YWCA Tribute Awards Profile: Leslie King

Originally posted on MLive.com

Leslie King

Job/profession: Founder and CEO of Sacred Beginnings

Award: Advocacy

Impact: As a survivor of drug use, prostitution and its violence, King-Borrego established the nonprofit residential program for traumatized women in 2005. Sacred Beginnings has just opened its third transitional home in the Grand Rapids area and is providing supervisied living, mentoring, counseling, advocacy and 24-hour crisis intervention to 25 women.

Inspiration: “Justice for all, not some. No matter what a person’s social or economic background, everyone deserves a chance.”

Life lesson: “I have so many. What I have learned is that I no longer have to be a victim to my past, of society or economics. I have a voice.”

Vision: “My personal vision is to expand Sacred Beginnings around the state and beyond. There’s too many women and young girls being victimized. We have three homes in the city and, hopefully, (we will have) one in Lansing by January. My professional vision is to continue my education until I get my Ph.D. Then I’m going to make a lot of changes.”

Rule to live by: “No matter if you fall, get up, stand.”

Personal challenge: “When an obstacle is in my way, I meet it head-on, and I won’t stop until I conquer it.”

What makes you laugh? “I wasn’t here for my own children due to my prostitution and drug abuse. But I’m here for my grandkids. Watching them laugh, watching them tumble, that brings joy to my spirit. Don’t miss those moments of laughter.”

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