Sunday, November 15, 2015

She Is Kicking It!

By Anna Patterson

In January of 2005, life was perfect for ShaVonda Williams. She and her husband, Bryan, had just bought a big, beautiful house on the east side of Louisville. But in June of that year, tragedy struck.

ShaVonda received a call that her cousin had died in a car accident, leaving her three daughters parentless and homeless. ShaVonda wouldn’t hear of the girls being split up, so she and her husband took them into their home along with their own three daughters. In an instant, their house of five became a house of eight.

For three years, ShaVonda and her husband did the best they could to settle the girls into their new life. But their hard times weren’t over. In 2008, ShaVonda and her husband found themselves mixed up in the national housing crisis and came home to a foreclosure notice on their door. Bryan’s cleaning business was also hit hard, losing 90 percent of his contracts as a result of the crisis. They lost not only their home, but also their savings and source of income. They were down to nothing.

ShaVonda and her husband found a two-bedroom apartment for themselves and six children. Overwhelmed by her circumstances, ShaVonda let herself sink into a consuming depression. She started to put on weight. In two years, ShaVonda gained 147 pounds and at her heaviest weighed 315 pounds.

A bright spot glowed through her darkness when ShaVonda found out she was pregnant. When she had her son, she thought to herself, “This is a brand new baby. There’s no way you can bring him up with all this pain and hurt. You are responsible for helping him write his story. You’re responsible for that.”

The day ShaVonda truly woke up was when her son started to crawl. He made his way up the stairs of their apartment and at that moment decided to try and stand. ShaVonda was paralyzed with fear at the bottom of the staircase as she watched him teetering on his unstable legs. She was too big to run up the stairs to grab her son. No one else was around to help. “That was the day I woke up,” ShaVonda says. “It was as if somebody wiped Vaseline from my eyes, and I could finally see everything around me. I literally had a storm in my mind that I let consume me. And now I had to fight.”

Shavonda's brother is her stylist and one of her big supporters.

ShaVonda started reading every motivational book she could get her hands on. Her weight started coming off. A friend recommended she share her story with the YMCA, which helped the family by offering childcare and a chance for them to get back on their feet. She started using the YMCA’s facilities and lost more than 100 pounds.

The YMCA then asked ShaVonda to be a motivational speaker so she could share her story and encourage others to share theirs. Her story became nationally known.

ShaVonda has also started her own nonprofit organization, Socialite Society, which stands against social disconnection. The goal is to facilitate community unity through youth. She teaches Zumba, mentors young girls in her community, and continues doing work for the YMCA.

“You’re going to have bad times in life,” ShaVonda says. “It’s going to happen. Life is life. But those bad times don’t make a bad life. You have the right to change your story.”


  1. YOU ROCK GIRL!!!!! I'm soooooo proud of you! I love you! Chadonia Smith

  2. Congratulations!!!! You are the real deal!! You are truly beautiful inside and outside. God Bless You


You've decided to leave a comment – that's great! Please keep in mind that comments are moderated. So, please do not use a spammy keyword or domain in your comment, or it will be deleted. Let's have a meaningful conversation instead. Thanks for stopping by!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...