*There are many people in the world that cares for the youth but Yolanda Tucker is the frontrunner as she wants to create a better future for the black youth in Jacksonville, Florida. The motivational speaker and author strives to keep as many people inspired and determined despite the trials and tribulations.
During the weekend of July 23rd and 24th Tucker hosted the “Keepin’ It 100” Teen Summit at the Artifactory Gallery. She met with teens from ages 13-19 to address their questions and concerns about various issues in the world today such as education, employment, domestic violence and politics.
“It felt empowering for me to come in and talk about the things that are on their minds, their train of thought and what is important to them,” said Tucker.
Tucker’s goal is to stimulate their minds by first having them weigh in on issues that matter to them, and then encouraging them to expand their horizons. The author of two books “Blessed Beyond Belief” (2004), a story of her life, and “All I Ever Wanted to Do Was Love You” (2011) a story of a young woman on a desperate search for love, are both stories of pain and triumph. Tucker used her life as topics for the teens to discuss and get their point of view and then give words of encouragement.
“The overall message of the summit is to get up and get moving,” said Tucker. “It’s the summertime and teens are taking it easy and to introduce them to community involvement and outside activities gives them a more effective summer, and get up and get moving lets them know that they can be different,” she added.
Tucker came from a troubled childhood. Being a single mother of two children by the age of 15, growing up in poverty, being subjected to rape and domestic violence and having unloving parents now has a Masters Degree and a budding career. She has put her brother through school at Florida A&M University, and is currently has her son attending Bethune-Cookman University. Tucker gives the same message to others that she gives to her family.
With much success reaching out to the black youth of Jacksonville, Tucker is now planning to take her message of positivity and motivation across the nation. She is partnering with organizations in her hometown for a series of programs for youth, and is planning a college speaking tour for the fall.
“We are going to start in the state of Florida and I am going to take my life and turn it into topics for teens and young adults to talk about, touch base on political agreements and issues that people face everyday,” said Tucker.