder. She believes that if she of all people could make it out and add substance wherever she finds herself, anyone can. She truly is the definition of the phrase: God does not call the qualified, he qualifies the called.
Who is Kalisha Hawkins?
Kalisha is also an entrepreneur. She’s the CEO of Lele’s Vision LLC. Lele’s Vision mission is to help people to find out their purpose in life. To help find their purpose in life Lele’s Vision gets to the core of who they are by finding out their passion.
‘Most People don’t know that God will use their passion to bring them into their purpose.’ She adds.
Kalisha is also the CEO of KAH Consulting Group, Inc where they assist organizations with the specific skills set needed to win customer satisfaction and loyalty.
In her leisure, Kalisha believes in giving back to her community. She cooks meals at her home and delivers them to homeless people around her. She also works closely with disabled people while helping high school students apply for college and complete their financial aid applications.
Kalisha dream is to significantly improve people’s lives through encouraging freedom, education, training and opportunity thereby providing them with the greatest gift of all – individual personal empowerment and freedom from poverty.
Today at Flourish, we’re celebrating this courageous woman who not only survived but currently thrives despite the obstacles that plagued her journey. We also applaud her for the bravery it took to share her story so that it could bless others.