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

Hi Tracy, let’s talk legacy – what do you want yours to be?
It has been a while since I have been asked this question. I used to think that legacy was based on how much money you attain within your lifetime, but I have learned that it is deeper than that. When it is all said and done I want my legacy to be that I gave my all to make an impact throughout this world. All I have ever wanted to be was someone that made a difference. I have been blessed with a lot of great things in my life, but what good is that if I did not give back? On a day to day basis we see people struggle and go through situations some of us could not bear to deal with. Some of us speak on what we want to do, but never act upon it. I am someone that follows through with everything I say I am going to do. When people remember me, they will know that I gave them everything I had to offer while I was here on this earth. My purpose will have been fulfilled because I invested my time and energy into what really mattered.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

I am currently a Public Works Professional for Jacobs Engineering Group. My day to day responsibilities can change depending on what comes up. One day you could find me out on a construction project managing asphalt or concrete work. Then on another day I could be within a park trying to figure out what would be a fun playground piece to implement for the children to play on. Lately I have been participating in a Jacobs development program that is preparing me for the next step in my career, which is becoming a Project Manager. Programs like this are so great because it prepares me for what is going to come versus being thrown into the fire and learning things on the fly.

Getting to this point in my professional career was not easy. My first full-time job opportunity did not come until 2018. I lollygagged around throughout my time in college and did not get the relevant experience I needed. I assumed that as long as I had my degree I would get a job off that alone. That was such a terrible mindset to have. My career journey was an emotional rollercoaster I did not want to ride, but I had to remain on it to get to where I am today. I learned that great things come in due time. My patience was tested beyond what I could imagine. I looked adversity in the face though and did not back down. I followed my intuition and it led to me being a part of Jacobs.

My story has its dark moments, but my darkest times are what taught me to shine. I have been able to learn so much within my professional career that I can apply to my organizations BLK Hiking Club and Dreams To Kings and Queens. That is what has made me a better entrepreneur. The same effort I put into my job eight hours out of the day is the same effort I put into my entrepreneurial efforts. Success is not going to be handed to me. It is something I have to work towards. I learned quickly that to get what you want you have to put in overtime on your dreams.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If one of my friends was coming into town for a week there is a lot we could do. Being that I love being out in nature I would take them to a few of my favorite hiking spots around the city: The Bamboo Forest, Sweetwater Creek State Park, and Vickery Creek at Roswell Mill. Atlanta has so much to offer when it comes to food. I truly do feel like any foodie will love it here, especially if they are looking for black owned restaurants to support. My friends love to eat so we would definitely want to check out a variety of places. As far as activities go, I’m a huge sports fan so depending on the time of the year that they come into town I would take them to see the Braves, Falcons, or Hawks play. Although I do not mind making an itinerary I also like to see what my friends would like to do before making set plans. Sometimes they make recommendations I would have never thought of. Then sometimes it is better just to go with the flow and see where the day takes you.

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?
I dedicate this shoutout interview to my family and friends. These are the people that have made my success possible. As I have evolved as an entrepreneur I have experienced a lot of emotions on this journey. I questioned myself on numerous occasions and whether I wanted to continue BLK Hiking Club or my nonprofit organization Dreams To Kings and Queens. A lot of people see these high moments, but they do not understand what goes on behind the scenes. If I did not have this support system I would have given up by now. They have continuously encouraged me to keep going and never question myself. It makes me emotional just thinking about it. I can admit I am not always the easiest to deal with, but they always stick by my side. They are not just here for my high moments in life, but for the sad ones as well. These are the people I owe my success to because if it was not for them I would not be here for this interview today. I know it is easy for us to only give praise to the entrepreneur for putting in the work to get to where they are, but we need to start showing love to the people that kept them uplifted during their process as well. Also, if there is one message I can pass along to up & coming entrepreneurs it is to appreciate family and friends while they are here. Although they celebrate you, celebrate them from time to time.

Website: www.blkhikingclub.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blkhikingclub/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracy-stephens-72958214a/

Other: https://www.instagram.com/t_stephens/

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