Today we’d like to introduce you to Tikia C. Young.
Hi Tikia C., can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I’m a Southern girl who grew up in the Civil Rights City of Montgomery, Ala. I was raised by a single mom who believed in education, though she was only able to complete her high school diploma. When I was in third grade, she made the choice to place me in private school to challenge me academically. With this dramatic change, I ended up being the only black girl in my class from 4th thru 12th grade.
I grew up in two worlds – one where I grew up on the impoverished side of town where all of my neighbors and friends were black, while I went to school with mostly affluent, white students. I went on to earn my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and entered the fields of education, government and non-profit. I’m a helper and a lover of literature, which has impacted much of my decision to write a self-help, faith-based book for encouraging others through difficult times. Because of my faith, I have learned to help others process life struggles that I, too, have dealt with or overcame. I love fighting for the “underdog” and those who have been dealt tough situations. I hope to continue to provide as much hope as I can to people who find themselves lacking hope, direction, or purpose.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has definitely not been a smooth road. I struggled with insecurity of not “fitting in” in various areas of my life, whether it was with family, friends or colleagues. There have been struggles in my professional life, where I was sometimes opposed for having a heart to help others or speak up for those who were not considered society worthy. There have been times when I was overlooked for positions or discriminated upon, but I kept fighting because I always knew and know there is more.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I began college with a major in Social Work but shied away from it after delving into some of the serious cases that I felt would always stay with me. I decided to enter the field of PR but still found myself gravitating to the “helping” organizations or causes that were similar to Social Work. Eventually, God has brought me full circle, as I work in social services by supervising a local program that helps children and families who struggle with trauma, crisis, lack of basic needs, etc. It’s definitely my calling to help others, but specifically those who are in transition or in difficult circumstances. I believe my empathetic nature and understanding of pain processing has set me apart from others. I don’t necessarily believe in rescuing, as much as I do, in finding practical solutions to help people who need hope and direction. As an author and coach, I use my gift to build others up, while being there with them in the FULL process. I believe the pain and the process always leave us better, but sometimes, we just need to be made aware of that or receive help in finding the “better.” I’m also known as a Mom Educator who encourages reading and the love of reading as early as the womb. I created a virtual program during the Pandemic –Young Minds Matter, the ABCs of Learning at Home — to help parents teach their kids how to read, especially with the extra time at home. I believe language and literature will take children and people places far beyond what they could ever imagine, and that is something we all need right now.
What were you like growing up?
As a child, I was always told I was “wise beyond my years.” I loved singing in church, writing uplifting plays/skits and writing poetry. Many adults in my community fondly called me “Young Maya” as a tribute to THE Maya Angelou. I also loved speaking as a child. I always felt the microphone is my home, regardless of the nerves that proceed the mic; when it’s in my hand, I go into my full element. I also was interested in the “deep” things of life, which is why I used writing and speaking as my outlet. Lastly, I would say I had a protective nature as a child; I would often stand up for kids who were teased in class or in the summer program, regardless of how much taller the adversary appeared.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @tikiacyoung
- Facebook: Tikia C. Young
Love Photography, Birmingham, Alabama for author headshot