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Daily Inspiration: Meet LaQuisha Hall

Today we’d like to introduce you to LaQuisha Hall.

Hi LaQuisha, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start, maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers.
My journey started rocky. I was born in New Bern, North Carolina, to parents who married young. As I grew up, I experienced domestic violence by way of my parents. They divorced when I was 12 years old, which led to the next traumatic experience. Starting at age 14, I was sexually abused by a trusted community leader. Between issues at home and low self-esteem from being teased at school, at age 16, I left home, which is when the sexual abuse ended.

The next chapter of my life proved to be just as challenging. I struggled with mental health severely during my first year of college, which led to a suicide attempt: I swallowed over 100 pills, put on a favorite dress, wrote letters to family, and lay across my dorm bed. I woke up in a hospital. My stomach pumped with a black, intolerable substance. Before being released, I was asked to sign paperwork stating that I would not attempt suicide again (and that the hospital would not be liable if I did). Reluctantly, I signed, anticipating more painful days ahead.

I excelled in college academically, was a cheerleader, a writer for the university paper, and more. Although I did not win, I ran for the university queen position. Unknowingly and even though I was disappointed, this was the start to my finding my voice and eventually winning many crowns. I decided during my junior year to give my life to God. I could push past the hurt and pain I experienced in my childhood that followed me into adulthood. I planned to attend Regent University’s Law School, for which I would have had to take out more student loans. A few days before my graduation, I learned through a university counselor and friend that Morgan State University was offering master’s degrees to those who entered their education program, Project Site Support, in exchange for teaching for 5 years in Baltimore City Public Schools. Weighing a free advanced degree alongside a salaried job versus more schooling that I did not know how I would pay for was simple: I was going to become a teacher.

Moving from North Carolina to Maryland was a culture shock. I was forced to adjust quickly and became a volunteer for several nonprofits that supported abuse survivors. This started my 20-year advocacy against domestic violence and sexual assault. Additionally, my advocacy led to my starting a mentoring program for girls (Queendom T.E.A. The Etiquette Academy), a nonprofit for unsung survivors of abuse (SheRose Awards), and teaching art through my brand Confident Canvas. Furthermore, I ended up teaching for 5 years. After transitioning to city life in 2003, I met my husband in 2004, won my first of five pageants, and shared my survivor story of overcoming trauma and abuse in 2008. I soared in learning strategies to further my scholars in my classroom—in 2018, I won Teacher of the Year for Baltimore City and was a top 7 finalist for state Teacher of the Year. I continued to teach, support, and train teachers nationally and taught through the start of the pandemic. At the end of the 2020 school year, I left the classroom to take the position of a coach for my school district. I am starting my 20th year this fall.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I did many drawings, writing, and journaling in my youth. I had aspirations of writing my poetry and books and becoming a fashion designer or interior decorator in high school. I did not pursue this dream officially after being told there was no money in this work.

As a high school English teacher, I heavily integrated the arts. My scholars loved it, and I did, too, as I was incorporating a piece of my dream into my career. Various arts organizations sought me out to teach other educators what I was doing in my classroom. In addition to publishing and co-authoring several books myself, I also published youth in 7 books (one of these books won a national award) and exposed the visual art of my scholars through local art exhibitions throughout my career. In 2016, I discovered Bible journaling, which catapulted me into pursuing my art dream again. I started an Instagram account that I had no idea would grow quickly. Confident Canvas (affectionately named so because I became more confident in myself as a “canvas” for God) was a space where I only intended to share my art. I now teach strategies I have created and learned internationally. I have a monthly membership through Patreon, where I teach, hire other artists to teach, and coach others in successfully pursuing their art dreams. I excitedly do this work part-time as I continue to coach full-time for Baltimore City Schools.

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
“I was not created to stay on concrete; I was born to walk on gold,” I said this quote during a speaking engagement, surprising myself with a statement affirming that in life, there will be hard times. Still, when you keep walking, even if the surface is hot, cracked and uncomfortable, you will eventually find your place of elevation—your golden path.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Mike Morgan, Joseph Anderson

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1 Comment

  1. Coalvin Woods

    August 13, 2022 at 12:25 am

    Awesome autobiography I am so proud of you to tell you the story and give God all the glory as I always say to all my friends we love you all and God bless.

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