Meet Way to Go Woman! Tanisha Ann Hickerson – “I Want To Be A Visible Example…”
Tanisha Ann Hickerson, 39
Family: Joseph Bivens, significant other; Kaelyn Drane, daughter; Joseph Bivens, Jr., and Jada Bivens, step-children
Tanisha Ann Hickerson has proven that the biggest obstacles can’t stop us from fulfilling our aspirations. Instead of succumbing to the pressures of being a teenage mom, Tanisha pursued her dream of working in the legal system. “What my mother told me is that ‘now you just have to fight harder,’ and that was really motivating for me,” she says. After she graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law, Tanisha worked as an attorney at Boehl Stopher & Graves, and in 2014 she became a partner at Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. Tanisha, who was elected as a district court judge in 2018, says she wants to be an encourager for kids who need more guidance. “So many of my family members, friends, teachers, and mentors pushed me and offered support. Not only will I forever be grateful, but I am compelled to do the same for others as much as I can,” she says.
Reaching Higher Ground
“My biggest accomplishment is overcoming the stigma and adversity of being a teenage mother. After delivering my valedictorian speech in high school, I proudly took pictures with my daughter on my hip. Entering college with a one-year old was very challenging, but my hard work, persistence, and willingness to never give up provided rewards above and beyond any diploma or certificate. I proved to myself that sometimes our mishaps are our blessings — merely changing the path but not the destination. I wanted to be a lawyer since middle school, and my daughter provided extra motivation to reach my goals.”
Becoming a Trailblazer
“I like to believe I have created a significant change in not only myself but as well as my community by being a part of a more diverse and inclusive judiciary. As a black woman, I want to be a visible example, especially for women and minorities, that discriminatory barriers are meant to be broken down in order for our society to reach its full potential. While accomplishing my professional goals, I hope that I have inspired my daughter to reach her goals despite adversity and the ups and downs that most certainly come with life. Additionally, my desires for her are the same that I have for others in our society — especially those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds — to believe no mountain is too tall to climb, to get back up when you fall, dig deep, and push forward. Although I certainly consider becoming a judge to be the highlight of my legal career thus far, I am honored to use this platform in and outside the courtroom doors to seek a more just society.”