We had the good fortune of connecting with Yulekethia Forrest-Hankerson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yulekethia, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
There were two reasons why I always wanted my own business. One was because I grew up with parents that always had their own business. I would work as a little girl to help my parents with their business. I was six years old and remember helping my parents clean these big pretty offices. They had a cleaning service and a painting body shop. I remebred sanding the cars with my father at his paint and body shop. So the business mindset was taught to me at an early age. The second reason is because I had a dream that I was having a baby girl. But I was a little confused on how that could be possible? Especially since I had to have a partial hysterectomy due to uterine fibroids. So I brushed it off at first but the dream kept coming back. The next dream had said that this baby would take care of many people. So this made me more confused. Because how could a baby take care of people? The parents are supposed to take care of the baby. So me and my prayer partner Aaron prayed that God would give me an interpterion of the dream. Then some days had passed and God said that it wasn’t a physical baby. It would be a place where people can come and get the love and help that they needed. A love that God wants us all to have and give. That love is unconditional love.
So I kept thinking what would I call this business? So we prayed again. God gave my prayer partner the name Talitha Cumi. Which come from Mark 5:41 41 And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha Cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. After that I prayed more and asked God what was it that He wanted me to do with this business? So I was instructed to help single women and children that were struggling to get back on their feet. To spread Gods love and word. To reach for their highest potential. To trust God in all that they do. So the only way to achieve this goal was to make it a non-profit organization. Because God never charged us for His love or blessings. I understood better than anyone the struggles of a single parent. Because I had become a divorced single parent. Raising two little boys. I knew there were resources that I needed but I couldn’t get. So I didn’t want any other hard working woman to feel the pain that I had felt when I first got a divorce. Then God took it a step further and told me it’s just not woman that are single parents; it’s men as well. So our love is centered around single parents no matter what the gender is and also children.
What should our readers know about your business?
Talitha Cumi Inc reaches out to single parent and their children giving them a ray of sunshine at the end of the tunnel by providing team support, mentoring, education, job readiness and rehabilitation. Talitha Cumi Inc. takes pride in helping single parents get on their feet! Yulekethia Forrest- Hankerson, founder of the organization, was a struggling divorced single mother who saw the need for the resources Talitha Cumi Inc provides to the community. Our newest project is called S.I.N.G.L.E. is an acronym, which stands for Support them-Invite them-Nurture them-Gravitate to them-Love them-Empower them. This is a new project of Talitha Cumi Incorporated, a non-profit origination. The purpose of this project is to promote single families who are financially dependent to have access to a “one-stop” facility that will ensure that all of the participants can obtain good resources that will foster independent life skills. Talitha Cumi Incorporated is nonprofit agency that has taken pride in providing much needed resources to any family in need. The purpose of this project is to secure a safe-haven provided at a building for single parents who are in need of daily life necessities, which include the true copy of Maslow’s Hierarchy: 1. Physiological needs 2. Safety needs 3. Love and belonging 4. Esteem 5. Self-actualization. Our mission is designed to inspire and empower single parents and children to reach their highest potential at life-long goals to master life-successes. The work accomplished by Talitha Cumi Inc. so far has been noteworthy. We have provided food baskets, educational supplies, and clothing to families and to charitable events. We have held annual Thanksgiving and Christmas giveaways that included toys and dinner boxes for our participants. Talitha Cumi Incorporation has also been responsible for soliciting donation dollars for selected schools within the Broward County school district, which ensures every child can eat a hot lunch regardless of a family’s ability to pay. Not to mention, Talitha Cumi Incorporation is involved in sponsoring and donating to new nonprofit organizations.
What I feel sets me apart from others is that I have patience ,unconditional love, and compassion. The things this world needs more of right now. Due to us having to deal with things like COVID and hate. Prayer and hard work is how I got to where I am today. Lots of praying and sleepless nights. I always say I have to put in as many hours that I put into someone else business into my business. Because it will not build itself. My family giving me all the love and support along this journey in my life. It was very challenging to get this organization started. Because before it got to this point of where it is. I had to invest not only my time but my own money as well. Because as we all know it takes time to get your name out there and have people to trust you with their money. I always have this saying I will not be going to the IRS jail so I am going to do right by peoples money. People that God has sent to this organization so that we can be of help to those in need. Know matter the race or color. I overcome all my challenges by praying and trusting God. Also hard work and wanting to always make my parents proud of me. The lesson I have learned along the way is. We all fall short at some point. Too never give up. To keep God first and to keep reaching for the stars. To always remain humble, trustworthy and humble. That if you are going to be a leader. You first must know how to be an Indian and if you are going to lead people. Lead people to good things. Lead them to reach for their highest potential and always trust God. I want the world to know is that we love everyone that comes through our doors. That you will be surrounded by peace when you come through our doors. That we will treat you the way you would want to be treated. Because my parents taught me. Treat people the way you would want to be treated.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am a home body so this would be a little challenging for me. I spend all my time at home, parents house, my office and the beach. I love to have worship service at the beach. It is so calming and peaceful. There I feel like I am one with God.
Sunday breakfast and dinner at my home. We would go to the beach for church.
Monday- Saturday breakfast at IHOP.
Monday- Longhorn Steak House
Tuesday- Peter Pan Dinner I love this place because I always have to support a small business in my neighborhood.
Wednesday- Crafty Crabs
Friday night- Black Rock
I do not drink so we can’t have drinks.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I always like to thank God first, Because He continues to blow His breath on me and on the organization. (Talitha Cumi Inc.) Without God none of this could be possible. Next I would like to recognize my parents Mr. and Mrs. Forrest who have been married for 45 years. They taught me the meaning of love, morals, respect, hard work, compassion, finances, ownership and giving. My two sons Hozie and Isaiah Hankerson who help me at the organization. Their way of giving back is in the children’s department. I taught them to give back because someone gave to you when we needed it the most. To the board members that always have my back on this journey and help keep me in line. My prayer partner Aaron. We cover each other in prayer. To my clients and donors because without them life would suck. Lastly to all the children that God has entrusted me with. They keep me on my toes and laughing.