We had the good fortune of connecting with Kiahna Jackson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kiahna, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
To me, this question is quite simple. There is no such thing as giving up! Yes, things get tough, life happens (especially with the year we have had), there will always be highs and lows but those things make what I do worth fighting for! I believe in self-care and taking time to recuperate but laying down or throwing in the towel is NOT an option. I oftentimes have to go into my prayer closet for guidance but he has never shown me a door he cannot open or close. 

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a first-generation graduate student with a Master’s in Public Administration and a concentration in Criminal Justice. My most proud accomplishment thus far is indeed my academic career. Throughout my career, I have worked as a Victim Advocate intern in Lamar County, an intern with Clayton County Pretrial Intervention and Diversion Program (PDIP), and currently with Clayton County Board of Commissioners. Throughout these amazing opportunities, I have launched my own business, Kay’s Garden Essentials. It is my commitment to educate, serve, and empower others about organic and natural hair products to promote healthy hair growth and limitless self-confidence! My fiancé, Jason, and my next venture are, Project Peace. Our hopes for Project Peace is to establish a homeless shelter on the Southside of Atlanta. Has it been easy? Of course not lol, I believe anything worth having doesn’t come easy so I expect and accept the challenges! I overcome many challenges by staying strong in faith, being creative when solving problems, and remembering whatever the problem is, it won’t always exist. One of the most important lessons I have learned thus far is to trust myself and my passion, exhale fear, and the true beauty isn’t in the destination but the journey! Dear world, slow down! I know it may feel like it’s so much to do in so little time but it’s ok to take a moment to breathe, look into the mirror, and acknowledge the beautiful being you are! Throw away your anxiety, your fear of failure and manifest your divine greatness. Get out of your way because you are more powerful than you believe! Embrace yourself and tap in!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When my best friend come visit the “A” it is a must I take her to all my favorite restaurants: Tassili’s Raw Reality, Slutty vegan ATL, Slim & Husky’s, Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours, Busy Bee Cafe, Plant-Based Pizzeria, The real Milk & Honey, Ray’s Southern Food, Dr. Shellz Soul Food Kitchen, just to name a few lol. We’ll both probably gain 10 pounds by the end of her trip. Our day activities would be a trip to The Martin Luther King, Jr. National, Atlanta Botanical Garden, John Lewis mural, Amicalola Falls, Atlanta Beltline, The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and Piedmont Park. Everyone knows ATL has the best nightlight lol, a few places I would take her is The Gold Room, Opera, Revel, Sivas Midtown, and Escobar Restaurant & Tapas.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love, and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Wow, where do I start? Above all, I would not be the woman I am without the guidance and covering from my God! To my queen and the most amazing dad, Tonya Burdette and Cleo Parker, thank you for your unconditional love and support. My biological father and his wife, Eddie, and Darlene Jackson for fighting for me. To my entire god family, The Lamberts, I can’t thank you all enough for opening your home and hearts to me, helping me blossom into the very woman I am today! To my mentors and counselors Johnnie Stephens, Kathleen McPherson, T.I Shubert, and Nicole Smith, for your continued encouragement and prayers. My church family from Waynesboro, Ga to Atlanta, Ga. To my best friend, Arnetta Adams, for always standing with me as sisters should. To my family in love for welcoming me into your family with love and support. Especially to my mother in love for sharing this opportunity! Last but certainly not least, to my fiancé, Jason for providing unconditional love, limitless support, and being a man of God! Thank you to everyone in your respective places for contributing to my success, being selfless in action, and for your prayers! It truly takes a village and I do not take you for granted!

Website: kaysgardenessentials.com
Instagram: @kays.garden @locsbykayy @melanin_denae

Image Credits
@capturedbyshantel @_lexiel

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