Pedestal Professionals is a weekly spotlight series on our blog that highlights Black women entrepreneurs who are forging new paths in their respective fields.
Meet this week’s Pedestal Professional, Nikita Haynie, Author and Student Affairs Professional with a heart for service. Based in Lawrence, Kansas, Nikita has made it her personal mission to share not only her talents but also her fierce and unfaltering faith with all she encounters. Recently, Nikita decided to step into a new dimension of her talents by releasing her first book, and we are excited to see how high she soars in the literary world. We had a chance to chat with Nikita to learn more about her story!
Thanks for joining us on the Pedestal, Nikita! Let’s start by talking a bit about who you are and what you do.
Simply put, I am an Author. A lover of books. Woman of faith. Empowering people, one word at a time.
Can you share with our readers how you got started? I knew God placed inside of me the desire to write since I was a little girl. I loved words and expressing myself through words. I remember wanting to always go to Walden’s bookstore in Southlake mall whenever my mom needed to go shopping. I would beg her to let me sit in the back of the bookstore to read. I remember bringing home the Scholastic Books newsletters where you could order books and have them delivered to your classroom. As a child in elementary school, I remember the most exciting days to me were when we went to the library, read stories in the textbook, or when my 3rd-grade teacher would read us The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. I would get lost for hours reading books, then I would talk to my mom about the characters, and she would think I was I referring to people I knew personally. I was just that connected! When I was 17 years old after reading one of my favorite book series I vividly remember saying, “I want to write a series of books one day.” Well, that day has finally come!
Tell us about your educational journey.
I am a first-generation college student. College was challenging for various reasons, but I’m grateful that my determination and resiliency propelled me forward despite any obstacles I encountered. I earned my Master of Education in Higher Education from Georgia Southern University and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with a minor in African American Studies from Clayton State University.
What’s the most rewarding part of what you do?
Impacting people through words and being.
Did you encounter any challenges along your journey? If so, how did you overcome them?
Writing is my purpose, but even more so, it’s a God-sized dream He placed in my heart. In 2014, God gave me the idea to write my own book series. It was after a powerful meeting with some of my students, and God vividly spoke to me saying: “Write a book series to help them navigate through college and live for me. Help them to know they can be young and still put me first.” From that moment on, I would pray every day for God to show me my characters, help me write their stories and to make it all come together. There have been instances where I felt like maybe I heard God wrong and even questioned my ability to write. The hardest part was the rejection from publishing companies and literary agents, but I had to continuously remind myself that I am talented and gifted regardless if others acknowledged it. I stopped comparing myself to other writers and recognized the uniqueness of my writing voice. Four years later, the first installment in PHASES: The Series is here! I am so excited for people to experience and chronicle the journey of my characters stories.
In your opinion, what is unique about being a professional Black Woman?
The uniqueness about being a professional Black woman is our ability to be multifaceted. Black women hold a power that no one else possesses. We are agents of change, resiliency, creativity, and often even without acknowledgment, we continue to show up in our gloriousness each and every time. If you ever want to see something go the next level, let a Black woman handle it.
What’s your personal mantra?
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
What’s one piece of advice you would give to aspiring Black women professionals and entrepreneurs?
Anything you desire to do, you can. It takes focus, dedication, resiliency to make your dreams happen. Eliminate distractions and channel your energy into the things you aspire to do.
How can people learn more about your products, services, and/or journey?
You can learn more about me and the first installment of my book series at nikitahaynie.com. Be sure to subscribe!
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
With faith all things are possible. (Luke 1:37) Believe in yourself.
If you, or someone you know, would like to be featured in Pedestal Professionals, please complete the form in the “Connect” section or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.