TiTeyana Knight was recently name Our 3 Memorial Foundation's “Survivor of the Year” at the Reveal to Heal Celebration of Survivors event. TiTeyana shared with us a little bit of her story that led to her being awarded this honor.
TiTeyana’s mother had her at the young age of 17, and her biological father was not in the picture of her life. When TiTeyana was six years old, her mother remarried, but shortly after both her mother and step-father were sentenced to prison. Despite these obstacles, Titeyana was able to begin performing in dance starting at the young age of four and continued dancing until she was 21 (Montage Theatre of Dance at Hinds Community College and Belhaven University Dance). TiTeyana had other siblings as well, but all were separated when their parents went to prison. TiTeyana moved in with her grandparents, and her grandfather became her influential caretaker. Her grandfather bought Titeyana’s first acoustic guitar when he noticed her interest in music. She and her grandfather became very close, and near the end of her grandfather’s life, TiTeyana found herself taking care of him when her grandmother couldn’t. TiTeyana’s grandfather passed when she was 14 years old.
TiTeyana was also moved between four different elementary schools and two different middle schools, and the constant moving between schools and households resulted in struggles of instability and social anxiety. Her mother and step-father being incarcerated led to Titeyana struggling with childhood trauma.
Soon after giving birth to her son, TiTeyana found out he he had sickle cell anemia. Despite the struggles TiTeyana consistently faced, she began to work through her trauma. With assistance from Our 3 Memorial Foundation Inc, TiTeyana enrolled in the Carter’s Compassionate Transitional Housing program where she lived for six
months to assist her with the domestic violence she was experiencing in a relationship at the time. She found accountability and support for raising her children through this program. Her son’s illness inspired her to pursue working in the medical field, and she recently obtained a certification in phlebotomy.