What inspired you to start Christen Resilience?
God, in a short answer. The unhealed version of me wanted to be a federal prosecutor. After being in foster care for 16 years, I never thought I’d want to work in social services. But as I grew older It seemed like social services was chasing me down. I went from working for the school system to lobbying nationally for reform in the child welfare system, all at the age of twenty. Then over time, I started working alongside the Broward County State Attorneys Office, The Children Services Council, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, and DJJ. Doors started flying open left and right for me to give back to my community. In all that work, I noticed a lack for brown girls. When I tried to find a solution, God told me that I was the solution. I was created for such a time as this. So, I started Christen Resilience!
Name a challenge you’ve faced throughout your journey? How did you overcome it and RISE?
I would say that being a survivor of sex trafficking was the biggest thing that I had to overcome. I experienced a great deal of trauma from being in foster care. But, human trafficking was by far the biggest wall I had to climb. At first I tried to suppress it and carry the load on my own. Eventually it became too heavy so I gave it over to God. I prayed, said affirmations, and little by little God healed me. I use everything that I’ve experienced to bring healing to those who need it (Romans 8:28)
Share a few words of encouragement to Black Girls Rising.
You’re amazing and you're right where God wants you to be. Faith can take you further than you can ever imagine, ask, or think. Trust God with your life and keep him first. Whether you are where you want to be in life or not. In your worse times he is carrying you. He’s always just a prayer away. I promise I’ve tried him and he has NEVER failed me. You’re beautiful Black girl. Keep Queenin’!
How can we connect with you? (Social Media handles)
Facebook: Aytia Tarpley