We had the good fortune of connecting with Asha Dickerson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Asha, what’s the most important think you’ve done for your children?
I am a parent of 2 girls. It has always been important to me to show them that 1 of the most important things that they can do to be successful is to adjust. Because I had them at a somewhat young age, they have been able to witness a lot of ups and downs in my life. Many of those downs could have lead to poverty or depression but instead, I have made adjustments. Whether that be adjusting my expenses and diversifying my income after a job loss or adjusting my environment during toxic situations. Some of this adjustment has included using the resources that I had available including savings to pay bills, friends for support, and self-care resources. More than anything, I want them to grow to be strong women full of light and positivity. I want them to be able to bounce back in the face of hardship because life will not always be perfect but resilience can set them apart.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I provide mental health services, licensure supervision for new Counselors, continuing education workshops for professionals working in Mental Health, and training concerning Mental Health to people who work in other fields. I am most proud of the work that I do in the community because there are so many events that affect one’s mental health and without being aware of this, stigma and misunderstanding continue. I aim to make it safe for people to say, “I’m not ok” and be comfortable seeking help without being concerned about what others will think of them. Part of how I got to where I am is because of the assistance of a former supervisor, now friend, Beth Bachelor. When I was a new Counselor, Beth saw well past my position and always encouraged me to do more and be more involved. She listened to my dreams and gave me ideas for how to make them come true. She set me up with my first speaking engagement, gave me paid time off to go back to school, and hired me to do my 1st training after I left the agency that she runs. It was not easy in the beginning but it definitely got easier with time and experience. Along the way, I have learned that there are people who do not really want me to succeed but there are many more who realize that there is enough business in the Mental Health and Education field for all of us. There are more friends/supporters than enemies/competition. I am happy to provide my services at rates that are far less than some of my colleagues because my aim is to educate and help as many people as possible and that does not mean that I do not know my worth. The more you give, the more you get in return!
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Whenever friends visit the south, the first thing that they ask about is good places to eat or drink. I have a whole list of amazing Black-owned restaurants in the area to visit. For breakfast, we would visit Huskers in the Stone Mountain area and then stop at Apple Butter Bakery to pick up dessert for later. Downtown Atlanta has a lot of amazing art that requires no paid admission. Instead, we could walk the Atlanta Beltine and then head to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights to get a wealth of knowledge. One of my favorite restaurants for dinner is BQE and during the evening, I would make sure to visit City Winery in Ponce City Market as they have many wines available for tasting and purchase from Black-owned wineries.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have an identical twin sister who has never failed to support or help me even regardless of my circumstances. We have always engaged in a healthy competition that led to both of us having Ph.D.’s (Hers in Epidemiology). She has never hesitated to invest in my business, care for my children as her own, read and listen to every speech or interview that I have ever done, and share it with as many people as possible. She was my first friend, college roommate, and line sister. Many people say that they are proud of you and will be there for anything that you need; few of those actually follow through with the help, refer other people to you for business, and book flights to come to your events before they can even get a proper invite. She has been available for every random thought and brainstorming session and has been my accountability partner when I could not motivate myself.