RICHMOND, Va. -- A local mom who spent years fighting to overcome some harrowing life circumstances is using her personal story to inspire, enlighten and empower others.
There's something that Nikita Ross makes sure to do every day to keep her dreams alive.
"We just speak life into it. Speaking things into existence," Ross said.
If she can see it, she's convinced that she can be it, but it took years for her to grasp that. However, Ross hasn't always been this sure of herself.
"The dark places I've been. The letdowns I've had. Being told I'd never be anything," Ross said.
Ross made a choice not just to survive painful life circumstances but to thrive despite a once dark journey that could have easily held her back.
"You can be set free from it and I'm fortunate enough to say that I was set free from being a high school dropout to being molested at the age of 12. So, all of my experiences in life, I know they will help someone," Ross said.
For years, Ross organized women's empowerment events. Recently, drawing in more than 100 women, Ross quickly learned that many of the women there drew parallels to their own lives.
"They'd be like, oh, that happened to me or I went through that. I was like, things that I overcame, I can go and talk to other women and hope my experiences in life would help or be healing to someone else," Ross said.
Ross has seen the pandemic leave many women struggling with mental health so she's using creative ways to get them to tap into their feelings and press forward.
She's planning a women's gathering called Speaking Things Into Existence to encourage women that they can push past the pain of their past and claim all that life has to offer.
"It was for me to go through it and for God to set me free so I'm able to share it with someone who will say, if she's able to do it, to overcome it, I can too," Ross said.
Speaking Things Into Existence is Ross' next gathering. The painting event is on March 26 is open to women across the area.
Ross is also planning an even larger event in September.