Money & ME: Behind This Pretty Smile!

Meet Kanisha! Here is a testimony from an amazing woman who has overcome many hardships!“Behind this pretty smile there was darkness! Darkness that laid deep in my subconscious that bounded me to those very things that were binding me…containing me from loving and living for me. Yeah I was alive, yet, dead, suffocated by open wounds and traumas that led me to surrendering to my problems. The drugs…the alcohol…the company…the over eating…the quick fixes, these things once conquered my time, finances and relationships, and other important areas of my life, including my spirit. Darkness. Darkness allowed me to see, but have no vision. To think, but never to dream. Darkness had its time in my life and still, today, tries to ease its way back in and I laugh. Same darkness, but new perspective!”  This was a testimonial from a program called “Getting Ahead” sponsored by St. Vicent de Paul in Dayton, Ohio that Kanisha completed in 2020.Because of Getting Ahead and the Money & ME Program, I was able to first recognize the bondage I was in and create a personal plan (and back up, and another back, up and just in case back up plan lol) I could use to make my own life worth living again. My smile is authentic. It’s not used for masking. Before change occurred, I had to recognize that some things needed to change. Getting Ahead courses help me identify these areas. At some point, we all have to accept some kind of change. With the aid of Getting Ahead, I was able to get to the root of my challenges and was provided with support to help me reach my goals. I don’t know what brought you here today. You may not trust my story. Well, trust your desire for change. Change in yourself. Change in your community. Change in this world! I am Kanisha Watkins I look forward to partnering with you. I pray you join with us and together we can get ahead.” Kanisha has worked hard to be the person she is today.  She has home schooled her oldest son who has special needs.  She has survived physical and sexual abuse in relationships.  She is a single mother of two.  She remembers the night she needed to change her life.  She states, “I remember pulling up right in front of the shelter. It was freezing and raining. Bralyn (her son) asked if he could sleep in his own bed. He was tired of not being home. This brought me to tears, I knew then I had to make better decisions or else my babies will continue to suffer. The parking garage was too far to walk from,  especially at night( didn’t make it any better my abuser, who was still on the run, worked for RTA transit and knew downtown Dayton very well). This cold rainy night, while crossing the street, I had Brett in baby carrier in front and Bralyn on my back (he had surgery on leg), all while carrying numerous bags and an umbrella. One bag burst and every attempt to pick up something, something new would fall. I was tired, embarrassed and sore and couldn’t bend anymore, so I had to kick items across the street vs picking them up and traffic hated me for this. I lost important documents that night.” It didn’t turn around in one night for Kanisha.  However, for the past several years, she has been working hard to have a better life for her and her two children. Here are her 2021 accomplishments in her own words:

1.Registered my Kanisha’s Kreative Kollections (adding uniqueness to every occasion) business with state of Ohio
2. Completed Field and Production Training, which allows me to produce TV shows. These are the following I’m currently working on:
  • I Know You Can Do It:  A documentary program staged for individuals with special needs
  • She’s Unshackled:
  • Bedtime Buddies w/Bray and Brett:  Make a healthy snack and enjoy a book to assist in healthy eating, literacy and family bonding
  • Working with Dayton Children’s Hospital to produce a positive discipline and mental health series
3 Currently working with psychologist, Dr. Kia Watkins, to publish a mental health workbook and activity course.
4. Became a member on the board of Northridge’s Community Garden
5. Joined Gem City Market to encourage healthy eating and lifestyle changes
6. Started a new job as dental assistant in Huber with bigger salary
7. Started designing clothes and photo-shoot for a local artist and soon

8. I will be married to him!Congratulations to you and thank you for sharing your story with us Kanisha!  You are an amazing woman and I believe your story will inspire others to succeed!Sara Money, Developer and DesignerMoney & ME, LLC