Our very own Teshana D. Henderson, L.C.S.W., was awarded with the prestigious “Spirit of the Dream” Alumni Award at the 31st Annual “I Have a Dream” National Foundation Spirit of the Dream Spring Gala in New York. Teshana is an alumna of Program 3 in Los Angeles, sponsored in 1987; she graduated 19 years ago. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in Organizational Leadership and Human Services Administration at NOVA Southeastern University.
From early on in her life, Teshana faced obstacles that she overcame to be where she is today. With the encouragement and guidance of her sponsor, Linda Blinkenberg, Teshana was able to take the path that many of her peers strayed from. One of the greatest challenges she faced was to overcome the gang culture that surrounded her. Two of her siblings were gang members and her sister was married to one. Instead of doing the same, she focused on her goal: to help children that were in her same situation.
“At any time I could have turned and gone a different way,” said Teshana. “Every day you make a choice.”
Teshana is the wife of Dr. Ellis O. Henderson and the proud mother of three: Ellis II, Emani and Eniya. Teshana’s passion for the field of social work, and her desire to give back, led her and her husband to establish NDUTIME Youth and Family Services, Inc. in 2004 with the belief that everyone deserves a chance to improve their lives. The non-profit organization provides a range of mental health services, from intensive in-home counseling to substance abuse services. Her organization has received numerous awards, including the National Urban League Presidential Award in honor of service to the community.
Teshana also created Joshua House I & II, another organization which helps to transform mentally disturbed young men into productive citizens who can achieve their dreams. Through her experience with “I Have a Dream,” Teshana has become a leader in her community and has made a difference in many lives.
Teshana thanks “I Have a Dream” for the chance to live her dream every day. Congratulations, Teshana!