Tina D. Lewis is the cover queen for this month’s issue of I AM QUEEN Magazine. We are so excited to share this gem with you!
What were you the first in your family to do?
I was the first in my family to graduate from college. I am a proud Alumni of the University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine.
That’s amazing! Congratulations. What obstacles prevented others in your family from going to college?
It had a lot to do with the lack of vision and their ability to delay self-gratification.
How did graduating from University transform your family?
I‘m not sure how my siblings felt. But my prayer is that it gave them hope. I pray that it gave CPR to their dreams. I know that my mental fortitude, hunger for success, and the promise I made to myself, transformed my life and consequently my family’s as well. I can take care of my mom today because I was committed to my success. Hard work is hard but it has tremendous rewards.
Tell us more about the promise you made to yourself?
When I was in the 5th grade, my mom was in a near-fatal car accident and was hospitalized for THREE ENTIRE MONTHS! October, November, December to be exact. When all the other kids were spending time with their families, enjoying trick or treating, Thanksgiving and Christmas, I was just praying to God that my mom would come home from the hospital. We went from having it all to not having anything. It was such a culture shock and pure devastation.
My stepdad and mom separated. We went from living on our own to living with family, sharing beds and space. It was an extremely difficult transition.
I remember making a promise to myself that I would never have to depend on other people but be in a position where people could depend on me. I would never have to ask anyone for anything but have enough so I could give freely. Most importantly that no matter what life brought my way, I would always be able to take care of my dear mommy!
It warms my heart and I am forever grateful that today I take care of my mom and she’s living her best life ever. She wants for nothing material and is flooded with love from my siblings, myself, and her friends and family.
I’ve worked ridiculously hard, made some unbelievable sacrifices, and done a lot of things that I wish I hadn’t. There is truly a price to pay for success and it’s not a one-time payment, nope. It’s a revolving account! I’ve lived in areas I wouldn’t walk the streets at night. I’ve lived in the projects, been on welfare, and rode public transportation. Today, I walk three blocks from the beach, live across the street from another beach, have a ridiculous view of my city and the beach, drive a Tesla SUV (it’s the no gas, carpool lane, tax write-off, and falcon doors for me.
I share this not to brag or boast but with pride and dignity. It took hard work, sleepless nights, tears, and pain to achieve the time and financial freedom I have today. It’s not where you are or where you’ve been, it’s where you are going. Yes! There is a reason that the rearview mirror is significantly smaller than the windshield. You see, where you going is so much bigger and brighter than where you are coming from.
The people you see who are successful, who you admire, who you would trade places with, and bank accounts with, have a journey that you would not believe. You see our glory but don’t know our stories.
I’m honored to say that I am keeping my promise. Not to my mom, my siblings, not to my teachers and mentors but myself, and I challenge you to do the same!
What an amazing testimony of faith and fortitude! What obstacles did you encounter on your journey, that almost caused you to quit on your dream?
Well, I was a teenage mother, living in the projects, on welfare. The environment I was in wasn’t conducive to my success. I lacked mentorship and if it wasn’t for my desire to have something better, I would not be where I am today.
What inspires you to keep going?
WOW! Every time I get this question I get chills. The obvious answer is my precious daughter and my dear mother, but it’s truly deeper than them. It’s something inside of me. It’s internal. I have this bulldog tenacity that I will win NO MATTER WHAT! It’s so powerful that I can’t quiet it or quit. It’s simply just not in my DNA!
How were you, out of everyone in your family, able to do something they couldn’t do?
I will not say they couldn’t do it. I believe all things are based on choices. They’ve done things that I couldn’t do or wouldn’t do. Like, have a job for YEARS! To some, that’s commitment, dedication, and discipline. I don’t have that in that regard. I didn’t and couldn’t. Choices. I chose to be an entrepreneur (even though I didn’t know that’s what it was! lol! ) I realized I was chronically unemployable. I made a CHOICE to hunt, create, build, make an impact, and not allow anyone or any situation to limit my freedom. How much money I could earn. How much time I had to invest. Where I went. When I went to the bathroom or when and how long I could enjoy a snack or lunch! I will always create my own economy. I am the boss of me and my success or failure is my responsibility. PERIOD!
You are so inspiring! How can people connect and stay in contact with you?
Visit me at TinaDLewis.com
Read July’s issue here: https://issuu.com/iamqueenmagazine/docs/i_am_queen_magazine_july_2021