When Maya Angelou says “Now you understand just why my head’s not bowed. I don’t shout or jump about or have to talk real loud. When you see me passing it ought to make you proud” in her poem “Phenomenal Woman,” that could describe Yolanda Tucker.
Ms. Tucker is a phenomenal woman who has overcome adversities in her life and now she has established a growing presence in the book industry by using her chaotic life experiences to educate and encourage the people of Jacksonville, Florida and beyond to expand their horizons. We wondered how her success was seen by her.
“It is the best time I can ever have. For someone to call me and say that they are motivated by my book and so many people come up to me and tell me things about their personal lives, it overwhelms me,” said Tucker.
A native of Waycross, GA, Tucker went through a childhood that would make many people count her out of society, but she overcame her obstacles and became successful.
Throughout the early years of her life, Tucker spent most of her childhood with her grandparents due to neglect from her mother and not knowing her birth father; her grandparents passing away; sexual and mental abuse; being put into foster care; and becoming pregnant at 15.
Close to not graduating form high school, Tucker knew she had to change for the better to take care of her son and two brothers.
“My younger brother always tells me that I’m his hero,” said Tucker. She went on to college and graduated from Jones College in Jacksonville with a degree in business administration and then received her Masters from Florida Metropolitan University shortly after.
Moving ahead to the present, Tucker is currently the President and CEO of GHM, Inc., a company she started that specializes in providing expert public speaking and book publishing. Making a living as an author and a motivational speaker, Tucker has developed a reputation in many circles as a charismatic and inspirational social activist touching on the issues that are plaguing the black community such as domestic violence, unemployment and single parent households among others.
In 2004, Tucker published her first book, “Blessed Beyond Belief” which gives readers an inside look on her childhood and teenage years. From the struggles she has gone through in her life, she has proven to others the determination, perseverance and belief in God can help anyone overcome any obstacle in life.
“You can overcome circumstances that you encounter in life,” Tucker said.
Her third book, “All I Ever Wanted to Do Was Love You,” published this year, is Tucker’s first fictional novel about a young woman who is on a desperate search for true love while going through a life of ups and downs with abuse and abandon.
Along with the motivational speaking and writing, Tucker is making a big impact in her community of Jacksonville as she partnered with the Murray Hill Branch Library, embarking on a mission to save the city’s public libraries from losing funding and eventually closing.
“Me and my colleagues teamed up and did workshops for young aspiring writers, we read to the children, answered questions they might have had, and we gave opportunity for some students to apply for an internship as apart of National Library Week,” said Tucker.
Looking down the line, Tucker has big plans for her writing career and her motivational speaking.
“Well I am writing a sequel to “All I Ever Wanted to Do Was Love You,” because the male character in the book has his own story to tell so I am working on that one now,”she told us.
Looking forward into next year, Tucker plans to publish her first adult fiction book. “In the next couple of years I would love to have 10 books published at that point and be an international empowerment speaker,” said Tucker.