I’m LaKitia Woodard born and raised in Chicago Heights, IL which is 30 minutes outside of Chicago. The oldest of 14 siblings which makes me the first in the family to do many things such as: graduate from college then go on to obtain a MBA Global Management. Additionally, I’m a speaker, Sister Coach, and future Author. My first self-published book will be released in November 2017.
My passion for empowering women began in college after dealing with inner demons that resulted from being sexually abused. Soon after I began motivating and captivating women on personal development. During my career I unmasked the ugly truth among most women: lack of self awareness. In order to solve this issue I founded A Sister’s Truth (AST). AST is a Sister Coaching business helping women to Discover, Define, and Live their Truth for manifesting a courageous life without limits. As a Sister Coach it’s my job to make sure my clients have the tools needed to stay true themselves for a purpose driven life. My clients get the hard truths that’s not easy to hear but needed to push them to the next level. They receive the hard truths the only way a Sister can deliver it: wrapped in motivation and tied with an inspirational bow. Additionally as a motivational speaker, I teach women the importance of accepting their flaws for personal growth and happiness.
The turning point in my life was the day my sister was murdered. We were only 8 months apart in age. At the time of her death she was 8 months pregnant with my nephew. The news came to me on the day of my college farewell party. The death of my sister filled me with so many different emotions: betrayal, anger, hatred, revenge, unhappiness just to name a few. My sister was killed in front her home with her 2 year old daughter inside. My niece was left motherless due to a senseless act that took my sister away at the tender age of 17. No one should ever lose their mother before their 3rd birthday. No one should ever lose a sister before their life together can start. No parent should ever have to bury their child.
A year prior to her death, I sent my step-father away to prison for sexually abusing me. This was a battle I faced and won on my own, unfortunately. There was so much confusion and uncertainty going on in my head at the time that the death of my sister caused me to become reckless. A few weeks after her death, I went to college but barely made it through my first year without flunking out. The destructive behavior I engaged in had me on the path to joining a gang.
There were so many different rumors about why my sister was murdered. To this day, I’m not sure if I ever heard the real story. But the story that I know completely changed my life forever. The story that changed my life was that the same gang I was about to join was behind my sister’s murder. Again, I’m not sure if there’s truth in that story; but knowing that piece of information kept me from joining the gang. At 19 years old, I had to take a hard look at my life and see for the first time the dangers around me. My brother, 17 at the time, was on the path to facing the same fate as my sister. It was at that time I took it upon myself to become the example of success my siblings and I did not have. We needed to know that there was something “better” for us and it was my job to discover it.
My first year of college was over and I got the worst grades in my life but didn’t let that stop me from moving forward. My new mission to become a success meant embracing the unknown, grabbing courage from where I could find it, and leaving Chicago for good never looking back.
The experience left me without options. My sister was dead, brother headed in the same direction, and I’m on a path of destruction. It was do or die! Suddenly, I had this uncontrollable urge to leave Chicago. My gut feeling was telling me either leave or die here too. Leaping into the unknown was the only choice at the time. No one instilled courage or confidence in me so I had to rely on a higher power. Honestly, my faith, at the time, was truly the size of a mustard seed. For years, I couldn’t figure out why God would let me suffer. With a small amount of faith and trust, I jumped into uncharted territory without guidance from my mother or biological father.
My story will inspire men and women because it’s relatable. Unfortunately, my story is not unique because many people share my experiences. Like the old saying goes “there’s nothing new under the sun”. This also applies to the tactics the enemy uses to steal, kill, and destroy our joy. He tries to use the same tricks on all of us which is why it’s important to share our stories. Our testimony has the power to deliver someone else out of their circumstance by showing them it’s possible to overcome. Most times all we need is a little inspiration to lean harder on our faith so we can break through unfavorable situations.
Life happens and it doesn’t come with a guidebook on how to navigate through it. But if we rally together, encourage one another, and lend a hand to the next person we’ll all find the value and meaning we’re looking for.
My calling is tied to my testimony and it’s my duty to share my story with the world. It took me years to really embrace my calling because I thought it was something else. Yet, it was hard to shake because the more I lived in my truth the more women were drawn to my strength. Being the example for others, in addition to my siblings, brings me the greatest joy and everlasting peace.
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