May - Tishauna Mullings
If Tishauna Mullings biography were to be written, the title, ‘A Tale of Two Tishauna’s’ would be apt; as she transitioned from being a shy, introverted girl with low self-esteem, living below her potential to blossoming into a social activist for youth development and driven high achiever.
The transformation from introvert to having an indomitable voice took considerable effort on Tishauna’s part and came in her latter years, while pursuing undergraduate studies in psychology and business administration (minor) at Northern Caribbean University (NCU). Self-professed late bloomer, Tishauna outlined that she suffered from low self-esteem partially because of starting puberty late and some circumstances surrounding her upbringing. As such, she walked the halls of Morant Bay High School aimlessly, often with eyes fixed on the ground, avoiding eye contact, because she felt so small. Tishauna however made a decision to become an extraordinary individual, going forward. With the help of her high school guidance counsellor at St. Hugh’s High School, where she did sixth form, and the assistance of one of her older siblings, who was a life coach, and agreed to coach her. Her transition from her cocoon though, truly began with her participation in life coach training, as she discovered her life purpose to work with youth.
At Northern Caribbean University (NCU), she got involved in every activity she could fit into her schedule. She confesses “I entered NCU with the mindset that everything I didn’t achieve I’m going to do it now;” and that she did. Her newfound peers also recognized her passion and elected her to several leadership positions on campus. As evidence of the stellar reputation she built for herself at NCU, Tishauna was awarded for her stalwart contribution to the growth and development of the Behavioural Science Department at NCU, won the NCU 2012 entrepreneurial competition, declared NCU's most outstanding academic club president 2012, as well as its most outstanding community student for the school year 2009/2010, and receiving the highest honours of the institution’s Dean's List 2009, 2010 and 2012. To top all her accolades of accomplishments at NCU, she was named valedictorian of her class. In her graduation address, she promised that, for those issues that others only create a panacea, she will inspire true transformation.
After university with a quest to provide financial stability for her family, she worked in executing an Inter-American Development Bank of Jamaica community development project through the then St. Thomas Credit Union, to develop financial tools for farmers. Despite having no prior experience in the field; she excelled. Never losing sight of her dream to improve the lives of others, Tishauna also began NexxStepp Personal Development Services in 2012, while working full-time. The business NexxStepp, which had its genesis as a class assignment now offers services such as GSAT study partner programmes, CXC classes, speech writing, sign language, private and professional tutoring, individualized reading sessions, seminars for churches, schools, businesses, and life purpose coaching.
Her dedication to community service and youth development seem to know no end, as she is served as on the Parish Youth Committee, and president of the Rotaract Club of St Thomas. For this commitment to her community, Tishauna was recognized as the recipient of the inaugural Butch Stewart Community Award in the young achievers category, a 2013 Nominee for the Prime Minister's Youth Award for Excellence in Youth Work and 2017 winner of the award for stalwart contribution to community development, and an ambassador of the Governor General's I Believe Initiative and Governor General Achievement Awardee 2015. Her other achievements include: first runner-up in the St Thomas Festival Queen 2013 competition and 2014 Farm Queen for the parish.
Always wanting to be an entrepreneur and philanthropist, Tishauna decided to delve full-time into her company in 2016 and leave behind her job at a local financial institution as a senior member service representative. The impetus became more pressing after being selected to represent Jamaica as a delegate for Barack Obama’s Young Leader of the Americas.
Although still a youth herself, Tishauna is all about empowering other young people to unlock their full potential; especially those in her home parish where she has established and currently run the NexxStepp Learning Centre- an offshoot of her company. On a philanthropic note, she has also conceptualized and introduced the ‘Little Genius Show’, a programme geared towards encouraging 8-11 years old to develop their self-esteem, public speaking skills, critically thinking and creatively. This initiative has been endorsed by the Office of the Governor General and the National Integrity Action, and is now gaining national reach.
As a global citizen and creative conceptualizer, Tishauna is set on travelling the world with the aim of sharing and collecting inspiration that she can also use to inspire Jamaican youth, across various platforms.
The 27 year old, from Seaforth, St. Thomas has indeed found her voice and is sharing it through the many hats she wears as an entrepreneur, personal development trainer, training consultant, facilitator with JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation’s Conversations for Greatness and a global citizen.