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Everyday Heroes: Keisha Stubbs

Tied Together

For almost a year, Keisha Stubbs slept. She moved in with her mother, stopped looking for a job, didn’t have a car and all she wanted to do was sleep. She was depressed and understandably so. Her fiance, Shawn Gary, had been gunned down in New York City, where they both lived, leaving the 23-year-old Stubbs to care for their small son.

Stubbs decided to move in with her mother, Lorna Savage, in Henry County. And then, inexplicably, everything changed.

“One day in June, it was like a page turned,” Stubbs said. “I woke up and said, ‘It’s time to do something.’ I went and bought a car for cash and got a job in a supermarket that started that July. Because I’ve always been a hard worker and had something going for myself, after spending all those months doing nothing productive, I said, ‘My son needs to see better than that.’”

Credit: Photo Courtesy of Keisha Stubbs

Credit: Photo Courtesy of Keisha Stubbs

Once she got going, Stubbs was unstoppable. Her life has taken such dramatic turns that she has now written two books, founded a non-profit organization and works as a business consultant. She also hosts The Artisan Markets at Avalon Park.

Today, she owns a home, a nice car and is proud of her son, a freshman at the Art Institute of Atlanta who just finished his first semester with all A’s.

“It was a 180,” she says of her life’s transformation. “It was the roughest time of my life when his father was killed, but now I think of my son’s father regularly and smile. My financial status is nowhere it used to be. I’d like for anybody who has gone through a similar situation to know there is another side, and it does get better.”

Stubbs has now made it her mission to help others. It began simply as a way to help her son, who was at Luella Middle School at the time and needed assistance with a tie he was wearing for an upcoming school event. Her coworker offered to help, and by instructing him on Skype, he taught Michai how to tie a tie.

“I realized my son probably wasn’t the only boy who lacked this knowledge,” Stubbs said. “It started with a tie tying event at his school. I brought about five men in over the course of five days and they taught the eighth-grade boys how to tie their ties.”

Spending more time at the school, Stubbs said she began noticing other needs, such as help with lunch payments for students who didn’t qualify for free lunches, school supplies and even underwear for some children. She founded the non-profit Tied Together and praises the community for its support, including the Pyramid Grooming Lounge which annually offers free haircuts to kids.

The tie tying events are now in their third year at four Henry County middle schools and financial donations have helped set up school accounts to assist with lunch costs and other needs. Stubbs estimates the program is currently helping more than 1,000 children.

“I have huge faith in God,” she said. “We’re ‘Tied Together.’ We’re all tied together, and we’re all community and we all take care of each other.”

Stubbs has now put her life’s story into a book. “Close or Be Closed: How a Teen Mom Sold Her Way Out of Poverty” tells the story of her journey from a pregnant high school girl struggling with poverty to climbing the corporate ladder and changing the future of her family. Her second work, a children’s book titled “SuperCharged: The First Day of School ,” highlights the “differences that make kids super. It was illustrated by her son. Both books are available at Amazon.

HOW TO HELP

For more information on Tied Together, visit http://www.tiedtogetherinc.org/.

To learn more about Keisha Stubbs’ books, please visit her Amazon page.


WE’RE STRONGER TOGETHER: A SPECIAL PROJECT

This place we call home is filled with ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary feats. Their selfless acts make this region so special – and they bring out the best in all of us. With the holidays upon us, we wanted to share their inspiring stories, celebrate their accomplishments, and offer ways that you can help.

Just as the 55 people we’re profiling can’t do it alone, nor can we. That’s why we worked closely with our partners to bring you this collection of uplifting stories.

We hope they leave you feeling inspired and ready to tackle the busy new year that lies ahead.

We hope they make you feel more connected to your community or to your neighbors.

And maybe, just maybe, they will motivate you to come up with your own small way to make a big difference in the lives of others.

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