My reset started when I met art.

I was a former foster child who was released to the care of my grandmother because my drug-addicted mother just wasn’t able. It might be tough for people to believe this when they first meet me because that couldn’t be further from my current truth, but the fact is that as a young person, I felt muted. I grew up never feeling comfortable with saying how I felt — adults can be scary! It always seemed as if I was playing on their field. You have to submit to their rules, and the voice of a child just was not welcomed. 

It’s a new day now. It started with writing. I would write poetry riddled with metaphors at first — just in case anyone saw it. After, my interest moved to dancing, and dance changed my life. I was able to use movement and music. I could use sound, words and my body to say it all, project it and leave it there. The bonus was that I did it so well people would pay me to do it and teach it. I suppose, I too became an addict in my way, I couldn’t get enough of expressing myself. After that, I began creating programming, I wrote a book and produced artistic events that became transformative for everyone in the room.

Interestingly enough, while I used art as a tool of expression, it ended up being the catalyst for me finding my voice — and boy, is it loud as ever — affording me the ability to help youth and others from traumatic childhoods to find their voices as well. Art was the ultimate reset, and it gave me the chance to give life to many others. It became the ultimate gift.