Two New Iberia women helping turn lives around

Iberia Parish

NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) – Nakeisha Youman and Stardashia Conway have been best friends since a young age, both involved in criminal activity.  After several run-ins with law enforcement, they decided to lean on each other for the support they needed to change.

Now they are offering that same support to those in the New Iberia community. They’re hoping to be an example for those looking for a way out. “Back then you could fight and then you didn’t have no guns but now we are seeing so many guns we want them to know that You don’t have to fight because it leads to something else and you can’t come back from that.”, says Youman.

It’s been years since the two New Iberia women were heavily involved in the life they once lived. Both born into a struggling environment, their mentality became skewed forcing them to see themselves and the world around them in a negative light. This lead both women into a lifestyle that would take years to recover from. Youman said, ” I could relate to going to jail due to drugs. I come from a family of drug users.” Conway followed with, “We went from troubled times to now blessed times.”

Their poor choices produced dreadful consequences. But their experience is what makes them relatable. They say violence is a result of being in unstable environments and not having the safety or freedom to speak up.  They want to provide the community with the help they feel they didn’t have through their organization “All good things corporation”.  The mission to change mindsets can’t be done by the two alone.

They are closely connected with organizations and are intentionally building relationship with law enforcement to help create trust between the community and its leaders. They are also in the building process of a new resource center, giving the people of New Iberia somewhere to go to receive help for things such as resume writing, job searching and more. “We are watching schools and stores getting closed. It’s starting to be a ghost town. We are seeing a lot of gun violence and drug activity. More kids crying out for help”, Conway explained.

The two say they will continue to live and lead by the motto “Focus on those who respond to opportunities, build trust and change mindsets.”

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