Tanyqua's Story

I’m Tanyqua. I’ve been through a lot on my way to the Dress for Success runway.

Growing up, I escaped a toxic family life. I fled domestic violence with my three children. 

And for years, I’ve fought a legal system that put every possible barrier in my way to get justice for my abuse as a child by a minister of the church.

That’s a lot of baggage to carry around.  Putting my kids in the car and leaving was a first step in my healing. 

Then, finding a home for us in a YWCA battered women’s shelter was a blessing in two ways. First, we were safe at last – and second, the Y referred me to Dress for Success Cincinnati.  The clothes and encouragement renewed my spirit.  Besides the free clothing that they gave me, I bought the very first suit I had ever owned at Portaluca for $3.00. And the Career Center computers and Internet gave me my voice and the world – not only to search for jobs and create a, but also to learn what I needed to get justice for the childhood abuse I had experienced.

With my children safe and seeing a path forward for me, a flood of emotions in me came rushing out.  My ongoing healing process became poetry. Poetry for healing, for moving ahead, for overcoming rage and sadness and for finding peace.  

I thought if poetry was a force restoring me, perhaps it could act as a curriculum for others, too. And that’s what has happened. 

From my own personal struggles, I actually made lesson sheets so other people who were hurting might find themselves.  I’ve taken my program into women’s prisons, into high schools and for youth who have become involved in the justice system. 

Now I am striving and doing great. Even in this pandemic, I have a job at Lowe's on their Merchandising Team, and I still provide Personal Training for clients.

People who know me say I am fierce and relentless. And now I know I can move any mountain! Thank you Dress for Success!